Marketing Automation Jun22

Marketing Automation

Today’s renters expect to be able to find and interact with your company everywhere, all the time. But does that mean you’re suddenly able to hire more staff for around the clock support? Of course not. Marketing automation is your secret weapon in an increasingly busy digital marketplace. Marketing automation streamlines repetitive tasks, follows user behavior and delivers targeted content to get customers into your leasing pipeline and help you keep them as loyal residents once they’ve moved in. It drives efficiency for the marketer and leasing manager while creating a more personalized experience for the customer. Watch a quick video about marketing automation. We talked with Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing here at Yardi, for her perspective on the evolution of property marketing technology. “Property marketers have to constantly innovate to keep pace with consumer trends and demands,” said Bonardi. “Marketing automation is one way even smaller marketing teams can do that and have a big impact without breaking the bank.” 3 Ways Marketing Automation Is Changing Property Marketing Larger Reach Marketing automation tools like ILS data syndication and social media bulk posting help property marketers reach a larger audience with less effort. Instead of manually entering details like vacancy information, pricing, policies and contact information repeatedly – increasing the likelihood of human error each time – internet listings can be automatically and accurately updated across multiple sites with information from your property management software. Social media posts can be created just once and then scheduled and shared across popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Reach thousands of viewers each week without sucking time out of every work day. Better Service Bonardi points out that marketing automation isn’t just a way to work faster, it’s a way to market more effectively. “Marketing...

Glassdoor’s Top CEOs Jun21

Glassdoor’s Top CEOs

Anant Yardi, founder and CEO of Yardi, was named today to a prestigious list of the nation’s top corporate leaders by employer review website Glassdoor. Mr. Yardi received a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award recognizing the Highest Rated CEOs for 2017. He is ranked No. 32 on the list of top-rated CEOs for large companies in the United States. This ranking is based solely on the anonymous and voluntary opinions offered by users of the Glassdoor platform. The U.S. Large Company category includes firms with more than 1,000 employees. Ratings were compiled during a one-year window, which concluded early in May. Glassdoor is a website where people can rate their employment experience at past and current companies. It is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing job sites, with tens of millions of reviews of over 700,000 companies in 190 countries. When submitting a review, Glassdoor users are asked directly whether they approve, disapprove or are neutral on the performance of the company’s CEO. On Glassdoor, the average CEO approval rating is 67 percent; the CEOs on the 2017 top-rated list all scored above 90%. “I congratulate all of the winners on this significant honor,” said Robert Hohman, Glassdoor co-founder and CEO. “We know that CEO approval ratings correlate to overall employee satisfaction and trust in senior leadership, which contributes to long-term employee engagement.” The accolade is indicative of the high esteem Mr. Yardi is held in by employees at the company. Yardi was founded in Santa Barbara in 1984 as a software start-up with a corporate motto of “Take care of our clients, take care of our employees, stay focused and grow.” Today, Yardi is a global technology leader employing over 5,300 staff in 35 offices worldwide and remains true to its original motto. “Our employees are the heart of this company, and it is especially rewarding to receive this recognition from them. I thank them for their vote of confidence and look forward to continuing our tradition of customer service and innovation as we take care of our clients, employees and the communities that we live in,” Mr. Yardi commented. Glassdoor is one of the largest and fastest growing job sites in the world today. Set apart by the tens of millions of reviews and insights provided by employees and candidates, Glassdoor combines all the jobs with this valuable data to make it easy for people to find a job that is uniquely right for them. As a result, Glassdoor helps employers hire truly informed candidates at scale through effective recruiting solutions like job advertising and employer branding products. Launched in 2008, Glassdoor now has reviews and insights for approximately 700,000 companies in more than 190 countries. For labor market trends and analysis, visit Glassdoor Economic Research. For company news and career advice and tips, visit the Glassdoor Blog and for employer-related news and insights to help employers hire, visit the Glassdoor for Employers Blog. Visit Glassdoor.com or download our apps on iOS and Android...

