Real estate micro-investing is here


Source: The Real Deal

So-called micro-investing in private real estate is an increasingly accessible option for investors looking to diversify their portfolios with small dollar value investments.

Micro-investing allows investors to buy shares of properties and real estate portfolios with buy-ins as little as $5 in some cases, according to Yahoo Finance. The investments work much like real estate investment trusts, but don’t allow investors to buy in specific properties and do not require the high dollar commitments needed to participate in most REITs.

“The best portfolios are diversified, and real estate performs very uniquely, in a way that is uncorrelated to the stock market and bonds… We want to offer the same asset class at a lower price point,” said Janine Yorio, founder and CEO of the micro-investment app Compound.

Compound buys and flips properties and shares those profits with investors. The startup also brings in cash acting as a buy-side broker for purchases and charges a fee to the seller. The New York-based company offers investors the option to invest in four properties in Brooklyn, Austin, and Miami.

Portland-based CrowdStreet has a similar model — the startup allows investors to buy shares in commercial real estate in the United States. Co-founder Darren Powderly says it’s better for diversification than REITs because those investments are tied to property performance whereas REITs are subject to stock market volatility. The firm recently said it hit a milestone, with $1 billion raised through its platform.

The micro-investing model is being applied in the private equity sector as well. Startup RealBlocks, which allows investors to buy micro-shares in private equity funds using government-backed currency and cryptocurrency, raised $3.1 million in a fundraising round last year.

Full Article

5 ways to get more out of your property management team

By Rob Parsley

Source: MPA

Property management is a core function for real estate investors who own portfolios of single-family rentals. No wonder the majority of real estate investors have a property management team. The real question is whether they have the right team.

That is the question you need to be asking yourself as you growth your SFR portfolio. Of course, that question leads to even more questions and you may not have the right answers. Here are five ways to answer your questions and get more out of your property management team.

  1. Define your role on the team

This may sound simple, but this decision will impact your entire property management team strategy. Are you the coach or the quarterback on the team? In other words, are you actually getting on the field to do the work, or are you making sure the work gets done from the sidelines? If you want to set up a long-term game plan and have someone else 0implement it, then you are a coach. If you want to be working daily with your property management team, then you are going to have to take more of a quarterback role. Your personal time investment is a huge decision when it comes to with property management. You need to decide where you need to invest time, and where you need to invest money by paying others. This isn’t a one-time decision, by the way. You may need to spend less time on day-to-day property management as your portfolio grows, or other things going on in your life may require you to staff up your team. Making this decision intentionally is vital to the ultimate success of your property management function.

  1. Fill in your gaps first

A great running back isn’t going to do much with a weak offensive line, and your property profits will only be as strong as your weakest parts of your property management team. The easiest way to accomplish this is to list your own strengths and weaknesses and prioritize from there. You may really enjoy the finance side of things, so you could want to do that yourself to start, but hire people who handle things such as leasing up properties or managing maintenance.

  1. Establish company culture

You may already have a property management team filled with leasing agents, grounds crews, and bookkeepers, both on staff and via contractors. When you’re fully staffed, it’s time to focus on your company culture. This is an important step many businesses overlook. However, the difference between the best football teams and good teams (and the bad teams) is culture. That is everything from setting clear goals and expectations to having dress codes for on-site staff to providing strong training programs. Setting up the right culture helps you keep your team motivated and satisfied, and also helps you better serve your tenants—which leads to lower vacancy rates and even higher rents.

  1. Finding the right software

As in football, if you don’t have a good set of plays, you aren’t going to do well. In property management, you need software tools now more than ever. We aren’t going to recommend one product over another in this article, but look for something that meets your needs and fits your budget. Real estate meetups and online forums like Bigger Pockets are good places to ask other investors what software they use to collect rents, screen tenants, and more. By the way, a lot of real estate investors worry about spending too much on software and will use outdated equipment that takes more time to operate. Don’t fall into that trap. We’ve already seen that many investors choose to spend money to save time personally—do the same for your team. If you can find software that frees up your team’s time to focus on more profitable work, then it’s an investment well worth making.

  1. Bring in your specialists

As you grow, you will need to hire people full-time for many of your tasks. However, it is wise to always have a core group of contractors that you can turn to for help on projects that your regular team can’t get done. For example, it probably doesn’t make sense for you to employ a full-time HVAC technician—but you definitely need a dependable contractor you can call.

The Bottom Line

The answers to these questions are personal to you and your real estate investment strategy. That’s why we’re not telling you what to do. But we hope that knowing how to make the right decisions will help you develop the kind of property management team that helps you grow your portfolio and accomplish your real estate investment goals.

Full Article

Florida’s commercial real estate markets poised for continued growth

By Jeremy Larkin

Source: Biz Journals

Florida is one of the fastest-growing states in the country – population growth, along with tourism, are two of the biggest drivers of our economy. Miami-Dade County alone has over 2.75 million residents, making it the seventh largest county in the U.S. A recent Wall Street Journal articlereported on a study it conducted on population change by state from July 2016 to July 2017, and Florida ranked the fifth fastest growing state by percentage of one-year population growth, at 1.59 percent. For that 12-month period, 327,811 net new residents were added including births and in-migration. Nevada was second fastest, adding 2.0 percent of its population (58,275) while Idaho was the fastest growing state, at 2.2 percent (36,917).

Strip away the growth-by-percentage and Florida was the second fastest growing state while Texas was the fastest growing state, adding 399,734 people in that one year.

We expect this trend to continue, and not just because of Florida’s weather and business-friendly climate. The recently passed federal legislation placing a $10,000 limit on SALT taxes (state and local taxes, and specifically, property taxes) that can be deducted from personal income taxes is driving more people out of high-tax states like Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Florida has always attracted relocations from those states and expect the new tax code will spur even greater migration to the state. With no personal income tax, inheritance tax or estate tax, investors come here to reduce their potential tax burdens. In 2019, Chief Executive Magazine ranked Florida No. 2 by state for business climate. According to the Tax Foundation, the Southeast region of the country was ranked No. 1 for most favorable personal income tax laws.

Which brings us to real estate and real estate investing. In 2017, Florida was the No.1 state where foreigners bought and sold commercial property. The state is perennially in the top 10 for foreign direct investment (FDI), and has nearly 1 million jobs supported directly by FDI.

More recently,, a RealPage company that provides property management software and related accounting tools, ranked the top 50 U.S. real estate markets for residents and investors and Florida was mentioned seven times.

This latter point serves as a reminder, and we advise clients along these lines frequently, not all Florida markets are alike, and every region has its own nuances. Investing in South Florida, which alone has no fewer than four distinct submarkets, is vastly different than Orlando, Pensacola, Tampa or Jacksonville, the latter of which is booming in large part because of its port and the June 2016 opening of an expanded Panama Canal (which allowed Neopanamax container ships to come to East Coast markets instead of West Coast markets).

