Who will drive the ultimate tech revolution in CRE?

Let’s talk big picture on the current and future state of the CREtech landscape. CREtech is a nascent industry, but much of the tech revolution’s trajectory in commercial real estate has already mirrored the massive and rapid technological changes seen across other industries: finance, healthcare, and insurance, to name a few. As waves of new tech cause profound shifts, the underlying question I wrestle with is this: Who will ultimately emerge as CRE’s dominant tech players? On the one hand, current stakeholders in commercial real estate the JLLs, CBREs, Brookfield’s, Avalon Bay’s, Prologis and Hines of the world simply have too much at stake to tacitly accept outsiders dominating the sector. But then, given we exist in a sector serving the largest asset class in the world, it’s quite possible an existing tech behemoth could dominate in the blink of an eye with an acquisition, investment, or shift in strategic focus. Or we may see a hybrid of both.

Spotlight

Legacy Partners

Legacy Partners is a privately held real estate firm that owns, develops and manages multifamily communities throughout the United States. Since our inception, we have been driven by integrity, dedication, and a passion for perfection while returning exceptional results. Since 1968, we have developed more than 60,000 apartment homes and worked with some of the world’s largest financial institutions, life insurance companies, and real estate companies.

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Real Estate Technology

Smart Construction: Building Value through Interconnected Intelligence

Article | July 18, 2022

The construction industry, whether operating at the building level, infrastructure level, or city level, has undergone significant changes over the past decade, and the pace of change has only intensified in the past year. Opaque operating models are giving way to digitalization and transparency in every aspect of the industry, leading to better accountability of the business stakeholder ecosystem and better experience and quality of life for the end customers. The value realization for the sector is coming in three different ways, each with its set of technologies, tools, systems, and processes that lead to specific value maximization. 1. Connected Stakeholder Ecosystems Every stakeholder and their interactions and service provision to building and construction has been digitalized and automated. Architects, urban planners, designers have long been using tools and technologies. The use of 3D modeling and visualization, AR/VR platforms, and drone mapping are creating intuitive means to fast-track the design iteration process and reduce errors. Innovation has been happening in building materials and technologies for smart logistics and inventory management, which is digitalizing the procure to pay cycles and reducing the cost and sustainability footprint of the industry. Infratech is being included into civil construction, and information, communication, and operational tech hardware and software solutions are being integrated at the design stage itself. The industry uses the services of a network of internal and external third party providers and managers. The combination of mobile and enterprise applications, connectivity, and internet of things devices and variables is connecting these people together. Unified frameworks and digital and AI/ML tools allow seamless construction, management, and optimization of built spaces. The sales process is becoming highly digital with the use of customer relationship management platforms, channel management applications, and digital sales aids that blend AR/VR, 3D visualization, audio, video, and digital. The governance and financial mechanisms have evolved as well. Government bodies have digitalized and permissions, access rights, and payment mechanisms are increasingly digital. Regulators are moving towards real time sensor based monitoring and centralized digital reporting on effluents and emissions, aiming to improve sustainability metrics. An array of digital and cloud financial management tools, systems, and dashboards allow every aspect of the financial flow to and from entities to be managed, monitored, and optimized. The users, in both the customer and citizen persona, have become digitally savvy and experiential. The connected and sentient building, infrastructure, and city ecosystem increasingly allows for connected living where many services can already be accessed digitally. 