Electronic Invoicing Jul27

Electronic Invoicing

Consider how much of your everyday business can be done without paperwork. If you want to fly, for example, you can do everything from booking your seat to gaining clearance to board the aircraft using just your cell phone. In contrast, many national and multinational real estate companies still generate, circulate and approve invoices using paper and manual routing. This highly inefficient process is costly, time-consuming and contrary to prevailing environmental sensibilities. A paper invoice can cost as much as € 4 to generate and route by air and ground transport. The cost of processing it can set the recipient back anywhere from € 15 to € 30 because he or she often has to rekey the information into his or her own database, then route it to multiple approvers. There can be dozens of touchpoints, each one of which consumes resources and presents opportunities for error. And that’s just one document. Multiply this sequence by the hundreds or thousands of vendors and partners some real estate firms deal with. This approach to invoice processing doesn’t just seem outdated with the potential to drag a business down – it is. Payables made easy Real estate companies’ profit margins might remain slender through the COVID-19 era. Besides that, tenants, investors, communities and regulators are imposing increasingly stringent environmental performance standards for businesses. These developments might inspire real estate companies in Europe to consider replacing the manual steps – and paper – in the accounts payable process with advanced software applications that scan invoices into electronic files, route them to approvers and pay suppliers with electronic funds transfer. This approach can sharply reduce costs as well as the material and energy required to create and move paper invoices to their various destinations. In fact, savings of...

Yardi Think Tank Jul05

Yardi Think Tank

Yardi and Property Week recently invited experts from across the build-to-rent sector to take part in a digital debate on the key issues facing the market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The consensus was that despite the challenges posed by the outbreak, there is also an opportunity for BTR to move forward and evolve Michela Hancock Managing director, Greystar Europe Justin Harley Regional director, Yardi Systems Hannah Marsh Co-founder & marketing director, HomeViews Sanjeev Patel Managing director, PPP Capital Kevin Watson Operations and commercial director, Platform Simon Creasey Contributing editor (features), Property Week (chair) Earlier this month, in the latest in the Yardi Think Tank series, Property Week contributing editor Simon Creasey chaired a discussion with key figures in the UK build-to-rent sector on how Covid-19 has affected BTR and the factors driving innovation for investors and residents. Also up for debate was how the pandemic might affect future BTR development. Simon Creasey: What impact has the Covid-19 lockdown had on your operations so far? Kevin Watson: The main impact has been on amenities spaces, which obviously have been closed now for a significant amount of time, and that’s clearly a key part of the value proposition of BTR. On the operations side, the thing that’s been really good to see is the transition to virtual and video viewings and other tools that enable engagement with residents. I think we’ve all been pleasantly surprised at how a lot of people both from the operator side and also from the resident’s side have taken to that. We still have some way to go to make those virtual viewings as interactive and as effective as a face-to-face viewing, but it’s been great to see that come through. Michela Hancock: We’re all kind of dealing...

Meeting the Need

Yardi Vasti Vikas Prakalp (YVVP), Yardi’s dedicated corporate social responsibility project in Pune, India, supports NGOs and implements direct interventions in urban communities (vastis) of Pune city. As the global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted India severely, YVVP has pivoted to help. Normal field visits to the vastis halted when a lockdown to prevent COVID-19 spread began in late March. The CSR team switched to using virtual platforms to stay connected with beneficiaries and stakeholders, to understand the situation on the ground and address unprecedented issues. This has presented various challenges. Many vasti residents do not have smart phones, internet access or resources to recharge phones. “Lockdown restrictions in congested spaces combined with loss of jobs have created high levels of fear, anxiety and frustrations among family members, in addition to hunger,” said Bharati Kotwal, head of CSR at Yardi Pune. “Our stakeholders in vastis, such as community mobilizers, sanitation committee members and youth leaders have helped us to identify the neediest families and do what we could to relieve some of the distress.” Aiding with sanitation and sustenance needs YVVP has provided relief to vasti residents in two significant ways during lockdown: Provided dry ration kits (food and grocery items) to families identified through the YVVP field team and NGO partners. Supplied masks, sanitizer and sanitary pads to those isolated in shelters located in municipal schools. “We provided dry ration kits to over 2800 households in three months through NGOs or by procuring items directly and distributing them ourselves,” Kotwal said. “Though NGOs, foundations, individuals and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) were providing similar help, we could reach those who were left out because of our connections in the vastis.” Keeping community toilets clean and functional is one of the largest efforts of YVVP. The...

