Thanks to Richard Branson’s latest venture, Hyperloop, the real estate market had undergone a seismic shift. Branson had created a network of high-speed trains that could transport people and goods at unprecedented speeds, but it also allowed him to effectively control the price of land in areas where he placed stops along this new ubiquitous transportation network, redifining the location criteria.

The impact was first felt in the cities of Los Banos and Kettleman City in California, which became of interest to Hyperloop along their route from San Francisco to Los Angeles. These two cities were the only stations along the way, making them suddenly just 15 minutes away from the state’s most populous metropolitan areas. Property prices in the area skyrocketed as people rushed to buy land near the new stations.

But Branson wasn’t the only tech billionaire disrupting the real estate market. Uber Freight, a subsidiary of Uber, had also entered the space with their “food delivery network” concept. This led to a surge in demand for commercial real estate in areas with good transportation links as food businesses rushed to secure space for their ghost kitchens. And it didn’t stop there. With their vast network of drivers and logistics capabilities, Uber was now also exploring the idea of privatizing roads and other infrastructure. If they were successful, this could have a massive impact on the real estate market, with value of properties served by Uber infrastructures skyrocketing both for commercial and residential.

In this brave new world of real estate, traditional real estate companies are now entirely dependent on decisions made by the Uber and Hyperloop of this world. They must adapt to this new reality or risk becoming irrelevant. One potential solution for them is ZillowGPT, an AI tool produced by the real estate platform to predict the new hot spots based on future private infrastructure investments. Their latest advice: invest in Wichita, Kansas, from where you’ll soon be able to share a fresh Pizza delivered from NYC with your friend who lives LA both delivered at your doorstep under an hour.

The real estate market has changed, and it’s up to companies to innovate and adapt to the new landscape if they want to survive and thrive.

Thank you for joining us on this journey to explore potential futures that could shape your industry! While the future is unpredictable, with the right tools and knowledge, we can uncover hidden opportunities and create a future that aligns with our aspirations. If you’re ready to take the next step and unlock the possibilities that await, reach out to us today!


This blog post is an extract from the type of work we do in our Design Fiction/Future Proofing collaboration with partners. The scenarios presented are thought-provoking and based on the present with analogous situations and technologies that are already available. The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any individuals or organizations mentioned herein.

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