Real Estate Management News - 10/19/2016

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October 19, 2016
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Upcoming Events
Asset Analysis Track (ASM603, ASM604, ASM605)
10/31/2016 – Las Vegas, NV

Ethics for the Real Estate Manager - ETH800
10/24/2016 – Marietta, GA

Managing Residential Properties - RES201
10/25/2016 – Marietta, GA

Leadership and Human Resource Essentials - HRS402
10/26/2016 – Minneapolis, MN

Using the IREM Financial Analysis Spreadsheet
10/25/2016 - Webinar

Industry Partners

Because Management Matters

Networking in Today’s Business World
IREM Northern Ohio-COSE to Host Energy Data Workshop

6 Ways Buildings Can Promote Wellness
Major Mall Operator to Close 73 Shopping Centers on Thanksgiving
Atlanta Project Aims To Prevent Bird, Building Collisions
Which Cities Have the Most Green Office Buildings?
Tech Disruption’s Next Target: Office Buildings
Panasonic and Schneider Electric Partner to Simplify Energy Management With Innovative Integration to Optimize Building Efficiency
5 Significant Technologies Influencing the Construction Sector
Building Owners Help Drive Construction Industry to Create Healthier Buildings
Brisk Demand for Disaster-Ready Offices in Major Japanese Urban Centers
Easy Appliance Integration Makes Modernizing Kitchens in Multifamily Dwellings More Affordable
Medical Office Property Sales Stay Healthy as Investment Demand Outpaces New Supply
Want Sharper Workers? Try a Green-Certified Office


Leadership Spotlight

Because Management Matters

Nearly 800 property management practitioners from around the world are gathered in San Diego this week for IREM’s Fall Conference, joining the best and the brightest in real estate to learn from industry icons and each other. The conference offers inspiring speakers, fun networking events and motivating education sessions, including:

• Economic Outlook: 2016 and Beyond
• Corporate Cyber Security: Every Company is Susceptible
• Mixing it Up: The Power of Well-Managed Mixed-Use Properties
• Evaluation of Staff and Structure for Optimal Results
• 10 Trends in Multifamily Property Management
• Transforming Leadership in the New Age of Real Estate

If you can’t attend the IREM Fall Conference this week, be sure to watch for next week’s newsletter covering the highlights and industry news.
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IREM Headlines

Networking in Today’s Business World

The most successful individuals credit networking as part of their “secret formula” to success. Networking also has become BIG business as data mining has become mainstream with over 45 billion page views as of March, 2016. People are connecting with people around the globe every second of every day about every imaginable topic.

Networking often evokes images of identifying where the most people will be with the largest spread of food and beverages on hand to offer up a common reason for seeking out a person who could serve up a great lead or a new piece of business. To others, the typical chamber of commerce event or charity fundraiser event tends to lessen the level of anxiety as many feel that attendance is almost mandatory by their employer. Certainly, these opportunities offer valuable conduits to resourceful people. However, the most skillful networking professionals will agree that the most rewarding networks are built throughout a longer period of time—one person at a time. In this case, quality trumps quantity.

The most seasoned professionals will agree that relationships that are built on trust, mutual respect, and authenticity offer the richest and most rewarding outcomes over time.

Benefits of networking:

• Expands business contacts
• Creates opportunities
• Adds to your knowledge bank
• Increases social capital
• Builds your brand
• Creates lasting friendships

Check out IREM’s newest leadership development white paper on networking to explore various aspects of networking, including: how different generations approach networking; the process by which individuals develop, use and maintain their network; as well as common truths and myths to measuring the return on investment in networking.
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IREM Northern Ohio-COSE to Host Energy Data Workshop

The IREM Northern Ohio Chapter is collaborating with the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) on a live workshop, “Accessing & Using Energy Data to Improve Property Operations.” The workshop materials were developed by IREM headquarters, in collaboration with a team of subject matter experts, and cover:
  • Why access to energy data is important
  • How to obtain whole-building energy data to benchmark energy use
  • How to access interval data from a property’s utility meter
  • Private metering options and technology
  • Basic and advanced energy analysis methods—from utility cost accounting to fault detection—and examples of financial impacts
The EPA will also provide an update on ENERGY STAR® programs and tools, including exciting new features of the Portfolio Manager® benchmarking tool. Property managers of all property types, asset and portfolio managers, facility managers, building operations teams, energy and building technology consultants, and other solutions providers will benefit from the workshop. LEED professionals will obtain 4 hours of credential maintenance continuing education for attending the workshop.