Aspire Expands Jun18

Aspire Expands

Yardi Aspire, a dynamic on-demand learning management platform is now available to Yardi clients in the Middle East. Yardi Aspire, formerly known as Yardi eLearning, offers online courses and live webinars in areas ranging from software skills and compliance to company policies and custom career development. By hosting all of an organization’s training-related course content and documents in a centralized platform, Aspire reduces the time needed to create, maintain and administer courses. Automated reporting functionality tracks learning progress and organizational trends. Recognizing the critical need for virtual training and the unique challenges faced by learners who are practicing social distancing, the Yardi Middle East support team and the Yardi Aspire team have worked to deliver creative learning options developed specifically for our clients in the Middle East. We’ve packaged the training style and product expertise of Yardi’s Middle East software support team into interactive, mobile-friendly courses in the Yardi Aspire Learning Management Solution. We are excited to announce the release of a new Middle East collection of online learning courses that ready to be delivered directly to you and your employees. We’ve taken the liberty of bundling our courses into role-specific learning plans that deliver effective training to the right individuals. “Aspire offers property managers a budget-friendly way to establish an immersive, intuitive training program very quickly and easily,” according to Neal Gemassmer, vice president of international for Yardi. “The platform’s role-based learning plans put the right topics in the right hands. The convenience and efficiency of Aspire advance employee career development and therefore organizational success.” This new partnership was conceived with one specific goal in mind- to assist clients like you with essential software training during a time when live classroom training is simply not an option. This is just one of many...

Change for Good Jun16

Change for Good

Editor’s note: the following article featuring Yardi’s Richard Gerritsen was originally published in the Dutch real estate publication Vastgoedmarkt. Reprinted here with permission. The coronavirus outbreak is a powerful reason to take the digitisation of many work processes to a new level. “There is both a need and a desire for online residential leasing in a socially distanced world,” states Richard Gerritsen, regional director of European sales at Yardi. The technical tools to do so are already available. According to Gerritsen, the property world rarely views technological transformation in strategic terms. “Clients want operational solutions. Vendors respond by making apps available for very specific purposes. The use of tools like these undoubtedly has added value, but it doesn’t change the way we work. Whether you are a property manager, asset manager or fund manager: I firmly believe the use of technology should form part of your business strategy. A more fundamental consideration of the potential of proptech is often lacking, but today we have an urgent incentive to change that.” Old habits die hard Gerritsen is referring to ways of doing business that have been in place for decades. They may be comfortable and familiar, but they’re not best practices. “Technology is changing the way we live in big ways. The coronavirus has resulted in us getting used to different ways of communicating with one another. But in the property world, things still go on much as they always have. We need to make strategic decisions now to be prepared for the future.” Yet, Gerritsen believes the technology to revolutionise the management of residential and other types of property is already available. He points to the United States, where it’s possible to arrange a property viewing at any time of the day without an...