2. Connected Lifecycle Management The construction industry is using digital and automation technologies at every stage of projects – from design to monetization of building, infrastructure, or city systems. Ingredient technologies such as internet of things, artificial intelligence, block chain, distributed computing, edge and mesh intelligence, cloud computing, big data analytics, and data visualization are allowing the industry to plan better and act predictively. The Design phase, in addition to using design and planning tools and technologies, is increasingly adopting concepts of wellness, biophilia, and blue-green integrations to blend technology and architecture. The Build phase has significantly transformed through innovative construction materials and methods, as well as digital, cloud, and sensor based solutions to monitor staff, progress, audits, and errors in construction. The entire land records management system in the country has been digitalized, and plans are underway to use drone based mapping to catalogue all assets and sites at a national level. The Sell phase is using technologies and platforms that have disintermediated some ecosystem partners and aggregated others, increasing the flow of information, communication, validations, and transactions. From marketing to site visits to legal documentation and commercial transactions, every step has been digitally transformed through a combination of AR/VR, AI/ML, digital, and cloud technologies. The Operate phase is seeing newer models of maintenance and management of assets over the long term. Tech enabled metering and monitoring allows for discretization of pay per use type of commercial arrangements, which can be digitally contracted and managed. This allows multi-stakeholder and multi-user assets to operate seamlessly. Multiple automation and real time monitoring systems and solutions – whether fully integrated or point solutions, are enhancing visibility and improving efficiency of operational performance. The Experience phase ensures an interplay of operational and service related systems and technologies allow the users to better access services at building, infrastructure, or city level. There is a lot of emphasis on enhancing customer experience by reducing wait times, improving service levels, creating areas and systems for interaction and engagement, and delivering a better quality of work or life to the end user. The Monetization phase is increasingly at the top of mind of administrators, owners, and operators of construction assets. Long return on investment cycles and complex modes of deployment of public and private capital predicate focus on easing the flow of money and identifying multiple modes of monetization to ensure that projects can succeed. Value added services through retail, advertising, data, or service based use cases are allowing for recurring revenues to be generated. Many of these services can be digitally conceptualized, delivered, and managed. 3. Connected Systems and Services Buildings and infrastructure spaces are increasingly envisioning themselves as an interconnected system of functions, utilities and services, all managed centrally and digitally through a building level control room or an infrastructure or city level integrated control and command center. The set of technologies first adopted for smart cities - such as networking and connectivity; smart management of water, waste, lighting, power, sewage, air quality and emissions; smart access to services and retail; interconnected mobility, parking, and traffic management; and managing request-response systems and on-demand servicing and issues management - are increasingly becoming important for buildings and infrastructure projects. Transport hubs are reimagining themselves as microcities. Road assets are creating logistics hubs and multiple digital monetization channels. Buildings are transforming into mixed use spaces that are accessed and managed digitally. On-demand, surge, discounted pricing mechanisms rely on complex algorithms and predictive forecasts. Multiple indices and standard comparative metrics are being considered by users, governments, regulators, and financiers of patient long-term capital. At the building level, Green ratings and Well Building standards are being measured and reported, and creating methods of differentiating premium and non-premium buildings. Global Infrastructure rankings rate countries in the quality and density and access of road, transport, utilities, and other major infrastructure systems and projects. Ease of Living Index and Sustainable Development Goals create the benchmarks to measure and monitor the performance and impact of city systems. Increasingly, gamification through Swachh Survekshan, Municipal Performance Index, and other city, state, and national level assessments is creating awareness and improving service levels. The indices themselves rely on a set on technology inclusion within projects and technology systems to aid performance measurement.

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Real Estate Technology, Asset Management

