Digital Services Oct07

Digital Services

Residential property investors speeding up digitalisation due to the corona pandemic is a positive development, says Terrence Wong, Yardi regional manager for Europe. However, the main reason for going online is that very soon, potential tenants will expect and demand digital services. ‘The result is happy tenants, more efficient business processes and greater profitability.’ Wong was one of those taking part in the Yardi roundtable on the use and the necessity of the further digitalisation of clients’ journeys. In the Netherlands, the leasing cycle is frequently still very laborious, says Wong. ‘Tenants don’t meet their property managers until the leasing cycle starts. Property managers are often hard to get hold of. The perception of a potential client who spends 20 minutes in the queue, is not put through and has to call back a few days later is obviously far from positive. The new tenant subsequently has to print out lots of documents to be signed, then has to pass by to view the property, and then again to sign the contract. And all this exclusively during office hours.’ Moving faster Digitalising the whole leasing cycle, both for the tenant and our own organisation, cuts out a lot of the red tape. ‘See it as a service to the tenant. Tenants want to do it all themselves through a smart app, without being tied to office hours or the property manager’s agenda. And property managers, too, want to move fast. Having tenants submit all their details digitally and allowing them to take care of many of their affairs themselves requires fewer internal employees. Furthermore, complaints can be processed and dealt with quickly, with ongoing automatic updates. This leads to happy, well-informed tenants and an efficient internal completion procedure.’ High tech and high touch According...

Outstanding service Sep11

Outstanding service

These days it might be easy, perhaps even understandable, for those in commercial real estate to downplay the relationship of tenant interaction to asset performance. After all, the COVID-19 pandemic has largely evicted workers from their offices while retail continues to endure e-commerce’s expanding presence. But property owners shouldn’t lose sight of how important ongoing communication between owners and their tenants is for attracting prospects, retaining tenants and operating efficiently. Erin Wicomb of San Diego real estate investor Mavrik Investing has noted that “customer retention is often an underestimated factor in real estate success and not given nearly enough attention. Plenty of effort is spent finding and marketing to new tenants, but investors and landlords often neglect to take care of existing customers and make them happy.” Focusing on the residential market, the U.S. National Multifamily Housing Council noted in a 2018 report titled Disruption: How Demographics, Psychographics and Technology Are Bringing Multifamily to the Brink of a Design Revolution that “tomorrow’s renters’ needs and wants are shaping up to be so very different in any number of ways that the industry must begin thinking about how to adapt or risk facing a disconnect with their future customers.” In a similar vein, a commercial property leasing guide published by Colliers International declared that “the number one reason that an owner’s relationship with his or tenant falls apart is lack of communication – and this is often the responsibility of the property manager,” adding, “You can have the best customer service on the planet, but when property management breaks down through lack of foresight or poor communication, that one action can strike a fatal blow against all the goodwill you had built up.” Residential tech demonstrates success How do residential property owners avoid that fatal blow and take care of their residents, maintain communication and build goodwill? Many have embraced portals as the answer. They are a valuable tool for connecting residential community members to the services they might need any time of day or night. Seamless access to contact, lead, lease, resident and property data lets staff focus their attention on higher-value operations. Advanced property management technology platforms host portals as part of an end-to-end system that performs all prospect and resident services in the rental lifecycle, from initial contact to move-in, lease renewal and move-out, as well as timely communication. New advantages for commercial real estate Commercial real estate operators might want to consider emulating their residential counterparts by implementing portals and apps that deliver tenant services much more efficiently than is possible with telephones and emails. Property managers, for example, can easily dispatch announcements, emergency plans and other vital information through a portal. Tenants, for their part, can record maintenance requests and attach audio and photo documentation. Although millennials seeking cutting-edge amenities in their living spaces are the most visible advocates of property technology innovations, commercial real estate is undergoing its own generational shift. The younger workers among the sector’s cohort similarly expect the convenience of online and mobile self-services such as document access, electronic payments, maintenance requests, retail sales data entry and concierge services. Ideally, portals are built into a property management and accounting platform that centralizes financials, operations, leasing, maintenance management and other operations in a cloud-hosted database. Relieved of manual tasks such as the recording of tasks, property owners can concentrate on closing leases, maximizing rental income, increasing conversions and renewals, and ultimately enhancing their assets’ value. Some property management platforms leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and chatbots to combine historical unit-level performance data with market outlooks. The resulting portfolio-wide data and prescriptive recommendations help managers make informed decisions that cut costs and elevate asset performance. Portal technology offers a human touch that contributes measurably to tenant satisfaction, a key element of retention and a property’s reputation in the marketplace. As Mavrik Investing’s Wicomb advises, “From the start, develop and provide channels of open...