Flexspace Perspectives Jun15

Flexspace Perspectives

Yardi is excited to present a series of bitesize insight videos in partnership with Property Week, ahead of Workspace 2020. This series of interviews gathers perspectives from all corners of the flexible workspace industry, reflecting on the uncertain times that we have found ourselves in during recent months. Justin Harley, regional director at Yardi, captured insights from design company Area, flexspace operator Uncommon and data analytics company The Instant Group. In the last of the series, Harley also summarised Yardi’s technology outlook. How will physical space differ in the future post-covid-19? First to take the Zoom stage, was Kathryn O’Callaghan-Mills, Design Director at Area. Harley jumps straight in with the burning question, “how will physical space differ in the future post-Covid-19?” “The beauty of workspace is that it is so flexible, and the key point of our industry is to give the user a flexible experience,” comments O’Callaghan-Mills. “Operators need to consider two main elements; people and space.” O’Callaghan-Mills explains how operators can make an impact by considering these two pertinent points, including enabling social distancing with space management and rotating people within those spaces. Staying true to the bitesize theme, O’Callaghan-Mills promotes a digestible way of thinking with a ‘the now, the next, and the future’ mindset. With ‘the now’ comprising of immediate measures you can take; ‘the next’ acts as a hybrid of the immediate measures and new normal measures; and ‘the future’ which leverages on the innovation and technology investments you make today. How will the landscape of Flexspace change? Harley also spoke to Chris Davies, Director of Uncommon. Davies expressed that “the traditional faceless office is dead.” And how “the real estate industry needs to support the needs, amenities and service demands of flexspace clients.” “Covid-19 has fundamentally changed the landscape – it’s sped up pre-existing trends such as looking after staff. Staff are the most important part of any business and make up 60-80% of most businesses and flexible office space is the corporate enabler.” Davies explained that office users want a healthier workspace and activity-based working – something that the flexspace market has a hold on over traditional office. Davies expressed how corporate companies will continue to absorb the majority of flexspace market. In 2019 40% of occupiers were corporations – Davies only sees this expanding. Companies signing 5-10-year lease agreements will be a thing of the past in Davies’ opinion. “why wouldn’t a business use a better environment for their staff?” How will the demand for flexible workspace differ post-Covid-19? James Rankin, Head of Research for The Instant Group, gave some insightful perspectives on how the demand for flexspace might differ post-Covid-19. Rankin broke his summary down into three main points explaining that demand for corporates will increase, diversification of location of the office portfolio will be prevalent, and the entrepreneurial sector will flourish. Rankin shared insights from a recent research project conducted by Gartner; “Flexspace operators are moving away from the reactionary thought process that Covid-19 has seen them take, and are now moving to make more strategic decisions about the future of flexible workspace. They are looking to reduce costs, make efficiencies and increase the flexibility of their portfolios as a whole.” Diversification of the office portfolio will be ever more important Rankin explained, “we’ve seen a large number of companies look at how they can expand out of large metropolitan, central hubs.” Rankin explained that the supply isn’t there yet in suburban markets. “We’ve seen a spike in interest for flexible workspace. 5 out of our top 13 global coworking markets are now showing interest levels higher than pre-Covid-19. The bounce back is starting to speed up.” Technology Insights & Predictions Last but not least, Harley closed the Bitesize series with a summary of his predictions and insights that Yardi has taken from clients in the industry. “The future of flexible workspace is healthy and positive,” Harley states. Harley...

Yardi Proptech Insights Jun08

Yardi Proptech Insights

In the latest edition of Yardi Proptech Insights, Yardi regional director Richard Gerritsen speaks with Bart de Sitter and Jay Lelie of Delin Property about the company’s efforts to design innovative warehouse spaces that are efficient and functional as well as attractive for workers. With the growing need to attract and retain ecommerce employees for order fulfillment, warehouse spaces with natural light and employee-friendly amenities like lunch and break spaces are more important than ever. Interconnected spaces for warehouse activities and offices for managers and admin staff are also a priority. “We are hearing from our clients that retention of personnel is becoming more and more difficult, and we want to help our clients make a difference for their workforce, and help their employees be proud when they arrive at work,” said de Sitter, the company’s development director. That means moving away from boring, box-like industrial development norms. “In our designs we put the labor force first, creating a warehouse that provides a better workplace,” said Lelie, asset and leasing manager. Design schemes show massive windows, creative office integrations, and terrace-like areas for worker breaks. The company invests and develops industrial space in the Netherlands, UK, and Spain. Use of forward-thinking PropTech is also important to Delin Property, which continues to adapt and improve its technology management platform using Yardi products. Improving communication with tenants, on site safety and automating business processes have been two PropTech priorities for the company, shared de Sitter and Lelie. Watch the video below for more PropTech insights from this valued Yardi client. Learn more at...

Getting Match Fit May20

Getting Match Fit

Yardi recently partnered with the UKAA and Get Living to deliver a webinar which explored the effects that Covid-19 has had on the build to rent market. Yardi’s special guests from Get Living, Chris Armstrong, Brand, Technology and Experience Leader and Ian Gibbs, Director of Neighbourhoods, shared their experience on how brand, technology and operations have come together through the pandemic. Justin Harley, regional director at Yardi, kicked off the webinar by sharing some interesting technology trends that Yardi had collated throughout the pandemic. Harley highlighted that technology should be at the heart of any business as the need to be ‘digital-ready’ grows. The count of virtual tours, online applications and resident app downloads are at an all-time high, and data analysis from Yardi shows that resident app usage has doubled since lockdown. Underlying technology has become more essential than ever before. “Technology is a critical part of a business’s infrastructure, just like the physical foundations of any building” said Harley. He posed the question, “when we’re out of lockdown, will these tech tools stay crucial to businesses?” Are you Match Fit? The Get Living duo, Gibbs and Armstrong, scattered sporting analogies throughout the webinar as they compared their response to Covid-19 as becoming ‘match fit’. “We’ve been working on becoming ‘match fit’ for some time now. Gibbs compared Get Living as being ‘at times close to the top of the table’ before new opponent Covid-19 arrived, challenging the team in more ways than they were prepared for. Armstrong compared the Get Living team to being stood on the side lines, discussing the best tactics to take to win the match. He said their first step was to get the right people in the room and to talk it through about how to play...

