How the Internet of Things will change city CRE and a broker's job description

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a popular buzzword across industries. McKinsey characterizes the IoT as sensors and actuators embedded in physical objects and linked through wired and wireless networks, often using the same Internet Protocol (IP) that connects the Internet.

Another way to define the IoT is simply as the marriage of the physical world to the virtual world.

But the full integration of the virtual world with the physical world is still in the early stages. According to a study from Cisco, nearly 75 percent of IoT projects fail, and they blame that on a focus on the technology itself versus the humans actually using it.

So how will being a broker––a job built on human connections––be affected by the IoT? As a broker, the IoT has the potential to completely transform your job description.

How the Internet of Things will connect single buildings to the world

IoT is already enabling smart building technology, like in initiatives IBM is currently working on, but brokers need to think beyond that application. A true IoT will connect everything––a smartphone to a building to the transportation surrounding it, and more.

And total connectivity means owners and tenants of properties will be able to couple with transportation, other properties and in-building technology to fully integrate the virtual world into the physical. Every aspect of a person’s day will feel seamless.

As real estate assets are connected to the digital world, there will be new opportunities for CRE to join the sharing economy. Today, not every commercial building is in use every hour of every day. With better data accumulated through IoT, we will have access to more apps like Airbnb to find these properties on-demand. So, buildings could be used for one purpose, like a classroom or office, for one part of the day and repurposed as a restaurant or entertainment space in the evening. Once example of a service already in use for this purpose is ApartmentJet, which allows property managers to leverage the sharing economy for vacant apartments.

But what does this mean for you?

What the Internet of Things means for brokers

As a broker, you won’t be selling just one single building, but the entire network surrounding it. This means there will be more clients and more collaboration between them because you’ll work with multiple buyers at once in a connected network.

You’ll need to develop new strategies to sell the entire network of your area instead of just one building. You’ll also be required to facilitate partnerships between building and other resource owners to ensure total connectivity.

It will be more necessary than ever for you to be smart about technology because beyond understanding, tech expertise will be a job requirement.

Learn more about how smart building technology will change the way you sell offices for the better on our blog.