Category Archives: NAI Dominion News

2 Clicks-to-Bricks Trends We’re Watching (and You Should, too!)

As recently as just a few years ago, many retail experts and commentators were predicting that online retailers would completely take over the industry, driving physical stores to extinction — and many predicted this shift would happen by the year 2020. And while there has been steady growth in online retail sales, and e-commerce has definitely seen a boom, it is becoming clear that this supposed takeover of physical stores isn’t happening anytime soon.

However, there is an interesting trend that has been emerging in retail — known as “clicks to bricks.” In this movement, online retailers aren brands are starting to move offline and open physical, bricks and mortar stores. Even Amazon, which is arguably the world”s largest online brand, now has more than 600 physical stores and location.

So what’s coming next in this clicks-to-bricks movement? What can you expect to see in 2019? Here are 2 clicks-to-bricks trends that we’re watching — and you should, too.

Retail as a Service

Retail as a service is simply a catchy way to explain how retail is now so much more than just walking into a store and picking up an item. Thanks to the rise in e-commerce and the convenience it offers, physical retailers have been forced to up their game, enhancing the in-store experience by offering customers value adds and other incentives that shoppers simply can’t find online. As a result, traditionally online retailers are getting physical — and coming up with inventive ways to get shoppers in their doors.

Meaghan Brophy, a retail analyst at, says that this particular retail trend is a great opportunity, especially for smaller sellers who focus on in-person selling. She predicts that 2019 will see retailers focusing on brand loyalty and earning the trust of their customers.

She goes on to add that she predicts “independent retailers will continue to focus on the non-merchandise aspect of their business, such as hosting classes and events, offering personalized gift wrapping and delivery, registry services, and hosting private parties.”

The Experience Will Remain the Priority

While the notion of a customer’s experience is nothing ew. exactly what consumers are expecting in their experience is changing and evolving. While it was once considered good service to greet customers as soon as they walked through the door, and perhaps provide a personal recommendation or two, it is no longer enough. Rather retailers now must continue to push and expand the boundaries of customers’ in-store experience.

While this is true across the board in retail. how does it apply specifically to the clicks-to-bricks movement? Simply put, “shopping a brand needs to feel the same, regardless of the channel,” says Carlos Castelan, managing director at the Navio Group. “With an increasingly complex customer journey and dozens of customer touchpoints with brands, from apps to websites to brick and mortar stores, companies need to present a seamless experience.”

As Millennials and younger generations continue to have more buying power, it is important that retailers take note. Nearly 80% of Millennials prefer to spend their hard-earned money on experiences rather than products, and 7 out of 10 people think of shopping as a form of entertainment. In order to stay relevant, retailers need to take notice of this — and respond accordingly.

3 CRE Influencers to Follow on Twitter in 2019

In the 13 years since the first tweet was sent, professionals from across all industries have embraced the social media platform, engaging with others and building an online community or a great brand. And, while commercial real estate is an industry notorious for being slow to embrace change and technology, there has been a recent shift in adoption within the past few years.

No matter whether you are a tweeting pro or a newbie to the platform, it’s no secret that the most important thing to do on Twitter is to follow and engage with the right people, helping you to foster and build your sphere of social media influence. But how do you know who to follow?

If you’re looking to freshen up your Twitter feed, we’re here to help. Here are our suggestions for 3 CRE influencers to follow in 2019.

Linda Day Harrison (@DayHarrison)

Linda founded, and is known throughout the industry as a CRE technology guru who shares a wealth of knowledge on everything from new CRE trends and technologies to the can’t miss conferences that are coming up. Additionally, she regularly shares content from other CRE thought leaders and influences. Specializing in bringing people together, and using technology to make it happen, this is one account you’ll definitely want to follow.

Jeffrey Sica (@JeffreySica)

Jeffrey Sica is a regular commentator on financial news networks, such as Fox Business, along with Bloomberg Radio and CNBC. Known for being an expert in both wealth management and investments (specifically alternative investments), Sica is the founder, President, and CIO of Circle Squared Alternative Investments. Give him a follow if you’re looking for a bigger perspective when it comes to how finance relates to commercial real estate.

Jon Schultz (@JonSchultz_Onyx)

If you’re looking for a real and honest approach to commercial real estate, you’ll want to follow Jon Schultz. His perspective and outlook are what have propelled his content to the forefront of some of the most followed content in all of CRE. His Twitter features original content from his own blog with topics ranging from management and mentoring to new trends in CRE tech.

5 Technologies to Up your Short-Term Rental Game

The online short-term rental industry is a relatively new trend that has changed the way the customers look at traveling, as well as how some investors, and “regular” people are choosing to boost their income. In fact, studies show that U.S. short term rentals generate the most revenue globally at nearly $15 million, and the momentum does not stop there.