Top 5 Trends in Digital Real Estate Asset Management of 2023

Article | June 15, 2023

Learning the latest trends and strategies in digital real estate asset management will help enhance business. Leveraging digital tools, benefits, and techniques transforms asset management approach. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Five Latest Trends in Digital Real Estate Asset Management 2.1. Cloud-based Real Estate Asset Management 2.2. Blockchain Integration 2.3. Growth of Smart Buildings 2.4. Adoption of Virtual and Augmented Reality 2.5. Expansion of Proptech Ecosystem 3. Why should Businesses Implement Digital Asset Management Trends? 3.1. Improved Customer Experience 3.2. Future-Proofing 3.3. Better Brand Management 3.4. Improved Collaboration 3.5. Cost Savings 4. Conclusion 1. Introduction Keeping abreast with emerging trends and technologies is crucial for success in the ever-changing and dynamic real estate industry. With the proliferation of real estate assets, there is a growing demand for improved organization, storage, and management of digital assets. Digital asset management assists real estate professionals in optimizing workflow, collaboration and improving decision-making abilities while reducing costs and ensuring asset security. Additionally, organizations adopting digital asset management can future-proof their strategies and gain market advantage. The article highlights the significance of digital asset management in real estate and the most recent developments in this field. 2. Five Latest Trends in Digital Real Estate Asset Management Digital Real Estate Asset Management has emerged as a critical component in the management of real estate portfolios. As a result of technological advancements, businesses have access to new tools, platforms, and applications that facilitate automation and streamline asset management activities. With the increasing demand for transparency and efficiency, adopting digital technologies in asset management has become necessary. 2.1. Cloud-based Real Estate Asset Management The real estate industry is undergoing a significant transformation, with more and more businesses moving towards cloud-based platforms for asset management. This shift is driven by the need for increased scalability, flexibility, and accessibility in managing real estate assets. With cloud-based platforms, real estate asset management professionals can now work on properties from anywhere and anytime without being confined to their offices. Cloud-based platforms have simplified asset management by leveraging cloud computing technology to streamline processes and enhance productivity. In addition, leveraging the technology businesses can also provide their clients with better digital asset management solution and faster services, which can help increase customer satisfaction and retention rates. 2.2. Blockchain Integration Blockchain is a secure, decentralized, and transparent ledger system that enables the transfer of assets and data without intermediaries. Integrating blockchain technology into real estate asset management is a trend businesses must follow for digital asset management. However, the siloed nature of digital real estate business networks causes friction and opacity. With blockchain integration, real estate businesses get solutions to tokenize assets, increase process efficiency, reduce costs, and offer global asset distribution, ownership fractionalization, secondary market opportunities, and data accessibility. The integration further benefits in making better investment decisions, portfolio management and improve business position to compete in a rapidly changing digital landscape. 2.3. Growth of Smart Buildings The growth of smart buildings is a prominent trend in digital real estate asset management. Smart buildings utilize IoT devices and sensors to collect data and automate tasks, resulting in improved energy efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced tenant experiences. In addition, it leads to improved occupancy rates and brings in ROI for real estate asset managers. With the potential for greater sustainability and improved tenant satisfaction, implementing smart building technology is rapidly gaining traction among real estate professionals. Furthermore, smart buildings provide real estate asset managers with valuable insights into building performance and tenant needs, enabling them to make data-driven decisions and improve operational efficiency. As a result, the trend toward smart buildings is expected to continue, with real estate asset managers increasingly adopting technologies to stay competitive and maximize overall returns. 2.4. Adoption of Virtual and Augmented Reality The growing demand for augmented and virtual reality in the real estate industry can be attributed to the rapid adoption of advanced technology that has significantly enhanced user experiences, thereby streamlined the buying and selling process. These technologies have created a new reality for architects, builders, sellers, and buyers, ensuring cost-effectiveness, global reach, mobility, visualization of changes, construction management, and profits. Additionally, VR and AR technology facilitate remote property inspections and maintenance, thus reducing costs and saving time. However, implementing VR and AR technology comes with many challenges, including the need for specialized hardware and software and the cost of development and maintenance. Nevertheless, their potential benefits in real estate asset management make it a trend that businesses should consider implementing to remain competitive. 