Next Steps May18

Next Steps

Yardi’s vice president of international, Neal Gemassmer, recently spoke with the UK Proptech Association (UKPA) about the future of international proptech. Their conversation is reprinted below. Yardi started out as a small software start-up. Now, moving towards Yardi’s fourth decade, how have you seen technology evolve? Gemassmer: A lot has changed since 1984. Since then, Yardi’s technology road map has delivered consistent innovation as we remain focussed on meeting the evolving needs of the real estate industry, and helping our clients serve customers and improve business outcomes. As one of the earliest property management software start-ups, Yardi was founded on core property management and accounting.  Since then, we have greatly expanded our range of products and services. Being one of the first real estate technology companies to transition to the cloud, our SaaS model has proven to be hugely successful. With a focus on mobility, connectivity and efficiency for users, we now provide a unique role-based ecosystem of solutions and interfaces for key positions in real estate management. Whether you’re an asset manager, investment manager, property manager or marketer, Yardi offers a range of solutions that are intentionally designed to connect teams across the entire real estate lifecycle, while leveraging a single source of data. Yardi now employs over 7,000 people worldwide and are active in over 80 countries, serving clients that invest in and operate a wide variety of real estate asset classes, from fund and asset management, commercial including office, industrial and retail, coworking and flexible workspace to residential including build to rent, PRS and student. Can you share any insights into the latest innovations at Yardi? What are you most excited about in the product pipeline? Gemassmer: We have creatively consolidated Yardi’s technology solutions into four main principles: Fully connected real estate management...

Proptech Pivots May14

Proptech Pivots

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared in Property Australia and is reprinted here with permission. How is real estate technology responding to the industry’s needs during the COVID-19 lockdown? We check in with Yardi’s Bernie Devine, regional director of sales for APAC, to find out. “Real estate technology companies have been doing extremely well over the last five years. Massive amounts of investment have flowed into the sector as investors seek high returns, demand access to new technology and, for some for some, react to a fear of missing out,” Devine says. “COVID-19 has caused investors to refocus and technology companies to pivot to take advantage of adjacent or complementary market opportunities. Proptech companies not in a position to do so are facing a quick death.” Devine says Yardi has mobilised to respond to clients’ needs quickly, prioritising health, continuity, analytics and communication. As transactions and projects are paused, or in some cases cancelled altogether, the industry needs tools to eliminate paper from processes, enhance data rooms and streamline the valuation and underwriting process, Devine says. “A key challenge is in the due diligence process when it is currently not possible to travel to do site inspections.” Operational initiatives include mass rent abatement assessments and their impact on budgets requests and approvals, Devine explains. Expect to see artificial intelligence embraced to enforce social distancing and the rise of the robot cleaning and testing workforce, he adds. Technology is also helping property companies to stress test business continuity plans to see “how it holds up with a remote working scenario.” “The COVID-19 crisis has revealed how fragile spreadsheet-based processes really are. Some companies have rediscovered paper-based processes and must now figure out how to fix them in a remote working model. “In countries like China,...

Opening Opportunities May10

Opening Opportunities

According to INREV, more real estate investors are looking to allocate capital to European value-add strategies in 2020 than to core. As a notable sidebar to that finding, opportunistic investing is more apparent than at any time since the 2008 global financial crisis for those investors with a greater risk appetite. Many European investment firms are keen to attract the increased allocations reaped by Asia Pacific investors, especially those in Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong but also China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Japan. Key factors driving this trend to invest in Europe include economic and geopolitical stability, low interest rates, desire for diversification and yield, currency trends and reliable legal environments. Europe has been the beneficiary, but many Asian investors also have a longer and more conservative investment approach with a renewed focus on core office, logistics assets and student accommodation investments in key gateway cities in the U.K., Germany and France. Many investment management firms that traditionally focused on European value-add and opportunistic strategies are also attracting capital with longer term core and core+ fund investment strategies. This turn of events is driving firms to embrace new technology as a step toward facilitating their asset strategy and decision-making process. Collaboration between all internal and external parties involved in the asset lifecycle becomes more critical than ever to facilitate informed decision-making, due to the longer-term nature of the strategy Essential elements to promoting that collaboration include: Full insight into the deal pipeline and portfolio value obtained from relevant comparisons with MLA’s and existing leases. Availability and transparency of current operational and financial data, which comprises the foundation of a comprehensive business plan. Asset managers’ ability to improve cost control, reduce risk and keep projects on track with complete budget oversight, accurate forecasts, and management of contracts, commitments and cash flows. Technology platforms that encompass the full investment management lifecycle are already helping many firms — including those working with outsourced parties, operating partners and fund administrators — drive stronger revenues while giving them instant access and full transparency into their data. Such systems have revolutionised how asset/portfolio/fund management, development and finance teams gain insight into risk, exposures and tasks during the leasing, forecasting, budgeting and development processes. As fully integrated systems, they enable superior collaboration among internal and external teams and maximise efficiency by automating business processes. Undertaking a new investment strategy can be attractive yet unsettling. Advanced real estate asset management technology can help chart a way forward that minimises risk and maximises opportunities for success. Learn how Yardi solutions promote success for real estate asset managers in Europe and...

