Access + Affordability Nov15

Access + Affordability...

A league of Canada’s brightest minds in real estate are tackling the nation’s hottest topics, including the affordable housing shortage and renters’ growing demands. The 2019 Canadian Apartment Investment Conference (CAIC) united multi-family and multi-residential professionals for a full day of transformative content. More than 1,000 attendees including owners, managers, developers, lenders and industry stakeholders gathered to discuss investment, development and operating opportunities across Canada. Tenant Preference Survey The conference focused on Canada’s strong multi-family market and how to meet tenants’ demands. To understand those demands, Yardi sponsored the 4th Tenant Preference Survey Results. The survey provided an updated perspective on residents’ preferences and the value of certain upgrades. Amy Erixon, head of global investment management at Avison Young-Investments (Canada), Inc. presented an analysis of the survey to the group. While the rental market is still stable, it is taking young renters longer to look for housing that is both affordable and reasonably comfortable. Erixon encouraged attendees to focus on their ILS listings to reach your renters: prospects rely on ILS to discover new housing units, so they see property websites as secondary resource. Unlike US renters, Erixon added, Canadian prospects believe brand and customer reviews are differentiators during the apartment search. Brands with excellent reviews should place their identity towards the forefront of their online marketing, rather than as a note in the margins of their website. Renters’ demands affect property features as well. High mortgage rates prevent many families from achieving homeownership. As a result, most renters want units with two or more bedrooms to accommodate their growing families. Such floorplans are also beneficial for subletting units, a route of supplemental income that makes rental housing more affordable. Erixon explained that apartments with short-term rental provisions are growing in popularity because they...

Changemaker Series Nov14

Changemaker Series

For the fifth entry in the Changemakers, the Yardi-sponsored Senior Housing News series that shines a light on senior living’s biggest movers and shakers, we’re taking a look at a leader who founded her own senior living company over three decades ago. And since then, she hasn’t stopped pushing for greater innovation and better quality of care. Lynne Katzmann started Juniper Communities in 1988 to help under-managed skilled nursing facilities, raising capital, monitoring investments and improving daily operations. In the mid-90s, the company pivoted to focus on assisted living, then a new idea in the senior housing industry. They also began to take a more direct hand in running their communities, eventually developing and building a number of their own to meet their high standards. Juniper Communities has now grown to 21 communities in four states, which represent all levels of care from independent to memory to skilled rehab. One of Katzmann’s more recent changemaking initiatives has been Connect4Life, a program that integrates care delivered by Juniper staff and by ancillary clinical providers located in the community. The program gathers essential services under one roof so residents can have faster, more convenient access to care. A key building block of Connect4Life was Juniper’s early adoption of electronic health records (EHR). “By the end of 2012, we had an integrated electronic operating model,” said Katzmann. “And that was pretty revolutionary. We’d always collected data, and we began to be able to use data to drive decisions.” From there, Katzmann was able to establish a model where each resident had their own circle of care providers, all using the EHR system to track details and communicate more effectively with each other. This helped reduce transfers to outside facilities and keep people happier. Now, Katzmann is looking...

TikTok, You Ready? Nov13

TikTok, You Ready?

The real estate industry is notorious for sleeping on the latest technology. But since you’re reading this, you are interested in breaking the status quo. TikTok has more installs than Facebook and Instagram combined. It continues to grow rapidly, rewarding early adapters in student housing with an engaged fan base. What is TikTok? TikTok is one of the newer social media platforms that it taking the globe by storm. It’s passed through several naming conventions over time, but TikTok as it is now known hit the market in 2016 and has experienced phenomenal growth ever since. Last year, TikTok became the most-downloaded free app on the Apple App Store in the US and ranked first on Google Play. As of June 2018, TikTok boasted 500 million monthly active users worldwide and about 80 million US downloads. TikTok is a music-centric app that allows users to create videos from 3 seconds to 15 seconds long. Short videos can be strung together to form 60 second segments. The possibilities for viral content are endless. The TikTok demographic is perfect for student housing marketers. About 20 percent of users are under the age of 20. Another 20 percent are ages 20-24. You can influence youth in middle school and high school on a popular and growing. Users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app. The platform is now monetized. Sponsorships are available. You can also collaborate with “influencers” in simple yet impactful ways, like featuring a college sweatshirt in their video or receiving a shout out. Get creative! How Can TikTok Work for You? TikTok places your content in the hands of your key demographic. Its vertical layout ensures that your content will be seen rather than being ignored in the margins of...