Representatives from the following organizations are among the speakers:

• Brewer-Garrett
• FirstEnergy Corp.
• U.S. EPA
• American Landmark Properties
• Cleveland State University

Register Now!.

IREM chapters that would like to host this workshop may inquire at

To learn how energy efficiency helps meet the requirements of the IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification, visit
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Industry Headlines

6 Ways Buildings Can Promote Wellness
Buildings (09/28/16) Penny, Janelle

Building owners and operators can encourage their occupants to lead healthier lives with these six tips. One, encourage more walking. Indeed, a handful of simple low- or no-cost improvements can encourage occupants to walk more, such as moving communal equipment like printers and copiers to a central space. For a more formal walking initiative, consider starting a prize competition and have occupants wear fitness monitors to track how many steps they take during a day. Two, promote stairs, not elevators. To be sure, an existing building has fewer opportunities than a new construction project to make stairs an appealing amenity, but it can be done. Three, "trim the fat" from your building's foodservice options. Whether the building has a couple of vending machines or a full cafeteria, offering appealing, but healthy options can be accomplished by talking to and working with your foodservice vendor.

Four, place greater emphasis on fitness centers. Such facilities should be made more front and center, more accessible, more visible, and closer to an outdoor space if possible so that occupants have the option of running or walking outdoors and coming back to the gym. Five, the article's author urges building owners and managers to "facilitate access to green space. Buildings of any size can incorporate some view of plant life even without a beautiful view from expansive windows." Finally, be sure to provide variety with breakout spaces. A change of pace can help boost productivity and get people more active. Best of all, creating breakout spaces can afford management the opportunity to turn some of a building's underused or unattractive spaces into real assets.
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Major Mall Operator to Close 73 Shopping Centers on Thanksgiving
CNBC News (10/12/16) Gustafson, Krystina

CBL & Associates, which owns or has ownership stakes in 89 regional malls and open-air shopping centers, announced this past week that 73 of those properties will be closed Thanksgiving and open at 6 a.m. Friday. At its enclosed malls, the only tenants permitted to open are department stores, cinemas, or others that have an exterior entrance. CBL's open-air centers will also be closed. Since all of those tenants have exterior entrances, though, they'll have the option to remain open. The decision was partly driven by CBL's community ties, as most of the Tennessee-based company's properties are located in smaller Southern cities where they're often the only player in the market. CBL Chief Executive Stephen Lebovitz remarks, "We think that for our employees and for the store employees, they deserve to be able to spend the day with their families." CBL also hopes that closing on Thanksgiving will bring excitement back to that iconic shopping event known as Black Friday.
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Atlanta Project Aims To Prevent Bird, Building Collisions (10/13/16) Samuel, Molly

The Atlanta Audubon Society’s Project Safe Flight is collecting data on bird deaths caused by collisions with the city’s commercial and residential buildings in an effort to encourage property owners to implement bird-friendly building designs. A 2014 study found that close to 1 billion birds may be killed every year by crashing into building. The vast majority of accidents involve mid-rise and small structures and not high-rises. Of particular harm are glassy and mirrored office buildings that reflect trees or the sky, confusing birds as they are flying. Bright lights at night in particular disorient migratory birds on their way to Central America for the winter.

Adam Betuel, conservation director of the Atlanta Audubon Society, says fewer birds would be killed if building owners and managers made their structures' glass more visible and turned off their lights at night. “People are very proud of Atlanta being a city in the forest,” says Betuel. “This city is going to continue to become more urban, more developed, and we need to be smart about how we're doing that with native wildlife." This marks the first year this project is fully up and running in Atlanta. There are similar programs in other cities, some of which have been going on for more than a decade.
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Which Cities Have the Most Green Office Buildings?
Environmental Leader (10/12/16) Lyons Hardcastle, Jessica

Owners of office buildings in the 30 largest markets continued to pursue green building certifications in 2015, but the adoption rate slowed. Ranking No. 1 is San Francisco. Nearly 74 percent of the City by the Bay's office space holds either an EPA Energy Star designation, a U.S. Green Building Council LEED label, or both, according to the Green Building Adoption Index study from CBRE Group and Maastricht University. Chicago claims the second spot, with 72.3 percent of its office space holding one or both certifications, while Minneapolis fell from the top spot the year before to third place at 60.6 percent.

