A Tenant-Centric Mindset is Reshaping the Commercial Real Estate Industry

February 12, 2019 Leave a comment

There is a growing trend in the commercial real estate industry to develop a more customer-centric (or tenant-centric) strategy to help improve returns. This shift in strategy is now starting to reshape the entire property landscape which in turn determines which technologies get adopted and which don’t.

The influx of millennials into the workforce is driving change in every aspect of how firms do business. These workers have an increased reliance on technology and significantly different expectations for work/life integration than older generations. This influences their expectations for a workplace. Consequently, workplace design impacts corporate performance.

These prospective workers want an appealing office setting. But they also want amenities that simplify their lives and make their work more comfortable and enjoyable. So, in order to recruit top talent, companies are looking to make the workplace as appealing as possible.

Property owners know that a tenant’s effectiveness in recruiting and retaining top talent directly affects lease performance. So, they’re working more closely with tenants to provide technology and amenities that make locations attractive for new recruits and support their tenants’ business operations.

To support this more customer-centric approach, new specialized ventures pop up every few months. These companies serve a wide range of functions including building and space design, improved leasing and tenant communications, more flexible leasing options, creating a community to reduce turnover, and even giving real-time insight into and tenant control over their use of amenities.

These PropTech technologies enable real estate investment firms, property managers and owners to better support commercial tenants. Here are just a few of the current trends in the commercial office space markets.

Building design
In order to attract and retain talent in a tight job market, commercial tenants need to make themselves as attractive as possible to employees. Building owners are responding with creative new designs. “It’s not so much about making work fun, it’s about making life more livable,” said Amy Millard of VTS.

Property managers can support this by making the workspace inviting and providing access to amenities like coffee shops, common areas, building wi-fi and supporting infrastructure.

In June 2018, Equity Office, owned by Blackstone’s real estate funds, launched a new identity focused on tenant success – EQ Office. They focus on addressing evolving workplace needs to help companies attract, retain and inspire talent. According to EQ’s website, “While other real estate owners talk about square footage and floor plans, we focus on the experience—how space feels, activates, and performs…to bring humanity back to the workplace.”

At their Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles, EQ is partnering with Industrious to provide collaborative workspaces. They’re adding lifestyle amenities including health-centric initiatives and programmed fitness options, a farmer’s market, dog-friendly elements, and a conference and entertainment center. Industrious’ office space will be a key component of the overhaul because it adds flexibility and collaboration.

Site selection
If a company is doing site selection for a new office location, they can leverage data from Megalytics. They can figure out where the talent they need lives, the commute patterns, local amenities, education levels in the submarket and surrounding areas, the abundance of similar companies in the area, and the job growth. This gives companies a more comprehensive understanding of the differences between sites that will have a long-term impact on their growth.

Pre-leasing and marketing
Some builders and property managers are using Inreal Technologies to help prospective tenants visualize a space before it’s built out. This supports both the pre-leasing and marketing phases. Developers and property managers can use its 3D modeling to let a prospective tenant virtually walk through a version of the prospective building and space, experiencing it as if they were there in person. Users can change room variants, offering different floor plans, décor and amenities to gauge interest when meeting with potential tenants.

Commercial real estate specific CRMs
Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms have been heavily adopted in most other industries for decades. But real estate operators and owners have been slow to adopt this type of technology, largely because the horizontal CRM platforms don’t support the business needs of the CRE space.

Amy Millard, CMO for VTS explained, “Commercial real estate has been slow to adopt CRM, not because of a lack of understanding, but because their needs are difficult to support. They have very complex permissioning needs, and traditional tools don’t cater to them.” For example, a building can be owned by multiple companies, and subsets of these companies co-own other buildings. Let’s say Company A co-owns 50 buildings with 100 tenants in each building. They partner with Company B in Building 1. Company B has rights to see the lease data related to Building 1, but not data related to the 49 other buildings.

So, the permissioning is complex in terms of how they’re partnered and who needs what data. In addition, the nature of the leases themselves is very complex with many variations between tenants in a single building. A CRM needs to support these extra layers of complexity.

There are now quite a few CRM platforms designed specifically for the real estate industry. Each serves a distinct niche in the market – from brokers to property managers to leasing to investment managers, so it’s important to evaluate them based on your firm’s specific needs. Firms like VTS, REThinkCRE, Apto, IMS, AppFolio, and Juniper Square all provide elements of CRM in their platforms.

