IREM Real Estate Management News
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn www.irem.org Banner
October 15, 2014
subscribe
Send to a Colleague
Join IREM

If recreational marijuana usage is legalized in your state, will you:
Vote and see results


Upcoming Events
IREM Executive Edge
10/16/2014-10/18/2014 - Orlando, FL

Ethics for the Real Estate Manager - ETH800
10/16/2014 - Orlando, FL

Managing the Physical Asset - MNT402
10/20/2014 - New Orleans, LA

Investment Real Estate: Financial Tools - FIN402
10/22/2014 - New Orleans, LA

Managing the Physical Asset - MNT402
10/22/2014 - Cherry Hill, NJ

Managing Residential Properties - RES201
10/23/2014 - San Diego, CA

Build Your Business: A Leadership Retreat
11/5/2014-11/7/2014 - Chicago


Industry Partners
Yardi
 
BehrPro
 
Appfolio
 
UnionBank
 
Circumspex
 
 

LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT
IREM Executive Edge Kicks Off Tomorrow

IREM® HEADLINES
Starting Your Own Property Management Company
What Should You Delegate?
Use IREM Sustainability to Get ENERGY STAR Scores for Multifamily

INDUSTRY HEADLINES
Houston Kids to Frolic at World's Largest Mall Playground
Orkin Releases New Findings Regarding Pests in Apartment Homes
What to Do With Dying Suburban Office Buildings? Turn Them Into Schools
8 Simple Strategies to Maximize Energy Savings
Capital One Uses Local Artwork to Create 'Windows'
Inspectors Pressuring Soft Story Buildings Owners to Come Into Compliance
Restaurant Industry Rebounds as Diners Seek Niche Concepts
Brown Stove Works Launches Industry's First Heat-Sensing Range That Reduces Risk of Cooking Fires
Retailers Adjust Formulas to Appeal to Growing Market
HUD Takes Action Against Hostile Apartment Rules Against Children Included no Playing Outside
3 Ways AMLI Residential Reduced Energy Consumption and Expenses
Fairfax County Eases Rules for Food Trucks


 

Leadership Spotlight


IREM Executive Edge Kicks Off Tomorrow

IREM Executive Edge, the only industry event designed to meet the challenges and needs of both multifamily and commercial real estate managers, launches tomorrow in Orlando.

If you are in the Orlando area, you can still attend! Register on site at the Hilton Bonnet Creek. Come for a day or for the full three-day experience.

This unique conference is curated specifically for real estate management professionals, designed to invigorate your leadership skills, offer ample networking opportunities and give you the education you need to develop new business.

Among dozens of incredible sessions not to be missed, make sure you attend, “The Generational Impact on Commercial Real Estate” Friday, October 17 -- a distinguished panel of industry experts will focus on the changing market dynamics brought about by this unprecedented demographic shift.

Greatness awaits this week in Orlando, and we hope you can experience it.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter 
 

IREM Headlines


Starting Your Own Property Management Company

From the IREM Blog posting on October 1, by Rebecca Niday.

So what does it take to start your own property management company? Are you ready to transition from managing properties to managing a business? While the prospect of becoming your own boss is exciting, it is important to thoughtfully consider the following areas before pursuing your management company endeavor.
  1. Skillset: It is not uncommon for an individual to be an excellent manager as an employee but not be successful as the owner of their own management business as the skill sets are different. Are you self-motivated and energetic? Do you have the willingness and ability to accept risk and responsibility and assume authority? Are you able to “see the big picture” and lead others? Spend some time reflecting on these questions and the skills necessary to be a successful entrepreneur.
  2. Structure: In most states, a property management company is required to have a real estate broker’s license in order to do business. Before you make a major commitment to start a management business, it is important to thoroughly investigate your state’s licensing requirements. Also, carefully review what type of ownership is right for you with an attorney and accountant: sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
  3. Stories: The stories and lessons learned from experienced management company owners are invaluable when going out on your own. Being active in the real estate management community is critical to success, and networking is the number one way to obtain new clients. Seek out experienced management company owners to find out how they got started, what worked for them, and what they would have done differently.
Once the decision has been made to start a property management company, you should consider additional planning activities such as developing a market niche and establishing a business plan. There is no doubt that going out on your own is both challenging and rewarding. If you wish to learn more about starting a property management company, check out IREM’s online course Starting a Property Management Company.

