The Market For Real Estate Brokerage Mergers And Acquisitions

In the last two months, we assisted two brokerage firms, Joyner Fine Properties of Richmond, Virg., and Heritage Texas Properties of Houston, to combine with two other local firms. In the case of Joyner, it was with a local, strong credit union. In Houston, it was a merger with another local privately held brokerage, Better Homes and Gardens Gary Greene Realtors®. Both mergers were similar in many respects to how the market for residential brokerage mergers and acquisitions has changed in the past two years.

Spotlight

Sage Realty Group

Sage Realty Group is a full-service brokerage that specializes in marketing Teton Valley properties. Our experienced staff has successfully participated in the Teton Valley real estate market for over 15 years. Locally owned, the agents of SRG are committed to Teton Valley and its community.

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Real Estate Technology, Asset Management

The modern homebuyer's checklist that is reaping the rewards of COVID-19 real estate

Article | June 15, 2023

Florida’s real estate market is on the up amidst a COVID-driven boom. But, as homebuyers flock to the Sunshine State, they are bringing with them a checklist that consists of more than just sun, shores and southern fun. In recent months, there has been an average of 1,000 people moving to Florida each day, resulting in more than a 50% increase in home sales in some parts of the state. Alistair Brown, CEO of Alistair Brown International Real Estate (ABIRE), an international real estate sales and marketing company that has particular expertise in the Florida market, explains the cause of the boom. “The pandemic has shifted behaviors and ways of life in more ways than one and, as a result, our living arrangements have had to adapt. “For example, the rise in remote working, restrictions on leisure activities and social distancing guidelines have all caused a spike in demand for homes that are outside of crowded cities, have more space and COVID-safe amenities on offer. Many of Florida’s high-end houses provide just that.” The migration has been particularly popular among families who, pre-COVID, resided in densely populated cites. But, with virus risks significantly higher in these areas and a threat of future outbreaks still looming, a rural escape seems to make perfect sense. But, while some favor a permanent move to the state, a vacation home is an attractive investment opportunity for others – whether that is for domestic getaways, as travel restrictions remain in place, or a sense of home comfort, as you enjoy an extended stay with self-isolation periods. However, no matter what the reason may be, the root motivating factor is an interesting one, and one that Alistair believes has inspired a new list of requirements among home buyers. “The pandemic has caused people to re-evaluate the way they were living. We all have visions and desires for how we want our lives to play out and at no point have these been more magnified than during the virus outbreak. “While the threat to our health and livelihoods has been worrying, the thought of a life with unfulfilled aspirations, confinement and heightened risk has become another significant concern. “Many have accepted that the virus is not going away any time soon and the chances of returning to what we knew as normalcy are slim. So, rather than living a life of regret, it is time to adapt and fulfil those wishes while we still can, as well as inspire new ones in the wake of our current reality.” But what exactly do these new desires entail? Well, Alistair explains they have a lot to do with the architectural design of homes. Space “For those who experienced lockdown restrictions in confined living spaces, particularly in populated cities, the need for a home with room will be stronger than ever. “Home buyers will be looking at the size and space available in specific areas of the house. For example, kitchens will need to have ample room to cater for an increase in cooking at home, as well as a dining area that is fit for the whole family. “Outside space will also become a priority. Whether that is a private backyard, decking area or a communal garden, families will be looking for homes with outdoor living spaces in which they can enjoy the Sunshine State to its fullest, no matter what COVID-restrictions are in force.” Purpose-built rooms “One of the biggest enabling factors of the migration trend is the rise in working from home. While this was a requirement during the peak of the pandemic, many companies and employees will choose to make the switch permanent. “Consequently, home buyers will be seeking properties with purpose-built home office spaces. These will also need to be spacious rooms that can accommodate everything from desks, filing cabinets and high-speed connectivity. “Home offices need to be areas that can be closed off from the rest of the house. Not only does this provide privacy and minimize distractions when working, it also allows people to properly switch off after a long day. “Balancing both home and work life can become incredibly difficult, especially when both are contained by the same four walls, so homes that allow for the separation of the two will be favored much more.” Sustainable living “An incidental effect of the pandemic has been the reduced environmental impact of our restricted movement and new, minimalist lifestyles. Having recognized this, many will be seeking ways to continue going about their lives with greater awareness of their actions. “At home, this will include things, such as efficient energy usage or growing their own food. Of course, this will require homes to have modern heating, plumbing and electricity systems in place, as well as gardens in which fruit and vegetables can be grown.” Cleanliness “While it would be wrong to assume people were living in unclean conditions prior to the pandemic, the threat of the virus’ long-lasting existence on surfaces has only heightened people’s hygiene concerns. “Therefore, homes that can be easily cleaned, or better, self-cleaned, will be more sought after than those in which risk prevails. Take for example, voice activated technology that can turn lights on and off or stop-start electrical appliances, without the need for manual intervention. And, while air conditioning units are a common feature of Floridian properties, they can be updated with smart technology solutions, such as those provided by RespirTech. “As well as cooling the home, the new system will be constantly cleaning the air and surfaces using photocatalytic technology, which emits small parts of hydrogen peroxide. Such equipment will be increasingly at the forefront of consumer’s minds, as they seek to minimise physical interaction with products and systems.” Entertainment “With risks and restrictions remaining in place at many entertainment venues, leisure facilities at home are becoming a must. This may include bar areas, private swimming pools and home gyms to name but a few. “While community amenities are still important in fulfilling our innate need for social contact, buyers are seeking properties which have more on offer at home than out. “As well as protecting them against any of the risks associated with shared facilities, more home entertainment options will ensure any quarantine periods or future lockdowns cause little disruption to people’s daily routines. “Ultimately, post-COVID living will focus more on maximizing comfort while minimizing the potential impact of any future chaos. And, like most things in life, that starts at home.” Ends -- Notes to editors About Alistair Brown International Real Estate Alistair Brown International Real Estate (ABIRE) is a boutique real estate consultancy and creative agency that brings together the most distinguished properties from around the globe. Offering a diverse portfolio focused exclusively on the world’s most desirable locations, its specialist team is committed to providing nothing but the very best in high-end property. Under the direction of founder Alistair Brown – who has more than thirty years’ worth of experience in the sector – the firm has attracted some of the finest real estate professionals in the business today. Laying a primary focus on Florida and the Caribbean, ABIRE has acquired an in-depth knowledge of the real estate market in each of these areas. Successfully navigating the complexities of premium real estate through creative thinking, worldwide networking and a distinct marketing approach, ABIRE’s longevity in the industry is a direct result of its ability to exceed the expectations of its clientele.