Revenue is expected to increase at least 6.4% annually resulting in revenue of more than $18 million, with user penetration up to an additional 11.4% by 2023. With numbers, like that, staying ahead of industry trends and using the best technology available is pivotal to any . member of the short-term or vacation rental industry. Let’s look at 5 unique technologies both physical and digital, that will boost your game.

1. August 2nd Generation Smart Lock

Though you may choose to invite strangers into your home or property for the sake of profit, that does not mean you need to forgo security and privacy. A smart look will allow you to avoid sharing physical keys which can be lost (Americans lose almost 20 million keys per year) or copied (creepy). They August smart lock, for example, is a sleek, user-friendly option that has 4.5 stars and more than 600 reviews on Amazon. It has remote control features, but can also work via wifi. With an easy installation that is compatible with many existing deadbolts and a mobile app you can link to your phone, it is extremely useful.

2. KIGO Vacation Rental Software

KIGO is the vacation rental company’s premier management software. It provides users with tech that helps maximize revenue, reduce operating costs, and provide guests with better experiences. They can even set you up with insurance and a website to kick your short-term rental off properly. Additionally, guests can manage their stay, reservations, reviews, and payments right from their phones. KIGO has a global booking volue of $2,388,831,562 to date, which is quite impressive.

3.  AirDNA Market Minder

AirDNA Market Minder is another tool that can be utilized to gain extremely valuable insights on competition within the short-term rental market. It uses data to analyze the metrics in your general location and show competitive comparisons on things like daily rates, occupancy, revenue, and lead times. It also mines data to show you when, how, and why pricing can be spiked in your area, and when bookings are most desired. If you’re thinking about listing your property as a short-term rental, there is even a handy tool that allows you to see what it could possibly be worth. Accounts with AirDNA are free, and the MarketMinders tool ranges from $19.95 – 99.95 per month, giving options for all budgets.

4. Nova-Flo Flood Prevention

Not every guest will be as conscientious with your home’s/property’s appliances as you may be. Often times, guests can leave faucets running or dripping, which can lead to costly water bills, leaks, floods, and water damage. But what if you could prevent a flood before it even starts? Enter “Nova-Flo.”

Its description according to its website is as follows “Nova-Flo is a unique flood prevention device that turns off the water to a bath or basin as soon as the water level reaches the overflow. It’s fully mechanical, no electrical supply is required, it’s completely hidden from the user and it automatically resets as soon as the taps are turned to the closed position.” This handy little robotic device can even notify you when the leak is prevented, thus saving you thousands in possible damages.

5. RING Doorbell Cam

The RING doorbell cam allows you to answer the door and view guests before they enter your home either from inside the house or remotely via an app. It is a great way of screening guests prior to them ever entering your home. This ensures that the guest you are expecting matches the description and photo of who actually shows up, even if you are not at the property to greet them. Additionally, the doorbell also detects motion, this is a good way to monitor that guests aren’t throwing parties or sneaking multiple non-paying guests into your rental property.

It is clear that in the future the market should only expect an increase in growth of the short-term rental industry. With the majority of renters being millennials  it is key to stay ahead of technological trends to give customers the best experience possible and in turn, maximize your profits.


3 Health and Fitness Amenities all Multifamily Buildings Need in 2019

The United States has seen a major shift in health and fitness trends in the past few years. It may be due to the influx, and subsequent increase, of the average American’s social media viewing habits. Studies show that many people have begun to compare themselves to others due to the constant exposure to peers on social media. In some cases this has hurt some people’s self-esteem, however, for others it has been found to be a motivational factor and correlated with a positive attitude toward exercise, health and fitness. This is further demonstrated in statistics, which show that between 2000 and 2017, the number of fitness and health memberships nearly doubled.

Now, people are taking it a step further and desiring fitness and health amenities where they live. Here are 3 health and fitness amenities that all multifamily buildings need in 2019, to provide the best quality of life for your tenant to keep them happy and healthy.

1. Advanced Fitness Centers

Gone are the days where a fitness center could be described as a desolate room tucked away in a lowly corridor of your multifamily property. Tenants want advanced fitness centers that rival the offerings of a gym. Landlords and developers can even go beyond and lease space to an actual gym and include membership in rental rates. This provides an additional income incentive for fitness minded individuals. A study by the National Multifamily Housing Council found that 55% of tenants would not lease a property that did not have a proper fitness center. Ensuring your fitness center includes, fitness machines, open stretching/training areas, free weights, and ample mirrors is pivotal. Making sure you fitness center is at its peak functionality is key.

