I have the privilege of working with companies across a broad range of industries. But the one I’ve found to be most fascinating is banking (and to some degree all other financial services).
Banking has undergone a fairly fundamental shift over the past 7 years starting with the Great Recession and continuing beyond. It really started in the early 2000’s with the on-coming digital age as fewer customers walked into branches for service and began using online tools.
This same phenomenon also began to change the way that back-office functions are performed at banks. Physical check processing continued to drop while digital transactions increased. Banks also moved more and more into more sophisticated financial lending operations changing the nature of the organizations.
This rapid change at both the customer service and back office fronts has caused banks to more proactively look at their real estate than other industries have to. Take into account that banks also tend to own a far greater portion of their portfolio and it forces real estate groups to be very sophisticated and mature in tackling issues.
Don’t look to Google, Microsoft, IBM, or Big Consulting to see the future of real estate. Look to your friendly regional bank to understand the shift that is underway.