Continue checking the IREM Blog for other useful information.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Return to Headlines
What Should You Delegate?

Managing a piece of real estate can be extremely time consuming. Unless it’s a very small property, one individual would find it almost impossible to manage without some help. As real estate management professionals move up the career ladder, they have less time to actually manage properties. Instead, they have to manage the people who manage the properties.

Perhaps the defining competency that separates a supervisor from a “worker bee” is the ability to delegate responsibly. It is, however, one of the toughest competencies for a new supervisor (and for a lot of experienced supervisors) to master. Research suggests that leaders who delegate authority more frequently often have higher performing businesses.

But, the same research also finds that if delegation is not done responsibly, it can lead to lower engagement and productivity among the employees to whom tasks have been delegated. To be a better leader and supervisor you can’t just delegate more—you have to do it in a skillful, responsible manner.

The first step is to identify everything you are currently doing, and the time it takes to do it. You might determine that there are some tasks you can eliminate completely. After you have completed that assessment, consider which tasks you can delegate, with the following in mind:
  • Delegate whole tasks rather than parts. It will provide a more motivating experience for the person receiving the assignment.
  • Delegate things that you don’t do well, or others could do better.
  • Delegate less important items, or those that keep you from doing more important things.
  • Delegate tactical activities—not strategic responsibilities.
  • Delegate authority along with tasks. Remember, you can’t delegate accountability.
Want to learn more about how to be better at delegating? Check out IREM’s new self-paced, online course: Delegating to Empower Your Team.

If you are interested in more ideas on how to grow your business, you should also consider IREM’s new Build Your Business: A Leadership Retreat coming to Chicago this November 5-7. It is a new, unique conference and experience for high-level real estate management executives.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Return to Headlines
Use IREM Sustainability to Get ENERGY STAR Scores for Multifamily

ENERGY STAR Scores for Multifamily Housing are now available. This is a potential game changer in the industry, and IREM Sustainability can help you lead the way! Multifamily properties have been able to use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for several years but were unable to achieve a score. Now, thanks to reference data from an industry survey conducted by Fannie Mae, multifamily properties with 20 or more residential living units can obtain a fair assessment of energy performance relative to peers, taking into account climate, weather, and business activities at the property. As with other types of properties, benchmarking a multifamily property through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager yields a 1 to 100 percentile score, relative to the national population. The score applies to individual buildings as well as properties with multiple buildings.

To receive a score, you will need:
  • 12 months of complete energy data for all fuels and meters on the property
  • Gross floor area for all buildings on the property
  • Total number of residential living units
  • Total number of bedrooms
How can IREM Sustainability help you use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and achieve a score? It’s simple. The IREM Sustainability program includes a data entry service—very modestly priced compared to other services. We’ll set up your Portfolio Manager account for you. Once you have a score, you can:
  • Track energy and water use and act to save money, using the IREM Sustainability platform to choose projects, find incentives, and engage solutions providers—and using the platform is free
  • Potentially obtain the ENERGY STAR Label for your property
  • Easily demonstrate required energy performance for the IREM Certified Sustainable Property Certification
Questions? Visit www.iremsustainability.com or e-mail sustainability@irem.org.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Return to Headlines

Industry Headlines


Houston Kids to Frolic at World's Largest Mall Playground
Houston Chronicle (10/10/14) Sewing, Joy

Memorial City Mall in west Houston will open what is being touted as the world's largest shopping-mall play area for young children on Oct. 18. The three-level Frolic's Castle is located in the mall's Sears' wing near its multi-screen movie theater. Admission is free. "Our intent was to create something special and over-the-top," said Harry Hadland, vice president of retail and hospitality for MetroNational, which owns Memorial City Mall. "We wanted to make sure it had a great theme for kids and it was really a magical place." Memorial City Mall currently attracts approximately 20 million visitors a year. While an existing play castle had been popular, the new attraction will provide a much more interactive adventure designed by PlayTime, which has created play areas at mall and retail shopping areas worldwide. The handmade play equipment was built at the company's headquarters in Englewood, Colo., and the play elements are made with certified bacteria- and fungal-resistant material. "To give this much retail space for a free amenity for customers is unbelievable," said David O'Niones, PlayTime's vice president of retail. "Play areas have changed the landscape of shopping in the last 15 years. Malls and shopping centers have become destinations."

