“Eatertainment” Concepts May13

“Eatertainment” Concepts

With the surge in online shopping, malls have faced a significant downturn. However, the story doesn’t end there. Some malls are embracing a new era of excitement with ‘eatertainment’ concepts and more, sparking intrigue and curiosity. Goodbye, Fast-Food Restaurants. Mall food courts are packed with several places to eat, all typical pizza, Chinese or burger joints. Since the pandemic, many have closed their mall locations because drive-thru stores steal traffic. Chick-fil-A closed its original location at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta last year after 56 years. Chick-fil-A restaurants were only located in mall food courts for the company’s first 20 years of operation. Property managers now count on emerging restaurant brands like Lazy Dog, Gen Korean BBQ and wine cafés to draw customers back into the malls. Strong restaurants and entertainment options draw steady food traffic. They can increase consumers’ time in the mall, making them valuable to property owners and other mall tenants. Places such as TopGolf or other virtual golf venues serve as “eatertainment” concepts to appeal to families and teens, and they can extend the amount of time people spend in the mall. Eataly debuted at NorthPark Center in Dallas amid the pandemic. However, its eating, shopping, and learning concepts have made it known, and the numbers are soaring. This gigantic Italian market, with fresh pasta, luxe Italian ingredients, and plenty of local goodies, also serves as a cooking school. Another cooking concept, Gen Korean BBQ, is growing mainly due to being in malls and smaller strip malls and plans to expand to at least 250 more restaurants. Customers order meat to their tables and cook it themselves, offering many Instagram opts! Gen Korean BBQ appeals to the younger generations, particularly Millennials and Gen Z, for its modern décor and vibrant Korean pop music. “There are so many burgers, chicken and pizza places. People want to experience something different,” said Gen Korean BBQ co-CEO David Kim. Aside from eating, many are gripping on experience and creating these experiential environments. Malls offer individuals a place to connect over shared interests in fun and engaging experiences to support local businesses and build relationships. In New Jersey, the Garden Social lawn and greenhouse at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus hosts a variety of classes, such as yoga and candle making. Participants can also choose from themed experiences like Mommy and Me, Girls Night Out, Family Fun and Date Night. “We’re excited about the opening of Garden Social because it expands the possibilities for social engagement with a host of immersive DIY class offerings where the community can come to explore new interests and further pursue existing hobbies,” said Wesley Rebisz, senior general manager at Westfield Garden State Plaza. According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. retail sales are projected to grow 4.5% to $3.7 billion by 2027. While E-commerce will continue to expand in that period, shoppers will persist in their shift back to physical stores and eventually, sales will be about evenly split, NRF predicts. AI and retail shopping. Artificial intelligence has made an impact in today’s world. Most individuals say that the shopping experience could be better, and AI can enhance those experiences. The older generation may want AI technology for convenience, whereas the younger generation would use AI to shop and engage with brands. IBM says three in five consumers want to use AI applications as they shop. From using AI to get product information, look for deals and promotions, get service, ask questions, and resolve issues. However, these experiences must be seamless, dynamic, and contextual, from being able to shop for products from multiple brands on a marketplace with a single checkout to proving sustainability in brands. Many consumers who care about sustainability are willing to pay more for sustainable products. So, whether AI will bring malls back or “eatertainment” concepts, developers of future malls will have to understand the community and its particular...

Property Energy Data Requirements Sep07

Property Energy Data Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires commercial and multifamily building owners to improve performance in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water use among other aspects of building operations. With compliance deadlines approaching, several jurisdictions are stepping up their energy benchmarking efforts. Indianapolis, Miami and New Jersey, for example, have deadlines this year. Deadlines for New York City, St. Louis and Denver come in 2024, with Washington, D.C., Boston and others to follow over the next two years. That’s why the EPA has been working to raise awareness of the importance of aggregated whole building data and ways that states and utility providers can provide it to property owners. This data delivers visibility into energy consumption and helps create a roadmap for instituting ongoing operational improvements. “Demand for this data will grow as building owners seek new federal incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act that require documentation of whole-building performance as a condition of participation,” the EPA says. EPA has also advised states on passing laws that can overcome barriers utilities face in providing data. Such laws can create a path to cover costs associated with providing the data and define requirements to protect individual tenant data. The EPA will launch a full-fledged campaign over the coming months, in partnership with key building owner associations, to raise awareness of the need for this data among state policymakers and utilities. How Yardi can help What is Yardi’s connection to property owners satisfying these EPA requirements? The company’s advanced software and service solutions “simplify the aggregation of whole building data collection and reporting for environmental, social and governance purposes. The first step is gathering data from multiple sources and identifying efficient and inefficient buildings,” says Joe Consolo, industry principal for Yardi Energy. He adds, “Tracking an asset’s performance over time is also critically important. Having received an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award and earned ongoing ENERGY STAR certification for our corporate headquarters, Yardi has the expertise to work with utilities and our client building owners, tenants and residents on these priorities.” Learn more about Yardi’s comprehensive energy management solutions for energy management solutions for residential and commercial...

