Category Archives: Ashby Real Estate Group News

5 Forward Thinking Tech Cities From Around the World

As technology continues to expand, the possibilities seem endless. What used to be thought of as mere science fiction is now a tangible reality, allowing us to live in ways we never though were possible.

The world around us is slowly shifting into this new age, but there are a few places were the changes are happening fast. Smart Cities are popping up across the globe and they’re standing as amazing examples of what’s available to today’s population. These destinations are using the latest innovative technology to create harmonious eco-friendly communities that cater to contemporary needs.

Here’s a look at 5 forward-thinking cities that are totally changing the game.

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is a global leader for smart living as it seamlessly interweaves technology into the city’s scheme. The area already goes far beyond the average smart city with their tech-fueled public transportation system and the government’s incredibly effective emergency warning system – but there’s more.

One of Seoul’s most impressive features is the self-charging roads, made possible by their advanced online electric vehicle technology (OLEV). There’s virtual stores, highly advanced smart-towns, and more. Seoul marks the apex for contemporary smart cities.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Being Iceland’s smallest city doesn’t impede on Reykjavik’s popularity. This city is the country’s most populated area – and for good reason. Reykjavik is leading the way for environmental responsibility empowered by technological expansion.

All the buildings in this region are green by design since 99% of the city’s electricity is fueled by hydroelectric and geothermal power. While this is already an amazing feat, Reykjavik has hopes for the future. The area plans to become a fully-functioning city with zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Tokyo, Japan

As one of the globe’s largest urban communities, Tokyo isn’t falling behind in terms of smart technology. The city reigns supreme in the realms of urban planning, mobility, and applied technology.

Tokyo takes high-tech to a completely new level with its groundbreaking exploration of 3D and robotics. The area introduced advanced facial recognition technology, and also heavily invests in AI resources for hospitality, vehicles, and mobility, healthcare, and financial services.

Paris, France

Paris is one of Europe’s top leaders in both technological and environmental initiatives. This popular global destination promotes clean transportation and mobility for both residents and tourists by providing bikes and electric vehicles.

Paris also uses IoT to optimize the traffic flows of people and traffic to help accommodate their average 40 million tourists per year. As a further improvement, The Grand Paris Express project will completely redesign the city’s transportation system and features a completely automated metro train.

Singapore, Southeast Asia

No place blends technology into daily life quite like Singapore. The island is fully encompassed in a line of fiber optics that spans the entire length and breadth of Singapore, factoring in up to three mobiles for every two citizens. Singapore has robotic hospitals, autonomous taxi drivers, and high-tech vertical gardens that self-water and regulate temperature.

After exploring these tech cities, you’ll want to call them home. Which smart city is your favorite? To keep up with the latest CRE trends, check out our blog!

Location Data: Helping CRE Find it’s Way in 2019

Data is today’s most powerful tool. Two years ago, The Economist made a seemingly bold statement, saying that the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data. It’s 2019 and the truth of this is statement is more real that ever before. Data’s influence is nothing to take lightly. Not only does it greatly enhance technology’s possibilities, but it’s also helping major industries find creative solutions to common problems.

One such example would be location data used within commercial real estate. This valuable asset is helping to bring the industry out of the dark ages by harnessing the power of information. Let’s explore how this ocean of data is transforming the world of CRE.

Insight, Not Intuition

In the past, finding success in the CRE industry was mainly based off of pure intuition. That gut-feeling was the major drive for new building projects and investments. The industry’s talent laid in a professional’s ability to predict the newest trends and come up with a probably forecast. However, these predictions were a huge gamble – and in some cases, even a billion-dollar wager.

With loses so intense, the industry was in dire need for hard data. CRE needed real facts, evidence, and probabilities that tipped into absolutism. Location data is serving as the contemporary antidote to CRE’s most common issue – a lack of insight. By collecting, organizing, and analyzing this large web of data, the industry has been able to transcend guesses and make solid predictions.

