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Could Big Data Help CRE Investors and Developers?

Could Big Data Help CRE Investors and Developers? on morrissegroup.com

Smarter decisions are a click away

For better or for worse, we live in a data-driven world. Everything we do, eat, wear, or Google leaves a digital footprint to be placed in an algorithm for further crunching, analysis, interpretation, and distribution.

The easiest example is to do an Internet search for anything – a new mattress or a future vacation destination – and see how quickly related information and ads appear in your Facebook newsfeed. From Netflix preferences to complex medical diagnostics, big data is transforming the way many industries conduct business.

CRE is jumping into big data

For years, big data has transformed industries around the globe, and the growth of the Internet of Things has accelerated this trend. Banking and insurance are two such industries that have turned data analysis into an art. Thanks to modeling massive amounts of information, they are better able to see trends, steer marketing initiatives, and determine risk factors.

While the real estate industry has used data to a point – to get a better view of property values and taxes in a particular neighborhood, for example – 2017 is predicted to be the year that big data will have a much greater influence. The key phrase here is predictive analytics.

Predictive analytics opens a whole new world

Simply stated, predictive analytics is the gathering and analyzing of data through a variety of means, including statistics, mining, and artificial intelligence, to make predictions about the future. For the commercial real estate industry, the availability of this information and the indication of trends can bring the client-broker relationship to a whole new level. Thanks to good data, the broker may be able to spot a client’s need before the client is even aware of the need.

Let’s say there is a client interested in making a real estate investment, perhaps to own a building and then to lease out space. If the local market doesn’t meet the client’s criteria, a smaller market might.

Armed with data, the broker can fine-tune and automatically obtain a location – perhaps a secondary market the client never considered, where prices are lower but future potential is high – and that future potential might be mapped with numerous points of data, from trends within a certain industry to overall economic factors and interest rates.

Start-ups are starting up each day

The key to strong predictive analytics is rich data gathering. To meet that need, companies and apps are popping up to compile data and overlay it so that the combination provides meaningful answers.

Among the data that can be used for a successful transaction:

  • Levels of property/space availability in a specific market;
  • New construction trends in a specific location;
  • Employment trends, education level, tax information, and insurance requirements for a specific location;Traffic information and all that that entails, such as pedestrian numbers and behaviors, parking availability, and public transportation; and
  • Traffic information and all that that entails, such as pedestrian numbers and behaviors, parking availability, and public transportation; and
  • Property history, including physical soundness and renovation history.

Even unsuccessful deals can lend a helping hand. One app, for example, gets feedback from prospective tenants to analyze what about the property they didn’t like, such as the physical layout of the space, ceiling height, or windows. This information not only helps the broker to find a more suitable space for the tenant, but it also helps the broker work with the owner to consider renovations.

Moving South Florida into the future

Morris Southeast Group is excited about technology and its ability to meet the needs of tenants, developers, and investors. Not only does it keep all parties satisfied and profitable, it also helps to keep our South Florida cities growing and vibrant.

Our firm has seen a lot of changes since it opened its doors in 1976. We’re proud to have grown with the times, and we look forward to always looking forward. To discover a commercial real estate property that meets all of your needs, contact Morris Southeast Group at 954.474.1776 for a free consultation. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.

Florida Is the Only State to Tax Commercial Leases

Florida Is the Only State to Tax Commercial Leases on morrissegroup.com

Politicians, business owners, realtors, and lobbyists are all baffled

While this notoriety can be blamed on ease of access to police blotters thanks to the state’s open records law, there’s another item that is uniquely Florida: We are the only state that imposes a sales tax on commercial leases.

The monetary benefit of the Business Rent Tax

Written into the state’s tax code in the late ‘60s, the Business Rent Tax (BRT) means businesses must pay a 6% state sales tax on their rent and any added costs to that lease, such as property taxes, maintenance fees, and insurance costs. On top of this, local governments can add an additional 1.5%.

