Work, Play, Live: The Commercial RE Focus

It’s becoming rare to see a separation between work, play and everyday life as Millennials continue to seek walkable communities that include easy treks to work and entertainment.

According to a recent Swanepoel T3 Group study, Commercial Real Estate ALERT: Analysis of the Latest Emerging Risks and Trends, demographics based on the interests of Millennials are more important than ever in business practices. “Millennial preference to live in mixed-use environments near work is contributing to high rents in urban locations, which is leading to increased apartment development that will further accelerate population growth in central business districts.

It is also changing apartment design as developers and owners alter plans to incorporate smaller units—300 to 400 square foot micro apartments—as well as promoting apartment sharing in an effort to address affordability. But with shrinking apartment size comes the need for additional amenities that tenants are beginning to view as entitlements; for example, Wi-Fi throughout the property, larger social common areas with Internet-ready big-screen TVs, coffee bars, workout areas, etc.”

These shifting lifestyle preferences are prompting major changes in the real estate landscape, forcing developers, investors and REALTORS® to dive deeper into research and think about the full picture for a community, even if their focus falls within one particular commercial real estate sector. What once was a rundown warehouse district might transition into the next hip neighborhood on the verge of gentrification. Instead of revitalizing areas to be purely corporate or industrial, the trend is to design mixed-use areas with apartments, groceries, restaurants, shops, co-working spaces, and gyms.

Swanepoel’s report also reveals that by 2030, Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Therefore, one of the most pressing challenges for commercial real estate is to determine and plan for where this important segment of society will live and work.

Realtors® equipped with RPR, the nation’s largest real estate data and reporting platform, are armed and ready to discover the right locations to accommodate the needs of this growing demographic. For instance, Commercial practitioners might want to use RPR data to study trends for 20-somethings who spend money on membership fees for social, recreational or civic clubs. Since giving back is key for this group, understanding dollars spent on charitable efforts may guide a developer to imagine common areas in a new, creative way for residents to gather and collaborate on their cause.

Other clients might rely on a Realtor® for insights on an area’s dining patterns. Is there an over abundance of pizzerias and not enough Thai cafes? RPR can pull specific data about the type of food and beverages being consumed and recruit dining or grocery providers accordingly.

Powered by RPR, Realtors® can assist clients in reimagining underserved areas of a community by understanding Millennial needs beyond average monthly rents, specific areas of work and income brackets. Yes, these stats are vital and can be pulled from RPR, but that’s only scratching the surface of how you can use RPR to better serve your clients, such as …

Determining opportunities that allow you to be  a part of the work, play, live movement. It’s simple with RPR’s site selection tool.

  • Identifying the lifestyle, demographic and economic factors that help the project thrive.

  • Discovering other considerations like traffic counts and surrounding businesses.

  • Generating the Trade Area Analysis Report to show clients why one area is a better fit than another.

  • Diving into the loaded on/off market properties in RPR.

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