The Sharing Economy and Commercial Real Estate

March 6th, 2015 by Jennifer Smart

The term “sharing economy” has been tossed around with increasing frequency over the past couple of years. The rise of AirBnB, Uber and innumerable similarly focused websites and companies which provide opportunities to share everything from your vacuum to your clothes, has prompted a surge in debate concerning if, or when, the sharing trend will end.

We posit the trend is not a trend at all, but a dramatic and important societal shift, signifying a major change in lifestyle and values brought on in equal parts by the technology of the Internet, and the financial and emotional consequences of the Great Recession.

With Uber’s market cap larger than FedEx and Delta, and Airbnb’s nearly half that of Hilton Worldwide, it is not vital at this point to decisively determine whether it is truly a shift, or simply a trend. Whatever it turns out to be, ignore it at your own risk.

But how does, or could, the sharing model apply to the highly regulated world of commercial real estate?

In a recent contribution to D Magazine’s D Real Estate Daily, Mike Ablon considers the sharing economy and how, perhaps, the commercial real estate industry could learn from its assumptions.

Read the full blog on or download a PDF version here.


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