Henry ChamberlainMore than 3,200 commercial real estate professionals attended BOMA’s 2014 Every Building Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida on June 22-24. This year’s Expo featured more than 400 exhibits from the industry’s leading vendors along with BOMA President Henry Chamberlain’s annual State of the Industry address.

According to Chamberlain, real estate experts are very optimistic right now. Rates of absorption are on the rise, construction is increasing in many cities, rents are stabilizing, and asset values are going up. Despite the positive signs, Chamberlain noted that vacancy rates are still higher than he would like at 14.8 percent.

Other trends and takeaways from the address included:

  • The Better Blocks Project shows that repurposing of older buildings helps reclaim communities in underutilized neighborhoods, showing investors how to reposition the market.
  • The best way to acclimate Millenials in the workplace is to create alternative workplaces and encourage a more collegial learning/working environment.
  •  “Moore’s Law” shows us that capacity for minimum costs continues to double. Building systems and products need to constantly adapt to keep up.
  • The mind-reading office is upon us. Brookfield’s video wall with motion tracker interface at the World Financial Center and CBRE’s LA Office Liquid Galaxy Theater are the new water coolers.
  • The future of space is about choice. Open space for the extroverts; focus space for the introverts. Smart design includes both.
  • The co-working trend continues to grow as collaborating companies share space. Herman Miller’s Living Office helps individuals and organizations customize their methods, tools and places of work to enable shared character and space.
  • Decreased capital expenditures and administrative costs equals leaner properties. What was once a 190,000 sq. ft. building may now only be 160,000 sq. ft.
  • Technology and trends will never replace good old-fashioned crowdsourcing.

BOMA’s Every Building Conference & Expo 2015 will be held June 28 – 30 in Los Angeles.