4 CRE Trends We Can Attribute to Millennials in 2020

Everyone wants to know about the latest millennial-driven trends ⁠— especially those of us involved in commercial real estate.

Over the past few years, the Millennial generation has been a major force in shaping all areas of CRE. This generation, born between 1981 and 1996, stands at the forefront of commercial real estate’s inspiration ⁠— and the relationship is set to continue into 2020.

Let’s look at how Millennials are impacting the commercial real estate biz and why it’s so important.


As Millennials continue to dominate the contemporary workforce, they’re making some big changes to the global office structure. Office design schemes that we’re seeing today are almost completely inspired by what Millennials want, and demand, from the workplace.

One of the greatest developments expected to continue into 2020 is the open office concept. Millennials have already shared their disdain for cubicles and closed-off spaces, but their criticism on the open-office plan has helped the trend mature.

In 2020, experts are expecting the flexible office space to dominate the scene. The flexible office space takes the open-office concept and optimizes it. Common complaints about the open office are that it’s too distracting, too loud, and too difficult to navigate. The professional world needs to be able to adapt according to each unique moment’s needs, not stay stagnant in one setup.

Flex space is all about using moveable and modular elements to give team members endless options and diversity. Sound-proof pods, mobile walls, partitions, and mobile desks are perfecting the open office concept, helping to boost efficiency and productivity ⁠— and it’s all thanks to Millennials.


CRE’s retail sector is desperate to appeal to contemporary consumers ⁠— many of which happen to be Millennials. The wave of experiential retail is gearing up to be 2020’s hottest trend. To compete with the convenience offered by e-commerce, brick-and-mortar is becoming more interactive and social than ever before.

The New Year is expected to see tons of retail pop-ups, AI adoption, entertainment-based events, and even in-store restaurants. Millennials made it clear that they’re looking to get more out of their shopping experiences, and CRE’s retail spaces are ready to deliver.


Millennials aren’t buying houses like their predecessors, the Baby Boomers, did. Instead, they’re choosing to live in multifamily communities. Not only is this boosting business for CRE, but it also means that multifamily is evolving to meet its new tenants’ needs.

The most notable development is the adoption of the co-living module. This multifamily setup features top-of-the-line communal areas where residents come together and share common areas such as gyms, entertainment rooms, party areas, office spaces, and sitting areas.

By going beyond the traditional home-scheme, these communal features are helping the multifamily arena stay current and offer contemporary tenants something new and exciting. Developers and investors should keep this trend in mind as we enter into the new year.


Warehouses have been under a lot of pressure lately. As Millennials love the speed and convenience of online shopping, retail giants like Amazon, Target, and Walmart have been battling over who can offer the fastest deliveries. When the new norm is same-day deliveries, the industrial sector has had to take on the responsibility.

2020 is expecting to see tech-powered warehouses that can handle the increased volume of packages. Sorting and shipping workflows are being optimized as industrial floorplans are streamlining their systems. On top of this, parking lots are getting larger to enable a seamless pick-up and drop-off schedule.