Columns Mann Report

Revolutionizing 2019 and Beyond: Trends Set to Disrupt the Future of Commercial Real Estate and Property Management Technology

2019 is expected to be another year full of technological advances and innovation that will have tremendous impact on real estate owners, managers, developers and engineers throughout the year and beyond. We’ve identified three overarching technological trends that will emerge within the CRE industry and influence all aspects of the real estate market, including: investments, building operations, tenant comfort, energy conservation, building surveillance and construction processes.

Blockchain: How “Distributed Trust” will Streamline Real Estate Investments

On the financial side of commercial real estate, blockchain—a network designed around the concept of “distributed trust” in order to facilitate online payment processes—will provide an alternative method for financial transactions. Blockchain will streamline the process of buying and selling real estate at absorbent levels and will open new markets to investment that may not have many real estate investment trusts (REITs). As the technology matures and reaches its full potential, its ability to facilitate safer and more fluid transactions will optimize time and expenses for real estate investors and their business practices.

Autonomous Everything: The Dawn of Robotics, Drones and Autonomous Vehicles

2019 will bring about the exponential increase of automated technologies for the real estate market. From robotics to drones and autonomous vehicles, these technologies will update and enhance an industry that is often slow to adapt. Robotics will optimize both time and safety during the construction and development process. Once integrated, robotics will give birth to a previously unknown class of careers that interface with them and have the potential to reduce construction labor shortages. Another autonomous technology expected to see a surge in use in 2019 is drones for aerial surveillance of properties and adjacent outdoor spaces. As the technology rapidly matures, growing more efficient and fiscally attainable, we predict drones will be increasingly deployed at commercial properties as a security measure. Finally, autonomous vehicles will significantly impact urban development nationwide. Mixed-use buildings in urban areas will replace outdated parking infrastructures with smart parking garages to accommodate autonomous vehicles. Property owners will see a rise in “complete-streets” concepts, including enhancements made to roads, sidewalks and bike lanes to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety while reducing traffic congestion. 

The Acceleration of Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence

Over the next several years, platforms that can track, store and analyze buildings’ data in real time will play an integral role in equipping property managers, asset managers and building engineers alike with both top level and granular views of what’s happening across a commercial asset. With artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, CRE stakeholders will be able to use temperature, humidity, tenant behavior and a host of other factors to predict utility consumption, equipment performance and lifespan, as well as optimal start times for buildings that cut costs while keeping occupants happy. CRE executives will soon make faster, more informed decisions about how to operate their buildings, leading to places that are more healthy, sustainable, productive and profitable.

In addition to AI, immersive experiences (i.e. augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality) will become prevalent in the CRE industry to solve a number of complex issues. For instance, computer generated images (i.e. interactive or three-dimensional directions) will aid engineers in locating and repairing building equipment. With augmented reality (AR), virtual objects can be overlaid and tracked on top of physical objects to visualize them in the same space, enabling property owners and managers to highlight hidden features in a building, like an IoT energy management system or a state-of-the-art HVAC system.

With all of these advancements, particularly in the AI and machine learning space, 2019 will be the year real estate and property management professionals focus on performance optimization to stay competitive in the market. Blockchain, autonomous things, immersive experiences, smart spaces and AI-driven development will soon give rise to a new age of commercial developments and property management best practices.


Logan Soya
875 N Street NW, Suite 205
Washington, D.C. 20001


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