CRE Diversity Sep06

CRE Diversity

Realcomm’s August two-part webinar series, Celebrating Women and the Diverse Voices in CRE, highlighted the talent, thought leadership and unique mindsets that have enhanced commercial and corporate real estate as more women, minorities and diverse thinkers fill executive leadership positions and advanced technology roles as well as facilitate key vendor partnerships. Insights on career paths and navigating challenges In session one, Leadership, Diversity & Evolving Company Cultures, the executive-level women panelists talked about how workplace culture reflects the values of company leadership and can shape employee interactions as well as promote motivation and loyalty. With new voices in the leadership space, the panel discussed changes in leadership modeling, evolving workplace challenges, the critical role that mentorship plays and how companies are attracting new talent. A big theme among the panelists’ stories of their personal journeys was about receiving mentorship and support and becoming a mentor themselves to help other people advance and open up opportunities. Further, working with good leaders taught them how to become good leaders. Another common theme was about advocating for yourself. Hope Dunleavy, enterprise managing consultant at RealFoundations, stressed the importance of reaching out, being authentic and sharing your story while also listening to others’ stories. The panel agreed on the importance of creating community for support — such as joining (or creating) a women’s group in your organization, which Kelly Soljacich, senior vice president of LaSalle Investment Management, recommended. Veronica Unnikrishnan, partner and senior vice president of innovation, sales and marketing at 5Q Partners, commented that choosing the right organization and positions that will lift you up “is where the magic happens” and will help you grow and develop your career. Further advice included choosing the best opportunity over the most money is a wise decision in the long...

Mixed-Use Success Aug30

Mixed-Use Success

Already big in the retail sector, mixed-use projects have become increasingly popular for office developers. Mixed-use developments can deliver accelerated lease-up periods as well as command higher rents compared with standalone properties in the same market. And that’s not all. As some commercial property sectors, most notably office buildings and retail properties, continue to face challenges post-pandemic, investors are more and more attracted to mixed-use projects. Market experts say that the experience economy’s influence on the workplace is a key to retaining talent. It’s a trend that forward-thinking office owners and developers are cashing in on by integrating office space into mixed-use environments. Read on to learn more about key attractions of mixed-use, including what investors are looking for. New development drivers In a May 2022 article on wealthmanagement.com, Nihar Shah, vice president of development at Perseus TDC, an affiliate of Transwestern Development Company, spoke about what’s driving new mixed-use projects. According to Shah, “There are several drivers underpinning a boom in mixed-use projects. One of the main ones is the interconnectivity of uses within a larger master plan. Infill locations work in areas that have amenities already in place, but mixed-use developments create a new built environment in areas that were previously not developed or were underutilized…The new uses usually become a win-win for both investors and cities as they create more housing, retail and tax revenue. But in densely populated areas, a location near public transit is often critical to a mixed-use projects’ success.” Higher average office rents Research shows that office rents at mixed-use developments lease up faster and tend to be an average 24.7 percent higher than those in the surrounding submarket. Not surprisingly, large mixed-use projects are under development across the country and many have already broken ground. From...

Tenant Portal Convenience...

Convenience is a key factor when providing online solutions to your tenants. But if they have to log into one platform to make a payment, another platform to submit work orders and a third – or fourth – to review documents and share sales data, are you offering them true convenience? What about maximizing convenience for your own staff? CommercialCafe combines the five key features necessary for a truly convenient tenant portal, for both tenants and staff: Payments In addition to reviewing and paying invoices through a secure online portal, tenants can select which open charges they are paying. Your accounting team no longer has to guess where payments are being applied and saves time not processing physical checks. Work orders Tenants can submit service requests, including photos, and, upon completion of work, provide feedback via automated survey. Technicians receive work orders automatically on their mobile phones, decreasing response times and miscommunication. Notifications Automated SMS, push notifications and emails streamline and enhance communications, whether notifying tenants about available lease documentation to view or sharing details about property events. COI management Prospective and current tenants can upload insurance certificates, allowing property teams to view documentation that ensures property requirements are met and tenants are compliant. Sales data Retail tenants can upload sales figures and documentation that support the percentage rent calculations carried out by accounting teams, increase time savings and accuracy. In addition to these features, CommercialCafe offers another layer of convenience through its seamless integration with other Yardi solutions, including Yardi Voyager, Lease Manager, Facility Manager and the Procure to Pay suite. To learn more about the full benefits of CommercialCafe, join a webinar...