In terms of the bottom line, the tax generates a lot of money for Florida. While the bulk of state revenue comes from the state sales tax, about $25 billion dollars in fiscal year 2015-2016, the BRT also contributes its share. Current estimates place the amount at $1.7 billion dollars, with a projection of $2 billion dollars by 2020.

These numbers are important to keep in mind since Florida’s constitution prohibits a personal income tax and we are state with many needs.

How the business rent tax hurts the state

Those opposed to the tax, including Governor Rick Scott, Florida TaxWatch, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, believe the BRT puts Florida at a unique disadvantage. With the tax in place, there is little incentive for businesses to relocate to Florida.

For smaller businesses and start-ups, there is a disproportionate financial hardship. Some local retailers, for example, could pay more than $100,000 a year in taxes on their leases. Not only do these costs lead to a sluggish economy and suppressed job growth, the costs are passed down to consumers.

Florida realtors also oppose the BRT

Not surprisingly, the BRT hurts commercial real estate in Florida. Small businesses with limited capital, for example, are less likely to expand and more likely to lease spaces too small for their needs. They’re also less likely to hire employees and to provide competitive salaries for staff.

Florida Realtors has added its voice to that of the Governor and other groups to begin cutting the BRT. The organization’s findings indicate that in the first year of a complete repeal of the BRT, 185,000 jobs would be created and there would be a $20 billion economic impact.

Florida sits in the middle, and that’s unacceptable

To further illustrate the impact the BRT is having on the state, one only has to look at various rankings. Florida’s business ranking – determined by competitiveness, business costs, labor supply and other factors – placed the state in 13th place in Site Selection magazine and in 22nd place by Forbes.

In 2016, a small business friendliness survey placed Florida 15th among 35 states. That’s a B minus. Texas received an A plus, and neighboring Georgia, an A. In other words, businesses are more likely to turn to those states for opportunities, rather than the Sunshine State.

Morris Southeast Group responds to the BRT

For more than 25 years, Ken Morris has been dealing with the impact of the BRT on the commercial real estate market. It has been a headwind; stifling growth, innovation, and jobs. While the state, at the moment, may not be in a financial position to enact a complete repeal of the tax, it is in a position to begin reducing the tax so businesses and the Florida economy can grow and be competitive with other states.

It is our belief that Florida has so much to offer businesses – from our beautiful climate to cultural enrichment; from vibrant communities to a strong and eager workforce.

For a free consultation about commercial real estate opportunities in the area, contact Morris Southeast Group at 954.474.1776 or reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at kenmorris@morrissegroup.com

The Common Sense of Common Space

The Common Sense of Common Space on morrissegroup.com

Finding collaboration and innovation with free Wi-Fi, a cup of coffee, and a game

Today’s office is all about space – and how to best utilize space that’s often shrinking and more expensive. There’s open space and space dedicated to focused individual work, small group space and larger meeting space, shared space and co-location space.

With an emphasis on flexibility, productivity, and cost-effectiveness, it only makes sense for the office common space – also known as the break room – to undergo its own evolution.

Mobility and the incredible shrinking office

Over the past decade, the office footprint has gotten smaller as the result of new styles of working, tech advances, higher costs, and a younger, more mobile workforce.

It’s the idea of mobility, though, that has really pushed the idea of the smaller office. So long as there’s an Internet connection, employees can work from the field or from the local coffeehouse. Less time in the office means less need for individual offices and a greater need for plug-in locations for those day or hours when employees are in-house.

While the open floor plan has had its own issues – too many distractions, for instance – the layout has helped companies realize that informal gatherings of people can often result in some of the greatest and most inspiring ideas and problem-solving opportunities.

Maximizing a smaller space

The key to increasing productivity in a smaller space is that many office areas now need to perform double duty. For companies and designers, this has led to a shift in how the break room can be better utilized. By reframing it as a common space, it’s now able to offer a reprieve from work while also encouraging a fresh approach to ideas.

