How Technology is Shaping the Real Estate Industry

Advancements in technology are shaping the way real estate agents and homeowners navigate the home selling and buying process. In today’s modern world, real estate professionals rely on sophisticated data to drive decisions, assess home value, and find ideal buyers. Keeping up with the times can be difficult, but the technology that’s now available to agents is an exciting and convenient shift. Here are a few ways new technology is shaping the real estate industry and how agents can gain a competitive advantage by staying informed on the latest trends.

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Mirvac

With more than 40 years experience in the Australian development and construction industry, we create, own, and manage a diverse portfolio of assets across the office, retail, industrial and residential sectors.

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Real Estate Technology, Asset Management

Overcome Digital Asset Management Challenges in Real Estate

Article | May 30, 2023

Effective digital asset management is crucial in real estate. The solutions enhance accessibility, security, and productivity and help professionals navigate the challenges of managing digital assets. Contents 1 Effective Digital Real Estate Asset Management 2 Five Key Challenges in Digital Asset Management 2.1 Lack of Centralized System for Digital Assets 2.2 Limited Access in Remote Work Environment 2.3 Difficulty in Managing Large Volume of Assets 2.4 Inadequate Protection for Digital Assets 2.5 Disparate Asset Management Systems 3 Top Solutions to Overcome Digital Asset Management Challenges 3.1 Cloud-based Storage for Centralized System 3.2 Virtual Private Network (VPN) to Expand Accessibility 3.3 Automation Tools for Large Volume Asset Management 3.4 Data Encryption to Protect Digital Asset 3.5 Application Programming Interfaces to Connect Disparate Systems 4 Transforming Businesses with Effective Digital Asset Management 1. Effective Digital Real Estate Asset Management Digital real estate asset management is crucial for businesses from creation to distribution and archiving. Effective digital asset management provides a centralized source for data with tags and unique information fields for correct usage resulting in workflow improvement and enabling seamless collaboration. Real estate digital asset management in comparison to property management ensures effective sharing and routing of files, allowing immediate access to updated files. Digital asset management systems are essential for effective real estate marketing, providing streamlined workflows, enhanced collaboration, and better asset organization and management. The ability to quickly and efficiently access and manage digital assets can provide a competitive advantage for real estate firms, ultimately leading to increased sales and revenue. Along with the benefits of digital asset management in real estate, there are challenges that businesses face; so, it is essential to overcome the digital asset management challenges using the right solutions. 2. Five Key Challenges in Digital Asset Management Managing digital assets in real estate has been a task for the managers and professionals in the industry to streamline the process and for efficient operations; knowing the significant challenges in advance and getting prepared in advance is necessary. 2.1 Lack of Centralized System for Digital Assets The lack of a centralized system for digital assets can pose significant challenges for real estate businesses. When digital assets are scattered across various devices, cloud storage accounts, and platforms, it becomes difficult for team members to access and utilize the support needed, further leading to delays in project timelines, errors in asset usage, and a lack of consistency in brand representation. 2.2 Limited Access in Remote Work Environment With the rapid switch towards a remote work environment, real estate professionals face the challenge of limited access to digital assets stored on local servers or company networks. It results in a struggle to access vital information, leading to productivity issues and hindering the real estate business’ ability to serve clients efficiently. Without access to essential files, team members may face delays in responding to client requests, creating a negative impact on client satisfaction and, ultimately, the affecting business’ bottom line. 2.3 Difficulty in Managing Large Volume of Assets Managing large volumes of assets becomes a daunting task as the real estate industry continues to rely on digital assets for marketing and communication purposes. Organizing and maintaining digital assets gets challenging and time-consuming without adequate latest real estate marketing tools like digital asset management systems. As the volume of assets grows, managing them manually becomes increasingly complex, leading to errors, duplication of effort, wasted resources, and affecting profitability. 