Real Estate Technology, Asset Management
Article | May 10, 2023
The belief that green properties bring multiple benefits for both residents and developers is becoming universal. The real estate buyers are realizing the integral role played by the green buildings in minimizing carbon emissions and contributing toward one of the biggest global agendas – Climate Change. Across the UAE, some landlords are evaluating the cost and the benefits of making their portfolios greener to meet the expectations of the property buyers as well as the tenants who are becoming more environment-friendly.
Rising international focus on climate change, Conference of the Parties (COP26) summit and UAE’s net-zero initiative to minimize emissions and pledging to invest almost $165 billion in clean energy by 2050 are the other major reasons for the landlords to construct green buildings.
Covid-19 has created an urge for employee safety to ensure they feel comfortable coming to the office. To take employee safety to the next level, corporations are choosing green properties to prioritize employees’ well-being and adapt to their occupational strategies and achieve their sustainability goals.
What is a Green Building?
The World Green Building Council (WGBC) defines a green building as – “a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment.”
Some of the features suggested by WGBC which make a building green include –
Efficient use of energy, water, and other resources
Use of renewable energy, such as – solar energy, pollution, and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling
Good indoor environmental air quality
Use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical, and sustainable
Consideration of the environment in the design
Construction, and operation
Consideration of the quality of life of occupants in design
Construction, and operation
Design that enables adaptation to a changing environment
Exponential Rise in the Demand for Greener Properties
There has been a huge rise in the demand for greener and energy-efficient properties not only in the UAE but across the Middle East. As per the Knight Frank – 2021 survey – proximity to green space and good air quality topped the list of location features and are more important to home buyers in the Middle East than their global counterparts. Half of the respondents cited the energy efficiency of their next home as being a ‘very important‘ issue, compared to 42% of global buyers.
There has been a rising demand for green and energy-efficient properties in the UAE. The region is at the pinnacle in the Middle East in the national concentration of sustainable buildings and stands at the 14th spot in the world with 869 green-rated buildings, according to the 2nd edition of Knight Frank’s (Y)our Space report – 2021 which surveyed almost 400 businesses worldwide on their workplace strategies and real estate needs.
This sends a strong signal to the developers and planners to embrace building green properties to attract eco-friendly homebuyers in the UAE.
Reasons for Rising Demand for Green Properties
Here are the top 7 reasons for the rising demand for Green Properties in the UAE
1. Increasing Awareness
The last decade has witnessed a colossal rise in the awareness among the UAE real estate developers and homebuyers about sustainable construction practices and the adverse effects of climate change, rising energy consumption, and carbon emission on their health and life which has significantly increased the demand for greener properties.
The rising awareness about the advantages of green buildings is very evident from the leading studies conducted recently. The research conducted by EcoMENA in 2021 titled – ‘Green Building Trends in the Middle East’ reveals that in the last decade, green building design has become a top priority of real estate developers across the Middle East. The number of LEED-registered buildings has increased rapidly across the region, from 623 in 2010 to more than 2500 in 2020. UAE is ranked among the top 10 countries that hold LEED certifications in the world with Dubai ranked 3rd in the list of cities having the highest number of LEED-certified buildings. UAE has more than 600 LEED-certified projects.
2. Supportive Government Policies
UAE has launched the ‘Net-Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative’ to reduce carbon emissions and will invest over AED 600 billion in renewable energy to minimize carbon emissions and move the nation towards cleaner energy.
Other initiatives launched by the UAE to reduce carbon emissions which will increase the sales of green properties include – UAE Vision 2021, the UAE Centennial 2071, and the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which sets a 50% target for clean energy in the country, among others. The UAE government has already established several sustainable development goals which serve as a guiding principle for most upcoming real estate projects in the region.
3. Lower Construction & Operational Cost
Research conducted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) reveals that the cost of installing green building features and technologies is significantly overestimated. Many developers perceive that the upfront cost of a green building is, on average, 17% higher than the original cost of a similar traditional building, however, that’s not true.
The research by the U.S. Green building Council (USGBC) reveals the initial cost of a green building is only 2%-3% higher than its non-green counterpart. Moreover, green buildings consume 25%-35% less energy than non-green buildings and have 14% less operation and maintenance costs than their traditional counterparts.
Modern property owners also prioritize renting or leasing green buildings or apartments due to their cost benefits. Green buildings also allow developers to save 20% of the initial construction cost annually by reducing energy consumption. Furthermore, green buildings allow developers to complete large-scale green projects at a much larger scale resulting in more revenues and business expansion.
