Some Fads Aren’t So Bad

REIT magazine: July/August 2012

There was a popular commercial running on television not long ago in which one of the major investment houses lampooned the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s. Throwing around business buzzwords such as “synergies” and “brand enhancement” like they’re going out of style, a team of entrepreneurs are crashing and burning in a pitch meeting with a group of unimpressed angel investors. One of the presenters accidentally stumbles upon the magic phrase: “We have a website.” Suddenly, the audience perks up and starts peppering the team with questions.

Was this team’s widget worth a dime of investment capital? It didn’t matter, because being online was cool and exciting. Today, it’s a necessary condition of doing business.

“Going green” actually became the hot new thing in the business world right around the same time that commerce was going digital. As has been the case with the World Wide Web, the market has since gone to great lengths to sort out gimmicks that were supposedly environmentally conscious from truly deserving best practices and valuable technologies.

Furthermore, a new generation of eco-friendly enthusiasts has reaped the benefits of their predecessors’ trials and errors to build a growing body of research and industry information. In turn, they have refined sustainability programs to be more effective across the board, including those in the commercial real estate industry.

Not all fancies necessarily have to pass.

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