REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
Cian | March 14, 2022
Cian PLC, a leading online real estate classifieds platform in Russia, announced that Ms. Cloe Harford has tendered her resignation as a member of the board of directors of the Company, effective as of 4:02 p.m. Eastern time on March 8, 2022. Ms. Harford informed the Company that she has resigned as a result of recent geopolitical developments. Ms. Harford served as a member of each of the Audit Committee of the Board, the Compensation, Governance and Nominating Committee of the Board and the Strategy Committee of the Board.
On March 10, 2022, upon recommendation of the Compensation, Governance and Nominating Committee, the Board appointed Gilles Blanchard to the Audit Committee, with effect immediately following the Effective Time. The Board has determined that, after due consideration of all relevant factors, Mr. Blanchard qualifies as independent under the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The Board has also determined that, based on his education and experience, Mr. Blanchard is financially literate in accordance with the requirements of the NYSE. Following Mr. Blanchard’s appointment, the Audit Committee consists of Douglas Gardner, Simon Baker and Gilles Blanchard, with Mr. Gardner serving as Chairperson.
On March 10, 2022, upon recommendation of the Compensation, Governance and Nominating Committee, the Board appointed Maksim Melnikov to the Compensation, Governance and Nominating Committee, with effect immediately following the Effective Time. Following Mr. Melnikov’s appointment, the Compensation, Governance and Nominating consists of Gilles Blanchard, Dmitry Antipov and Maksim Melnikov, with Mr. Blanchard serving as Chairperson.
Further, following the resignation of Ms. Harford, the Strategy Committee consists solely of Simon Baker, who serves as Chairperson.
The Company has previously disclosed in its registration statement on Form F-1, declared effective by the SEC on November 4, 2021, that it follows the corporate governance practices of its home country, Cyprus, in lieu of certain of the corporate governance requirements of the NYSE. In addition to the previously disclosed practices, the Company intends to rely on this "foreign private issuer exemption" with respect to:
NYSE Rule 303A.01, which requires an issuer to have, among other things, a majority of its board members be independent;
NYSE Rule 303A.4, which requires an issuer to have a nominating/corporate governance committee composed entirely of independent directors; (iii) NYSE Rule 303A.05, which requires an issuer to have a compensation committee comprised entirely of independent directors.
Cian is a leading online real estate classifieds platform in the large, underpenetrated and growing Russian real estate classifieds market, with a strong presence across Russia and leading positions in the country’s key metropolitan areas. The Company ranks among the top ten most popular online real estate classifieds globally in terms of traffic (based on SimilarWeb traffic data for other online real estate classifieds and Google Analytics data for Cian for September 2021). Cian’s networked real estate platform connects millions of real estate buyers and renters to millions of high-quality real estate listings of all types — residential and commercial, primary and secondary, urban and suburban. In the third quarter of 2021, the Company had over 1.9 million listings available through its platform and an average UMV of over 18.7 million. Through its technology-driven platform and deep insights into the Russian real estate market the Company provides an end-to-end experience for its customers and users and helps them address multiple pain points on their journey to a new home or place to work.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
National Association of Realtors (NAR) | March 28, 2022
Commercial real estate took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, as did many industries. But the market is starting to bounce back this year, largely due to increased investments in industrial properties.
According to research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), commercial real estate transactions of less than $2.5 million fell by 1% in the beginning of 2021 and the value of commercial real estate properties fell by 6% compared to 2020.
Still, there is hope for the future as certain types of commercial properties are driving sales and seeing positive growth from the year before.
Here's a closer look at how industrial spaces are helping commercial real estate bounce back from COVID-19.
Spend on industrial properties and land increased
Sales for all types of commercial real estate decreased in 2021, with the exception of three categories: land (+3%), industrial warehouses (+2%), and industrial flex spaces (+1%).
That means, while businesses were shying away from commercial real estate lending for apartment buildings, offices, retail shops, and hotels, they were still spending money on industrial properties and land on which they could build their own structures.
Prices rose for industrial properties, land, and apartments
The number of commercial real estate transactions may have dropped, but sales prices increased by 2% on average. Specifically, prices for land increased by 6%, industrial flex spaces and warehouses by 5%, and certain types of apartment buildings by 5%. Meanwhile, sales prices declined for retail shops, offices, and hotels.