Using incentive technology such as Virtual Power Plants (VPP) combined with an onsite solar asset will further allow real estate developers to reduce the operational cost and utility cost and explore new models of maximizing income outside of increasing rent and making their properties more attractive for eco-friendly homes buyers.
4. Lower Rents & Service Charges
Green properties are a win-win situation for every stakeholder. Due to their lower construction cost and energy consumption, green buildings have minimal operational costs. This is indeed good news for the homeowners and tenants as lower operational cost of the building leads to a reduction in their energy bills, service charges, and rents.
The lower service charges and rents often result in higher resident satisfaction and occupancy rate for the landlords and developers.
5. The rise in Environment-friendly Buyers
Rising awareness about the adverse impact of emissions on the health of humans as well as on the environment has attracted a number of homebuyers toward green properties. This is encouraging real estate developers to construct more green properties to foster quick sales.
Two years ago we had to convince property developers to go green and think about efficient energy. The majority didn’t know what ‘green’ meant and assumed there was an extra cost attached. Now developers want to go green and some are achieving Leadership of Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, an internationally recognized green building rating system. Many large developers are creating their own green design guidelines to be followed by smaller developers building on their plot of land.”
Khalid Bushnaq, CEO of Energy Management Services (EMS)
There has been an exponential surge in buyers prioritizing green properties as they support a cleaner environment for future generations.
6. Investors Prioritizing Greener Properties for Letting & Sales
There has been a rise in the investors and businesses prioritizing the green credentials of a property while making their purchase decision. This will indeed spur their saleability and rentability in the coming days. To cater to the demand of modern and environment-friendly buyers, real estate developers are coming up with greener properties and are evaluating the cost and the benefits of greenifying their portfolios.
7. Rising Sustainability Concerns
There have been rising concerns about sustainability among both residential & commercial clients. Corporates across the globe are showing great interest in going sustainable and prioritizing sustainable buildings for their offices.
According to the 2nd edition of Knight Frank’s (Y)our Space report, “40% of firms have set a net-zero carbon target and, of those, 77% are aiming to achieve this by 2030. 87% of firms surveyed had less than half of their current global real estate portfolios either ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’.
Rising sustainability concerns among the buyers will accelerate the sales and rents of the green properties and will play a crucial role in minimizing the emission rate of the UAE.
Here is the summary of the article –
There has been a rise in the attractiveness of greener properties among buyers across the UAE to reduce carbon emissions and move towards a healthy lifestyle.
Climate change, COP 26, and UAEs investment in clean energy by 2050 have been the major drivers in raising awareness of green properties
Along with the residential, the commercial sector is also prioritizing moving their offices to green properties to prioritize employee’s safety and adapt to their occupational strategies
A Green building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and can create positive impacts, on our climate and natural environment.
The Knight Frank – 2021 survey on Middle East buyers reveals that proximity to green space and good air quality topped the list of location features. Half of the respondents considered the energy efficiency of their next home to be a ‘very important’ issue, compared to 42% of global buyers.
UAE is ranked 14th in the world with 869 green-rated buildings
The top reasons for the rising demand for green properties are as follows
Supportive government policies
Lower construction & operational cost
Lower rents & service charges
Increase in environment-friendly buyers
Investors Prioritizing Greener Properties for Letting & Sales
Rising sustainability concerns among the buyers
Real Estate Advice, Asset Management
Article | May 9, 2023
If your lifestyle has changed recently and you’re ready to make a move, taking advantage of today’s sellers’ market might be just the answer for your summer plans. With homes continuing to get multiple offers, this could be your moment to get the contract you’re looking for on your house if you’re ready to sell.
And here’s the thing – you need an expert on your side to ensure you make all the right moves when you do, especially when it comes to pricing your house. Even in this competitive market, you can’t stick just any price tag on your home and get the deal you want. A key piece of the puzzle is setting the right asking price so you can help buyers notice your home (and get excited about it) from the very first time they view the listing. That’s where a real estate professional comes in.
Why Pricing Your House Right Is Important
The price you set for your house sends a message to potential buyers. Price it too low and you might raise questions about your home’s condition or lead buyers to assume something is wrong with the property. Not to mention, if you undervalue your house, you could leave money on the table which decreases your future buying power.
On the other hand, price it too high, and you run the risk of deterring buyers. When that happens, you may have to do a price drop to try to re-ignite interest in your house when it sits on the market for a while. But be aware that a price drop can be seen as a red flag for some buyers who will wonder why the price was reduced and what that means about the home.
