How Creatives are Disrupting Real Estate

It’s no secret that advances in technology developed by smart creatives have forever changed the way we live — from making dinner reservations and hailing a ride, to booking a hotel room and navigating cities. But technology is reshaping real estate as well.

Drones are changing the way we survey land and buildings from the air; auction websites are winning market share in the commercial brokerage sector; and e-commerce is transforming industrial real estate and logistics. There’s more change coming.

Tadd Schwartz ULI

Soon, consumers will walk through fully-rendered digital environments that look exactly like retail malls where they’ll buy luxury goods just by putting on a virtual reality headset. 3-D printers will create scale models of buildings and landscapes in a fraction of the time it takes to build the same model by hand.

Self-driving cars, already on the road in some communities, will change the way we plan and develop roads and parking garages. These are just a sampling of what’s on the way — not 20 years down the road, but more likely only 3, 4, or 5 years away.

Which is why the theme of this year’s Urban Land Institute’s Florida Summit was Creative Disruption: “The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be”. Hundred of Florida’s sharpest real estate minds met at the Turnberry Isle Resort in Miami last month to address the top issues facing the state’s real estate market and economy. Discussion topics ranged from how demographic trends are shaping housing preferences to the impact of e-commerce on retail and industrial development.

Tadd Schwartz ULI Panel

Our very own Tadd Schwartz moderated the conference panel, “Technology Advances Transforming the Development & Design Industry.” He was joined by Michel Borg, Associate Principal of HKS; Dan Finch, Project Executive at Suffolk Construction Company; Robert Otani, Principal of CORE Studio; and Luther Core, Director of Technology of PMG.

Over the course of the panel, the group of experts addressed some of the most pressing questions that developers, engineers, architects and construction firms are facing today. What new technologies are being developed to help combat the unique challenges of building in Florida (rising sea level, hurricanes, etc.)? How does embracing new technologies impact development and construction costs? How can development projects better integrate into the urban fabric?


As the world continues to change and technology evolves at a lighting pace, more questions are sure to arise. By working collectively to address the potential obstacles and share the successes created by new technology, South Florida’s real estate community is getting a running head start.