For these reasons, when choosing a market to expand or invest into, work with a local expert, like the 12 NAI global offices in Florida that serve every primary, secondary and tertiary market in the state. Last year, eight transactions closed that were referrals between NAI Florida offices covering the spectrum of real estate sectors. Although one person may be an expert in their market, they do seek out the help of another expert when their client chooses to expand to a different market.

Looking ahead, we expect robust commercial real estate activity for the following reasons:

  • There will be an enormous amount of transit-oriented development built around the game-changing Brightline rail service linking Miami and Orlando, and eventually Tampa as evidenced by Brightline’s major projects in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Along the Metrorail in Miami, there are existing, and under development, mixed-use projects of 10 to 20 stories at nearly every rail station.
  • In Miami, there are three more cruise terminals being added to accommodate more cruise ship traffic. The influx of cruise passengers will drive demand for hotel, retail, food and beverage and industrial space for years to come. Plus, the influx of new residents to the state will create thousands of new jobs.
  • In Palm Beach County, 125,000 new housing units have been recently approved. In addition to construction jobs, new homes will drive demand for professional services, which in turn will drive demand for more offices, warehouse/distribution product and retail real estate.

Full Article

3 Ways to Master Commercial Property Management

By Elizabeth Millar

Source: AppFolio

Life is about to get a lot better in the commercial property world. With the economy on the upswing, previously abandoned industrial and retail areas are experiencing astonishing new growth. Crowded or overpriced urban centers are encouraging businesses to look beyond Main Street and rent in unconventional spaces to attract customers more affordably. America is falling in love with chic new microbreweries popping up in old storage facilities or exercise studios emerging from reimagined factory space. With a surge of young and driven businesses gaining confidence in the market, now is the time to reinvent your own commercial property management practices and help your business grow.

How can you Master Commercial Property Management?

The 3 Ways to Master Commercial Property Management slideshow below will highlight the following three areas that can hit PM’s the hardest, and what you can do to stay on top of your game:

#1 Save Time with Accounting

Gone are the days of spreadsheets and paper files. Stop rifling through files and folders and centralize your data in a secure and accessible location. Most accounting tools also do CAM Reconciliation, so you can say goodbye to the worst headache of the year with a few easy clicks.

#2 Have a Killer Maintenance Plan in Place

If one of your commercial properties is stuck with a maintenance problem for even a day, that could mean massive revenue losses for your tenant, leaving you with a bitter business. Online maintenance tracking and reporting is a great way to clean up messes and your act.

#3 Market Your Technology to Attract Owners and Tenants

Sure you have brokers, but are they getting the word out about your properties like they should? Take matters into your own hands by formulating your own marketing plan, and show your owners and tenants what kind of tools you are using to make their lives better. As their businesses grow and their needs for space become greater, renewed confidence in your management team could mean big money down the line.

Full Article

What Is a Commercial Building? Insight into How to Maintain a Commercial Building

By RJ Frometa

Source: Vents Magazine

Just what is a commercial building?

If you’re asking this question, you’re probably interested in investing in real estate. Or you want to start a business that involves working on commercial buildings. Or you want to become a property management professional.

Regardless of your specific motivations, we are here to shed more light on this type of building. However, our insight will be more focused on the maintenance aspect.

Continue reading to learn more.

What Is a Commercial Building?

A commercial building is used for commercial purposes. There are building codes regulating the use of buildings, so a commercial building is strictly used for commercial activities.

A common example of a commercial building is an office complex in urban locations. Others include warehouses (both industrial and retail), malls, and brick and mortar stores.

In most local jurisdictions across the United States, a commercial building must be located in a commercial zone. However, this isn’t always the case.

It’s possible to find a commercial building that doesn’t have the typical look of a commercial building in a residential area. Think of businesses such as daycare centers, which operate legally in residential areas. The same goes for home-based businesses.

How to Maintain a Commercial Property

Now that you know what a commercial property looks like, it’s time to focus on how to maintain it. Regular maintenance helps improve the building’s safety, making it attractive for tenants and other users. Well-maintained buildings also have lower long-term repair costs.

Develop a Maintenance Schedule

If you own or are in charge of a commercial building, the first thing you should do is develop a maintenance schedule. This fleshes out how often various parts of the building will need to go under maintenance.

Of course, you need to have property management expertise to develop a sound maintenance schedule. If you don’t, outsource the task to the right professional.

Address Issues Immediately

While having and sticking to a maintenance schedule goes a long way, issues will still arise in between maintenance cycles. When this happens, it’s easy to keep the issue on hold until the date of the next round of maintenance. Don’t do this.

When an issue arises, address it immediately. If there’s an issue with the power system, for example, you need to look into it immediately, even if you might have power backup options. Call in a company that does electrical repair for business to fix the issue.

Ignoring a problem or thinking it isn’t urgent can lead to disastrous outcomes. Besides potentially worsening the issue, you’ll be putting people’s health and lives at risk.

Hire a Full-time Maintenance Contractor

As a building owner or manager, you probably have a lot on your plate. You probably also don’t have the right expertise to maintain a commercial building.

Instead of juggling these tasks with your other duties, it’s advisable to hire a full-time maintenance contractor. This way, you’ll rest assured the property’s maintenance needs are in the hands of a professional.

Keep Your Commercial Property in Perfect Condition

If you were asking “what is a commercial building?” you now know the answer. If you’re planning to own one or already do, or you want to be a property manager, you also now know how to maintain a commercial building.

Keep reading our blog for more tips and insights.

Full Article

Key take-aways: A commercial real estate outlook for 2020

By Bob Arthur

Source: Biz Journals

’Tis the time of year when economists take a close look at the data on economic, employment and real estate trends to create a commercial real estate outlook for the year ahead.

While assessments for 2020 vary, many agree on some common themes:

  • Sustainable, but slower growth is expected for the U.S. economy and commercial real estate (CRE) market, with tariffs, recession fears and a flattening yield curve among the issues posing potential risks.
  • Technology continues to change the CRE business in wide-ranging and consequential ways – including raising information security and data privacy concerns.
  • As baby boomers who spent their entire careers in real estate retire, the CRE business faces challenges attracting and retaining talent in the face of increasing competition for skilled workers.

The question is, what might CRE professionals take away from these findings? Here are some ideas.

1. To attract more capital, reassess your property and tenant mix.

While investment in CRE continues to increase, some investors may be growing more selective. Demand is often higher for properties that represent newer and emerging business models or thematic investments that support strong macroeconomic trends.

In practical terms, that means buyers interested in diversifying their CRE portfolios may have greater interest in mixed-use and nontraditional properties. CRE companies might also consider ways to attract a new generation of tenants with amenities and leasing options that appeal to their interests and address their needs.

