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How the Internet of Things, VR, and Coworking Will Affect CRE Operations

The profound effect that innovations in virtual reality, IoT, and coworking will have on the way we operate commercial real estate over the next ten years is examined in a recent Aquicore whitepaper: CRE Tech Horizons: Operations.

Each of the three innovations explored in the whitepaper will lead to important changes in the real estate industry. The Internet of Things will help building engineers to better monitor and control the flow of energy, water, and air through their buildings. The potential for improving tenant comfort and preserving resources is enormous. Virtual and augmented reality may finally make a large-scale debut in the next few years, and when they do, the opportunities for streamlining the real estate purchasing, renting, and investing process are difficult to understate. Finally, coworking continues to rapidly develop into a mature industry that may aid traditional commercial real estate in unexpected ways.

At the same time, the research identified risks to commercial real estate players that are not adequately prepared for shifting operational practices. The better building metrics and controls that come along with IoT will help the companies that apply them successfully, but building owners who fail to do so could find themselves losing ground to competitors or at risk from digital security threats. Virtual reality presents a similar risk: As new business models arise around the showing of available spaces, traditional models may find themselves disrupted. Those unable to adapt may struggle. Coworking presents far less of a threat to the CRE industry than some insiders fear, but it does represent a shift toward a more rapid state of competition in the office market.

The trends identified and studied in this report are by no means the only innovations that will affect commercial real estate, but they are the three that at this time appear most likely to cause long-term change in the way we do business. In the same way that building automation systems went from a luxury to a must-have, it seems likely that IoT sensors and controls will be a necessity for buildings of a certain size in the near future. In a similar way, it’s easy to imagine that a quick virtual reality tour of a space before seeing it (or making a transaction directly) will become as ubiquitous as looking through an online photo gallery is now.

Other key features in this whitepaper:

  • An exclusive interview with Aquicore VP of Customer Experience Sam Dib
  • The average utility costs for U.S. commercial buildings and how IoT could lower them
  • Connecting the dots between tenant comfort and measurable productivity
  • A closer look at real estate tools being created for virtual reality
  • Insights from Bryn Erickson, co-founder and CSO of VR startup Realvision
  • A look at the risks and opportunities for CRE presented by coworking
  • Interviews with Shana Glenzer, CMO of MakeOffices, and Reid Fetters, chief real estate development officer at The Skillery


CRE Tech Horizons: Operations builds on Aquicore’s whitepaper released last month, CRE Tech Horizons: Infrastructure. That report looks at the innovations that will affect cities and buildings on a large scale, including self-driving cars, the blockchain, and drone delivery.


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