Real Estate’s Next Generation Pick The Big Stories For 2021 And Beyond

Tired of boring predictions from the usual cast of conservative senior real estate managers? To gain new insights, Bisnow interviewed a group of younger professionals who will be at the forefront of shaping the sector for the decades to come, to get an overview of the big stories to be seen in 2021 and beyond.

Rebeca Guzman Vidal, Retail Strategy Group Leader, Chelsfield

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Courtesy Rebeca Guzman Vidal

Chelsfields Rebeca Guzman Vidal

Bisnow: What will be the greatest real estate history of 2021?

Guzman Vidal: I hope the biggest win of 2020 is a real, real focus on 2020. The industry plays such a huge role in the economy and society as a whole, and I really think this reset is what we all needed to move the ESG effort forward and build better places for everyone. I look forward to developing new initiatives and forming new partnerships. I think that’s where the story will be.

Bisnow: Looking to the future, what will be the greatest real estate history of 2031?

Guzman Vidal: Real estate as a service. I think the concept of property and rental income will fundamentally change – users need to increase the productivity of their portfolios, which in turn puts pressure on the investor / owner community to do a lot more than just provide a space. For me it’s one of the most exciting changes.

Bisnow: Which technology will have the greatest impact on real estate in the next year?

Guzman Vidal: Any proptech tool or platform that can improve the quality of life of the end user, especially in terms of health, safety and wellness. The pandemic has undoubtedly taken center stage this year, but I think this is a “trend” that will stay here. People will expect more from the places where they live and work.

Bisnow: Which sector offers the best five-year returns?

Guzman Vidal: [Private rented sector]. Younger generations see ownership very differently – I am referring to it – and I think that the attractiveness of PRS from the point of view of flexibility and mobility in a post-COVID world will only increase.

Bisnow: Who do you admire most in the world / who will change the world in 2021?

Guzman Vidal: I have great admiration for Melinda Gates, who is the driving force behind the Gates Foundation. Melinda and Bill were one of the few thought leaders to raise awareness about global pandemics, and we can learn a lot from both of them. Who will change the world in 2021, the year will belong to the brave entrepreneurs who will start a company now and scale it up in 2021. I think we will discover new services and products emerging from the crisis that we didn’t even know we needed.

Bisnow: What is the biggest change you would like to see in real estate?

Guzman Vidal: More diversity and real inclusion in our industry. For an industry that has such an impact on the design of our cities and thus on people’s daily lives, representation itself is poor compared to other major industries – think of financial services and other professional services. We have to get future generations excited about real estate and all of its nuances – but we just can’t do that when everyone who works in real estate looks and thinks broadly the same.

Yohance Harper, Associate Partner, Quadrant Estates

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Courtesy Yohance Harper

Yohance Harper from Quadrant

Bisnow: What will be the greatest real estate history of 2021?

Harper: Housing – the tension between the potential for population dispersion due to flexible working conditions (dampening demand / value growth) and the balancing of capital from various forms of commercial to residential, i.e. the growth in property prices in London compared to regions and the impact in Areas such as infrastructure, wealth distribution and society as a whole.

Bisnow: Looking to the future, what will be the greatest real estate history of 2031?

Harper: Industrial. The takeover of driverless trucks / drones transforming distribution networks and the value proposition of the distribution locations. People buy 10 to 15 years of income for locations that will be out of date or under threat before the lease expires. In retail, the changing retail landscape where manufacturers bypass the gatekeepers and remove unnecessary friction and costs by delivering directly to customers. Fewer [business-to-business] and more [business-to-consumer].

Bisnow: Which technology will have the greatest impact on real estate in the next year?

Harper: The distribution solution that enables Amazon to deliver more effectively.

Bisnow: Which sector offers the best five-year returns?

Harper: This advice won’t be free!

Bisnow: Who do you admire most in the world / who will change the world in 2021?

Harper: Hopefully if you ask me this in 2030 I can legitimately / humbly say it.

Bisnow: What is the biggest change you would like to see in real estate?

Harper: The slow response to changes in the industry and the backward nature of the reviews.

Sebastian Abigail, vice president of business development; and Elliott Sparsis, vice president of real estate, Convene

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Courtesy Convene

Convenes Sebastian Abigail and Elliott Sparsis

Bisnow: What will be the greatest real estate history of 2021?

Abigail and Sparsis: The Recovery of Pent-up Demand – Headlines from “How Did We Survive Without the Office?”

Bisnow: Looking to the future, what will be the greatest real estate history of 2031?

Abigail and Sparsis: We have no idea what the stories will be like 10 years from now! However, we are sure that we will not read about users who sign office rentals over 10 years for rooms below SF 20,000.

Bisnow: Which technology will have the greatest impact on real estate in the next year?

Abigail and Sparsis: The technology that enables virtual team members to integrate, collaborate, contribute, and deliver a seamless virtual or hybrid experience from anywhere in the world.

Bisnow: Which sector offers the best five-year returns?

Abigail and Sparsis: We are big fans of operational real estate. If you buy now, in the midst of a lot of tough competition, we would say Hospitality, Healthcare and Wellness where there is plenty of scope for earnings compression and rental growth given enthusiastic demographically driven demand.

Bisnow: Who do you admire most in the world / who will change the world in 2021?

Abigail and Sparsis: Our women, to come to terms with us and to be the glue that holds our families together. We hope 2021 will be the year when everyone’s combined resilience is rewarded with a huge economic and emotional boom.

Bisnow: What is the biggest change you would like to see in real estate?

Abigail and Sparsis: A better understanding of capital markets for assessing operational income streams to reflect the growing importance of hospitality agreements for managed operational businesses.

Joseph Daniels, CEO and founder of Project Etopia

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Courtesy of Project Etopia

Etopias Joseph Daniels project

Bisnow: What will be the greatest real estate history of 2021?

Daniels: Etopia’s $ 1 billion valuation or, if that happens in November, Etopia Build with [explorer and activist] Robert Swan building a net-zero building in Antarctica.

Bisnow: Looking to the future, what will be the greatest real estate history of 2031?

Daniels: Cityscape plans for Mars colonization confirmed.

Bisnow: Which technology will have the greatest impact on real estate in the next year?

Daniels: Etopia’s retrofit technology Uplift.

Bisnow: Which sector offers the best five-year returns?

Daniels: Cleantech.

Bisnow: Who do you admire most in the world / who will change the world in 2021?

Daniels: Elon Musk

Bisnow: What is the biggest change you would like to see in real estate?

Daniels: Acceptance of a new digital planning scheme and mainstream [use] of net zero buildings.