Real Estate Technology
Article | July 12, 2022
Florida’s real estate market is on the up amidst a COVID-driven boom. But, as homebuyers flock to the Sunshine State, they are bringing with them a checklist that consists of more than just sun, shores and southern fun.
In recent months, there has been an average of 1,000 people moving to Florida each day, resulting in more than a 50% increase in home sales in some parts of the state.
Alistair Brown, CEO of Alistair Brown International Real Estate (ABIRE), an international real estate sales and marketing company that has particular expertise in the Florida market, explains the cause of the boom.
“The pandemic has shifted behaviors and ways of life in more ways than one and, as a result, our living arrangements have had to adapt.
“For example, the rise in remote working, restrictions on leisure activities and social distancing guidelines have all caused a spike in demand for homes that are outside of crowded cities, have more space and COVID-safe amenities on offer. Many of Florida’s high-end houses provide just that.”
The migration has been particularly popular among families who, pre-COVID, resided in densely populated cites. But, with virus risks significantly higher in these areas and a threat of future outbreaks still looming, a rural escape seems to make perfect sense.
But, while some favor a permanent move to the state, a vacation home is an attractive investment opportunity for others – whether that is for domestic getaways, as travel restrictions remain in place, or a sense of home comfort, as you enjoy an extended stay with self-isolation periods.
However, no matter what the reason may be, the root motivating factor is an interesting one, and one that Alistair believes has inspired a new list of requirements among home buyers.
“The pandemic has caused people to re-evaluate the way they were living. We all have visions and desires for how we want our lives to play out and at no point have these been more magnified than during the virus outbreak.
“While the threat to our health and livelihoods has been worrying, the thought of a life with unfulfilled aspirations, confinement and heightened risk has become another significant concern.
“Many have accepted that the virus is not going away any time soon and the chances of returning to what we knew as normalcy are slim. So, rather than living a life of regret, it is time to adapt and fulfil those wishes while we still can, as well as inspire new ones in the wake of our current reality.”
But what exactly do these new desires entail? Well, Alistair explains they have a lot to do with the architectural design of homes.
“For those who experienced lockdown restrictions in confined living spaces, particularly in populated cities, the need for a home with room will be stronger than ever.
“Home buyers will be looking at the size and space available in specific areas of the house. For example, kitchens will need to have ample room to cater for an increase in cooking at home, as well as a dining area that is fit for the whole family.
“Outside space will also become a priority. Whether that is a private backyard, decking area or a communal garden, families will be looking for homes with outdoor living spaces in which they can enjoy the Sunshine State to its fullest, no matter what COVID-restrictions are in force.”
“One of the biggest enabling factors of the migration trend is the rise in working from home. While this was a requirement during the peak of the pandemic, many companies and employees will choose to make the switch permanent.
“Consequently, home buyers will be seeking properties with purpose-built home office spaces. These will also need to be spacious rooms that can accommodate everything from desks, filing cabinets and high-speed connectivity.
“Home offices need to be areas that can be closed off from the rest of the house. Not only does this provide privacy and minimize distractions when working, it also allows people to properly switch off after a long day.
“Balancing both home and work life can become incredibly difficult, especially when both are contained by the same four walls, so homes that allow for the separation of the two will be favored much more.”
“An incidental effect of the pandemic has been the reduced environmental impact of our restricted movement and new, minimalist lifestyles. Having recognized this, many will be seeking ways to continue going about their lives with greater awareness of their actions.
“At home, this will include things, such as efficient energy usage or growing their own food. Of course, this will require homes to have modern heating, plumbing and electricity systems in place, as well as gardens in which fruit and vegetables can be grown.”
“While it would be wrong to assume people were living in unclean conditions prior to the pandemic, the threat of the virus’ long-lasting existence on surfaces has only heightened people’s hygiene concerns.
