3) Crowdsourcing/Crowdfunding – Crowdsourcing is a popular topic at the moment. I believe that it has and will continue to fundamentally alter the business environment. The goal of crowdsourcing is to leverage the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals. It is commonly used to compile building data, provide tech-support, solve complicated research problems, or create t-shirts that sell out every batch. The opportunities in real estate are endless. Some ideas I’ve had are to improve building management services, revolutionize the design process, alter the property search/acquisitions process (already in progress), and to identify specific demand for a product type before investing in it.
Its close cousin, crowdfunding, could be used to finance projects in a much more fine-grained, sensible manner than the large funds currently building cities with limited and unidentifiable character. As I see it, large investment funds will continue building the raw spaces and crowdfunded smaller projects will occupy them or create infill spaces with the character and diversity typical of the best old cities.