Yardi Construction Jun20

Yardi Construction

Yardi Construction Management is adding features to address project management tasks. A new, customizable dashboard permits users to access subsets of the core data available in Yardi Voyager. Penny Bailey, Project Manager, Construction at Yardi explains several new functionalities that further improve the efficiencies and interface of the software. Document Organization Whether it’s an essential contract or a quick side note, the planned enhancements to Construction Management make it easier for project managers to stay organized and in control. When project managers need to access documents created in Yardi Document Management, they can now click a link on the Construction Management dashboard. “With jobs, there are thousands of documents and drawings and contracts. It’s a pain to get docs in an accessible, central repository. The link to Orion permits multiple users see documents related to that specific job without bouncing between programs,” says Bailey. Construction Management capitalizes on Yardi Document Management’s advanced search capabilities. Users can search document texts in entirety rather than titles or identification numbers alone. Sometimes, it’s the small things that have a major impact. “We’ve added a quick note icon that floats on the right side of the screen,” says Bailey. “Project managers can make notes and then quickly slide the note aside.” With this feature, users can effortlessly add, edit, and delete notes without using a separate application or uploading multiple documents. Budget On the dashboard, users can now see a real-time budget summary for multiple jobs at once. “Quick access to the current budget and actual cost numbers at a glance is invaluable in determining the status of a project,” says Bailey. The integration for Construction Management and Yardi PAYscan is now more seamless than ever. Project managers can issue approvals for contracts, address change orders, revisions and...

Free Art Foundation Jun19

Free Art Foundation

Yardi employees Tom and Larissa Napoli are parents of a two-year-old daughter and work full time in Yardi’s San Diego office, and also manage to find the time to fundraise for worthy causes. Both Tom and Larissa work in support of Yardi’s Smart Energy Suite. Larissa is a team lead and Tom is a senior technical account manager. Outside of work, Tom is the founder of the Free Art Foundation, a San Diego 501(c)3 organization that puts on art-focused events on behalf of organizations in need. Larissa, a talented artist herself, assists him with graphics and marketing. “I had always wanted to start a charity focused on helping artists create art to sell for charitable causes,” Tom said. “When our daughter was born, she had complications and was in the NICU for 10 days. That experience did something to me that pushed me to focus on helping kids out any way that I can.” Born with a hole in her lung, their little girl is now healthy and happy. But the passion for helping children in need remains. With a strong ability to connect with people and companies and create relationships, Tom decided to put those skills and energy to good use in his free time. Previous beneficiaries have included Mama’s Kitchen of San Diego, which provides free food to patients living with AIDS and cancer, and the Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego. This year, the Free Art Foundation is working to benefit StandUp for Kids, an established organization with San Diego roots that assists homeless youth. With the support of San Diego Harley Davidson, Tom arranged for donation of a motorcycle that will be raffled in support of the charity. “Our organization was founded in 1990 by a group of volunteers in...

Bike to Work Jun16

Bike to Work

Each May, the good people of Santa Barbara, Calif. are encouraged to put pedals to the pavement and ride their bikes to work. Yardi’s home office in Goleta is a longtime participant in CycleMAYnia, the regional cycling challenge that encourages people of all ages to get back on their bikes. The event has been ongoing since 2005. “The community benefits through fewer cars on the road and reduced emissions, as well as elevated levels of joy and friendliness amongst neighbors, strangers, and coworkers,” said Lori LaRiva, Traffic Solutions/TDM Program Coordinator for Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. “Employees arrive at work refreshed, they let go of stress at the end of the day, they get a free workout, and they experience the camaraderie of a friendly workplace challenge,” LaRiva said. That’s certainly been the experience at Yardi, which captured the win for the 500 – 999 employee category. Companies are stacked up against each other based on size. Second place category finisher, Mindbody of San Luis Obispo, rode just 25 percent of the miles Yardi team members did. Yardi employees racked up 3,598 miles on bikes during the month of May to earn the win, and 439.5 miles during the week of May 15-19 when the competition tallies were recorded. “Not only did CycleMAYnia encourage employees to bike together, but it also encouraged carpooling for those who live too far to bike the entire way.  We had a new cyclist ride from downtown Santa Barbara every day,” said Kelly Johnson, Yardi event coordinator.  “The farthest biker came from Carpinteria.” LaRiva described some of the widespread benefits of the competition. “Every year, participants say that the Bike Challenge gets them back on their bikes again. For some, it creates a casual routine that will last...

