The unemployment rate is close to 3.5% and consumers have had increased demands for goods and services. Technology has continued to evolve and change the way of life for many people. Amazon set a standard for many people to expect fast shipping on their products and has recently announced that they would like to invest $800 million into developing a same-day delivery service. Amazon’s new announcement shows signs of an upcoming increasing demand for labor forces and the need for more autonomous warehouses, a potential opportunity for commercial real estate investors. The revolution in recent history has created many new trends in the industrial real estate market.
Robotics are becoming popular within school systems. Many schools are beginning to offer more subjects catered towards the engineering, robotics, and computer science fields. A robotics competition, held by Dean Kamen, attracts over 100,000 competitors from around the world to compete with their robots.
Industrial real estate developers, to meet the new demands from industrial spaces, have begun to design their buildings with higher ceilings. Additionally, developers have begun to integrate an increasing amount of loading docks into their buildings to meet the increased shipping demands from warehouses. The layouts in warehouses are being modified to include more aisles with narrower spacing. To prevent accidents in the narrower aisles, operators are beginning to use laser-guided forklifts that offer more accuracy than traditional forklifts.
3D printing is being used more by distribution networks. 3D printing gives distributors the ability to print their own products in real-time. Over time, this may present the ability for manufacturers to produce products as they are ordered rather than needing large warehouses to store their inventory in.
Businesses are doing their best to adapt to the changing consumer market, and the real estate market is following suit. The world is changing, new products are constantly being created, and more information is available than ever before. The industrial real estate market, along with many other markets, has been developing new trends to meet all of the demands from both consumers and producers. While this is a perfect time for real estate professionals to develop new strategies, it is important to question how long the trends of today will last.