Unusual Laws in the United States

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

GIS and Real Estate


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Rooted in the science of geography, or “the science of where,” GIS (Geographic Information Systems) are a framework for gathering, manipulating, analyzing, and visualizing data. GIS combine geographical features with non-geographical tabular data and transform this information into visualizations that map and assess real-world problems. GIS allow users to see business data like sales and locations on a map juxtaposed against demographic information, hydrography, parcel data and more, and can be leveraged to identify patterns, monitor market changes, and find opportunities to optimize business operations. In the real estate world, a GIS is a tremendous tool for providing insightful data that can push the industry forward.

Several major players in the real estate industry leverage GIS to find greater insights and take their service offerings to the next level. ESRIMapboxLandVision, and open-source platforms like QGIS provide mapping and analytic solutions for professionals seeking geospatial insights, demonstrating the vital role of data in the industry. There are five key real estate practices that GIS have proven to be a game-changer for:

  • Site Selection: It’s no secret that real estate is all about location and GIS are essential for locating property in a fast and uncomplicated manner. Advisors and account teams can find and visualize up-to-date information on available market opportunities fitting the suitability of clients’ needs, searching by various criteria such as price points or vacancy.
  • Commute Impact & Labor Studies: An organization’s most important asset is its people. Understanding the labor strategy, growth projections, and how site selection and design will impact existing and future talent is critical to the success of any real estate transaction. GIS tools provide the ability to perform network and suitability analyses and develop in-depth site profiling of employee accessibility and the area’s utility to business operations.
  • Land Sale Data: GIS have been used by various governments to publish land parcel information and county assessor data for years now. This allows for easier searching based on specifics that are outside traditional search terms. For instance, LandVision aggregates this data into a tool for advisors to identify a given parcel of land’s property value, acreage, sale date, owner information, and more.
  • Visual Communication: Sometimes it’s most important to see something to really comprehend it. Through the use of maps that visualize data like costs related to travel and employee location, GIS improve communications for real estate advisors, their clients, internal stakeholders and team members. Insights that may have been hidden deep in spreadsheets can become clear when presented visually, and mapping is an impactful way to show critical data and takeaways.
  • Information Accessibility: Mobile-enabled web map applications and virtual tours allow for quick surveys of areas when clients are unable to see a location in-person. This has been a significant tool during the pandemic, as people were less able to travel to a location at a moment’s notice. GIS also allow for the layering of data, such as demographic information and crime statistics, providing all the information needed for decision-makers and in a format that allows for a clear comparison.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the CRESA website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

How Much Does Bad Customer Service Cost?

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Why Company Culture Matters

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What is company culture?  

Organizational culture is formed on the basis of shared values and beliefs. Members of an organization derive those values from mutual assumptions regarding human nature, emotions, effectiveness, and their organization’s connection to its environment. Every company’s culture lives, breathes and evolves. A healthy culture is essential to a company’s success. Simply put, culture is what a company stands for, which guides how its employees behave.  

The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) revealed in a recent survey that company culture was the number one reason candidates picked one job over another.  

Undeniably, culture is important when finding a job, but you may be wondering how to determine aspects of a company’s culture without working there. More importantly, how you’ll know if a company’s culture will fit your personality and needs. The good news is, you can learn about a company’s culture by investing a small amount of time in conducting your own research. Here are some tips to help you uncover the information you need to determine the “right cultural fit” for your next job. 

How to find a company with a good culture 

Don’t wait until you’ve been offered a job to look into its culture. Your investigation should begin while you’re job hunting. Make a point to learn about the workplace culture of every company you are seriously considering working for. It’s important to know if your own values and beliefs will align with the cultures of companies that interest you.  

Your first step is easy. Most organizations feature some combination of their mission, vision and values on their website. You should find that page and read it thoroughly. Ask yourself, Do these beliefs and values align with my own? Do I believe in the company’s mission and purpose?  

Then, you’ll want to spend some time on company review websites, such as Glassdoor. For free, Glassdoor will provide you with insights into a company through employee reviews. They boldly showcase the good, the bad and the ugly. There’s nothing hidden behind closed doors (hence the name). It’s important to know how current and past employees view the organization and its culture.  

