Real Estate Management News - 06/19/2019

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June 19, 2019
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IREM® HEADLINES
Talking PropTech at Realcomm in Nashville
Canadian Conference Attendees Experience the Power of Storytelling
There’s a First Time for Everything at the 2019 IREM® Global Summit

INDUSTRY HEADLINES
Making Employee Onboarding Impactful
Landlords Court Brokers With Events, Incentives
How the American Dream Mega-Mall Is Defying Retail Trends
3 Great Tips for Apartment Communities Using Google Ads
Electronic Doors Delayed Police Response During Virginia Beach Shooting
Forget the Mall, Shoppers Are Buying Gucci at Airports
Apartment Communities Ready to Assist Elan City Lights Victims Displaced by Collapsed Crane
Green Growth Brands Launching 70 Shops at Brookfield Shopping Centers
Are College Grads Too Optimistic About Their Lifestyles?
Destructive Super Termites are Swarming in South Florida, Worse Than Ever, Experts Say
Facial Recognition Could . . . Threaten Your Civil Liberties, Experts Say
Fast Flooring for Changing Spaces


 
 

IREM Headlines


Talking PropTech at Realcomm in Nashville

Data, automation and the tenant experience were identified as top technology trends that are impacting the work of property managers at the IREM-sponsored Property Management and Technology Forum held during last week’s Realcomm conference in Nashville.

IREM’s innovator-in-residence, James Scott, who also serves as lead researcher for the MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab, moderated the opening panel, which he kicked off by asking about the key technology trends that have emerged in the property management space. Brian Zrimsek of MRI Software zeroed in on data and what is to be learned by looking at it in the context of the physical space. The goal moving forward, he said, is to spend less time gathering data from its various sources and putting it into reports and more time analyzing the data in order to do work that adds value to the property.

Waddell Wright, CPM, CCIM, of W. Wright & Co., LLC, of Nashville, focused on the need to capitalize on artificial intelligence as a way to continue moving toward automating the front- and back-office activities in order to free time for more value-added work. When asked if this automation could lead to job losses, Greg Cichy, CPM, of Colliers International, AMO, in Washington, DC, said that automation is changing the work done by property managers but it isn’t eliminating jobs, noting that as a third-party property manager, “I seem to be busier than ever.” What is happening, he said, is that work is being redeployed elsewhere. If anything, he said, there is a lack of talent, particularly in building operations and engineering where it is difficult to find skilled, tech-savvy staff.

Cichy also commented on the growing importance of the tenant experience in commercial properties, with software and apps that enable tenants to easily connect with services and amenities. He cited the recently launched Neighborhood Curated by Colliers, a platform that consists of technology-forward services and creates new ways to engage with tenants and build a sense of community for its clients and their tenants.

According to Jim Young, CEO of Realcomm Conference Group, some 2,500 attendees and 210 exhibitors converged on Nashville for Realcomm 2019. Now in its 21st year, Realcomm is the leading conference on technology, innovation, and automation for the commercial and corporate real estate and facilities industries.
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Canadian Conference Attendees Experience the Power of Storytelling

The power of storytelling and its use in business was the theme of an all-day session at the annual meeting of the Real Estate Institute of Canada (REIC) held earlier this month in Niagara. With the dramatic Niagara Falls forming the backdrop, Tina Gluschenko of Pinnacle Performance Company reinforced that good communication is the key to business success. Noting the power of a story to leave a long-lasting impression on an audience, Gluschenko cited six reasons for weaving storytelling into business activities: First, as a way to overcome objections; second, to clarify meaning; third, to build rapport; fourth, to communicate a vision; fifth, to lead a team through change; and sixth, to motivate and inspire.

REIC is IREM’s partner in Canada, and the storytelling session was part of a conference hosted by IREM and directed to the leaders of the eight REIC and seven IREM Chapters in Canada. Kicking off the conference was IREM secretary/treasurer Chip Watts, CPM, CCIM, of Birmingham, Ala., who was joined by outgoing vice president of IREM Canada, Ron Penner, CPM, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and incoming vice president of IREM Canada, Chrystal Skead, CPM, of Calgary, Alberta.

