Real Estate Technology
Article | July 12, 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
Article | July 18, 2022
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.
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
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
Real Estate Investment, Asset Management
Article | May 25, 2023
There’s no escaping the importance of sustainability in any investment sector. Globally, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing is worth $30 trillion in assets under management each year, around a quarter of all professionally-managed assets. It is more relevant than ever as the ‘high impact, low probability’ shock imposed by Covid-19 has strengthened the case for prioritising people and planet alongside profits, and illustrated the power of collective action to tackle global problems.
Many investors are unaware how significant this trend will be. If you are an investor, you need to consider why sustainability will be important, what sustainable property investing actually means, and what the major issues and opportunities are, as these will affect your risks and returns.
Why is sustainability so important for investors?
The UK’s legally-binding commitment to achieve net carbon zero by 2050 means that sustainability is no longer a ‘nice to have’. Our legal obligation is showing up in the form of new rules, regulations and best practices affecting all sectors that contribute to emissions.
40 per cent of UK emissions come from households, which makes the chance of more regulations and policies around the environmental performance of property more likely than not. These regulations will not only affect your ability to operate in a way that is compliant, but fundamentally change the value, performance and risk associated with your investments.
Real Estate Technology
Article | July 18, 2022
As the global social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic emerge, indoor air quality, for example, has emerged as a top priority for keeping building occupants safe and healthy. Workplaces and remote work arrangements are being reimagined by business owners, while retailers and restaurant operators continue to convert their physical spaces for social distancing or, in some cases, for an entirely new use.
In this context, the expectations of asset owners from office, retail, hotel, and residential users have grown exponentially, and there is no shortage of new challenges and opportunities for commercial landlords.
Sustainable environments with ergonomic furnishings, biophilic elements, natural daylight, and living green walls are meeting demands for lower operating costs, increased performance, and improved occupant well-being, as are healthy buildings with natural ventilation, enhanced thermal comfort, improved air quality, and green purchasing policies. One of many innovative examples is a manufacturer of smart windows that tint automatically based on outdoor and indoor conditions, improving people's health and wellness while lowering energy consumption.
The digital twin — essentially a virtual copy of a building — is another example of how technology is being used to transform the real estate industry. By leveraging data analysis, building simulation, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation, digital twins have the potential to help building owners and operators bridge the physical and virtual worlds. The digital twin's resulting assessment, calibration, modelling, and scenario planning capabilities enable more efficient operations, reduced maintenance, increased energy savings, and real-time decision-making support for the physical building. The health of a building will be considered an amenity by its occupants as landlords take steps to improve air quality inside their buildings through smart building.
Overall, healthy buildings improve occupant satisfaction, leasing rates, and building value. Buildings with better air quality and more natural light have lower absenteeism and, as a result, lower turnover and higher worker productivity, resulting in financial savings and increased value for the business. The same advantages apply to retail and residential buildings.
Landlords and commercial tenants are discovering that recognized standards, such as WELL and Fitwel, are enabling an effective framework and leading practices in the ownership, occupancy, and management of their physical environments as they develop, implement, and manage healthy building efforts.
A sustainable and healthy building prioritizes resource efficiency (energy, water, and materials) while enhancing positive building impacts on human health and the environment. Building owners and occupiers who are proactive in furthering these efforts are not only building resilience now, but also preparing for what comes next and beyond.