Leveraging existing relationships
VTS allows property owners to manage all leases, deals, and tenant information centrally and leverage existing relationships to support the leasing process. If a firm like Amazon is looking for a building in a particular submarket, the owner can quickly figure out if they or a partner already has a relationship with this company. Then the broker can call their partner and leverage the relationship, existing terms and other advantages to expedite the leasing process in the next building and make it simpler for the tenant.

Flexible leases
Business cycles are short, and companies can rarely predict how big they will be in 2 to 3 years, let alone in 10. This makes it difficult to commit to a 10-year lease. Co-working spaces have been capitalizing on this, offering short lease terms and flexible space. But co-working operators disintermediate building owners, capturing a substantial margin just by offering more flexibility.  Now property owners are looking to meet this demand more directly by offering shorter term leases and more flexible office space.

Convene is helping Class A building owners to offer this same type of flexible leasing directly rather than being disintermediated by a co-working company.

Improved property management
Property managers are also finding ways to make the tenant’s life easier. If a tenant needs to have a few employees work over the weekend, they normally have to submit a change request 24 hours in advance to ask the property manager to adjust the HVAC. But some buildings are now providing an app like Genea.  This gives the tenant the ability to request overtime HVAC and approve the additional charges on a mobile app. The application then fulfills the request through the building’s existing systems, eliminating the need for an engineer to manually program and monitor every request. Tenants view and must approve extra charges upon submission of the request, so there’s no haggling over the bill later. Then, taking into account any complexities and exceptions in the lease, the software generates monthly sub-metering invoices to support tenant billing.

Property firms must adapt
These are just 7 specific scenarios of how firms can become more customer-centric. But rapid developments in technology and in tenant expectations signal more disruption (and more opportunity) ahead.

In January 2018, Deloitte published its 2018 projections for the CRE market. The article points out that, “The real estate industry is on an accelerating disruption curve that will challenge industry leaders to look differently at the ways they do business and interact with their tenants and end-user customers….The industry sits at the intersection of some of the biggest shifts taking place in business, like smart cities, mobility, fintech, robotics, and cognitive automation advance at an accelerating pace.”

This disruption opens new doors for innovative business models. But it’s also a threat to commercial property owners that are not prepared to adapt, embrace innovation and focus on improving the customer experience at every touch point.

This article originally appeared on the propmodo website. 

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 1.5 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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Signs of an Unhealthy Work Environment

February 5, 2019 Leave a comment

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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 1.5 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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How Automation is Changing CRE

January 22, 2019 Leave a comment

Automation is unquestionably changing the many moving parts of commercial real estate (CRE). A notable sector being positively impacted by innovative technology is Real Estate Valuation. While a very specialized sector of commercial real estate, valuation relies heavily on technologies to become increasingly efficient and produce quality appraisals in a timely fashion for financial institutional clients. By automating data inputs, appraisers can interpret and analyze information that impacts property value conclusions at ever increasing, market-demanded speeds.

In comparison to other CRE professionals, appraisers execute an exceptionally high volume of assignments monthly and are expected to produce final reports in a short timeframe. This fast turnaround, combined with the high volume, has increased the focus on one-click downloads and automation to increase productivity while maintaining quality and consistency.

DEMOGRAPHICS WITH THE CLICK OF A BUTTON
While a relatively standard component, demographics can tell an important story about the immediate market area in a valuation report. Historically, appraisers spent anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes tracking down relevant data to prepare a comprehensive report regarding the market. Colliers Valuation worked to automate the process so that with an address only, the click of a button results in a wide range of demographic information that auto-populates into the report. In under 30 seconds, demographic information within a 1, 3, and 5-mile radius of any given property can be compiled in a clear-cut, easily transferable way. Doug Stafford, Colliers Valuation and Advisory Services’ Director of Business Innovation, indicated this streamlined process “ultimately equates to at least 2,000 work hours saved in a year.” This time can now be better filled with analysis and advising clients instead of basic data entry.

RAPID MAPPING
Another integral part of the appraisal process is mapping. In an appraisal report, maps are essential to understanding the surrounding market, submarket and competitive properties. Not too long ago, an appraiser would print out a hard copy of a map and place stickers on the spaces where all similar properties were located, along with detailed information for each. The map was then scanned back into the printer. Over the years, this process slowly became more automated, eliminating manual steps and digitalizing certain aspects. Now, it takes just a few seconds to generate a complete competitive property map with the click of a button.