To really understand a company’s culture, be sure to check the news and other social media channels for organizational updates and key events.  

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that not all cultures are going to work for you. Some will align with who you are and what’s important to you, and others will not. Your sole task is to find those cultures that fit you best. 

How to ask about company culture in an interview 

Great news! There are ways to learn even more about a company’s culture during the interview process.  

Do you know anyone who works at that company? Are you getting to know people during the recruitment process?  These casual conversations happen, perhaps in an elevator or lobby. Or perhaps, given our newly accelerated virtual working environment, it could be a conversation with the recruiter or the receptionist booking your appointment. If you have the chance, simply ask, “What do you like about working here?” and “How would you describe the company culture”? Ask multiple people during the process; the more perspectives, the better.  

Next, be sure to ask culturally related questions in your interviews. Take the time to ask questions that highlight specific elements of the culture in your interviewers’ eyes, such as “What does success look like here” or “what are some of the traits that you look for in a successful candidate?” 

Then consider the information and answers that have been shared with you. Do the answers align with the culture you’re looking for? For example, if everyone you met said it’s a very fast-paced, dynamic environment, is that the pace you’re seeking? It’s important to connect the dots between what you’re hearing and your own wants and needs in an organization. 

1. Measure and reduce
Do more with less. “Measure your energy usage, look for patterns and make sure you’re using your equipment, lighting, and anything else that’s plugged in and whirring only when you need to,” says Bruce Macfarlane, non-executive director of Energy Action.

2. Be smart about when you contract
Buy your energy during quiet contracting times. Retailers are busy during peak contracting times – financial year end and late calendar year – so they might not give you the best price.

3. Don’t leave contracting until the last minute
Last-minute pricing is never cheap. The same applies to your energy contract. Get your contracts under control early and arrange your buying well before your existing contracts end.

4. Upgrade your equipment
It can be a false economy to keep going with the same old equipment that can suck up so much more energy than the newer versions, says Holly Taylor of the Energy Efficiency Council. Change old lights to LEDs or upgrade manufacturing plant so machinery works more efficiently. “Doing this can cut costs by up to 50 per cent,” she says.

LED bulbs last much longer and use a fraction of the power of older models. Photo: iStock

5. Push as many changes as you can through the board or management
You might start with a few solar panels on the roof, but when you can demonstrate savings, it’s likely that everyone will be much happier about taking more dramatic action.

6. Look for opportunities to recycle
BlueScope produced gas through one of their processes, so came up with a project to recondition a steam alternator to soak up some of the gas that could be used as a waste process gas and generate electricity. Speak to workers on the coalface, advises BlueScope’s Bridgette Carter, as they may have very good ideas.

7. Ask for advice from your peers
Don’t be afraid to reach out to others in your industry to see what they’ve done and how it’s helped them, recommends Taylor. “Businesses are generally happy to talk about climate leadership.”

8. Get auction competition
Energy Action, for example, runs Australia’s biggest business energy-buying service. Using their reverse auction, which makes it easy for retailers to price the demand, customers, on average, pay 20 per cent less for their energy than the first bid offered, says Bruce Macfarlane.

9. Understand your model
Often, people compare the deals from different providers but don’t realise they can be comparing apples with oranges, says Tim Ellis. “Some may be charging upfront costs, or billing ongoing energy use. So, understand how the companies are getting paid.”

10. Take a good, hard look at your bill
Energy retailers have had 25 years to make your bill easy to pay but hard to understand. The total amount due is on the front page in a really big font. “Charges are hidden in the back pages using industry codes, which are often confusing,” says Macfarlane. “Energy Action can check every element of your energy bill, so you don’t have to, and will contact a retailer if there’s any over-charging to have the excess refunded.”

Installing solar panels can reduce electricity bills. Photo: Supplied

11. Check your network tariff
This makes up 50 per cent of the most bills. “But you’ll often have to know the da Vinci Code to understand all the charges,” says Tim Ellis.