Real Estate Resiliency May05

Real Estate Resiliency...

Note: the following originally appeared in Gulf Property and is reprinted here with permission. Rapid advances in technology continue to reshape how the real estate industry operates, and how quickly one adapts to change is critical for success. Yardi continues to see growth in the adoption of its digital platforms by clients wishing to improve their business models and respond to challenges. Catering to nearly every real estate vertical, Yardi has also now expanded its support resources for clients with free webinars and other online resources. While digitisation has been a steady movement in real estate, its adoption has only really accelerated in these recent weeks with every segment of the industry having to cope with work-from-home regulations not just in the UAE, but around the world. Contactless property management enabled by RENTCafé A tool that has become extremely valuable due to current events is Yardi’s RENTCafé app for residential real estate. With more than six million residential units using the app, RENTCafé benefits tenants at various levels: it helps to check the unit listings or available inventory in the market, facilitates online application and encourages tenant self-service. “A tenant can log on to the app and search for properties, shortlists the units they like and do a 360-degree viewing of the property, similar to a walk-through,” explains Aditya Shah, head of operations, Middle East at Yardi. “When they decides on a unit, they can submit an online application and then subsequently the property management firm can generate a lease contract. The entire process is contactless and this has helped our customers greatly during the stay-home period.” Available on Apple and Android mobile devices, the RENTCafé app also has tenant self-service features whereby a tenant can use the apps for paying fees, service charges,...

China’s Digital Future Apr30

China’s Digital Future...

China is home to some of the world’s largest tech unicorns and a host of smaller companies, which are producing technology with an impact on the real estate landscape through e-commerce, smart cities and building technology. And these themes have emerged in tandem with the well-known drivers of the Chinese real estate market. China will continue to experience rapid rates of urbanization and gentrification over the next decade, which will drive changes in demand and rates of consumption. There is pent-up demand for a better quality of life – cleaner, less congested streets and better housing – which also plays to wider concerns about sustainability and the environment. The poor air quality in large Chinese cities is driving developers to find innovative ways to improve the air quality in their buildings – technology can enable all of this. Smart city initiatives, such as those launched by Alibaba, should reduce congestion and pollution. China’s connected cities will be about providing a seamless handoff between a complex and comprehensive set of apps. No single company will do everything, hence a platform where task and role-based apps can work together to solve problems and deliver a user experience that is seamless is the most likely outcome. Companies that deliver operating systems, such as Microsoft, Apple, Google and Tencent, are working hard on that seamless data handover, but it is not easy. Data privacy, security and governance all overlap and often conflict. Data means insight China retail has been relatively resilient to the effects of e-commerce, not least because much retail development post-dates the emergence of online shopping. China’s tradition of transport node-centered mixed-use development, which follows its community culture, is more than just a place to shop, but a space to gather and eat. This intersection of...

How Working from Home Apr22

How Working from Home...

Our previous article explored key portfolio risk mitigation challenges faced by real estate firms amid today’s uncertain market conditions and the likelihood that future income streams will fundamentally change. This time we’ll examine ways to help businesses that are currently forced to operate in a very different manner and environment for the foreseeable future. The ability of those now working from home to maintain productivity, collaboration, informed decision-making and productive action will be tested to the limit – not the least by kids running riot in many households! Mitigating risks associated with working from home requires: Adopting technology infrastructure that enables collaboration and process continuity. Addressing capital transactions and investor queries satisfactorily. Understanding the impact on reporting when data is drawn from multiple sources and collections systems and processed by multiple people. Successfully transitioning fund raising, normally handled in person by general partners, into a remote undertaking. Reliable and immediate access to key performance indicators from all business operations, from tenant transactions to the investor level. You might also want to consider how working from home now might reshape how you conduct business in the future (e.g., more videoconferencing, less travel, more remote viewing of properties, the potential to reduce carbon emissions). We don’t know how long the pandemic will run and thus delay the return to normal working patterns. Could demand for office space tail off permanently, for example? Real estate investment managers can gain the necessary data transparency, control and understanding of their investment data in a remote work environment just as they do in the office – with a single connected platform that allows collaboration between teams, while centralising all their key financial and operational real estate metrics, even if outsourced, for analysis, reporting and decision-making. Automating the real estate fund...