2017 Digie Awards Jun15

2017 Digie Awards

Team Yardi represented at Realcomm and IBcon in San Diego this week, where we were honored to receive a Digie Award for technology innovation in commercial real estate. The Realcomm “Digie” Awards – aka the 2017 Commercial Real Estate Digital Innovation Awards – were established in 1999 and recognize companies, projects, technologies and people whose use of technology, automation and innovation have produced extraordinary results. The Yardi Commercial Suite received the award in the Best Tech Innovation Commercial/Corporate Real Estate category, earning recognition as an innovative technology for retail lease administration. See the press release. This award recognizes the powerful capability of our retail property management suite, which is used by companies around the world to manage malls, buildings and more. “The Commercial Suite exemplifies the innovative spirit of Yardi and our dedication to giving our clients new tools for enhancing efficiency and collaboration. Complex workflow management, visualization of floor plans overlaid with key performance indicators and a full suite of reports are just a few Commercial Suite features that give managers better control over their business,” said Robert Teel, senior vice president of global solutions for Yardi. “We thank Realcomm for the recognition and for staging a fantastic pair of conferences.” But we weren’t just there to pick up accolades. Realcomm is one of the leading commercial real estate conferences in the world, bringing together thousands of industry professionals for networking, thought leadership and learning opportunities. Our team members in attendance shared expertise at our booth as well as appeared on panels. Alex Stanton talked cybersecurity in cloud environments, Matt Eggers dished out energy optimization insights, and Esther Bonardi spoke about the challenges and promise of integrating Millennials into the workforce. Anant Yardi himself discussed the history and future of commercial real estate...

Whole Wide World

Imagine standing on top of a mountain, looking at a seemingly endless horizon in every direction, full of mountains and valleys. Imagine never seeing anything like that. Breathe deeply at the sight, then use your virtual reality wand and spin the Earth along its normal rotational axis, until you set the horizon on fire with a sunset. You can now walk the streets of the most iconic cities in the world, dive through the canyons like a hawk and float around in space, starring at the pale blue dot from the abyss. Google Earth Virtual Reality can enable you to have some pretty incredible experiences. While interactivity is limited to viewing, the app is perfect for those who just want to take it easy. Anyone who has used Google Earth mapping apps before will be familiar with the VR app — as you have to do is grab the globe and zoom in and out anywhere. After flying high above our planet, you can move around using one controller to zoom closer, while another one allows you to “grab” the planet and reorient it. With a few more taps, you can lean closer, until you are on ground level at “average adult height.” It gets even cooler than that. You can even get into some famous places, such as Seattle’s football stadium. It feels extremely real. Some buildings’ interior geometry had been rendered precisely and that really sells the “I’m here” feeling that one might expect. However, the app still needs improvements as many areas are just flat maps with rough topography, not fully constructed locations and natural features like trees are blocky masses. How good it looks depends on how much data Google has collected- 94 percent of the world’s population and 54...

Going Digital Jun14

Going Digital

By adopting an electronic health record platform with a centralized database, senior living provider Northbridge Companies lives up to its commitment of providing best quality of care to its residents. When Northbridge companies made the choice to transition from paper documentation to electronic health records, the company’s primary objective involved eliminating redundant tasks and improving staff productivity. As someone on the front lines during the company’s switch to Yardi EHR, Marcia Suddy saw firsthand how swiftly technology can improve the workplace. “One of the biggest changes with electronic records versus paper is that you can lay your hands on information very quickly,” she says. “That reduces the length of time needed to resolve issues and helps us provide the best quality of care to our residents.” Live Well, Love Life Founded in 2006, privately owned senior living provider with 15 communities servicing residents across New England, Northbridge Companies has made providing quality senior care a priority for over a decade. Northbridge Community provides its 850 residents with an environment designed to “encourage freedom, offer lifestyle choices, and provide the necessary services to live life to the fullest.” When Suddy began her nursing studies, she quickly realized she felt a connection to seniors. “While I was earning my administrator’s license and BC certification, I absolutely fell in love with senior care,” she says. “I don’t foresee ever doing anything else.” As Regional Director of Care Services for Northbridge, Suddy feels great satisfaction working for a company she describes as being “passionate about senior care.” “It’s such a relief to work for an organization that truly lives up to the values they advocate,” she says. “It’s not just the president of the company, but the associates, the investors, the families. Everyone is committed to providing the...