2. Upgrade your digital strategy and infrastructure.

Effectively employed, technology, including the predictive analytics and business intelligence it can generate, has the potential to add significant value to properties and the CRE organizations responsible for their management. They can also be a “tipping point” for investor and tenant interest. From smart building technology used to control lighting, temperature and building access, to sensors and beacons that track retail traffic, to artificial intelligence that supports and streamlines tenant relations and financing planning, the opportunities are virtually limitless. The challenge CRE companies face is deciding how to prioritize their technology needs and investments. That includes considering the costs of managing both new and legacy infrastructure versus completely replacing old systems with modern digital infrastructure.

3. Capitalize on investor interest in proptechs.

Proptechs, digital technologies that change how property is occupied, managed, leased, bought, sold and managed, are particularly popular among investors. One example: Building Information Modeling, a smart 3D modeling tool that enables designers, builders and CRE managers to plan, design, construct and manage a building throughout its life cycle. CRE companies that explore proptech options avail themselves to new and innovative ways to improve information flow, operational efficiency and tenant experiences.

4. Move from reactive to proactive risk management.

The cyber risks facing the CRE business today are on par with the physical risks, and investors want proof that you are prepared to manage them. Any strategic upgrades to a digital strategy, therefore, must address the information security and data privacy concerns today’s digital technologies create.

The threat of cyberattack puts more than your own data at risk. Hackers that break into sensor-enabled building management systems can, for example, change security settings. A hacked thermostat can cause serious health and safety problems. Use of smartphones and digital assistants by tenants and visitors can, likewise, have unintended security and privacy consequences.

The bottom line: CRE companies cannot wait for security breaches to respond. A proactive risk management strategy that balances investments with the threat of cyberattacks is critical to business in 2020.

5. Prepare for a digitized workforce.

As the current generation of CRE leadership enters retirement, many CRE organizations find themselves at a loss. Replacements often have less experience and are insufficiently equipped to address the industry’s most challenging issues.

Read Full Article Here

5 Tips to Effectively Manage Your Commercial Property

Source: Nu Wire Investor

Purchasing a commercial property is a big decision. It is a large purchase and needs to be managed well for the investment to be worth it for you. How a commercial property is managed can affect the value of the investment. A property can increase in value significantly just from being well managed, and of course the opposite is true as well.

Here Are Some Tips For Managing Your Property Effectively.

1. Get Educated

It is important to educate yourself before even purchasing a property to begin with.  There are many real estate investing education options to help you make the right purchase decisions.  With the proper education, you will understand the market, the different types of commercial properties and how to properly manage each type.

Without the proper real estate coaching, jumping into a commercial property can be extremely overwhelming. There is so much to understand about the industry and by learning as you go, your lack of knowledge can easily show and scare off potential tenants.

There are, of course, success stories of people that bought commercial property without educating themselves first. However, it is highly recommended that you take the time to invest in yourself and your own education before making a large investment in commercial property.

2. Make sure your tenants are happy!

Communicate with your tenants!  Your tenants are your customers. Treat them accordingly!  You want to avoid turnover of your tenants as much as possible.  With commercial property, it is expensive and can take a long time to find a replacement tenant.  If your tenants aren’t happy, they will leave at the first chance they get.  Then you will be left with a vacant property and no income coming in. You will also most likely have to put in some capital to keep the building in leasable condition. You want to avoid vacancy as much as possible!

Leave a good first impression. When your tenants first move in, quickly deal with any issues or concerns they may have with the space (that are your responsibility).  This goes a long way in making your tenants feel welcome and at home in the building.  It also makes them happy to keep renting from you for years!

3. Have a good lease agreement

This is one of the most important parts of being a landlord.  Your lease agreement is all that is covering you in the event things take a turn for the worse.  Ensure you seek legal help in drafting a legally binding lease and be sure that it covers every possible scenario that could come up between you and your tenants.

The lease needs to protect you and your property; however, it can’t be too one sided or you will never get a tenant to agree to the terms of the lease!  Make sure that it is still fair for your tenants.

Read Full Article Here

Five Secrets To Working Successfully With Foreign Buyers Of Commercial Properties

By Alex Zylberglait

Source: Forbes

Foreign investment in U.S. real estate has been increasing significantly over the last few decades, despite periodic fluctuations by region or product type. The source of the inbound capital has shifted over time and in different cycles depending on the global economic conditions or those affecting the specific countries. Yet there’s a clear positive trend and interest from foreign buyers in U.S. real estate that will continue to accelerate as long as we remain one of the most stable economic markets in the world — especially during these times of so much global volatility where global capital is seeking safe and consistent returns over time.

An area where we see this clear trend is in commercial real estate investments. Working with many foreign buyers for almost two decades has allowed us to identify how to strategically facilitate their entry into the U.S. commercial property markets, which could be overwhelming relative to the amount of information required to invest in and then manage these types of assets. There are five areas that I believe are critical to consider for advisors or principals to work successfully with foreign buyers.

1. Truly understand their motivation for investing.

Although it sounds like an obvious question, it is even more important to understand the conditions that are specifically attracting these particular investors to seek investments in the U.S. — and, in particular, real estate investments. Very often it is economic or political instability in their home country that drives them to want to protect their capital and to reduce volatility; other times it is simply to diversify their portfolios or for estate planning purposes. The better you understand their true motivation, the more likely you are to address their needs and provide with the right investment options.

2. Be patient, and be ready to provide a lot more information and education to the investors than would normally be expected.

Given the lack of familiarity with the U.S. systems and markets, foreign buyers tend to ask a disproportionate number of questions, so the educational curve is steep. As an advisor or principal, you need to be prepared to access significant amounts of market data and resources to satisfy the myriad of questions and concerns these investors are likely to have. The process can be at times daunting and long, but at the end of the road, those who spend the time and do so in the most professional and comprehensive manner will see the rewards and earn the trust of these investors for many years to come. While it is generally true that it takes longer to earn their trust, it is also true that foreign investors tend to be more loyal long-term clients.

3. Have a team of experts you work with to handle all aspects of the transaction.

Inevitably, given the complexities often involved in working with foreign buyers, this will require access to a myriad of competent advisors such as attorneys, accountants, property managers and possibly others. Having the right experienced team in place will not only facilitate the acquisition process for them, but will make them that much more comfortable in establishing a larger investment base in the U.S. going forward. Understanding that many requirements in the U.S. may be totally different than what they are used to in their countries may be difficult at first, but with the help of the right professional team, you will appear resourceful and dependable in their eyes.

Read Full Article Here

Is Open Data in Commercial Real Estate a Pipe Dream?

By Franco Faraudo

Source: Propmodo

Sometimes big ideas that have been circling in the atmosphere for a long time finally get codified and set in stone. These events are often wind up memorialized, as even though they are not always the origin of the idea they are an acceptable stand-in. The official creation of things like agreements, treaties, laws, declarations, commandments and commitments are often done under the pomp of circumstance, in dramatic locations fit for the occasion’s grandeur.

