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...

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...

UKAA Expo 2020

It was great to see 400+ people representing the UK’s fast-growing build to rent sector last week at the UKAA Expo 2020; the third event of its kind hosted by The UKAA. Yardi was there in full force with a team of seven passionate residential specialists, all eager to learn, network and engage with the market. Early bird catches the reverse-trade show worm For many, the day started at 10am, but for the exhibitors and operators, it was an earlier start. A conventional tradeshow concept was flipped on its head at The Reverse Tradeshow, giving exhibitors the opportunity to attend 10-minute quickfire meetings with operators. It is great to see companies like EcoWorld, Folio London, Henley Investment Management, PLATFORM_ and Packaged Living investing time into further supporting the growth of the market. Networking and more networking It was all systems go when the doors opened at 10am. The exhibition was home to suppliers from all corners of residential real estate, including PropTech companies, law firms and regulatory organisations. Market Perspectives We were keen to ask other eventgoers how they found the day and get a perspective of their understanding of the market. Justin Harley, Regional Director at Yardi interviewed Lesley Roberts, President of the UKAA and Partner & Executive Director at Allsop, who advised BTR operators to be passionate about customer service, understand the market and find good suppliers. Justin also interviewed Paul Belson, PRS & BTR Investment Consultant who recognised the increase in PropTech innovation and The UKAA’s CEO, Dave Butler, who explained the key to success is to know your customer. Click on each image to watch the full interviews.       Session Take-Aways Richard Lankshear, Innovation Manager of NHBC was first to take to stage where he gave some inspiring...

Aid for Australia as Fires Continue

As Australia continues to fight and recover from the worst fire season the country has ever seen, Yardi has donated to two important Australian organizations to support relief and recovery efforts. The California-based real estate technology leader, no stranger to the frequent wildfires that have taken place near its corporate headquarters, has offices in Sydney and Melbourne. “We’ve been shocked and saddened by the devastation caused to communities, wildlife and individuals that have lost their homes and lives in the fires in Australia,” said Neal Gemassmer, vice president of international for Yardi. “Supporting our communities, and those effected by disasters has been an important part of Yardi’s philosophy of giving back.” The company has made a $250,000 donation, split evenly between two critical agencies in New South Wales and Victoria. To date, the two coastal southeastern states have suffered 16 million acres of land burned, 2,500 homes lost and 33 fatalities. It is also estimated that hundreds of millions of wild animals have either perished or lost critical habitat. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service is the largest volunteer firefighting organization in the world. Its volunteers provide fire and emergency services to approximately 95 percent of New South Wales (NSW). Over 2,000 volunteer brigades provide firefighting coverage for 108 local governments in NSW, and over than 1,000 firefighters are battling 60 ongoing fires. “The NSW RFS acknowledges the support of many kind organisations, big and small, as well as community groups, schools and individuals who have contributed to support the work of our volunteers across NSW,” the organization said in a statement. More information about ways to help the volunteer firefighters and fire victims is available on their website. The Victorian Country Fire Authority Bushfire Appeal is a government-administered fund that will distribute 100 percent of donations directly to those affected by the fires. The intent is to provide practical support as impacted Victorians begin to rebuild their lives. An Advisory Panel, chaired by former Victorian Deputy Premier Pat McNamara, will consider applications and recommend where funds will be distributed. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online. Fire and disaster relief has been a longstanding part of Yardi’s corporate philanthropic program. In recent years the company supported recovery efforts from the Thomas Fire in Southern California, the Fort McMurray wildfire in Canada, Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Harvey in Texas. The company also contributed to mobile disaster response command centers in its hometown of Santa Barbara. To learn more about all of the philanthropic efforts and employee volunteerism at Yardi offices around the world, check out the Giving...

International Outlook Jan15

International Outlook...