Online Groceries? Jun13

Online Groceries?

In today’s age of technology-assisted convenience and accessibility, just about everything is tailored to our own comfort, and finally one of the last remaining chores that has not been commandeered by a service or form of technology is being taken out of our hands—a service to grocery shop for us. Amazon is attempting to expand its place in the e-commerce market by entering the grocery store industry. The largely successful internet giant is in the process of opening two different types of grocery stores. The first, Amazon Go, will function as a traditional grocery store with the exception of a lack of a checkout line, and the second, AmazonFresh Pickup, will act almost entirely as a click and collect grocery pick-up service. Amazon Go customers will simply download the Amazon Go App (in addition to their Amazon accounts), scan their smartphones as they enter the store, and be able to select whatever groceries they like while the store’s technology scans the items they pick up. Customers will walk out of the store and their Amazon accounts will automatically be charged for the groceries in their digital carts. The advanced technology also notes when customers pick-up an item and then choose not to select it but instead place it back on the shelf. Amazon Go stores will adopt technology currently used in self-driving cars including deep learning algorithms, computer vision, artificial intelligence, and sensor fusion to construct their “Just Walk Out Technology.” The Amazon Go stores are expected to offer a wide variety of basic groceries, including many household name brands, as well as a range of ready-to-eat options from local stores as well as Amazon’s own in-store chefs. The company is also rolling out Amazon Meal Kits, which will come prepared with all you...

Communication Counts Jun12

Communication Counts

When it comes to the senior living industry, one word reigns supreme: community. Whether it’s memory care, assisted living or simply providing the opportunity to live independently, all manner of senior living options pivot on the notion that residents and their families are keen to sustain connections and keep life in the golden years meaningful and nurturing. One key aspect integral to the creation of a senior community is communication, between staff, caregivers, residents and their families. “Communication is one of the biggest challenges we face as an industry,” says Dennis McCarthy, CIO at Superior Residences. “In the senior housing market, you are not just serving the resident, you’re serving the family that cares about them as well, so it’s important to ensure everyone stays connected.” Care, Comfort and Accountability Florida-based Superior Residences exemplifies the multifaceted nature of the senior living industry, with services ranging from independent living to assisted living and memory care. Superior Residences even provides a Day Stay Program designed to give at home caregivers a break by providing resident care for shorter periods of time from a few hours to the whole day. The company’s mission statement, “building trust so that residents, families and our team have peace” demonstrates Superior Residences commitment to creating an atmosphere of care and comfort based on a set of core values including “integrity, service, efficiency and fun.” As one of the company’s founders, McCarthy understands the essential role accountability plays in fulfilling those core values, an accountability made all the easier by the company’s use of Yardi Voyager for Senior Housing. “Billing needs to be as accurate as possible so that you can explain to resident why they are being charged and what services they are being billed for,” he explains. “When you have...

USC Village Jun09

USC Village

Since breaking ground in 2014, University of Southern California has been working on the construction of USC Village, a 1.25 million square foot communal living and learning center including dining options, student housing, and shopping. Set to open this August, the $650 million housing and retail space will stand on the north side of University Park as the largest development for the University and in the history of South Los Angeles. USC Village will encompass five-story student residence buildings housing 2,700 undergraduates per year. Amenities exclusive to students will include study lounges, basketball courts, playing fields, and a 30,000-foot fitness center. While it seems USC Village will prove itself to be one of the larger examples, student housing developments such as this have become part of a rapidly growing industry. Dorms and college living in entirety has undergone an upgrade within the last decade. Student housing now costs more, but that includes better amenities and nicer rooms – typically with very fast internet. Privately run student housing facilities have become widely popular. These apartment-style buildings designed specifically for college students and boasting even greater amenities then upscale dorm rooms, have had such great success ultimately from a higher number of college students growing up in the era of comfort, technology, and personalization. The philosophy behind this upscaling of student living and these dorms that include amenities such as common rooms, study lounges, and open spaces, is to foster a community and create a living space not just to cram undergrads into but a space where students can individually and independently live and flourish within the university environment. In addition to providing student housing, USC Village is set to function as space for the whole community: students, faculty, and neighboring residents. The site will include...