Webinar Recap

Building occupancy is unpredictable and costs property owners and managers time and money. Without technology that delivers reliable analytics to make sense of trends, resources are likely wasted. That’s where smart tech and the Internet of Things (IoT) comes in. In the recent BOMA Buildings webinar, “Practical Ways to use Data Analytics and IoT to Manage Your Properties,” attendees learned how data analytics can be a powerful tool to improve building efficiency and reduce operational costs. The expert hosts delivered practical tips on how to use data to manage properties and: Save costs Increase visibility Improve efficiency and productivity Property management pain points The webinar attendees expressed greatest interest in learning about saving money and avoiding costs for the buildings they manage. When asked via poll to identify their biggest pain points, they chose repairs and maintenance as their primary concern (at almost 44%), followed by building tech (IoT) upgrades (37%). With regard to the importance of collecting data, 38% responded, “to learn how to make buildings more sustainable (smart lighting, HVAC),” followed by 33% saying it was important for “gaining insight into property enhancement needs (repairs, upgrades).” The majority (almost 67%) said they currently collect data from any sort of IoT-connected device from HVAC systems. 61% responded that they haven’t yet used data analytics from any IoT-connected devices to save time or avoid costs in any of their properties, while 38% said yes, they collect data for the purpose of saving money. Tips from IoT experts The webinar hosts focused on the key benefits of data including helping property managers create standards and processes, improve visibility and productivity and save costs. Tip 1: use data to create goals and processes Connected building tech delivers data across locations and enables you to compare analytics from equipment and systems in multiple locations. You can leverage the data gathered to create new standards and goals for underperforming buildings and make adjustments to improve processes and efficiency to meet those goals.   Tip 2: use data to avoid downtime Smart building tech gives you near real-time data so you can manage equipment alerts, make proactive maintenance plans and schedule necessary replacements to avoid downtime in your buildings. Keeping your buildings operating at peak efficiency with strategic maintenance not only extends equipment life but also keeps tenants comfortable and happy. Tip 3: use data to reallocate budget When it comes to spending, data will guide you in these key ways to make the right decisions for the best results: Evaluate: use of resources and equipment, occupancy patterns, changes in staff responsibilities Look: for energy and cost savings opportunities based on data gathered Implement: changes in your systems and processes to save costs Finding the right solution The industry has embraced a single technology platform solution as a best practice to consolidate your data for a single source of truth across your portfolio. You can maintain peak performance while improving tenant experience by automating preventive maintenance, property inspections and work order management. Ready to gain management level oversight of maintenance across your properties and connect tenants, technicians and vendors on a fully integrated platform that gives you actionable analytics? Learn more about Yardi Facility...

Document Management Musts

You’re likely familiar with the challenges of managing documents across your business, both for your staff and external users. A few of these challenges include maintaining consistent folder structures, managing security and permissions, integrating content and users, finding documents quickly and tracking multiple versions over time. You can overcome these challenges by storing and sharing content in a unified system that leverages SharePoint and the cloud. Even better is a solution that integrates with your property management platform for a single source of truth. Centralizing key documents and enterprise information in a secure, mobile-enabled system will help you increase communication and productivity across your business. Read on to learn five big benefits of a full-featured document storage platform.  Five features to look for in a document management solution 1: Searchability Finding documents using native SharePoint functions is even more effective when coupled with AI meta data tagging. Adding OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capabilities that convert images of text into a machine-readable text format will make your search for elusive documents even more powerful, giving you the ability to look for keywords within a document. 2: Findability Organization for your documents is key. Implement a taxonomy with a uniform structure that makes it supremely easy to locate documents. Automation will ensure consistency and maintenance of your folder structures. Just as going to a big box store at any location in any state will give you the same layout and experience, a taxonomy that consistently organizes your documents to ensure a familiar experience makes information easy to find. 3: Scalability Without a document management system, managing information across an organization is a laborious undertaking. With an automated solution, it’s easy to maintain taxonomy and security for your documents on a large scale. Automation organizes your documents within hours, and when integrated with Yardi Voyager, you can access documents from a single source of truth. 4: Integration With seamless integration of your document management system with your Voyager property management system and other Yardi platforms (including Yardi Elevate, CommercialCafe and VendorCafe) it’s easier for approved users inside and outside your organization to upload files. Security is managed in Voyager. Depending on the outside user, such as a vendor, when they upload documents they will not be aware that the files are stored in SharePoint behind the scenes. Inside your organization, users will be able to interact with the files in a SharePoint setting where they can leverage all of its features. 5: Compliance Laws and regulations are changing to require less paper and accept more digital documents. Maintaining compliance and security in this evolving digital environment is a necessity. Document management in SharePoint has many features for compliance including retention policies, workflows and the ability to integrate with third-party tools such as DocuSign to meet regulations. Ready for scalable enterprise content management that delivers a single source of truth across your business? Yardi has a solution that enables you to take advantage of all the great features listed above. Join a Yardi Document Management for SharePoint webinar or learn...

Optimize Facility Management...

How are you overseeing maintenance operations, managing service requests from tenants, tracking work orders with technicians and extending the health of equipment in your buildings? If you’re not using automation, you’re working too hard and spending too much money. It’s also easy for important things like timely repairs and inspections to fall through the cracks. You can optimize building performance and tenant experience by using facility management software to automate preventive maintenance, property inspections and work order management. Following are best practices to help commercial operators maintain peak building performance and gain portfolio-wide oversight. Tip #1 Automate service requests through a tenant portal. Reduce manual tasks for your staff and increase convenience for your tenants with online work order requests and automated scheduling. Improve communication via email and SMS messaging and ensure tenants are satisfied with your maintenance performance. Reduce man hours needed to manually field requests from email or by phone Simplify the feedback loop through follow-up tenant surveys and promote satisfaction Tip #2 Automate notifications for incoming work orders and set rules around completion. Auto-assign work orders to technicians so they can get started quickly with all the details they need. Track work to completion and eliminate time-consuming manual processes including paperwork and phone calls. You can easily track pending requests, alerts and exceptions. Shorten work order cycles by improving communication between maintenance staff and tenants Help improve tenant satisfaction by preventing requests from falling through the cracks Tip #3 Schedule preventive maintenance and inspections without paperwork. Save time by scheduling recurring property maintenance and standardizing inspection routines. Satisfy all types of inspection requirements including annual, regulatory and due diligence. Use workflows with flexible templates to ensure that inspections cover every detail, every time. Save money and man hours by extending the...

