The biggest mortgage industry trends of 2019 that will carry into 2020

The last 365 days proved that as much as the industry tries to predict the real estate market, nothing beats proactively preparing for any type of lending environment. The best example of this was also one of the biggest mortgage industry trends of 2019: the drop in interest rates. By the end of 2018, there was an overwhelming amount of negative housing data points that didn’t bode well for a strong start to last year. A majority of the forecasts for 2019 predicted that interest rates would rise, causing would-be buyers to continue renting, along with rising home prices and tight inventory making affordability sound impossible. The reversal of these predictions spawned a refi boom, and when the top industry voices were asked to share which trends not only took the industry by storm last year but were expected to carry into 2020, the trend that was on the forefront of everyone’s mind was the year’s record-low interest rates, averaging around 3.9% in 2019 according to Freddie Mac.

Spotlight

LRE Group

Lucas van Vuuren - the modern real estate mastermind. In March of 2015, a trend setting new brand was born, it was an exciting and innovative month introducing the new brand to our existing clients, loyal office staff and service providers. In order to opening new business avenues and establishing the new brand, we had to tap into our resources, burning the midnight oil and keep our fingers crossed that this was indeed the right decision.

OTHER ARTICLES
Real Estate Technology, Asset Management

Investing in real estate CRM? Top 8 features to improve customer experience

Article | June 15, 2023

Real estate technology has revolutionized the real estate business. Most real estate developers today use technology to meet the needs of customers who are becoming more knowledgeable, give them the best service possible, and remain competitive. Real estate agents are turning to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to manage all communication and interactions with customers and prospects and improve operational efficiencies. What is a real estate CRM? A quick glance A CRM system for real estate is a system that helps manage all communications with leads and clients. It functions as an online database, allowing you to manage your contacts while saving time and effort on manual data entry. Email and text messaging, lead tracking tools, and click-to-call capabilities are some of the key features you will find in the top real estate CRM. A productive realtor must multitask, including keeping the database of clients, locating properties, communicating with clients, using websites and social media platforms to advertise and communicate with new clients, etc. This is where a CRM software plays a critical role because time is money and CRM software allows saving a considerable amount of time, minimizes effort and resources by sales automation, inventory management, automating contacts, managing customer interactions, and performing other data operations. Before selecting a comprehensive CRM solution for your real estate business, you should consider a few key aspects and features Sales process automation Manage your sales pipeline with end-to-end sales automation features that let your sales team focus on tasks that bring in more money while routine tasks are automated. Inventory Management Platform A cloud-based dedicated digital inventory management can let you remotely manage vast quantities of inventory across various projects, buildings, floors, and units. You can use the automation feature to organize and sort a large amount of real estate inventory, as well as to ensure that inventory is selected based on the buyer persona and criteria. List management Your CRM should allow you to personalize your data in order to generate lists based on transactions, dates, offers, events, and incentives Automate tasks and workflow Realtors must be able to quickly respond to property queries without having to browse through their inboxes. Once a client interacts with an agent, the system initiates real-time push alerts, sends follow-up emails or texts, manages calendars, and enables the customer to select other preferred contact channels Post sales automation Using CRM, the sales team could maintain customized payment schedules based on projects, send automated payment reminders, handle inventory payments, create and share documents online relating to bookings. Seamless cross-platform accessibility The CRM software must provide cloud access in addition to phone, desktop, and any smart device. Compatibility with other platforms — compatibility with products like as Microsoft Office and Google Docs is of tremendous assistance, so include it to your list of must-haves. In addition, ensure that the system is user-friendly for individuals who may lack technological expertise. Feedback and reporting The core of your company's success is gathering client feedback. A software that provides insights into your data through centralized reporting and real-time client feedback is ideal for making quick decisions that help you improve sales and boost customer engagement and retention Scalability Scalability is another factor to consider; will you have the flexibility to simply add users as your business grows? You need a CRM platform that is versatile and reliable, able to handle ever-growing business operational efficiencies and not suffer from regular system downtimes, lags and data losses. Conclusion Whether you are a seasoned realtor or a newcomer, investing in CRM software that provides you with a variety of options for time-and cost-efficient customer data management has become critical. Despite the wide variety of CRM options available on the market, the most important thing is to find the one that is best suited to your specific real estate needs. Once you know what you want, you'll be able to make better decisions about your real estate business.