Mitigating Portfolio Risk Apr20

Mitigating Portfolio Risk

It’s amazing to think that  INREV presented its European RE Investment Intentions Roadshow in London, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Frankfurt so recently – in January, to be precise – before rooms full of major investment firms and investors, the vast majority of whom planned to deploy more capital to meet higher target allocations. At that point, investors faced the challenge of finding opportunities amid current market conditions whose risks included geopolitical uncertainties, yield compression, retail woes and availability of assets. Only a few weeks later, as the outbreak progressed, it’s obvious that COVID-19 will subdue transactions and new vehicle fund raising for the foreseeable future. Investors and portfolio managers will instead focus on analysing their existing portfolios in the current climate. They face an immediate need to find ways to mitigate risk, predict future performance, continue serving customers and satisfy investor queries. Questions whose answers will guide portfolio managers’ decisions include: Do you have a good understanding of your current customers, their needs and customer mix? How strong are your customer’s businesses and could they be affected by the coronavirus? Are your customer’s maintenance issues being resolved in a timely fashion? Do you know and have access to your latest tenancy schedules and which leases need attention in the next six months, bearing in mind that tenants who are well treated and attended to are less likely to renegotiate better terms? Do you have the ability to track MLAs and market rents and understand their variance from current leases? Do you understand how different scenarios could impact portfolio performance and future transactions? Are you considering how reduced valuations, liquidity and the transformation to a lender’s market will affect transactions and leverage? What is your outsourced or counterparty risk? Answering these questions requires full visibility and access into real estate assets’ operational and financial data, along with the ability to evaluate investment options and select assets most likely to maximize ROI. That’s where integrated technology platforms that offer sound processes and collaboration among all internal and external parties come in to facilitate informed decision-making They can track assets through their lifecycle, starting with identifying the opportunity with property prospecting, preliminary underwriting and asset management information. Once an asset enters the portfolio, a connected platform can continuously collect data related to facilities maintenance, energy consumption, occupancy, lease terms and other elements Integrated platforms that perform end-to-end management of the real estate investment lifecycle can help real estate investment management firms operate more effectively during periods of market instability. Such platforms enable efficient portfolio management, visibility into sector and tenant exposure and communication with more demanding investors, all of which are essential to getting those questions answered and developing strategies to handle COVID-19 disruptions. Learn about the resources that Yardi has made available to its clients, employees and communities during the COVID-19...

Perspective on Proptech Mar18

Perspective on Proptech...

Editor’s note: The following article originally appeared in Vastgoedmarkt, a Netherlands-based real estate magazine. It is reprinted here with permission. Mapping the future of living, working and recreation, will require being responsive to the needs of millennials.  For this, proptech is essential, according to Richard Gerritsen of Yardi. Most of the technology is already available, but the drive to actually apply it to some sectors of the global real estate industry is still missing. Richard Gerritsen has been working for Yardi since 2005, and currently serves as regional director Europe. The American real estate automation supplier is doing well, the regional director says. ‘We started with offices in London and Amsterdam, but Yardi is now also in Germany and Romania, and will soon also be present in France. Our goal was to double our turnover every five years. We succeeded in that and recently, we have been even growing faster than that. Yardi saw its European turnover grow by 44 percent in the year 2019 alone. Now that Yardi is an established party in Europe and in the Netherlands, Gerritsen also sees it as his mission to stimulate more enthusiasm for proptech in the real estate industry. Unlimited possibilities ‘I want to make the industry aware of the great importance of proptech.  When I started at Yardi in 2005, I learned that I shouldn’t use the word software in my conversations with real estate professionals. The software department meant the lads at the end of the corridor where it was always dark. But now, technology and proptech play a much bigger role in (office) life.  Yet technology is still not a popular subject in the boardrooms. This is related to conservatism within the real estate industry, but it is also because those aged over...