Understanding Today’s Consumers

The world around us changes at an incredible rate, and modern consumers change right along with it. Data provides an amazing clarity when it comes to predicting consumer behavior. Location data provides accurate insights into client relationships and experience, and it’s allowing CRE to zero-in on their business approach. By knowing how clients commonly respond, what they’re expecting, and what can break a deal: it’s easier to create successful strategies.

Advance Marking Accuracy

Advertising is hard for any industry, and CRE is no different. When it comes to commercial marketing, accuracy means everything. The pool of prospective clients is incredibly diverse, and this presents a great challenge for professionals in the field.

Location data helps CRE execute marketing strategies with unmatched finesse. The data can predict the best method, timing, and area to launch a specific marketing plan. On top of this, it zooms in on specifics of different advertising campaigns and can tweak them to better connect with a target audience.

Planning the Next Move

With location data, planning for the future is clear and simple. Data tracking can build a reliable map for the future of an industry, helping investors and developers plan for the next big trends. With such a solid insight into what’s coming next, CRE professionals avoid major losses and can always stay ahead of the game. This proves that knowledge really is power – especially when it comes to business.

Location data serves as a savior for the CRE industry. What’s your favorite way to use data? For more CRE trends, check out our blog.

5 Things Boomers Want From Multifamily

Multifamily managers are always looking to attract the right tenants. While all the mainstream attention is focusing on Millennials, it’s time to look towards another generation – Baby Boomers. Born between 1946 and 1964, this generation  is expected to dominate the multifamily market. Studies predict that 2020 will see a wave of over 5 million Boomers renting homes within the multifamily sector.

With stakes this high, multifamily managers need to start preparing. Here are the top 5 features that Baby Boomers are looking for in CRE’s multifamily market.

Comfortable Amenities

Appealing to this generation is all about providing them with their needs and wants. A great way to do this is through comfort-based amenities. One of the greatest perks associated with apartment living all all of the high-class features. As these new renters say goodbye to being homeowners, they’re ready to enjoy all the luxuries of a multifamily complex.

According to J Turner Research’s multifamily market study, the most desired amenities for those 55+ are swimming pools and fitness centers. If you’re looking to attract Boomers, make sure to heavily advertise these key features. Utilize high definition photography of these amenities and you’re sure to catch their attention.

The Latest Tech

It isn’t just the up and coming generations that value technology. According to National Real Estate Investor’s studies, the number one item renter’s of all ages are looking for is tech. Integrating the latest technology into your multifamily asset is a must if you’re looking to attract Baby Boomers.

Make sure to provide fast, secure and reliable WiFi connection for your tenants. Another great marketing tactic is to create an online community for residents to connect, discuss news or issues, and strengthen their bonds.

Hassle-Free Living

Since many members of this group have previously been homeowners, they haven’t been able to enjoy the perks of multifamily living. Entering into the multifamily game finally allows them to kick back, relax, and live in luxury. Boomers love the low-maintenance, hands-free style of apartment buildings. As a multifamily manager, always assure your prospective buyers that they’ll always be taken care of.

Enhanced Security Systems

The biggest motivator for people to integrate smart home technology to their living spaces is security – and this is especially true for Baby Boomers. This generation places an incredibly high value on safety, and they’re looking to rent apartments that have got them covered.

A study from the National Apartments Association reveals that both Boomer and Gen Z prefer multifamily buildings with video security monitoring coupled with other high tech security features. This provides peace of mind, and that’s what Boomers are looking for.

Pedestrian-Friendly Living

One thing Millennials and Boomers have in common is their love for convenience. Boomers are looking for walkable communities that provide easy access to cafes, restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. AARP states that these communities should include safe recreation areas as well as well-kept streets and sidewalks.

These 5 features will help multifamily managers attract the new wave of Baby Boomer renters. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! For more CRE insights, check out our blog.

Experience is everything: 4 CRE sectors keeping up

It’s 2019 and experience is everything. The focus on experience has been steadily growing, and it’s become a full-blown obsession in nearly every major industry. CRE is no stranger to the concept of created experiences, and some sectors are totally dominating the game.

