By Anjee Solanki, National Director, Retail Services, Colliers

The property market is one of the most competitive niches in the world, and the future of extended reality is about to up its game. Extended reality and more familiarly, VR tech is revolutionary as it allows prospective clients to experience site selection without incurring any expense other than their time. With greater viewability from ‘virtually’ anywhere in the world, CRE brokers and landlords have the potential to scale their reach well beyond the traditional prospect list.

Reality’s bite is bigger than you think

What I am most interested in: how the CRE industry can leverage this new tech to maximize the exterior of the buildings for the landlords and the brands we represent. Strategically speaking, mixed reality and all the conceptual technologies to follow could very well offer a lucrative revenue stream for CRE. While significant to building owners’ revenue, it comes with a marginal impact on the physical space and provides added value to its tenants.

Consider that the next phase of extended realism will broaden the capabilities of the underutilized physical facade of a building or a retail space and turn it into built capital.

Think of it as a virtual billboard able to engage consumers through the facilitation and distribution of data in a three-dimensional interface. The data then adds an overlay of synthetic content anchored to the real world to create authentic and memorable brand experiences that resonate with the user.  

Monetizing the Media Mix of the Future

As CRE insiders we know the valuation swing for commercial property is largely dependent on location, demand, interest rates and the elasticity of the market. When you factor the intrinsic value–-which in this case would be the combined perception of the tangible (the building) and intangible (an MR overlay) variables of a property, pricing formulas can get murky.

Do we lead with traditional calculations of linear square feet multiplied by the three-dimensional rendering in the virtual space? Alternatively, should we quantify brand impressions based on the immersive experience, as is the norm for advertising tech studies and the IAB? As we figure out how best to price the surface rights–the area on the exterior parcel of real estate, we are in fact creating another vertical in the real estate sector.

Fifty years ago the new frontier expanded upwards to the sky, in 2018 we’re thinking in multidimensions about what can be seen and unseen through the viewfinder of a smartphone. As innovative as air rights were, this new age of mixed reality will bring greater depth to what we can do for our tenants and CRE as a whole, and I for one, am eager to ‘see’ where we’re heading.  

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Read more on how revolutionary tech will impact the CRE landscape in Colliers’ Retail 2018 Global Market Report, The R/evolution Starts Now.  

Anjee is National Director, Retail Services USA, of Colliers International. Based in San Francisco and with 20 years of experience, she provides strategic leadership to over 485 specialized retail professionals across 89 markets. Connect with me on Twitter @AnjeeSolankiCRE

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