Middle East Expansion Mar07

Middle East Expansion

Editor’s note: The following article originally appeared in Gulf Property Executive and is reprinted here with permission. Yardi is now the most used real estate solution for residential units in the Middle East. The company’s game-changing, cloud-based technology helps property and asset managers reduce the costs of managing properties, improves operational efficiency and allows real estate professionals to focus on adding value, a senior official said. “We have already implemented our real estate solutions with some of the largest developers and asset managers in Middle East to manage their units with our property management system, and we expect our business to continue growing at a fast pace,” Aditya Shah, director of Middle East operations for Yardi, told Gulf Property in an exclusive interview. “We help them to reduce costs and drive efficiencies in the way they execute many processes across the real estate lifecycle; the management of service charges being a prime example.” Shah comments that some of the largest UAE-based developers and asset managers use Yardi’s flagship product, Yardi Voyager, to centralise operational, financial, leasing and maintenance management for their entire portfolio in a single database. Yardi is a global real estate solutions provider that manages more than 12 million residential units worldwide through its cloud-based software platforms including Voyager, the RENTCafé Suite and a range of other solutions that support the entire real estate lifecycle from procurement and maintenance to business intelligence and reporting. Established in 1984, the 35-year-old company employs more than 6,500 professionals in 40 offices across the world. The UAE’s facilities management market is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8 percent and expected to generate $23.88 billion revenue by 2024. The growth is driven by the higher number of new residential supplies that is also putting pressure on rent and property prices. According to industry reports, more than 60,000 new homes will be delivered in Dubai in 2019 and 2020 as the emirate prepares for the World Expo 2020. “The supply glut is considerable. In 2018, about 43,000 units were added to Dubai’s total residential stock (which stood at around 491,000 units at end of 2017) and about 8,000 to the Abu Dhabi market (251,000 units at end of 2017),” Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a global real estate advisory, said in a report. According to a recent report by global property management advisory Knight Frank, rental rates across Dubai fell on average by 7.7 percent from January to November 2018 with apartment rents falling by 8.4 percent and villa/townhouse rents by 8.3 percent over the same time period. Gross yields in Dubai currently stand at 6.27 percent as at November 2018, down from 6.45 percent a year earlier. This is as a result of rents declining at a faster pace than sales prices over this time period, the report said. Shah estimates rents to decline at around 7-8 percent this year, matching that of Knight Frank. Despite that, he says, Yardi’s business will continue to grow. “The new supplies will expand the property management market and these new units will require efficient property management. With falling rents and property prices, property managers will have to find ways to reduce costs while efficiently managing the buildings and servicing the residents. This is where the deployment of Voyager and other solutions becomes crucial for property managers as it helps lower costs and ensures better property management,” Aditya Shah explains. “Although the real estate market is bottoming out in the UAE, our business is growing at a double-digit growth rate, due to the cost savings and operational efficiency that our system provides.” The major drivers for the market are the increasing investments in the construction sector and the continued growth of the tourism industry. What’s become paramount is the need for the real estate sector to ensure the continuous functionality of these built structures. This applies equally to residential buildings, transport infrastructure like...

Movers and Shakers

Movers & Shakers hosted another impactful Build to Rent Forum on Thursday, Feb. 27, where eager build to rent professionals gathered to debate a range of topics impacting this ever-growing market. Movers & Shakers Chairman David Jennings opened the day with an inspiring video of Greystar’s 2,000-home Greenford Quay development, showcasing a great example of the high standard of homes the industry has to offer.  Adam Challis, Executive Director, EMEA Living Research & Strategy at JLL, reaffirmed the previously controversial notion that home ownership isn’t all that matters. As an industry, real estate should be focused on product quality and geographical diversity. Challis tapped into the importance of sustainability and thought provokingly asked which company in the market would be the first to achieve zero carbon emissions whilst being able to offer affordable rental prices. Later in the day, Rebecca Taylor of Long Harbour agreed with the sentiment and stated that as well as operating buildings more efficiently, sustainability must also be entrenched in construction and waste management. News from the Frontline The passion and enthusiasm to see more collaboration in the market was apparent, especially when it comes to data sharing. Michela Hancock, Managing Director, Development & Construction, Greystar Europe, shared some interesting demographic data from Greystar’s Salemakers development. Hancock explained how Salemakers is occupied by 50% students, a figure much higher than expected, that the average age of build to rent residents is 29, and that 48% of residents are male. Ian Gibbs, Director of Neighbourhoods, Get Living, delved into behavioural data sharing that 20% of the East Village population transfer internally when relocating because they know the Get Living brand. Gibbs also stated that 50% of people who have lived in a tall, residential tower building, are more likely to rent...