Retail shopping areas nationwide are indeed offering more entertainment options to meet consumer demand. At the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., a roller coaster is among the major draws. Grapevine Mills near Dallas, meanwhile, features a Legoland. Frolic's Castle, which is designed for kids under 48 inches tall, will be fully ADA accessible. Moms and dads will be required to accompany their children into the play area, which can accommodate up to 165 at a time. Features include knight and princess cutouts for photo opportunities; a catapult slide that leads to the magic Frog Prince; an enchanted forest tree with a secret tunnel; a drawbridge; and interactive sounds throughout, including a snoring giant, a bubbling cauldron, and a grunting ogre. Jesse Tron, a spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers, concludes that malls are "no longer about a distribution channel for goods. They have to be a consumer destination, whether it's expanding or adding amenities. It's a trend in the retail environment from dining to entertainment."
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Orkin Releases New Findings Regarding Pests in Apartment Homes
Multi-Housing News (10/14)

According to a new survey released by pest control company Orkin, recurring pest issues cause 60 percent of apartment residents to look for a new place to live -- a finding supported by the National Apartment Association (NAA). Experts say apartment managers should work with pest management professionals to seal all cracks in the building exterior, install weather-stripping and screens, and maintain landscaping in a way that does not attract pests. The survey found that 85 percent of survey participants had encountered a pest in their apartment in the past 12 months. Bed bugs were the most feared pests, but flies were the most often sighted. Ninety-four percent of apartment residents said they would like to be notified of pest issues in their buildings, while 75 percent expected pest issues to be resolved within three days, according to the poll.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

What to Do With Dying Suburban Office Buildings? Turn Them Into Schools
Washington Post (10/08/14) O'Connell, Jonathan

The office market in Northern Virginia is as down as it has been in 25 years, with few companies expanding and those that are increasingly choosing from a small pool of buildings within walking distance from public transportation, restaurants, and other amenities. Other building owners are weighing whether they should lower rents, take a wait-and-see approach until demand picks up, or consider futures for their buildings other than as office buildings. Among the possibilities: turning these old office spaces into schools. While anything beneath Class A office space is increasingly empty in the area, the schools are packed thanks to a booming residential population. Classrooms can be easily partitioned off, but creating gymnasiums, libraries, and theaters can be more of a challenge. While not every office building would work as a school, area education officials in the region are becoming more accustomed to the idea as those in Manhattan and parts of Chicago already have.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

8 Simple Strategies to Maximize Energy Savings
Buildings (10/09/14)

With October being National Energy Action Month, this is the ideal time for building owners and operators to implement new strategies to save energy and reduce costs. Of course, with tenant needs to consider and the ever-increasing price of energy, setting aggressive reduction goals and seeing them through to the subsequent savings can be a challenge. To this end, the Greater Cincinnati Green Business Council offers eight tips that can help property managers' energy-reduction efforts score big on their electricity bill. Tip one, use programmable thermostats and use them properly. They not only allow for a quick way to reduce heating and cooling costs, they have the added convenience of not having to constantly worry whether the temperature is appropriate. Number two, implement lighting changes. For instance, one area of lighting that often goes overlooked is exit signage. Since they are always on, make sure your exit signs are as efficient as possible. At the same time, occupant sensors are a quick fix that can help cut lighting costs. Three, managers should be sure to remind occupants to turn off computers and other equipment at the end of each day. Tip four, form an employee green team -- a great way to help keep everyone responsible for saving energy.