Let’s look at how these 4 rockstar CRE industries are utilizing created experiences to stay current and attract business.

Retail

Out of all of CRE’s sectors, the most avid participant in the wave of experience is retail. Due to the ever-changing market and the new age of consumerism, retail has been forced to undergo major reconfigurations. As we move into an increasingly digitized society, consumers are now able to easily order whatever they desire in one click or less.

As a result, the entire industry needed to step it up to meet the era’s expectations. In order to do so, consumer experience became the driving force fueling modern retail efforts. A A REIT analyst talking to the Wall Street Journal states, “Mall tendency has changed. What hasn’t changed is the human desire to socialize”. Cultivating an experience with the shopping framework has become retailers #1 priority for 2019 and beyond.

Multifamily

Experience is also big in CRE’s multifamily realm. This is seen in amenities, special features, and other key components that accentuate the overall living experience for residents. Elements such as spas, gyms, pools, game and recreation rooms, and sports areas are all being expertly designed into multifamily plans.

Technology is playing a large role in creating these areas of experience. What you see are high tech features which make these areas interactive, responsive, and intuitive to the user. This establishes a unique and valuable experience – able to set brands apart from competitors.

Office

As the world around us continues to provide exceptional experiences, it’s popping up as an important concern in some unexpected CRE sectors. As Millennials continue dominating the workforce, the office sector has changed its values to resonate with this confident and innovative generation.

Across the board, more and more companies are working to improve their brand culture. When 78% of the workforce strongly values a positive employee experience, it’s hard to ignore. By enhancing the professional experience, they seek to create a workplace where staff members feel happy, work productively, and feel valued. Companies are specially designing office spaces to create these experience areas and better accommodate the new era of work culture.

Industrial

The influence of experience is slowly seeping into the industrial market. It’s common to see interactive opportunities popping up within industrial properties that coincide to the company’s focus.

This means on-site activities, such as tours or tastings, also extends into companion business-beer gardens within breweries our coffee shops inside of roasteries. This provides a whole new realm of business that is focused on providing an extraordinary and unique experience for our clients.

Cultivating experiences is essential in our contemporary world. While humanity’s values and preferences change, industries need to adapt and find new ways to appeal to the public. What experienced-based trends are you most interested in?

What do landlords need to know about rent control?

Over the past few months, many states have implemented new rent control policies. Rent control laws work to regulate how much landlords can charge for rent, and also how much rent can be raised within a certain period of time. These laws are designated by individual cities and their goal is to help ensure that housing remains an affordable commodity.

As a landlord, it’s imperative to remain informed on all the ins and outs of local rent control policies. Besides pricing concerns, these laws also outline the responsibilities expected of landlords – including repairs, evictions, lease renewals, and more.

The effects posed by these up and coming rent control policies speak volumes on the future of CRE’s multifamily market. Here are 3 points that all landlords should know.

Multifamily Assets Remain Strong

One of the main concerns surrounding rent control policies is the anticipated profit reduction. However, experts explain that even amidst the current wave of widespread control policies, the multifamily market is still standing strong.

The real estate market has been able to withstand the external fluctuations and upkeep a healthy status in spite of any disruptions. According to Barclays PLC Report, market analysts are confident about the near future, as quarter on of 2019 has produced strong profits. All in all, a very positive turnover is expected from the multifamily sector this year.

Unknown Effects Looming on the Horizon

In spite of current positive growth rates, the future holds much more uncertainty. The effects posed by numerous states adopting rent control policies all at once pose unknown results. Long-term results stemming from the apartment sector’s new policies are hard to determine as of yet, and it’s keeping all of us on our toes.

Threats to Commercial Stocks

The main area of concern is commercial multifamily stocks. All else aside, the apartment sector’s performance levels have been outstanding. However, the implementation of local rent control bills can pose severe effects for even the hottest domestic markets. New York and California are amongst the country’s major cities working to pass deeper rent control policies, which are being vehemently objected by the CRE industry.