Big Data’s Big Role Feb25

Big Data’s Big Role...

Developing financially successful shopping centres has become a significant challenge in the face of major threats to the traditional retail business model. The retail experience is shifting from a point of sale to an immersive experience; instead of endless rows of shops, the modern retail centre features restaurants, cafés, movie theatres and a variety of personal services. In response, many retail operators are implementing emerging innovative technologies that can strengthen their static trade and thus compliment and compete with e-commerce. A successful strategy for attracting customers to retail centres arises from first analysing and understanding regional trends including demographic shifts, culture and politics. Utilising that data and understanding it is key to determining a successful revenue generating tenant mix. Centre size and location, along with other factors, will determine the degree to which new technology can and should be implemented. One business-critical element, however, stands at the centre of every successful strategy—data. Retail asset managers and investors are discovering the benefits that business-wide technology platforms provide. Instant access to sales, leasing, prospect information and much more has surpassed both timeliness and the hassle of consolidating data from multiple disparate systems. Furthermore, merchants are keeping pace with a mobile-enabled consumer base by adopting mobile payment and shopping capabilities, and they expect no less as they interact with their retail landlords. Such technology can help retailer centre owners and operators reduce costs, drive revenue streams and increase asset value. Data’s key role Thanks to technological progress, the retail sector is now able to define persuasive offers with the help of big data. Because the retail sector generates more data per month than many other vertical real estate markets, simple tools and tables for gaining valuable insights into retail businesses and trends have become obsolete. Advanced, but...

Tackling the Climate Crisis Feb19

Tackling the Climate Crisis

Property Week and Yardi brought together a host of leading industry figures at The Office Group, The Shard In London to discuss what the property industry is doing to tackle the climate crisis. The panel: Neal Gemassmer, Vice president, international, Yardi Sam Carson, Director of sustainability innovation, Carbon Intelligence Janine Cole, Director of sustainability and community, Great Portland Estates Alex Green, Assistant director, British Property Federation Malcolm Hanna, Sustainability manager, real assets, LGIM Caroline Hill, Corporate affairs and sustainability director, Landsec David Partridge, Joint chief executive, Argent Related Steven Skinner, Chief executive, HB Reavis Liz Hamson, Editor, Property Week (chair) What is the industry doing to address the climate crisis? Has it woken up to the scale of the problem and started taking the right action, or is it still in the talking phase? Skinner: I ask the question in a slightly different way. Is the ambition the right ambition? Is the ambition big enough? I think we are slowly moving away from an accreditation-based approach to sustainability, but is that happening quickly enough? Is that going far enough?   What key areas should the property industry focus on? Hill: I think you have to start from the fundamental facts and listen to the science. The built environment is responsible for nearly 40% of global carbon emissions and that is a fact. So we, as the property industry, have an enormous role to play in tackling climate change – it is drilling down into your particular business and looking at what can you do. At Landsec, our focus is on carbon reduction and energy reduction. Setting really bold and ambitious targets and making progress each year towards them. But each agent in the property industry – architects, designers, engineers, developers – have all got a different role to play. It is about finding your space and then going for it. Partridge: We have to constantly look at innovation and think how much can I do. So even back in the mid-2000s when we got planning permission for King’s Cross, we committed to being 20% better than building regulations. So we built in a central energy centre that provides heating, cooling and electricity. There is no boiler in any of the buildings – it is all provided centrally. Off the back of that we have been able to get BREEAM ‘outstanding’ ratings for every single one of our office buildings. Someone told me the other day that 10% of all the BREEAM ‘outstanding’ buildings [in the UK?] are at King’s Cross. I did not even know it because you sort of see it as part of what you do anyway.   How big a problem is embodied carbon for the industry? Hill: When we started with our new sustainability strategy five years ago, one of the first things we did was a full carbon-footprinting exercise with the Carbon Trust looking at the whole range of activities that Landsec does. And what that told us is that our scope three is the absolute lion’s share of our footprint. So for us, that is how we build our buildings through our supply chain with our contractors, and then there is the energy-in-use of our occupiers. And so our programme has for years focused on embodied carbon because we know that is where our biggest footprint is. Hanna: The other thing to remember about embodied carbon is if you think about the operational carbon that will be emitted over the lifetime of the building, which could be anything from 10 to 50 years, the embodied carbon is right up front. In terms of our approach, L&G has had targets in place for quite a few years and we recently achieved our previous 10-year target. So we are in the process of updating our science-based targets for the next 10 years.   What does the industry need to do to address the embodied carbon...