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.

Is Your Business Ready to Own its Real Estate?

While there is a huge growing trend toward being able to work remotely, it comes as no surprise that the majority of businesses today still operate out of some form of commercial space, whether that be a factory, office, or retail storefront (or some combination of these). If you are in the market to launch a new business, or even if you are just thinking of expanding or altering your existing business, one of the first steps you will need to take is deciding how to finance your commercial real estate.

Most often, this choice comes in the form of either renting or purchasing commercial space. When you purchase commercial real estate, you can either buy it outright or finance it with a loan from a bank or other financial institution. When you lease you simply rent the term for an agreed-upon amount of time; once this time is up, you must renegotiate the lease if you’d like to stay in the property — at the risk of paying more for the same space.

Not surprisingly, there are pros and cons to both buying and leasing commercial real estate. Several factors should go into choosing the right acquisition strategy for you and your business, including business equity, tax implications, cash outflows, property value and more. To help you make a more informed decision, let’s dive deeper into some of the pros and cons of buying and leasing commercial real estate.

Buying Commercial Real Estate: The Pros

  • Buying builds equity. If you purchase your property outright, you own 100% of it right away. However, the majority of commercial purchases are financed. Even in this case, your down payment and all of your monthly payments are continuing to build equity in the property — helping to add to the overall value of your business.
  • Control. When you own your commercial property, you have complete control over it (for the most part, excluding zoning restrictions). This means that you don’t have to negotiate with a landlord if you want to update or reconfigure the space. You also have greater control over your finances, paying a fixed monthly mortgage that doesn’t fluctuate (unlike rent payments, which can fluctuate every time a lease is renegotiated).

Buying Commercial Real Estate: The Cons

  • Upfront spending costs. Typically, in a commercial space, you can expect to pay anywhere from 10% to 40% as a down payment — in addition to closing costs and other fees of due diligence. To put this in perspective, for a $2 million commercial property, you can expect to have to come out of pocket $200,000 to $800,000 — just for the down payment.
  • Risk of capital loss. Unfortunately, depending on the market conditions, you are always taking a risk in buying that your property’s value will decrease or decline. If this is the case, you may end up taking a capital loss if or when you decide to sell your commercial real estate.

Leasing Commercial Real Estate: The Pros

  • The ability to focus more on your business. Owning and managing a commercial property can be hard. There are a number of things you have to consider — maintenance costs, insurance requirements, and more. Leasing commercial space gives you the freedom to focus on what you do best — managing your business.
  • Added flexibility. It’s a simple fact that qualifying for a commercial lease is often easier than qualifying for a commercial mortgage — meaning that you will immediately have more options when choosing your space. You also have the freedom to move at the end of your lease, if you want — without the added stress and headache of having to sell your property first.

Leasing Commercial Real Estate: The Cons

  • Rent is costly. It’s no secret — your monthly rental payments will usually cost more than the mortgage payments on the same property. In a typical commercial lease, the tenant is responsible for additional expenses, including monthly insurance costs, property taxes, maintenance costs, monthly utilities, and more. As a result, it can often be more expensive to rent a space that to purchase it.
  • Less control over the space. If you don’t own your commercial space, your options are limited when it comes to the control that you have. Your lease may have certain restrictions or clauses built in that hamper your control over the space, you have very limited control over potential rent hikes once your lease is up, and even if you go out of business or close up shop, you may still have to pay off the remainder of your lease — or face stiff penalties.

3 Reasons to Watch Flagship Stores

When shopping in some of the biggest cities in the world, you may be surprised to find out that the architecture of some of the flagship designer shops rivals that of many of the other most well known landmarks or destinations of the city. While this is true of the larger fashion houses and luxury brands, it also stands true for a number of other retailers.

When it comes to the success of flagship stores, it can be argued that the hits — and misses — truly lie in the details. There are plenty of retailers who are getting flagship retail right but, unfortunately, there are just as many who just miss the mark.