Economic advisors have been urging the holders of apartment stocks to ‘hold’ rather than ‘buy’. This slowdown has the potential to disrupt the commercial market by taking a toll on the multifamily sector in affected regions.

Moving Forward

Landlords need to be ready to adapt as states continue to enforce rent control policies. Although the future still remains unclear, there is still a large potential to prosper and taste success.

Investors from around the globe highly favor US military assets, and the demand isn’t expected to falter anytime soon. In fact, CRE’s apartment sector is rated the most attractive to investors who value it’s stability and resilience – even in the face of policy changes and economic disruptions. As influential investors continue to pour money into the commercial market, the industry is only expected to grow.

In order to weather out the storm, landlords need to stay vigilant. Keeping up with the latest policy updates and expert-anticipated results is the best way to ensure that you’re strategically cultivating success – even in the face of uncertainty.

3 Ways Big Data and Other Tech Trends are Changing Warehousing

 

As the pace of innovation races towards never before seen speeds, many industries are being forced to undergo massive changes. The impact of contemporary tech trends have played a huge role in shaping CRE – and the metamorphosis is only just beginning.

The industrial sector is one of the areas most affected by big data and tech growth. While these groundbreaking tools help to streamline workflows and increase efficiency, they also come along with their own set of challenges.

Let’s analyze these 3 key ways that technology is transforming the warehousing industry – and how CRE needs to support these changes.

AI Automation

One of the most notable changes within warehousing is the massive increase in robot use. As AI technology continues to advance, these devices are able to complete complex tasks with striking efficiency rates.

Amazon, one of the world’s most influential companies, is a huge proponent of tech’s encroachment into warehousing. As the world’s largest e-commerce retailer, Amazon’s warehouses contain an intimidating collection of about 45,000 robots – a greater headcount than that of the Netherland’s entire army.

The current numbers mark a 50% increase when compared to the end of 2018, where the company reported only 30,000 robots in use. These figures demonstrate the widespread move towards creative automation within the warehouse industry.

Cloud Software

The marriage between cloud technology and warehouse totally changes the game. This incredibly helpful technology is popular amongst warehouses, where it is revered for its groundbreaking developments for the industry.

Cloud-based software enables warehousing to keep better control over changing inventories, even when the physical environment gets hectic. Cloud technology allows for on-going updates and guarantees up-to-date information across all spectrums, which limits disruptions within the warehouse scene. Since this data bank is usually remote, it also limits the space needed to store information.

Software Path’s 2019 WMS Report indicates that 91.5% of businesses were considering a cloud-based WMS in their current selection project. Cloud management systems are key components in the future of industrial.

Big Data

In any business endeavor, information means everything. The more you know, the more strategic moves you’re able to make – helping to reach goals and attain success. The popular term “big data” is defined as a colossal data collection which is digitally analyzed to hone in on trends and patterns, most of which couldn’t be detected by human senses alone.

The hits warehouse scene through the use of barcode tools and technology. Big-name brands with massive warehouses utilize barcode scanners to keep track of each and every individual item which passes into, through, and out of their facilities.

It doesn’t stop there – barcodes are now more advanced than ever, with capacities that elevate the warehouse efficiency to an entirely new level. On the topic, SystemID shares that warehouse workers can glean valuable information like origin, destination, photographs, price, stock levels, and more with just the scan of the code.

All these advancements occurring in the warehouse industry are thanks to developing technology. After all of this, the biggest question on everyone’s mind is “what can possibly come next?”

4 Traits of Successful Leaders

Effective leaders are able to combine specific characteristics to help ensure the success of their employees and themselves. These skills can be learned and practiced every day to help achieve your goals. By developing these 4 traits of successful leaders, you too can begin creating your foundation for success.

1. Communication

An effective leader must also be an effective communicator. Communication is an essential skill for any leader. It’s especially important to know how to clearly convey your thoughts and goals. Although mistakes are inevitable, it’s possible to direct and connect with the individuals to succeed as leaders.

