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Real Estate Technology, HB News & Events

From Millennials to Technology: Betting on What Will Change the Real Estate Industry

Predicting the future of commercial real estate in the interest of heavily invested portfolios will never be easy. However, owners continue to make 5 to 10-year projections as they seek out value and cutting edge solutions. 

“Millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2029. Their demands, unlike any previous demographic, have a significant impact on commercial real estate.”


2018’s Catalyst panel on “Billion Dollar Bets-What Are VCs and Landlords Betting Will Change The Industry in the Next 5 Years?” assembled experts to share their assessments moderated by Cushman & Wakefield’s Executive Managing Director Adam Doneger.

Who are Our Experts?

Marking more than 3 decades with Brookfield including its predecessors, under Managing Partner & Chairman Ric Clark’s leadership, Brookfield Properties is a global enterprise. 

Jameson Weber, Head of Special Situations, leads a team focused on global investment across tech-enabled real estate for Canada’s QuadReal Property Group, with locations in 23 Global Cities across 17 countries.

As President of Oxford Properties, Michael Turner proudly leads a team committed to growing and supporting the cities and communities comprising their global interests while growing pension values with assets under management in Canada, Europe, USA, and Asia.

Leading organizations managing multi-billion dollar asset portfolios, collectively, these panelists represent the best and brightest experience and expertise within commercial real estate. Their conversation regarding the progress of future investment outlooks reflects their positions at the leading edge of innovation. 

Millennial Influence 

According to an analyst from Newmark, Knight, Frank, “millennials and the generation coming behind them, Gen Z, are driving trends such as co-working spaces... with lots of communal amenities in walkable urban areas.”  

Ric Clark of Brookfield Properties, remarks on the change related to evolving workspaces, saying,

“For [Brookfield], commercial tenants have shifted from focusing on cutting costs and being cost efficient to attracting, motivating, and retaining their employees. So we’re doing a lot of things within our properties to address that.” 

PropTech Involvement vs. Investment, from Niche to Operational Advantage

Most conversations surrounding PropTech have shifted from saving time to building value. Do the opinions of analysts and trendspotters align with those of marketplace leaders? Has real estate gone headfirst into PropTech solutions, either as a platform to advance their businesses or as investment opportunities, or both, for long-term success?

PropTech in 2018, Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Jameson Weber, on behalf of QuadReal, explains his enthusiasm for PropTech implementation in simple terms:

“When we approach investments in Proptech, it’s in the spirit of adding strategic value to the organization and in the spirit of creating value at the assets.” 

QuadReal’s focus is on the production of their real estate portfolio. However, for venture arms within the real estate asset class, Michael Turner of Oxford Properties, classifies a potential investment as,

“having strategic value to Oxford and/or being transformative to the industry. […] To the extent that we see deal-flow and things that are interesting, we have a bucket to which we can try to capture value.”

In either capacity, PropTech plays a major role in shaping the future of portfolio management.

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The ‘Big Data’ Question

“Big Data” is perhaps one of the more overused and potentially feared terms associated with the digital evolution of real estate raising the following issues:

  • Where do we obtain data?
  • What is the right data to seek out and upon which we should rely?
  • How do we use data to our advantage?

What Could Owners Accomplish with Accessible Data?

While it is tempting to discern potential results, panelists agreed that the future for Big Data within commercial real estate lies in increasing operational efficiency. The need for open protocol among operating systems is the problem that those most interested in harnessing Big Data are trying to solve.

Watch the full Catalyst 2018 panel discussion

We hope you’ll join us for Catalyst 2019 along with Convene, as we connect visionaries both from within and outside the commercial real estate industry to explore big picture strategies intended to move your field, your discipline, and your career forward. 


Rochelle A. Carter-Wilson

Written by Rochelle A. Carter-Wilson

Rochelle is the Content Marketing Manager for Honest Buildings. She creates stories and other on-brand content to inform and engage owners and other members of the Commercial Real Estate industry.

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