How is technology changing the real estate market?
As you swing from one milestone to another in business, the issue of property is bound to become pertinent at one point or another.
Whether you are investing in the real estate market or seeking a property capable of housing your corporate operations, technology's influence is inescapable.
At a Commercial Property Conference held by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, technology's influence on the property market was posited as outweighing that of current political changes.
So, in what ways is real estate changing due to the influx of fresh technology?
The rise of the machines
No, don't worry; this isn't a trend that you should particularly fear. There are no Terminator-like scenarios being suggested here; we are referring instead to artificial intelligence's increasing sophistication allowing machines to conduct an array of complex tasks.
As machines aren't going to complain about working in a regional office at a great distance from the closest public transport stop, the concept of the regional back office has become more palatable.
The need for more and more warehouse space
If you work in retail, you have likely noticed how the trend for online shopping has taken effect. While online retail does have the boon of broadening the choice of products available to customers, it does bring a requirement for space in which these products can be stored.
In light of this, it's unsurprising that - compared to conventional retail - online retail necessitates much more warehouse space. According to one estimate, roughly three of every 10 online-bought items are returned, leading to a significant turnover of stock which warehouses must accommodate.
The Internet of Things is now, yes, a thing
You might have heard of the Internet of Things, or IoT for short. It's a system whereby a range of devices are connected together in a potentially elaborate network to enable broad functionality.
IoT has trimmed buildings' energy consumption by as much as 30%, allowing companies to save money on energy costs while doing the planet a favour. IoT's provision of real-time data pertaining to commuter traffic and building efficiencies has fuelled staff wellbeing and productivity.
A shift in the necessary skills of personnel
As buildings are physically altered and adapted due to the influence of technology, the companies using these buildings have increasingly needed staff capable of handling the new, hi-tech amenities.
Examples of up-and-coming skills set to be prized by twenty-first-century businesses include data analytics, cyber security and computer programming. Through recruiting more people who have these skills, firms can become more adept at fostering creativity and innovation in the workplace.
Renewable energy broadens in availability
In theory, a wide range of businesses already have access to renewable energy. However, in practice, eco-friendly energy is often too expensive to fit into many corporate budgets.
However, we can confidently expect future drops in the prices of renewable energy. As a result, batteries and solar panels should become increasingly common features of commercial buildings which can subsequently relinquish a degree of their current reliance on the electricity grid.
"Less is more" becomes a more prominent mantra
As data widens in availability while artificial intelligence further smartens, bricks-and-mortar retail units should start taking on a noticeably more minimalist look.
This transformation can be partly attributed to chatbots' facial recognition and natural language both improving and so reducing the necessary number of checkouts. Meanwhile, payments can be made on a more automatic basis than before.
While we wait for these changes to take effect, don't neglect to keep hold of property owners liability insurance, such as from Be Wiser Business Insurance, in case your property seriously inconveniences a third party.