For those retailers that are getting it right, their success lies in a unique combination of experience, location, and interaction. Here are 3 reasons why retailers should focus on cultivating beautiful flagship storefronts.

Attracting Destination Shoppers

One of the reasons some of the largest retail brands in the world choose to have such elaborate and luxurious flagship stores is to attract visitors to the destination into their stores. While it’s true that many of these shoppers have a particular brand’s store nearly in their backyard, they are still likely to want to go inside a flagship store and shop. For instance, the vast majority of Americans have a Macy’s store inside their nearest mall — but an estimated 20 million shoppers still visit the brand’s flagship store in NYC’s Herald Square each year.

Part of the appeal is pure curiosity and interest,  but many shoppers are also interested in collections that they simply can’t find at home in their local store.

Building Brand Identity

Another reason brands should focus on their flagship store experience is building their brand identity through taste and great design. There is no denying or arguing that there are a number of products and services that are extremely expensive — and some may even go as far as to say excessive (check out this article on the most marked up consumer goods from MoneyTalksNews). Yet, still, consumers line up to purchase these items en masse… but why?

Simple. The reason consumers are willing to spend so much of their hard earned money on these products is a unique combination of the prestige of the brand, their quality, and the sense that they are getting something unique and special in terms of design and/or status. By having unique and beautiful flagship stores, brands are backing up this notion, helping to sell their products and show even the people who don’t shop there that they truly offer the ultimate in design.

Publicity and Brand Awareness

Think about it… if you are traveling to a new city, its unlikely that you’d share a picture of the local Vinny’s Pizzeria where you grabbed a quick lunch in the nearest strip mall. However, if you come across an incredible or iconic building (think the Chanel store in Zaragoza, Spain or the Tiffany & Co. store in Manhattan), you may be inclined to snap a photo, whether it be to share on social media with your friends and family, or to be kept as a personal memento of your travels.

This type of unique, grassroots publicity helps keep the visible, whether people shop in their stores or not. This provides a number of benefits to brands, regardless of industry. Keep in mind that it is vitally important that there be clear brand alignment and reinforcement between these flagship stores and the other ways in which the brand communicates. Flagship stores should always be in line with the overall look and feel of the brand — yet elevate the experience to a new level for customers and guests.

Amazon and Airports: 3 Things to Watch

Have you heard the news? Amazon is stealthily targeting airports, interested in bringing their futuristic format of checkout-free stores to these crowded hubs in order to win business from busy time-crunched and hungry travelers. This strategic move is just another in a series of ways the online retail giant is shifting from their roots as a simple online bookseller into physical brick and mortar retail space, to capture a greater market share and more shoppers’ dollars.

With several of these locations already under the belt of Amazon, including in Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and more, let’s take a closer look at ways this move may or may not make sense, and what the future may hold for Amazon in your local airport. Here are 3 things to watch about the expansion of Amazon into airports.

Oslo, Norway – January 2018: Oslo Gardermoen International Airport departure terminal architecture. The Oslo Gardermoen airport has biggest passenger flow in Norway.

Airports may be a natural environment for Amazon. 

While the idea may initially seem novel, airports could actually prove to be the perfect home for this futuristic concept. Neil Saunders, managing director of research firm GlobalData Retailsums it up best: “One of the biggest problems at airports is that [people] are very busy and often very stressed, and there’s a real restriction on time. Its very interesting Amazon is looking to go there.”

The very setup of an Amazon Go store is a natural fit for travelers, complete with no checkout lines or even cashiers. Shoppers simply scan their phones at a turnstile upon entering, and then cameras and sensors help to keep track of which items shoppers put in their carts — and which they put back on the shelves. Once shoppers have everything they need, simply walk back out of the store, and their phones generate a receipt and a summary of their shopping experience.

There have been some concerns about how shoppers and their data are tracked.