Five, check all interior and exterior spaces for damage. After all, building owners cannot repair problems they don't know are there. Tip six, conduct regular building audits to find any underperforming equipment and install replacements as soon as possible. Seven, benchmark your energy performance using a tool like the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Finally, join or start a local green business council. Such panels give companies a terrific resource to help identify sustainability strategies and identify ways to maximize available resources.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Capital One Uses Local Artwork to Create 'Windows'
Argus Leader (10/07/14) Raposa, Megan

As Capital One Financial wraps up a major building remodel this month at its northeast Sioux Falls, Iowa, office, the firm looked close to home for help with the finishing touches. All the art that will go on display in the remodeled facility came from Sioux Falls and South Dakota artists. The Virginia-based firm has set a corporate standard encouraging each branch to become involved in their local communities, according to David Long, director. "Obviously, we are not a Sioux Falls company, but we have Sioux Falls employees, and this just reflects our commitment to the community," he said. "We expect [our employees] to come in and be creative, and this [local art] really provides an opportunity just to strengthen that culture." The art selected for display in the building encompasses a variety of mediums, from traditional paintings and photos to abstract art. Julie Rakes, a Capital One spokeswoman, said the main goal of the local artwork is to liven up windowless rooms in the firm's office buildings.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Inspectors Pressuring Soft Story Buildings Owners to Come Into Compliance
ABC7News.com (CA) (10/07/14)

San Francisco building inspectors are now working to convince owners of 380 soft-story buildings to shore-up their structures. As part of the effort, inspectors are tagging properties throughout the city. The spots tagged are among the 5 percent of buildings where owners have not complied with city retrofit requirements adopted last year. Under the rules, building owners had until mid-September to return an initial inspection form completed by an architect or structural engineer, outlining whether the building was up to code or if work was needed. "We post this warning sign to ask the owner to submit the screening form," said Tom Hui, Director of the San Francisco Department of Building Inspectors. "This gives them a 30-day notice." Owners of soft-story buildings have up to three years to comply with the required retrofits.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Restaurant Industry Rebounds as Diners Seek Niche Concepts
Orange County Register (CA) (10/11/14) Luna, Nancy

In California's Orange County and elsewhere, a dining culture is emerging that is far different than previous boom years. Instead of peppering shopping malls with cookie-cutter chains, developers are now looking for players with more trendy street food and garden-to-table menus. In some instances, restaurants are taking over former retail locations -- a pattern of growth reflecting the value retail developers are placing on eateries as main attractions for their malls. "Food has become a real big focus for us," confirms Stacie Ellis, senior marketing director for Irvine Company Retail Properties. "You can't dine online." The Irvine Co. is one of biggest developers betting on modern dining concepts to draw traffic to their mall properties. Through the first eight months of this year, the company has added 48 new restaurants -- more than quadruple the 11 launched in 2009 over that same time span.

Local and national data show that the restaurant industry is finally rebounding from the Great Recession. In this year's first and second quarters, a total of 247 new eating places opened in Orange County alone. Nationally, key restaurant indicators -- ranging from foot-traffic to same-store sales -- have shown consistent gains over the past year and a half, according to the National Restaurant Association. In August, a majority of operators polled by the trade group registered higher sales for the sixth month in a row. Restaurant consultant Randy Hiatt said mall developers are seizing any opportunity they can to replace aging chains with hipster brands that appeal to Baby Boomers and Millennials alike. Catering to both generations has become mission-critical because Boomers tend to spend more money eating out than any other demographic, while Millennials "drive food trends,” stated Hiatt.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Brown Stove Works Launches Industry's First Heat-Sensing Range That Reduces Risk of Cooking Fires
Marketwired (10/09/14)

Brown Stove Works recently took the wraps off the cooking appliance industry's first and only electric range designed to reduce the risk of range cooking fires. The new HeatSense Range uses an innovative heat-sensing technology, which monitors the cooking temperatures of cookware and modulates the top coil elements to keep the cooking temperatures below the ignition point of standard cooking oils. "Multifamily housing, apartment managers, and public housing directors constantly seek ways to reduce the risk of cooking fires, and we responded by developing the HeatSense Range," said Jeff Essenburg, vice president of sales for the manufacturer of gas and electric cooking appliances. "The National Fire Protection Association considers unattended cooking fires to be the leading source of home fires and home fire injuries." The new range is available in three sizes and three different colors.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Retailers Adjust Formulas to Appeal to Growing Market
San Diego Union Tribune (10/07/14) Showley, Roger

More and more retailers are changing tactics and taking aggressive steps to adjust to an urbanizing customer base, as Baby Boomers and their Millennial kids are fleeing the suburbs and moving back to city centers. Taco Bell, for instance, is rolling out mobile phone ordering later this month. Starbucks, meanwhile, is building new locations as small as 600 square feet. The western regional convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers recently asked several panelists to analyze this very trend. Lynn Lloyd, Taco Bell's western regional franchise development leader, observes that the fast-feeder is rolling out pre-ordering via mobile phone after observing the frustration of customers at its handful of stores in New York City. "People would come in the door for lunch, see the queue and walk out," she stated. "We don't want that to happen."