Good communication skill create clarity and efficiency by eliminating confusion and misunderstanding. A successful leader needs to communicate on different levels. These levels include one on one interaction, group meetings, and direction to the entire staff via both verbal and nonverbal techniques. A good communicator also knows when to listen and should be approachable.

2. Forward Thinking

The difference between a decent leader and a successful leader is their ability to strategically plan and execute future goals. It is important that you not only have a vision but also that you create strategic plans and continuously evaluate yourself and your team. It’s important to keep the future in mind, while also maintaining a positive outlook.

It’s critical that a leader does not only have a vision for the future, but is also able to adapt in the face of adversity. This includes staying flexible and being open to new ideas while keeping a consistent goal.

3. Accountability and Responsibility

Integrity is a crucial skill for any leader to embody and practice throughout their personal and professional life. Being accountable and transparent with your team is critical for developing trust and support. An effective leader takes responsibility for their own mistakes, and in turn, expects the same from their team.

An accountable leader asks questions and they find the best answers to keep things running smoothly. They are aware of their responsibilities and do not under or over commit. For a leader, accountability and responsibility go beyond individual actions and assume the performance of the entire team.

4. Cultivating a Strong Work Environment

Leaders must be able to take the necessary risks to develop a strong and encouraging environment. The real estate landscape is constantly changing. Therefore, promoting creativity and innovation throughout teams ensures that the leader will be able to navigate these changes.

Teamwork is also an important factor in creating a successful work environment. Having strong personal relationships will help create success within your group. And, it will build skills like communication, accountability, and creativity.

Successful leaders understand how to utilize their skills to promote the well-being of their organization and employees. By practicing these four skill, you will learn to become a better leader.

What’s the Problem with Reverse Supply Chain?

Business is all about supply and demand. Of course, real estate follows these same rules. Therefore, your supply chain refers to the process of making and delivering a product to a customer. Alternatively, the reverse supply chain focuses on products and services that are coming from the customer back to the original owner (think returns).

Here, we will discuss common issues and problems with reverse supply chains. Hopefully, you will gain a better understanding of the process and equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with reverse supply chains.

The Rise of Online Shopping

Online shopping is posing an increased risk to the reverse supply chain. This is because online orders require much less person-to-person contact, allowing things to potentially get lost inthe shuffle of everything. Big companies, including Amazon, are seeing the challenge of reverse supply chains — and they’re trying to better the situation.

Product Acquisition and Organization

When buying a product, you’re simply required to press “purchase,” then, the item that you’re expecting shows up at your door. However, returning a product can be a lot more complicated. This process includes accepting the product, tracking the product, matching the product with the correct customer, and so forth. With that being said, there are many areas of the return product acquisition and organization that could be optimized to better serve the reverse supply chain.

Return the Inspection

When products are returned to the reverse supply chain, it is necessary to inspect them. Inspection ensures that products are fairly returned and haven’t been damaged beyond means within the sale and return dates. Although necessary, this process could easily be automated in order to free up valuable time for your workers.

Technology Trumps All

In order to keep up with the automated steps of a reverse supply chain, technology is ultra-important. High tech buildings with smart features are more likely to be safe and calm — plus it is able to understand the reverse supply chain.

Different Companies Have Different Needs

In conclusion, it’s important to understand that each supply chain issue is unique to the company dealing with the problem. Therefore, you’ll want to take a look at your company to determine where the difficulties are arising from and whether or not it’s an increasing or decreasing problem.

Be sure to consider how reverse supply chain is impacting your business. It may be time to change jobs altogether or to suggest alternative methods to maintain sustainable reverse supply chain demands to your boss.

Does your office building match your business culture?

We have a challenge that we’d like to issue to you. The next time you step into your office, take a minute to really look around. What characteristics mark your space? How does this space make you feel? And, as importantly, how does it make you feel you should behave? What functions and activities does the space feel like it was designed for?

Next, think about your business and what you hope it portrays to your customer, but also to your staff. Does this line up with the feelings you felt when looking at your space?