Several recent studies have looked into why so many mobile workers choose to work from a coffeehouse. Findings indicate that:

  • Moderate levels of ambient noise (the sound of a cappuccino machine) improve performance on creative tasks;
  • Being around other people working hard (on laptops in a coffeehouse) sparks individuals to work harder.

Creating a common space that works

Armed with this knowledge, companies and designers have created spaces that closely resemble coffeehouses or lounges. There’s stylish seating, plenty of tables for group or individual work, Wi-Fi, healthy snacks, coffee, and, perhaps a tabletop game or two.

By bringing the coffeehouse in-house, companies are experiencing a Field of Dreams moment. If you build it, they will come.

In this case, “they” is more than just employees. Clients are also tending to linger in the common space after a meeting or before heading to the airport to take advantage of the atmosphere, to interact with employees, and to even hold meetings with their own clients.

For the companies, smart common spaces are a way to maximize their real estate investment. The common space is an additional work location option for employees and it’s a social place in which company culture and, in some cases, products are highlighted. Clients not only gain better insight into the company with which they’re doing business, but they also have an opportunity to interact with the materials they’re interested in purchasing.

Size doesn’t always matter in the new office

When it comes to today’s office space, companies have had to make adjustments to meet both changing needs and the bottom line. The good news is that with smart design that focuses on double duty, productivity, flexibility, and efficiency, smaller spaces can accomplish big results.

Morris Southeast Group is one of the top commercial real estate brokers in South Florida, and we are available to help you meet the needs of your growing company, no matter if you need more space, new space, or any space. For a free consultation, contact our team today at 954-474-1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.

How an Uptick in Collaborative Workspaces Could Affect the Demand for Commercial Real Estate

How an Uptick in Collaborative Workspaces Could Affect the Demand for Commercial Real Estate on morrissegroup.com

Workspace evolution contributes to the CRE revolution

The world of work – or at least the world of the workspace – is undergoing a major evolution as a result of a changing workforce, technology, and the twists and turns of the modern economy. As a result, the commercial real estate market is also seeing a shift in demand due to how that space is utilized.

CRE and the mobile generation

Advances in technology have allowed workers, particularly those in Generation Y and Z (who are most comfortable with tech), to be exponentially more mobile and more connected. This freedom and adaptability means an increasing number employees are able to work from home, the car, a hotel, or the neighborhood coffeehouse.

Similarly, economic changes have forced workers to meet financial challenges by adapting their approach to work. In the absence of full-time employment, they have embraced temporary or contractual work to help make ends meet. One leading analyst has referred to this as the “Gig Economy.”

CRE and the new workspace

In the course of the CRE revolution, cubicles have been torn down and corner offices dismantled. Instead, floor plans embrace open and collaborative spaces, with areas dedicated to small groups and focused work away from the maddening office crowd.

The end result of this design shift is a smaller footprint for many businesses. Mobile workers, it seems, don’t necessarily need their own in-house office. They merely need a place to log on while in the office.

A recent study found that workers in non-traditional employer/employee relationships grew from 10% in 2005 to 16% in 2015. To put these numbers in another perspective, between 2003 and 2008, 118 square feet was dedicated for each new office worker. By 2012, that number had dropped to 60 square feet.

CRE and real-world implications

The new workspace model, according to the World Economic Forum, means streamlining and cost savings for businesses, from small to large, start-up to established. For example, Aetna –which has long embraced telecommuting as a means of retaining employees – has reduced its office space by 2 million square feet, generating a savings of $78 million. In addition, its 1.3 million square-foot “office park of the future” was shut down and demolished.

Other companies, however, have brought back employees from the field. Yahoo, for one, believes that many great ideas are born in hallways and cafeterias – a nod to the strength of collaboration, or at least collaborative spaces in overall office design.

New workspaces, new opportunities

In a world in which concepts like Airbnb and Uber have become commonplace, it’s very likely that similar innovations will impact the CRE market.