2.4 Inadequate Protection for Digital Assets As real estate asset management operations turn into virtual functions, cybersecurity threats become a more significant concern, that includes the loss of digital assets, especially those containing sensitive information such as financials, strategies, and prospect contacts. Real estate businesses that fail to protect their digital assets adequately damage their reputation and face legal as well as financial consequences. 2.5 Disparate Asset Management Systems Using diverse asset management systems across various departments or teams can lead to confusion, miscommunication, and errors in asset usage. The back and forth caused by miscommunication slows down team operations. Businesses and team members without digital asset management systems fail to provide context to files like adding descriptions, collaborators, or connections to specific projects, resulting in misinterpretation about asset placement and potential obstacles in achieving desired outcomes. 3. Top Solutions to Overcome Digital Asset Management Challenges Digital asset management is a crucial aspect of modern businesses. However, it comes with challenges, and leveraging the latest tools and solutions helps overcome challenges and transform how businesses operate. 3.1 Cloud-based Storage for Centralized System Cloud-based storage can overcome the lack of a centralized system challenge for digital asset management by providing a secure, centralized location for all digital assets. With cloud-based storage, real estate professionals can access their digital assets at one centralized location. It eliminates the necessity for physical storage devices or multiple cloud storage accounts, making it easier for team members to quickly find and access the assets they need. Additionally, cloud-based storage provides more significant flexibility in managing and organizing digital assets, enabling the use of tags and metadata for easy searching and categorization. 3.2 Virtual Private Network to Expand Accessibility Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps in expanding accessibility for large volume digital assets. By using a VPN, real estate professionals can securely access a cloud-based storage system from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling them to upload, download, and manage digital assets remotely. This can increase productivity and reduce errors and duplication of effort, thereby positively impacting the real estate business' profitability. VPNs also provide added security, ensuring that only authorized users have access to sensitive digital assets and resulting in improved business efficiency. 3.3 Automation Tools for Large Volume Asset Management Automation tools can help real estate businesses overcome the challenge of managing a large volume of assets by streamlining the management process. Automation tools like content recognition software, AI-powered asset management systems, and metadata management tools help complete tasks quickly and accurately, reducing errors and minimizing the risk of duplication of effort that was once done manually. In addition, automation can be used to set up workflows and approvals, ensuring that assets are reviewed and approved before use, improving quality control. 3.4 Data Encryption to Protect Digital Assets Data encryption involves converting the data into an unreadable format only deciphered by those with the encryption key. This process ensures that even if the data is intercepted or stolen, unauthorized parties cannot access it. In the real estate industry, data encryption can be applied to sensitive client information, financial records, and other critical data to prevent cybercrime, protect the company's reputation, and comply with regulatory requirements. Real estate businesses can ensure digital assets are secure and protected from cyber threats by implementing data encryption. 3.5 Application Programming Interfaces to Connect Disparate Systems Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) help to connect disparate systems in digital asset management by providing a common language for communication between systems. APIs allow different software applications to exchange data and functionality, enabling digital asset management systems for real estate businesses to integrate with other business systems like CRM or ERP. The integration can further automate workflows, reduce duplication of effort, and increase efficiency by allowing data to flow seamlessly between systems. 4. Transforming Businesses with Effective Digital Asset Management Successful digital asset management in the real estate industry improves both internal efficiency and client service quality. Real estate agents can more effectively market their listings to prospective buyers and renters by keeping digital assets for a property up-to-date and easy to access. Furthermore, future real estate transactions will be conducted digitally, with seamless residential and commercial property purchases and sales. Major stakeholders will benefit from increased transaction speed, lower transaction costs, and increased data availability by utilizing digitalization in real estate.