12. Get a handle on your data
It’s only if you gather data that you’ll know where you can save energy, and money. Carter says BlueScope invested in tools to log energy use in all their processes, and imposed targets on every part of the system.

13. Invest in renewables
You might not be able to generate all your power with renewables, but it will certainly help. “We looked at the opportunities in the renewable space,” says Carter. “We wanted to do something meaningful and help with costs.”

14. Find out about government incentives
Various levels of government offer a number of tax incentives or subsidies for companies upgrading their business equipment to reduce energy use or cut emissions.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Collier’s website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Effective Collaboration Strategies for Distributed Teams

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We need to stop assuming that old ways of work will come back and start anticipating working with distributed teams most—if not all—of the time. This will require that companies transition to an agile-first mindset that allows them to change habits on how teams work.

During Group Futurista’s “The Future of the Digital Workplace Webinar 2.0”, Jarom Chung, Product Director at Lucid, gave a keynote presentation on how to drive collaboration across distributed teams.

Chung argued that we need to make a bigger effort for teams to be in sync; otherwise, distributed collaboration will continue to fail. This effort requires that company leaders and employees alike rethink their approach to meetings and collaboration.

In Chung’s words: “The pandemic has resulted, for most of us, in too many meetings, with too many people, that take too much time.”

Meeting times may have increased, but collaboration has decreased since people started working remotely. To make matters worse, Chung argues that there is a deep loss of connection with lack of understanding of the full picture, which increases distance both physically and emotionally.

The goal of Chung’s discussion was to change the current mindset from surviving remote work, to thriving in remote work.

But wait, aren’t companies ready to welcome back workers into the office?

While companies have announced plans to welcome back employees in the office as soon as July, the reality is that companies are changing and adapting how they work.

Again, “we need to stop assuming that old ways of work will come back”.

It’s true that workers will return to the office, but they won’t do so full time. And many companies have already announced a remote-first approach to work moving forward.

What does this mean?

It means that distributed teams are here to stay, even if some workers do go back to the office.

Back to changing our mindset from surviving to thriving remote work…

For teams to succeed in remote work environments, companies need to transform their mindset from endless meetings to deeper team collaboration and connection. This means shifting from e-mail to Slack or Teams, and saying good-bye to Whiteboards and PowerPoint presentations and embracing visual collaboration tools that get the nuances that allow for the connection of ideas in a virtual environment.

Easier said than done, right?

“Distributed teams demand collaboration solutions that work anywhere, any time. Just as in the office I’m able to turn around and talk to someone behind me, I need to be able to know where my distributed colleagues are and how to find them.” – Jarom Chung, Lucid

3 Types of Team Collaboration to Transform Endless Meetings into Deeper Team Collaboration

  • Ad hoc collaborative sessions.
  • Facilitated, prepared collaboration with your team.
  • Building a distributed war room.

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these.

Ad hoc collaborative sessions

These are one-off meetings around a specific topic or discussion. Pre-remote, this type of meeting usually happened in a conference room, had a whiteboard, and were often initiated through casual conversations.

This type of meeting has failed in remote environments because:

  • It is difficult to collaborate simultaneously; remote collaboration requires is a higher activation energy.
  • Different levels of engagement and participation; people participating remotely aren’t necessarily willing to jump in during remote collaboration meetings.
  • Most people participating in remote meetings are multi-tasking, which creates silos.
  • Silos are created by multi-tasking because people aren’t bringing their whole attention and expertise to collaboration sessions.
  • Hard to efficiently synthesize ideas, Chung argues that this happened even pre-pandemic and in remote environments it’s even harder to get all ideas together, make sense of them, and plan action.
  • Lack of clear next steps.

To avoid the above pitfalls and increase the chances of your distributed team collaborating efficiently, Chung proposes the following:

  • Transform unengaging calls into team visual collaboration by embracing the right tools and platforms.
  • Have a shared location for knowledge (I.e., the cloud)—this is key for synchronous and asynchronous collaboration.
  • Have a shared communication channel.
  • Invite participants to engage—this means calling people out by name and asking them for their input.
  • Always end the meeting with clear action items and next steps.