Fostering Leadership

Like many engineering students, Neharika Jha wasn’t completely sure about her concentration. At the time, she chose computer science engineering. “Not paying too much attention to computer courses taught in school didn’t help initially,” she laughs. But with time, Neharika realized how computer science solved a variety of real-life consumer and business problems. “I realized the positive impact I could have with my learned skills,” she says. “A smartphone today is a million times faster and more efficient than the computers used for the Apollo 11 mission, enabling our first step onto the surface of the moon. This thought of connecting present with past and wondering where it would take us in the future keeps me very excited about the path ahead.” Her knowledge of the computer sciences helped her land a job, but her leadership skills have helped her forge a career and create a legacy at Yardi. Helping clients prepare for the future Neharika joined Yardi immediately after receiving her degree from Pune University. It was 2008, the peak of the financial crisis, and she considered herself fortunate to secure employment. A software company that hired during a recession bode well for her and the organization. “I believed that the company must have very sound fundamentals to be recruiting in those times,” she recalls. “And 11 years later, I can’t thank Yardi enough for the opportunity to join this wonderful organization and be a part of its growth both as a contributor and a beneficiary.” Neharika is currently a manager for an International Practice Global Solutions team. The unit builds, manages and strengthens Yardi’s relationship with some of its biggest clients including Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE and Prologis to name a few. “As a team, we promote the continuity of the clients’...

Dementia Care Reimagined Sep02

Dementia Care Reimagined...

Two unlikely forces are improving dementia care in Sweden. A member of the royal family is collaborating with a ready-to-assemble home supply store. Together, they’ve reimagined senior housing development in a way that is affordable, sustainable and chic. The collaboration couldn’t have come at a better time. By 2040, nearly one in four Swedes will be 65 years or older. While long life expectancy is a good problem to have, the government desperately seeks affordable ways to fund care for its aging population. Queen Silvia has taken a personal interest in the nation’s senior care. After losing her mother to Alzheimer’s, she became more involved in dementia care initiatives. BoKlok, an affordable and sustainable housing partnership between Ikea and Skanska, captured her attention. The three powers began a multi-decade endeavor to develop an affordable approach to housing the nation’s elderly while keeping quality and sustainability at the forefront of their efforts. SilviaBo: affordable, sustainable housing Together, BoKlok and Queen Silvia created SilviaBo, senior housing developments that rose to the demands of affordability, quality and comfort. They are designed to allow seniors to age in place rather than nursing homes. “To take care of elderly people, that cost is exploding,” BoKlok CEO Jonas Spangenberg told CNN Business. “It’s much cheaper for society and the public to give them service back home.” To date, SilviaBo includes 11,000 prefab homes with communities in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Their success has relied on the Ikea model for mass production. To keep costs low, the homes are produced in high volumes in warehouses, succinctly packed and then shipped to the site. Ikea and Skanska also took responsibility for the supply chain from start to finish: land acquisition, production, assembly, marketing and leasing all take place under the BoKlok umbrella....

Yardi Opens Paris Office Sep01

Yardi Opens Paris Office...

Developing investment and property management software since 1984, Yardi, world leader in the real estate technology sector, has entered the French market with the opening of a Paris office. Richard Gerritsen, regional director for Europe, explains what the company intends to bring to the French real estate sector in this interview, which was first published in Business Immo Europe. Business Immo: What is Yardi proposing to the French real estate sector? Richard Gerritsen: We don’t consider ourselves a software company anymore, but a technology partner that provides solutions and services to support the activities of investment and asset managers. We provide the dashboards, the reports and the data that our clients need to make their decisions, which means we provide more than just software. Where we traditionally focused on the back-office activities, we are now completely focused on providing insight on the performance and the health of the portfolio, whether it is more on the day-to-day asset management functions such as lease or vacancy levels, or at a higher strategic level, on the performance of the assets. BI: Yardi has opened an office in Paris. What is your plan for France? RG: Our clients have properties in 29 countries across Europe, where we have seen an increased interest in high-quality modern technology helping asset managers. Over the last two years, we have spent a lot of time in France, which is now the fastest-growing country on the continent for the adoption of Yardi technology. Because we have high expectations for the continued growth of Yardi in France, we feel the time is right to open an office in Paris. BI: How does Yardi differentiate itself from its competitors in France? RG: Traditionally, the French real estate market has been served with software firms that...