Sometimes, though, these events happen under the veil of the mundane. They happen at small, invite-only meetings in roadside conference centers in forgettable towns like Sebastopol, California (before you think I am being too harsh on the Northern Californian recovering hippy enclave, I should say that I grew up just minutes from there and I know well that the Sebastopicians want nothing more than to be left alone, to live their tranquil, quirky and eco-friendly lives undisturbed under the shade of the redwoods). This is the case for the event that is credited with solidifying the tech world’s thinking on open data. On December 7th of 2007 a group of 30 tech entrepreneurs, academic researchers and policy wonks met in Sebastopol to write a formal definition for the open data movement.

The codes that they decided on weren’t all that groundbreaking:

Open Government Data Principles

Government data shall be considered open if it is made public in a way that complies with the principles below:

1. Complete: All public data is made available. Public data is data that is not subject to valid privacy, security or privilege limitations.

2. Primary: Data is as collected at the source, with the highest possible level of granularity, not in aggregate or modified forms.

3. Timely: Data is made available as quickly as necessary to preserve the value of the data.

4. Accessible: Data is available to the widest range of users for the widest range of purposes.

5. Machine processable: Data is reasonably structured to allow automated processing.

6. Non-discriminatory: Data is available to anyone, with no requirement of registration.

7. Non-proprietary: Data is available in a format over which no entity has exclusive control.

8. License-free: Data is not subject to any copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret regulation. Reasonable privacy, security and privilege restrictions may be allowed.

But, the fact that they created the dialogue around what would soon become one of the main talking points for proponents of internet freedom was significant in its own right. As more and more of the general population gets used to the benefits that open access to data provides and come to understand the dangers of having publicly useful data being hoarded by powerful internet giants, the push for open data has become a popular topic of conversation.

The property industry has had its own push towards open data. Redfin and Zillow are able to syndicate what were previously private residential listings after years of effort and an eventual DOJ ruling against local Realtor organizations and their Multiple Listing Services. Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s co-founder and CEO, went on the record to say that “Anyone whose business model is predicated on the assumption that their secret data will remain secret and proprietary, that’s not a sustainable business model. This data will inevitably be free.”

But commercial real estate is not residential. Even though sales records are public, just like their residential counterparts, commercial properties don’t change hands often and so rely on lease revenue as the main way to estimate their market value. These lease terms have always been private, a confidential agreement between the landlord and the tenant. This was an asset for large real estate firms or those with heavy geographical or sector-specific focus, giving them the ability to understand the market better than their competitors and conduct the information arbitrage that the property industry has always relied on.

Read Full Article Here

How Risk Management is Transforming Risk in Commercial Property

By Andrea Wells

Source: Insurance Journal

Commercial property underwriters are adjusting to a market defined by rising catastrophe losses and dwindling profits. From increasing rates and higher deductibles to fewer classes of business and stricter underwriting, even the best in class properties are feeling the heat.

Overall, commercial property rates have risen several percentage points even for buyers not facing catastrophe risks, according to Willis Towers Watson. For those with significant cat exposures or adverse losses, the rate hikes are in the double digits in the aggregate for the first time in several years.

Commercial property insurance renewals are generating rate increases between 5% to 10% for the best accounts, while some property programs have seen increases of upwards of 50% or more in 2019, according to Woodruff Sawyer, an Insurance Journal Top 100 Agency.

Casey Soares, senior vice president, property specialist at Woodruff Sawyer, says that while there’s plenty of capacity available in the market, carriers are scrutinizing every piece of business and re-underwriting commercial properties, in particular.

I think there’s been an uptick of companies underwriting more, restricting their capacity usage more.

The heightened attention is part of an effort to turn the market around following the surge of single risk losses during the past two years, she said. The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the costliest seasons on record with combined insured losses of more than $200 billion from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Then in 2018, California experienced its most destructive wildfire season ever with insurance claims surpassing $12 billion.

“These events are what spurred this market turn,” Soares said. “That’s causing carriers to look at each account and make sure they’re making smart decisions and actuarially sound rates and coverage.” It’s been an “across-the-board dedication” to transform the market.

While the adjustment has been good for the insurance industry, it’s a challenge for commercial property owners who are facing insurance costs based on a “true reflection of risk,” she says, noting that’s a difficult adjustment for any insured.

Agents say habitational is the most challenging commercial property risk today. “Anything frame construction, especially frame builder’s risk,” Soares said. “Habitational is truly a hard market where there is a lack of capacity.”

Accounts with a high loss potential such as those in manufacturing, with a hazardous or combustible risk profile, can also be tough in today’s market, she says.

Despite the re-evaluations going on, even in the toughest classes of business, there’s some carrier willing to write the property coverage. Barry Whitton, managing director for Burns & Wilcox Brokerage, contends market capacity is not an issue, although more stringent requirements on that capacity are.

“I think there’s been an uptick of companies underwriting more, restricting their capacity usage more,” he said. “There is less of a willingness to use that capacity for a cheap price.”

Even the standard commercial property market is experiencing rising rates, albeit at a slower pace, Soares said.

Read Full Article Here

3 Tech CEOs Transforming The Commercial Real Estate Industry

By Robert Reiss

Source: Forbes

It’s no secret that many industries have experienced disruption from technological innovation, from Uber’s effects on the taxi industry to Amazon’s impact on the retail sector. Yet, the commercial real estate industry has been slower to embrace the shift. I decided to look at three companies that are revolutionizing the commercial real estate industry through technology. I asked each CEO about their experience as an innovator in the space and what they predict will be next.

The CEOs are:

• Zac Rosenberg, founder and CEO of TapCap – A digital-driven nationwide multifamily lending company.

• Rich Sarkis, CEO of Reonomy – A commercial real estate data company.

• Guy Zipori, co-founder and CEO of Skyline AI – An artificial intelligence asset manager for commercial real estate.

Robert Reiss: What was the flaw in the industry that your company is working toward correcting?

Zac Rosenberg: Too many assumptions. Historically real estate investors and lenders had limited amounts of information to work with, so the industry designed “rules of thumb” to offset this. These models were “good enough,” most of the time. Today, information is plentiful. The flaw in the industry is that it still hasn’t figured out how to capitalize on the increased availability of data to replace assumption-based modeling with data-driven reasoning.

Rich Sarkis: Despite being one of the world’s largest asset classes, information and insights on commercial real estate have never been easily accessible. This is due to the disparate, fragmented nature of how data in this industry is recorded, and the inherent difficulty in connecting that information at scale.

Guy Zipori: The main flaw I’ve seen is that real estate investors have been depending on the limited reach of humans to find the best opportunities throughout the entire course of the real estate investing cycle. In 2017 at a real estate conference I asked a speaker from a major asset management firm what technology they were using. He answered, “a tremendous amount,” and when I pressed him, he explained that they had computers and Excel spreadsheets. This is the moment that I realized the commercial real estate industry needed a tech overhaul.