Green certifications are held by 40.2 percent of all office space, slightly above the previous year's mark of 39.3 percent. Dr. Nils Kok, an associate professor in finance and real estate at Maastricht University, attributes the slowed adoption to the face that some buildings had been previously certified but failed to renew in 2015. "This does not necessarily mean that the energy use of these buildings has changed," commented Kok, "but that some owners and managers may choose not to spend the time or expense to reapply for certification every year."
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Tech Disruption’s Next Target: Office Buildings (10/12/16) Rossenfeld, Carrie

Effective technology in the workplace should have a positive impact on commercial building managers as well as tenants and employees, according to Comfy President Lindsay Baker, whose company provides technology aimed at improving the productivity and comfort of work environments. Tech companies are developing more tools geared toward eliminating inconveniences that exist for building occupants and management staffers alike, such as temperature control and workspace reservations. In her Q&A interview with, Baker remarked, "There's a lot of technology that looks at better monitoring of the indoor environment: is the space being used well? Sensors can see how people are using space, which saves money and helps you understand how well you're doing at providing a good space for tenants. Security systems can help people get in and out of buildings without a lot of headaches."

Baker believes building systems will become more dynamic and diverse as technology enables customized control over a variety of environments. For example, smart lighting and glass features can produce warmer light in the evening to keep hormonal rhythms and sleep cycles intact. "When we think about heating and cooling or lighting or space use or any of these kinds of things -- it affects how we fit out the space in the first place, how we design it," says Baker. "Technology is enabling us to get more granular about what people like in their space and give them more control." Technology allows building professionals to provide a diverse set of environments for people, and software enables much more customized control and -- perhaps best of all -- allows it to change over time. "That means you can provide more on-demand services," she concluded. "With the trend toward co-working space and no up-front leases, it makes for a much less static and bulky market."
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Panasonic and Schneider Electric Partner to Simplify Energy Management With Innovative Integration to Optimize Building Efficiency
Business Wire (10/12/16)

Panasonic Corporation and Schneider Electric have partnered to produce an integrated HVAC equipment and building management solution for commercial buildings. The new product enables direct communication between Schneider building management controllers and Panasonic's variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC systems, allowing building owners and their management staffs to view all their core building systems on a single interface. Property managers also have access to their facilities' energy consumption reports and technical support. The product can be wired or wireless and installed as part of a larger system or as a stand-alone system. "Creating interoperability between major energy consuming systems such as HVAC equipment with building control systems allows facility managers to simplify their operations, better optimize the efficiency of their buildings and reduce energy costs,” says Laurent Bataille, Executive Vice President of Schneider Electric. “By partnering with Panasonic, we're able to provide complete building management from the device level to the cloud, regardless of building type, size, or age.”
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5 Significant Technologies Influencing the Construction Sector
Construction Global (10/12/16)

Five emerging technologies are transforming the construction industry and are likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset is increasingly used by construction workers and architects in designing commercial builds. With integrated headphones, users are immersed within a three-dimensional environment, enabling them to see the inner mechanisms of model buildings, inspect materials within a VR setting, and interact with builds before they are constructed. The Microsoft HoloLens utilizes Windows 10 to map environments or rooms, so users can view holograms and incorporate objects into the real world.

Via Skype, users can call for advice on how to fix potential issues by showing fellow workers parts of the machine or building which needs addressing by walking around the model and providing a closer look. Daqri's Smart Helmets are finding use in construction so workers can function more safely and efficiently, and boost performance via augmented reality and building information management software. The helmets map the user's surroundings so they can share this information as well as capture images and videos, alongside a high-definition camera. Drones are another emerging technology, used in construction to generate aerial maps of potential sites and highlight structural issues so companies can budget and plan effectively.
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Building Owners Help Drive Construction Industry to Create Healthier Buildings
For Construction Pros (10/11/16)

A SmartMarket Report by Dodge Data & Analytics finds that building owners, developers, and managers are growing more interested in healthier structures. “The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings 2016” report says building practices that focus on physical, mental, and social health are becoming increasingly popular and are primed for wider acceptance. In addition, owners of healthier buildings are realizing benefits such as increased rents and higher asset values. Currently, the top healthy features being used in buildings are: improved use of daylight; products that enhance thermal comfort; spaces that encourage social interaction; and, finally, products that improve acoustical comfort. Experts say the growth of healthier buildings will likely follow a path similar to the introduction and expansion of green construction techniques.
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Brisk Demand for Disaster-Ready Offices in Major Japanese Urban Centers
Chicago Tribune (10/13/16)

