You Can Thank Millennials for These 3 CRE Trends


The largest generation in the workforce, Millennials impact everything from commercial real estate to media, food and more. If you’re not keeping an eye on this demographic, you’d do well to brush up on your research.

As far as commercial real estate is concerned, most Millennials are choosing to work in urban centers and are forgoing life in the suburbs —or even owning a car. These trends are affecting how commercial developers are designing and using commercial real estate to attract these clients. Here are some trends that are attributed to the Millennial influence in commercial real estate.

Continued Urbanization and Core Development

Many Millennials are living closer to their jobs and are looking for housing that allows them to walk, bike, take the train, ride the bus or take Uber to work.  The idea of driving an hour to work from far outside the urban center is not a big idea with this group. Having seen some of the older generation locked into urban sprawl and long commute times, they are not anxious to repeat the same mistakes.

Many of these communities are located near improved transportation hubs and new train or light rail stations that allow workers to easily get between work and home. Spending more time with family and other social factors seem to be driving this trend, as well as a need to keep the costs of living down.

Open Offices and Offices to Fit Work Style

The coveted corner office is quickly becoming a thing of the past as most Millennial start-ups are going with open office plans that allow co-workers to more easily collaborate on projects and share offices without knocking on the door first. Cubicles —and even assigned work stations— are also being seen as work antiques of the past, as new CEOs try to find ways to make the workplace more productive and less isolated.

E-Commerce and the Amazon Effect

Millennials are early adapters for many of the online commerce options that have come to market in the last few years. They are shopping online more than any other generation, but are still visiting the traditional stores when they need to make a key purchase (or try something out before the make the purchase online). Many retailers wish they would spend more time browsing the racks at their locations, but it seems like this trend of shopping online is here to stay as many traditional retail outlets are downsizing or going out of business altogether.

The changing face of retail has a lot to do with the attitudes of Millennials and their efforts to drive changes in the market that will better match their lifestyle choices of convenience, low cost, and accessibility.

Many retailers are developing apps that will help the consumer to stay better connected with opportunities available in the store, as well as offering rewards and loyalty points to shoppers who use the app to make purchases in the store. The development of retail apps seems to be paving the way for Millennials to use the phone as the ultimate price comparison and shopping device.