Industrial & Warehouse


The outlook for the industrial/warehouse sector continues to brighten, including expected decreases in vacancy rates and projected gains in rental rates. The demand for warehouse space is on the rise and gaining the attention of companies and investors. Read about market data and statistics; innovative ways to market and utilize warehouse space; and insight into the how the legalization of marijuana is making an impact on the warehouse industry.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Types of Ware​houses

Warehouses are the most common types of storage, however other forms do exist (i.e., storage tanks, computer server farms, etc.). Some warehouses are massive structures that simultaneously support the unloading of numerous in-bound trucks and railroad cars containing suppliers' products while at the same time loading multiple trucks for shipment to customers. Here we look at five different types of warehouses:

  • Private Warehouse: Owned and operated by channel suppliers and resellers and used in their own distribution activity.
  • Public Warehouse: Space that can be leased to solve short-term distribution needs.
  • Automated Warehouse: Advances in computer and robotics technology have enabled many warehouses to feature automated capabilities.
  • Climate-Controlled Warehouse: Space that is capable of storing many types of products including those that need special handling conditions. 
  • Distribution Center: Warehouses where product storage is considered a very temporary activity.

Source: Types of Warehouses, (KnowThis, 2018)

Warehouse Market Data and Statistics

Here come the Robots – Will Emerging Technology Slash the Need for Warehouse Workers? (Indianapolis Business Journal, Apr. 13, 2018) E

Don’t Think a Robot Could Do This’ – Warehouse Workers Aren’t Worried About their Jobs (Morning Edition NPR, Jan. 25, 2018) E

Will California’s Real Estate Market Mirror Colorado? (Marijuana Venture Magazine, Jan. 1, 2018)

A Review of the Impact of Marijuana’s Legalization on Colorado’s Industrial Warehouse Lease Rates: How High is High? (Journal of Real Estate Literature, Jan. 2017) E

Robots Will Take Your Job if You Work in Warehousing, (Crain’s Chicago Business, July 26, 2017)

2017 Warehouse Capacity and Trends Report, (Supply Chain Brief, June 15, 2017)

They Work Hard for No money – Are Warehouse Robots Here to Help or Replace Humans?, (Material Handling & Logistics, Apr. 2017) E

2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment Up as Service Pressures Rise, (Modern Materials Handling, Apr. 2017) E

Why Dallas/Ft. Worth Warehouse Leasing is up a Whopping 60 percent in 2017’s First Three Months, (Dallas News, Apr. 3, 2017) E

Warehouse Brokerage & Investment

Global Storage and Warehouse Leasing Market 2018-2022 – Increased Use of Technology to Drive Growth (Technavio Research, Oct. 2, 2018) E

11 Important Tips When Leasing Warehouse Space (Austin Tenant Advisors, Sep. 9, 2018)

Expect Building Delays on Commercial Project (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 8, 2018)

Warehouse REIT joins ever-growing 2017 IPO List, (Estates Gazette, Aug. 26, 2017) E

How to Estimate the Value on Warehouse Space (eHow, 2018)

What to Look for in a Property Manager (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Feb. 2015)

Trending: Warehouses & Legalized Marijuana

Hallucinations of Grandeur – the Cannabis Business is Proving to be Far More Difficult than Most Marijuana Growers Realized (Marijuana Venture Magazine, Jul. 1, 2018) E

SLO County’s First Permitted Marijuana Business Shut Down Over Warehouse Dispute (The San Luis Obispo Tribune, Jun. 1, 2018) E

Uplifted: The American Dream (Marijuana Venture Magazine, May 1, 2018) E

Elburn Warehouse Used to Grow 200 Marijuana Plants (Kane County Chronicle, Mar. 18, 2018)

A Risky Adventure – Capitalizing on Marijuana Warehouses is Not as Easy as People Think (National Real Estate Investor, July 1, 2017) E

High Stakes – Laxer Marijuana Laws Have Led to A Boom in the Warehouse Sector (National Real Estate Investor, May 1, 2017) E

From Pop to Pot, (The Pueblo Chieftian, Aug. 2, 2017) E

CannaRabbit to offer Broader Cannabis Transportation, Distribution and Warehouse Services Covering the Front Range and the Western Slope of Colorado, (Business Wire, June 17, 2017) E

eCommerce, Marijuana Light Up Warehouse Space , (Real Estate Finance and Investment, Mar. 6, 2017) E

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Commercial Real Estate Investing 12 Easy Steps to Getting Started (Kindle, eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Investing – A Creative Guide to Successfully Making Money (Kindle, eBook)

The Complete Guide to Real Estate Finance for Investment Properties (Kindle, eBook)

A Master Guide to Income Property Brokerage – Boost Your Income By Selling Commercial and Income Properties (eBook)

Successful Real Estate Investing — How to Avoid the 75 Costly Mistakes Every Investor Makes (eBook)

Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


Realtors Property Resource®

RPR® provides comprehensive data, powerful analytics, dynamic reports, and detailed property and market information exclusively for REALTORS®.