Each year, at our Sperry Van Ness® (SVN) National Conference, I talk to our commercial real estate advisors and business owners about game-changing trends. Game-changers occur when people are doing things (working, playing, living) differently than they used to just a few years ago. This year, we have four categories: Communication, Design, Collaboration and Distribution.
Trends in Design and Collaboration
The following video features the second portion of my 2015 talk on trends. Watch the video and read the takeaways below.
Main Takeaways in Design Trends:
1. Mobile first, mobile only. Tech engineers are no longer adapting desktop software for tablets and smartphones. Instead they are designing straight to mobile.
2. Different devices require different design elements. Desktop software can accommodate a longer attention span than something designed for a tablet, phone or watch.
3. Cybersecurity will be a key element and consideration of every new design.
4. The mass adoption of mobile technology has opened the door for innovators to bypass existing infrastructure. Uber, Airbnb, Bitcoin and Apple Pay are examples of innovative businesses that circumvented traditional infrastructure.
Mobile technology has massively altered design. Engineers are designing for shorter and shorter attention spans and developing systems that don’t rely on existing infrastructure. In underdeveloped countries, the combination of mobile adoption and lack of existing infrastructure, i.e. phone lines and banking systems, has sped up mass adoption of new business models. In developed countries, however, we are seeing slower adoption of alternative currencies (Bitcoin, Apple Pay) and lawsuits levied against new business models (Uber, Airbnb). The key for new technology to achieve mass adoption and acceptance is: access, affordability and accountability. As discussed in the video, the aforementioned Bitcoin, Apple Pay, Uber, and Airbnb are caught in the accountability stage for now.
The expansion of technology also comes with new risks. As we move towards the Internet of Things where our watches communicate with our thermostats (see Nest) as well as our banks, security will continue to become a bigger and bigger issue. New technologies will therefore be required to incorporate security protocols into all design elements.
Main Takeaways in Collaboration Trends:
1. One form of collaboration is crowdsourcing. In the commercial real estate industry we are seeing the crowdsourcing of investment funds (Fundrise, Realty Mogul) and in the case of Comstak, the crowdsourcing of lease data.
2. At SVN, we have been leaders in collaboration and here are two examples:
a. Crowdsourcing of knowledge. Our service and product councils bring together experts around specific asset classes and services, who partner on transactions and share knowledge both online, on calls and in person at our national conferences.
b. Crowdsourcing of demand. The SVN National Sales Call, where our advisors feature new properties they are marketing, is revolutionary in allowing participation by outside brokers, clients and potential clients. This is due to our founding principle that no one advisor, local firm or national company knows all the potential buyers for a property. Only when you drive up demand by exposure to the entire marketplace does a client achieve the best value for their property.
At Sperry Van Ness International Corporation, we are watching these trends to see how they affect the commercial real estate industry. Our goal is to capitalize on these trends so that our advisors are using the most powerful tools to the benefit of their clients.