2020: Tech vs Commercial Real Estate

It seems like only yesterday the year 2020 was some far-off representation of the future, promising flying cars, hoverboards and teleportation. These may have seemed like wild ideas a decade ago (and probably still unlikely to occur), but very few of us could have foreseen how pervasive technology would become in our daily lives. 

Modern technology isn’t without its pitfalls, but it clearly provides many of us with incredible flexibility and utility. It allows us to stay connected with our families, friends, colleagues and workplaces from virtually anywhere in the world. 

1000 Possibilities

At Chapman & Frazer, we can see in our own workplace that technology affords us the ability to work seamlessly across multiple offices, through cloud-based software platforms, with a fast, (mostly) reliable internet connection. We have easy access to systems and information while on the road visiting a client, travelling, at home with sick kids, at a café between meetings – or a thousand other possibilities. This means flexibility for staff, which is crucial. It also guarantees faster response times for our clients. Overall, modern technology helps us to deliver a better service.

 Working in the commercial property industry is always interesting. We can see firsthand what implications technology is having on our work – both positive and negative. 

Overseas Outsourcing

On the negative spectrum, technology has allowed relatively easy access to cheap, overseas labour. Many of our call centres have gradually been taken off-shore to create large cost savings, but this has meant fewer local jobs and less occupied physical office space on our home ground. This isn’t across the board – we still have many larger businesses (nib, Qantas, APIA), who operate call centres locally. They have recognised that outsourcing doesn’t always provide a great quality of service, so keeping local call centres can help them provide a better (sometimes more technical) service, while also providing local employment to boost the local economy.

Higher Vacancy Rates

Improvements in technology have also transformed the traditional office environment, opening up opportunities for staff to work from home. At Chapman & Frazer, we have seen this in dealings with companies who operate from a fairly small physical office space, by allowing their staff to work remotely. While this is great for staff who need flexible working hours to balance their lifestyle, one side effect for commercial property businesses is a reduced demand for business premises. 

Regional Connection

On the positive side, there are still community-minded businesses operating local call centres. They are consciously utilising technology to run call centres in regional locations (yes, the Central Coast is considered a ‘regional location’ but it’s growing fast). 

Homegrown to Commercial Premises

The last decades technology advances are having a huge impact on a small scale. It’s now easier than ever to set up your own e-commerce business, so we have seen many ‘home businesses’ expand to commercial premises. Some professionals are simply looking to get away from the distractions of running their small business from home, but in other instances, the scale of their business has simply outgrown what they can achieve from a home base. This has created an increasing demand for small to mid-sized factories and offices. This changing market has seen a rise in popularity and demand for developments offering small business units, professionally operated serviced office space and co-working spaces. 

The Way We Do Business 

Chapman & Frazer don’t believe that technology is the single answer to providing a great service to our clients – but it is an important ingredient in our overall recipe! Technology plays an important role in providing efficiencies, flexibility, and reliability to bolster our systems and processes. And if we get those things right, that supports the most important aspect of our business – the humans. 

We need the human aspect to balance ongoing advances in technology for the next decade. We need to always be capable of cultivating the kind of great relationships our business was founded on!

Are you running a business from home and need more space? Chat to us today to explore local commercial properties.