Read Full Article Here

Using Tech Platforms to Save Time in Commercial Real Estate

By Ryan Vinco

Source: Patch

It doesn’t matter if you are a commercial property manager, broker, or agent; everyone is busy! However, this rings especially true for those in the commercial real estate industry. There are always meetings to attend, deals to track, and requests from tenants that need your attention. It’s easy to feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week.

Often times when you are feeling like this it may be due, in part, to the fact that instead of accomplishing the work you are spending time trying to navigate how you’re actually going to get everything done. That is where technology can step in and help you to alleviate this common challenge that people in commercial real estate face.

The first thing to do is find a way to keep your information accessible while also being organized. It wastes more time than you think to go through spreadsheets and multiple databases looking for a specific thing. If you’re dealing with actual paperwork in filing cabinets, double that time! Luckily, there are great systems for storing and having access to your information.

There are tech platforms, such as Honest Buildings that automate many of the smaller tasks draining your time. For help with things such as status updates, distributing documents, leveling bids, and managing communication with your team, consider using this technology. Honest Buildings is a reporting, project cost tracking, and bid management technology platform helping owners and companies to manage projects efficiently. Aside from this company, there are a plethora of others doing the same thing being created every day!

It’s a true game changer to have tenant information, building data, and floor plans all stored in the same place. At any given time you can conduct a simple search and find just what you’re looking for. This platform also allows you to download and share information much faster. Eliminating that extra time locating files will free up your schedule for more important things.

Another simple, but often overlooked time-saving strategy is to set up automation of whatever work you can. If you spend a significant part of every day doing the same manual tasks, find out if you can put some of it onto a tech platform that can automate certain things. Tedious daily reports or tenant requests can be handled through these handy tools, made specifically for the commercial real estate industry.

Lastly, are you prioritizing clearly, or do you feel that there are often expected tasks or distractions? A commercial real estate tech platform will help you to set clear parameters of what must be done and when. These systems can sync all of your data onto a dashboard and allow you to stay up to date and be alerted when necessary.

Read Full Article Here

Property Management: Acquiring the New Skill Set

By Jeff Hamann

Source: Commerical Property Executive

BOMA Chair & Chief Elected Officer Scott Jones and Cheryl Gray, president-elect of IREM, share insights into how the property manager’s role will change in a tech-heavy market.

Technological advances and other shifts in the market are shaping the role of the property manager. In order to perform in such a competitive environment, the professionals of the new generation need to have a diverse skill set. In addition to keeping up with tech, they must be able to successfully navigate the slowing economy.

Cheryl Gray, president-elect of the Institute of Real Estate Management, and Scott Jones, chair & chief elected officer of Building Owners and Managers Association International, discuss the required expertise for future managers and how effective operations can help keep a portfolio above water even in lean times.

How do you foresee the role of property manager changing in the coming years?

Jones: The role of the commercial property manager has already changed greatly just in the past few years, and I believe we’ll continue to see more shifts in responsibilities. Since the Great Recession, property managers have been called to assume more duties, and as buildings continue to become more complex and technology driven, so too will the roles of those who manage and operate them. The property manager role will continue to evolve in a way that requires them to be masters of technology; interpreters of the data, metrics and analytics generated and captured by this new technology; and focal points of hospitality for their clients.

Gray: The role of the property manager is in constant evolution. Property managers constantly adapt to modifications made to the built environment through building codes, regulations, sustainability, security and myriad other issues. In the foreseeable future, customer service will continue to be one of the biggest changes, as property managers are moving from a “space-centric” focus to a “service-centric” focus.

Another area of change will be the increasing impact of technology. The skills and knowledge of property managers and building staff will need to continuously advance in order to keep pace with the disruptive impact technology will have on building operations and occupant expectations. The emerging integration of information and operational technology will disrupt how real estate teams and
IT departments within those real estate firms collaborate.

Finally, I foresee an increasing need for property managers to be able to manage all asset classes, with many new developments or redevelopments being mixed-use. It will no longer be adequate to simply know how to manage a residential asset or an office asset or a retail mall, as they are all being integrated into one complex.

Read Full Article Here

10 Systems Property Managers Can Use Improve Their Record Keeping

Source: Forbes

Property management relies heavily on the proper maintenance of records. Because of this, property managers need to be experts at administrative tasks. By creating a workflow that enables them to keep records meticulously, they build a valuable resource that they can use when they need to find or reference important information.

However, the more properties a manager has to deal with, the more convoluted the records can become. And while limiting complexity would be ideal, the only way a professional property manager can truly streamline the process is by embracing practices that can help them simplify how data is recorded, as well as referenced later on.

To find out about what kinds of approaches work, members ofForbes Real Estate Council, below, share their insights into some of the best systems that property managers can use to create order out of chaos. Here is what they advise:

1. Get An Expandable Software Package

In the event of a sale, your seller will need to produce records for the property. If these records are a hodgepodge of who knows what, you stand a chance of losing the deal. Buyers are very sensitive to a lot. Give them comfort by having organized and understandable reports. If you can incorporate photos of repairs performed and closed in, this will be helpful. The software will help a great deal. – Michael J. Polk, Polk Properties / Matrix Properties

2. Invest In Cloud-Based Storage

Invest in a cloud-based software system that will maintain records for text messages, phone calls and emails between you, the property owners and the tenants. Hire a bookkeeper to ensure you are properly reconciled each month and keep your escrow funds in a separate banking account. – Tanya Delahoz,Dwell Summit

3. Use Off-The-Shelf Software

We favor using off-the-shelf industry software. The primary reason is for compliance. A software package designed for real estate and real estate management will come with all the features and then some already built-in. Additionally, the software vendor will provide updates and patches to address any potential security/privacy issues as they arise. – Blake Plumley, Capital Pursuits LLC

4. Maintain Separate Files

Have a system in place that tracks rents collected, all executed lease documents and correspondence with your tenants. Maintain separate files either electronically (always ensure backup) or with a secure file cabinet. Keep records for at least four years on all tenants and landlords. Dropbox or Slack are both great systems that allow you to share with team members. – Nancy Wallace- Laabs, KBN Homes, LLC

5. Encrypt Tenants’ Information

Property managers handle personally identifiable information on tenants. Maintaining proper records is not only important but also your legal duty as a property manager. High-profile data breaches have been increasingly prevalent. Before adopting a new property management software or consulting with a real estate attorney, make sure you have a robust system that encrypts and stores tenant info. – Chuck Hattemer,Onerent

6. Ensure Proper Security Against Hackers

For medium to large properties, such as apartment or condo complexes, having a good network security system that is set up and managed by professionals is key. Technology is constantly changing, and having professionals that can keep your records updated and secure so that they meet all regulations is crucial. – Bill Lyons, Griffin Funding

Read Full Article Here

Lights Out: Preparing for Power Disruptions

By Jeffrey Steele

Source: Commerical Property Executive

On the evening of Saturday, July 13, 2019, the lights went out on a significant portion of Midtown Manhattan. On Broadway, the shows could not go on. Untold thousands of residents and visitors were forced to throw out plans for shopping and entertainment; New York City’s subway system was disrupted for hours. Con Ed, the local utility, eventually reported the cause as a flawed connection at a substation.