Multifamily Rolls On Nov12

Multifamily Rolls On

The latest Yardi® Matrix U.S. multifamily market update illustrates good overall performance in the sector, with strong demand, steady new supply and consistent rent growth among the key characteristics. Demand for multifamily housing, driven by rising divorce rates, an aging population, and young people delaying marriage and raising children, figures to remain strong for the foreseeable future. Much of the economic growth powering demand is occurring in Southern and Western regions. Meanwhile, national supply growth can be expected to remain in line with 2018 deliveries for the next few years. The webinar update, conducted by Jeff Adler, Yardi Matrix vice president and general manager, and Jack Kern, director of research and publications, also debuted Yardi Matrix’s structured examination of political risk as an investment factor. The analysis weighs a metro’s affordability, philosophy toward affordability (e.g., rent control, zoning policies, permitting and entitlement requirements), urban policing/security, social mobility, tax burdens and unfunded pension liabilities. In the analysis’ first iteration, San Francisco, Chicago and New York had the highest risk scores among 20 major metros while Salt Lake City, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Indianapolis and Nashville, Tenn., had the lowest. The scorecard is a work in progress, and Adler invited Yardi Matrix users to offer ideas for improving it. “Overall, the sector is performing well, but affordability remains a headwind,” Adler said. Public-sector responses such as rent control and zoning changes have been adopted in Oregon, California and New York City. Such approaches, however, are likely to touch off an exodus of investment capital and create disincentives for new investment, ultimately producing housing shortages. Adler outlined market-based approaches that let supply respond to demand. They include coliving, which minimizes space needs; Airbnb, which monetizes unused time; and modular designs, which lower construction costs. Seattle, Dallas, Denver, Houston and...

Driving Adoption Nov12

Driving Adoption

For senior living providers, collecting payments online reduces staff workload and increases cash flow. For senior living residents and their family members, it saves time and eliminates hassle. A win-win all around. So why is it then that so few residents pay online? At Validus Senior Living, the finance team understood the value of online payments, and they knew residents and their loved ones would appreciate the convenience once they got on board. They just needed a push in the right direction first. Validus Senior Living offers residences across the spectrum of care: independent living, assisted living and memory care. They have 15 current communities throughout the Southeast, and they plan on developing two to three new properties per year. Getting their residents to pay online would streamline finances as the organization continued to grow. Validus finance staff had already offered ACH as a payment option, but adoption was low. To top it off, staff had to enter a resident or family member’s bank details manually to get them in the system, which took extra time and risked errors. So Validus turned to RENTCafé Senior Living for self-service online payments and launched a variety of initiatives to make it the popular choice for bill pay. The results were clear: They achieved an average 60% adoption rate for online payments across their communities! How’d they pull it off? Here’s what Lindsey Hacker, chief financial officer at Validus, revealed: Offer a discount to current residents Old habits are hard to change, but a simple incentive can work wonders as motivation. Validus ran a promotion for existing residents, asking them to sign up for online payments. In turn, they would get a discount on their bill. Though incentives like these may seem unaffordable for senior living providers,...

Coliving is Here Nov11

Coliving is Here

You’ve heard about coworking, but how about coliving? Now is the time to learn more about this urban rental trend that’s gaining momentum with young renters across the country, including millennials looking to save money by sharing amenities. Not sure how this trend applies to your business? If you’re a multifamily property manager, you’ll want to keep reading. As the market appears to be headed for a downturn in the near future, flexible leasing strategies could be your best bet to recession-proof your properties and maximize rental revenue. What is coliving? Currently, coliving is mostly an urban trend with residents sharing a house, apartment or building. If you’re thinking of the kind of roommate arrangement that is the result of random pairings through online postings, think again. Today’s coliving spaces offer modernized community experiences — sometimes referred to as “intentional communities” — and often include options for more privacy and luxury, such as microsuites. Residents will usually have a private bedroom and sometimes a private bathroom. Shared spaces typically include kitchens, lounges, laundry rooms, gyms and rooftop areas for social gatherings. And while the experience is not too foreign for renters who’ve shared housing before, coliving spaces are usually cheaper than traditional rentals. For most coliving enthusiasts, the social connection is important — they don’t want to feel like they’re living in a hotel. The essence of coliving is bringing compatible renters together in one space, with an emphasis on the quality of relationships and experiences over the quantity of square footage. For single renters new to an area, coliving can provide a sense of community as they get to know their greater surroundings. For cash-strapped renters looking for great amenities or seriously swanky accommodations, coliving is the answer. And for the many young...