Also at the REIC annual meeting, Ken Loeppky, CPM, of Regina, Saskatoon, took the helm as the 2019-2020 president of REIC, succeeding Winson Chan, FRI, CRES, of Toronto. Other IREM Members serving on the 2019-2020 REIC board are Walter Lui, FRI, CPM, CRES, of Toronto, serving as secretary/treasurer; Diane Glover, CPM, of Winnipeg; Steve Kincade, CPM, of Saint John, New Brunswick; Yolanta Murphy, CPM, ARM, CRP, of Edmonton, Alberta; and Theresa Salsman, CPM, ARM, of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
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There’s a First Time for Everything at the 2019 IREM® Global Summit

Things move fast in the real estate management industry, from new technologies to new legislation. We in the industry need to keep up and keep moving forward. It’s in this spirit that IREM is introducing a number of firsts at the 2019 Global Summit, which is being held September 23-26 in San Francisco.

Firsts that include more entertainment and networking options, unique and inspiring speakers making their Global Summit debuts, educational sessions that reflect the challenges real estate managers face today, and the inauguration of our first international member as IREM President. And to help keep attendees relaxed and energized, this is the first time early morning yoga sessions will be offered, with all proceeds going to the IREM Foundation in support of our industry.

This blog will give you more of a taste of the many firsts you can experience at the 2019 IREM Global Summit, and we hope it inspires you to take your first (but not your last) step toward registering for this not-to-be-missed event.
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Industry Headlines


Making Employee Onboarding Impactful
Multi-Housing News (06/14/19) Henderson, Jennifer

The article's author details a number of best practices for designing, implementing, and delivering truly impactful employee onboarding in the multifamily housing industry. One, "tap into your teams." You can't improve what you don't know needs improvement, so offer opportunities for your teams to provide honest feedback into training. Two, conduct a one- or two-day training program offsite with an HR manager or training manager before each new staffer even begins working at your apartment community. Three, emphasize company culture. Onboarding is the absolute best time to start training new employees in their jobs and to educate them about such important workplace issues as Fair Housing compliance and sexual harassment.

Four, be sure to make it fun. A fun, energetic onboarding process not only puts people at ease, it gets them in a good frame of mind to absorb what you want to teach them. Five, "accommodate different learning styles." After all, everyone learns differently, so it's vital for an onboarding process to be designed accordingly. Six, realize that it's an ongoing process. The initial orientation will not be the be-all, end-all of a new employee's training. That's why the author's seventh tip is to follow up on the initial offsite orientation with a so-called "drip campaign" of webinars. Finally, collect feedback. When any new hire completes the onboarding, ask for his or her unvarnished feedback to improve the onboarding experience for subsequent associates.
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Landlords Court Brokers With Events, Incentives
Crain's Detroit Business (06/16/19) Pinho, Kirk

Office property brokers -- whose primary source of income is generally commissions from deals -- are being lured with promises of gift cards, two years of a vehicle lease, and all sorts of other incentives. In exchange, building owners and landlord representatives get their empty and/or updated office space in front of key potential tenants who may be in the market for new digs in the near future. Barbara Eaton, director of leasing and business development for Michigan-based developer and landlord Redico LLC, said 20,000 square feet at the company's 25-story American Center office tower in suburban Southfield was occupied as a direct result of one of their incentive events. The asking rate for American Center is $19.50 per square foot a year. At that rate, that's $390,000 annually in Redico's coffers.

Eaton added that in Hawaii, where the company also owns office properties, one giveaway was a bottle of wine and a puddle-jumper flight that takes travelers from one island to another. In St. Louis, meanwhile, it was playoff hockey tickets. "What landlords like is the opportunity to have a smaller group of people that they can select and bring them deals, but also have some time to work with them and talk with them," Eaton said. Barbara Crane, a San Antonio-based broker who is president of the CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) Institute, notes that landlord incentives for brokers do not pose ethical concerns. "The primary goal of any CCIM (designated) broker is to match the client with the right space," she remarked. Jennifer Cordon Thor, associate professor of management in the Oakland University School of Business Administration, agreed that the gifts themselves do not necessarily pose ethical problems. But they could if they are not disclosed to tenants.
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How the American Dream Mega-Mall Is Defying Retail Trends
Footwear News (06/15/19) George-Parkin, Hilary