Sound Advice Mar19

Sound Advice

Making sure all parties understand and follow the “right to quiet enjoyment” by resolving or preventing complaints about excessive noise can help keep satisfied occupants, a good reputation and filled commercial and residential properties. “Normal” noise includes talking, cooking and cleaning a property. Anything else, such as loud music, shouting, unruly visitors or dogs barking dogs past a certain time (usually 10 p.m.) and decibel threshold, has the potential to “lower the standards of the entire rental property and leave a landlord open to complaints from neighbors off the property, or file small claims for tolerating a nuisance,” along with spurring affected residents to seek court orders allowing them to leave without paying rent, says California legal firm Fast Eviction Service. With regard to commercial buildings, a gym that leases space in an office building, for example, could produce an unpleasant surprise for neighboring workers. “The onus is on the person leasing the space to do their homework before signing,” says Aercoustics, an acoustics, noise reduction and vibration control engineering firm in Mississauga, Canada. With the right preparation, noise issues can be managed. Steps that property managers can take to prevent or resolve unusual, excessive or unnecessary noise on a property include: Researching your city’s noise-related bylaws. Incorporating a noise clause into leases that defines the right to quiet enjoyment (an implied right in all 50 U.S. states), types of noise, noise limits, quiet hours and the consequences of lease violations. Making the subject of noise complaints aware of the problem and offering the opportunity to resolve them. Purchasing a decibel meter, which is inexpensive and provides an objective means to settle noise complaint disputes. Being aware of lightweight floors that enable sound to easily travel among rooms and levels in commercial spaces. Consulting...

Semper Fido Dec29

Semper Fido

We have reported on pet-friendly policies for multifamily properties, senior living communities and coworking spaces. So how about traditional offices? Are attitudes about pets in the workplace evolving? As recently as 2015, about 8% of U.S. businesses had pet-friendly policies. While only about 15% of employers let employees bring pets to work six years later, according to a survey by Southern California mobile pet groomer Barkbus, more employers are open to the idea. With 23 million U.S. households having adopted pets during the COVID-19 pandemic, “employees are prioritizing pets in their choices of where to work—and this affects employers’ willingness to allow pets onsite,” Forbes asserts. Employers such as Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Tito’s Vodka, Cliff Bar & Company and Atlantic Health System have established onsite pet-friendly policies. Some companies offer insurance, care stipends, onsite dog parks, time off for adoption or bereavement as part of their benefits package. A potential competitive advantage A 2021 study by job-seeker resource LiveCenter found that 94% of people were supportive of having pets in the workplace. Tolerance extends beyond cats and dogs to significant (although somewhat lesser) support for fish, birds, rodents, amphibians and reptiles. As a result, there are “increasing numbers of workplaces where you can take your pet to work and reap the benefits of pet ownership no matter what your work schedule,” Forbes reported in February 2022. And, adds personal finance information resource FinanceBuzz, “pet-friendly companies may even have a leg up over competitors: pets in the workplace can decrease employee stress levels and improve trust and communication between co-workers, which increases productivity.” Feasibility checklist Obviously having pets isn’t possible or desirable in every location, such as construction sites or workplaces restricted by lease and health regulations. But companies considering adopting pet-friendly policies might consider...

Return to Office Dec24

Return to Office

“When will it happen?” That question often arises in discussions of employees returning to the office when COVID-19 fully subsides. But as the third anniversary of the pandemic’s onset approaches, that question might be superseded by two others: “Do employers want their employees to return?” and “Do employees want to return?” A Gallup survey in June 2022 that indicated 60% of fully remote workers would be “extremely likely” to look for other opportunities if their employer decided not to offer remote work at least some of the time. Meanwhile, some employers have made it clear that they want employees back for the career-building, mentorship and institutional knowledge creation that in-person interaction facilitates. Others want to make use of their investments in campuses and facilities. Also, in the case of the securities industry and others, it’s easier to execute compliance, legal, risk, audit and regulatory obligations onsite rather than remotely. “During these times of the pandemic, sense of belonging has been broken. The workplace enables that sense of belonging,” says Gia Ganesh, vice president of people and culture at Florence Healthcare, a clinical trial software provider in Atlanta. But many employees have grown accustomed to working from home, with family obligations, high gas prices, automobile maintenance and lingering COVID cases all weighing against spending 40 hours weekly in the office, even factoring in the socialization opportunities. “Employees really want flexibility and choice over where, when and how to work. They don’t want to be told: ‘You need to be here on these days.’ They want to be able to choose,” Ryan Luby, associate partner at McKinsey & Company, told CNN. Hybrid work as an alternative Fifty-two percent of respondents to a CBRE survey in June 2022 intend to reduce their office space over the next...