“Therefore, homes that can be easily cleaned, or better, self-cleaned, will be more sought after than those in which risk prevails. Take for example, voice activated technology that can turn lights on and off or stop-start electrical appliances, without the need for manual intervention. And, while air conditioning units are a common feature of Floridian properties, they can be updated with smart technology solutions, such as those provided by RespirTech.
“As well as cooling the home, the new system will be constantly cleaning the air and surfaces using photocatalytic technology, which emits small parts of hydrogen peroxide. Such equipment will be increasingly at the forefront of consumer’s minds, as they seek to minimise physical interaction with products and systems.”
“With risks and restrictions remaining in place at many entertainment venues, leisure facilities at home are becoming a must. This may include bar areas, private swimming pools and home gyms to name but a few.
“While community amenities are still important in fulfilling our innate need for social contact, buyers are seeking properties which have more on offer at home than out.
“As well as protecting them against any of the risks associated with shared facilities, more home entertainment options will ensure any quarantine periods or future lockdowns cause little disruption to people’s daily routines.
“Ultimately, post-COVID living will focus more on maximizing comfort while minimizing the potential impact of any future chaos. And, like most things in life, that starts at home.”
Notes to editors
About Alistair Brown International Real Estate
Alistair Brown International Real Estate (ABIRE) is a boutique real estate consultancy and creative agency that brings together the most distinguished properties from around the globe. Offering a diverse portfolio focused exclusively on the world’s most desirable locations, its specialist team is committed to providing nothing but the very best in high-end property.
Under the direction of founder Alistair Brown – who has more than thirty years’ worth of experience in the sector – the firm has attracted some of the finest real estate professionals in the business today.
Laying a primary focus on Florida and the Caribbean, ABIRE has acquired an in-depth knowledge of the real estate market in each of these areas. Successfully navigating the complexities of premium real estate through creative thinking, worldwide networking and a distinct marketing approach, ABIRE’s longevity in the industry is a direct result of its ability to exceed the expectations of its clientele.
Real Estate Technology
Article | July 25, 2022
Improve real estate portfolio performance by analyzing various investment optimization strategies anddiscoveringthe subtle differences between asset management and property management.
2 Contrasts between Asset Management and Property Management
2.1 Key Differences based on Scope, Objectives, and Activities
2.2 Interconnectedness of Asset and Property Management
3 Asset Management Techniques
4 Property Management Techniques
5 Clarifying Misconceptions about Asset and Property Management
Asset management and property management are both integral components of real estate management. Precisely, property management pertains to managing the daily operations of a particular property, which includes overseeing the property and the tasks around it. On the other hand, asset management caters to investors seeking to purchase and manage numerous investment properties. It is essential to note that property management is generally intended for property owners who want to delegate the management function to competent professionals.
An asset manager is responsible for managing various types of assets and overseeing portfolios. In contrast, a portfolio manager primarily handles the financial assets of their clients. The main objective of property managers is to manage and improve the value of a property while maximizing the return on investment for the owner. They analyze the real estate market and decide whether to continue investing in a property or divest it.
2. Asset Management Vs Property Management
When it comes to asset management versus property management, people frequently experience confusion. Although both concepts are essential to the ownership and management of real estate, they are distinct. Recognizing the difference between the two overlapping cores of real estate management and comprehending how the two interact is vital.
2.1 Key Differences Based on Scope, Objectives and Activities
Property management is operational, while asset management is strategic and focused on the big picture.
Asset management involves a broader scope of responsibilities as it encompasses the management of multiple properties within a portfolio, including analyzing and evaluating the financial performance of each property, monitoring market trends and changes, and making informed decisions about buying, selling, or holding assets. On the other hand, property management in real estate has a more limited scope and primarily focuses on managing the regular operations of a single property, including overseeing tenant relations, collecting rent, scheduling maintenance and repairs, and assuring compliance with local laws and regulations.
