CRE & Technology: The Impact is Not What You Expected

There is no doubt that digital technology is having a very real impact on the CRE industry but this might be in ways that surprise you. This advancement is creating opportunities and value in new areas for investors and brokers.

Ways Technology is Changing CRE

The impact of technology on real estate is ever changing and in many cases, there are new property types that are created by this evolution. If you look back to the early 1980s, property types like data centers, electric vehicle charging stations, and the smart factories did not exist. We did though have a lot of Blockbuster video stores, Barnes & Nobles bookstores, and RadioShacks covering the map. Human needs change based on what is available and prevalent today and you can’t overlook the real estate component of these changes.

Another example is the rising demand for last-mile logistics and the impact this is having on the industrial sector. The last-mile delivery market is set to grow by 15% through 2027, adding $62.7 billion in value between 2023 and 2027 according to Research and Markets. This growth is taking place along transport hubs and links, and is following the migration of people to secondary and tertiary markets, and even into rural areas. We think there are some great new opportunities in unexpected markets for investors seeking that diamond in the rough property to add to their portfolios. And for sellers in secondary and tertiary markets, there is the chance to reach a new base of buyers, alert to the value to be found off the beaten track. 

A third example comes from the restaurant sector. Consider how quick-serve restaurants (QSR) have changed between 2020 and today. During the pandemic, successful QSR brands adopted third-party delivery app services to reach their customers in a low-touch way. There was also an increase in virtual kitchens – restaurants that only exist to service deliveries and takeaways, and do not cater for seated customers. As the pandemic ended, QSRs started rethinking their digital channels to avoid the high third-party costs, but to continue to offer their customers convenience. New developments included drive-thrus and online ordering kiosks on their premises. Each technological evolution impacts the property layout, and ultimately the brand’s ability to expand and grow. Savvy brands with the flexibility and agility to accommodate these changes have gone from strength to strength and grown their footprint, seeking to acquire new, similar premises from property investors.

It Starts With Data

To advise our investors on trends like these – and any trends and opportunities in CRE – we need access to data, and the ability to quickly transform that data into something meaningful for our clients. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you need this information fast. This allows you to make the most appropriate decision at that time – whether that is to buy, sell, or hold.

Today, conversations around digital transformation involve concepts such as big data, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). But we believe this is only part of the picture, and that today CRE companies should already be using available tools to work better, faster, and be more helpful to their clients. For us, this means collaboration, and the speedy and clear communication of accurate, well-informed insights so that our clients can make the right decisions. This is followed up with the ability to execute decisions quickly and effectively to make the most of the opportunity in days, rather than weeks or months.

The reality is that AI and ML-powered tools are already here. At SIG, we use these tools for everything from capturing call notes and action items to extracting lease data, creating proposals, summarizing legal documents and reporting on complex financials.

Today, anyone has access to the ability to analyze data without being a software engineer. All it takes is a willingness to learn, and an environment and culture conducive to innovation. Companies that have a digital-first approach certainly have an advantage here. In our case, we started SIG as a national triple net lease brokerage firm and because of that it was vital that we could reach investors across the country to find the best deal for our clients and the only way to do that was to be a digital-first company.

Introducing the Robo-Broker?

As much as we are fans of using technology to do things better and faster, we don’t see the robo-broker as the next evolution. It is unlikely that a robot will ever outperform a human broker that is powered by technology. A human’s ability to connect, build relationships and understand nuances is needed to complement and mediate the data delivered by technology to arrive at and execute on the best deal.

“We can all gain efficiency, effectiveness and accuracy by using technology,” says Ryan Passe, SIG Chief Operating Officer. “Overlaying this with people who understand what they are looking at, can harness the information, and do something with it is where value is created. People can understand the human impact, and build the deep, lasting relationships required to navigate the unexpected and work through tough issues. If you pair this with the technological innovations of the world we live in, this is a great recipe for success for our brokers, our clients and our company.” 