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Real Estate Technology

Revitalizing Multifamily Communities with Impactful Resident Services

Article | July 25, 2022

Impactful service-enriched housing programs and onsite supportive services build a foundation for serving the unique needs of a rental community’s tenant base. Quality services that address the individual concerns of each resident help eliminate the challenges that force turnover and increased expenses for property managers. Service-enriched housing includes the incorporation of programs and services within a community that advances the social and economic skill set of tenants. Meeting net operating income (NOI) and covering debt service obligations are key performance indicators for property managers. Tenants must be valued because they are crucial to improving the financial performance of a community or property. Without support in discovering a realistic path to self-sufficiency, these improvements made will not promote the stabilization of a tenant population. The key outcome for a community through the implementation of service-enriched housing programs is internal revitalization. Tenants benefit socially and economically from services that support access to job readiness, education and financial growth. During this time of economic instability, our resident services coordinators help remove barriers that plague many living in rental housing communities. Through its partnership with Esusu, Rainbow has alleviated tenants’ significant economic hardship by bridging default payments with no-interest loans. Tenants can use the company’s rent reporting platform, which sends on-time rental payment data to the three major credit bureaus – allowing them to build and develop their credit scores. Prioritizing tenant empowerment offers tangible and intangible changes in a property, leading to increased financial performance and improved tenant retention. It also reduces turnover costs for property management such as flooring, paint and reletting fees. Free programs and services also improve the marketability of a property to prospective tenants. Rainbow communities have seen a reduction in community vandalism since the implementation of youth enrichment programs that keep children engaged and supported in their education. Quality service-enriched housing programs, such as those offered by Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation, provide direct access to resources that support the needs of physically and mentally disabled individuals, veterans, chronically homeless, single-parent households, families and seniors. Additionally, this type of outreach attracts the interest of local city, state and federal agencies as it helps stabilize the most vulnerable communities, cutting city and government expenses on a number of levels. This type of approval can even lead to further funding and support for initiatives that will enrich the future of affordable housing services. Key programs and resources address life skills, financial intelligence, education, employment, youth and senior programs, resources to eliminate emergency situations, and social development in a multifamily community. The implementation of a professional, service-enriched housing program with onsite staff ensures that these offerings are tailored to each community and primed for longevity. A stable tenant base will determine the solvency of a community and reposition the financial performance of an asset.

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Real Estate Investment, Asset Management

What’s the Future of Commercial Real Estate?

Article | May 5, 2023

Real estate is a key element of the U.S. economy. Residential real estate provides housing for individuals and families and is a major source of wealth and savings for Americans. Commercial real estate creates spaces for retail, offices, manufacturing, and apartment buildings as well as creating jobs to sell, build, and maintain all these structures.

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Utilizing your IRA to Buy and Sell Real Estate

Article | April 27, 2020

Self-directed IRAs are the less offered and lesser known of the IRA options. That’s simply because they’re seen as needing too much effort to utilize correctly. The truth is that self-directed IRAs aren’t as complicated as they’re made out to be. Especially if you have the right custodian who offers the services you need to successfully run your account. Similar to other IRA accounts, owners can still invest in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. They can also invest in things like small businesses, boat slips, storage units, parking lots, land, and homes. Interested investors should seek legal advice, as well as input from an accountant and real estate agent for a well-rounded picture. They should also be familiar with the rules for the type of retirement account they’re using. Whether it is a Simple IRA, Roth or Traditional IRA, SEP IRA or Solo 401K, contribution limits still apply, and there are penalties for early withdrawals.

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Spotlight

LRE Group

Lucas van Vuuren - the modern real estate mastermind. In March of 2015, a trend setting new brand was born, it was an exciting and innovative month introducing the new brand to our existing clients, loyal office staff and service providers. In order to opening new business avenues and establishing the new brand, we had to tap into our resources, burning the midnight oil and keep our fingers crossed that this was indeed the right decision.

Related News

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.

Read More

Real Estate Technology

SmartRent Launches Alloy SmartHome Hub+

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

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

Read More

Real Estate Technology

EVORA Global Announces Acquisition of Metry

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

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

Read More

Real Estate Technology

Cushman & Wakefield Collaborates with Microsoft to Enhance AI Technology Platform

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

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

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