ABA: NCUA Rule Would Foster Speculative Real Estate Investments

The American Bankers Association today urged the National Credit Union Administration to withdraw a proposed rule that would give federal credit unions greater incentives to spend depositors’ money on acquiring commercial real estate for leasing and on speculative real estate investments all while allowing credit unions to avoid taxes on profits unrelated to serving their depositors.

Spotlight

First American Data & Analytics

First American Data & Analytics, a division of First American Financial Corporation, is a national provider of property-centric information, risk management and valuation solutions. First American maintains and curates the industry’s largest property and ownership dataset that includes more than 7 billion document images. Its major platforms and products include: DataTree®, FraudGuard®, RegsData™, TaxSource™ and ACI®.

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Real Estate Technology, Asset Management

3 Proptech Trends That Are Making Waves in the Real Estate Industry

Article | June 15, 2023

Proptech, or property technology, comprises digital solutions that help facilitate buying, selling and leasing of commercial real estate. It is also called CREtech or REtech for commercial real estate technology, respectively. It usually refers to the digital tools and software used in real estate. With digitalization growing at an exponential rate across the real estate sector, proptech is evolving, here are three topmost trends in proptech that real estate solution providers must keenly follow. 1 3D House Tours Both prospective buyers and real estate agents love this technology. 3D house tours simulate a real house tour and can be viewed either on virtual reality (VR) headsets or one’s computer screen. They simplify initial interactions by enabling users to confirm their interest in a property, saving both time and visits for buyers and agents. They also allow agents to better market their properties and schedule multiple visits from the comfort of their offices. The ensuing process ensures that agents are able to provide realistic walkthroughs of their properties and eliminate friction from the get-go, making the showing as painless as possible. 2 Automated Service Desks Exceptional customer service is the name of the game in real estate and agents are expected to provide their clients with white glove service wherever possible. Conversational AI is one way that many real estate solution providers are achieving this. With round-the-clock contact channels to assist clients with the information they need, agents and brokers are better equipped to deal with queries and reduce their response time. The automation of menial tasks also ensures that they don’t have to be everywhere all the time. 3 Digital Transaction Management Real estate comes with its share of sky-high paperwork. With digital transaction management, agents can now reduce the significant amount of legwork that goes into managing paperwork. It also helps in signing documents digitally, which means physical presence isn’t needed to execute agreements and registration processes, making the process smoother and faster. Real estate clients with multiple properties will no longer need to be inundated with massive amounts of paperwork and travel. For the Record Digitalization is transforming industries at lightning speed and real estate is a frontrunner in adopting new technologies. The impact that proptech has on RE is visibly vital. The above trends are revolutionizing the real estate technology landscape. Keep an eye out to see how these trends change the way people buy and sell property.

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Real Estate Technology, Asset Management

Lockdowns To Push Back Spring Selling Season

Article | May 10, 2023

The spring selling season might be pushed back for a couple of weeks or even months as lockdowns restrict activity in some states and territories, according to CoreLogic. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, sales and listing turnouts typically rise from September to November. Over the ten years to December 2019, the growth in new listings during spring averaged 15.7% while sales hit 6.8%. CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said both sales and listings tend to be most seasonal in the capital cities, particularly in Sydney and the ACT. With the lockdowns, however, the in-demand locations might not witness the same level of activity this upcoming spring, which is only two weeks away. "Observing housing market performance through lockdowns reveals that both sales and listings volumes will fall through lockdowns," Ms Owen said. What can be learned from last year's Melbourne lockdown? The extended lockdown in Melbourne last year could provide a glimpse as to what could happen in this year's lockdowns. Melbourne was in lockdown from mid-July to late October. During the period, listings dropped consistently, hitting the lowest at 1,411 in the four weeks to September, which was 80.7% lower than the previous five-year average. There are several factors that contributed to the slowdown during the period. Aside from the obvious restrictions that have limited inspections and auctions to virtual sessions, the low levels of consumer confidence also dampened the overall market sentiment, with vendors being unsure whether they would get an optimal price for their properties. Mortgage repayment deferrals and other government support also contributed, as these prevented distressed sales. However, when restrictions in Melbourne got lifted by late October, there was a sudden shift in the market mood, with listings quickly recovering. "New listings volumes through December 2020 trended an average 40.4% higher than the previous five-year average, suggesting the spring selling season of 2020 was 'pushed back' into the final months of the year," Ms Owen said. Lockdowns to only postpone market activity Ms Owen said the trend in sales and listings through a lockdown indicate the relative stability of the economy and the housing market amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "This has meant that housing purchasing decisions were more likely to have just been postponed through lockdowns, rather than abandoned all together.” In fact, the muted sales activity through lockdowns actually led to an uplift in sales across Melbourne in December of 2020 and July 2021, a time when seasonally, sales volumes would usually be far more subdued. "There are tailwinds in place for housing market demand to suggest this may happen again; household savings rates remain elevated, new average mortgage rates continue to reach new record lows, and many government fiscal stimulus and broader institutional responses have been resurrected amid renewed lockdowns," Ms Owen said. Affordability might become a concern The consistent surge in prices across capital cities in recent months have already resulted in the inevitable constraints in affordability. CoreLogic's Hedonic Home Value Index in July showed a 1.6% gain in dwelling values, a retreat from the previous growth of 1.9%. Ms Owen said some support schemes that supported consumer sentiment, such as JobKeeper and HomeBuilder have already ended which could dampen the expected rebound in demand. The rising threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19 might also be a major headwind, as it could result in further lockdowns which will ultimately impact the incomes of Australian households. "With affordability constraints becoming a larger obstacle in the market, as well as the potential for tighter credit conditions further down the track, if buyer activity does not match the lift in listings we could see a gradual rebalancing between sellers and buyers," Ms Owen said.