Shopping Malls Adapt Aug22

Shopping Malls Adapt

Shopping malls, which McKinsey has defined as “the heart and soul of communities, the foundation of retail economies and a social sanctuary for teenagers everywhere,” have been under severe pressure from the proliferation of e-commerce and other forces. Although shutdowns and consumer reluctance to shop in person reduced average mall foot traffic by 90% at the pandemic’s outset, COVID-19 isn’t wholly to blame for the decline; it merely accelerated trends already in place. In 2014, McKinsey asserted the traditional mall as being “at a critical inflection point,” with “a storm of global trends coming together at the same time to cause malls to change the role they play in people’s lives.” In the subsequent years, “the single biggest factor in the decline of foot traffic at shopping malls has been the rise of online shopping,” says business content platform MarketScale. A record 12,200 U.S. stores closed in 2020 and about 125 consumer goods and retail companies filed for bankruptcy that year, on top of almost 6,000 stores that closed in 2019. Though suburban foot traffic has nearly returned to 2019 levels, foot traffic at urban shopping centers and malls remains 16% below pre-pandemic levels. Traditional mall anchor tenants like Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney declared bankruptcy recently and reduced their store presence, while gas prices, COVID-19 variant surges and supply chain issues further complicated the issue. But while the challenges are undeniable, don’t count the mall out as a preferred shopping venue just yet. Retail foot traffic rose 61% during Black Friday 2021 compared to the previous year, according to JLL, while average foot traffic was up 27% in January 2022 over January 2021. DigitalSignageToday reports that “industry experts believe the mall is ready for a comeback. It will look different, though, and leverage technology...

ESG Ready

According to Naseem Wenzel, Executive Director and Head of Real Estate Assets at Lionpoint Group, “ESG is coming fast and furious, which leaves investment managers, real estate owners and operators and service providers in a position of either being reactive or proactive.” What position is your company in? In OSCRE’s May 25 Innovation Forum, ESG: Insights to Assess Your Readiness, the panel, moderated by Wenzel, discussed what’s needed to move the industry forward. The speakers represented “a mix of perspectives from change leaders in the industry” including Chris Devine, head of client analytics, Cushman & Wakefield, Rick Ferrino, senior VP technology, Blackstone and Soheil Pourhashemi, senior VP business technology, Brookfield Properties. When asked individually about their company’s approach to ESG, the panelists touched on creating long term strategies, dealing with resource issues including staffing and training to focus on ESG and the overall need to automate data collection, analytics and reporting. The speakers agreed that evolving practices and focusing on how data flows — including real-time reporting from assets, are important initiatives. With regard to governance, the panel discussed measuring and normalizing data, creating data standards and developing organizational maturity. One speaker commented that ESG practices are integral to building a resilient business and creating value for investors. ESG is also a critical aspect of capital fundraising. For service providers, the focus is on the occupier side and how to get data standards in place, with information flowing from investors to occupiers. All the panelists agreed that automating data collection and reporting is key. Survey responses on ESG readiness   In OSCRE’s recap of the session, the audience’s answers to the polling questions included these key takeaways: 53% of respondents described their organization’s level of preparedness as just getting started and 0% reported that...

New Ways to Work May12

New Ways to Work

As workers migrate back to their offices, they’ll enter an environment that’s dramatically more accepting of nontraditional working arrangements than before the pandemic. Most industry observers agree that openness to flexible work arrangements among employers will be the norm. A survey by video messaging platform Loom that found that 90% of workers and managers are happier with the increased freedom they now have to work from home. LinkedIn reports that 1 in 67 U.S. jobs offered a remote work option in March 2020; today, that number is about 1 in 7. Here are a few of the trends workers might encounter when – or if – they return to the office: Hybrid here to stay. Harvard Business Review reported in January that more than 90% of employers plan to adopt a hybrid working model in 2022. “In the U.S., employees expect flexibility within their job as much as they expect a 401(k). Employers that don’t offer flexibility will see increased turnover as employees move to roles that offer a value proposition that better aligns with their desires,” according to HBR contributors Brian Kropp and Emily Rose McRae of the Gartner HR Practice. “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach: Experiment with ‘Team Tuesdays’ or in-person office hours between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., two days a week. Consider quarterly off-sites that bring far-flung teammates together regularly,” suggests Microsoft in its Work Trend Index 2022 survey report.Growth in AI and automation. The World Economic Forum predicts that artificial intelligence and automation will spark the creation of 97 million new jobs by 2025. AI will affect many existing jobs as well, by automating managerial tasks such as approving expense reports and monitoring direct reports’ completion of tasks and letting workers focus on areas requiring creativity, imagination and high-level strategy....

Elevate Revenue

Yardi has launched Elevate Revenue, a CRE solution stack that streamlines the entire deal lifecycle from lead to lease. Specifically intended for owners, asset managers and leasing teams, the all-in-one solution was designed in collaboration with commercial experts and industry leaders. The end-to-end portfolio management suite, supported by decades of real estate research and software development knowledge, optimizes the deal workflow through powerful automation, enhanced team collaboration and extensive insights. Providing unmatched portfolio visibility, Elevate Revenue seamlessly integrates marketing, leasing system and commission management tools into one centralized platform. With Edge Marketing, real estate professionals can effortlessly market listings and generate verified leads through Yardi’s rapidly growing CommercialEdge Listing Network. From there, Deal Manager further streamlines leasing operations by enabling users to smoothly manage prospects and oversee each stage of the deal flow, while automatically comparing deal economics to approved budgets and prior leases. Additionally, to simplify the legal process and easily track legal documents, the Elevate suite includes Deal Manager Legal Module, an intuitive tool that allows users to automatically generate standard lease agreements directly in the application. And it doesn’t stop there. CommissionTrac, Yardi’s commission management tool, efficiently rounds out the leasing process by automatically tracking and paying the commissions of both in-house and third-party brokers. Elevate Revenue is fully integrated with Yardi Voyager thanks to Yardi’s built-in CRM — this smooth connection ensures maximum portfolio and deal pipeline oversight in real-time. Voyager clients can sync properties, spaces and availability across their portfolio. Listings are automatically published based on lease expiration dates or automatically unpublished once a tenant is activated for a specific space in Voyager. In October, Macerich — an owner, operator and developer of retail and mixed-use destinations throughout the U.S. — leveraged Deal Manager and Edge Marketing solutions to...