The $5 billion American Dream Meadowlands mega-mall project is finally set to open its doors this fall. The East Rutherford, N.J. complex will boast approximately three million square feet of retail, entertainment, and dining space. Aside from such mall mainstays as Gap and H&M, it will feature a Nickelodeon Universe theme park, complete with two record-breaking roller coasters; an indoor ski slope and snowboard park, the first of its kind in North America; a giant Ferris wheel overlooking the New York City skyline; a DreamWorks water park; and an NHL-size ice rink. It will also offer a number of upscale retail tenants like Saint Laurent and Saks Fifth Avenue. In fact, the high-end portion of the mall will offer a separate entrance with valet parking. Food and beverage options will include the first-ever Kosher food hall. Future plans for the complex include a convention center and hotel. Nick Egelanian, president of the retail real estate consulting firm SiteWorks, remarks, "Pretty much everything you can think of in every kind of mall that caters to discretionary spending . . . add it all up, and that's what American Dream is."

He and other retail property professionals say this kind of "maximalist" strategy makes sense for 2019. Various research studies have shown that consumers today want better dining and entertainment options at shopping centers. At the same time, malls nationwide are investing major bucks into adding experiential elements to bring back some of the foot traffic claimed by e-commerce. Triple Five is well versed in colossal hybrid retail-entertainment projects, as it owns two of North America's biggest shopping centers, the West Edmonton Mall in Canada and the Mall of America in Minnesota. It took control of American Dream six years ago after previous iterations of the mall, then known as Xanadu, were negatively impacted by bankruptcies, lawsuits and the economic meltdown. Naveen Jaggi, president of retail advisory services at JJL, thinks the high-end stores will be a key draw for the new mall, especially for tourists visiting from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
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3 Great Tips for Apartment Communities Using Google Ads
SocialBarrell (06/13/19)

More and more apartment marketers are realizing that Google Ads is one of the best opportunities available to generate high-quality, cost-efficient leads online. Apartment communities are using Ads not only to boost their profile online, but also generate high-quality traffic to their website and, ultimately, to produce new leases for their community. The article's author provides three key tips to win with Google Ads. Number one is to set up campaigns that defend your branded keywords. Keywords that include an apartment community's name in them must be protected, as people who search for your apartment property's website by name are going to be your highest quality leads. After all, they've come to know enough about your community to Google it by name.

Two, target keywords that reflect intention to lease. Some keywords may sound smart to go after at first, but could actually be less valuable down the line. But if someone searches for, say, "[community name] pet policy," that would suggest they are a more engaged lead. When targeting keywords, think through the probable intention behind the search. Finally, use location-specific keywords. That doesn't mean city or state, but more specific locations that will narrow the search. "The idea is to pair those apartments targeting specific locations with the other keyword strategies you're using," the article's author concludes. Doing this will narrow the focus of your paid search advertising, thereby targeting more qualified leads and reducing the possibility that your ad would be shown to the wrong prospective residents.
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Electronic Doors Delayed Police Response During Virginia Beach Shooting
Campus Safety Magazine (06/06/2019)

Police officers responding to the recent shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Va., had trouble accessing doors on the second floor because they did not have the required key cards. The officers considered using a sledgehammer, an explosive charge, or other means of breaking down the doors because they did not have the necessary electronic cards. While officers were evacuating people on the third floor of the building, the gunman opened fire on officers on the second floor, shooting them through doors and walls. The officers were able to eventually kill the shooter.