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Real Estate Investment, Asset Management

What is BIM and How Is It Changing the World of CRE?

Article | May 25, 2023

The construction industry has been slow to evolve, especially in the realm of commercial real estate (CRE). In many ways, the construction process is not dissimilar from how it was when the first skyscrapers were built. However, as technology begins to change various parts of the industry, especially how all stakeholders communicate, building information modeling (BIM) is playing a larger role. BIM stands for building information modeling, and it's essentially a way to create as detailed a model of a potential building as possible so that architects, developers, and construction managers can collaborate and answer questions before and during the construction process. The benefit of this is that all parties can share information and potentially avoid costly mistakes.

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5 Ways to Build Wealth through Real Estate Investing

Article | June 10, 2020

When people talk about real estate investing, they often only talk about whether the value of the home goes up or down. While that may be true if your only investment was in your primary residence, it completely misses many strategies for creating wealth through investment properties. The fact is, there are five different ways owning investment real estate can help create wealth for you.

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Spotlight

First American Data & Analytics

First American Data & Analytics, a division of First American Financial Corporation, is a national provider of property-centric information, risk management and valuation solutions. First American maintains and curates the industry’s largest property and ownership dataset that includes more than 7 billion document images. Its major platforms and products include: DataTree®, FraudGuard®, RegsData™, TaxSource™ and ACI®.

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Real Estate Technology

SmartRent Launches Alloy SmartHome Hub+

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

SmartRent, Inc., the leading provider of smart home and property operations solutions for the rental housing industry, today announced the launch of Alloy SmartHome Hub+, the Company’s first thermostat with an integrated smart hub device developed under its Alloy SmartHome hardware brand. This innovative product, one of few on the market that integrates a thermostat with a smart hub device, operates on Z-Wave protocol and has less hardware to install and maintain. In addition to the built-in thermostat technology, Alloy SmartHome Hub+ establishes a single interface to control connected smart home devices, enabling users to turn off multiple lights in a home at once, remotely lock and unlock doors, receive alerts and automatically notify maintenance when a sensor detects a leak. “Alloy SmartHome Hub+, a device years in the making, is our latest solution that paves the way for the next generation of smarter living and working in rental housing,” said SmartRent CEO Lucas Haldeman. “Designed with our customers’ needs in mind, and inclusive of the feedback they’ve shared about the desire for less hardware, Alloy SmartHome Hub+ delivers sophistication and convenience, all while driving rent growth. Feedback from our beta pilot has been positive, and customer interest indicates eager demand to deploy this solution at scale. We are proud to bring Alloy SmartHome Hub+ to the market at large and to continue eliminating obstacles and easing implementation in the industry.” This high-value yet economical device builds upon existing SmartRent technologies by consolidating the hub hardware within a smart thermostat, which streamlines procurement, expedites installation and IoT setup. Alloy SmartHome Hub+ can be configured and paired with most HVAC systems and is compatible with smart locks, smart lights, leak sensors and other Z-Wave devices. About SmartRent Founded in 2017, SmartRent, Inc. is a leading provider of smart home and smart property solutions for the multifamily industry. The company’s unmatched platform, comprised of smart hardware and cloud-based SaaS solutions, gives operators seamless visibility and control over real estate assets, empowering them to simplify operations, automate workflows, benefit from additional revenue opportunities and deliver exceptional site team and resident experiences. SmartRent serves 15 of the top 20 multifamily owners and operators, and its solutions enable millions of users to live smarter every day.