Commercial Retrofits Feb15

Commercial Retrofits

It’s never too late to give an existing structure a greener lease on life. Retrofits offer commercial building managers an opportunity to improve efficiency and drive cost savings. If you’re just getting started, the four retrofit methods below are a great starting point for sustainable practices. Observe, benchmark and improve your energy consumption. Monthly bills are not enough to accurately determine the efficiency of a commercial site. Retrofits connected to the internet of things (IoT) provide real-time insights into energy consumption. Explore usage based on subleased portions or the entire building. What’s best, you can implement IoT retrofits at a speed that matches your budget. Commercial managers often begin with submeters. Submetering offers insights into building performance while facilitating average savings of 2-5%. Implement supportive technology such as energy benchmarking to help you meet compliance regulations for ESG platforms like ENERGY STAR®. Promote water efficiency regardless of your location. Dry, arid regions have long prioritized end-user water conservation. Interest has grown nationwide: efficiency offers economic benefits to all managers regardless of the site’s location. Retrofits for cooling towers and chillers are a great place to implement efficiency measures. Such retrofits will have the most notable impact since they can consume tens of thousands of gallons each day. Smaller projects, such as fixtures, may follow. Streamline HVAC operations to reduce waste and increase comfort. The efficiencies of HVAC systems decline naturally over time. Promoting optimal operation and occupant comfort requires consistent maintenance and smart controls. Networked controllers and cloud-based management software enable you to monitor and manage usage. Smart thermostats and monitoring technology can offer up to 30% energy savings while slashing future maintenance costs. Improve indoor air quality (IAQ). Americans spend about 90% of their time inside. Indoor air contains a higher concentration of...

Looking Ahead Feb14

Looking Ahead

We compiled predictions from expert observers to get a sense of what’s in store for the real estate industry in 2022. Excerpts follow. Foreseeing a ‘whirlwind housing market’ Pandemic-ignited home-buying, driven by supply shortage and low mortgage rates, shows no signs of slowing down. “We expect a whirlwind 2022 for the housing market,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, with home sales increasing 6.6% and home prices 2.9% above 2021 highs despite a small uptick in inventory. While affordability, rising interest rates, and supply and labor shortages will continue to pose challenges, “home buyers should find the coming months to be more advantageous than any time in 2021. While sellers remain in a very strong position, price stabilization and the continuation of competitive interest rates may bring some welcome relief to buyers in the new year,” notes Nick Bailey, president of RE/MAX LLC. Home living tops investment U.S. real estate remains among the most attractive and largest asset classes for investors and families alike. “For the second year, homeowners have told us that their main reason for taking on projects around the home is to better meet their needs. Before the pandemic, return on investment was the primary motivation. This is a huge shift and something we know will continue throughout 2022, especially as people continue to spend more time at home,” says Robert Morgenstern, principal of New York City-based Canvas Property Group. Tech amps up Property management technology’s capabilities and use will continue to grow for reasons of convenience and social distancing. “With the right data collection tools and overall acceptance by industry professionals, real estate will greatly benefit from the increased use of technology in 2022,” according to Paul Ryll, owner of Oscar Mike Mobile Appraisers of Greenville, S.C. And with...

Yardi Acquires 42Floors.com Dec20

Yardi Acquires 42Floors.com

Yardi has acquired 42Floors, a commercial real estate (CRE) listings platform created in 2011 that grew to become one of the top search engines dedicated to the industry. 42Floors.com has joined the ranks of Yardi commercial real estate listing, research and marketing platforms: The CommercialEdge marketplace network attracts 2 million visits to commercial property pages monthly and generates more than 200,000 leads per year across the CommercialSearch, CommercialCafe, Point2 and PropertyShark websites. Following the acquisition, 42Floors was redesigned to offer an even higher-quality commercial property search experience with a catalog of more than 320,000 listings nationwide across several verticals — from traditional office, coworking and flexible spaces to retail and industrial and warehouse properties. The upgraded platform is integrated into Yardi’s system of software solutions that are tailored to provide an efficient and streamlined experience for tenants, investors and commercial real estate professionals alike. “We are excited about the continued expansion of what is one of the fastest-growing networks of commercial real estate property research and marketing platforms,” said Brian Sutherland, vice president of commercial at Yardi. “With the addition of 42Floors.com, we can provide even more depth of data and high-return avenues of visibility for CommercialEdge clients to market and drive their business.” 42Floors.com was purchased from Roni Mova, principal of United Group, who was represented by Dan...