System Thinking Nov09

System Thinking

What role does your organization play in the future of smart buildings and smart cities? How can you tap into the benefits today? Commercial property professionals tackled those questions and more at the 2019 Real Trends Conference. In the commercial real estate trends discussion “Co-chair Insights: Politics, Demographics, and Technology” Amy Erixon, head of global investment management at Avison Young-Investments Canada, was joined by Sheila Botting, senior partner & Canadian real estate leader at Deloitte. They posited government-owned territories and creative commercial assets can bolster the nation into a prosperous future. The available land is the ideal foundation for smart infrastructure and smart buildings. Thoughtful commercial spaces upon that land lends itself to creating buildings that are flexible and scalable.  The “2019 Office Tenant Preference Survey Presentation” and “Smart Cities and Smart Buildings” sessions explored how space is a canvas for economic success. 2019 Office Tenant Preference Survey Presentation Heather Brady, national director of sales for Yardi Canada, lead the session on the first office tenant preference survey sponsored by Yardi. This year will serve as a benchmark to more robust and relevant data gathered in the future. Survey responses can help owners make more informed and proactive decisions about land use as well as space use within their structures. Most Requested Features in Commercial Spaces Survey participants expressed high demand for the following: elevators WI-FI natural light conference rooms within the office space parking lots ability to receive packages during work hours exterior green space energy efficient lighting The survey also explored how telecommuting influences the way that tenants request and use space. Currently, 51 percent of tenants’ employees can work from home but only 3 percent do so full time. This reflects the growing inclination towards more flexible workspaces. As the telecommuting...

Data Driven Growth Nov08

Data Driven Growth

When you work in an industry where margins are tight, having the data to see exactly how your business is performing – and what steps you need to take – is vital. This is especially true for senior living, which currently faces one of its lowest occupancy rates in years. Greg Puklicz of 12 Oaks Senior Living knows just how essential data can be. As the company’s CFO, he’s always measuring performance across his communities and finding ways to make that data practical for his team. “I want the accounting and our reporting to be nimble and useful. If you give someone a report that is 8-10 pages long, they may not glean what’s relevant from that, which is why I identify the key metrics,” Greg said in a recent interview with Senior Housing News. “We can turn our attention to those things and chip away at the issues as soon as they arise.” Based in Dallas, 12 Oaks Senior Living provides third-party management and operation services for 16 senior living communities throughout Oklahoma and Texas. A Yardi client, the family-run organization has found a lot of success in lease-up and turnaround properties, and they’re currently looking to expand their portfolio to 25 communities over the next two years. As part of their journey to scale, 12 Oaks relies on Yardi Voyager Senior Housing for property management and accounting. The platform provides real-time performance analytics, pulling data from across the Yardi Senior Living Suite to shed light on areas across their business. Check out this excerpt from Greg’s interview with Senior Housing News to learn more about how 12 Oaks uses data to ensure they’re operating as effectively as possible: Would you say it’s true that senior living has gotten more operationally and financially...

