Real Estate Management News - 05/25/2016

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May 25, 2016
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Investment Real Estate: Financial Tools - FIN402
05/26/2016 – Marietta, GA
06/08/2016 – Rockville, MD

10 Growth Hacks for a More Profitable Property Management Business
05/31/2016 – Webinar

How to Navigate and Excel with Commercial Building Performance Policies
06/02/2016 - Webinar

Ethics for the Real Estate Manager - ETH800
06/03/2016 – Houston, TX
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Asset Analysis Track (ASM603, ASM604, ASM605)
06/06/2016 – Kirkland, WA
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Managing the Physical Asset - MNT402
06/06/2016 – Rockville, MD

Leadership and Human Resource Essentials - HRS402
06/07/2016 – Orange County, CA

Managing Residential Properties - RES201
06/07/2016 – Wichita, CA

Industry Partners

The Oscars of Real Estate: One Week Left to Submit

10 Growth Hacks for a More Profitable Property Management Business
How to Navigate and Excel with Commercial Building Performance Policies
Still Time to Submit to GRESB through June 30
IREM Chicago-USGBC Illinois to Pilot Energy Data Workshop

Divorce Rate Drives Demand for Multifamily Properties
New Study Shows That Co-Working, Flexible Office Space Is on the Rise
Spring Has Sprung for Digital Marketing in Shopping Malls
Retail Real Estate Execs Place Winning Bets at RECon
Keeping Coyotes, Bobcats out of Apartment Communities
40 Percent of the Buildings in Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today
Downtown Calgary Has a Problem: Too Much Office Space, Not Enough Butts in Office Seats
Lowy: Shopping Centers Must Adapt to Survive
Larger Apartment Markets Push Down Rent Growth According to Axiometrics Recent Survey
The Race for the Wood Skyscraper Starts Here
Ballooning Nashville Office Rents Strain Businesses
Commercial Buildings & the Retrofit Opportunity


Leadership Spotlight

The Oscars of Real Estate: One Week Left to Submit

The IREM Real Estate Management Excellence Awards, dubbed “the Oscars of real estate” by Bisnow, will be awarded at the IREM Fall Conference on October 21 in San Diego, California.

Does your company have a program that fosters employee and leadership development, sustainability, corporate and social responsibility, or corporate innovation? Share your success with IREM and the world by submitting to win a 2016 REME Award.

Your company could join our elite group of 2015 winners and ...

BE RECOGNIZED: Gain invaluable exposure for your business! Coverage of the 2015 REME Award Winners appeared in publications such as Bisnow, Commercial Property Executive, Journal of Property Management, REJournals, Remi Network, and Real Estate Daily News, and more – a reach of nearly 1.2 million people.

BE HONORED: REME winners join an exclusive group of premier professionals. This honor can be touted to show your owners, clients, employees, tenants, and residents that your company's reputation is top-notch.

BE AN INNOVATOR: Industry thought leaders stand out from their competitors. This can be the difference when it comes to attracting new talent – millennials overwhelmingly want to work for a company that is innovative and committed to making a difference.

Submissions are due June 1, 2016. Celebrate excellence and start your submission today!
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IREM Headlines

10 Growth Hacks for a More Profitable Property Management Business

It’s simple: in order to grow, you need more property owners. While there are some owners who think they can make it as a landlord on their own, there are those who need help-- they just don’t know how to select the right Property Manager. That’s where you come in.

Join us for a conversation with Alex Osenenko, CEO of, as he explores 10 unique hacks guaranteed to expand your portfolio by attracting more property owners to your management company. It takes time to find new owners; so make them come to you.

Register for our free 60-minute webinar on Tuesday, May 31st at 11 AM PDT / 2 PM EDT to learn how you can:

- Formulate a marketing plan without breaking the bank
- Use Pay-Per-Lead services to your advantage
- Talk to “For Rent by Owner” properties without feeling bad about it
- Leverage your online reputation to gain new business
- … and more!