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Real Estate Technology, Asset Management

The Economic Slowdown and Its Impact on the Housing Market in 2022

Article | May 10, 2023

A survey by CNBC revealed that only 24% of survey participants thought the economic conditions in the country were good in 2021. Down from 50% in 2019, Americans are losing confidence in the economy fast, which has largely impacted the housing market. The COVID-19-led recession is still getting heated, and the Federal Reserve attempted to assuage these concerns with its commitment to bringing down inflation. However, this does bring up a myriad of possibilities for the housing and real estate industry. Here are some ways the economic slowdown might impact the housing market in 2022. An Increase in Bad Debts and Vacancy Rates The economic slowdown will no longer exacerbate layoffs, especially in the entertainment, hospitality, retail and education industries. Multifamily homes may experience an increase in vacancies, especially in areas where these industries are major employers. The intense supply chain disruption is bound to impact economies worldwide. Many tenants who work in these industries may be forced to look for cheaper housing, which will create an exponential increase in the vacancy rates. Additionally, since non-payment of rent constitutes a bad debt, there will be an increase in bad debt. Moreover, suitable new tenants might not be available to replace those who are evicted for bad debt due to unemployment. Exponential Demand for Local Equity There may be a bright side to the chaos caused by the economic slowdown. It will result in an increase in the internal capital flow for real estate. Owing to the fact that the real estate market is considered a safer investment option, many stock investors will redirect their investments from the stock market to real estate. Local U.S. investors will put more money into multifamily properties, which can offset the dip in demand for multifamily real estate, leading to a stabilization in prices or avoiding a significant decline in property values. Dip in Commercial Real Estate Prices As foreign equity, which is continually searching to buy real estate in the United States, encounters difficulties accessing U.S. markets, we will observe a decline in the price of commercial real estate. Foreign investors can demand greater prices for multifamily properties since their expectations are often significantly lower than those of domestic investors. The demand for multifamily buildings will decrease as foreign investments in the American market fall, leading to reduced pricing. Bringing it Together The recession brings with it immense uncertainty. Despite this, the impact on the housing and real estate markets can be predicted by looking at historical patterns. The big picture is that buyers need to be cautious when investing but also consider the tremendous opportunity they can leverage during the recession.

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Real Estate Investment, Asset Management

What Property Investors Need to Know About Sustainable And Impact Investing

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.

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Real Estate Technology, Asset Management

Overcome Digital Asset Management Challenges in Real Estate

Article | May 10, 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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Spotlight

Sage Realty Group

Sage Realty Group is a full-service brokerage that specializes in marketing Teton Valley properties. Our experienced staff has successfully participated in the Teton Valley real estate market for over 15 years. Locally owned, the agents of SRG are committed to Teton Valley and its community.

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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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