The Three Hybrid Products of the Real Estate Industry

According to the Wikipedia a hybrid is a living organism coming from the crossing of two different races, species or subspecies of different qualities. This concept has been extrapolated and has been used in other industries, such as the automotive industry. In our branch some hybrid projects have been created but they still do not reach all the geographical areas. The intention of this post is to encourage real estate product innovation and give other development alternatives to those who today are looking for different options to typical products (which regularly tend to saturate in mature markets).

Here are the three hybrids of the real estate industry:

This is a curious concept because it covers two different personalities. In Central America, it refers to small wineries (typically 500 to 1,000m2) but also has regular mezzanine office spaces with direct access from the outside. They are a much sought product in both industrial and urban areas for local distribution. Some are profiled with retail outlets while others only include administrative control offices.

In Mexico, on the other hand, a concept has developed of small office buildings where each office is given a warehouse/storage. The office modules start from 40m2 and the warehouses can regularly be between 10% -20% of the office area. This could be seen as another type of hybrid warefice. It is ideal for companies that distribute small products or have work equipment for which they require additional space.

In Latin America the largest segment of companies are the SMEs (small and medium enterprises). However, it is difficult to move them to buildings because of the informal competition we face. What do you mean with this, informal competition? A formal office is much more expensive and has other drawbacks that we often fail to understand.

One of these problems is that in an office building the promotional presence toward the outside world gets completely lost – which is fundamental for those companies that often receive customers in their office. To solve this need, the concept of Officomerce has emerged. This real estate product behaves like modular spaces of offices but with the benefit of that all the offices have presence of commercial complex. They can display their brand to the outside world, have a facade space at their disposal and the building facilitates easy access for customers. In fact, it is common in this product to avoid the common control of access and reinterpret security with technology to give it flexibility and formality.

Loftys or Home-work Suites

Gustavo Ortolá – a great friend of mine from Buenos Aires – gave life to the concept of Loftys in Argentina. Basically it is the result of mixing a work studio and a loft. He came with the concept of Lofty to give a new meaning to living and / or working in the same space. This same concept has been baptized in Mexico in some projects as “home-work” suites. These flexible spaces (generally small) can take both personalities. The problem with both products is that many cities have legal obstacles or do not know how to authorize projects with this mix. Without a doubt, regulation is much further behind than the industry is.

No matter what will be the crossing, it is clear that in the future we will no longer see the stiffness of the current real estate products. We are entering a time of disruptive flexibility where spaces change and cover many more functions in fewer square meters. It is the era of more value per m2.

* Carlos Muñoz 4S is a hybrid between futuristic thinker of the industry and pragmatic consultant of the current works in Latin America. If you wish to have a future for your projects, find me at:


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