Building Experiences Dec05

Building Experiences

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, may have been attracting headlines for the eye-watering sums splashed on digital artworks and virtual land. But behind the hype is a digital key that can help the real estate industry create better experiences in their buildings, foster engaged communities and, ultimately, unlock new value. Mars House, a digital home designed by Toronto-based artist Krista Kim, sold for more than half a million dollars in 2021, changing the way we think about virtual real estate. By the end of the year, a virtual plot of land in online world Decentraland had sold, using an NFT, for a record $2.4 million worth of cryptocurrency. A lot of folks in the real estate sector have made the mental leap and are looking at how NFTs can support fractional ownership and debt financing. But to my mind, what’s even more exciting is the role of NFTs in the future of the workplace. A “non-fungible token,” as the name suggests, is a unique digital item stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain. Ownership of an NFT is easy to certify and transfer, which is why they are being used to tokenise unique items like art, collectibles and real estate. But NFTs can be a bridge between the digital and physical worlds. NFTs can be used as tickets or membership cards, giving people access to events, experiences, products or discounts. Imagine attaching an NFT to each service in a building? Think treadmills in the office gym, entry to Friday night drinks on the rooftop terrace, discounted movie tickets at concierge or yoga class reservations. Each unique NFT can connect a smart building to smart contracts to provide smart services. This idea may sound revolutionary, but it is simply another evolution of the office. The...

Amping Up Amenities Nov24

Amping Up Amenities

Amenities like fitness centers, laundry rooms and pet services are standard at many residential and commercial properties. So ordinary are they that property managers are striving to deliver increasingly elaborate offerings to attract residents and tenants. Real estate investment information source Millionacres.com says, “If you want your units to fill up quickly and stay filled, you’ll want to offer the best apartment amenities possible for your tenants.” That doesn’t just mean rooftop pools, private restaurants, pet spas and indoor skate parks for high-end space. “Desirable amenities can be offered at smaller properties, too.” Dog grooming services can be a plus for pet owners. As for commercial space, San Diego commercial real estate investment firm Locale notes, “Spare corner weight rooms have transformed into fully equipped, professionally staffed fitness centers; the corner coffee cart has evolved into a chic, onsite café complete with baristas serving specialty coffee; and outdoor seating areas have expanded to include meditation gardens, dog runs, and sports fields.” Residential: Exceeding the expected As Millionacres and other property management industry observers suggest, owners and managers might want to consider stepping up their game for residents who expect: More than just enough space for parking and bikes. Service enhancement options include assigned off-street parking with additional spots for guests and bike storage, and electric vehicle charging-equipped garage parking.A larger welcome mat for Rover. Consider expanding the pet-friendly policy with a dog park or grooming\spa services.Energy efficiency. Many tenants seeking sustainability and cost savings opportunities expect upgrades like compact fluorescent lamps instead of incandescent ones, solar panels or fuel cells rather than grid-based fossil fuel power with, LEED certifications, and ENERGY STAR® certifications for refrigerators and other appliances that meet stringent energy-efficiency standards.Better building heating and cooling systems, featuring central air and heating systems...

Office Outlook Oct25

Office Outlook

The September jobs report clearly left something to be desired, adding just 194,000 jobs for the month. However, a brighter point is within that number: Nearly half of all of the jobs added in September were in the office-using sector. And, while many more jobs are needed to rebound to pre-pandemic levels, data from the CommercialEdge National Office Report is encouraging. Nationwide, office vacancy rates continued their slow trickle downward, falling 50 basis points (bps) in September to settle at 14.9%. Moreover, vacancy rates are still up 130 bps year-over-year. At the same time, the national average full-service equivalent listing rate for all office space dropped $0.10 over August figures. Even so, it still represents a 1.2% year-over-year increase. Specifically, 18 of the top 25 markets analyzed experience an increase in listing rates. They were led by Los Angeles and the Bay Area, which saw increases of 8.1% and 6.2% year-over-year, respectively, to $41.62 and $55.79. Meanwhile, listing rates in the Indianapolis office space market cooled ever so slightly over August figures, finishing the month at $21.09 — down 0.29% year-over-year. However, as the pandemic wanes and becomes more endemic, there are reasons to be optimistic regarding commercial real estate. In particular, big tech companies have been on a buying spree of large and high-profile office buildings. For instance, Google will exercise its purchase option at Hudson Yards in New York City for $2.1 billion; Apple purchased a trio of buildings in Cupertino, Calif., for $450 million; and Amazon continues construction on its $2.5-billion HQ2 headquarters in Northern Virginia. Notably, part of the motivation for purchasing commercial real estate is also driven by record levels of cash reserves at large technology companies. And, historically low interest rates combined with record profits means that commercial...

Office Outlook Oct12

Office Outlook

Lately, most news seems to be centered around when workers will be returning to the office. But, according to the September CommercialEdge National Office Report, the U.S. office real estate market is also warming up again after cooling off of 2020. While August vacancy rates nationwide are still 210 basis points (bps) below their August 2020 levels, they’re also ticking steadily downward, sinking another 10 bps to 15.4% compared to July. Meanwhile, the national average full-service equivalent listing rate for all office space was $38.72 per square foot in August — an increase of 1.2% year-over-year. Even so, seven of the top 25 markets analyzed experienced a contraction in listing rates: Listings in Manhattan and Chicago fell 2.9% and 1.7%, respectively, while Seattle office space vacancy rates notched 6.8% higher — one of the largest year-over-year increases of the markets analyzed. Essentially, the life sciences sector is the only consistent bright point throughout the pandemic. In fact, it’s grown faster in the last 18 months than before the pandemic started. However, more than half of the office space in this sector is concentrated in just four markets: Boston, San Diego, San Francisco and the Bay Area. These markets are prime arenas for the life sciences industry due to the presence of top universities like Stanford, MIT and Harvard that provide not only research opportunities, but also a large talent pool, as well. Furthermore, Boston alone has 7.2 million square feet of lab space under construction, with another 11.6 million square feet currently in the planning and prospective stages — and that doesn’t even include planned conversions. Granted, office construction is slowing across the nation and, although deliveries are holding steady, new starts are slowing down in almost every market. But, Austin, Texas, is a...