Data Drives Success Aug06

Data Drives Success

Real estate asset management firms are facing extraordinary challenges in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some may emerge from the crisis relatively unscathed. Others might not be so fortunate. Social distancing requirements and work-from-home strategies, prompted by COVID-19, have rapidly amplified the importance of operational and financial data, its accessibility and team connectivity. What matters almost more than the data itself, however, is the means of obtaining it efficiently and using it effectively to benefit clients, investors and other stakeholders. That’s not easily done without the right technology. In the world of real estate asset management, data comprises information that reveals a portfolio’s health, such as revenues, debt, risk, occupancy and sales, along with property-level operations such as energy consumption and accounts receivable. Two distinct groups need this data: operations groups tasked with effective management of the portfolio, property and tenants; and those who focus primarily on investors along with the organisation’s tactical and strategic issues. Some systems compile data from multiple disparate systems, making usable data a moving target. This approach – which prevailed in most property management industry vertical markets until the last couple of decades — is complicated, cumbersome and prone to error. For asset and operations managers to remain nimble, act proactively, anticipate and react decisively, they need a way to stabilise and gain instant access to it. That’s why connectivity is the key value proposition in asset management and the reason that sophisticated yet user-friendly software applications that collect, process and apply such data across the asset management lifecycle are increasingly relevant. All user groups benefit when the data their business depends on is readily available. Fortunately for them, today’s asset management technology platforms assimilate all asset management information at the property and portfolio levels and makes it...

Innovating in Industrial Aug02

Innovating in Industrial

The traditional image of a warehouse is that of a windowless box with little visual appeal, inside or out. That perception is giving way to new designs that use technology to integrate efficiency with safety and opportunities for constructive workforce interaction. Delin Property, the leading pan-European real estate investment developer in the logistics market, is on the leading edge of that transformation. Delin’s status as both a logistics real estate developer, asset manager and investor provided a vantage point for envisioning a new type of storage facility. “We’ve always tried to be on the forefront of design and technology, and to use that motivation to create a better experience for owners, tenants and investors,” says Bart De Sitter, development director for Delin Property’s operations in the Netherlands. Elevating the human element Delin Property began its redesign initiative by recognising that labour costs are a warehouse’s largest operational expense. That made improving the experience for both blue- and white-collar workers the company’s top priority. “A grey box with no windows isn’t sufficient today. You have to create a pleasant workplace to attract and retain the 1,000 to 1,500 workers who staff a warehouse, many of them millennials who have higher expectations of workplace amenities than previous generations,” says Jay Lelie, asset and leasing manager in the Netherlands. A design along these lines incorporates features such as windows, green spaces and terraces for breaks and meals. “Windows really make a difference when you’re in there for eight hours – not just to let natural light inside but to let workers see outside. Our clients tell us this feature really helps reduce absenteeism, illness and turnover,” according to Lelie. Along with creating an aesthetically desirable space, Delin Property’s new approach to warehouse design sought to end the sector’s historical workplace separation of white collar and blue-collar workers. “As interactions between managers and their workers become more complex in the e-commerce environment, working closely together onsite becomes more important. We wanted to create an environment that puts a premium on natural interaction and ends separate entrances and canteens and other arbitrary physical or mental barriers,” De Sitter says – although, of course, this scenario can’t be fully realised as long as COVID-19 remains untamed. Delin Property also put a premium on safety, plotting car and delivery truck routes well away from pedestrian traffic. Other challenges in the redesign included maximising parking spaces in tightly constricted urban locations. Using tech to strengthen client bonds Back when Delin Property was solely a property investor, it outsourced most of its direct contact with clients. “That was a logical choice at the time, but it ended up making us too remote from tenants and created too many steps between us and them,’ De Sitter said. “We wanted to manage the communication stream in a way that lets us focus on our relationship with clients rather than on administrative tasks and compiling reports.” Toward that end, the company has adopted advanced real estate management software solutions from Yardi that enable execution of multiple business operations from a single connected platform and promote staff efficiency and client service. Delin Property’s invoice processing, for example, will be paperless for tenants and driven by automated workflows all the way to vendor payment. Similarly, automated project management will help keep the company’s construction projects on time and on budget by providing real-time views of data across multiple capital projects. Meanwhile, tenants will have the convenience of making payments, communicating with Delin Property, accessing documents and submitting maintenance requests online or with a remote device. Other solutions will automate preventive maintenance and other elements of facility management while housing records for equipment and maintenance in one database. A vision rooted in simple changes All of these design and technology elements combine, according to De Sitter and Lelie, to create a future vision that encompasses “a high-end office with a facility behind it that...

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...