Minding Business

What the Sharing Economy Means for CRE in 2018

Posted: January 19, 2018 by Anna Jotham

In 2018, the sharing economy is likely to have a continuing impact on the commercial real estate (CRE) industry, according to industry analysts. For those with limited knowledge of the concept, the so-called sharing economy allows individuals to share their resources either at no cost, or for a fee, and is often anchored by tech solutions. For the CRE, the sharing economy has led to shifts on numerous industry fronts, and investors and developers will likely want to be mindful of these economic changes. 


The changing face of deal making.

According to www.globest.com, “How Will The Sharing Economy Affect CRE?” emerging tech platforms will likely streamline the deal making process, creating efficiencies. Among the new online platforms, Spacegrab allows business owners to sublease or sublet commercial property. It enables potential tenants to use a space that’s in turnkey condition, and frees leaseholders to sublet industrial, land, office or retail space. The Spacegrab platform was just launched in 2017, and is likely to shift activity, even potentially allowing brokers to tap into a secondary market for leases, while leaseholders free themselves from their lease obligations. 

Underutilized space will be increasingly matched with users.

Other CRE sharing economy initiatives focus on sharing everything from office space to meeting rooms to a single desk. That’s according to “How the Sharing Economy Can Help CRE.”  For example, services like PivotDesk offer a much-needed flexible solution for fast-changing startups, people graduating from working at home and sole proprietors with tight budgets, while putting to use those ubiquitous underutilized spaces in offices. Brokers can tap into the technology and match clients with the space they need and the negotiable, flexible terms they require, while saving time on those common one-off subleases. 

In addition, analysts say co-working and shared office spaces will likely continue to be a popular option, controlling overhead for small businesses and reducing fixed costs for larger businesses. By 2020, more than half of the population is projected to be working independently, according to, “The Coworking MegaTrends for 2018,” on usa.gcuc.co, indicating a continued need for alternative workspace. For CRE investors, shared office spaces and shared accommodations offer compelling investment opportunities in the coming year, according to https://www.gurufocus.com, “How the ‘Sharing Economy’ is Affecting Real Estate.”

Crowdfunding CRE investments will continue to gain traction and attention.

Not so long ago, investing in commercial real estate was out of reach for smaller investors. With emerging technology, that’s no longer the case, according to “Street Culture: Startups Bring the ‘Sharing Economy’ to Commercial Real Estate,” on streetfightmag.com. Companies like Fundrise and PeerRealty allow companies to crowdfund, and smaller investors to get a chance at a slice of the CRE investment pie. 

2018, A Year of Change for CRE, Thanks to the Sharing Economy

As you can see 2018 is looking like another year of change for CRE, with the sharing economy continuing to be an industry disruptor. For those able to recognize the emerging trends within the shifting economy, the year is likely to be one of excitement and opportunity. 

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