Facilitated, prepared collaborative meetings

This type of meeting is designed to draw out people’s ideas and input. Think of brainstorming sessions or sprint planning meetings. This type of meeting typically has one person leading and driving the discussion.

Common pitfalls of this approach include:

  • Unprepared teams and facilitators.
  • Poor time management.
  • Unengaged participants.
  • Difficulty synthesizing ideas.
  • Difficulty deciding how to take action.
  • To avoid these pitfalls with distributed teams, Chung suggests the following:
  • Assign pre-work and set the stage.
  • Create an agenda and share it with participants beforehand.
  • Start off with ice breakers, especially if there are people that don’t know each other present.
  • Make sure every voice is heard—again call people by their name and ask for their input or feedback.
  • Time bucket activities—otherwise meetings will go on forever.
  • Determine next steps.

Building a virtual war room

Virtual war rooms, pre-remote, where basically a centralized meeting space where key people met together to solve a difficult problem. Often, this type of collaboration meetings required iterations and multiple sessions.

Some virtual war room examples include:

  • Strategic planning
  • Pre-mortem exercises
  • Release planning
  • Big room planning
  • Competitive analysis.

With remote work, virtual war rooms face one particular challenge: there is no centralized workspace, which means teams don’t have a physical spot for their war rooms.

For war rooms to be effective in a virtual environment, you will need to:

  • Find technology that supports effective team collaboration.
  • Use technology to augment what you would do in real life.
  • Make sure you are prepared.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the All Work Space website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

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About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

CRE Tools that Industry Professionals Should Explore

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Technological advances in every industry have the potential to optimize business operations and change industry standards. Commercial real estate (CRE) technology is rapidly evolving as professionals focus on revolutionizing the current commercial real estate market. Here are 13 examples of a newer CRE technology real estate professionals should embrace:

1. Social Media Platforms

Residential is so far ahead of commercial in using social media for thought leadership, awareness and transactions. The best thing someone in commercial real estate can do right now is get educated on using social media platforms for their business. 

2. Data Analytical Tools

Technologies that significantly cut down on time spent in evaluating a deal and a submarket at a macro and micro level are emerging right now. Aggregated demographic trends and patterns allow sophisticated investors to make decisions quickly and zoom in on deals that fit their criteria.

3. TRIMM Software

TRIMM (turns, renovations, inspections and maintenance management) software for maintenance and facilities management is increasingly popular. The demands today are greater than ever before. Thousands of activities, people and third-party vendors must be highly orchestrated to deliver on the promise of frictionless operations and a great resident experience.

4. Smart Locks And Access Control

Real estate is the original subscription service. Managing the subscription of who can come and go from the four walls and a roof you manage is the fundamental job of a lock.

5. Process Management Tools 

Process management tools are increasingly necessary as they empower and enhance client service and communication. Look for tools that help your commercial brokers be more efficient, track information better, provide clients with better operational data and get more done. This is also useful from a risk-mitigation standpoint, as it ensures that processes and procedures are followed and documented.

6. Apps Equipped With Machine-Learning Algorithms

Emerging real estate apps that use machine-learning algorithms are valuable resources in helping investors discern potential acquisitions. The algorithm is able to determine property specifics, location preferences and return thresholds. These efficiencies allow investors to simplify and expedite the process of acquiring real estate.

7. Virtual Tours

Unedited video tours should become an expected part of a property listing. Consumers should not have to rely on enhanced pictures taken from special angles and cameras to get to know the reality of how the property looks.

8. Blockchain Technologies

Blockchain and decentralized finance are already here and will most likely upend traditional industries involved in CRE including brokerage, title, financing, property data, etc. While people may not like change and are concerned about the role they’ll play with newer technologies, DeFi will not remove the need for humans. If anything, it will allow us to focus more on the buyers and their needs. Lean into it.

9. Green Financing Databases

CRE owners will benefit from green financing databases like EnerYields, which will allow them to identify and apply for government incentives and low-cost financing to carry out green upgrades. Most CRE owners aren’t even aware of the over $1 billion in such financing that is available to them.

