How Smartphones Are Upending the Value of Real Estate

It used to be that visibility was the most important factor in siting a business. This may no longer be the case, argues Kevin Klinkenberg, as smartphones make location irrelevant.

It used to be that visibility, whether along a commercial strip to be seen from a car, or on main street to be seen by a pedestrian, was one of the precious rules of retailing, and, as a result, was one of the main components that determined the value of real estate.

However, according to Klinkenberg, "That world that we've all become familiar with in planning and development appears to be on the verge of turning upside-down. In the new world of commerce, every business drives people to their stores with Facebook pages, reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon, and specials via Twitter. A plethora of smart phone apps can easily lead you to any category of business. Food trucks in many cities even change their locations daily, and tweet them to their thousands of followers."

"I no longer need to walk or drive by a business to know it's there – I simply need to access its location on my phone, and follow the GPS-enabled map to get there."

"How," Klinkenberg asks, "will this technological change impact how we use our cities and towns, and how real estate is valued?"

Full Story: Will SmartPhones make location irrelevant?

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95