Mature markets, it’s believed, may have seen a peak in rents. As commercial demands have changed, landlords have begun to lower rents or to consider possibilities that would have seemed taboo ten years ago.

One such idea is co-location or shared work environments, a concept that’s ideal for smaller companies, those that lack capital, or those that seek to avoid non-negotiable items, such as furniture. Rather than leasing their own spaces, these companies may be interested in sharing the same location, or at least the collaborative meeting areas within that space.

Two companies spearheading the co-location phenomena are Büro, based in South Florida, and WeWork, with shared locations around the world. By providing fast Internet services, stylish furnishings, conference rooms, monthly events, and a host of other office amenities, both companies are able to bring small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers together to create a work community that’s inspiring and collaborative. Currently, Büro has more than 300 companies sharing workspaces across the Miami area.

Similarly, as companies crisscross the country for deals that best meet their new needs, there will inevitably be a void in the locations that were vacated. To help fill these voids, it will be necessary to do what tech companies have done all along: to think outside of the box.

Collaboration and CRE in South Florida

South Florida continues to provide opportunity for CRE. The combination of weather, innovation, a vibrant multicultural workforce, low taxes, and new and improving properties are tremendous commercial benefits.

For a free consultation about CRE and shared work environment opportunities in the area, contact the Morris Southeast Group today at 954.474.1776 or reach out to Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.

How the JOBS Act Is Affecting Commercial Real Estate Investment

How the JOBS Act Is Affecting Commercial Real Estate Investment on morrissegroup.com

Crowdfunding is the name of the game

Once upon a time, anyone with a commercial real estate (CRE) investment opportunity could only offer it, courtesy of a 1933 law, to a select group of people – only those with whom they had a substantial business relationship. That usually meant friends, family, and business associates.

All that changed in 2012, when President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. One of the key components of the law was opening up that 1933 investment restriction. With the new law, individuals earning more than $200,000 per year, couples earning over $300,000 per year, or anyone having a net worth of $1 million, excluding their primary residence, could invest.

Crowdfunding was – and is – a game-changer in the CRE investment market.

Five years since JOBS

Although the country is now five years into the legislation, it took until 2015, when Titles III and IV of the law were enacted, for real estate crowdfunding to explode. For starters, these new components eliminated the $1 million net worth requirement, thereby opening up investment opportunities to an even broader range of people.

To date, statistics are overwhelmingly positive:

  • In 2014, crowdfunding grew 156%, with campaigns ranging in size from less than $100,000 to over $25 million.
  • North America was the largest region by funding volume.
  • Crowdfunding was a $2.5 billion industry in 2015, and was expected to achieve $3.5 billion last year.

JOBS Act benefits for investors

Now that investors no longer need to know a sponsor, there is a growing investor interest in crowdfunding platforms.

In addition:

  • The minimum investment amounts are lower
  • New opportunities mean portfolios can be diversified to include real estate
  • Individuals can now invest in not only national projects, but also on a more localized level, which, in turn, gives them more of a say in the development in their communities.
  • New crowdfunding platforms have also opened up global opportunities.

JOBS Act benefits for sponsors

Benefits are equally apparent for the sponsors and developers of real estate projects. As interest rates gradually inch upward, developers need to look outside of the traditional fundraising box in order to raise capital for their projects.

With the JOBS Act, they have been able to take advantage of new technology via the Internet to reach a broader pool of investors. With more and more individuals participating, there is a greater opportunity to do more projects.

JOBS Act and South Florida

Experts agree that crowdfunding is able to benefit larger metropolitan areas and smaller cities. In a place like South Florida, that’s especially important. Our largest cities are surrounded by satellite smaller cities.

Assisting South Florida in the crowdfunding frenzy is its population. In addition to American citizens, many of the residents from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe are cash-rich but comparatively contact-poor. With the JOBS Act, they can more easily participate in real estate development both at home and abroad.

