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4 Disruptive, Tech-Driven Innovations Transforming Commercial Real Estate

    The arrival of a plethora of tech-oriented innovations is causing commercial real estate to undergo its most significant transformations in a generation. New technology entering CRE will have a huge impact on an industry that’s previously been considered slow to adopt.

    These four in particular seem perfectly positioned to radically alter the sector in the next five years—and probably sooner.

    1. Crowdsourced Financing

    Since launching in 2009, Kickstarter has dramatically expanded the perception of financing, providing a new vehicle for entrepreneurs looking to fund new products and services. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo use the internet to help projects reach millions, generating investor interest in a wide range of industries.

    Now the concept’s coming to commercial real estate, democratizing opportunities previously only available to big money, REITs, institutions and private equity groups. Based on the model made famous by Kickstarter, sites like RealtyShares, Fundrise, RealtyMogul and PatchOfLand allow developers to reach investors and vice versa.

    2. Internet of Things

    The Internet of Things is connecting ordinary devices, such as thermostats, to the internet. Now building owners can monitor and control their property’s systems from anywhere in the world, and predictive monitoring lets them know what might happen based on current conditions and past performance.

    3. Ride-sharing and Autonomous Vehicles

    Venture capitalist and Fifth Wall co-founder Brendan Wallace says “ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles will create (and destroy) more value in the real estate industry than they will in the technology industry.”

    Why? Ride-sharing has the capacity to forever alter the way cities are designed. Imagine, for example, reading an offering memo for a commercial property that boasts of having no parking. You'll be reading one sooner than you think.

    4. Technological Disintermediation

    NYC skyline
    New York City skyline

    In plain English, “disintermediation” means cutting out the proverbial middle man. Startups like and are linking buyers and lessees to sellers and leasers directly, bypassing transactional intermediaries.

    Just as residential real estate was forever changed by the internet, these commercial sites are bringing pricing transparency to the marketplace with more clarity than has existed.

    How To Prepare

    4 Disruptive, Tech-Driven Innovations Transforming Commercial Real Estate

    The surest way to weather the oncoming storm of change is to get ahead of it. These developments present lucrative opportunities for creative and fast-moving individuals.

    Traditional and trade-based professional development offerings help to fill in some of the gaps. More comprehensive options include a graduate education that provides a foundation in theory along with a relevant master class on the latest technologies and trends affecting the market.

    The MS in Real Estate and Infrastructure from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School is one of the few real estate programs on the East Coast offered by a business school rather than through “continuing studies” or “professional studies” programs that are primarily staffed by part-time and adjunct faculty.

    Those interested can request more information about the program today.