Contact SIG today to make your investment goals a reality.


The Industrial Property Diamond in the Rough

January 17, 2024 – Atlanta, GA |  In the dynamic landscape of commercial real estate, the industrial market stands out as a sector that is both susceptible to threats and brimming with opportunities. Working exclusively in the Industrial store asset class, SIG Investment Advisor Solomon Colvin III has a good pulse and keeps a close eye on industry trends and data. With changing consumer preferences and advancements in technology, Industrial operators and investors alike must navigate a rapidly evolving market to stay competitive and capitalize on emerging trends. Read more

Rising Opportunities in C-Stores and Gas Stations

July 31, 2023 – Atlanta, GA |  In the dynamic landscape of commercial real estate, the convenience store market stands out as a sector that is both susceptible to threats and brimming with opportunities. Working exclusively in the convenience store asset class, SIG Investment Advisor Matthew Riznyk has a good pulse and keeps a close eye on industry trends and data. With changing consumer preferences and advancements in technology, convenience store operators and investors alike must navigate a rapidly evolving market to stay competitive and capitalize on emerging trends. Read more

Why You Should Invest in Medical Office Buildings

What is a Medical Office Building?

Often located near hospitals or on hospital campuses, medical office buildings (MOB’s) are a type of commercial real estate building that falls under the office asset class. They differ from traditional offices because of the building requirements needed to satisfy the needs of healthcare facilities with features intended specifically for use by physicians and other healthcare personnel such as waiting, exam and operating rooms. MOB’s are typically built with considerations for superior soundproofing for doctor-patient confidentiality, advanced air ventilation standards and have special requirements around parking and ADA accessibility.

3 Reasons You Should Invest In Medical Office Buildings?

Medical office buildings are seen as a lower risk commercial real estate investment for many reasons.

  1. Healthcare is a fundamental human need that will not go away nor diminish. People will continue to need medical attention regardless of their financial situation. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how resilient the industry is. This is demonstrated by the sector’s robust rental income, which has remained over 95% for the last two years. Most MOB renters were able to pay their rent on time as patients continued to seek treatment despite the economy. While elective treatments could be postponed, those who are unwell or require urgent medical care will still need to visit the hospital whether the stock market is rising or falling.
  2. Forecasted increase in demand. Due to the large size of the baby boomer generation individuals over the age of 65 will increase by 73 percent between 2010 and 2030. One in five Americans will be a senior citizen. Easier access to medical care will be critical for the US’s aging population. People tend to visit the hospital more the closer they get to retirement. Senior citizens typically visit a doctor ten times more often than those of a younger age. These increased medical needs create a higher demand for more medical offices building locations specifically close to suburban areas and neighborhoods.
  3. History of strong performance. If you take a look at the top 50 MOB markets in the US, transaction volume has grown from $18.2B to $24.5B in the last quarter alone, vacancy rates have fallen 40 basis points in the first half of 2022 to 8% and transaction volume has also increased by 79.2% from 2021, setting yet another record for the sector. Higher prices don’t always mean higher rents and having a trusted investment advisor who is familiar with these markets is important in order to avoid investment deals with weaker cash flows. If you know where to look, medical office properties in specific markets provide a solid tenant mix that will yield long-term value for investors.

Learn More With Sands Investment Group

If you want to invest in medical office buildings, you can trust that Sands Investment Group’s specialized Medical Office Building team will provide top notch advice. We are a commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in purchasing and selling commercial investment properties for private investors and organizations throughout the United States. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

are cap rates moving?

Are Cap Rates Moving?

To understand whether cap rates are moving, one must first understand their influence on the world of commercial real estate investing. A cap rate, or capitalization rate, is considered a real estate valuation measure that plays a role in comparing different real estate investments. The cap rate calculation is the annual net operating income (NOI) ratio to the asset’s market value. This provides the rate of return for professionals to use in comparison.

