Look around you; the world of today is not the same as it was just ten years ago. People operate around their mobile devices. Cities across the US are rapidly developing and expanding their urban sprawl. The next generation of tenants have had increasingly changing demands for their desired office spaces.
Although commercial real estate has been slow to adjust to these changes, the industry has been hit by the changes. With the rise in technology and the Internet of Things, so too must real estate keep pace.
Over the past 5 years in particular, new technologies and operations standards are changing the way commercial real estate does business. The expected knowledge for new hires is more expansive than ever before.
1. Real-Time Changed the Game.Commercial real estate is not an average 9-5 job; this incorrect expectation is a pitfall for many millennials. However, new real-time data and alerts keep building engineers well-informed about their buildings at all times, even when they’re away from the building. Although real-time data makes it more difficult to step away from the “office,” building information is now available on your ipad instead of your basement building meter.
2. Technical Fluency Required.Computer and mobile device fluency are a necessity as real-time data and other building technologies become common practice. Building systems are now completely computerized, so new CRE professionals need to be comfortable with understanding and operating various systems (e.g. building automation systems, inventory controls, real-time data).
3. Train Yourself For the Field. Although true field experience can’t be replaced, students graduating from technical training programs with additional certifications or specialized training (such as energy efficiency training or HVAC programs) tend to have an edge. Both breadth and depth in operations training are vital.
4. Brownie Points Still Count.Although the technical skills are very important, the so-called “soft skills” are equally necessary when looking for new hires. Great customer service and attention to detail are just as important as having operations credentials. Executives want to hire people they know will be good colleagues.
The demand for well-trained, tech-savvy, great future colleagues is rising as technology becomes an increasingly important part of commercial real estate. Staying on top of all aspects of the game will give you the best competitive advantage.