Industrial and residential construction projects grew
Commercial development projects are also on the rise for industrial and residential properties. Construction activity is up 1% from last year with a whopping 12% jump in construction for industrial warehouses, a 6% increase for industrial flex spaces, and a 6% growth for certain types of apartment buildings.
Vacant malls, for example, are being converted into new types of commercial spaces, such as mixed-use buildings for residential, retail, and office purposes, as well as industrial buildings for distribution and fulfillment processes.
Construction activity for retail spaces, offices, and hotels, on the other hand, dropped. Survey respondents noted certain obstacles to reaching their construction goals, including accessing materials, obtaining permits, and hiring workers.
Office real estate activity shrunk due to remote work
Office spaces, in particular, saw a decrease in real estate activity, largely due to an increase in remote work during the pandemic. Even though some people are heading back to the office, vacancy in these spaces continued to increase, reaching 16.4% from 13% in 2021. What's more, 70% of survey respondents said their companies are moving into smaller offices.
Vacancy in industrial properties, however, declined to 4.9%.
2022 promises more growth
This year may continue to be rocky for the commercial real estate market, with industrial and land investments pulling their weight. Specifically, businesses predict a 5% increase in land sales, a 3% increase in industrial warehouse sales, and a 1% increase in sales of certain types of apartments.
By 2022, however, commercial real estate activity is expected to recover across all categories as more businesses reopen, travel resumes, and people return to the office. Still, sales for land and industrial properties are expected to lead this recovery process, proving their value as part of the commercial real estate market.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
Houwzer | April 19, 2022
Houwzer, a next generation real estate brokerage and homeownership platform powered by proprietary technology and an all-W2 labor model, announces that advisor, entrepreneur, and investor, Jonathan Zabusky, will join the company’s board as Executive Chairman.
Zabusky, most recently the President and Board Director at GrubHub Inc., will act as a co-pilot to Houwzer’s CEO, Mike Maher, helping drive the next stage of growth at the company, which pulled in $118M in equity and debt as part of a Series B funding round earlier this year. With the new funds, Houwzer is introducing three new products, Cash Advantage, Convenience Offers, and Buy Before You Sell, to help clients remain competitive in the most challenging housing market in history.
Zabusky will work alongside Maher to help refine corporate strategy, which is timely given the current state of the housing market. As a seasoned CEO and operator, Zabusky will provide mentorship to Maher as a strategic thought partner as he navigates the company through market volatility and unprecedented change. He will also ensure maximum collaboration and vision alignment between the other Directors and the management team transforming the Board into a strategic weapon for the business.
I am incredibly excited to join Houwzer's Board as Executive Chairman and to have the opportunity to work alongside Mike and his outstanding team. I’m energized by our mission to elevate the home buying and selling experience to become more fair, transparent, and seamless. Houwzer's robust suite of integrated tools, products and technology, coupled with a deeply engaged and aligned team of expert agents, facilitates a more enjoyable and productive real estate journey for its clients."
Zabusky led Seamless, as its CEO, through tremendous growth before merging it with GrubHub. After the merger, Zabusky led corporate strategy and development, product, marketing, and corporate and restaurant sales as GrubHub’s President. During his tenure, he successfully integrated multiple strategic acquisitions and played a pivotal role in the company’s initial public offering. Zabusky is Founder and Managing Partner of Bounce Ventures LLC and also serves as an advisor and board director to a portfolio of venture and private equity-backed companies in the U.S. and Israel.
“Jonathan brings a wealth of strategic growth experience to the team,” says Houwzer CEO and Founder, Mike Maher. “As we continue building on our momentum, he will play a critical role in fine-tuning our approach and ensuring we continue to prioritize resources to accelerate growth and market share. I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside an entrepreneur as successful and thoughtful as Jonathan.”
Houwzer also announced the recent hiring of Andrew Daley as Chief Marketing Officer. Daley brings two decades of high-growth experience in highly competitive environments, helping companies differentiate their brands across a range of industries like mobility, real estate, and travel. Most recently, he led marketing for Hana, a CBRE company that redefined the flexible office space experience. Daley has also served as Global Head of Marketing for Zipcar and in key marketing functions for Starwood Hotels, Reebok, and several online travel and startup brands.