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Real Estate Technology, Asset Management

Is Commute Time Becoming a Housing Factor?

Article | May 10, 2023

While many workers plan, at least according to recent surveys, to continue spending at least part of each week working from home, a shorter commute still seems to be holding increasing appeal. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB ) says its first quarter Home Building Geography Index (HBGI) indicates not only a pandemic driven shift in construction to low density, low cost markets, but a rapid expansion in areas with the shortest commutes. Litic Murali, writing in NAHB's Eye on Housing blog, says workplaces are moving toward hybrid home/office work models which could affect 30 to 40 percent of the American workforce. This will give renters and buyers increased market power over their travel times and the ability to reduce both housing and transportation costs. The nationwide average commute is 26 minutes. Those counties in the bottom quintile (lowest 20 percent) have a commute time of 18 minutes or less while the commute in the highest quintile is 28 minutes. The data show that 36.2 percent of the U.S. population resides in the counties in that top slice. The HBGI indicates that the top two quintiles with the longest commutes together had 63.6 percent of single family building. However, growth was strongest in that bottom quintile with a four-quarter moving average annual growth of 22.2 percent.

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Real Estate Technology, Asset Management

Why there is Rising Demand for Green Properties?

Article | June 15, 2023

The belief that green properties bring multiple benefits for both residents and developers is becoming universal. The real estate buyers are realizing the integral role played by the green buildings in minimizing carbon emissions and contributing toward one of the biggest global agendas – Climate Change. Across the UAE, some landlords are evaluating the cost and the benefits of making their portfolios greener to meet the expectations of the property buyers as well as the tenants who are becoming more environment-friendly. Rising international focus on climate change, Conference of the Parties (COP26) summit and UAE’s net-zero initiative to minimize emissions and pledging to invest almost $165 billion in clean energy by 2050 are the other major reasons for the landlords to construct green buildings. Covid-19 has created an urge for employee safety to ensure they feel comfortable coming to the office. To take employee safety to the next level, corporations are choosing green properties to prioritize employees’ well-being and adapt to their occupational strategies and achieve their sustainability goals. What is a Green Building? The World Green Building Council (WGBC) defines a green building as – “a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment.” Some of the features suggested by WGBC which make a building green include – Efficient use of energy, water, and other resources Use of renewable energy, such as – solar energy, pollution, and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling Good indoor environmental air quality Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical, and sustainable Consideration of the environment in the design Construction, and operation Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design Construction, and operation Design that enables adaptation to a changing environment Exponential Rise in the Demand for Greener Properties There has been a huge rise in the demand for greener and energy-efficient properties not only in the UAE but across the Middle East. As per the Knight Frank – 2021 survey – proximity to green space and good air quality topped the list of location features and are more important to home buyers in the Middle East than their global counterparts. Half of the respondents cited the energy efficiency of their next home as being a ‘very important‘ issue, compared to 42% of global buyers. There has been a rising demand for green and energy-efficient properties in the UAE. The region is at the pinnacle in the Middle East in the national concentration of sustainable buildings and stands at the 14th spot in the world with 869 green-rated buildings, according to the 2nd edition of Knight Frank’s (Y)our Space report – 2021 which surveyed almost 400 businesses worldwide on their workplace strategies and real estate needs. This sends a strong signal to the developers and planners to embrace building green properties to attract eco-friendly homebuyers in the UAE. Reasons for Rising Demand for Green Properties Here are the top 7 reasons for the rising demand for Green Properties in the UAE 1. Increasing Awareness The last decade has witnessed a colossal rise in the awareness among the UAE real estate developers and homebuyers about sustainable construction practices and the adverse effects of climate change, rising energy consumption, and carbon emission on their health and life which has significantly increased the demand for greener properties. The rising awareness about the advantages of green buildings is very evident from the leading studies conducted recently. The research conducted by EcoMENA in 2021 titled – ‘Green Building Trends in the Middle East’ reveals that in the last decade, green building design has become a top priority of real estate developers across the Middle East. The number of LEED-registered buildings has increased rapidly across the region, from 623 in 2010 to more than 2500 in 2020. UAE is ranked among the top 10 countries that hold LEED certifications in the world with Dubai ranked 3rd in the list of cities having the highest number of LEED-certified buildings. UAE has more than 600 LEED-certified projects. 2. Supportive Government Policies UAE has launched the ‘Net-Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative’ to reduce carbon emissions and will invest over AED 600 billion in renewable energy to minimize carbon emissions and move the nation towards cleaner energy. Other initiatives launched by the UAE to reduce carbon emissions which will increase the sales of green properties include – UAE Vision 2021, the UAE Centennial 2071, and the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which sets a 50% target for clean energy in the country, among others. The UAE government has already established several sustainable development goals which serve as a guiding principle for most upcoming real estate projects in the region. 