When I think back over the past 10 years that GlobeSt.com hasbeen following the fortunes of the commercial real estate industry,I think about not only real estate itself but subjects that, thoughat least one step removed from the industry, still had bearing onit. About the time we were building a head of steam and gettingready to launch GlobeSt.com, there were the concerns about Y2K andwhat disasters might befall computers around theworld―including those that keep all of the financialrecords that are so important to real estate. Y2K came and wentsmoothly, and there is no truth to the speculation that we waiteduntil after January 1, 2000 to launch GlobeSt.com to make sure ourcomputers would be working.

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But Y2K did bring another concern: the Dot-Com bubble, which hada more direct bearing on real estate. New internet companies werestarting up all over the place, not just in Silicon Valley here inCalifornia, and they were buying and leasing loads of space. Often,they were taking on much more space than needed, anticipating hugegrowth, so they helped to drive up rents and sales prices. The realestate industry prospered from this Dot-Com growth for a while, butit had to adjust drastically when the bubble burst. Nonetheless,commercial real estate recovered and went on to prosper along withthe rest of the economy until the downturn late in the decade.

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Another event not directly related to real estate that comes tomind was America Online’s purchase of Time Warner, which showedjust how much the world was changing technologically. Not only hastechnology seriously advanced, making it easier to text, email,network through social media and get news around the clock, but ithas also created less of a need for face-to-face meetings, althoughthe need for those meetings, in my opinion is that they are stillvery necessary.

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And although a key to finding those key “off-market” deals isstill all about relationships, in keeping up with the times, onlineproperty-listing offerings have continued to increase services andproducts, making it easier for brokers, appraisers and otherprofessionals to market and browse property listings with the clickof a button. People who study these things sometimes use the phrase“appropriate technology,” suggesting that just because a technologyexists, doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate at all times for allpurposes. In my view, commercial real estate is in the process oftesting new technology to find out when and where it is mostappropriate and most likely to improve efficiency.

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Along with changes in different industries, the economy andsociety in general have made differences in our industry in thepast decade, and there have obviously been a host of changes withinthe industry itself, far too many to list here. There has been theresurgence of REITs, the emergence of the tenant-in-commonphenomenon, the growth of alternative investment vehicles likenon-traded REITs, mergers and acquisitions that have changed thelandscape, and some huge unwindings (like Equity Office Properties)that have reverberated throughout the country.

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No look back is complete without a look ahead. As our nextdecade of following the commercial real estate industry begins,GlobeSt.com will be watching as the industry figures out how bestto cope with distressed properties, how to meet the housing demandsof aging Baby-Boomers and the generations X and Y (and others yetto come) that will be following them.

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Of course, in the midst of coming changes, we at GlobeSt will bewatching technology as well, monitoring how communication willcontinue its evolution, and striving as we always have to stay ontop of the wave.

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Like the decade that is now behind us, the one we are enteringwill surely bring differences that nobody anticipated. We leavebehind one decade of differences to enter another.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.