When the conversation turned to recruiting new tech talent, Real Estate was the hashtag at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival recently. The Interactive portion of the festival (it's known more for music) has been bringing together many of the brightest minds in tech and digital talent, encouraging innovation, creativity, and inspiration. This year, Real Estate was a top topic among attendees and presenters alike. The big question: "Is the tech sector disrupting Real Estate?
With WiFi ubiquitous and a growing pool of third-party site opportunities, the entire concept of workplace is evolving toward greater mobility.— Mark Gilbreath, CEO of LiquidSpace
Is mobility in the work place, especially with tech workers, decreasing the need for Real Estate? We have all heard Newton's third law of motion, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
For the period from 2005 to 2012, the telecommuter population grew by 79.7 percent— Global Workplace Analytics
With cloud technology and mobile device usage on the rise, the number of telecommuters will increase significantly over the next few years. And this, in effect, will domino into many changes within Real Estate and other markets.
This growing trend is the reason behind all of the workplace strategy being discussed throughout the event. The answer is to emphasize workplace choice. Giving employees the choice of working from a modern, creativity-inspiring home base where they can network with fellow employees or telecommute. This idea is working and has actually increased leasing of office space among tech firms. These modern, yet, appealing new office spaces can encourage new talent to sign on and offer current telecommute employees the choice to come into the 'office' to network and be inspired by fellow workers.
The proof that it works is in the numbers, with 74 percent of corporate leasing in Silicon Valley coming from tech firms. Actually, due to the rising costs of Real Estate in such tech-heavy locales, many firms are moving into other areas such as Atlanta, Denver, Austin and Seattle. Creating new tech hubs and opening up opportunities for start-up firms, with lower budgets and new talent to expand into other cities. This will create opportunities in Real Estate all over the U.S.