The Future of Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Technology

If you were suddenly gifted with the power to see the future, the first thing you’d do is find out what the commercial real estate industry will look like 25 years, right? Okay, well even if that isn’t your first thought, it was definitely on the top of our minds at Building Engines after reading CNBC’s “7 Bold Commercial Estate Predictions.” Reporter Robin Micheli said that over the next couple of decades “commercial real estate will be buffeted by changes in demographics, technology, globalization, economic and environmental realities and a host of other trends,” adding that, “some pieces of the trillion-dollar global industry will adapt; others will fall away. It will still be a cyclical business, but no matter how it changes, commercial real estate is expected to be thriving in 2039.”

Micheli even went so far as to make several thought-provoking predictions sure to ignite discussion. Here’s a sneak peek at three of the prophecies that caught our attention:

1. Most shopping malls will be extinct.

Expect malls to continue their decline due to the rise in e-commerce, with only those consistently producing very strong revenues still doing business in 25 years,” Micheli wrote. Tom Bohjalian, executive vice president at Cohen & Steers, which was the first investment company to specialize in listed real estate, added that “as the J.C. Penney’s and Sears continue to lose market share to online retailing, you’re going to see more dead malls where the anchors go dark and ultimately are worth only the land they’re built on.”

2. Work spaces will be transformed by technology.

Henry H. Chamberlain, president and COO of BOMA International, said he foresees “more densely populated office spaces as the globalization of business kills the traditional 9-to-5 workday and requires companies to be staffed 24/7.” He also believes that “running a commercial office building will increasingly become a high-tech job… requiring property managers and engineers to possess IT knowledge to keep buildings online.”

3. Green buildings will come of age.

“While sustainability is gaining traction in Europe, it remains more of a buzzword than an actuality here in the U.S. — but that’s changing,” Micheli wrote. “Efforts to meet environmental standards at this point tend to be costly, but they’re a long-term imperative, and most everyone in the industry recognizes it.”

For more details and to find out the remaining four CRE expectations for the year 2039, click here.