This event is brought to you by AppFolio, providers of web-based property management software and the Institute of Real Estate Management, promoting superior management through education and information sharing.
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How to Navigate and Excel with Commercial Building Performance Policies

Free Webinar

Energy benchmarking laws and other building performance policies are becoming increasingly common in major cities across the United States. As city governments move to meet climate goals by reducing emissions from their building sector and these policies become more ubiquitous, landlords and property managers can exceed requirements and derive additional value by incorporating energy management practices into general operating procedures.

On June 2, join real estate leaders Kimco and IREM to hear their experiences in complying with building performance policies across their memberships and portfolios, and how they’ve been able to excel at energy management in this new policy environment. Speakers will cover a wide spectrum of insights that will include everything from moving a single building into compliance to getting the attention of board rooms with profits that can be gained from better building energy performance. They’ll address all tenanted commercial real estate, including retail, office, multifamily and industrial.

When implemented correctly, building performance policies can increase asset value and lead to superior performance in the market. This webinar will highlight how landlords and property managers can work with utilities and energy service providers to comply with building performance policies and how advances in utility data access are making it easier for building owners to engage and improve their buildings’ performance.

Register Today!
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Still Time to Submit to GRESB through June 30

GRESB is the global benchmark for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) assessment of real estate portfolios. In 2015, some 707 property companies and non-listed entities gauged their sustainability performance using GRESB while gaining actionable insights into industry best practices. Jointly these companies represent over $2 trillion in property value with equity ownership positions in over 61,000 assets spanning more than 50 countries.

By participating in GRESB, private equity fund managers and REITs are able to benchmark their management capabilities against regional and global peers, acquire business intelligence on industry activities, and communicate their sustainability performance to multiple investors using one consistent framework which is aligned with globally recognized reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

IREM recommends and strongly encourages real estate portfolio owners participate in the 2016 GRESB Real Estate Assessment. Participation is free of charge and the annual reporting period is now open until June 30. GRESB results are not made public, and only disclosed to you along with institutional investors who invest in participating companies and use GRESB data for ongoing engagement and stakeholder reporting purposes.

More information including can be found on the GRESB website — you can view the GRESB Participant Guide here and sign up for an account at this link.

Further inquiries regarding GRESB or the 2016 Assessment can be directed to and a full set of resources for 2016 can be found here.

And don’t forget, anyone receiving IREM’s Certified Sustainable Property certification in 2016 can include that in their GRESB submission in 2017.
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IREM Chicago-USGBC Illinois to Pilot Energy Data Workshop

The IREM Chicago Chapter is collaborating with USGBC Illinois to pilot a live workshop, “Accessing & Using Energy Data to Improve Property Operations.” The workshop materials were developed by IREM headquarters, in collaboration with a team of subject matter experts, and cover:

• Why access to energy data is important
• How to obtain whole-building energy data to benchmark energy use
• How to access interval data from a property’s utility meter
• Private metering options, and how to choose an energy monitoring system
• Basic & advanced energy analysis—from simple tracking to anomaly detection

Additional details follow.
  • This pilot version of the workshop is FREE for all attendees.
  • Lunch will be provided courtesy of the workshop sponsor, ComEd Smart Ideas Energy Efficiency Program.
  • The EPA will provide an update on ENERGY STAR® programs and tools, including exciting new features of the Portfolio Manager® benchmarking tool.
  • Property managers of all property types, asset and portfolio managers, facility managers, building operations teams, energy and building technology consultants, and other solutions providers will benefit from the workshop.
  • LEED professionals will obtain 4 hours of credential maintenance continuing education for attending the workshop.
Speakers include:

• Joseph Clair, P.E., Practice Lead, dbHMS
• Kevin Bricknell, Program Manager, ComEd
• Audrie Hicks Washington, ENERGY STAR Program Manager, EPA Region 5

Register for the workshop at:

IREM chapters that would like to host this workshop may inquire at It is expected that chapters will be able to charge a registration fee once workshop materials are finalized.