Now more than ever, the importance falls on the movement of these cap rates. In a year like 2022, it can seem like nothing is certain in the world of investments. However, understanding this valuation can give you insight that benefits your financial decisions in the long term. Learn more with Sands Investment Group to get started.

What Factors Affect Cap Rate?

As in the rest of the world of investing, specific factors can influence cap rates. It comes down to three main options that can make this number change. The first of these is macro-level economics and demographics. Next, the micro-level market influences come in. Finally, the property type plays a role in changing the cap rate.

By seeing the influence of each of these factors, it is understandable that cap rates can vary by the area you are observing. However, the market as a whole maintains a similar direction depending on the macro-level economics of the country and the world.

How Can The Cap Rate Move?

The movement of cap rates depends on the factors that affect the quantities included in the ratio. The direction of cap rates is considered cyclical as they go up and down depending on how the market looks at a given time.

To see how the cap rates are currently moving, you have to look at the state of the market. Take interest rates, for example. When interest rates are low, you provide lower payments, allowing for lower monthly debt payments on a given property. The cap rate drives down by increasing the purchase price in the cap rate equation. Thus, when interest rates are low, generally so are cap rates. When interest rates are high, the cap rates usually rise as well.

Stephen Plourde of Sands Investment Group explains that buyers expect increased cap rates across multiple product types as a direct result of the finance-ability of NNN deals, precisely because of the recent and anticipated rise in interest rates.

As we look at the current market, Plourde explains that there are still 1031 exchange buyers at aggressive cap rates similar to the last 24 months; however, there is a disconnect between buyers and sellers, specifically when a buyer requires financing. “Smart sellers will sell their properties more quickly in today’s market when they recognize that the market has shifted. They must work collaboratively with their Investment Advisor to price their properties with a forward-looking approach,” says Plourde. Looking in the rear-view mirror will lead to sellers missing the buyers looking to transact in the 3rd and 4th quarters of the year.

Learn More With Sands Investment Group

Understanding cap rates is essential as you enter the world of commercial real estate investing. That is why you must work with a company with the research and data-driven expertise to back it. At Sands Investment Group, our team is ready to get you started from the beginning to help you make impactful deals. Don’t waste any time, and get started with us today! There is always more to learn as cap rates move and change.  Learn more about investing in commercial real estate with Sands Investment Group today. Call 844.SIG.NNN or find out more on our website.


SIG Brokers $13M Sale of Tires Plus Portfolio in Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA – Sands Investment Group’s (SIG) Atlanta based automotive net-lease broker, Harry Archer, brokered the sale of a $13 million 8-unit Tires Plus portfolio across Atlanta and Athens, GA. Harry Archer and his team at Sands Investment Group represented the seller, a Southeast based private investor, as well as the buyer, a California-based REIT.
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SIG Named to Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies

Sands Investment Group Earns Recognition For Excellence in Leadership and Dynamic Growth!

Sands Investment Group (SIG) announced today its placement on the prestigious annual Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies. The independent American business magazine provides insight into the dynamic success of small businesses in the US economy. Read more

NNN Property Investors Turn to Real Estate Fundamentals

August 6, 2020: By Andrew Ackerman – The triple net investment market has seen a two-fold shift amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In late March, we saw a pause as investors took time to digest rapid changes in the global economy before making forward-thinking investment decisions. However, on the other hand, demand for NNN assets has been steady despite economic turmoil. Read more

A Message From Chris & Liz Sands: SIGives & COVID-19

April 7, 2020:  When we formed SIG over 10 years ago, we knew that we wanted to build a different kind of brokerage company. One founded on collaboration and contribution. SIGives was born from this and because of you, our loyal client base, we’ve had the privilege of being able to donate more than $1.7M to both global and local charities such as Special OlympicsSt. Jude Children’s HospitalInternational Rescue CommitteeCharity:Water and many others. Read more