As reported on Forbes.com, real estate and construction are two industries that have intersected for generations. There has always been an inexorable link between the two, and there always will be. Regardless of whether a broker or real estate firm has any intimate knowledge about construction, my recommendation is that they have at a minimum a basic knowledge of the latest industry trends. Even the most rudimentary awareness of current trends in construction will inevitably enhance any real estate broker’s ability to effectively serve the full range of their clients’ needs.
One red-hot trend that has captured the imagination of investors, developers and other real estate stakeholders is modular construction. At my own firm, we’ve been actively following the trend and researching how we might incorporate it into future projects. Essentially, modular construction refers to the off-site construction of several key components of a structure, a trend that is poised for continued and rapid growth. This is due in part to its ability to alleviate the two most common fears key stakeholders have: projects that come in over budget and those that are delivered later than planned, both of which can have very deleterious effects on a project’s bottom line.
The impact of technology on the construction industry is especially evident in modular. Factory-made steel modules outfitted with the latest electrical and plumbing systems and even high-end finishes and facades can now be transported and then stacked on-site with remarkable precision, often in less time than traditional construction would take. Remember Legos? The analogy actually isn’t a stretch, and is instead illustrative of the concept. The application of evolving technologies allows for extremely accurate measurements that practically eliminate the often substantial margin of error that is ever-present with more traditional construction methodologies. Modular construction may also lead to less reliance on highly skilled workers which serves to lower the risk of human error while simultaneously reducing labor costs. The potential list of cost-saving benefits that attach to modular construction is long, and it means more attractive opportunities for the clients that real estate brokers aim to serve.
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