To learn how energy efficiency helps meet the requirements of the IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification, visit
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Industry Headlines

Divorce Rate Drives Demand for Multifamily Properties
Multifamily Executive (05/17/16) Stemen, Stacy

Although Millennials and Baby Boomers drive much of the demand for apartment properties, there is a third subset of individuals now doing the same -- divorced people. The U.S. Census Bureau calculates that there are approximately 107 million single people 18 or older living in the United States. Of that 107 million, 24 percent are divorced. In addition to these 25.7 million individuals, approximately 876,000 new divorces occur each year. This should not be ignored by multifamily housing owners and investors. Marriage often signifies a step toward homeownership, often preceded by newlywed renters leaving the apartment market. When divorce occurs, though, the opposite often happens. During or after such a split, one or both of the individuals involved are likely to move back into rental housing on either a temporary or long-term basis.

The article's author provides three ways apartment owners and operators will want to develop their properties with the newly divorced in mind. One, incorporate kid-friendly amenities to help create a sense of home for divorced residents and their families. Many times when a divorce occurs, there are kids involved. To ease the loss of a home, apartment communities can include areas and gathering spots where children can meet and play outside. These include playgrounds, swimming pools, party rooms, dog parks, and fitness centers with adjacent playrooms so divorcees can exercise while their sons and daughters play within sight. Two, choose walkable locations. Apartment complexes with high walkability scores will appeal to this demographic, as will communities that are located close to good schools, grocery stores, retail stores and restaurants, and entertainment options. Three, offer concierge services and community activities. On-site dry cleaning, dog-walking services, and housekeeping can really help time-strapped divorcees, especially those with children. And community activities like wine tastings, foodie events, and movie nights can go a long way to easing previously married people back into the single life.
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New Study Shows That Co-Working, Flexible Office Space Is on the Rise (05/19/16) Rafter, Dan

U.S. office buildings are more frequently offering tenants co-working space that employees from several different companies share as a way to save on the cost of rent and equipment. According to the newly released 2016 Flexible Workspace Review by The Instant Group, co-working grew more than 10 percent nationwide last year. Office buildings offering co-working space and executive suites -- offices that independent contractors or other workers can lease for a limited period of time -- increased by 12.9 percent. The Instant Group said that the total flexible workspace market grew by an average of 4.3 percent in 2015, with nearly 3,600 combination centers now offering co-working spaces and executive suites. The United States leads the world in this kind of workspace, with the United Kingdom ranking second with 3,290 combination centers.

Researchers add that the increase in buildings offering some form of co-working is four times higher than that of the growth of conventional executive suites, which increased by just 3.4 percent during the same time span. The Instant Group CEO Tim Rodber remarks, "Co-working benefited from early adoption by tech and media firms that have, in turn, done a marvelous job of promoting shared workspace and collaboration between start-ups and established firms." He adds that the growth of co-working and shared office spaces is showing no signs of losing steam. According to the study, though, the U.S. flexible workspace market is still relatively concentrated, with 50 percent of the total market for this kind of office space located in just five states. Not surprisingly, due to its reputation for tech start-ups, California leads the way as the state with the most flexible office space and the biggest number of dedicated co-working spaces. The Instant Group reports that there are now 103 "pure" co-working spaces in the Golden State -- a number that is more than twice that of any other state. New York City, meanwhile, continues to have the most expensive flexible work space in the nation, with desks costing $1,047 to rent on average per month.
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Spring Has Sprung for Digital Marketing in Shopping Malls
Mobile Marketing Watch (05/17/16) Martin, Emma

Spring, a platform that connects digital marketing with real-time payment data and in-store sales, has secured partnerships with four of the country's biggest shopping mall operators. The deals expand the reach of the network to more than 300 malls nationwide. An official statement read: "These partnerships with Simon Property Group, Starwood Retail Partners, Taubman Centers, and Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) allow the mall operators to offer mall-wide loyalty programs to their shoppers while also providing their retailers with access to high-intent shoppers while they are in the mall."