2. Bike-friendly Trails/Parking

According to a study by Commercial Property Executives and Kingsley Associates, tenants stated they desired a covered parking area designated specifically for bikes. Biking as a way to commute to and from work increased more than 60% from 2004-2014 according to the United States Census Bureau, and it has been increasing in popularity ever since. That being said, the addition to bike-friendly parking areas in your multifamily property allows tenants to have a safe, convenient place to store their bikes. Combine this with bike trails connecting your property to the street, or other bike trails in the city and it increases convenience for those tenants who ride a bike regularly or recreationally.

3. Better Building Standards

Health amenities are not always as “in-your-face” as having a gym in your building, they can also be subtle amenities that enhance your tenant’s overall wellness and health. Making sure they have a clean and healthy environment is also key. As a landlord or developer, you can implement or mimic The WELL Building Standard.

“The WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.” Including amenities in the common areas such as advanced air filters, natural lighting and plants can increase a human being’s health. Additionally, making certain your cleaning crew uses non-toxic chemicals and your landscaping crew minimizes the use of dangerous pesticides for natural alternatives.

Health and fitness are more than just trends. It should be a lifestyle, mindset, and common practice for all people. Implementing great health, wellness, and fitness amenities in your multifamily property not only benefits the property owner by increasing property values, but also his or her tenants by providing them with the option to live a healthier lifestyle — because remember health is wealth.

5 Ways Sustainable Design is Making its Way into CRE

Sustainable building and design is something we have been hearing a lot about this past year. With topics such as climate change trending in multiple facets like politics, collegiate lectures, or even just break-room talks, how has sustainability made its way into commercial real estate? Not only is an effort to become more sustainable seen favorably by tenants, but also by many investors, developers, and landlords. Sustainability has proven to not only benefit the environment, but also lower operating costs. So, let’s look at 5 ways sustainable design is making its way into CRE.

1. Green Spaces

Green spaces added to buildings can help with sustainability in a number of ways, as well as provide appealing common areas for tenants. Green roofs, decks, and indoor gardens are all sustainable designs that have made their way into CRE, especially the office and multifamily sectors. Green roofs provide additional benefits such as absorbing rainfall and increasing insulation, which can reduce energy costs and consumption. Indoor gardens can also create an appealing aesthetic for tenants and can cool surrounding air in a process called evapotranspiration.

2. Utility Effeciency

Utility and energy efficiency is another sustainable design that has made its way into CRE. Elements like solar panels, sustainable HVAC systems, and windows help create more effcient and profitable buildings. It lessens the impact on the environment, as well as saves landlords money on utility costs. Using wind or hydro-energy along with solar can also increase a property’s efficiency. Check out this  handy calculator on how much money solar saves average homes based on location.

3. Advanced Lighting

Employing advanced lighting techniques also lends to utility efficiency; however, this can be achieved in other ways as well. Daylighting is a technique started in the developmental stages of building. This design strategically places windows, skylights, reflective surfaces and breezeways to light a building naturally. It also reduces energy and can cool a building without the use of AC.

Coupling this with smart lighting that can be controlled remotely can optimize energy efficiency in new ways. According to CCIM Institute “Good lighting design uses as little as 0.5 to 0.75 watts psf fo floor space, compared to lighting loads of 2.5 to 3 watts psf in older buildings. Furthermore, sensors that measure indoor light levels can raise and lower artificial lighting in response to changing outdoor conditions, and occupy sensors turn lights off when not needed.”

4. Government Initiatives

Many cities have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 (or sooner) as part of the  Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. These cities include Berlin, Boston, London, New York City, Portland, and San Francisco to name a few. To achieve this goal, many of these cities’ governments have given initiatives to creating more sustainable buildings and converting existing buildings.

Some initiatives include tax breaks, others include penalties for new buildings that do not meet sustainable criteria. Here is a link to the EPA, which includes guides to local and state specifics on various initiatives.

5. Sustainable Building Materials

Developing buildings with sustainable materials sets a standard from the ground up — literally. Using materials like recycled metal, rubber, and glass for structures, wood that bears a “Forestry Stewardship Council” stamp, insulation made from products like cork, woodfiber, hemp, and more can create a sustainable building.

Maintaining our environment is crucial. By adding sustainable aspects in to CRE developers can attract investors, and tenants while potentially lowering costs and energy output.

How to Find a CRE Listing Agent

When it comes to finding the right commercial real estate agent to fit your specific needs, it can be a surprisingly difficult task. After all, unless you are well versed in commercial real estate yourself, how do you know what qualities you should be looking for in a CRE agent, in order to best meet your needs?

While some people may feel comfortable foregoing the services of a commercial real estate agent to sell or lease their commercial space on their own, the majority of building owners choose to employ the services of a commercial real estate professional. But what should you look for in a commercial real estate listing agent? Let’s take a closer look.

Experience and expertise in commercial real estate

While this may not seem like a deal breaker, it actually should be. There are tremendous differences between buying and selling commercial real estate versus residential real estate. You will want to make sure the listing agent you choose is someone who is experienced in helping commercial property owners sell or lease office, retail, and other commercial spaces — and NOT someone who works primarily with houses or condos.