“The real estate industry is ripe for disruption and the incumbent model is broken. Houwzer is realigning the incentives more fairly between the broker, the agent, and the client so that everyone wins. The end result is a better, faster, smarter way to buy, sell, finance, and insure homes,” says Daley.
Houwzer has eliminated the percentage-based commission pricing for listings and rebuilt the brokerage model around the customer, creating a one-stop shop for real estate, mortgage, title, and insurance that simplifies the chaotic and expensive process of buying and selling homes. Its $5,000 flat-fee listing model empowers sellers to maximize their profit – saving an average of $15,000 in commissions, while still providing a full-service experience via technology and expert, salaried agents.
Houwzer has helped clients buy and sell more than 4,000 homes with a cumulative sales volume of nearly $2 billion, saving home sellers $35 million in brokerage commissions. Houwzer is the only real estate company operating on an all-W2 compensation model across all of its salaried agents and mortgage advisors. It’s also the industry’s first B Corporation real estate brokerage and will soon be announcing its newly appointed Board of its impact model, the RiseUp Fund. Recently, the company entered into a partnership to become the Official Real Estate Partner of the 76ers.
Houwzer is a next-generation real estate brokerage and home services company built around the customer. Its full-service, salaried agents and loan officers help homeowners save when they sell and trust when they buy. Houwzer’s proprietary technology is an end-to-end platform that streamlines the entire transaction from beginning to end with an integrated one-stop shopping experience. The company employs unique salaried agents as dedicated seller or buyer agent specialists who receive salary instead of commissions, allowing them to focus on service, not just sales. Houwzer has maintained an industry-leading Net Promoter Score of 84 and an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from over thousands of client reviews online. Since launching in 2015, Houwzer has saved home sellers along the East Coast over $35 million and helped clients buy or sell thousands of homes worth almost $2 billion.
Woodstock Development | January 28, 2022
Woodstock Development ("Woodstock"), a full service commercial real estate investment and development firm specializing in premier office and life science properties in the San Francisco Bay Area, today announced that it has acquired the remaining ownership stake in One Bay Plaza, a 9-story Class-A office building located on the Bayshore waterfront in Burlingame. With the completion of the transaction, valued at $108 million, Woodstock is now the 100% owner of the property.
Located at 1350 Bayshore Highway, the property has a total of approximately 196,000 rentable square feet, including ~12,000 square feet of Lower Level amenity space. The building is currently 85% leased to over 35 tenants including Alaska Airlines, Cushman & Wakefield, BTIG, and Acco Brands.
Woodstock first acquired the property with Iron Point Partners, LLC ("Iron Point") in June of 2019.
Our partnership with Iron Point has been remarkable and has transformed One Bay into a market-leading Class-A office building, In addition to life science, the Burlingame area has seen unprecedented demand and expansion with big-name technology users like Google and Facebook. Our full acquisition of One Bay expresses Woodstock's confidence in the Peninsula market and continues Woodstock's more than 25 year record of developing premiere office and life science properties."
Kirk Syme, President at Woodstock.
The acquisition builds on Woodstock's value-additive history with One Bay. Since 2019, Woodstock has implemented a comprehensive renovation of the building, including new lobbies, restrooms and corridors. Additionally, Woodstock retained renowned architecture firm, Mark Cavagnero Associates to design a 12,000 square feet amenity area including conference rooms, collaboration rooms, ping pong, fitness room with showers and lockers and a social pantry where tenants are offered "grab and go" sandwiches and salads along with complimentary coffee, espresso and fresh fruit. On the Bayshore, Woodstock upgraded the Bay Trail with new landscaping, a bocci court, picnic tables and chairs for Bay viewing. In the last two years, despite the pandemic and work-from-home alternatives, Woodstock has added a market-leading 14 new tenants and renewed nine existing tenants totaling approximately 90,000 square feet which is nearly 50% of the building.
About Woodstock Development
Woodstock Development, Inc. was founded in 1995 in Burlingame, CA. Woodstock focuses on the development of premier office and Life Science properties in the San Francisco Bay Area. Woodstock has entitled and/or developed over 3 million square feet of Class A Office and Life Science space over the past 26 years and currently has over 2 million square feet in its development pipeline in the Bay Area.