Shared Space Moving Up

The coworking industry is growing rapidly, encompassing 93.2 million square feet in the top 50 U.S. office markets and making inroads in suburban spaces as well. A new special report from Yardi Matrix portrays a practice that thrives in cities with large technology sectors and in markets with office vacancy rates significantly below the 13.5% national average, including Manhattan, N.Y., San Francisco, Seattle and Boston. Areas with vacancy rates in the high teens, among them Houston and Dallas, have much less coworking space as a percentage of total stock. While 47% of coworking space is concentrated in just six traditional primary commercial real estate markets—New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston and San Francisco—“we expect that coworking will rise in suburban office markets” as the industry matures, the report says. These areas tend to draw clients from home-based workers who want an office for work and socializing purposes and from large corporations that establish small satellite offices. While highly visible turmoil surrounding industry leader WeWork fosters the impression that the entire business model is at risk, “most signs point to coworking as a growth industry that remains in the early stages of development,” the report says. New business models, such as establishing coworking properties in shopping malls and other non-traditional settings, are emerging as well. Get up to speed on all of this dynamic segment’s moving parts, prospects for further growth and risk factors in the new Yardi Matrix special report,  “Shared Space: Coworking’s Rapid Growth Set to be...

Coolest Suburbs Nov07

Coolest Suburbs

ApartmentTherapy recently released its 2019 Coolest Suburbs in America list! If your city is on the list, there are several ways to make the ranking work for your community. This is free marketing made easy! The List Creating the list was a collaboration between Apartment Therapy, Google, Etsy, and a hodgepodge of other entities needed to determine “what’s a suburb” and “what’s cool?” In short, Apartment Therapy looked for towns near major cities where “it didn’t feel like you’d be making a ton of sacrifices by moving out of the city.” Nearly 25 cities made the list, but these shining stars earned superlatives. Reader’s Choice- Oak Park, Illinois Most Popular- Arlington, Texas Most Walkable- Hoboken, New Jersey Best for Crafters- Naperville, Illinois Best for Bikers- Carmel, Indiana Best for Hikers- Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio These cities appeal to what modern renters want: convenience, space, and plenty to do in the area. Reaping the Benefits If your town is on this list, your location is a fantastic selling feature for your community! The economic growth, cost of living, and quality of life in your area hold quantifiable value. Using revenue management software can ensure that you’re getting the best rent rate for your location. It can also address metrics like concessions and other factors to help you increase rental income by an average of 6 percent. With the financial aspect set, you’re ready to welcome new prospects with confidence.  Research by G2 reveals the impact of reviews on how products sell. When your town ranks well on a list by a popular website like Apartment Therapy, organic traffic to sites about your town increases! Ensure that you are taking advantage of the suddenly popularity with an expert SEO and SEM strategy. Additional real estate marketing tools can...

Market Trends Nov06

Market Trends

Have you found it easier to move those three-bedroom units than before? For decades, larger units were tougher to rent. That narrative has changed in the recent years. New data projects the trend is likely to continue—and 3.6 million families may enter the rental market. Single-family rentals have experienced an ascent in popularity. The demand has encouraged the construction of 3.6 million units in the past decade. Yardi Matrix, an apartment intelligence provider, reports that 52 percent of the apartments built between 2006 and 2016 have at least two bedrooms. Of those, 41 percent are 2-bedroom units, 9 percent have three bedrooms and 2 percent have at least 4 bedrooms. Fewer families with young children can buy a home. As a result, families are making their mark on multifamily development by driving the demand for larger units and plenty of them. The Backstory The housing crisis was more than a decade ago, but the aftermath lingers. Greater restrictions on lending led to higher home prices and a grinding halt in new home construction. At the depth of the recession, home prices dropped–right along with job security–leaving fewer opportunities for families to confidently invest in a house. With fewer entry-level homes to meet their needs, young couples and families turned their eyes towards renting. Families with young children who own a home dropped by 3.6 million from 2006-2016 (the most recent U.S. Census). As the economy recovered, home prices surged disproportionately to salaries and rent rates. National real estate brokerage Redfin suggests that the median price of a single-family home increased by 35 percent in the past 5 years. That’s 75 percent faster than rent increases which rose by only 20 percent, reports Yardi Matrix. For context, when adjusted for inflation, workers’ wages only grew...