Morris Southeast Group is among the top commercial real estate brokers in South Florida. To learn more about commercial real estate investment opportunities in the area, contact our team today at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at kenmorris@morrissegroup.com for a free consultation.

3 Major Changes on the Horizon for Commercial Real Estate

3 Major Changes on the Horizon for Commercial Real Estate on morrissegroup.com

Globalization, new technologies, and mobile applications are accelerating industry innovations

In the last two decades, the residential real estate industry has undergone a radical transformation. Innovations like mobile technology and big data have changed and refined the sales, marketing, financial, and communications methods used to buy and sell homes. Despite these transformations, the commercial real estate sector has remained comparatively unchanged – with many brokers and companies relying on old-school tech like phone calls and spreadsheets to get the job done.

However, the commercial real estate industry is now beginning to evolve quickly; a series of new practices and technologies are saving time and increasing the efficiency of brokers, firms, investors, and other industry stakeholders.

1. Competition and increased global investment

The interest of institutional investors and large companies in diversifying their portfolios by acquiring or managing commercial real estate assets has been one of the most impactful changes to the industry in recent years. Commercial real estate, long the domain of tightly-knit family, and localized companies, has truly started to go global – and that means more demand, more competition, and new perspectives from corporate investors. It also means a new group of talent is flooding the industry – with entrepreneurs, business school grads, tech experts, marketing gurus and others now contributing to commercial real estate projects and transactions.

Additionally, this interest in commercial real estate has led to a proliferation in different investment methods and vehicles. REITs are becoming more sought after as an investment for everyone from individuals to institutional investors, while commercial real estate crowdfunding is growing more popular after the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012.

2. Technology and mobile apps

Until the last few years, the cloistered, familial nature of many of the largest companies in the commercial real estate sector also meant that it was often insulated from many technological innovations that revolutionized residential, as well as some of the broader shifts that affected the economy as a whole. That translated into less interest in apps and data analysis methods – but revolutionary change is now taking place as a result of new technology.

Some of the biggest changes are coming in the form of the increasing amount of mobile applications available for commercial real estate brokers and other CRE professionals. Apps like the Angus Mobility Platform, Visual Lease, CoStarGo, and Property Capsule are catching on quickly, allowing professionals to manage leases, compare sales, access tenant information, review portfolios, manage building control and monitoring systems, and conduct other business on-the-go.

This capability is essential, considering that brokers are usually mobile – constantly meeting with potential stakeholders owners to arrange deals.

3. Big data

Big data is also having a major effect on the commercial real estate decision-making process. With recent drops in the price of data analysis and innovative new software being developed regularly, companies like LoopNet, Real Capital Analytics, and CompStak, among others, are offering tools to help brokers better understand the short- and long-term risks and costs of various transactions. New tools also allow companies to analyze unstructured data that doesn’t fit well into spreadsheets, like search analytics, social media postings, and other digital sales and marketing metrics.

According to the CCIM institute, a professional organization for the commercial real estate industry, the percentage of commercial real estate companies that expect to be “data-driven” in the next three years will double to 56 percent – and it looks like this emphasis and reliance on data will only increase in the years to come.

Changes to the CRE industry means that stakeholders expect faster, more accurate data about all parts of their business – and the tools to work anytime, anywhere

Recent changes are making the CRE industry more mobile, more data-driven, and more competitive. If firms want to stay relevant, they’ll need to invest in the technologies and employees that can help them make smarter decisions faster – helping them create value for and better understand the needs of their clients.

To learn more about some of innovations that are rapidly transforming the commercial real estate industry, contact our team today at 954.474.1776, reach Ken Morris on his cell at 954.240.4400, or email kenmorris@morrissegroup.com for a free consultation.