Editor’s note: the below perspective on 2020 and the decade ahead for technology and real estate comes from Neal Gemassmer, vice president of international for Yardi. Originally published in Property Week, it is reprinted here with permission. The festive period was an invitation to reflect on the year gone by and the year ahead, even more so than usual. After all, it was the end of one decade and the beginning of another. Naturally enough, all eyes are on Brexit, but from a real estate perspective the impact that technology is having on our industry offers the most interesting food for thought. New technology has had a greater impact on property in the last few years than in the previous three or four decades combined. In 2010, the term ‘proptech’ had not even been coined; today, it is ubiquitous. However, in my view we have barely scratched the surface in terms of its influence. In the years to come, it will redefine how real estate functions. Here are a few ideas as to how. First, consider the build-to-rent (BTR) market. More and more investors are moving into the sector and technology has the potential to act as a major enabler. Digital technologies can allow owners and operators to cut out the middle-man – the letting agent – and communicate directly with potential customers, who can view different buildings and get a feel for the quality of the accommodation and the amenities on offer. Virtual reality lets potential tenants view a property remotely, while online tools can arrange physical visits without the need to call or email ahead. Applications and background checks can also take place digitally and customers will be able to sign their lease and pay their deposit online. The whole process will become virtually...

Amsterdam Think Tank Dec06

Amsterdam Think Tank

AMSTERDAM – Terrence Wong (Yardi), Remco van de Wetering (Newomij), Hans Touw (Redevco), Robert-Jan Reeuwijk (CBRE) and Jaap van der Bijl (Altera) were recently invited to discuss the impact that social issues such as sustainability and affordability have on the value of residential property. According to Reeuwijk, the current housing market places even greater emphasis on the importance of an objective valuation of (properties) in a residential property portfolio. “When determining value, you use multiple sources so that you can look at standard parameters such as vacancy values or rental values. Then, using databases you can add new quality-defining elements such as the year of construction, the energy label and the location of the complex in question.” Transactions Van de Wetering states that the assessment of quality – and thus of value – has always been an issue in transactions, but he places even more emphasis on this fact for acquisitions. “More and more restrictions are being introduced at a local level for the mid-rental market segment and even then we don’t exactly know where the government wants to go in terms of regulation. But in determining the value of a portfolio, it is important to be aware of this both for the investors and the end users.” End user According to Touw, this depends on which definition you attribute to the term “end user.” “In my experience you are talking about the tenant. When determining quality, you start with the question of what the tenant’s experience is of this property, rather than just determining how good you think the product is for the tenant through the lens of the provider.” Measurable “What represents quality for one investor, does not for another,” asserts Van der Bijl. “As property investors, we want to measure, manage...

Yardi Think Tank Dec03

Yardi Think Tank

Earlier this year, Investec published research showing that 91% of investors think ‘blended living’ schemes that incorporate a combination of build-to-rent (BTR), student accommodation, co-living, retirement living and/or serviced apartments will be commonplace in the UK within the next five years. Last month, Yardi and Property Week brought together a panel of residential experts to explore what makes a successful blended living scheme, the importance of good design and how tech can improve customer experience. Panel of experts Christian Armstrong, director of brand, product and technology, Get Living Mark Bladon, director, Investec Georgie Drewery, account executive, Yardi Systems Félicie Krikler, architect and director, Assael Architecture Beth West, head of development management, Landsec Simon Creasey (chair), consulting editor/features, Property Week Blended living schemes are already commonplace in the US – why do you think they haven’t yet really gained traction in the UK? Bladon: For a number of reasons. If you look at the most developed of those sectors in the UK, it would probably be purpose-built student accommodation and that’s only been going in one form or another in a meaningful way for about 10 years. In the US, the investor market for this type of product is much more mature. Also, the BTR market in the UK had a lot of false starts between 2000 and, say, 2010 where people were just not able to get developments off the ground, but that’s all changed now. People have taken a bit of a leap of faith and there is now trading product, so you can benchmark yields and you can look at it on a cashflow basis. So what we’ve seen is people that have been in a very specific ‘beds for rent’ sector have realised that they can leverage off their existing operational platform, off their infrastructure, off the location – there’s so many things they can now do to broaden their horizon. What are the key ingredients that you need to make a blended living scheme work for all residents, particularly in terms of things like amenities provision? Armstrong: Amenities are really important but you have to think ahead, do some research and speak to your existing residents and prospective residents about what amenities they would actually use. I’ve seen some stunning stuff on schemes like barbecue terraces and outdoor terraces and then it hits me that we live in the UK – this is not the US. So I’m going to be sitting there with my cappuccino on the outdoor terrace with the froth blowing off! Bladon: That’s where the skill comes in. These schemes still have to make a profit, so you can’t just keep pouring money in. Somebody described it as an ‘amenities arms race’. They’re almost turning student accommodation into hotels and then they’re charging students £350 a week. As a result, you might end up with a half-empty property. The most successful operators are going to be the ones that can find the right balance. West: That’s why I think we haven’t reached that maturity point yet – this amenities arms race is a very immature reaction to what people think is a single market and a single customer for this product, but there are loads of people who want this product. If we’re going to build housing that attracts a broad range of different people staying for a long time then we have to think about offering a variety of different affordability points. Bladon: I think there’s another issue that lends itself to a blended portfolio and that’s the power of building a brand that can be used across the whole lifecycle of your tenant. So you start with your student, then co-living, then they get into their mid-20s and they want to move into BTR. That [BTR] can take them from being single, to married with children and living in a three-bed, all the way up to potentially the age of 60, when they might move into...