Office Party Nov05

Office Party

The U.S. office market is holding steady amid faltering economic indicators and the prospect of a recession in two years. The industry’s status was the subject of a recent webinar presented by Jeff Adler, vice president of Yardi Matrix, and Jack Kern, director of research and publications. They pointed to favorable U.S. economic conditions that include moderate gross domestic product growth, solid employment growth, low inflation and a tight labor market. On the other side of the ledger are struggling farming and manufacturing sectors and decelerating economies in China and Europe that present potential harbingers of a recession by mid-2021. More than half of the office markets tracked by Yardi Matrix experienced moderate rent growth over the past year, with tech hubs like San Francisco, Tampa, Fla., and Austin, Texas, seeing big gains. The absorption of available office properties, including expensive ones, in most markets makes for “quite a positive picture,” Adler said. “It’s not a bad time to be in the office business if you can work around some of the [larger] economic issues. Conditions are sufficient to maintain good office-using employment growth, occupancy and slow rental growth.” Promising niche markets were also on the webinar’s agenda. One of them, medical office buildings, is on the rise due to an aging population and providers’ desire to move healthcare delivery from hospitals to lower-cost facilities. Being less cyclical than other sectors and typically fetching higher prices than general office space accounts for much of this space’s appeal. “If you’re looking for value beyond the major office ‘food groups,’ this area merits attention,” Adler noted, adding that Yardi Matrix tracks 544 million square feet of medical office space. Another increasingly dynamic niche is R&D offices, consisting of highly specialized lab or research and development space...

AI, IOT and Real Estate Nov05

AI, IOT and Real Estate...

Editor’s note: Said Haider, regional director of Middle East sales for Yardi, recently spoke to Property Weekly about real estate technology’s transformation and regional implications. Technology is constantly evolving and making our lives easier. Said Haider believes that new technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) are also changing the real estate landscape. Business models are changing, mainly because of digitization and advancing capabilities of applications, Haider said. Yardi is investing heavily in real estate technology, also known as proptech, developing innovative solutions to have a major influence on the industry. Yardi designs, develops and supports software solutions for real estate owners and managers. Its products are available for nearly every real estate vertical, including commercial, residential, investment management, homeowners’ associations, student housing, construction and more. Another area where technology is making a big impact is sustainability. Yardi has developed a platform called Yardi Pulse, a suite of energy solutions that handle utility billing and submetering, energy management and energy usage automation. Pulse helps Yardi clients achieve environmental goals and reduce energy costs. Haider explains Yardi’s support for the real estate sector in an interview with Property Weekly. How do Yardi’s solutions support the property sector? Haider: Yardi was founded in 1984 as a software start-up focused on property management and has grown to become one of the largest companies in the sector. Yardi’s innovative solutions benefit everyone in the chain, from corporations and developers to investors and clients. It offers a single connected solution that meets a broad range of business needs. We help real estate companies streamline their business processes and improve quality of service, which translates to improved performance. For example, the Yardi Voyager is an end-to-end platform combining financial and property management information in a single,...

Community Matters

Yardi Vancouver cherishes its sense of community. Employees participate in philanthropic outreach that benefits members of the local neighborhood, from the smallest pets to neighbours in their hours of need. Each year, Yardi Vancouver selects recipients for grants and group volunteer opportunities. Employees nominate non-profits that are effective, passionate, and engaging. This year, the four grant recipients include: British Columbia and Alberta Guide Dogs Want to know why Yardi Vancouver supported BC & Alberta Guide Dogs? Meeting Spoof may give you an idea. The playful and determined black lab puppy is working towards becoming a guide dog, autism support dog, or PTSD service dog. He demonstrates the discipline and compassion needed to fulfil his role in Guide Dog’s mission: to change the lives of the blind or visually impaired, individuals with autism, and military and RCMP Veterans. In addition to navigation support, Guide Dogs offer emotional support. With their assistance, people feel more comfortable and confident venturing out into their communities, making new friends, and living their lives to the fullest. “Important lesson: People with service dogs are just trying to get about their day. If you really want to greet the dog, greet the person first. Otherwise, you might just wind up getting patted on the head when the person wonders what their dog is up to,” smiles Edward Glen, General Manager, Yardi Vancouver. Aprons for Gloves Few would see the immediate connection between teenagers, boxing, food services and health care. But for Aprons for Gloves, it all works together. Aprons for Gloves Boxing Association is a non-profit organization focused on providing community outreach through the sport of boxing. Many participants are at-risk women, teens, and youth. They receive free mentorship, training, meals, social and health service. Yardi Vancouver visited a local gym...