The primary objective of asset management is to develop and implement a strategy to maximize the return on investment, including identifying and acquiring properties that align with the owner's investment objectives, and developing long-term strategies to improve the performance of the portfolio as a whole. On the primary objective of property management in real estate is to ensure that a particular property is profitable and maintained to a high standard, create and implement effective marketing strategies to reach potential clients, and also handle the screening and selection process to ensure that clients are reliable and trustworthy.
Asset managers are responsible for creating and implementing long-term strategies to improve portfolio performance and hiring the personnel on an investor's team, including real estate agents, property managers, and leasing agents. Property managers are responsible for maintaining property value, ensuring it remains profitable for the owner, and hiring employees like cleaners, security guards, and contractors.
2.2 Interconnectedness of Asset and Property Management
Asset management and property management are closely interconnected, despite their different scopes and objectives. Effective communication and collaboration between asset and property managers are essential for a successful real estate investment portfolio. Asset managers rely on property managers to ensure individual properties are well-maintained and profitable. Property managers depend on asset managers to monitor investment strategy, market analysis, and portfolio optimization. The two roles combined can identify opportunities to increase the value of properties and achieve greater returns for investors.
3. Asset Management Techniques
Asset management is a highly technical position involving finances and investments to a significant degree. In the real estate industry, clients place a great deal of trust in asset managers to purchase and sell valuable properties.
Cash Flow Analysis: The real estate asset management technique, cash flow analysis is used to analyze cash transactions generated by a property to determine its profitability and potential returns. It helps asset managers assess its profitability and potential returns, guiding decision-making in investment, asset maintenance, and renovation.
Debt and Equity Financing: The technique of financing debt and equity is about understanding and utilizing various financing options to fund real estate investments. Asset managers can choose the best financing strategy for their real estate investments using this technique.
Property Valuation: The process of determining the value of a property based on factors like its location, condition, and potential rental income is simplified by property valuation techniques. Determining the property's current market value, setting a sale price or rental rate, and negotiating with potential buyers or tenants benefit an asset manager to identify the property value effectively.
Financial Modeling: Developing the future cash flow projection and understanding the investment returns for future decision-making is vital. Using economic modeling for asset management, real estate asset managers can identify potential risks and opportunities and make informed decisions about investment strategies.
4. Property Management Techniques
Property management is a service-oriented profession that involves hands-on knowledge of a property's operational aspects. Most of a property manager's duties revolve around techniques that ensure smooth property management and meeting the residents' needs and expectations.
Budgeting and Financial Planning: Monitoring expenses related to real estate property management, such as utilities, insurance & maintenance, and finding ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality using the budgeting and financial planning technique will help property managers make informed decisions about property investments and identify areas for cost-saving measures.
Lease Negotiations: Maintaining accurate and up-to-date lease agreements, renewals, and terminations, enforcing lease terms, and resolving any disputes that may arise using the lease negotiation skills result in favorable lease terms for property owners, ultimately leading to better profitability.
Tenant Screening and Retention: Conducting comprehensive background checks on prospective tenants to ensure trustworthiness, accountability, and implementing retention techniques to hold current tenants can help reduce vacancies and turnover, and ultimately increase profits.
Effective Marketing and Advertising: To attract new tenants and help maintain high occupancy rates implementing effective real estate marketing and advertising techniques, including listing, signage, and social media, helps property managers with improved visibility and attractiveness of a property, leading to high rental income.
5. Clarifying Misconceptions about Asset and Property Management
Real estate asset management and property management are two distinct roles that are often misunderstood. One common misunderstanding is that asset management is solely for prominent investors, whereas property management is exclusively for small-scale landlords. However, it is crucial to recognize that both roles are intertwined and can benefit from techniques utilized in both areas. Real estate decision-makers should comprehensively understand asset and property management techniques to make well-informed decisions that can optimize profitability and value. Real estate professionals can create an efficient and effective management approach for their properties by dispelling misconceptions and capitalizing on the strengths of both roles.
