It goes without saying that understanding the conditions of the commercial real estate industry are paramount for success in this industry. In fact, up-to-date CRE circumstances can often give light to the foundation of the entire state of the economy.

As a leader in the property advisement industry, when you follow real estate news and trends, it can open a window to countless other aspects of our nation’s economy, social progressions, and the well-being of American citizens – thus giving you extensive knowledge and the opportunity to gain a competitive edge in the trade.

So how can you, as a strong leader in the CRE world, stay on top of real estate trends? What sources are best and how can you make sense of it all? The experts associated with the Valbridge Property Advisor’s (VPA) Women’s Council explored numerous tips and sources to keep you on top of important news.

How to Stay on Top of Trends in the Evolving CRE Industry

Start with Raw Real Estate and Demographic Data

When it comes to the evolving real estate market, let’s start simple – always do your research. After all, organic research will help uncover some of the most important details, especially when it comes to focusing on a specific geographic area.

Start with the raw data first when it comes to commercial real estate listings and prospect trends. Do not just “talk to an agent,” as that is a secondary source who will often have ulterior motives. After analyzing trends at a neighborhood or city level, augment your information with data from accredited real estate researchers. Always be sure to investigate the methodology used by all researchers that you’re considering.

Furthermore, always keep in mind that it’s important to anticipate the next trend in the market before it happens. This will help garner that competitive edge you need to succeed. Keep up to date with rental forecasts, new construction rates, migration movement, job/wage growth and population shifts — not just in one specific city, but across the country as well. Combing through this data will fuel the knowledge you need to make smart advisement and investment recommendations.

Take to Social Media and the Web for Insight

Everyone knows where to look when you want to look for online listings, but what about credible, online real estate news sources?

OKAY, maybe social media doesn’t always count as a “credible” option, but a great part of working in the trenches is that, at VPA, we are able to uncover and track evolving market trends first hand. Even then, the market most likely spans beyond your own real estate bubble. Therefore, it often benefits professionals to turn to social media to stay on top of things. Social media allows you to stay connected with industry influencers and keep your fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the market.

Furthermore, here are some of the credible, online sources we often turn to for extra insight:

  • Forbes: Well-known news source with a reputation for writing about wealth and finance. Forbes includes several media sections strictly focusing on real estate news.
  • Entrepreneur: Multiple features all corresponding to different business themes, with real estate being one of the most popular. Articles via Entrepreneur focus on the idea of making money and smart business. Real estate investment facts and house flipping stats are also a big focus.
  • National Real Estate Investor: (magazine) This resource includes multiple sources of information about finance and investment in multiple categories of properties and industrial services.

Rub Elbows with Local Pros

The best place to learn about real estate market trends is from experts in the field. In many cases, this can be a locally owned brokerage house, differing business owners, etc. Whether your client is looking to buy, sell or is just curious, reputable property advisers often offer reports or snapshots that outline varying metrics in the market.

These reports can provide invaluable insight and hard numbers to help the consumer make a more informed decision.

Trends to Lookout for in 2019

Looking to develop that competitive edge even further? Here’s what we suggest you keep an eye on heading into the New Year:

Increasing Influence of E-Commerce

Even though online shopping has been around since the late stages of the 20th century, it was really the dawn of the new millennium and rapid IT development that catapulted e-commerce into becoming a household amenity. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the current proportion of online sales of goods and services to the total number of retail sales is as high as 30 percent.

The growth numbers are also incredibly contrasting, with E-Commerce beating out traditional brick-and-mortar stores almost 4x.

However, while the numbers seem to suggest that the end of traditional shopping is approaching, the actions of industry giants like Amazon paint a different picture. With their recent acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon is showing increasing interest in traditional sales outlets. This particular example gives way to the idea that brick-and-motor CRE locations are back on the ‘re-rise.’

Possible Decrease in Office Construction

The office market has always been an essential part of commercial real estate. With an abundance of fresh new businesses both in the form of traditional company setups and innovative start-ups, as well as a never-ending list of established enterprises, the demand for modern office environments has been steadily growing.

Up to this point, 2018 has been a stellar year for new office space construction, with almost 60 percent of the brand-new office space delivered to the market being leased as soon as building was complete

That being said, 2019 looks as though it will be a year that developers might start to pull back. Among the main reasons for the decrease include ever-increasing costs of construction, concerns regarding the real estate cycle, and zoning issues.

Stay Ahead of the Game with VPA Women’s Council

The Valbridge Women’s Council (VWC) provides a platform for the growth and development of Valbridge Property Advisor’s professional women through mentoring and education, national recognition, networking opportunities and other resources that provide opportunities for advancement and self-improvement.

Our vision is to empower VPA professional women for advancement, growth, and development of in all facets of life. Want to know more? Reach out to VPA today or join the VWC newsletter to help garner your own competitive edge in the CRE world!