An established business in your area

While it may seem obvious, we still think it is worth mentioning. Be sure to look for someone who has been in commercial real estate long enough to fully understand how various commercial deals are carried out, as well as how tenants or buyers and their brokers work.

What’s more, an experienced and successful listing agent will also have the financial stability to truly put your best interest at the forefront of any and all potential transactions. Think about it — in most cases, a listing agent gets paid once the deal is closed. A listing agent who isn’t hard pressed for a big commission check will be less tempted to rush through negotiations or settle for an offer that doesn’t reflect the true worth and value of your property.

A thorough and precise individual

While the personality of your listing agent may seem like something that is more of a nicety than a necessity, it’s important to understand how several key characteristics can have an impact on the success (or lack thereof) of your commercial real estate transaction. You will want to work with a listing agent who has excellent communication skills that include a unique combination of persistence and tenacity — with politeness.

Further, you will want to look for someone who strives to be a creative peacemaker, but one who is also determined to overcome all objections, challenges, and obstacles that may stand in his or her way. These characteristics can all assure you that you are working with the right agent, who will ask all of the right questions and will anticipate any number of unknown factors that may arise throughout the sales process.

The truth is, quality listings agents will often seek you out through network connections, word of mouth, a referral, or even cold calling. But if you’re in the market for a CRE listing agent, you have some choices. You can ask someone that you trust, such as a friend or a colleague, or you can also talk with someone who has a relevant involvement in any particulars that you may require, such as a contractor. Doing a little due diligence up front to make sure you find the right listing agent can go a long way in helping to ensure a smooth sales process.

3 Ways to Future-Proof Your CRE Building in 2019

With today’s technology that seems to be evolving at the speed of light, combined with new generations of younger employees, diverse and differing business models, and marketing competition that is ever changing, how can a commercial real estate building not just stay afloat, but actually thrive in this age of continuous change? Whether you are just acquiring your first commercial building, or you are a true veteran in the industry, there’s no denying that there are some new challenges that are headed your way, in order for your building to remain relevant.

Technology changes at such a rapid pace that is nearly impossible to predict or plan for the next big innovation or revolution in technology. However, the physical structure of a commercial building — the steel, the glass, the brick and mortar — are on entirely different schedules of the time. While those in technology talk about timelines in terms of months or even years, those in commercial construction talk about timelines in terms of decades.

In other words, given the rate of change we’ve already seen with technology, there is no way to predict what types of smart building capabilities that will be available to commercial tenants in the next 10 to 20 years. And while we simply can’t plan for the unknown, savvy CRE owners are doing all that they can to try to prepare for future — today. With this in mind, we put together a list of 3 ways to help future-proof your commercial real estate building in 2019. Read on to find out more.

Understanding your existing assets

In today’s technology-driven world, the devices that are “not connected” are few and far between. There are hundreds of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors, linking all of these connected devices throughout your building. And yet, it is likely that you still regularly field questions from your building manager or portfolio managers such as, “How do I access this power data?” or “How do I find the temperature data?”

And while this is great, it’s important to ask yourself the question of if you have all of these sensors connected to your devices, what problems would you like to solve? Are you looking for better billing data for your tenants? Better benchmarking and equipment performance? Faster response to any problems that may arise in your building’s equipment?


The answers to these questions will not only tell you the types of solutions that you want, it will also help to define the infrastructure of the networking within your building. And depending on the types of sensors you have in place, the frequency at which you receive your data will differ — which also tell you how you should set up your building’s networking.

For instance, if you are trying to capture a crucial piece of equipment that is central in the health or safety of your building or its occupants, you will want to be sure that you have a very fast connection that is encrypted, whether that is through WiFi or ethernet. Conversely, if your’e trying to measure incremental data, such as leak detection or temperature data, these sensors send updates far less frequently, and you will need to ensure that your networking infrastructure supports this (typically with a sub-gigahertz connection).

Integrating your systems

Finally, you need to make sure that all of your systems are integrated or know how to speak to each other. Make sure the context of your data is easy to understand — think about it: no one would want to read a sensor from its serial number. Rather, it’s easier to be able to look and quickly determine that a specific sensor is located on a certain floor even in a certain room.

The lifespan of your data is also important. Of course, it’s important that you have “real time” access to your data, so that you can be informed of any problems that may arise as soon as possible, but it’s also important that you store as much of your data as possible — and for as far back as possible. You never know when you will need to look something up or have access to data that is older, to help you better understand a current problem.

It is critical that your data be backed up securely and in a cloud-based system. Security is always important, so your data needs to be encrypted, to help protect your sensitive information. And a cloud-based environment will allow you to benchmark your data across a number of buildings, and access the data from anywhere in the world.