New tech a harbinger of unprecedented change in the real estate industry—report

by Ephraim Vecina17 Jul 2017
The growing influence of advanced communications technology across all industries is introducing a fundamental disruption into how the workplace is structured, and a new study offers a tantalizing look at the changes that Canadian real estate professionals should prepare themselves for.

In Avison Young’s latest white paper titled “Architecture of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – Distributed Networks and Artificial Intelligence, Impacts and Opportunities for the Real Estate Sector,” the consultancy stated that the greatest shift would stem from the remote accessibility that is a natural consequence of distributed networks and open-source platforms.

“E-commerce, fintech, co-working, big data, autonomous vehicles and blockchain technologies are distributed-network systems that logistically change where and how work gets done,” according to  Amy Erixon, author of the white paper and Avison Young managing director. “These technologies, plus artificial intelligence, are the most important sea changes affecting investment and operational real estate decision-making today.”

The paper also discusses the need for the real estate segment to rapidly respond to the workplace’s appetite for ever-greater computational power, along with improved resiliency and cybersecurity.

In addition, Avison Young allays fears surrounding artificial intelligence, and suggests various strategies that real estate industry players can adopt to make the most out of a tool meant to augment—and not supplant—the human factor. The paper serves as “both a reference guide to the technologies for people who are less familiar with them, and a roadmap for moving forward with updates to occupancy and investment strategies.”

“We hope that this white paper will bring readers new insights and ideas for moving our business forward in this new digitized and dispersing world,” Erixon explained. “Implications for the existing building stock are vast. Companies and industries looking to leverage technological change will expect more from their facilities in the future.”

The 27-page document can be accessed and downloaded here.

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