Real Estate Technology, Asset Management
Article | May 30, 2023
A survey by CNBC revealed that only 24% of survey participants thought the economic conditions in the country were good in 2021. Down from 50% in 2019, Americans are losing confidence in the economy fast, which has largely impacted the housing market.
The COVID-19-led recession is still getting heated, and the Federal Reserve attempted to assuage these concerns with its commitment to bringing down inflation. However, this does bring up a myriad of possibilities for the housing and real estate industry.
Here are some ways the economic slowdown might impact the housing market in 2022.
An Increase in Bad Debts and Vacancy Rates
The economic slowdown will no longer exacerbate layoffs, especially in the entertainment, hospitality, retail and education industries. Multifamily homes may experience an increase in vacancies, especially in areas where these industries are major employers. The intense supply chain disruption is bound to impact economies worldwide. Many tenants who work in these industries may be forced to look for cheaper housing, which will create an exponential increase in the vacancy rates. Additionally, since non-payment of rent constitutes a bad debt, there will be an increase in bad debt. Moreover, suitable new tenants might not be available to replace those who are evicted for bad debt due to unemployment.
Exponential Demand for Local Equity
There may be a bright side to the chaos caused by the economic slowdown. It will result in an increase in the internal capital flow for real estate. Owing to the fact that the real estate market is considered a safer investment option, many stock investors will redirect their investments from the stock market to real estate. Local U.S. investors will put more money into multifamily properties, which can offset the dip in demand for multifamily real estate, leading to a stabilization in prices or avoiding a significant decline in property values.
Dip in Commercial Real Estate Prices
As foreign equity, which is continually searching to buy real estate in the United States, encounters difficulties accessing U.S. markets, we will observe a decline in the price of commercial real estate. Foreign investors can demand greater prices for multifamily properties since their expectations are often significantly lower than those of domestic investors. The demand for multifamily buildings will decrease as foreign investments in the American market fall, leading to reduced pricing.
Bringing it Together
The recession brings with it immense uncertainty. Despite this, the impact on the housing and real estate markets can be predicted by looking at historical patterns. The big picture is that buyers need to be cautious when investing but also consider the tremendous opportunity they can leverage during the recession.
Real Estate Technology
Article | December 9, 2021
The construction industry, whether operating at the building level, infrastructure level, or city level, has undergone significant changes over the past decade, and the pace of change has only intensified in the past year. Opaque operating models are giving way to digitalization and transparency in every aspect of the industry, leading to better accountability of the business stakeholder ecosystem and better experience and quality of life for the end customers.
The value realization for the sector is coming in three different ways, each with its set of technologies, tools, systems, and processes that lead to specific value maximization.
1. Connected Stakeholder Ecosystems
Every stakeholder and their interactions and service provision to building and construction has been digitalized and automated.
Architects, urban planners, designers have long been using tools and technologies. The use of 3D modeling and visualization, AR/VR platforms, and drone mapping are creating intuitive means to fast-track the design iteration process and reduce errors. Innovation has been happening in building materials and technologies for smart logistics and inventory management, which is digitalizing the procure to pay cycles and reducing the cost and sustainability footprint of the industry. Infratech is being included into civil construction, and information, communication, and operational tech hardware and software solutions are being integrated at the design stage itself.
The industry uses the services of a network of internal and external third party providers and managers. The combination of mobile and enterprise applications, connectivity, and internet of things devices and variables is connecting these people together. Unified frameworks and digital and AI/ML tools allow seamless construction, management, and optimization of built spaces. The sales process is becoming highly digital with the use of customer relationship management platforms, channel management applications, and digital sales aids that blend AR/VR, 3D visualization, audio, video, and digital.
The governance and financial mechanisms have evolved as well. Government bodies have digitalized and permissions, access rights, and payment mechanisms are increasingly digital. Regulators are moving towards real time sensor based monitoring and centralized digital reporting on effluents and emissions, aiming to improve sustainability metrics. An array of digital and cloud financial management tools, systems, and dashboards allow every aspect of the financial flow to and from entities to be managed, monitored, and optimized.
