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09/26/2022 | by Diane Rusignola

Heidi Learner, head of innovation at Altus, participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITworks: 2022 Conference in La Quinta, California, on Sept. 12-13.

Learner reflected on the REITworks general session that she served as a panelist on, “Economic Outlook for the Real Estate Industry.” She acknowledged that rising interest rates are typically a headwind for real estate, and noted that it’s difficult to determine what the demand for the office sector will be as the pandemic transitions into an endemic phase.

“On the positive side, there’s going to be continued demand for multi-family in particular,” she said. “On the flip side…industrial still has a lot of robust demand, but we’re already seeing some signs of slowing.”

Turning to the return to office trend, Learner said there is a bifurcation in terms of the types of industries that are mandating it, like financial service firms.

“That is in contrast to what we see with a lot of tech firms, where they’ve seen really workers are happier and can be just as productive, and perhaps there’s a more limited return to office [there],” she said.

Learner added that data has shifted from being used for descriptive purposes to now being predictive, with data points being used to suggest what might be ahead.

“What Altus is doing is taking it a step further and really integrating all of their very disparate data sources and trying to go from that predictive to prescriptive: ‘What should I be doing, given these forecasts?’” she added.