Demand for disaster-resistant office buildings in Japan’s urban areas is growing, following a succession of earthquakes and natural disasters across the country. According to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, the average price of commercial real estate in Tokyo rose 4.1 percent from last year. "Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, office buildings with top-notch disaster-resistance features have been popular," says Toyokazu Imazeki, chief analyst of Sanko Estate Co. Some facilities are equipped with the latest technology to survive a disaster, including emergency electric power generators and drinking-water wells. The generators can supply electricity to resident companies for up to 72 hours. "We can protect the lives of employees in the event of a disaster. The enhanced disaster-prevention features make it possible to continue or quickly resume business operations," a staffer in charge of managing the companies in the building stated.
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Easy Appliance Integration Makes Modernizing Kitchens in Multifamily Dwellings More Affordable
Multifamily Executive (10/01/16)

The kitchen is widely regarded as the heart of the home, so it makes sense that it's going to be a driver for apartment renters before they move in to a new unit. For multifamily housing owners and remodelers, kitchen updates can be expensive. Even a modest remodel can cost more than $10,000. In apartment communities, updating each unit quickly adds up, and new appliances often take a formidable chunk of the budget. However, it's more important than ever for apartment owners and developers to find ways to distinguish their properties from the competition. For example, more than 400,000 new multifamily units were built last year, states the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. These new developments, which feature modern designs and appliances, continue to be built in response to demand and are spurring growing expectations from renters and buyers as a result.

Modern kitchens are desirable to renters because they include dependable and energy-efficient appliances that make it easy to save energy and water. Of course, the pressure to upgrade at an affordable price narrows the possibilities for multifamily owners and remodelers. Among the products that may fit the bill is the Amana kitchen suite, which features easy integration and installation, has a sleek look and feel, and include such upgrades as stainless steel and consistency in the types of handles and knobs across the appliance suite. If an owner or remodeler isn't upgrading the entire kitchen, then it becomes imperative to find new appliances that can fit with existing ones.
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Medical Office Property Sales Stay Healthy as Investment Demand Outpaces New Supply
CoStar Group (10/12/16) Drummer, Randyl

An off-market purchase last week by Healthcare Realty Trust of a medical office building (MOB) on the Inova Loudoun Hospital campus in Leesburg, Va., underlines the stiff competition for the limited supply of MOB properties in Northern Virginia and elsewhere. Pricing for core MOB assets has become more competitive as investors retreat from secondary and tertiary markets and return to core assets in primary markets. MOB deals grew 17 percent nationally last year, and prices have advanced 17 percent to $230 per square foot of medical office space since the end of 2014, according to Marcus & Millichap. Furthermore, the MOB vacancy rate dropped to 8.6 percent in the second quarter -- the lowest level in eight years. The number of institutional-grade property deals has seen significant growth in recent quarters and has been limited only by a lack of available properties on the market. As healthcare providers control an increasingly large share of MOB leasing activity, there continues to emerge a heightened demand for new buildings with flexible floor plans.
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Want Sharper Workers? Try a Green-Certified Office (10/07/16) Wenzel, Elsa

Employees in LEED-certified buildings scored 26 percent higher on cognitive tests, according to the early results of the new COGFX study. Researchers at Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the State University of New York's Upstate Medical University found green-building advantages span beyond the office and waking hours. They calculated a 6.4-percent increase in sleep quality scores with 25-percent higher cognitive results the next day among green-certified workplace occupants. Study participants in LEED buildings also reported 30-percent fewer sick building symptoms, as well as greater satisfaction with temperature, humidity levels, and air flow.

"Buildings can now become human resource tools," says United Technologies Corp.'s John Mandyck. "It can be a competitive asset for companies, for building owners to say, I'm going to invest in my building not only from an environmental standpoint, but so my people can be the most productive and healthiest they can be, and that will lead to bottom-line results." About 50 percent of commercial construction has gone green in the last 20 years, which Mandyck estimates is "chasing 1 percent of the cost. Think of how much farther and faster this movement can go if we chase 90 percent of the cost, which is the salaries and benefits of the people."
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