THE NEXT 25 YEARS... What's Ahead for the Real Estate Industry & IREM

By Lee, Christopher | Journal of Property Management, September/October 2008 | Go to article overview

THE NEXT 25 YEARS... What's Ahead for the Real Estate Industry & IREM


Lee, Christopher, Journal of Property Management


TIME CAN BE A MEASURE OF OUR EXPERIENCES AND OUR PROGRESS-A COMPANION IN OUR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL LIVES THAT REMINDS US NOT OF WHAT WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED, BUT HOW WE HAVE LIVED. From its inception in 1933 through today, the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) has served as a source, resource and a welcome guide for real estate management professionals. By providing valuable training and leadership advocacy for the real estate industry and professionals, IREM has shaped, responded to and played an integral role in what is currently a multi-trillion dollar industry employing millions of talented leaders worldwide.

The real estate industry has now established itself firmly as the foundation of society's heritage and the unfinished business of every country and culture. Real estate continues to be the responsibility of each generation and the cornerstone of every nation's history. Every town and city is defined by the characteristics of its developed and undeveloped real estate; in fact, it has become the fulcrum from which society bands together for common causes, interests and values.

While real estate defines the vitality of each community and the attitudes and experiences of the tenants, residents, guests and customers it serves, it is not the buildings which define the real estate industry-it's the real estate professionals. As most buildings are demolished, redeveloped, readapted and retrofitted to meet the ever-changing needs of society, those who make it happen are a defining reason why real estate and IREM are synonymous with everyone's "live, work, play, stay and shop" environments.

During the past 75 years, we have seen many human and worldwide successes, failures and surprises. Since IREM's founding in 1933, the world's population has increased by nearly 4.8 billion. Today the global commercial real estate industry is valued at around $15 trillion (35 percent of which is in the United States). IREM Members manage more than $1.5 trillion in assets, including 8.4 million residential units and nearly 9.0 billion square feet of commercial space, making IREM a global leader poised to shape the future direction of the real estate industry. With more than 18,000 members located in 80 U.S. and eight international chapters, IREM's leadership within the real estate industry is acknowledged, honored and welcomed.

While IREM's future and that of the real estate industry are shaped by the past, how IREM and the industry respond to current and future challenges will define their value and success in the decades ahead. Many global factors are impacting and shaping the future of real estate (i.e., climate change, terrorism and economic advancements, to name a few), but real estate's future ultimately will be defined by the men and women who call real estate their profession. While many factors face the real estate industry, I feel the following four operational factors are likely to have the greatest impact on the real estate professional in the next 25 years.

1 SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTS

U.S. buildings currently account for 39 percent of all energy use (a $222 billion energy bill), and 70 percent of all electricity consumption. An estimated 250 plus billion square feet of buildings in the United States are not energy efficient. As of May 2008, more than 10,000 projects, or 3.5 billion square feet of commercial space, were seeking LEED certification. The green building industry is projected to grow from a $12 billion industry in 2007 to a $42 billion industry by 2015.

Prediction: During the next 25 years, green buildings will not only be the standard, but we can expect to see new uses for buildings, including those for growing farm products, generating their own power, and operating with artificial intelligence; additionally, most buildings will become homogenous and linked with all other buildings surrounding them.

IREM'S Role: The CPM® designation and ARM® certification will be augmented by a letter and a number following the designation (i. …

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