Lee-Ann St. Jacques Jun07

Lee-Ann St. Jacques

In the northern half of Ontario, Canada, daily life maintains a bridge to an earlier time. Economic drivers include gold mining, and until recently, a paper mill. Winters are long and sometimes unusually frigid. One local politician says the area, an eight hour drive from Toronto,  is “truly one of the last frontiers left in the country.” But despite those links to the past, the region has modern problems. Poverty, addiction, domestic violence and elder care are issues here on the last frontier just like anywhere else. Thankfully, there are leaders like Lee-Ann St. Jacques to help address them. St. Jacques was recently honored as the Influential Women of Northern Ontario’s Executive of the Year. A passionate advocate for supportive housing services, she serves as Area Manager of the Cochrane District Social Services Administration (a Yardi client), which delivers social services to a far-flung region encompassing 145,618 square kilometers – and around 83,000 residents. “Housing is a critical part of our region’s future and yet it remains one of the most underfunded elements. Lee-Ann has not let that deter her from leading one of the most significant housing outcomes of our generation,” wrote Peter Politis, Mayor of Cochrane, one of the larger towns in the district. Politis and other area officials expressed profuse support for St. Jacques’ nomination for the executive honor. “One primary passion for Lee-Ann is that of ensuring adequate and affordable housing for the growing needs of seniors living in our community,” wrote Michael Shea, Mayor of Iroquois Falls, the town where St. Jacques lives and works. In addition to her day job, she has also served as the director of the Iroquois Falls Chamber of Commerce and worked toward establishing a community senior center and garden. “For me it is all about the people I serve. It is seeing the impact on their lives, that is my motivation. Everyone needs a safe place to call home; to live in dignity and to achieve a healthy quality of life,” St. Jacques said. She fell into public housing somewhat accidentally as a career path, but has now been with the CDSSAB for 28 years. In that time, St. Jacques has worked on numerous development projects to augment the area’s housing stock and consolidate local delivery of social services. Housing for victims of domestic violence and two-bedroom affordable and accessible units for seniors have been among the projects. The most recent work involved a public-private partnership to construct 32 units of supportive housing for seniors. With the final closure of the Resolute Paper Mill in Iroquois Falls in 2015, a significant portion of the town’s population relocated to find other jobs. The ripple effect impacted many. NE Ontario Communities are struggling with youth out-migrating to secure employment and seniors leaving to reside in supportive and assisted living facilities. “We are ahead of the curve when it comes to senior supportive and affordable housing, but we are not at the crest of Baby Boomers yet. This is a pilot project for us as we know based on our demographics and community consultations there is going to be an increasing demand over the next 10-20 years,” she said. Mayor Politis noted: “Our mothers and fathers, who have built their homes and lives here, can now remain in their roots, with dignity and family nearby. I can’t think of a better gift from one person to many others.” Within her organization, St. Jacques has impacted future-focused change, including the implementation of the Yardi Voyager platform. With such a far flung region to oversee, she noted that Yardi’s cloud based technology has been a huge help to the CDSSA. “Because of the size of our district, to be able to go to another community and have access to the database, or to be able to work from home, that’s fantastic,” she said. While St. Jacques is recognized regionally for her work, she...

Marble

Marble, for the purposes of this article, is not the metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals commonly used from sculpture and as a building material. Rather, it is a new robot delivery service that is ready to deliver food to our doorsteps. San Francisco-based startup Marble is redefining getting your food to go. The new robot delivery service is a result of a partnership between Yelp and the small startup Marble, founded in 2015 by three former Carnegie Mellon University students. Initially, the robots will be accompanied by a person walking alongside in case something goes wrong, though the rovers will be driving autonomously. Additionally, Marble robots are being observed via monitors back at company headquarters. Residents of San Francisco’s Mission and Potrero Hill neighborhoods who order food from the Yelp East 24 food delivery service will have the option of having a robot shuttle them dinner. Marble’s robots are powered by NVIDIA Jetson TX1 AI supercomputers to navigate their route while sharing busy sidewalks. Using AI and computer vision, they can detect people, cars, pets and other objects along the way as they safely cruise to their destinations. Marble’s robots map the city’s sidewalks to determine the best travel routes and improve food delivery times. According to Matt Delaney, CEO and cofounder of the San Francisco startup: “We’re starting with meals, but think our robots will be useful for everything from groceries, to pharmacy and parcel delivery in the long run.” Marble’s robots are designed to be “courteous in an urban setting.” Marble has a team that includes former employees from Google and Apple. With only 5 restaurants participating in Yelp’s Eat24 robot delivery program at the moment, Delaney expects that more will sign up in the future. The company has raised...