New Dimensions

With many workers staying at home during the pandemic, commercial buildings emptied but the obligation to maintain security for buildings, technology, hardware and data remained. Now that many of those employees are on the verge of returning to work, managers of residential as well as commercial properties are bolstering traditional physical security – the protection of outer and inner perimeters and interiors with guards, fences, locks, video surveillance, fire detection and more – with new capabilities. Seventy-five percent of respondents to a recent survey of U.S. physical security and facility management professionals said the pandemic increased the importance of physical security in their organizations. Propmodo, which covers the global property industry, notes, “The expectations about safety and security have changed [after the pandemic] and security teams and the buildings they manage need to be prepared to meet these new higher standards.” Enhanced systems for evolving needs As a result, many property owners seeking to mitigate risk are embracing a notion of security that combines traditional physical security elements with access control technologies that have evolved, as Georgia-based real estate investment advisement firm Think Realty says, “to support a digital environment for tenants and property managers.” Advanced access systems encompass door entry, video surveillance and intrusion detectors, and real-time monitoring of entrants and the property. Many such systems are cloud-based, enabling remote management and scalability. Many employ voice, retinal, and facial recognition, thermal imaging and artificial intelligence. Engaging a technology platform capable of seamlessly physical and data security operations with other Internet of Things building infrastructure elements gives security and facility managers “the opportunity to create an environment that is not only safe and secure, but promotes productivity, collaboration and success,” Propmodo says. Commercial and residential property owners most likely will adopt other new practices...

Reconfiguring CRE Sep16

Reconfiguring CRE

How will the commercial real estate environment in Canada be reshaped as workers gain the option to return to their workplaces? Some clues are already evident. Amid the pandemic’s disruption of economic sectors and lives, it seems that many workers adjusted well to the enforced work-from-home environment. One workplace research study found that nearly two-thirds prefer either to work from home or in a home/office hybrid environment. Business are rethinking their space needs as a result. Other studies suggest ways that the pandemic shifted attitudes. For example, one survey revealed that 27% of Canadian workers feel their careers have stalled since the start of the pandemic and nearly half feel burned out, prompting concerns about team cohesion and employee retention. At the same time, more than 60% of employers consider increased worker turnover an emerging problem. Other property owners and tenants are weighing the implications of maintaining rigorous distancing and cleanliness standards. Gensler, a global architecture, design, and planning firm, notes, “We now value space and the experience of being together more than ever. The office matters as a place to come together with each other for a common purpose. And for employees, choice, privacy, unassigned seating, and health and well-being are top of mind.” Investors, meanwhile, are keeping an eye on potential new opportunities, with MSCI estimating the inventory of managed real estate held for investment at CAD $546 in 2020, a CAD $3.6 billion gain from 2019. Employee restiveness, shifting workplace expectations and health factors are spurring many property management companies to rethink operations in areas ranging from employee amenities and tenant service to investor relations and vendor management. As professional services consultant Deloitte says, “The development of emotional connections between employees and their place of work, post-COVID, will lead to lower...

Canadian RE Insight

We continue our discussion of how to create a supportive technology culture in Canadian real estate organizations with industry leaders Sarah Segal, director of real estate for Informa Connect, and Michael Brooks, CEO of REALPAC. Let’s start with Brooks, who itemizes what he considers the most necessary elements for promoting a tech-friendly culture: “I would say attitude, process and leadership,” he says. “Attitude means being receptive to continuous improvement. Process encompasses the search and selection of the best tech fit for the organization. And leadership refers to affirmation from top management that progress and technology adoption are complementary and self-reinforcing virtues.” And what’s the best way to encourage receptiveness to new technology? For Segal, it’s fairly straightforward: “Don’t make it scary. Keep it simple and focused,” she says, because major changes to working processes take time and resources and have the potential to overwhelm. Once the team gets comfortable and realizes how the products benefit their work and the organization as a whole, “you can grow the offerings and technology stack.” “Technology integration is a journey, not a single product,” Segal continues. “Incremental growth leads to higher returns and better adoption as opposed to big, sudden shifts in how a team works.” It’s a good idea to “anticipate concerns and opportunities that may arise and have solutions ready for them. This will lead to increased user acceptance and satisfaction.” One of the biggest uncertainties surrounding real estate and the rest of the economy over the past year is, of course, COVID-19. Did the pandemic have an impact on tech adoption?  Segal and Brooks agree that the pandemic gave rise to a paradigm shift for many commercial tech companies. In Informa Connect’s case, “what had been a 5-10 year plan became a 5-10 month plan,”...