Introducing TAMI: defining the tech sector's impact on real estate

A recent report from Colliers International recategorizes B.C.'s tech, advertising media and information industries to create uniform data

Western Investor
December 7, 2016

tech thinkstock
With the growth rate of the B.C. technology sector rapidly outpacing available research, a commercial real estate services company is now referring to the sector by an acronym new to the B.C. market. 
TAMI – which stands for technology, advertising, media and information – is Colliers International’s new way of categorizing B.C.’s tech sector, in the hopes of establishing it alongside the likes of world-class TAMI markets, such as those of Silicon Valley and San Francisco. 
“By revising our technology sector tracking into more precise designations, it is easier to spot the trends that drive tenants to prefer one location over another and in turn it becomes possible to provide targeted market information to TAMI tenants based on their specific needs,” explains the report.
Collier’s tracked 1,743 TAMI companies in their report and found they occupy $9.8 million square feet of office space in the province. As technology firms grow, Colliers’ expects to see companies adapting a “flight-to-quality” stance, looking to more high-quality real estate to attract new talent. 
The technology sector alone accounts for 14 per cent of Metro Vancouver’s total office space, and as of October, TAMI industries represent 40 per cent of the region’s total tenant demand. 48 per cent of TAMI-occupied office space is in downtown Vancouver, 
As demand increases, Colliers believes tenants will look towards class A or AAA buildings. Currently, 92 per cent of TAMI companies favour more cost-effective class B and C buildings. Office space in Vancouver is typically less expensive than in other major TAMI markets. 
Regional outlooks
In Victoria, the TAMI sector is the city’s number one industry, surpassing the government sector in 2014. Colliers also reports that its Victoria office closed over 250,00 square feet in office lease deals for TAMI companies in 2015. 
In the Thompson-Okanagan region, TAMI tenants lease 10 per cent of Kelowna’s office inventory. Colliers believe that the increased presence of technology firms in the Okanagan has contributed to Kelowna’s declining office vacancy and increase in lease rates.

Tanya is Western Investor's web content and social media coordinator. She first joined the Western Investor team as a editorial assistant in 2016, after a summer spent freelancing at Glacier Media papers The Burnaby Now and New West Record. She is a graduate of Langara College's journalism program.
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