UNDERWRITING IN FEWER STEPS
As an organization who values service excellence and a client-centric mindset, Colliers looks to not only streamline the process for appraisers but for our clients as well. Throughout the entirety of an appraisal, most clients need to utilize the data obtained for their own underwriting purposes. Before automation, data shared between appraisers and their clients was an inefficient process at best, with data input happening at many phases on both sides of the process, leading to a greater risk of manual input error as well as more time spent manipulating the data itself. With automation, appraisers can now near-instantly compile all of the raw data obtained and share it directly with the client via system-to-system communication, eliminating all the unnecessary back-and-forth. This seamless data integration allows clients to complete their underwriting processes much quicker, making automation a win-win for appraisers and clients alike.

WILL AUTOMATION HELP TO BRING YOUNGER TALENT TO VALUATION?
In today’s climate, innovative technology is a must for attracting new talent to an industry, and crucial to sustaining a healthy and robust workforce. According to Forbes, to attract and retain talent, businesses must adapt to accommodate millennials’ tech-driven approach and stave-off costly turnover.  With that said, the appraisal industry does not currently have a large influx of young professionals entering the field, with more than 60% of appraisal professionals over the age of 50. However, with the incorporation of technologies such as the ones outlined above, Colliers Valuation is looking toward the future of the industry and attracting fresh faces in the business. Only time will tell, but it’s likely that adopting new technology will continue to mean positive changes for the valuation side of commercial real estate.

This article originally appeared on the Collier’s website.

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 1.5 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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Decoding Body Language in the Workplace

January 15, 2019 Leave a comment

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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 1.5 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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How CRE Technology Can Make 2019 A Great Year

How did your 2018 resolutions shape up? Did you mean to adopt a new CRM this year, revisit your marketing tactics, or rethink your prospecting workflow? Whatever your goals, there’s CRE technology that can help you reach them.

And if you haven’t gotten around to those resolutions yet, it’s not too late! Now is the perfect time to invest in a new CRM and new tools to improve your workflow. Use the momentum and energy of the New Year to set your future self-up for success. Not only will you be able to hit the ground running in 2019, but you even get tax benefits by making the purchase in 2018. Most businesses can claim a deduction for the entire cost of technology and other equipment during the same year they make their purchases.

Let’s take a look at a few of the ways CRE tech can help you fulfill your resolutions in the New Year.

Resolution: I want to be better about prospecting consistently.

Successful brokers know that when you increase the number of calls you make, you add more potential clients to your pipeline. You need to stay top of mind with the people who matter, and that takes consistent outreach.

Maybe you tried to be better about prospecting this year. You organized an Excel spreadsheet, you even blocked time on your calendar every morning. But did that blocked time really motivate you? Did it still take a while to prepare for each call?

What you really need are tools to make the whole process easier. You need automated reminders on who to reach out to and when. You need tools to prioritize your lists for you. There’s tech out there that can do this for you.

Features to look for in CRE tech:

  • Set up reminders for prospecting follow-up, tasks, and events
  • Segment contacts into call lists for targeted outreach
  • See a list of likely buyers to prioritize prospecting for listings

Resolution: I want to get my data together and actually use it!

If you’re worried about losing a phone number or working off the wrong Excel spreadsheet, it’s time to switch to a better system.

Unlike spreadsheets, a CRM can work wonders for your productivity and your peace of mind. It keeps all your data in one place, so you can’t lose it, and it can help you actually put that data to work and give you insights into your business. And since CRMs are largely cloud-based with customizable permission settings, you can share information your team and take your data with you wherever you go.

Features to look for:

  • See your data connected in one place so you can gain insight and see meaningful connections
  • Workflow tools that use your data to drive action
  • Enjoy mobile access where you can work on a smaller screen on the go

Resolution: Better manage your deals from pitch to close.

They say time kills all deals, and in CRE, you know it to be true. If only there were a way to stay on top of the endless paperwork and tasks so that you could feel more confident in putting the pieces together and keeping momentum and control on every transaction…

There are CRE tools out there that can help you better manage your deals by giving you task playbooks and visual workflow tools to help you keep each piece moving forward. And since you’re keeping all transaction details in one place, you can be sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Features to look for in CRE tech:

  • Tools to help you manage tasks and store documents
  • Connection to your other data so information continues through each stage
  • Reports and dashboards to show your progress at a glance

Don’t put it off another year. Invest in a new CRM and new CRE tools now for a better 2019.

This article originally appeared on the Apto website.

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 1.5 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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Happy New Year 2019

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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 1.5 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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Merry Christmas 2018

December 25, 2018 Leave a comment

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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 1.5 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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