Key card technology was also an issue for law enforcement during the 2013 Washington Navy Yard shooting, in which a former Navy reservist killed 12 people before being shot dead. Access control is a very important aspect of building security, but it is also important that solutions are in place for law enforcement to effectively respond to emergency and active shooter situations. "In the case of access control, organizations must work closely with first responders -- police, fire, and EMS -- to ensure that they have access to their buildings during an emergency," states Robin Hattersley, editor-in-chief of Campus Safety.
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Forget the Mall, Shoppers Are Buying Gucci at Airports
Wall Street Journal (06/17/19) Kang, Jaewon; Terlep, Sharon

Makers of luxury goods think they have found the antidote to the fading American shopping mall: airport terminals. From $38 lipstick to $400 Scotch, upscale retailers are finding fliers are willing to splurge during the so-called "golden hour" before their flight. In turn, many of the world's airports -- drawing ever more travelers with time to kill -- are emerging as havens of high-end shopping. "Very few channels have almost guaranteed traffic," remarked Olivier Bottrie, head of Estée Lauder's global travel-retail business. "When a department store goes away, it's not a major catastrophe. But if a major airport went away, it would be a major catastrophe."

Numerous examples abound. In 2018, Estée Lauder Co. generated more revenue at airports globally than at U.S. department stores for the first time in its history. Such other luxury-goods companies as spirits maker Bacardi Ltd. and Kering SA's Gucci are now expanding their presence at airport terminals. An average man or woman travels by plane three to four times a year and spends about 72 minutes waiting between security and flight -- i.e., the golden hour -- new Bacardi research shows. Particularly attractive is the influx of travelers with disposable income from such emerging markets as Brazil, China, and India -- all of which have rapidly expanding middle classes with untapped potential. In China, for example, an estimated 7,000 Chinese travelers take their first international flight every day, states Vinay Golikeri, managing director of global travel-retail at Bacardi.
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Apartment Communities Ready to Assist Elan City Lights Victims Displaced by Collapsed Crane
NBCDFW.com (06/14/19) Highberger, Jack

The timetable to remove the crane that fell on the Elan City Lights Apartments in Dallas earlier this month remains uncertain, according to its owner. Meanwhile, displaced residents checked out of hotels over the weekend on the final day of their comped stays paid for by Greystar, which manages the apartment complex. The good news: local apartment locators say it's easier for these tenants to quickly find new rental units than most imagine. "There are a bunch of properties in the area who are offering one to two months free rent, waving their move-in fees," apartment locator Matt Goodman, who works for TheAptsofDallas.com, states. Goodman and fellow locator Chantz Martin estimate there may be as many as 100 apartment buildings in and around Dallas that are interested in assisting Elan City Lights Apartments residents.

Apartment locators are a free service to renters, and both Goodman and Martin said they plan to donate a portion of their commissions, paid by the apartment communities, back to the tenants of the Elan City Lights Apartments. "It really just boiled down to helping people, that's what our company was founded on anyway," Martin said. Meanwhile, Greystar has hired a moving company to move personal belongings from the damaged building to an offsite location where they will be able to be collected in the coming days. Late last week, workers put up barriers around the entrance of the Elan City Lights Apartments after at least one resident broke in to retrieve his/her belongings overnight.
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Green Growth Brands Launching 70 Shops at Brookfield Shopping Centers
Pymnts.com (06/11/19)

Green Growth Brands (GGB's) this month inked a deal to open more than 70 new locations at Brookfield Properties' shopping centers across the United States. The agreement will expand GGB's physical footprint to approximately 280 total locations by the end of 2019, with the potential for additional locations in the months and years to come. Additionally, it sells its cannabidiol (CBD) products at DSW shoe stores nationwide. GGB Chief Executive Peter Horvath comments, "We know that consumers prefer to buy personal care and beauty products from physical stores, and this partnership will allow us access to millions of consumers." There are currently seven GGB shops within the Brookfield Properties' portfolio, which has more than 160 retail real estate assets total.

"Curation of our shopping centers is fundamental to our ongoing evolution," remarked Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of Brookfield Properties' retail group and vice chairman of Brookfield Property Group. "It is our job to bring in retail offerings and experiences that today's consumer desires, and this includes GGB's CBD products." GGB has been at the forefront of this trend and is expanding its chain of CBD-infused personal care product shops with a new brand dubbed Green Lily. Four Green Lily locations at Brookfield Properties' shopping centers are already in the planning stages for the near future.
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Are College Grads Too Optimistic About Their Lifestyles?
Realtor (05/24/19)

Apartment owners and operators take note. A new survey of 21- to 31-year-olds by The NHP Foundation reveals that college graduates in this age range expect they will live as well as or better than their parents. Even those with substantial student loan debt are optimistic about their future financial and housing picture. The nonprofit affordable housing provider says 65 percent of college graduates polled fully expect to be able to "afford the kind of housing they most prefer" in one to five years. Only 46 percent of respondents expect to live on their own. This comes as the share of young adults living at home has reached as high as 45 percent in markets like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.