Whether caused by a technical issue or by extreme weather, the potential impact of power disruptions must be part of standard planning for commercial property owners and managers. A steady stream of disruptions linked to natural disasters underscores the vulnerability of commercial and multifamily properties. grid infrastructure is highly vulnerable to severe weather.

The growing frequency and intensity storms and floods is an increasing concern, observed Geoff Oxnam, CEO of Easton, Md.-based American Microgrid Solutions. Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, ice storms and floods pose a constant threat. In 2015, one quarter of unplanned grid outages in the western U.S. stemmed from environmental variability and extreme weather, concludes a 2017 report from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced Studies. 


One factor that will bend the odds in an owner’s favor is a systematic approach to planning for the impact of power outages on commercial properties. “I’ve been in the industry for 25 years, and the first 10 years, a hurricane plan was a document that sat up on a shelf and was rarely used,” said Harry Moseley, senior director, engineering operations for Cushman & Wakefield in Jacksonville, Fla. Best practices have evolved for the better during Mosely’s career. At Cushman & Wakefield Florida, a planning committee meets monthly and makes changes as needed, drawing on lessons from recent events.

Randy Fink, regional manager for property management business with JLL in Atlanta, agrees the industry is focused on preparation for disruptive events. Plans that outline what to do in a variety of different scenarios are particularly valued.

Importantly, sophisticated owners of real estate put a lot of emphasis on the planning and preparations before an event is imminent,” he said. “For example, smart owners put time into low or no-cost activities like contracting for generator fuel in advance and defining service level expectations for generator support. This preparedness is done throughout the year, not just as hurricane season approaches. Proper preparation in addition to specific scenario planning, helps limit exposure to unavoidable disruptions.”

Cushman & Wakefield has institutional clients with large financial resources who require permanent generators for backup electricity, Moseley says. Smaller owners look to the company to rent generators for their properties on an as-needed basis. The former will restore power instantly, while the latter can do so within 24 hours, he reported.

Table-top exercises, the regular interdisciplinary meetings of the emergency planning team, should take potential power interruptions into consideration.  “This habit of practicing emergency response outside of any particular emergency brings the plans to life so they aren’t just wasted paper filed in a drawer,” Mosely said.


Another major shift taking place is a transition to distributed generation or Distributed Energy Resources(DERs), said DERs include solar, customer onsite generators including conventional gas generators and combined heat and power systems, wind, customer load reduction/DR programs, battery storage and fuel cells. “Placing DERs close to the end user reduces reliance on transmission or distribution lines,” said Matt Haakenstad, vice president of electric services at Kinect Energy Group.

Technology offers new options for energy resilience strategies. 

  • Solar plus storage. Among the newer solutions in many states is the coupling of solar and batteries either with conventional generation or on their own. “In many states, these systems can provide not only backup power, but revenue streams, tax credits and other incentives,” Oxnam said.
  • Car battery energy. When designing the Rocky Mountain Institute headquarters, a net zero energy office and convening center in Basalt, Colo., ZGF Architects examined the potential for using e-batteries of electric cars tied to the local building as source of energy in case of an disruption, said principal Chris Flint Chatto. “The building is designed so it can be severed from the grid, to protect it from being affected by a gird outage,” he said.
  • Microgrids. In campus settings, microgrids coordinate the operation of multiple generation and storage assets with multiple buildings’ needs. They typically include solar, conventional diesel or natural gas generation and battery storage.
  • Uninterruptible power systems. For specific critical loads within a facility, such as a server room, specialized power supplies—typically  batteries— provide resilient power at a smaller scale and cost, Oxnam said.
  • Cogeneration or combined heat and power.  Technology advances, along with availability of natural gas and introduction of incentive programs, have made cogeneration increasingly feasible. “These generators provide both electricity and domestic hot water and/or cooling,” Oxnam said. “As long as they have a fuel supply, they keep running.
  • Building energy management systems. Still focused on larger facilities, many of the tools are coming down market and down price, Oxnam reported. “Integration is occasionally a challenge, particularly with older systems,” he said.

Read Full Article Here

How To Keep Talent In Property Management (It’s Your Biggest Problem)

By Nathaniel Kunes

Source: Forbes

With low unemployment rates and a great job market, many industries are facing a talent shortage on some level. This is the reality for the property management industry today, and it’s not merely a result of the job market. There’s another factor making the shortage felt harder in property management: their talent is retiring, fast.

Roughly 50 years is the average age of a property manager today, meaning a large group of property management talent will be retiring in the next decade or so. Meanwhile, recruiting young talent is more difficult to do, especially as so many organizations, across a variety of industries, offer tough competition, securing hard-to-get talent through perks like attractive work-life balance options, increased work flexibility and engaging, modern office spaces. These are perks property management lacks.

In some ways, it’s simply the nature of the work in the property management industry that makes top-notch, popular perks tricky to replicate. Regardless, something needs to be done to get young talent more engaged with the property management industry. Luckily, there are ways, through a combination of modern tech and thoughtful leadership, that will help turn the tides for property management in the talent recruitment and retention arena.

Change Your Approach When It Comes to Millennial and Gen Z Talent

The property management industry is one that literally never sleeps. Anything can happen at a moment’s notice that can completely disrupt a property manager’s work-life balance, be it a leak, a loud tenant or a last-minute collections issue. Weekend leisure is often cut short by these types of scenarios. Given that, company culture needs to be a key factor in attracting and retaining the right talent.

Beyond some of the more obvious perks, like having free drinks and snacks in the office, it’s important to think outside of the box, with sometimes much less tactical approaches. One great way to do this is to create a mentorship program so that every new hire gets paired with a mentor to help them navigate the waters and their work, and help them grow and achieve their career goals. Having growth opportunities is a core factor to millennial and Gen Z happiness in the workplace, so making that a reality is pivotal to keeping them on board.

Having a well-structured onboarding process is also a huge asset for recruiting talent. The property management industry, apart from being work-intensive, is also laden with rules and procedures across every aspect of the business that are difficult to learn and sometimes understand. Having an effective onboarding process, especially one that teaches new hires how to use technology to maximize their time, reduces error on the part of new employees, helps them pick up their roles with more speed and ultimately curbs some of the frustrations that come in learning those new roles.

Implement New Technologies To Create More Efficient Workflows, More Rewarding Work

Much like good leadership can keep great talent, so, too, can modern technology. Advancements in the proptech space are not only creating better renter experiences, but also reshaping the role of a property manager, as well as the roles of other real estate professionals.

