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Market Disruptors: Looking Ahead

“Disruption” – defined as a disturbance that interrupts an event, activity or process – is an omnipresent buzzword these days.

At the recent Trigild Spring Lender Conference in Dallas, moderator Bert Haboucha of Atlas Capital Advisors, along with Yardi’s Paul Fiorilla, Buchalter’s Oren Bitan, Trigild’s Bill Hoffman and EDGE’s Mart Martindale, tackled today’s most common market disruptors and touched on how they might have an impact on the commercial real estate industry.

What many deem “disruptors” are clearly innovations, and most have made a lasting impact on society. In most scenarios, disruptors represent big changes to older industries. According to Businessweek, some past disruptors include:

The Jet engine
Microchips
Green-revolution
Wal-Mart
TV
Google
Junk Bonds
The Manhattan Project
The Pill
Apple
Al-Queda

Today’s disruptors are most often fueled by technological advances and social trends/shifts in consumer behavior – both of which can have a profound effect on the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Panelists at the Lender Conference discussed specific disruptors which impact the real estate sector – among them Uber and driverless cars, housesharing sites such as Airbnb, the growing use of grocery delivery, cannabis legalization as well as technological disruptors such as cybercrime, crowdfunding, and the growing availability of data.

Also addressed were social trends which can be disruptive the real estate industry — as well as the overall economy — including the trend toward marrying late, urbanization/transit orientation, a shift toward an experiential lifestyle focused on more travel, fewer things and legalized cannabis.

In any event, disruptors defy conventional wisdom – and present both obstacles and opportunities for the real estate and finance industries.