With the addition of these four mall operators, Spring now boasts a network with access to more than $60 billion in annual consumer spending across thousands of retailers and upwards of 1 billion consumer store visits annually. The Spring Network could change the way retailers market to shoppers coming into their properties. Spring founder and CEO Bruce Mitchell states, "By implementing the Spring platform, Simon, Starwood, Taubman, PREIT and their retailers can provide customers with tailored promotions and be able to see the full life-cycle from presentation of the ad to an in-store purchase and ongoing, repeat in-store purchases."
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Retail Real Estate Execs Place Winning Bets at RECon
Chain Store Age (05/20/16) Troy, Mike

An estimated 36,000 retail real estate professionals are gathering in Las Vegas this week for the annual RECon conference where they will exchange ideas, showcase hot projects, and hopefully do a few deals. The event is organized by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and features four days of educational sessions, networking opportunities, and roughly 1,000 exhibitors. A new component added to this year's show is reflective of the technology influence affecting all of retail. The Technology Lab is dedicated to providing attendees with a first-hand look at the future of real estate and retail technology, offering attendees an opportunity to mingle with a select group of cutting-edge technology companies who are looking to innovate in the real estate industry in 2016.
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Keeping Coyotes, Bobcats out of Apartment Communities
Property Management Insider (05/23/16) Blackwell, Tim

In some parts of the country, coyotes and bobcats can be seen in and around apartment communities. Generally, these animals are not aggressive toward humans, but they do pose dangers to small pets. Apartment owners, operators, and residents should do their best to discourage coyotes from hanging around their premises. It seems like simple advice, but don't give coyotes and bobcats a reason to hang around. They typically seek quiet places, like behind outbuildings and under patio decks when they're not in the wild. As long as they feel welcome, they will hang around. Bonnie Bradshaw, operates 911 Wildlife, an animal and wildlife removal, relocation and control service in Texas. She offers apartment staff several tips to discourage coyote habitation and intrusion.

First, clean up your property to minimize where coyotes like to stay. Eliminate brush piles and openings under structures. Prune lower limbs and branches of shrubs and small trees to a height of two feet to deprive the animals of cover where they can easily hide. Two, manage bird feeders carefully to avoid spillage that attracts rodents and rabbits, which are attractive coyote prey. Also, ask residents not to leave cat food outdoors. Three, avoid using landscape plants that produce fruits and seeds. Four, compost piles should be managed carefully so they will not encourage rodents or other prey attractive to coyotes and bobcats. Finally, eliminate available water sources for wildlife. This means removing ponds or fountains or installing net wire fences around their perimeter.
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40 Percent of the Buildings in Manhattan Could Not Be Built Today
New York Times (05/20/16) Bui, Quoctrung; Chaban, Matt A.V.; White, Jeremy

New York City's zoning code, the first in the country, turns 100 this year. Since it was approved in 1916, the ever-evolving code has changed many times to suit the needs of a swelling metropolis. As recent as this past March, Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration won approval for a vast citywide plan that would encourage sleeker, more affordable developments. Yet many of the Big Apple's buildings remain stuck in the past. In Manhattan alone, roughly two out of every five buildings are taller, bulkier, bigger, or more crowded than current zoning allows, data compiled by Stephen Smith and Sandip Trivedi shows. The two researchers evaluated public records on more than 43,000 buildings and found that about 17,000 of them do not conform to at least one part of the current zoning code. The reasons are varied, with some having too much residential area, others too much commercial space, while some are simply too tall.
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Downtown Calgary Has a Problem: Too Much Office Space, Not Enough Butts in Office Seats
Calgary Herald (Canada) (05/21/16) Varcoe, Chris

