Image Source: Janet Ramsden The €˜Web of Things&#x27 is increasingly integrating into every area of our daily life and business. Technology giant Cisco, which is pioneering entire new “smart cities”, notes that the trending saturation and embedding of connected devices in real estate is set to completely transform the landscape over the next 5 to 10 years. So how are these new developments helping to connect property investors to better investments and returns? Consumer Spending The biggest application and growth opportunity for €˜The Internet of Things&#x27 (IoT) is the consumer real estate market. Delaware custom homebuilder, Turnstone recently published an IoT report showing how hundreds of devices will be embedded in each home in the near future. This means an enormous boost to consumer spending ahead, especially for areas of Canada which are experiencing new building and population influx, as well as significant trade-up or trade-down activity. This also means jobs, rising wages and potentially better performance on office and retail investment properties, which are manufacturing and serving up these items. Enhanced Efficiency of Real Estate & Investment Firms Next to consumer end buying and residential homes, the most notable impact of this new Web of Things is expected to be in commercial real estate and the businesses that work in smarter properties. Estimates project multi-trillion dollar savings from technology upgrades in the next few years. For Canadian investors the trickle down effect from this improved efficiency and cost savings is sure to be felt across the entire industry, as real estate related firms become more profitable and share those gains with clients and shareholders. Reducing Operational Waste On-Site We are already seeing mobile app driven property management technology and cloud computing provide better real-time reporting on commercial real estate investments. As more devices are deployed and integrated into the fabric of buildings, Canadian property investors can expect to see dramatic savings in the cost to operate and manage income-producing properties. This will result in larger margins and yields, without the need to restructure portfolios. A side effect and nice perk of this technology that many continue to overlook is the enhanced safety and security of properties. Soon properties will not only be able to identify leaks, hazards, and waste, but will diagnose and automatically initiate solutions. Freedom & Confidence As the output of these new connected devices are better integrated into investor portfolios, those invested in commercial property will not only enjoy more freedom to travel without worry, but will enjoy better transparency and understanding of their investment performance. Ultimately; the expanding web of things could be one of the most underestimated factors that will drive real estate over the next few years, while creating enhanced real estate returns for Canadian investors in a variety of ways.

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