3. Lower Construction & Operational Cost Research conducted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) reveals that the cost of installing green building features and technologies is significantly overestimated. Many developers perceive that the upfront cost of a green building is, on average, 17% higher than the original cost of a similar traditional building, however, that’s not true. The research by the U.S. Green building Council (USGBC) reveals the initial cost of a green building is only 2%-3% higher than its non-green counterpart. Moreover, green buildings consume 25%-35% less energy than non-green buildings and have 14% less operation and maintenance costs than their traditional counterparts. Modern property owners also prioritize renting or leasing green buildings or apartments due to their cost benefits. Green buildings also allow developers to save 20% of the initial construction cost annually by reducing energy consumption. Furthermore, green buildings allow developers to complete large-scale green projects at a much larger scale resulting in more revenues and business expansion. Using incentive technology such as Virtual Power Plants (VPP) combined with an onsite solar asset will further allow real estate developers to reduce the operational cost and utility cost and explore new models of maximizing income outside of increasing rent and making their properties more attractive for eco-friendly homes buyers. 4. Lower Rents & Service Charges Green properties are a win-win situation for every stakeholder. Due to their lower construction cost and energy consumption, green buildings have minimal operational costs. This is indeed good news for the homeowners and tenants as lower operational cost of the building leads to a reduction in their energy bills, service charges, and rents. The lower service charges and rents often result in higher resident satisfaction and occupancy rate for the landlords and developers. 5. The rise in Environment-friendly Buyers Rising awareness about the adverse impact of emissions on the health of humans as well as on the environment has attracted a number of homebuyers toward green properties. This is encouraging real estate developers to construct more green properties to foster quick sales. Two years ago we had to convince property developers to go green and think about efficient energy. The majority didn’t know what ‘green’ meant and assumed there was an extra cost attached. Now developers want to go green and some are achieving Leadership of Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, an internationally recognized green building rating system. Many large developers are creating their own green design guidelines to be followed by smaller developers building on their plot of land.” Khalid Bushnaq, CEO of Energy Management Services (EMS) There has been an exponential surge in buyers prioritizing green properties as they support a cleaner environment for future generations. 6. Investors Prioritizing Greener Properties for Letting & Sales There has been a rise in the investors and businesses prioritizing the green credentials of a property while making their purchase decision. This will indeed spur their saleability and rentability in the coming days. To cater to the demand of modern and environment-friendly buyers, real estate developers are coming up with greener properties and are evaluating the cost and the benefits of greenifying their portfolios. 7. Rising Sustainability Concerns There have been rising concerns about sustainability among both residential & commercial clients. Corporates across the globe are showing great interest in going sustainable and prioritizing sustainable buildings for their offices. According to the 2nd edition of Knight Frank’s (Y)our Space report, “40% of firms have set a net-zero carbon target and, of those, 77% are aiming to achieve this by 2030. 87% of firms surveyed had less than half of their current global real estate portfolios either ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’. Rising sustainability concerns among the buyers will accelerate the sales and rents of the green properties and will play a crucial role in minimizing the emission rate of the UAE. Summary Here is the summary of the article – There has been a rise in the attractiveness of greener properties among buyers across the UAE to reduce carbon emissions and move towards a healthy lifestyle. Climate change, COP 26, and UAEs investment in clean energy by 2050 have been the major drivers in raising awareness of green properties Along with the residential, the commercial sector is also prioritizing moving their offices to green properties to prioritize employee’s safety and adapt to their occupational strategies A Green building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment. The Knight Frank – 2021 survey on Middle East buyers reveals that proximity to green space and good air quality topped the list of location features. Half of the respondents considered the energy efficiency of their next home to be a ‘very important’ issue, compared to 42% of global buyers. UAE is ranked 14th in the world with 869 green-rated buildings The top reasons for the rising demand for green properties are as follows Increasing awareness Supportive government policies Lower construction & operational cost Lower rents & service charges Increase in environment-friendly buyers Investors Prioritizing Greener Properties for Letting & Sales Rising sustainability concerns among the buyers

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Real Estate Technology

Should Your Real Estate Client Sign An Appraisal Waiver?

Article | August 11, 2021

Real estate professionals sometimes have to answer a buyer’s questions about appraisal waivers. What are they? What do they mean? Is it a good or bad idea for the home loan applicant to sign one? If your client is applying for a home loan, signing an appraisal waiver does not mean that the home won’t be appraised. The lender will insist on an appraisal, to ensure that they’re not lending more money than they can expect to recover if they foreclose on the mortgage. An appraisal waiver is a document loan applicants sign to tell the lender that they’re waving their right to receive the appraisal report at least three days before the loan is consummated. In rare cases, a real estate professional might have to draft an appraisal waiver letter. In that case, the letter should include the name of the applicant, the address of the property, and, if applicable, the number of the loan application. It should state that the applicant knows about the right to receive the appraisal report at least three business days before the loan is consummated and that the applicant waives that right. At no time does the applicant waive the right to receive an appraisal report.

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Spotlight

Mirvac

With more than 40 years experience in the Australian development and construction industry, we create, own, and manage a diverse portfolio of assets across the office, retail, industrial and residential sectors.

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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.

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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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