Looking ahead

February 3, 2016 admin

What will the future hold? That was the big question asked by Institutional Real Estate, Inc.’s most recent Visions, Insights & Perspective conference. Both keynote speakers at VIP Americas, held Jan 27–29 in Carlsbad, Calif., provided overviews of far-reaching trends likely to affect the real estate investment industry in the years to come.

On day one, Vivek Wadhwa, a technology entrepreneur and Stanford University academic, gave a thought-provoking presentation on artificial intelligence and its potential to disrupt all sorts of industries, from healthcare to finance. Then attendees discussed how these disruptions could affect the real estate industry, with everything from improved building sensors and the Internet of Things to self-driving cars to a fundamental shake-up of employment.

On day two, Willis Sparks of the Eurasia Group spoke to attendees about geopolitical developments around the world. Attendees then formed roundtables focused on one of the three regions he discussed — Europe, Asia and Latin America — or on how developments overseas will affect the United States. Discussions focused on turmoil in China, the impact of low oil prices and the migrant crisis in Europe — as well as the latest U.S. election cycle.

It is easy to get narrowly focused on the present quarter, the present deal, the present moment, but it is important to be able to step back and talk about the long-range forces that are buffeting the U.S. economy and real estate markets. While we don’t know exactly how the future will be different, we can be certain that it will be.

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LorettawebfinalLoretta Clodfelter is editor of Institutional Real Estate Americas.

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