Big Time Jun06

Big Time

We could all use just a little more time to get everything checked off our to-do lists. If you’re a property manager at any size property, you and your team have a seemingly endless list of daily tasks, from interacting with new prospects to taking resident payments. Fortunately, modern technology is evolving to help speed things up at work. Advances in online services mean many processes that once had to be done by hand can now be automated. Recently, a few clients have shared quantifiable time savings they’re seeing at their businesses as a result of implementing better property management software. Take a look to see where you could be saving hours every month. Online Applications: 15+ minutes per application How much time do onsite teams spend entering application data? Mallory Monsma, marketing leader at NALS, estimates that online applications save its leasing agents 15 minutes each. In August of 2016, the team processed 347 applications, resulting in a time savings of 87 hours. If you’re using esignatures and completing the leasing process entirely online, your time savings will be even greater. Not to mention all the savings you’ll accrue surrounding printing, mailing, paper costs and physical storage. Online Payments: 4+ minutes per payment Monsma says that automated payment processing saves at least two minutes per check and a 20-minute roundtrip to the bank for every 10 checks. These numbers might seem small, but they quickly add up across a portfolio. In a month with 11,000 online payments, the NALS team saved 44,000 minutes (733 hours). Getting onboard with online payments also adds convenience for renters and speeds up cash flow. Roscoe Properties collects 95% of its rent electronically, quickly and on time. Mariana Estrada, vice president of operations, enthused, “That’s massive! That’s money...

Cloud Clarity Jun05

Cloud Clarity

A group of real estate technology experts—including Alex Stanton, Yardi industry principal for commercial—took stock of cloud computing’s growing role in real estate in a recent Realcomm-sponsored webinar, “The Latest Trends in the CRE Cloud.” With about 80% of companies running some portion of their workloads in public or private clouds, the panel explored the new opportunities this dynamic environment presents real estate companies as well as potential pitfalls. Emphasis on security Stanton focused on the challenge of safeguarding the massive amount of information involved in cloud-based commercial asset management. “Sources of real estate data are ever-expanding, and more public and private information is available as the Internet of Things takes hold,” he said.  Commercial real estate is now edging into the “Big Data” phase with transactional data being married with content including photos/videos, satellite imagery, weather data and building performance systems. While the collection points for this information can optimize business and site efficiency, they also present more potential points of entry for security threats. As a result, he said, “the bar is continuously being set higher for security.”  Yardi and other solution providers create vulnerability management protocols and multiple levels of data center and application security.  Real estate companies, meanwhile, must educate their employees on protecting the information they access with business applications on remote devices and other means. “We continue to see the acceleration of technology adoption in the commercial real estate space. It will be an exciting journey, but from a data governance standpoint we need to constantly adapt and identify the solutions that will connect them in an ever-evolving environment,” Stanton said. IT’s new perspective Another panelist was Bob Rybak, chief information officer for Morguard, whose portfolio includes 44 million square feet of commercial space and adopted 100% cloud...

