No one can deny the impact that technology has on our lives. (You’d have to be living under a rock to do so!) It affects nearly every aspect of our daily life, from the most insignificant detail (like using a smartphone instead of an alarm clock) to the most dramatic (like staying at home and telecommuting to work).

It’s imperative for businesses to keep up with new technology—and the ways in which it is altering our lives—or risk going under. Open any major newspaper and you’ll likely find a think piece about the demise of a specific business or even whole industry. Businesses that can’t or won’t adapt—like Kodak, Garmin, AOL, etc.—are likely to go the way of the horse and buggy.

Smart businesses understand that technological advancements require the ability of the business to consistently strategize, experiment, and pivot sharply if necessary. How can your CRE firm do this? Don’t miss our free webinar on July 12, where we’ll cover the key marketing tactics to build a brand and drive traffic to mixed use properties.

While all industries are affected by technology, commercial real estate is feeling the effects acutely. Firms developing and marketing mixed use property are seeing changes in how people view and use their office, retail, and residential spaces.

Many an office sits empty on any given day of the week, as more employees—particularly millennial employees—desire workplace flexibility and take advantage of telecommuting options. (Automattic, the company behind WordPress, recently closed its office space because the majority of its employees were opting to work remotely.) Because of this, commercial real estate firms need to explore “flex working spaces,” co-working spaces, and other creative solutions to attract new tenants.

Brick-and-mortar stores are struggling as a result of the rise in e-commerce. In some cities in the US, a consumer can place an order and receive it within hours. To compete, a retail space has to offer more than the product itself; it must also offer an experience. (The good news for retail spaces is that surveys have shown experiences to be more important than physical possessions for the younger generations.) Retailers can adapt by scaling back brick-and-mortar locations to focus on e-commerce, providing a pick-up-in-store option for online orders, and/or offering a unique experience that can’t be had online. For example, e-commerce clothing brand Modcloth has opened a store in which shoppers can try on nearly the entire line—but they can’t purchase anything in store. This eliminates many shoppers’ frustration of not finding their size. Commercial real estate companies should expect many retailers’ brick-and-mortar locations to become more like distribution centers, requiring more space and a more open layout.

Residential real estate has experienced a technological renaissance, and commercial real estate should anticipate the same to happen soon enough. Just a decade or two ago, one needed a realtor to find out which houses were on the market, but this isn’t the case anymore. Websites like Trulia and Zillow and mobile apps make finding listings a breeze. Business owners will likely soon expect the same convenience when searching for property.

Knowing that the winds of change are coming is all well and good, but how do you actually make sure that your company is staying up to date?

In addition to keeping the above in mind when making decisions, we suggest investing in technology: it’s not going anywhere! There are a myriad of options to both make your business more efficient and drive prospective buyers.

To make your operations more streamlined and your business more efficient, take a look at the latest software and programs. A chat bot, for example, can answer the repetitive questions that prospects and visitors have—saving your company time and money and offering greater convenience to consumers, who don’t have to wait hours for a response.

To increase leads, consider looking into virtual reality to offer prospects a convenient tour of an existing property (or one that’s yet to be built). If not virtual reality, at least upgrade your existing online images and add video tours of properties. And to improve interactions with visitors of mixed-use properties, invest in greater connectivity—for example through social media channels like Facebook and Instagram (perfect for the visual industry that is real estate) or through a mobile app uniquely developed for your company.

Technology moves at a rapid pace, making it difficult to keep up. We’d be happy to answer your questions. Contact one of our experts today

Author Information

Andy Halko is the CEO of Insivia is a Strategic Growth Consultancy helping companies scale through our Breakthrough Growth Program and Agile Marketing solutions.