In other words, think of pricing your home as a target. Your goal is to aim directly for the center – not too high, not too low, but right at market value. Pricing your house fairly based on market conditions increases the chance you’ll have more buyers who are interested in purchasing it. That makes it more likely you’ll see multiple offers, too. And if a bidding war happens, you’ll likely get an even higher final sale price. Plus, when homes are priced right, they tend to sell quickly.
Lean on a Professional’s Expertise
There are several factors that go into pricing your house, and balancing them is the key. That’s why it’s important to lean on an expert real estate advisor when you’re ready to move. A local real estate advisor is knowledgeable about:
The value of homes in your neighborhood
The current demand for houses in today’s market
The condition of your house and how it affects the value
A real estate professional will balance these factors to make sure the price of your house makes the best first impression and gives you the greatest return on your investment in the end.
If you’re thinking about selling, pricing your house appropriately is key. Let’s connect to make sure your house is priced right for the local market, for your home’s condition, and to stand out from the competition.
Real Estate Investment, Asset Management
Article | May 5, 2023
Commercial real estate events assist professionals in enhancing asset management by gaining valuable insights, adopting advanced technologies and effectively navigating current industry landscape.
Commercial Real Estate asset management is dynamic, complex, and constantly evolving. To constantly change with the latest trends and technologies, professionals need access to the best resources and experts. However, staying informed and up-to-date can be challenging, particularly for those new to the industry or having difficulty managing the business. Attending conferences and trade shows can be incredibly valuable and help overcome the challenges of managing assets in real estate. The events from May 2023 to January 2024 provide a unique opportunity to learn about emerging technology, sustainability and climate technology, and property and investment tips. In addition, by participating in workshops and attending conferences led by top experts and networking with industry leaders, one can navigate the current scenarios and gain valuable insights to better manage their commercial real estate assets.
10 Upcoming Commercial Real Estate Asset Management Events
1. Realcomm | IBcon 2023: Past, Present and Future of Real Estate Technology
June 13-15, 2023 | Las Vegas (USA)
Realcomm and IBcon 2023 have formed a prominent group of commercial real estate executives and intelligent buildings experts worldwide to serve on their advisory councils to provide exceptional education on the most important issues affecting the commercial and corporate real estate industries. The event's agenda will cover various themes: intelligent buildings, smart workplaces, digital transformation, sustainability, cybersecurity, and more. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for real estate and asset management professionals to learn from the foremost experts in their field, expand their knowledge and network, and advance their professional development.
2. MRI Ascend 2023
October 24-27, 2023 | Chicago (Illinois)
The MRI Ascend 2023 conference for all real estate professionals seeking to stay abreast of the latest industry insights and master MRI's product offerings. This event presents an exclusive opportunity for attendees to learn from prominent industry leaders, earn valuable CPE credits, and gain insights about the industry's current scenario and trends. In addition, the conference gives a platform to engage with other MRI users, real estate experts, and MRI's partner ecosystem members, including numerous sponsors, in various networking opportunities. The conference's agenda comprises informative sessions, expert-led workshops, and engaging panel discussions, providing attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the real estate technology trends.
3. REAL PropTech Conference 2023
September 7-8, 2023 | Frankfurt am Main (Deutschland)
The REAL PropTech Conference is a highly anticipated event for the real estate and construction industry, offering an overview of GreenTech, ConTech, and PropTech to C-suite representatives, decision-makers, and industry experts. Property managers, portfolio managers and other executives in the industry can gain cross-industry insights, engage with experts, and explore solutions to industry challenges. The conference will offer intensive, creative topics featuring agile methods in a confidential setting, allowing for a unique learning experience. Additionally, a hackathon will enable participants to develop practical and innovative solutions and win prize money of 5,000 euros. This event will be a valuable experience for industry professionals seeking to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and drive the industry forward.
4. Inman Connect New York 2024
January 23-25 2024 | Hilton (New York)
Real estate professionals looking to enhance their knowledge, build relationships, and grow their businesses can benefit from attending the upcoming Inman Connect New York event. The three-day conference brings together top agents, brokers, executives, proptech, and financial professionals to share insights, insider guidance, and trends to navigate the current market. With over 75 engaging sessions featuring 250 expert speakers and countless networking opportunities, attendees can gain valuable advice and build essential relationships with peers and industry leaders. In addition, Inman Connect New York offers an immersive experience with crucial newsmakers, visionaries, and trendsetters, providing critical insights and advice to help professionals take their businesses to the next level.