The use of cameras and sensors understandably raised some eyebrows about how closely shoppers and their data would be tracked and used. Certain privacy experts cautioned potential shoppers that they may not even understand exactly how much of their personal information they would be giving away by shopping in these stores, and that Amazon has the ability to track more than just what you buy.

But it’s important to note that Amazon insists that their technology doesn’t use any type of facial recognition. Instead they rely on large codes on certain items that help cameras realize when they’ve been picked up, as well as a sophisticated system of weight sensors installed in shelves.

The future of Amazon in airports is unclear. 

Some experts, including Ramon Lo, publisher of Airport Experience News, agree that the Amazon Go model is the perfect addition to today’s busy airports — especially in large hubs such as Atlanta, Houston, or Dallas — where big numbers of busy travelers are looking for something fast and efficient in between their connecting flights. But does this type of model make sense for smaller hubs with significantly less foot traffic? Maybe not.

Ryan Hamilton, a professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, points out that Amazon Go stores need to factor in the hefty price tag of installing this type of sophisticated camera and sensor system — and then weigh it against the potential return from shoppers. And, while not hiring cashiers does take away a large portion of the traditional operating costs, this model may not always be a good fit where the number of travelers simply doesn’t warrant this type of investment.

There has been a buzz about new markets and where Amazon Go may go next, but the company has remained tight-lipped about the future plans for these types of shops. Still, don’t write off this savvy retailer anytime soon. Keep an eye out the next time you’re running through the airport — you might just be surprised at what you see.

3 Ways Landlords are Leveraging Tech as the New Amenity

It’s no secret that the commercial real estate market is more competitive that ever. All across the United States, companies are moving to downtown areas, in an attempt to attract and retain the top talent. As a landlord, you are always trying to find new ways to add to you bottom line — and a big part of that is focusing on your tenant’s experience and reducing turnover.

Take, for instance, The Shuman, a building recently redesigned in Naperville, an upscale suburb of Chicago. The Shuman was redesigned to have undeniable curb appeal, and includes a number of amenities designed specifically with tenants in mind. Roger Heerema, principal architect working on the project, notes that “ten years ago, it was enough to have something, anything, a check-the-box amenity like a fitness center. Today, landlords are looking at amenities with much more interest than they did before.”

One of the best ways to improve the tenant experience in your buildings is to focus on technology as one of the amenities that you offer. Today, office buildings and other commercial spaces are taking design cues from hotels and luxury homes — and with great results. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the ways savvy landlords are leveraging tech as the new amenity.

Targeting TAMI and FIRE Tenants with Flexibility

One of the biggest trends in commercial real estate that is the result of technology is co-working and flexible working spaces. Today, landlords are relying less on traditional 10 year commercial leases, instead of offering more flexible options in leasing for tenants who do not want to commit to such long term deals. This is specifically attractive to startup tenants and those companies made up of primarily employees or contractors who work remotely.

Attracting Millennials with New Uses for Shared Spaces

There are a number of new models of co-working that are turning amenities into unique shared spaces for lease as part of the agreements with tenants. These shared amenities can include a number of different spaces, including recreational areas, rooftop meeting areas and centers, restaurants, coffee bars, and more. These types of spaces are centrally located with different levels of accessibility for tenants who choose to opt in for these shared amenities as part of their lease agreements.

Creating “Centers” that are Rich in Amenities

This trend is one that is not unique to any particular industry — rather, all sectors of commercial real estate are choosing to offer their tenants amenity-rich “centers” in their space. Technology is playing a huge role in this shift, helping to turn the commercial campus into more of a lifestyle center, where tenants (as well as their customers, if they choose) can shop, bank, dine out, work, and live — all in the same area. Driverless shuttles or free rideshare programs are other ways that you can plus up your tenant experience by utilizing technology.

As organizations continue to battle it out in the great war for attracting talent, they will need to become more aware of the tremendous impact the environment has on both recruitment and retention. As a landlord, choosing the right style can mean real and significant impact to the bottom line.