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Real Estate Technology

EVORA Global Announces Acquisition of Metry

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

EVORA Global, a leading provider of tech-enabled sustainability solutions to the real asset industry, today announces its strategic acquisition of Metry, Europe’s number one platform for environmental data collection. The move will establish new standards in data excellence and technological innovation, delivering comprehensive data solutions for the global real estate and infrastructure investment industry. The acquisition signifies an improved level of data automation and quality for EVORA’s clients, achieved through direct connections to fiscal meters and hubs. This approach eliminates data gaps and reinforces the overall reliability of information provided into their analytics and content management platform, SIERA. EVORA's dedication to data quality and validation underscores the company's commitment to ensuring that all sustainability data is analytics-ready, combining external data sources with EVORA's expertise in regulations and carbon accounting, whilst simultaneously upholding the highest standards in the industry. Metry's customers will gain access to EVORA's expertise in setting strategy and implementing net-zero carbon initiatives in their real asset portfolios, broadening the value proposition available to them. This collaborative expertise - integrating human insights with advanced technology - is a testament to the forward-thinking approach of both companies. "We are thrilled to welcome Metry into the EVORA family," said Pradeep Menon, EVORA Global CEO. "This strategic acquisition marks a significant milestone in our journey to empower real asset investors with the tools and data needed to drive sustainable practices in the built environment. It will enable us to offer unparalleled services to our clients, solving for the climate challenge.” “This the perfect match,” said Magnus Hornef, Metry CEO and co-founder, who will be joining EVORA’s Executive Committee as Chief Data Officer. “We are enabling each other to make a bigger impact faster and I’m really excited about expanding our data collection capabilities to all of EVORA’s customers. It is a giant leap towards connecting every building with reliable data and automated collection.” About EVORA Global: EVORA Global is a premier sustainability advisor, providing comprehensive, industry-leading climate solutions for real asset investors. With over a decade of experience, EVORA is dedicated to addressing the climate challenge posed by the real asset industry, focusing on the needs of investors in the built environment. Its clients include many of the biggest names in global real estate, including Invesco Real Estate, Hines and M&G. Founded in 2011, the company now has over 200 staff and 150 clients. About Metry: Metry is the #1 platform for environmental data collection in Europe, with a primary focus on energy data. With over a decade of expertise, Metry empowers companies to develop and use energy-saving technologies and IoT solutions, contributing to real change for the environment. Currently serving over 200 companies in more than 10 countries, Metry is actively expanding internationally to offer full data collection coverage in Europe.

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Real Estate Technology

Cushman & Wakefield Collaborates with Microsoft to Enhance AI Technology Platform

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

Cushman & Wakefield, a global leader in real estate services, today announced the firm is working with Microsoft to deploy an advanced suite of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. “We are committed to seamlessly integrating our people with the right technology and processes to enhance service offerings to our clients. Today’s launch of the use of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service and Copilot for Microsoft 365 at Cushman & Wakefield again demonstrates our ability to pair robust technologies with market intelligence and expertise,” said Salumeh Companieh, Chief Information & Data Officer, Cushman & Wakefield. Since 2018, Cushman & Wakefield has been focused on aligning business, data, and operations. Results to date range from an 80% material reduction in operational cycle time, to a reduction of client supply chain costs via proprietary supply chain network optimization capabilities. Azure OpenAI Service Azure OpenAI Service is a cloud-based generative AI solution that offers customers a range of capabilities, including access to cutting-edge AI models, backed by the power of Azure. With Azure OpenAI Service, Cushman & Wakefield can benefit from the power of cloud computing, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to deliver innovative solutions for its clients and stakeholders. Azure OpenAI Service enables Cushman & Wakefield to create custom copilots that can enhance customer experience, improve operational efficiency, and increase competitive advantage. The platform enables developers to build, deploy, and manage AI solutions for various scenarios and domains. Some of the features of Azure OpenAI Service include machine learning, cognitive services, bot framework, computer vision, natural language processing, speech recognition and more. Microsoft Technology Centers Microsoft Technology Centers are facilities that provide immersive experiences and deep technical engagements in 50+ locations around the world. Microsoft Technology Center architects collaborate with academic, industry, and government partners to advance the state of the art in AI and create positive impact for society. The Microsoft Technology Center is providing Cushman & Wakefield with access to cutting-edge research, tools, and top specialists from Microsoft and its partners to develop powerful and adaptable applications that use AI features. It is also providing insight into various areas and problems that need AI solutions, with learning and improvement through feedback and advice. Copilot for Microsoft 365 Copilot for Microsoft 365 brings the power of next-generation AI, grounded in the user and company’s data, to Microsoft’s workplace productivity tools like Teams and Outlook and Word. It works alongside users to provide suggestions, summaries, generate, analyze and explore content and data across documents, presentations, spreadsheets, notes, chats, email, meetings, and more. Ensuring the safety and security of interactions with Generative AI is a crucial value driver for Cushman & Wakefield. Copilot for Microsoft 365 offers a high level of security for how the firm leverages GPT models, providing confidence that data is not exposed for training and does not leave the company’s ecosystem, thus safeguarding confidential information. “With this next generation of AI, we have a unique opportunity to accelerate innovation at Cushman & Wakefield and across commercial real estate,” said Laura Craig, General Manager, Data & AI, Microsoft. “We’re collaborating with Cushman & Wakefield to bring together AI advances that benefit from Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service and Copilot for Microsoft 365 to empower the firm’s professionals with new, AI-powered tools.” About Cushman & Wakefield Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global commercial real estate services firm for property owners and occupiers with approximately 52,000 employees in approximately 400 offices and 60 countries. In 2022, the firm reported revenue of $10.1 billion across its core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, and valuation and other services. It also receives numerous industry and business accolades for its award-winning culture and commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and more.