10. Automated Data Entry

The CRE industry would benefit tremendously from embracing technology that can make manual data entry more efficient. Using technology to streamline the logging, organization and upkeep of data through machine learning platforms, artificial intelligence or concierge services can empower CRE professionals with a database of market intelligence that is wholly unique, proprietary and actionable.

11. Innovation In Other Industries

CRE professionals need to look at other industries as benchmarks. Other industries have long made the shift to asking individuals what type of experience they are looking to have. Personalization for consumers with things like varying tour options versus just in-person options is key, yet CRE professionals still fit clients into specific ways of doing things because that’s how it’s always been done.

12. 3D Technology

While the residential sector is adopting different technology, CRE has yet to catch up. 3D tours (such as Matterport) are one of the most popular tools used in RE today. Implementing this technology to the client sector would allow consumers to move faster on decisions for CRE purchases

13. Keyless Entry And Video Monitoring

One of the key elements is to analyze current need. One of the big needs is automation and data analytics. As our needs in CRE shift, we can use this to help guide us to the next level and take appropriate steps. Automation has currently been very helpful and widely accepted like keyless entry, thermostat control, video monitoring, etc. Automation may also shift the future of ALF.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the Forbes website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Junk Foods From Around the World

About The Sundance Company
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.

Survey Shows Why People Want to Return to the Office

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For many employees who worked from home during the pandemic, returning to the office is not about sitting at their desk.

It’s about the interpersonal contact with colleagues that can lead to new ideas and insights—things not likely to happen in a video conference.

As vaccinations increase, coronavirus restrictions lift, and more people return to the office, a new LinkedIn survey shows that a majority of employees are looking forward to engaging with their co-workers.

The survey of more than 4,300 people was conducted from May 22 to June 4 as COVID restrictions were slowly rolling back.

Productivity Impact

Only 26% of people fully working remotely for the past year expect a productivity impact from a return to the workplace, the survey shows.

But 51% who worked partially from home and in the office for the last year say a full-time return to the office will help them do more focused work, while 65% of those who never left the workplace are optimistic about everyone returning, the survey shows.

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima says Connecticut employers are eager to get their staff back in the office because they know better things happen when people are in the same space.

“Overall, human beings crave interpersonal relationships and the ability to have those relationships occur in person drives and strengthens social bonds that are critical in order to have a high-functioning team,” he said.

“The collaboration that occurs in person is more natural because you can voice thoughts, ideas, and opinions very easily versus the clumsiness of talking over each other during a video conference or waiting to speak, only to have the meeting leader turn to another topic.”

Sometimes, he said, this positive body language and expression can drive higher levels of collaboration.

Innovation and Relationships

Baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are most upbeat about having everyone in the same room for a meeting, while millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are most eager to enjoy workplace perks and see the return to work as valuable in advancing their careers, according to the survey.

Among other findings are that 25% of respondents say dressing for work is a positive, but 32% would prefer to remain in loungewear.

What’s missing for many remote workers is what’s known as the workplace value proposition—the organizational culture and benefits, interacting with colleagues on site—the “why we come to the workplace.”

“Higher levels of collaboration drive higher levels of innovation as the collective team feeds off of ideas and energy, which results in better problem solving and solutions,” DiPentima said.

“And this happens beyond the conference room as collaboration physically takes place in all areas of the office space, including at the water cooler, and other areas where meetings are not planned but where natural interactions occur.”

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employers want their staff back in the office because they believe productivity increases for some roles, and it allows executives and managers to better assess performance.

SHRM also notes that interacting in person helps employees foster relationships with co-workers, build trust, collaborate more effectively, and advance within the organization, which drives worker productivity and morale.

Portions of this article originally appeared on the CBIA website.

The Sundance Company                                                                
Established in 1976, The Sundance Company has the experience to help you with your commercial real estate needs throughout the Boise Valley. If your requirements include property management, leasing, real estate development, project planning, construction or space planning then look to us. The Sundance Company has more than 1.6 million square feet of office and industrial space available in prime locations in the Boise metropolitan area. More information is available at www.sundanceco.com or 208.322.7300.