2.5. Expansion of Proptech Ecosystem The rapid advancements and widespread adoption of technology have fundamentally changed people's lives and work habits, influencing their expectations for living and workspaces. As a sector that touches every aspect of daily life, the real estate industry is well-positioned to engage in cross-industry integration with sectors such as finance, medicine, education, and healthcare. The concept of prop-tech explored in this report encompasses two dimensions. The first dimension is digitalizing the real estate ecosystem, which includes digitizing business activities from land acquisition and development to real estate transactions and property asset management services. The trends in user space requirements need flexible space selection, user-experience-tailored space, cutting-edge information practices, innovative exposure, and customized solutions that are closely connected to people. 3.Why should Businesses Implement Digital Asset Management Trends? As technology revolutionizes every industry, staying up-to-date with the latest trends is crucial to achieve success. Similarly, implementing digital asset management trends is about staying relevant, competitive, innovative and meeting the demands of a modern and tech-savvy customer segment. 3.1. Improved Customer Experience Adopting digital asset management trends in real estate can significantly improve customer experience. Businesses must offer fast and easy access to their assets, resulting in faster decision-making and increased satisfaction. Enhanced search capabilities make it easier for customers to find what they need, while personalized content based on their preferences and past interactions leads to better engagement and satisfaction. A user-centric approach helps businesses tailor their digital assets to meet customers' unique needs and expectations, improving customer loyalty and increasing revenue. 3.2. Future-Proofing In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, it is critical for companies in the real estate industry to remain agile and adaptable to stay relevant and competitive. By implementing digital asset management trends, businesses can future-proof their operations and ensure their longevity in the market. It means staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and continuously adapting to meet changing consumer demands. In addition, digital asset management allows for greater flexibility and scalability in business operations, providing a strong foundation for growth and expansion. 3.3. Better Brand Management Digital asset management can considerably improve brand management in the real estate industry. By providing a central repository of brand assets such as logos, images, and marketing materials, businesses can maintain consistency across different platforms and avoid inconsistencies in branding. In addition, with easy access to the latest version of assets, all organization members can ensure that the correct branding materials are being used. It further helps businesses maintain a strong brand identity and avoid confusion or misrepresentation of their brand. 3.4. Improved Collaboration With a central location for teams to access and share files, digital asset management trends help streamline the process, workflows and facilitate collaboration within teams. In addition, collaborative tools like version control and commenting features allow team members to work together more efficiently and effectively while ensuring accessibility to real-time information. With digital asset management, businesses can enhance team collaboration, improve project outcomes, increase innovation, and better business results. 3.5. Cost Savings Businesses in a highly competitive market continually look for ways to improve efficiency and cost cutting. Therefore, adopting digital asset management trends can be highly beneficial, as it provides a more effective and economical means of managing and disseminating digital assets. In addition, business processes can be streamlined, identical tasks are eliminated, and unnecessary third-party solutions can be avoided with the help of a centralized digital asset management system. Moreover, digital asset management can improve security by providing controlled access to assets and reducing the risk of unauthorized use or distribution. 4. Conclusion Digital real estate asset management trends help occupy better physical asset value through digital transformations, data analytics, and operational efficiencies. Traditional real estate companies are challenged to think like digital or technology-based asset management companies that help link service delivery and value to revenue. With the potential growth of digital asset management for real estate businesses, it is time for companies to shift from just space providers to service partners and tenant providers. Adopting software solutions and new trends in real estate asset management offers many benefits, including improved customer experience, future-proofing, digital transformation, better brand management, collaboration, and cost savings. In addition, integrating technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain can further enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of digital asset management.

