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Burt Polson

J.L. Sousa/Register Burt Polson writes the Real Estate in the Napa Valley column for the Napa Valley Register.

There has been an accelerated impact of technology on our lives that is hard not to notice. As we continue to embrace new technology, it will affect our lives in ways we never imagined.

In part one, we discussed disruption and collaboration as technology affects the retail and office sectors. This article will highlight transportation, urbanization, certification and optimization.

Transportation is monumental

I was skeptical years ago how self-driving cars and drones delivering packages would fit into our future, but am now anticipating this technology and how it will change our lives.

The first phase of self-driving cars will change how we think and use our vehicles. We are finding car ownership is not a sought-after goal of many of Generation Z, with some not pursuing a driver’s license when they are of age.

Self-driving cars will give us the ability to summon a vehicle on our smartphone having it drive to us ready for our use.

The ability to request a car will change the need for car ownership as well as parking requirements in a city, the need for gas stations, auto insurance and even how we use our highways. We will eventually see a transition to more autonomous vehicles that will move us outside the limits of location.

Urbanization and the suburbs

Major metropolitan cities will experience substantial population growth in the next 25 years. Baby boomers, Generation X and Y will all be a part of this growth with boomers looking to downsize as they become “empty nesters.”

Having everything in one place is a draw for Gen X and Y living, working, and playing within walking distance.

The suburbs are not going anywhere and will continue to grow especially with the options future transportation offers as mentioned. Mixed-use developments offering work and play activities and living in proximity to outdoor activities is the key.

Green certification and smart buildings

LEED- (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings are costly to construct or retrofit an existing building, but the cost-to-benefit gap will continue to close as energy costs go up and new technology brings down the cost.

LEED standards will continue to tighten but will create a building that will use sustainable resources while being energy efficient. The Internet-of-Things continues to grow where everything in a home or building is connected.

Broker optimization

We will continue to value a real estate broker for our real estate transactions, but that role will evolve. The tools available to an agent such as virtual reality tours will further enhance the home and commercial building buying experience.

Companies like Zillow currently has a service in beta called Instant Offers Marketplace, which brings buyers and sellers together, cutting out the agent.

In the commercial arena, data owners are a big deal. Companies like LoopNet and CoStar acquire the broker’s data for free from the broker and then sells it back to them creating a conflict of value to the end user.

A broker is indispensable to a successful transaction, and will continue to bring value in many ways through relationship, knowledge and expertise.

Burt M. Polson, CCIM, is a local real estate broker specializing in commercial, luxury estates and wineries. Reach him at 707-254-8000, or burt@acresinfo.com. Sign up for his email newsletter at BurtPolson.com.

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