Tech + Logistics Jun05

Tech + Logistics

The rise of ecommerce has revolutionised the way we shop – but it has also transformed property logistics. Technology is helping retailers and carriers to manage stock movements, in-store click & collect and home deliveries, but it is also a costly investment. Who will pick up the tab? How are developers, investors, distributors and occupiers using ‘smart logistics’ to serve their customers? Yardi brought together a panel of thought leaders in a roundtable at Property Week’s Sheds Conference in Birmingham. The panel: Paul Crosbie, investment manager, M&G Real Estate Jonathan Gardner, head of asset management, Delin Capital Nick Kay, development director, St Modwen Properties Len Rosso, head of industrial and logistics, Colliers International Charles Spicer, Midlands industrial and logistics director, Savills Claer Barrett, personal finance editor, Financial Times (chair) CB: What do you all think the ‘shed of the future’ will look like? How will the needs of occupiers change over the next five years? LR: I don’t think we should call logistics space ‘sheds’ anymore. It is a much more technologically advanced product than the name suggests. Drones, robots and automation are all on the horizon, but I think the biggest change we’re seeing right now is higher eaves heights and mezzanine floors. Occupiers want to use all the space they’re paying for – not just the ground floor. PC: People are getting very excited about drone deliveries, but they are more likely to be used for rural areas rather than built-up urban locations where their use will be more restricted. JG: Occupiers will still be using vans and lorries, charge can bypass the 200-mile mark, it will really make a change to the use of this technology. NK: And look at the activity going on inside the shed. The rise of the ‘sharing economy’ is a big trend. We’ve seen Airbnb; now there’s a similar business called ZupplyChain for third- party logistics [3PL] companies with excess space to lease it out. If you can find space in areas of undersupply, it would make the market more fluid and ease the supply crunch. CS: The shed of the future won’t be one size fits all. Our market is very varied and diverse – so a manufacturer’s requirements are very different to that of a pure logistics operator. That said, we’re already seeing multi-level facilities and in the future we could well see subterranean ‘sheds’ in high-density urban areas. At the Property Week Sheds Conference, we’ve just heard a number of occupiers say they would not be averse to the idea of sharing space in the future so I anticipate more multi-user facilities as is commonplace in mainland Europe. There are covenant and lease issues but nothing that is insurmountable. We may see a company that is institutionally acceptable taking a ‘master lease’ and then space split between multiple users and companies in a Regus-type model. CB: As investors, how happy would you be with the idea of a shared shed? PC: A facility shared by a number of operators would be interesting if there was an overriding lease. It could give investors more comfort if there was some diversity alongside the main tenant. LR: DHL has been talking about that model for the past five years, but it hasn’t happened yet. JG: Well, it has happened in mainland Europe. 3PLs want to match their lease lengths with their contract terms. If they have a three-year contract, they don’t want to take a five-year lease. However, this comes at a cost – they accept they will have to pay a much higher rent in some locations. Other 3PLs will take a big lease and will stack the space with three or four different customers’ kit. Even then, there could be quite tough conditions to meet, such as 50% of the space being occupied by one client for the full length of the lease. PC: I agree that the sheds –...

Space Race 2.0

It seems when the country’s most successful entrepreneurs have finished disrupting industries on Earth, they invariably look to do the same in space. The world is witnessing a new era of space exploration that’s being headlined by companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin, owned by tech billionaire CEOs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos respectively. The companies are a part of a private sector boom that has reestablished the United States as leaders of aerospace technology and exploration. SpaceX moves forward Leader of the pack, SpaceX is revolutionizing space travel in astronomical ways. CEO Elon Musk has always maintained that the fundamental breakthrough needed to transform access to space is figuring out how to reuse rockets just like airplanes, in order to lower the cost. Since 2015 SpaceX has been actively working towards that goal, recovering eight of twelve rockets launched. On March 30th the company took things one step further with the first successful launch and landing of the Falcon 9, a recycled rocket. The Falcon 9 previously had the distinction of being the first rocket to successfully land on a droneship. But even that isn’t enough for the company, as they continue to reach for the stars with their next goal to reuse the rocket within 24 hours. “We’re looking for true operational reusability, like an aircraft, an aircraft lands, goes to the gate, passengers come off, passengers go on, you refuel, and then you fly again. What we’re looking to do is exactly that..land and relaunch on the same day,” says SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell. The company’s most recent milestone was on April 30th, when SpaceX launched a government spy satellite for the US National Reconnaissance Office. This marked the first time the Department of Defense used SpaceX for a mission, where...