One area in which AI is taking center stage is in the leasing cycle, serving to streamline workflows for leasing agents and property managers (often a dual role). Where leasing agents once used to have to field all rental queries, which required them spending valuable time on the phone and email with thoughtful responses, instead of showing units to prospects, today’s advanced AI capabilities eradicate the initial tedious steps in the leasing process. This leaves agents with more time to focus on business strategy and close deals with prospects, as well as put aside some of the more administrative responsibilities of the job, replacing that time with more important and meaningful work. Meaningful work is very important to most people — so using tech to pave the way for more opportunities for that kind of work in property management is a surefire solution to inspire more interest and engagement from outside talent.

Advancements in other areas, such as mobile, have also worked to make property management easier. The job of a property manager is oriented toward on-the-go work circumstances, not a 9-to-5 desk job. Given that, mobile capabilities and functionalities that enable people to do work “in the field” take a lot of pressure off employees who might otherwise be struggling at the end of every day with paper-based administrative work they need to complete in-office. Mobile functionalities might include everything from giving property managers the ability to conduct mobile inspections to being able to text (and even automate text messages) to communicate with tenants.

Additionally, on the marketing side, tech advancements automate the otherwise manual process of vacancy postings, giving property management the ability to instantly get listings uploaded to multiple websites, and giving them time back to focus on less manual, more strategic work.

Effectively, through tech and thoughtful leadership, the property management industry can forgo flashy office perks and, instead, offer real-world solutions to help make the work more rewarding, ultimately helping to attract and retain talent.

Read Full Article Here

Ethics in Property Management

By Lisa G.Noon

Source: Think Realty

Renting an investment property that you own, or finding the perfect single-family house to rent requires making some big decisions, and the help of a professional property manager is critical either way.

First, there’s expert knowledge of the market to think about. What are the current rental rates? Will the tenant properly care for the house? What are the legal requirements?

That’s why you need someone who can guide you through the process while putting your best interests first. Professional members of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM®) pledge themselves to a strict Code of Ethics when they work with their clients, the real estate community, and the public.

2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the NARPM Code of Ethics. It’s a benchmark and standard for conducting business in the single-family rental marketplace, and promotes a high standard of business ethics, professionalism, and fair housing practices. It begins with a responsibility to protect the public: “The Property Manager shall protect the public against fraud, misrepresentation, and unethical practices in property management.”

Twelve articles of the NARPM Code of Ethics hold members to standards of professionalism that include avoidance of discrimination and compliance with fair housing laws; honest treatment of tenants; managing properties in accordance with safety and habitability requirements of the local jurisdiction; proper handling of funds and truth in advertising.

“Now more than ever, it’s critically important for property management professionals to belong to an organization that sets a high standard of conduct for its members,” commented 2019 President of NARPM Eric Wetherington, MPM® RMP® of New Heights Property Management, CRMC® in Summerville, S.C. “One of the biggest areas of complaint often heard at state real estate commissions relates to property management. Consumers need to choose their property manager with as much care as they would choose any professional to ensure they’re working with someone who has their best interests at heart.”

All property managers who join NARPM agree to abide by the professional and ethical standards set by the Code of Ethics, and a three-hour ethics class must be taken within 90 days of joining to obtain professional status.  Members are required to take a refresher course every four years.

In addition, consumers who work with a NARPM member and have an issue with that person can file an ethics complaint, which will be investigated by the national association’s Professional Standards Committee. 

“We can’t guarantee that we will resolve a consumer’s issue, but we will review the complaint, contact the property management company regarding the dispute, and the NARPM Professional Standards Committee will make a decision whether to forward the complaint to a review panel,” explained NARPM President-Elect Kellie Tollifson, MPM® RMP® of T-Square Properties in Bothell, WA. “After reviewing the case, the panel will decide whether a violation of our Code has been committed and if sanctions will be imposed against the company or the individual property manager. It’s a very thorough process.”

“We believe the Code of Ethics is hugely important to the professionalism of NARPM property managers,” added Scott Abernathy, MPM® RMP® of Property Management Inc. PMI Professionals in Murfreesboro, TN. “Our members take it very seriously and see it as another way that NARPM serves not only its members, but also the single-family investor market.”

In choosing a property manager to work with, consumers are advised to select a professional who voluntarily holds to a high ethical standard and who must repeat Code of Ethics training at regular intervals. That person is a professional member of NARPM — someone who holds to standards that have stood the test of time for a quarter century.

Read Full Article Here 

Blockchain Is Making Its Way Towards The Commercial Real Estate Industry

Source: Medium

The commercial real estate (CRE) industry is comprised of many different types of service providers, including property management, brokerage firms, banks, and other types of lenders. When a CRE transaction takes place, there are various operators involved, requiring extensive sharing of official property documents, and financial information which need to be validated. The requirements for validating all information across all parties slows down the speed of each transaction, which can take weeks and months to complete. Many CRE firms have turned to blockchain to speed up execution times, decrease error and increase transparency in each transaction.

One of the most exciting ways blockchain is disrupting the CRE world is in the form of smart contracts. The industry currently relies on an inefficient system of old-school verification of property ownership by conducting research to ensure the property belongs to the party who is selling it.

Blockchain can reduce the speed in which the chain of custody regarding CRE properties takes place as a property’s title would be stored on a public ledger. This would remove the need for another central repository, thus reducing transaction, state, city, and legal costs. The same principle would apply for leases that would be recorded via blockchain.

More Transparent Deals

Blockchain can also ensure that real estates assets are more liquid and the terms of the agreement are fully understood by both sides as every piece of data regarding a property would be stored publicly. This includes data surrounding former owners, construction done on the property, past maintenance costs and records regarding former inspections.

Having all this information available would give the investor a more comprehensive idea of the property they are investing in. Blockchain essentially ensures that everyone is on the same page and both sides are fully aware of what they’re getting into as every piece of information is out there for anyone to access.

Digital Paper Trail

Another challenge with the CRE industry is the fact that public records can be outdated, unreliable or not available. Following a property’s paper trail can be time-consuming and frustrating as a lot of this information is lost due to poor organizational skills from industry workers and legacy systems that lose data when updated.

With blockchain, every piece of information on a property would be available in the same place rather than in multiple physical and digital domains. Blockchain would also help to eliminate the type of fraud that sometimes exists in the industry as deeds and titles can be counterfeited easily.

Buying Property With Cryptocurrencies

Some investors and real estate firms have started adding bitcoin to the industry, including Ivan Pacheco, who bought a two-bedroom condominium in Florida for $275,000 in Bitcoin.

In the residential space, you can buy a condo on the Lower East Side of Manhattan with bitcoin. Meanwhile, some apartments in New York City are allowing their tenants to pay for rent using bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies have been historically volatile and they’ve been on the decline since peaking in December 2017, but some investors believe that the future of real estate will be closely tied with Bitcoin and other digital coins.

Nevertheless, blockchain’s role in the CRE industry is becoming more prevalent each day. The technology’s potential to speed up transactions with smart contracts, its ability to add transparency to a deed or title and the fact that it dramatically decreases the chance for fraud suggest that more investors will flock towards firms that use blockchain for CRE transactions.