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Real Estate Investment, Asset Management

4 Facts to Help First-Time Homebuyers Overcome Common Fears

Article | May 5, 2023

For first-time homebuyers, making the transition from renter to homeowner can be exciting, overwhelming, and scary all at once. Yet as Gary Keller and Jay Papasan write in the second edition of Your First Home, “Those who live the most fulfilling lives base their decisions on facts, not fears.” Below, we’ve outlined four powerful facts from Your First Home to help move anxious homeowners toward the fulfillment and abundance Keller and Papasan nod to. Delivered with empathy, care, and your expertise – these facts can help ease fears and move clients closer to experiencing all the bounties homeownership brings. Fear 1: “I can’t afford to buy a home now.” Fact: Until you do the math, you don’t know what you can or can’t afford. If you are currently paying rent, generally you can afford to buy. From a financial point of view, in the United States, the tax savings on mortgage interest alone usually make up most of the difference between your rent and mortgage payments – the tax write-offs you get at the end of year will generally help you save a lot of money. Additionally, depending on your credit score, you can end up affording more than you realize. Note: The credit scores used for mortgage lending tend to take on a much larger picture of your overall credit score. Finally, although there may be a higher initial cost to buying a house, if you’re planning on staying in one place for a few years, the equity you build can end up being a financial boon. Fear 2: “I should wait until the real estate market gets better.” Fact: There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. Whether “right” means the right price or the right property for you, waiting for the perfect market timing seldom works to your advantage. If you don’t believe us, look back to the Great Recession when the bubble around the housing market burst, GDP declined 4.5% and unemployment rose to around 9.5%. Everyone still feels the impact of this incredible financial event. But, like those who endured the Great Depression, the people who lived through the Great Recession made it through, and benefited from an era of financial growth. In fact immediately following the Great Recession, the United States entered the longest period of rising prices and general prosperity since World War II. The fact of the matter is, even the biggest economic downturns are, well, normal. Even when there were some events that threatened to dampen the economy, like the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market still continued to thrive. In the end, there are two ways to make money in real estate: timing and time. That is you happen upon the right moment to purchase your home before the price appreciates, or you hold it for a long enough time so that appreciation makes your purchase investment right. If you miss the first, you can most certainly count on the second. Fear 3: “I don’t have the money for a down payment.” Fact: There are a variety of down-payment options available to you. While many people believe that making a home purchase requires a substantial down payment, as as much as 20%,, this is seldom true. Options are always available to you that require much less than this number, as low as 5%, some even less. Moreover, most states have down-payment assistance programs that can help you afford to buy. House-hacking can also be a great way to make homeownership a more affordable option. House-hacking is when you purchase a piece of real estate and lease out one of the bedrooms or units. This rental income can then be applied toward your mortgage. Or, you can participate in home rental programs like Vrbo or Airbnb. While it may not be ideal all of the time, you could always make your month’s mortgage payment by renting your place while you’re on vacation. Fear 4: “I can’t buy a home because my credit score isn’t good.” Fact: A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily prevent you from buying a home. Although it’s valuable to have a good credit score, a poor one shouldn’t necessarily prevent you from talking to lenders to explore your options. You can expect that a good loan officer (or mortgage specialist) will be able to help you resolve your credit challenges, often simply by showing you how to move or consolidate your debts, or by referring you to a credit counselor who will put you on a plan. If you’re facing the challenge of having no credit history because you are new to the workforce or have not made regular purchases on credit, there are still possible solutions that you may want to explore. One is to secure financing with the help of a cosigner, such as parents or a close relative, who is willing to stand by your ability to make the payments. Another can be finding a lender who is willing to use alternative forms of history such as student loans, rent, and utilities. Looking For More Homeownership Resources? Head over to the Your First Home webpage for freebies, including information on how to build out your real estate dream team and for your clients, a resource on how to determine their homeownership criteria.

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5 Ways to Build Wealth through Real Estate Investing

Article | June 10, 2020

When people talk about real estate investing, they often only talk about whether the value of the home goes up or down. While that may be true if your only investment was in your primary residence, it completely misses many strategies for creating wealth through investment properties. The fact is, there are five different ways owning investment real estate can help create wealth for you.

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Spotlight

Legacy Partners

Legacy Partners is a privately held real estate firm that owns, develops and manages multifamily communities throughout the United States. Since our inception, we have been driven by integrity, dedication, and a passion for perfection while returning exceptional results. Since 1968, we have developed more than 60,000 apartment homes and worked with some of the world’s largest financial institutions, life insurance companies, and real estate companies.

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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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