Tomorrow Here Today

By Stephen L. Burger, CPM, CRX, CRM

To those of us of a certain age, the report we ran this morning on the impact of driverless cars on commercial real estate still sounds a bit like science fiction. But it should really come as no surprise that technology has advanced to this point, where we can foresee the reshaping of our city streets, our malls and shopping centers and even our grocery deliveries around this phenomenal advancement.

Major car manufacturers, including BMW and Mercedes--and major corporations that are not known primarily as car manufacturers, such as Google--are getting into the mix with an eye toward getting a workable market-ready driverless vehicle to market. As we report in the story, the Google versions have already traveled more than a million miles on city streets with only one minor accident on their record.

Of course, this blog is not about the latest advances in technology. It is about service. The article we posted this morning tells of deliveries made to our homes within the hour of placing the order, it tells of distribution centers planted not way outside the city limits in industrial parks but closer in to accommodate the last-mile concept of rapid delivery.

And it tells of multifamily apartments “already struggling to manage the flow of packages as residents do more of their shopping online. Properties are running out of lobby space to hold packages and lack the staff to deliver packages to residents. Multifamily properties could soon install loading docks compatible with the autonomous delivery vehicles. The final step could be a direct connection of the vehicles with each unit.”

Adaptation is the name of the game here. In a way, the more things change, the more we as property managers have to adapt to maintain a consistent level of service. The smart service organizations--for that is the industry of the property manager--see all of the changes taking place around us in the light of providing better service for our occupants. Whether the discussion revolves around drones, PDAs or delivery by driverless cars.

And it was always thus. From cellphones and laptops to the possibility of direct-to-customer deliveries, the property managers who can adapt and recognize such advancements as tools to better serve our clients will not only be ahead of technology but will also be ahead of the competition.

Those who refuse to adapt run a huge risk of being left by the side of the road.

Steve Burger, President

As president and COO of Eugene Burger Management Co., Steve Burger is directly responsible for the overall quality, depth and consistency of management services provided in all 15 regions in the EBMC coverage map.

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