5 More Apps That are Revolutionizing the Commercial Real Estate Industry

5 More Apps That are Revolutionizing the Commercial Real Estate Industry on morrissegroup.com

Learn how commercial real estate brokers are leveraging the power of technology to better serve their clients

In a recent blog post, we showcased five smartphone and tablet apps that have drastically changed the commercial real estate industry. But those are by no means all of the technological innovations geared toward CRE; here are 5 additional apps that are also making an impact:

Apps that are changing the way that commercial real estate is done

1. CoStarGo – This tool is a free iPad and iPhone app, but requires a CoStar subscription. Users are able to easily search nearby listings and have results shown on a dynamically updated Google map. CoStarGo also includes handy features such as local market data and even a financial calculator to help investors and agents understand the true cost of a certain property.

2. RCA Commercial Property Search – Real Capital Analytics is a global provider of commercial real estate data. This iPhone and iPad app offers subscribers of RCAnalytics.com data access to commercial property transactions from around the world. Easily analyze comparables across the following property types: Office, Industrial, Retail, Multifamily, Hotels, Senior Living Properties, and sites that are under development.

3. Catylist – With Catylist, commercial agents gain access to a large database of sale/lease listings as well as interactive tools for listing syndication, email communication, reporting, and much more. Catylist PropFeed allows agents to create a private database for listings and completed transactions which can all be easily accessed from a mobile device.

4. 10bii Financial Calculator – In today’s fast-paced industry, the last thing that commercial agents want to tote around is a dedicated calculator. Most agents already have their smartphone, possibly a tablet and a slew of other tools to make their clients’ job easier. The 10bii Financial Calculator, which is available for both Android and iOS devices, allows agents to use an app that has a close resemblance to the HP 10BII, which is used in most CCIM courses. This includes all of the familiar calculations that are necessary to run a successful commercial real estate business.

5. TAS Mobile – If you’re in the retail space, TAS Mobile should likely be high on your list of apps to download. Currently available for iOS devices, it allows agents to quickly access retail data to assess the viability of certain locations based on the competitive landscape of the area. This tool offers a free version that offers access to some local data, but the premium version is much more robust and requires a subscription.

Mobile apps are changing the commercial real estate industry

There’s little doubt that mobile apps have allowed commercial real estate agents to be much more efficient and accurate when providing information to their clients. What once took hours to compile can now all be done out in the field, in a matter of minutes. At Morris Southeast Group, we’re constantly looking at the latest commercial real estate innovations to ensure we’re providing optimum service for our clients.

If you’re looking for your next commercial real estate investment or hunting for the perfect office space in South Florida, reach out to our team today. We’d be happy to sit down with you to assess your needs, plus show you how mobile tools can cut a lot of the guess work out of choosing your next space.

To set up an appointment for a free consultation, reach out to our team at 954-474-1776 or email Ken Morris at kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.

The Road Ahead: How Uber, Lyft, and Driverless Cars Could Change Commercial Real Estate

The Road Ahead: How Uber, Lyft, and Driverless Cars Could Change Commercial Real Estate on morrissegroup.com

A look at the potential impact of disruptive technology and service

There’s a revolution on the road ahead and it’s picking up speed. Just a few years ago, order-by-phone car services like Uber and Lyft were a novelty. Today, they’re more like a necessity – so much so, that along with technological advances, the idea of driverless cars is no longer the stuff of science fiction. In fact, they’re coming.

With changes in the road ahead, it’s only natural for them to have an impact on nearly every industry, including the commercial real estate market.

More car services, less need for garages

First and foremost, with an increase of car services – either with a driver or without one – there will be less of a need for building tenants to lease parking spaces in garages, no matter if that garage is beneath an office building or in a nearby location.

As a result, revenue garnered from parking spaces will decrease for the landlord. Rather than paying a monthly fee for a space, commuters and tenants will likely direct their money toward affordable transportation plans.

In addition, developers will have a chance to redirect their commercial investment funds. Instead of budgeting for garage space, dollars could be spent in other areas of the building, such as an enhanced lobby, security systems, or expanded office space.

The shift in commuter behavior and the lobby

When more commuters arrive to work via Uber, Lyft, or a driverless car, the question for developers is what to do with the front of the building. Fewer tenants will enter the building from the garage. Instead, the front of the building will become even more of a hotspot.

