urban-compassPosted by Leonard Steinberg on August 19th, 2014

There can be no doubt that technology has become a key driving force and growth sector for the New York economy (and the world in general). A city that was once almost entirely reliant on the financial sector for high paying jobs is seeing tech catch up and play a significant role in revenue generation for New York. Our company, URBAN COMPASS, a real estate brokerage driven by intelligent, innovative and effective technology is a perfect example of this phenomena having added over 100 jobs in a year, and signed on almost 30,000sf of office space. Many ask what is the ‘tech magic’ at the company: My answer is thing about UBER. There have been limo services in New York for decades. There have been cell phones, computers, reservation desks, etc. Then along comes UBER and streamlines and simplifies the entire process through technology. A perfect example of technology revolutionizing an existing industry. Similar effects can and will happen in real estate. Here are some interesting points that emerged from a recently release report:

  • New York City is catching up to Silicon Valley as a TECH CENTER, the boosting the city’s economy. Over the past decade Tech firms directly generated almost 300,000 jobs.
  • Tech is a growing sector in New York as it continues to develop AN INNOVATION ECONOMY. Part of the success of technology in New York are some areas and buildings that provide relatively affordable office rents for startups. Silicon Valley is feeling the heat and some firms believe they should have a presence here.
  • The New York tech ecosystem is larger than that of San Francisco and fell only 56,000 jobs short of Silicon Valley.
  • The “tech ecosystem,” (jobs that are produced by technology or use technology) has become a major component. urban Compass could be considered one of those companies.
  • Tech now rivals the city’s other major employment sectors — health care, retail, legal and finance.
  • Between 2003 to 2013, the New York City tech ecosystem added 45,000 jobs, growing faster than both total New York City employment and total US employment.
  • The New York City tech ecosystem grew from 246,000 jobs, to 291,000, an increase of 18%, (Employment increased by 12% overall in New York City and 4% nationally), generating 541,000 out of the city’s some 4.27 million jobs….about 12.6%.
  • The tech sector has become essential to the city’s economy for meaningful middle-class salary — earning an average of $40 an hour or 49% more than the average hourly rate. Tech may just save the middle class!
  • The tech sector is also paying for more of the city’s basic services, generating over $5.6 billion in annual tax revenues, or about 12.3% of the city’s 2013 tax revenue.

I am certainly not a tech geek, and my personal tech abilities are somewhat limited. One thing I am certain of: the future of real estate lies in technology and any professional in real estate needs to embrace this change quickly to stay abreast in a rapidly changing world.