Jim Delehoy, a store development manager for the Starbucks cahin, said his company has been in urban centers for decades and approaches its customer base as encompassing all age groups. New outlets can range up to 3,000 square feet with a variety of floor plans available. He remarks, "It allows us to be nimble and customize the experience for the neighborhood we're looking at." But these and other companies must deal with developers and how they configure retail spaces in mixed-used buildings. It helps chains to know early which space their outlets will occupy and make sure that the utility ducts and other elements of their stores meet their needs. The location of truck docks and other loading and unloading areas is also critical, especially in instances where city zoning codes restrict on-street delivery access.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

HUD Takes Action Against Hostile Apartment Rules Against Children Included no Playing Outside
Lake County News (CA) (10/08/14)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has reached a discrimination settlement agreement with a Napa Valley apartment owner and charged the owners of a Lenexa, Kan., apartment community with discrimination as a result of management at two sites allegedly putting overly restrictive rules in place to control the movement of children. The allegations include apartment managers placing restrictions on children playing outside, and in one case, forcing kids to clean the manager's office toilet when found outside unaccompanied by an adult. "Placing special rules on families with children unfairly singles them out and creates a hostile living environment that is authoritarian and unequal," said Gustavo Valesquez, HUD assistance secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

Seven families and the nonprofit group Fair Housing of Napa Valley filed complaints with HUD alleging that the manager of the River Park Manor Apartments cursed at children when he found them playing outside unaccompanied. Under the terms of the agreement, the owners and manager of the facility will pay Fair Housing of Napa Valley $3,750; waive four months of rent for five of the families; pay two former residents a total of $7,000; and obtain fair housing training for employees.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

3 Ways AMLI Residential Reduced Energy Consumption and Expenses
Property Management Insider (10/03/14) Blackwell, Tim

Cutting energy costs has become a big initiative in the multifamily housing industry. AMLI Residential has reshaped its brand in recent years to focus on a greener side of apartment living and water savings at its various communities. The recent improvements at each of AMLI's 48 properties, along with a portfolio-wide site lighting upgrade, is netting significant savings in operating expenses. According to Bryan Re, AMLI Residential's National Director of Energy and Building Services, the luxury apartment manager is minimizing the amount of water circulating in its swimming pools and fountains to help reduce electricity usage and lower energy bills.

Re, who is a LEED Accredited Professional, joined AMLI Residential in 2012 and began visiting the company's apartment communities to find cost savings. He identified three things that would provide a quick return on investment and reduce energy costs: one, replacing existing pool pumps with variable speed circulation systems; two, installing timers on fountains to reduce run times; and, three, replacing HID site lighting with compact fluorescent lamps (or CFLs). "The savings were unreal," Re said.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Fairfax County Eases Rules for Food Trucks
WUSA9 (DC) (10/07/14)

Newly enacted zoning rules in Fairfax County, Va., allow food trucks to operate at commercial and industrial properties like office buildings, shopping centers, and construction sites. Previously, food trucks had to pay a $16,375 fee to attend two public hearings to get a special exemption to operate. Now, they are only required to get a $100 annual zoning permit, permission from the building owners, and other required permits and licenses. The new rules were authorized at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors' Oct. 7 meeting. "Food trucks are particularly popular for workers and residents in more urban areas, and I expect to see more of them operating at popular destinations such as Tysons, Mosaic District, Reston Town Center, and the newly renovated Springfield Mall," said Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova. The new regulations only apply to private property, and food trucks are still not allowed to park on public roads.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines



Abstract News © Copyright 2014 INFORMATION, INC.
Powered by Information, Inc.


Institute of Real Estate Management. All rights reserved. IREM® logo, IREM®, Certified Property Manager®, CPM®, the CPM key logo, Accredited Residential Manager®, ARM®, the ARM torch logo, Accredited Management Organization®, AMO®, the AMO circle logo, Income/Expense Analysis® , Expense Analysis® and JPM® are registered marks of the Institute of Real Estate Management.