Technology and the next normal – The Property Chronicle
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Technology and the next normal


The ‘next normal’ – the same as the last normal but has just arrived more quickly than expected. Like so many events, it’s a case of expediting existing trends not starting new ones. Retailers that have been living off low interest rate loans and haven’t changed their business models post the Amazon Age are now going bankrupt. Restaurant chains serving sub-standard food with the rise of the independents and street food next door are going down the pan. There are no surprises here; the speed it’s happened may be faster than expected but if you didn’t change your business model it was inevitable.

History has taught us it’s best to talk to people when the product or service you’re interested in is being stressed to the maximum. Accordingly, we conducted our own research piece midway through lockdown. We noticed the escalation of some of the key trends we’ve been tracking, such as: adaptable spaces, wellbeing in the home, multi-generational living, and rewilding. But as this is about technology, let’s focus on that.

We find it incredible that homes are being built without being IOT (Internet of Things) ready. It’s making the property instantly redundant. And for what? A very small cost. Cutting costs on technology is actually cutting your chances of selling or renting the property, never mind at an elevated price.


About James Fenner

James Fenner

James Fenner is founder and MD of Silk Road ( and Co-Founder of Optim. He set up Silk Road four years ago to shake up the property marketing landscape. Previously James’s only property experience was running the marketing for the highly successful Fitzroy Place scheme. In the 15 years prior he worked with brands such as: Coca-Cola, Levi’s, Citibank, Schweppes, Southern Comfort, Habitat, Audi, Volkswagen, Rio Tinto and Unilever. He brings knowledge of how other sectors work to property, endeavouring to haul it into the 21st century.

Articles by James Fenner

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