Cities Take the Lead Jun02

Cities Take the Lead

Treaties and international accords can certainly trigger change, but most of the time the real action happens on the ground. Grassroots campaigns and public support can often pick up momentum, powered by the actions of small groups and individuals committed to a cause. As a result, when it comes to global issues like sustainability, renewable energy and climate change, cities have to power to make a big difference. “There is no single solution for solving global climate change,” declares the C40 Cities organization, “but cities have the ability, capacity and will to lead.” “We believe that a global future lies in urban innovation and action,” the group states on their website. “As the majority of future humans will live in cities, it just makes sense that our solution to climate change will reside there too. A Costly Climate While images of starving polar bears and collapsing glaciers have come to symbolize the environmental impact of a warming planet, the economic effects felt by cities are equally significant. According to a new study published in Nature Climate Change, large metrolpolitan areas experience the economic consequences of climate change at a rate three times higher than the less populated regions of the world. Some of the costs are the result of the “urban heat island effect.” Because cities often include huge swathes of land covered in pavement and concrete buildings, the heat those materials absorb is emanated back out into the atmosphere, resulting in temperature increases as high as 19˚F.  Researchers have dubbed Los Angeles an “urban heat archipelago,” for example, because urban sprawl has led to several “islands” spread out across the Los Angeles Basin. “It’s like a whole chain of urban heat islands that run into each other,” explained Gina Solomon, Deputy Secretary for Science...

Automated Parking

In our lifetimes to date, the exercise of parking in a public or private multi-vehicle garage has gone something like this: drive into the garage, circle up and down ramps between stories to find an open spot, squeeze your way in and cross your fingers that you’ll remember where you parked when it’s time to leave. Engineering firms have struggled to combat the growing problem of parking shortages by efficiently using robotic car parking systems in areas where congestion, zoning or crime are problems or where land is scarce and expensive. And thanks to the miracles of modern machinery, they’ve come up with some cool solutions. To take advantage, all you have to do is follow a green arrow into a wide space on the ground floor, lock the car and simply walk away. Robotic machinery lifts, stack and packs the parked vehicles inside the garage. The cars can be squeezed into narrow spaces, as there is no longer a need for room to open doors, or for other cars to pass. Without the need for ramps and less space required for parking, the garage takes up less square feet than a non-automated garage of the same capacity. As cars no longer have to circle the lot in search for a parking spaces, CO2 emissions have also decreased significantly. The state-of-the-art, high-density system maximizes parking spaces while minimizing environmental impact, by utilizing an array of horizontal and vertical conveyance devices and software designed to enable automated and efficient storage and retrieval of cars. Additionally, the garage will keep the vehicle safe and clean, as it is completely sealed off from weather conditions, animals and even other people. The driver is the last person to touch the vehicle before the robotic system places it into...

Student Housing May31

Student Housing

Just as industry experts thought the interest in student housing may begin to plateau, the prospects for growth are shining brighter. Investors made $1.1 billion in student housing property transactions in the first quarter of 2017, reports CRBE. This figure excludes portfolio deals, which held their own: Q1 ended with the sale of a $1.6 billion portfolio, which is a great start to the year. Local and foreign investors are showing confidence in the student housing sector. Student housing is historically more stable throughout economic fluctuations. There are fewer enrollment surges during times of prosperity and fewer dips in enrollment during challenging times, reports TH Real Estate. Tom Park, Senior Director, Strategy & Research at TH Real Estate, explains: “Rental growth in the sector has proven to be less volatile than that of conventional apartments – partially as a result of the sector being less economically sensitive. Results for some of the largest players in the market show rental growth volatility, as indicated by the standard deviation, was lower than conventional apartments and capital expenditures are in line with those of conventional apartment.” College enrollments have continued to rise since 2008. Most notably, 2014 ushered in $3.5 billion in sales, topped in 2015 with $6 billion and $10 billion in 2016. The consistent growth contributes to the perception that student housing is a recession-resistance sector. Enrollment in and applications for post-graduate programs are also rising. TH Real Estate estimates that about 3 million students enrolled in post-graduated programs in fall 2016. That figure has consistently risen since 2010 when enrollments maxed at about 2.2 million. Post-graduate studies will extend the demand for student housing Though enrollments continue to grow, state budgets for education are shrinking. Public colleges and universities seek out institutional investors and developers...