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Real Estate Technology

SmartRent Launches Alloy SmartHome Hub+

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

SmartRent, Inc., the leading provider of smart home and property operations solutions for the rental housing industry, today announced the launch of Alloy SmartHome Hub+, the Company’s first thermostat with an integrated smart hub device developed under its Alloy SmartHome hardware brand. This innovative product, one of few on the market that integrates a thermostat with a smart hub device, operates on Z-Wave protocol and has less hardware to install and maintain. In addition to the built-in thermostat technology, Alloy SmartHome Hub+ establishes a single interface to control connected smart home devices, enabling users to turn off multiple lights in a home at once, remotely lock and unlock doors, receive alerts and automatically notify maintenance when a sensor detects a leak. “Alloy SmartHome Hub+, a device years in the making, is our latest solution that paves the way for the next generation of smarter living and working in rental housing,” said SmartRent CEO Lucas Haldeman. “Designed with our customers’ needs in mind, and inclusive of the feedback they’ve shared about the desire for less hardware, Alloy SmartHome Hub+ delivers sophistication and convenience, all while driving rent growth. Feedback from our beta pilot has been positive, and customer interest indicates eager demand to deploy this solution at scale. We are proud to bring Alloy SmartHome Hub+ to the market at large and to continue eliminating obstacles and easing implementation in the industry.” This high-value yet economical device builds upon existing SmartRent technologies by consolidating the hub hardware within a smart thermostat, which streamlines procurement, expedites installation and IoT setup. Alloy SmartHome Hub+ can be configured and paired with most HVAC systems and is compatible with smart locks, smart lights, leak sensors and other Z-Wave devices. About SmartRent Founded in 2017, SmartRent, Inc. is a leading provider of smart home and smart property solutions for the multifamily industry. The company’s unmatched platform, comprised of smart hardware and cloud-based SaaS solutions, gives operators seamless visibility and control over real estate assets, empowering them to simplify operations, automate workflows, benefit from additional revenue opportunities and deliver exceptional site team and resident experiences. SmartRent serves 15 of the top 20 multifamily owners and operators, and its solutions enable millions of users to live smarter every day.