Calgary is currently grappling with a glut of vacant space in its downtown office buildings, which are home to many of Canada's biggest energy companies. By the end of this year's first quarter, CBRE reports that vacancy levels in the downtown core had risen to 20.2 percent, rivaling the dismal downturn of the early 1980s. With some companies expected to lay off more employees this year, the real estate firm wrote in its report that it anticipates the vacancy rate "may reach a level never seen before in Calgary's downtown market." Part of the problem lies in sublease space -- comprising 43 percent of total vacancies -- as companies locked into leases aim to find someone else willing to snap up their empty floors, often at steep discounts. Compounding the matter is another 3.5 million square feet of space coming on to the market in the next two years, warns Calgary Economic Development (CED). New buildings planned years ago are now under construction, including Brookfield Place and the Manulife Building. Kwong says without a sharp rise in oil prices, the vacancy situation won't dramatically improve and may get worse. Vacancy rates could hit 23 percnet to 25 percent within the next year or two.

So, what can be done to solve the glut? CED officials are busy looking for answers. Details are still being developed, but the development authority is devising a plan to recruit new businesses to the city. Other ideas include getting out-of-town businesses to set up satellite shops in the downtown core and having building owners look at repurposing under-utilized structures. Some buildings could become business incubators, while others might be converted into residential real estate. "Some of these ideas aren't new, they've been tried in other places," notes CED Chairman Steve Allan. "And then frankly in some cases, should we blow up the buildings? We have had people in the development community say we're not over-built, we are under-demolished."
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Lowy: Shopping Centers Must Adapt to Survive
Associated Press (05/18/16)

Westfield Corp. co-CEO Steven M. Lowy believes shopping centers have to act more like technology companies in order to remain relevant in today's fast-changing consumer marketplace. Lowy states, "Amazon is having a massive impact. . . . We understand the need to change and adapt." Lowy noted that the world's largest online retailer cannot do such things as create "beautiful spaces" for shopping and community gathering. He made his remarks this past week to few thousand retailers, suppliers, venture capitalists, and analysts at Shoptalk, a three-day technology and retail conference. Lowy said that Westfield, one of the world’s largest mall operators with a total portfolio value of $29 billion, has lately been spending as much time on technology as its real estate properties. Two years ago, for instance, the company opened an innovation lab in San Francisco called Westfield Labs. More recently, it created a "searchable" mall where shoppers can click onto the Westfield website to buy approximately four million products from 250 retailers.

Westfield is also getting out of malls in smaller cities and placing greater emphasis on such major world capitals as London and Milan. In its soon-to-open World Trade Center mall, Westfield has collaborated with Ford Motor Co. to build a so-called Ford Hub to serve as an innovation showroom. In addition, Westfield is rebuilding its Century City mall in Los Angeles to "look like no other mall." In London, meanwhile, it is testing services like enabling customers to order a meal at one of the mall's eateries on an app while walking out of a store. Lowy told attendees that he is also seeing an increasing cultural change among retailers to begin sharing data once deemed as confidential about their customers with shopping center owners and operators. That will make it easier for malls to fine-tune their marketing strategies to attract shoppers and lead to increased sales. Westfield operates 34 shopping centers worldwide.
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Larger Apartment Markets Push Down Rent Growth According to Axiometrics Recent Survey (05/17/2016)

Axiometrics reports that increasing moderation in the nation's larger markets pushed U.S. annual effective rent growth down to 3.9 percent in April 2016, the first time the rate has been under 4.0 percent since July 2014. Nevertheless, the apartment sector continued to show signs of strength last month. Occupancy increased for the third month in a row to 95.1 percent, while the $1,277 average effective rent was $12 higher than March's average. Jay Denton, Axiometrics' senior vice president of analytics, notes, "Many of the nation's largest apartment markets precipitated the drop." Looking at individual markets, Denver's April rent growth was the second lowest of this cycle, while New York's fell below 1.0 percent for the first time since February 2014. Sacramento, with a rate of 11.4 percent, was the only metro among Axiometrics' top 50 to achieve double-digit annual effective rent growth during April. As a result, it maintained its No. 1 rank among the top 50 based on number of units for the second consecutive month. Fort Worth held the distinction of being the biggest mover, climbing to seventh place from No. 13.
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The Race for the Wood Skyscraper Starts Here
Bloomberg (05/16/16) Clark, Patrick