Season of Warmth Nov03

Season of Warmth

The year’s end brings lower temperatures and cloudier skies. It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up under blankets or enjoy the warmth of a crackling fire. Not all families are so fortunate. Yet through acts of compassion, residents of north Metro Atlanta who are facing dire straits can stay warm this season. NFCC Coat Drive To support neighbors in need, Yardi Atlanta embarked on a mission to contribute new and gently used outerwear to North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC). For one month, employees shopped and Marie-Kondo’d their homes in search of warm gear. They brought their findings to work with them. Collection boxes throughout the office steadily filled with attire. Volunteers Lyndsay Griffin, Shela Johnson, Kayla Roth, and Marilyn Duffield helped to keep things organized. This week, organizers announced that the 2019 Yardi Atlanta Coat Drive was a success! Team members were able to deliver 120 coats to NFCC in addition to jackets, scarves, and gloves. Last year, NFCC was privileged to distribute approximately 1,400 winter coats, making Yardi’s donation about 10 percent of the nonprofit’s annual contribution. “These coats are hand delivered to the homeless and to our most in-need community members,” reports Marilyn Duffield, Residential Project Manager, Residential Client Services at Yardi. “We made a difference, and it was not trivial! I love this company!” Emergency Aid in North Fulton Each year, NFCC serves more than 4,000 families amongst North Fulton’s growing population of economically marginalized families. The nonprofit operates in cities north of Atlanta proper including Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, and Roswell. In these cities, the average wage needed to pay for a two-bedroom apartment is more than $21 per hour. The minimum wage is only $7.25. Through emergency aid and enrichment programs, NFCC builds self-sufficiency and prevents...

Serving Seniors

No one said growing old was easy. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone. There’s a wealth of aging agencies and community-based organizations ready to help. In Santa Barbara, many of these local services come together every year for the Senior Expo, which provides a central location for seniors and their caregivers to find educational information, fitness activities, health care and more. This year’s fair took place in early October, and nearly 1,000 attendees and 125 vendors packed the showgrounds. The Senior Expo, now in its third decade, is hosted by the long-running Family Service Agency (FSA). Established over 100 years ago, FSA has continuously been one of Santa Barbara County’s most effective nonprofit organizations for families and individuals of all ages and diversities. They routinely provide food, shelter and other basic needs, as well as mentoring, case management and mental health programs, to create and preserve a healthy community. Yardi returned to the Senior Expo of Santa Barbara once again this year to give back. Nearly 20 employees from the Santa Barbara and Oxnard offices volunteered their time for the full event. “The seniors in our community love this event,” said Lyn Shirvanian, coordinator for the Senior Expo as well as FSA’s mental health awareness training. “And it is due not only to all the services provided that day, but all the young people that they interact with as they enjoy the festivities.” Serving the Santa Barbara senior community For such a big event, the Yardi volunteers split into teams to tackle setup, breakdown and everything in between. Groups arrived early for a quick on-site training before taking their posts. Some directed parking as guests arrived. Others unloaded cars and trucks for vendors, carting goods to their booths in the expo hall....

Embracing Technology Nov02

Embracing Technology

If you have ever looked at a demographic chart of the U.S. recently, you know there are millions of Baby Boomers poised to enter their golden years. Investors have also seen the writing on the wall, and have been funding senior living developments over the past decade. It’s led to an oversupply problem as more beds become available than there are residents to fill them. If you’re an owner and operator in senior living, how do you overcome high competition and low occupancy? Sure, the silver tsunami is coming, and its rising tide might lift all boats. But it’s not easy to predict what new innovations and technology will bring, especially to an industry like senior living. That wave of new prospects may be absorbed by novel approaches on its way to your community’s door. Adapt today for success tomorrow That’s the premise for the general session at the CALA Fall Conference & Trade Show, which takes place November 4-6 in Palm Springs, California. Best-selling author Jack Uldrich will explore current technology trends and examine their potential for senior living, warning that providers who aren’t prepared for these developments risk falling behind their competitors. And according to Jack, “the best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.” A similar breakout session, “Using Tech to Connect,” will be held by Ginna Balk of CDW-Healthcare, who will dive into the latest innovations and their influence on workforce, health care and lifestyle. Emerging technologies are redefining expectations for both residents and providers in senior living. This session promises best practices that will keep you up to date and ahead of the curve. In addition to technology-focused sessions, CALA offers tracks to cover the needs of any senior living professional. From clinical and care to...

