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Proptech Innovations Prompt Job Shapeshifting

Commercial real estate hiring is solid and just below all-time highs, says the SelectLeaders Job Barometer index, but in contrast to the steady pace of hiring, industry job titles and expectations are undergoing changes, due in part to proptech.

Proptech innovation across commercial real estate sectors and fields is restructuring jobs to emphasize the agility to implement technology into fields from asset and property management to investment management and development.

The new job title “Occupancy Planner” recently debuted on SelectLeaders’ job postings. These jobs typically require adroit use of technology for workplace planning, relocation and build-out, as well as understanding of 3D modeling software to allow users to visualize and customize space layouts. This job in the past might have called for an architect or interior designer, but now due to proptech enhancements, someone with technology aptitude and agility can fill the position.

The scale of investment in proptech today underscores the drive to transform how real estate is developed, acquired and managed through technology-based innovation, and promises that the changing nature of real estate jobs is only beginning.

Whether it is JLL’s creation of a $100 million fund for investment in prop tech companies, or Blackstone, Brookfield and others investing in real estate-related technology companies, a total of $12.6 billion poured into real estate technology companies in 2017, according to RE Tech. While real estate technology jobs currently constitute only 2 percent of job tracked by the SelectLeaders Job Barometer, this category has doubled in the last three years.

One of those new real estate technology jobs seeks a commercial real estate blockchain specialist to create, manage and trade fractional interests in real estate, which is unchartered territory for hiring. Real estate experience is not the deal breaker in landing real estate technology jobs.

SelectLeaders has found that proven experience with a variety of real estate software is the best way to demonstrate the agility to move into this space. Technology will open up the industry to talent from other industries, but it will also increase the need for career development training to enhance people skills and emotional intelligence, because this is what the new software will be missing.

This is part two of a two-part series on the SelectLeaders Job Barometer. Part one covered hiring trends.The SelectLeaders Job Barometer, published since 2006, is the foremost survey of employment opportunities, trends and hiring practices in the commercial real estate industry.

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