Supporters of cross-laminated timber (CLT) believe one day the material will be used to erect buildings in place of materials like concrete and steel. CLT and other engineered wood products were first used in Europe in the 1900s. The process of creating CLT buildings involves assembling prefabricated parts, speeding construction, and lowering labor costs. The use of wood also makes it more environmentally friendly when compared to buildings made of concrete. CLT's popularity is catching on across the globe, with wood buildings being built in Norway, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The majority of those buildings have been higher than 10 stories.

In the United States, grants have been awarded to construct wooden buildings in New York and Portland, Ore. Moving forward, experts say the industry will have to convince government agencies to approve more buildings made of wood, which will require companies to prove wood can be a reliable building material. Other issues include whether or not people are willing to occupy them and if trees can be harvested in a sustainable manner.
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Ballooning Nashville Office Rents Strain Businesses
The Tennessean (05/20/16) Ward, Getahn

With new high-rise office towers rising in downtown Nashville pushing the Music City's top rent to $40 a square foot, even older buildings are asking tenants to pay more in a landlord's market with historic low vacancy rates. Some see the local leasing rate growth, which has continued at a solid 5 percent clip over the last year, as one more sign of Nashville's evolution "into the big leagues" after years of being stagnant catching up with the country. Across Nashville, renewing companies are seeing a 10 percent to as much as a 30 percent increase over past lease rates, reports tenant representation specialist Tim Stowell. He sees the combination of strong demand for local office space amid low vacancy translating into higher costs of doing business in Nashville for all concerned.

In the first three months of this year, Nashville's overall office rental rates hit a new record high of $22.57 a square foot. According to CBRE, that is a higher average than such peer cities as Charlotte and Atlanta. Music City's average Class A rent climbed to a record $27.67 per square foot as of March 31, the research further shows. "It's a supply and demand thing," remarked Steve Kulinski, managing director for CBRE's Nashville office. "The supply is down to a minimum right now. With a 6 percent vacancy rate, there's really no big blocks of space out there. At this point, landlords can pretty much control the market." CBRE researchers say rates should continue to increase until new office space delivers. Kulinski cited the lag time for erecting a new office building for his belief that Nashville office rents aren't going to stabilize until at least the next two to three years.
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Commercial Buildings & the Retrofit Opportunity (05/11/2016) Tryson, Lisa

A growing trend in the building construction industry is retrofitting older structures instead of building new ones. In particular, this technique is effective in making older buildings more energy efficient. The Rocky Mountain Institute has been working on developing a new retrofit plan known as the deep energy retrofit. The plan calls for a number of features that can make buildings much more energy efficient. It includes demand response technology, thermal energy storage, solar panels, and cogeneration systems. However, a deep energy retrofit is a long and difficult process to complete and is expensive. To make the technique more affordable, the Mayor of Seattle has developed a pilot project that involves a local utility and the Bullitt Foundation. Through the use of an energy efficiency meter and a contract between the power company and investors, a building can make efficient upgrades over time. The initiative has proved successful enough that supporters say it can be replicated elsewhere.
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RMI/IREM Retrofit Training Available

Based on the Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI’s) groundbreaking work in valuing energy efficiency and sustainability, IREM has created a series of courses that show investment real estate professionals how to analyze the financial impact of energy and sustainability retrofits and make a compelling case to move projects forward with owners, investors, and other stakeholders. The Analyzing and Presenting Deep Retrofit Value online course series examines how deep sustainability and energy retrofits contribute to real estate asset value.

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