Landlords and developers will have to address morning traffic flow so there isn’t a jam at the start of the workday.

Similarly, at the end of the workday, building lobbies will become a hive of activity as tenants and commuters congregate to catch their waiting car. The front area of buildings may have to feature a holding pen for arriving vehicles, while the lobby may have to look more like an airport terminal with shops, cafes, lounges, bars, and charging stations to keep commuters occupied and entertained until their ride home pulls up. In addition, these areas could generate additional revenue.

What to do with all that space?

Inevitably, there will still be diehard drivers who will need a place to park – but what about all of the additional square feet now available for something else? According to Commercial Tenant Resource, today’s ratio of 3-4 spaces per 1,000 square feet of office space could potentially drop to 0.01 spaces per thousand. This is where creativity and ingenuity will have to take the wheel.

For starters, on-premises garages could be designated as holding pens for car service vehicles, or something more. Retail space? Gyms? And let’s not forget about parking garages, very often located in prime locations. They – or the property on which they stand – can be repurposed, perhaps as a combination of commercial and residential real estate.

Navigating the road ahead

Morris Southeast Group is excited about the road ahead and the changes and challenges it will bring to the commercial real estate marketplace. For a free consultation on how you and your current or future properties can keep up with the changing times, you can reach our team at 954.474.1776, or call Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via his email, kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.

5 Apps That Are Revolutionizing the Commercial Real Estate Industry

Learn how to use your smartphone or tablet to help find and manage commercial real estate

With mobile Internet access having overtaken desktop access in 2014, according to comScore, it’s no surprise that apps are becoming more popular for all professions – including the commercial real estate industry. These apps allow both investors and agents to perform much of their work right from their mobile devices. Gone are the chains that once tied most working professionals to their desks.

The top commercial real estate apps

The following are a few of the most popular and effective mobile apps that are changing the way that we all do business in the commercial real estate industry:

  • LoopNet Commercial Real Estate Search – If you’re looking for a commercial property to buy or lease, LoopNet offers a Commercial Real Estate Search App that is available on Android and iOS devices. It grants easy access to more than 800,000 commercial real estate listings from anywhere utilizing LoopNet’s sophisticated search options and filters.
  • Yardi CRM Mobile – With Yardi CRM Mobile, users can access all of their Commercial Property Management data while on the move, helping brokers and other commercial real estate personnel to better serve their clients.
  • Visual Lease – This tool offers an easy to use, web-based lease management platform that is accessible across all mobile devices. Visual Lease gives brokers and investors a one-stop spot for complete lease management and administration.
  • Angus Mobility Platform – Angus Systems has been providing mobile work order solutions since 2000. Their platform is supported on all mobile devices and allows property management teams to manage work orders between managers, supervisors, vendors, and tenants. The Angus Mobility Platform allows real estate professionals to cut down on the massive amount of paperwork that has been synonymous with tracking work orders for decades. Tenants and business occupants can place service requests from any Android or iOS device and easily follow the status of these requests.
  • Property Capsule – With Property Capsule, commercial real estate agents can access their leasing portfolio from any mobile device to show potential tenants. Agents can display detailed information about their listings, such as floor plans that automatically change based on new tenant information, automatically-generated flyers, and much more. Property Capsule also gives agents one place to store pertinent information such as property photos, plans, property data, and important documents. In turn, when any information changes, it’s automatically updated everywhere.

Are you taking advantage of the technology that helps drive commercial real estate?

Whether you’re a tenant looking for a new office space or a real estate investor looking for your next deal, stay up to speed with the latest mobile apps catering to the commercial real estate industry. These tools can help secure a favorable lease, find the next great real estate investment, and stay on top of your current portfolio.

If you’d like a bit of assistance when it comes to marrying technology and commercial real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out to the agents at Morris Southeast Group today. We’ll be happy to sit down with you to discuss your search for commercial space and show you how leveraging technology can help you get there.

