5 Types of Real Estate that Tech Will Make Obsolete

In Texas, they’re experimenting with the first Hyperloop “railway” which has the potential to eliminate the need for highways in the future – granted a far off future from today. But if it works at 620 mph (faster than the fastest high speed trains) from Dallas to Houston in less than a half an hour, we could definitely see it replacing air travel and eliminating much of the highway congestion plaguing nearly all 50 states.

While a future that looks more like the future in sci-fi movies with elevated pods streaking above freeways may be off in a somewhat distant future, there are buildings that we’ve all grown up with that technology could make obsolete in the next several years. Here are just 5 types of real estate that could disappear.

5 Building Types that Could Disappear

Below are just some of the buildings that may soon become obsolete. These 5 real estate types are already seeing a dwindling and could be the first to go away for good.

#1: Parking Lots

For the environment, for millennials that crave walkable cities, the move toward a future where there are fewer parking lots is upon us. However, if autonomous vehicles take off the way that many investors are banking on (add that to Hyperloop systems mentioned above) and there will be little need for massive parking structures that have been fixtures of the American landscape for decades.

#2: Banks

Hardly anyone takes the time to visit local bank branches anymore. Practically all banking from the simplest checking account to a multi-million dollar business account is handled with little face-to-face interaction at an actual bank. It all occurs online leading many to speculate how long these stalwart buildings will last in the face of mobile and online banking.

#3: Offices

Perhaps most decidedly, one of the structures we’ve gotten used to seeing and needing for decades could be going away. The standard office building from small business park structures to tall skyrise offices may soon become obsolete as the mobile workforce and co-working models continue to grow.

#4: Rental Offices

Even the rental office could become a thing of nostalgia soon. With all of the building management apps and websites that enable tenants to make requests, pay rent, submit an application, and upload paperwork, the need for actual front office personnel at rental properties is fast becoming redundant in today’s tech environment.

#5: Gas Stations

Just as millennials desiring more eco-friendly solutions are driving the future-without-parking-lots trend, they are also pushing an electric car and carless future. As future drivers opt to walk, ride, or use public transportation, the ones that do maintain their own vehicles will likely be driving electric cars that run on electricity that they get by plugging their cars into their home charging ports.

All of these changes are going to have lasting effects on how commercial real estate is valued and marketed. For some real estate types, the future is still distant, but for some of the everyday buildings that sustained American life for the last 50+ years, it is only a matter of time before they go the way of Blockbuster and RadioShack.


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