Urban Office Supply Nov01

Urban Office Supply

A new report from Yardi® Matrix illustrates that new office property supply in the U.S. is becoming increasingly urbanized, an occurrence that’s at odds with historical trends. Suburban properties constituted at least half of new deliveries every year for the decade preceding. Today, “only 31.3% of square footage under construction is in suburban submarkets,” the report notes. Furthermore, there’s heavy concentration in a handful of metros, with more than half of new supply located in the top 10 most active markets and almost 80% in the top 20. Meanwhile, average asking rates across the country increased 1.4% year-over-year in September 2019, while vacancy rates dropped 10 basis points from the previous month, to 13.3%. Transaction activity was somewhat muted in the first three quarters of the year compared to 2018. “While there was some anticipation that sales would increase in the third quarter due to low interest rates, the third quarter of the year will finish close to the second quarter’s $22.8 billion of sales,” the report says. The report dives deep into key elements of the office sector, including drivers of asking rate growth in metros like San Francisco, Tampa, Fla.; and Austin Texas; office-using employment as it compares with the overall economy; and trends in key markets Austin, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Phoenix. Download it...

Coworking Tech Success...

With shared space workplaces becoming ever more common, it’s important to have the right technology to ensure client success and happiness. Us&Co offers private offices and coworking space in London and Dublin and has a devised a successful model that serves professionals of all kinds. We spoke with Sylvi Wilamowska, head of operations at Us&Co, to find out how on-site tech fits into that experience. An experienced Industry professional, Wilamowska enjoys helping businesses grow and succeed by providing professional workspace they can be proud of, and by taking away the hassle of day to day building management of their own space. Tell us about Us&Co  and the company values, mission & objectives? Wilamowska: Us&Co seeks to provide beautifully designed, high-end, professional workspaces, with a variety of uses. We offer our clients space where they can grow and thrive, which is complimented by first class service, delivered by our onsite team and partners. We are strong on design and appeal to a wide variety of businesses. We major on quality furniture, good natural light and space. Whether our clients are from the financial or tech sectors, they expect excellent IT both in the offices and throughout our extensive break out areas. Client satisfaction and therefore retention is our main objective which we achieve through attentive service from our staff and the best systems available. How does Us&Co fit into that? Wilamowska: The market is expanding fast but so is demand. Some markets are becoming overly competitive and some operators are doing unsustainable deals which are creating challenging trading conditions. At Us&Co, we both own and operate our buildings which gives us stability. We want to expand in a measured and controlled way with a long-term horizon. Prior to the relationship with Medusa, what were the...

Downturn Ready? Oct30

Downturn Ready?

At Maximize powered by NAA, the annual conference dedicated to asset and revenue management and long-term value creation for apartment portfolios, industry pros talked about how changes in the economy — including an expected downturn ahead — will impact multifamily revenue management. This year’s sessions covered renovations and amenities in some detail, with panelists speaking about the importance of flexible strategies when navigating changing markets. For example, there might be less demand than anticipated for high-end renovations. Conversations also turned to smart home technology including self-showing programs, and short-term rentals as a new revenue stream that would be increasingly compelling in struggling rental markets. While some attendees have only known growth, experienced revenue managers who maneuvered through the last recession shared tactics and valuable lessons learned. Although it’s unclear exactly when the next downturn will happen, the consensus at Maximize was it will happen. And the sooner you’re ready for it, the better. Curveballs ahead So how do you prepare for a downturn? Experts agree that having a well-informed revenue management strategy in place is crucial, and that means having tools to collect data to uncover trends and follow patterns in order to make smart decisions. Beyond finding the sweet spot for rental pricing, auditing your properties for other ways to boost performance is also a great idea — including assessing amenities and reducing unnecessary expenses. In addition to knowing how to price units based on inventory and market conditions, the most effective revenue managers also know every selling point of each property in their portfolio. With the advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning to guide asset management, sometimes the computer knows what’s happening before people do. In times of both growth and recession, the most successful revenue managers will be using a...