While it seems like it was much longer, the iPad debuted just over 2.5 years ago and at the time we wondered what impact it would have on business and commercial real estate services. When I wrote about the iPad on my blog most commercial real estate professionals were still scoffing at the idea that social media would creep its way into the mainstream commercial real estate arena.
I believed at the time that the internet, mobile and social technology were going to make a significant impact on commercial real estate and business in general and decided to bet big. Think about it at the time, Facebook was considered a fad, most people had never even seen Twitter and if you heard the term BYOD, you thought it had something to do with bringing alcohol to a party.
Today, you thinking nothing of it if someone has an iPad open in a meeting and mobile technologies are changing the way we work and the overall demand for office space. We are now truly mobile workers and while most of us still go to the office, when we leave we bring the office with us in the form of three technology devices; a laptop, tablet, smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection is no longer optional.
Commercial real estate is still a relationship driven business but how we manage those relationships and our client activities has changed. We basically make ourselves available 24/7 and technology has made the world a smaller place. They used to roll their eyes at me around the office, but today I am working on multiple assignments that are a direct result of my on-line presence. I was a little ahead of the game, but I believed the landscape was going to change and while I knew it would take some time, that day is here.
The new generation of commercial real estate professionals are embracing technology without any hesitancy. Generation X who were trained in the old ways has said “uncle” and is jumping on board. The old school commercial real estate broker isn’t in peril, they will prosper for another ten years based on the relationships they have built-up for twenty-five years, but if you are under 40 the game has changed.