Although 40 percent of respondents expect to pay off their student loans in one to three years, researchers say it's more likely that it will take about 10 years for them to do so. Meanwhile, 67 percent of respondents expect to spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. "We were surprised to learn that 54 percent of these young graduates know that they could potentially qualify for affordable housing under HUD's definition," said Richard Burns, president and CEO of The NHP Foundation. "This helps us understand how we need to consider housing to suit these renters, who may be in apartments for longer than they think."
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Destructive Super Termites are Swarming in South Florida, Worse Than Ever, Experts Say
South Florida Sun Sentinel (06/10/19) Wegman, Catie; Christensen, Doreen

Two relatively new species of termites are worse than ever this year in southeast Florida. "In the last five years there has been a 30 percent increase in Formosan and Asian termites in [the region]," says Rudolf Scheffrahn, a University of Florida entomology professor. "It won't get better because they have no natural enemies and only a fraction of the population is being treated by the pest control industry." These so-called "super termites" arrive fast, in huge numbers, and hit hard. A typical colony can host several million members traveling underground, burrowing up through buildings and munching through wood. Not only do they chew through wood, they move through the plumbing system and can disintegrate concrete.

At the rate they are spreading, half of the buildings and residences from the Keys to Palm Beach County are predicted to be at risk for infestation over the next 20 years, according to a 2016 study by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Scattered wings, bugs flying near lights, mud tubes around a building's foundation, and fecal pellets under infested wood are all signs of termites. Left untreated, termite problems can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
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Facial Recognition Could . . . Threaten Your Civil Liberties, Experts Say
Deseret News (UT) (06/11/19) Friedman, Gillian

Facial recognition technology is rising in popularity and is on a trajectory to be used in security systems for most crowded places, such as shopping malls and airports. Although the technology is beneficial, researchers have raised concerns about the technology's accuracy, as well as its serious implications for privacy, racial and gender bias. Already, there have been mistakes leading to the arrest of innocent people because of the technology. Additionally, while the government regulates other police investigative tools, such as wiretaps and fingerprints, there is a "complete absence of law" governing the use of face recognition by police, said Clare Garvie, an associate with the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law. "The impact this has on First Amendment activity are incredibly troubling and should not be understated," she said.
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Fast Flooring for Changing Spaces
Buildings (06/13/19) Kloepple, Sarah

At the recent NeoCon 2019 in Chicago, it was evident that flooring companies are continually looking for ways to make product installation easier and less time-consuming. Also, when it comes to adhesives that can negatively impact indoor air quality, more solutions are hitting the market that incorporate alternatives to glue. When it comes to such liquid adhesives, the installation time, coupled with the smell, often means commercial spaces cannot be occupied or used for a longer period of time. Two flooring companies, in particular, have come up with innovative solutions to this problem, with both pushing fast-attachment methods that require no glue or other liquid adhesives.

Tarkett's Tatami System received a Grand Prize for Product Innovations 2019 at NeoCon. Terry Mowers, the company's vice president of design for North America, comments, "We believe that the floor or carpeting needs to reconfigure or change as the work requirements change. We're taking traditional woven or tufted [carpeting], cutting them and finishing them in prescribed module sizes that can easily configure." The modules are connected via Tarkett's PowerTape, a patented, high-strength, specially formulated, scrim reinforced adhesive tape system. Also showing promise is Metrolor's Metroforms with Attraxion Magnet Attachment Technology -- a product that couples magnetic technology with the company's pre-cut designs. A sheet of magnetic material measuring 3-by-33.3 feet can cover 100 square feet and be laid out on an existing subfloor with no need for glue. "It takes what would otherwise be an extremely complex installation process and allows just about anybody to achieve the installation," Rogg concludes. “If you misalign a section, you can lift it up, slide it to the correct location and put it back down again."
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