Read Full Article Here

Hello Alfred Acquires Building Management Technology Platform Bixby

Source: Yahoo!

Hello Alfred, the leading residential experience company, today announced it has acquired the building management technology platform, Bixby, as of today’s date. The acquisition includes Bixby’s assets, team, and customers, and will operate under the Hello Alfred brand. This deal expands Hello Alfred’s footprint, dramatically increasing their volume in Class B multifamily buildings with the potential to bring their anticipatory help and local services to a roster of different property types.

Founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Mark Smukler and real estate developer Alex Ohebshalom, Bixby was originally designed as a mobile app that would modernize and digitize Mr. Ohebshalom’s family property management business. Since then, Bixby has evolved into a cloud-based set of tools and services that enable commercial and residential property management teams around the world to provide tenants and residents with a connected, efficient and sustainable building experience.

“Alfred will be the premier consumer brand in residential real estate,” said Marcela Sapone, co-founder and CEO of Hello Alfred. “Adding Bixby’s technology, foot print and team brings us closer to making our ethos of putting residents first the new market standard. I’m thrilled to have Mark and his team join the Hello Alfred family.”

“Hello Alfred’s years of knowledge around hospitality and services have helped us become one of the most trusted brands for residents across the country,” said Jessica Beck, co-founder and COO of Hello Alfred. “With the inclusion of the Bixby team and their focused approach to property management, we’re able to provide another degree of service to all parties in the multifamily ecosystem.”

The acquisition helps Hello Alfred continue its mission to power the home of the future, bringing its human-powered and technology-supported operating system to even more buildings and residents alike. Hello Alfred plans to integrate the teams and some of Bixby’s building technology into their existing technology offering.

“We’re thrilled to join the Alfred team and combine efforts to build the leading tenant & resident experience offering. By bringing together Alfred’s human-powered service offering with Bixby’s property management technology, we’re able to deliver service at a scale that no company has done before,” said Mark Smukler, co-founder and CEO of Bixby. “Hospitality is at the core of our business, and the ability to align with a company that has the same consideration for its users is extremely gratifying.”

“From the beginning, our goal with Bixby was to combine cutting-edge technology with a platform that facilitated great service. It is these shared values that made joining Hello Alfred a natural fit,” added Bixby Co-Founder Alex Ohebshalom.

Read Full Article Here

How to Become a Property Manager in 3 Basic Steps

By Izabelle Hundrev

Source: Learn.2G

It’s never too late to make a career move, especially if you’re interested in the real estate business.

Although the realtor career path is the most well known in the industry, the job opportunities in real estate go far beyond just selling property. If you have experience with management or customer service and are interested in real estate operations, a job as a property manager could be the right fit for you.

It’s true that property managers manage property (try saying that three times fast), but that’s not all they’re responsible for. They’re also in charge of marketing their listings, finding tenants, scheduling repairs, and overseeing the day-to-day operations of their building(s). A career in this space can be incredibly rewarding, but before you can earn the title, there are several steps you’ll need to take.

In this article, we’ll lay out the exact path you need to follow in order to kickstart your career as a property manager. By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to a rewarding real estate career in no time.

Steps to become a property manager

If you’re looking to make a career switch to property management, now is the right time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for property and community managers is projected to grow 10% over the next five years. Joining a growing industry is a smart move for any job seeker.

The steps below provide a general outline of what you’ll need to do in order to seek employment as a property manager.

Step 1: Identify the minimum requirements

Some states have specific requirements that must be met in order to legally become a property manager. For example, almost all states require that property managers earn a real estate license. Many essential property management tasks are considered to be real estate activities, so having a strong educational background in real estate is crucial to your success.

To get your license, you’ll need to enroll in an in-person or online real estate license school to take classes that prepare you for the licensing exam. The coursework covers real estate fundamentals, as well as more specialized topics such as real estate laws and contract clauses.

After checking the licensing requirements, you’ll also want to be sure you meet minimum education requirements that are standard in your local job market. Some companies will hire qualified candidates with a high school degree or equivalent, but most are looking for a bachelor’s degree in business, real estate or a related field. Be sure to browse local job boards to see what employers are looking for. Having a college degree or earning a real estate license will impact your journey to becoming a property manager significantly, so be sure to do your research to see which rules apply to you.

Step 2: Get certified

In addition to having a degree and/or a real estate license, you’ll also want to look into property management certifications. Getting a certification isn’t required, but it will give you an edge over other candidates when you start applying for jobs.

Types of property management certifications

Specialized certifications are administered by a variety of different property management organizations. Having a certification shows potential employers that you’re serious about being an expert in your field, plus you’ll qualify for member-only benefits at the organization. These benefits will vary from one organization to the next, but they typically include perks such as free professional development courses, conferences, and a network of like-minded professionals.

Below, we’ve listed several popular property management organizations and the certifications they offer.

The Institute of Real Estate Management

The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) offers four types of property management certifications:

  • Certified Property Manager (CPM) is the standard certification.
  • Accredited Residential Manager (ARM) is for residential property managers.
  • Accredited Commercial Manager (ACoM) is for commercial property managers.
  • Accredited Management Organization (AMO) is for real estate management firms.

The Building Owners and Managers Association International

The Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA) is an organization that serves the commercial real estate industry. They offer one primary certification:

  • Certified Manager of Commercial Properties (CMCP) is for commercial property managers in the early stages of their real estate career.

The National Association of Residential Property Managers

The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) serves the residential property management community. The certifications they offer are for more experienced property managers seeking continued education.

  • Residential Management Professional (RMP) for property managers that have experience managing at least 100 units over a two-year period.
  • Master Property Manager (MPM) is for property managers who have already obtained an RMP and have experience managing at least 500 units over a five-year period.
  • Certified Residential Management Company (CRMC) is for residential property management firms.

These are just three examples of professional property management organizations that offer certification courses for individuals looking to take their education and expertise to the next level.

Step 3: Seek out property management job listings

The final step is to officially kick off your job search. Build a resume that reflects all the work you did in the previous steps and highlights any important soft skills you have. With zero previous property management experience, you want to start out by looking for associate or assistant property manager job listings. As an associate, you will report directly to a senior level property manager and be able to learn from them directly on the job. Before you know it, you’ll have enough experience under your belt to start tackling more advanced tasks on your own.

In the digital age, many companies are using property management software to help run and maintain their daily operations. Candidates with previous experience using these types of solutions are in high demand, but showing you have the ability to learn how to use these tools quickly will also help you during the interview process. To familiarize yourself with the space and explore different solutions, check out property management software on G2.

What’s next?

Property management is a specialized sector of the real estate industry that is showing no signs of slowing down. Now that you know what it takes to become a property manager, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to take the plunge. If you build your experience on top of a strong foundation in real estate education, you’ll be on your way to a long and successful property management career.

Read Full Article Here