Read More

Real Estate Technology

EVORA Global Announces Acquisition of Metry

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

EVORA Global, a leading provider of tech-enabled sustainability solutions to the real asset industry, today announces its strategic acquisition of Metry, Europe’s number one platform for environmental data collection. The move will establish new standards in data excellence and technological innovation, delivering comprehensive data solutions for the global real estate and infrastructure investment industry. The acquisition signifies an improved level of data automation and quality for EVORA’s clients, achieved through direct connections to fiscal meters and hubs. This approach eliminates data gaps and reinforces the overall reliability of information provided into their analytics and content management platform, SIERA. EVORA's dedication to data quality and validation underscores the company's commitment to ensuring that all sustainability data is analytics-ready, combining external data sources with EVORA's expertise in regulations and carbon accounting, whilst simultaneously upholding the highest standards in the industry. Metry's customers will gain access to EVORA's expertise in setting strategy and implementing net-zero carbon initiatives in their real asset portfolios, broadening the value proposition available to them. This collaborative expertise - integrating human insights with advanced technology - is a testament to the forward-thinking approach of both companies. "We are thrilled to welcome Metry into the EVORA family," said Pradeep Menon, EVORA Global CEO. "This strategic acquisition marks a significant milestone in our journey to empower real asset investors with the tools and data needed to drive sustainable practices in the built environment. It will enable us to offer unparalleled services to our clients, solving for the climate challenge.” “This the perfect match,” said Magnus Hornef, Metry CEO and co-founder, who will be joining EVORA’s Executive Committee as Chief Data Officer. “We are enabling each other to make a bigger impact faster and I’m really excited about expanding our data collection capabilities to all of EVORA’s customers. It is a giant leap towards connecting every building with reliable data and automated collection.” About EVORA Global: EVORA Global is a premier sustainability advisor, providing comprehensive, industry-leading climate solutions for real asset investors. With over a decade of experience, EVORA is dedicated to addressing the climate challenge posed by the real asset industry, focusing on the needs of investors in the built environment. Its clients include many of the biggest names in global real estate, including Invesco Real Estate, Hines and M&G. Founded in 2011, the company now has over 200 staff and 150 clients. About Metry: Metry is the #1 platform for environmental data collection in Europe, with a primary focus on energy data. With over a decade of expertise, Metry empowers companies to develop and use energy-saving technologies and IoT solutions, contributing to real change for the environment. Currently serving over 200 companies in more than 10 countries, Metry is actively expanding internationally to offer full data collection coverage in Europe.

Read More

Real Estate Technology

Cushman & Wakefield Collaborates with Microsoft to Enhance AI Technology Platform

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

Cushman & Wakefield, a global leader in real estate services, today announced the firm is working with Microsoft to deploy an advanced suite of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. “We are committed to seamlessly integrating our people with the right technology and processes to enhance service offerings to our clients. Today’s launch of the use of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service and Copilot for Microsoft 365 at Cushman & Wakefield again demonstrates our ability to pair robust technologies with market intelligence and expertise,” said Salumeh Companieh, Chief Information & Data Officer, Cushman & Wakefield. Since 2018, Cushman & Wakefield has been focused on aligning business, data, and operations. Results to date range from an 80% material reduction in operational cycle time, to a reduction of client supply chain costs via proprietary supply chain network optimization capabilities. Azure OpenAI Service Azure OpenAI Service is a cloud-based generative AI solution that offers customers a range of capabilities, including access to cutting-edge AI models, backed by the power of Azure. With Azure OpenAI Service, Cushman & Wakefield can benefit from the power of cloud computing, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to deliver innovative solutions for its clients and stakeholders. Azure OpenAI Service enables Cushman & Wakefield to create custom copilots that can enhance customer experience, improve operational efficiency, and increase competitive advantage. The platform enables developers to build, deploy, and manage AI solutions for various scenarios and domains. Some of the features of Azure OpenAI Service include machine learning, cognitive services, bot framework, computer vision, natural language processing, speech recognition and more. Microsoft Technology Centers Microsoft Technology Centers are facilities that provide immersive experiences and deep technical engagements in 50+ locations around the world. Microsoft Technology Center architects collaborate with academic, industry, and government partners to advance the state of the art in AI and create positive impact for society. The Microsoft Technology Center is providing Cushman & Wakefield with access to cutting-edge research, tools, and top specialists from Microsoft and its partners to develop powerful and adaptable applications that use AI features. It is also providing insight into various areas and problems that need AI solutions, with learning and improvement through feedback and advice. Copilot for Microsoft 365 Copilot for Microsoft 365 brings the power of next-generation AI, grounded in the user and company’s data, to Microsoft’s workplace productivity tools like Teams and Outlook and Word. It works alongside users to provide suggestions, summaries, generate, analyze and explore content and data across documents, presentations, spreadsheets, notes, chats, email, meetings, and more. Ensuring the safety and security of interactions with Generative AI is a crucial value driver for Cushman & Wakefield. Copilot for Microsoft 365 offers a high level of security for how the firm leverages GPT models, providing confidence that data is not exposed for training and does not leave the company’s ecosystem, thus safeguarding confidential information. “With this next generation of AI, we have a unique opportunity to accelerate innovation at Cushman & Wakefield and across commercial real estate,” said Laura Craig, General Manager, Data & AI, Microsoft. “We’re collaborating with Cushman & Wakefield to bring together AI advances that benefit from Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service and Copilot for Microsoft 365 to empower the firm’s professionals with new, AI-powered tools.” About Cushman & Wakefield Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global commercial real estate services firm for property owners and occupiers with approximately 52,000 employees in approximately 400 offices and 60 countries. In 2022, the firm reported revenue of $10.1 billion across its core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, and valuation and other services. It also receives numerous industry and business accolades for its award-winning culture and commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and more.

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