The Future of Commercial Real Estate Is Flexible

by Jason Shepherd

Ever-changing consumer demands drive industry trends, and real estate is no exception. Today’s younger consumers are increasingly drawn to services that are on-demand, easily accessible and flexible. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that this shift is changing the nature of commercial real estate.

Forward-thinking entrepreneurs have already begun demonstrating how underutilized spaces can be rented through sharing and trust. Real estate sharing improves the economy and vitality of neighborhoods and its future is very promising.

Scratching the Surface of Real Estate Sharing
Airbnb is the most widely known form of real estate sharing to date. Since the company’s inception, it has continued to innovate and grow. Although sharing property would have seemed outlandish years ago, people began to accept that it is not only safe but cost-efficient and, better yet, easy. It gives consumers a simple and flexible way to “purchase” living arrangements.

As the popularity of shared homes increased, WeWork was busy making shared workspaces the norm. Co-working spaces provide entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses with leasing flexibility. The option to lease an office at a shared workspace helps renters relieve the stress of a long-term lease and, instead, use their energy to focus on growing their business.

As these companies demonstrate, the sharing economy is a powerful engine fueling the economy of progressive cities and creating myriad opportunities for business innovation.

More Opportunity Lies Ahead
Now that the feasibility of real estate sharing has been established, it’s time to get creative with opportunities that benefit landlords and property owners, neighborhoods needing new life, and entrepreneurs seeking affordable space with flexible terms. As space sharing continues to catch on, opportunities for creative utilization will unfold, adding an economic, social and cultural boost to any city.

Although all new industries advance in fits and starts, the sharing economy has already yielded positive results. A great example is REACTIV, an online marketplace featuring vacant and underutilized commercial venues for rent, that launched in November 2019. REACTIV provides solutions for owners to showcase their properties and earn revenue, while providing solutions for entrepreneurs and creatives to activate their innovative concepts.

Real estate sharing and flexibility will continue to be a powerful future trend. Consumers already experience flexibility in hospitality with Airbnb, at work with WeWork and in the restaurant business with food halls. Flexible options in asset classes will become a requirement as shared real estate is embraced and becomes the new standard.

Jason Shepherd is co-founder of REACTIV and Atlas Real Estate.

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