To set up an appointment for a free consultation, contact our team today at 954.474.1776, or you can reach Ken Morris on his cell at 954.240.4400 or at kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.

How Builders, Investors, and Developers are Using Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software to Make Smarter Choices

BIM models help reduce risk, cut inefficiencies, and streamline the development, design, and construction process

For most construction companies and architectural firms, 3D building modeling is now the norm. And each year, more and more companies are taking advantage of the range of benefits from employing Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.

BIM software allows all stakeholders to get a more integrated and in-depth look into a building, so that they can foresee and correct potential errors and problems before they occur, easily and quickly make changes to designs, and more easily share designs and information between multiple parties simultaneously.

BIM software integrates a variety of data sources into a single model

Today, the data available about construction sites goes far beyond traditional land surveys. Tons of digital data, including satellite, aerial, and drone imagery and video, digital elevation information and LIDAR topographic surveys, laser building scans, and many other types of information are now compiled and analyzed at the beginning of the building design and construction process.

Considering that all of this diverse information exists and is being used, it makes sense that it should be seamlessly incorporated into a building model – something that’s impossible with traditional 2D drafting. This data helps designers, construction managers, contractors, and clients better understand the environment and land they’re building on, so they can make better informed choices at every stage of the development process.

BIM models can help attract buyers or investors to large real estate development projects

2D drafts and models are great, but there’s just something about 3D models that can make viewers feel like a building is truly coming alive. That makes BIM an amazingly effective tool when trying to attract early-stage investors to a real estate development project. In addition to helping potential investors visualize a construction or renovation project, a comprehensive 3D model created with BIM software demonstrates that the developers have a detailed design plan that can likely soon begin construction when funding is fully acquired. This also allows potential investors with a design, construction, or engineering background to investigate any potential problems, issues, or concerns with a building’s design in an entirely new way.

In addition to attracting early-stage investors, a great 3D model can help attract potential early-stage buyers or tenants, especially for large multi-unit residential real estate projects. A flat, 2D image may not be enough for a potential buyer to part with tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars for a down payment or early stage list reservation fee. A 3D model, especially one that has been colorized and accurately detailed, can help bridge the gap between drawings and a physical model, and in many cases, can be more realistic than a physical model – especially once a 3D video or interactive 3D tour has been created.

BIM modeling can improve collaboration, facilitate conflict resolution, and potentially improve a building’s energy performance

Throughout the development and construction process, there are a variety of stakeholders present in the process, all of whom need up-to-date information about the progress of the project and any updates to its design. BIM modeling has the benefit of being incredibly easy to update, as well as allowing the ability to to track and reverse those changes if necessary. Additionally, BIM models, especially when combined with cloud-based software and storage solutions, can be accessible anywhere in the world. So whether you’re working with a glass installation company in Miami or a bank in Bangkok, interested parties can be given access to detailed 3D models with just a few clicks.

BIM models also have the benefit of being an excellent conflict resolution tool, and can often help sidestep conflicts in the first place. In construction, a lack of quality communication is the underlying issue that leads to many misunderstandings, conflicts, and similar issues that can significantly undermine a project. And of course, conflicting and/or outdated plans can greatly exacerbate any miscommunications that occur. BIM provides a single 3D model that everyone can view at the same time and edit if needed, helping various stakeholders get on the same page about doing what’s best for the project.

BIM software has yet another benefit: It has the ability to run simulations that can estimate a building’s energy efficiency by calculating factors such as the amount of sunlight that will reach different sides of a structure during different times of the year. This information can be incredibly valuable to designers and developers, who can then make subtle changes that can greatly increase the energy efficiency of the project based on simulation data.

To learn more about BIM software and other solutions that can make the commercial real estate construction, development, and investment process faster and more efficient, contact Morris Southeast Group today. To set up an appointment for a free consultation, contact our team today at 954.474.1776, or you can reach Ken Morris on his cell at 954.240.4400 or at kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.

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