Goals Achieved Nov28

Goals Achieved

Riyadh Davids joined apartment manager and Yardi client Nasser Lootah Real Estate, part of the Nasser Adbullah Lootah group of companies, in 2010. As general manager, he is responsible for all asset development and operational management, including the implementation of Yardi Voyager as the company’s property management and accounting platform. He offered perspective on his company and its relationship with Yardi from his office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Q: Mr. Davids, how has Nasser Lootah Real Estate grown into one of the largest diversified groups in the Middle East? A: We consistently provide innovative technologies and comprehensive know-how that benefit customers in many Gulf countries. In our 25 years of existence we have become active in travel, shipping, cargo, logistics, real estate, IT and interactive media, among other industries. Our portfolio includes more than 30 buildings across all asset categories. We aimed to provide superior professional services in every field, resulting in satisfied clients. Q: How would you describe the company’s business culture and philosophy? A: We have a heritage of hospitality and collaboration. This environment of professionalism directly translates to the advancement of our clients’ interests as well as those of our employees. Q: What’s the most critical challenges to maintaining your brand identity and market position? A: The most immediate one is avoiding complacency with our achievements and continuing to focus on building a lasting legacy. We constantly seek to create new partnerships while securing higher levels of trust from our current clients, associates and employees. Q: What were the challenges that led you to select Yardi Voyager as your real estate technology platform? A: With our company growing across multiple verticals in the UAE, we needed a way to get an overview of the portfolio at a glance and communicate...

YASC Europe 2019

The largest Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) to date for Yardi’s European clients, with more than 490 guests in attendance, featured learning, networking and fun in London on November 20 and 21. YASC is a global Yardi event where clients can expand their knowledge of Yardi’s solutions. Clients gain detailed insight into the Yardi product solutions they use, the Yardi development roadmap and newly launched solutions. They also have the chance to speak with other Yardi users and obtain one-on-one advice from Yardi product specialists at Knowledge Central. With more than 100 classes to choose from, in nine role-based tracks, clients can dive deep into technology that supports the needs of a variety of real estate asset types. New to YASC Europe this year, attendees enjoyed a mainstage panel session which featured coworking entrepreneurs Charlie Green of The Office Group; Giles Fuchs of Office Space in Town; and Chris Armstrong of mixed-use operator Get Living. The panel discussed alternatives to traditional commercial real estate. Chaired by Justin Harley, director of coworking and residential at Yardi, the panel dissected two components for running flexible workspaces: putting the member first and integrating a solid technology management platform.     Vox Pop! Several clients took part in our Vox Pop station to share what they were loving most about YASC. Here’s what some of them had to say: “I absolutely love this conference – we send people every year. You can learn about how to automate operations and how to expand your services.” -Adam McGrath, Northern Trust “It’s great to meet lots of different people from Europe who use Yardi and it’s great to be here learning from all the technical experts.” -Georgia-Rose Rochester, Grosvenor Estate Management Limited “I’m particularly interested in learning about Yardi Elevate and...

AI, IOT and Real Estate Nov05

AI, IOT and Real Estate...

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