5. I.CON East 2023
June 7-8, 2023 | New Jersey (USA)
I.CON Is one of the largest events in New Jersey focused on developing, operating, and expanding industrial real estate. As an industrial real estate professional, attending this premier conference offers a unique opportunity to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in real estate asset management and industrial development from top industry leaders. Additionally, the event provides a platform to network with like-minded professionals in a vibrant and enthusiastic environment. Attending the event will help with investment management solutions for real estate investors. The event features a range of activities, including a happy hour with exhibitors and a keynote speech on 'The Future of Economic Growth: Identifying Emerging Opportunities and Risks.' Keynote speakers include Matt Brady from Ware Malcomb, Luke Corsbie from PE, PLS, Frank Di Roma from OAA, James Geshwiler from Catalyze, Nicolette Jaze from Galvanize Climate Solutions, and Madeline O'Donnell from Principal Real Estate Investor, among other well-known speakers.
6. Future of Digital Asset Management Summit
October 18, 2023 | London (United Kingdom)
The Future of Digital Asset Management for Businesses is a highly informative event focusing on essential solutions for real estate professionals seeking to streamline their digital asset management processes. This event brings together experienced experts from international brands to share their insights and knowledge on the software systems that can enhance campaign productivity and ensure brand consistency. In addition, attendees will comprehensively understand digital asset management, digital delivery, data analytics, security, and more. This event is designed for CXOs, VPs, Directors, Managers, and professionals from various domains, such as asset management, digital technology, IT, business development, and more. The event's key speakers are from leading companies such as Tesco, Nordia, ExxonMobil, Atkins, and Ashley.
7. Expo Real
October 4-6, 2023 | Munich (Germany)
Expo Real is an international trade fair dedicated to property and investment, attracting professionals worldwide from the entire real estate industry. Held annually for three days in Munich every October since 1998, it is one of the most significant events of its kind in Europe. Expo Real provides the perfect platform for networking and sharing the latest real estate insights with fellow professionals meaningfully. The event will allow one to discover the latest trends in property and investment, attend panel discussions, and connect with like-minded individuals worldwide. Renowned industry experts will share their insights on current and future trends in the real estate market. The event will feature over 500 speakers from various sectors of the real estate industry, including leading investors, developers, operators, and service providers.
8. Canada PropTech Show 2023
August 22-23, 2023 | Toronto (Canada)
The Canada PropTech Show is a two-day event that includes an exhibition, networking sessions, and awards, providing an ideal platform for PropTech companies, real estate owners, investors, service providers, startups, and other players in the real estate ecosystem to engage in productive discussions, share ideas, and build partnerships. The real estate conference will cover topics such as smart buildings, AI, blockchain, virtual and augmented reality, and IoT. Through these sessions, attendees will gain valuable insights into how technology transforms the real estate industry and discover ways to leverage technology to drive their businesses forward. By attending the event, real estate professionals can gain a competitive advantage, forge new business relationships, and discover new opportunities for growth and success.
9. Mortgage Star Conference
July 10, 2023 | Orleans (Los Angeles)
The Mortgage Star Conference is a tailored event designed to empower and support successful women in the real estate industry. This immersive conference offers a unique opportunity for real estate professionals to enhance their skills, network with like-minded industry professionals, and gain valuable insights to achieve superior results. With esteemed speakers such as Olympic Medalist Amanda Beard, SVP Operations at Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions Alysse Prosnick, and Managing Editor at Mortgage Women Magazine Kelly Hendricks, attendees can learn from industry leaders and share experiences in an environment that fosters lifelong connections. This conference will help to sharpen abilities, build relationships, and enhance business in the mortgage industry.
10. Digital Mortgage 2023
September 26-28, 2023 | Wynn (Las Vegas)
Digital Mortgage 2023 is a leading event that assists businesses in transforming the mortgage industry by providing actionable insights and effective networking opportunities for industry professionals. The real estate leaders and managers will be able to connect with the mortgage community and collaborate to address the industry's digital evolution by attending this event. In addition, participants will learn how to prioritize personalization in mortgage portfolio management and how data contributes to a more personalized customer lending experience.
The real estate industry faces several challenges, including adapting to technological advancements, changing consumer demands, and environmental concerns. These challenges make it difficult for professionals to stay competitive and profitable. However, attending industry conferences can help professionals gain a futuristic approach to tackling these challenges. The events provide access to experts and valuable insights into commercial real estate new trends, technologies, and sustainability practices that can help businesses stay ahead of the competition. Additionally, networking opportunities at these conferences can help real estate professionals build essential relationships to develop their portfolio performance further and manage real estate assets.
Real Estate Technology
Article | December 9, 2021
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.