Whether we like it or not, physical space and your workplace design can shape a company’s culture — or it can completely betray it. As humans, we are incredibly susceptible to our environment, and we will often subconsciously adjust a number of our habits in order to feel like we are adapting to our surroundings.

Having a distinct corporate culture can help organizations and businesses produce amazing results and have incredibly satisfied employees. The companies that are really nailing this concept (think Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Amazon, and more) have managed to align and integrate their culture and their brand — right down to their physical space.

But how? Where do you start in designing your space to best match your business culture?
First and foremost, take some time to really think about who you are designing the space for. Is it your customers? Your employees? How do they work? How does your staff interact with each other — and their surroundings? When clients visit your property, what do you want them to feel?

Start with the basics. 

One of the most fundamental pieces of design in nearly any commercial space is the shared table. Nearly all organizations center around work and productivity, and the emphasis should be placed on your team as a whole. And if your team is where your organization’s knowledge and strategy are created, the team’s physical space is where their knowledge comes from.

Think outside the box for collaboration. Mall all spaces writable (think table tops, walls, and more) and emphasize creative team inspiration. Your physical space should serve as an extension of where your team draws inspiration from.

Remember to provide quiet space.

Always remember that many members of your team will nee quiet spaces to reflect and recharge their batteries (both literally and figuratively). While open space provides the opportunity for teamwork and collaboration to thrive, it can also create too much noise and clutter for effective individual work. When your employees need some space to really focus, make sure they have ample private spaces to retreat, recharge, and work.

Don’t stress if you don’t get it right the first time. 

Workspace design is, fortunately, not a “one and done” phenomenon. As with most things, it takes time to help shape expectations and behaviors. Try slowing introducing change to your commercial space, such as moveable furniture and flexible seating arrangements, and see how your team responds. Or, better yet, enlist your team to help build the space themselves. This will help set the proper tone from the very beginning and make your employees feel more invested in the process — a great start to adoption.

5 Tips for Decreasing Multifamily Vacancy via Social Media

These days, social media is the ultimate form of communication. Whether you’re chatting with friends, catching up with family members, shopping for your favorite product or even promoting your multifamily real estate space, there’s a place for everyone on social media. Here, we’ll let you in on our top five tips for decreasing multifamily vacancy — and increasing your leasing rates — via social media

1. Don’t just show, sell. 

When posting about your property on social media, be sure to both show and sell your space. It’s important to showcase your amenities and rentals through accurate and beautiful photos. However, each post takes time and energy to create and perfect. Because social media can be a large time commitment, you’ll want to gain a return on your posts. By also selling as you show, this is something you can achieve. You can do this by discussing the benefits of each room, responding to questions, and providing information about how to get in contact with the real estate property.

2. Highlight your renovations. 

As you upgrade your property, be sure to keep your followers informed. It’s likely that your basis of social media followers include tenants and non-tenants alike. By sharing the modifications you make potential tenants will likely be impressed by your new and unique features, and existing tenants will appreciate the continuous dedication you show to your building and customers.

3. Offer incentives and promote giveaways. 

Social media is the perfect place to offer incentives and promote giveaways. For example, you could offer free gifts with a new rental, like household appliances, discounts at local coffee shops, or a reduction of one month’s rent. By promoting these kinds of marketing deals on social media, you’ll be able to engage your online community — and they may just consider committing to a lease at your property.

4. Showcase your engaged community.

Not only do you want to showcase the space that your’e promoting, you also share photos, testimonials, and reviews from your community of tenants. This provides recognition and appreciation to the amazing people within your building while also showing potential clients the amazing things they could have if they sign on at your property.

5. Find tenants and generate leads. 

As you portray your property on social media, people will begin to become curious and inquisitive about your space. As they begin to engage in your posts — through comments or direct messages — be sure to respond to their questions an concerns. While doing this, promote your space and include links to your rental agreements and applications.

Of course you want to keep your property full. Social media is a great way to both promote your business and attract potential clients. By using social media effectively as a building owner or manager, you’ll be able to decrease your multifamily vacancy rates, keep your current tenants informed, and maybe even sign a few new tenants.