THE IMPACT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES ON SPACE, OPERATIONS AND REVENUES
5. REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY
Over the last five years the introduction of new technologies and service delivery systems have revolutionized the real estate industry. For an industry that was once looked upon as a slow moving and technologically unsophisticated, it is now emerging as one of the market segments that will significantly change the way it delivers services based on these new technologies. The introduction of search-engine portals, the Internet, e-mail, laptop computers, cell phones, an faxes have all contributed to the revolution in real estate. The real estate and real estate markets can now be monitored in real-time, and real-time decisions can be made to take advantage of market opportunities or risk management strategies. In 1998, with the collapse of the real estate capital markets, real estate firms have had to find alternative methods of growing net operating income, either through entering new lines of business or focusing on streamlining cost structures (ULI). The next generation of real estate investments will be particularly influenced by:
• Modern technology and information systems moderating demand for office, industrial and retail space.
• Massive population migration flows back into the urban core, creating 24-hour cities.
• Public capital markets providing more information regarding real estate markets, companies and operations. E-retailing and mobile work environments appear to be altering tenant usage and dampening growth in commercial space. Industrial corporations are now increasing their technology budgets at the expense of their real estate budget. Tenants are using less space. The Impact of Technologies on the Utilization of Space Office The concept of the modern office building no longer holds true, technology has altered the economics of office buildings. There are five important areas where technology has impacted offices: the design process, energy saving devices and systems, internal and external environmental quality control, new processes and revenue streams, and maintenance and recycling. Computer-Assisted-Design (CAD) has improved design aspects, fuel cells have produced energy savings, Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems have provided better environmental controls, e-commerce and the Internet have provided new revenue sources, and trash compactors and shredders have improved the efficiencies of recycling (Peiser). The office market is being overtaken by mobile telecommunications and electronics. Technology such as laptops, fax machines, cellular phones and the Internet are shifting corporate users to telecommuting, hoteling and teleconferencing to reduce space costs (Metz).
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