One of the biggest factors when it comes to differentiating elite brokers from the rest is their ability to foresee what consumers will demand in the future, often before the consumer even knows what it is he or she wants. Being able to notice the emerging trends in the industry will not only save you money, but will likely put you two steps ahead of the competition in this hyper competitive market. Here are a few themes we are expecting in the near future:
- Technology Improvements — Artificial Intelligence, 3-D printing, and autonomous cars will revolutionize the way people look at real estate, not only from a brokerage point of view, but also development, marketing, valuation and construction. “Autonomous vehicles will transform the way commercial real estate professionals use, build, assess and sell property,” said Meg White, the managing editor for REALTOR Magazine. Autonomous vehicles will begin to blur the line between urban and suburban areas and will offer new development opportunities by transforming excess parking in dense public areas.
- Crowdfunding has continued to gain popularity and will likely be one of the principal methods for developers to acquire capital in the near future. The biggest impact this will have on the real estate industry will undoubtably be the potential introduction of millions of people into the investment market who previously did not have the financial means to contribute the typical five or six figure amount required by a majority of institutional commercial investors. However, crowdfunding doesn’t come without a few strings attached. Notably, crowdfunding investments are illiquid and cannot be freely traded like stocks.
- E-commerce will continue to see strong growth. It will be interesting to see the ways in which brick and mortar stores adapt in order to keep up with the changing retail environment. We are also seeing a shift in food delivery with the emergence of services such as UberEats and Publix delivery. This will exponentially grow in prevalence as hybrid and self-driving vehicles advance in capability and affordability.
- Continued interest from international investors due to low rates and strong economic performance. The U.S. property market is one of the most transparent and stable market in the world, with the largest relative yields and price appreciation potential. Increased capital flow from these investors will begin to be utilized in secondary markets and smaller cities as autonomous cars become integrated into our society.
- Shifting demographics are going to be one of the biggest drivers of change due to the aging baby boomer generation in need of assisted living as well as the flexible commercial spaces demanded by millennials. We are also seeing the change in generations spur the redevelopment of once underperforming public areas into a space for community entertainment.
- Sustainability and green engineering will continue to be a hot topic as we learn more about our impacts on the environment and the ways in which we can hedge our destructive tendencies. The current political administration has not been a strong supporter of renewable energy, thus eliminating many of the incentives that enable developers to save on these expensive projects. Hopefully, we will see a reemergence of these grants and an increase in sustainable construction as our country moves forward.
Being aware of the coming trends is only the first step. Knowing how to decipher the new opportunities these trends create and acting on that premonition is what will put the elite real estate professionals above the rest.