The users, in both the customer and citizen persona, have become digitally savvy and experiential. The connected and sentient building, infrastructure, and city ecosystem increasingly allows for connected living where many services can already be accessed digitally.
2. Connected Lifecycle Management
The construction industry is using digital and automation technologies at every stage of projects – from design to monetization of building, infrastructure, or city systems. Ingredient technologies such as internet of things, artificial intelligence, block chain, distributed computing, edge and mesh intelligence, cloud computing, big data analytics, and data visualization are allowing the industry to plan better and act predictively.
The Design phase, in addition to using design and planning tools and technologies, is increasingly adopting concepts of wellness, biophilia, and blue-green integrations to blend technology and architecture.
The Build phase has significantly transformed through innovative construction materials and methods, as well as digital, cloud, and sensor based solutions to monitor staff, progress, audits, and errors in construction. The entire land records management system in the country has been digitalized, and plans are underway to use drone based mapping to catalogue all assets and sites at a national level.
The Sell phase is using technologies and platforms that have disintermediated some ecosystem partners and aggregated others, increasing the flow of information, communication, validations, and transactions. From marketing to site visits to legal documentation and commercial transactions, every step has been digitally transformed through a combination of AR/VR, AI/ML, digital, and cloud technologies.
The Operate phase is seeing newer models of maintenance and management of assets over the long term. Tech enabled metering and monitoring allows for discretization of pay per use type of commercial arrangements, which can be digitally contracted and managed. This allows multi-stakeholder and multi-user assets to operate seamlessly. Multiple automation and real time monitoring systems and solutions – whether fully integrated or point solutions, are enhancing visibility and improving efficiency of operational performance.
The Experience phase ensures an interplay of operational and service related systems and technologies allow the users to better access services at building, infrastructure, or city level. There is a lot of emphasis on enhancing customer experience by reducing wait times, improving service levels, creating areas and systems for interaction and engagement, and delivering a better quality of work or life to the end user.
The Monetization phase is increasingly at the top of mind of administrators, owners, and operators of construction assets. Long return on investment cycles and complex modes of deployment of public and private capital predicate focus on easing the flow of money and identifying multiple modes of monetization to ensure that projects can succeed. Value added services through retail, advertising, data, or service based use cases are allowing for recurring revenues to be generated. Many of these services can be digitally conceptualized, delivered, and managed.
3. Connected Systems and Services
Buildings and infrastructure spaces are increasingly envisioning themselves as an interconnected system of functions, utilities and services, all managed centrally and digitally through a building level control room or an infrastructure or city level integrated control and command center.
The set of technologies first adopted for smart cities - such as networking and connectivity; smart management of water, waste, lighting, power, sewage, air quality and emissions; smart access to services and retail; interconnected mobility, parking, and traffic management; and managing request-response systems and on-demand servicing and issues management - are increasingly becoming important for buildings and infrastructure projects. Transport hubs are reimagining themselves as microcities. Road assets are creating logistics hubs and multiple digital monetization channels. Buildings are transforming into mixed use spaces that are accessed and managed digitally. On-demand, surge, discounted pricing mechanisms rely on complex algorithms and predictive forecasts.
Multiple indices and standard comparative metrics are being considered by users, governments, regulators, and financiers of patient long-term capital. At the building level, Green ratings and Well Building standards are being measured and reported, and creating methods of differentiating premium and non-premium buildings. Global Infrastructure rankings rate countries in the quality and density and access of road, transport, utilities, and other major infrastructure systems and projects. Ease of Living Index and Sustainable Development Goals create the benchmarks to measure and monitor the performance and impact of city systems. Increasingly, gamification through Swachh Survekshan, Municipal Performance Index, and other city, state, and national level assessments is creating awareness and improving service levels. The indices themselves rely on a set on technology inclusion within projects and technology systems to aid performance measurement.