4 Ways We’re Urbanizing the Suburbs

4 Ways We’re Urbanizing the Suburbs

The world’s biggest cities have long been the most highly sought-after locations for CRE – but that might be changing.

What was once a place where people flocked to for affordable living and to be nearby the workplace has now become incredibly overcrowded and expensive.

For many, finding an affordable living option in big cities is extremely difficult. With apartment prices on the rise and competition being hotter than ever, these popular metropolitan oasis’ have lost their appeal to both their largest demographic.

If the urban areas are no longer working, where to next? More and more commercial developers are looking to the suburbs to start their newest deals. Let’s check out these 4 ways that CRE is urbanizing the suburbs.

Meeting the Target Demographic’s Needs 

Attracting city-lovers to a suburban neighborhood isn’t always easy. Many younger generations aren’t so willing to leave the comforts of a big metro right off the back. They may need some convincing – and incentives work like a charm.

In order to bring your clients to a new area, you’ll need to offer them something they can’t pass up. CRE developers should hone in on their target audience and identify their specific needs. Offering the latest amenities is a top priority for property owners who are looking to attract their prospective tenants to a totally new lifestyle.

Consider Pre-Existing Transportation Systems

One of the greatest appeals to city living is convenient locations. Mixed in with tons of transportation options, it’s always easy to get from place to place. However, city-dwellers aren’t the only ones who know how to get around.

The preconceived notion that suburban areas are off the grid no longer stands true. We live in an interconnected society, and transportation systems flow through suburbs around the world. In addition to this, mobile ride apps like Uber and Lyft, we can get a ride almost anywhere and anytime.

CRE developments are using these transportation routes to their advantage. Bus stations, train routes, trolleys, and other mobility services make a great asset to any CRE project. The industry is using transportation hubs in the suburbs as a basis for deciding where to build.

Befriending Community Leaders

In efforts to smoothly enter into the new suburban territories, CRE is reaching out to prominent municipal figures. Since this is a relatively new market, first impressions are important in establishing a positive relationship down the line. Cooperation is a key element for the success of suburban CRE projects.

Creating a Beautiful Landscape

Mixing commercial spaces within a primarily suburban neighborhood can offer a great variety that enriches both sides. Bringing retail, offices, small restaurants, and multifamily units into a neighborhood environment can establish a contemporary suburban design scheme.

These additions add a richness to community living and can transform the area into a pedestrian-friendly hub of commerce. Neighborhoods with a mix of metro amenities are the next phase of contemporary real estate.

Make sure to keep an eye on the suburbs as commercial real estate’s latest hotspot. For more cutting-edge industry news, keep up with our blogs.

Using Technology to Keep Packages Organized During the Holidays

It’s that time of year again…

The holiday season is upon us and the madness will be kicking off sooner than you think. Everyone needs to start preparing – especially CRE’s multifamily sector. We all know how crazy the mail gets when this festive season rolls around.

If you thought last year was bad, think again. 2019 is gearing up to outdo anything we’ve seen before. Not only is this year’s holiday season shorter, but with all the latest developments in e-commerce, the mailrooms are going to be stocked to the ceilings.

Multifamily property managers who want to get a handle on the situation before it erupts should start preparing now. Fortunately, technology is here to lend a hand.

Here’s how you can keep the mail organized this season.

Automated Package Lockers

Multifamily is home to many residents, all of which are bound to be receiving mail in November and December. Having all of the different packages jumbled together only creates a confusing mess.

The contemporary solution to this issue is to employ automated package lockers in the mailroom. Automated package lockers are a tech-powered resource that can help alleviate the heavy load on staff members. These lockers offer 24/7 access and provide a safe and secure holding place for packages.

Always Play It Safe 

Things aren’t all fun and games simply because the holidays are around the corner. In reality, this season usually sees a spark in theft and loss of property. As multifamily managers, it’s imperative that you protect your residents’ belongings.

To do so, try employing additional security during this season. Take a step beyond manpower and utilize the tech-based solutions available on the market. Smart Building devices like highly sensitive cameras and alarms will establish a full-time watch to help ward off crime.

Make It Clear

When the pace begins to pick up, it’s important to make sure that everyone understands the rules. Every multifamily building has its own mail regulations. Even if they’re relaxed most of the year, the holiday is a good time to crack down on the process.

Using a property management app or an email system, send a mass message to all of the community’s tenants and team members. This is an effective way to get the point across and help everyone know what’s expected of them. The entire community needs to play their part to help the holiday season go smoothly.

Do Your Best to Keep Things Clean

Packages inevitably mean boxes, packing peanuts, tissue paper, plastic – the list goes on! Garbage and trash are rampant during the holidays. In a multifamily property with a large number of tenants, the garbage system can easily become overwhelmed.

If possible, it’s a good idea to increase the frequency that the dumpsters get emptied. Otherwise, at least try to uphold the building’s garbage regulations as best as possible.

In order to combat the mess, take time daily to inspect the building and make sure no packages are left in hallways or in common areas. Use cameras to streamline the process. If anything is amiss, send the tenant or group a kind email reminding them to keep their space clear.

How are you preparing? For more commercial real estate tips, check out our blog.

Here’s How to Make Your CRE Building Healthier

Here’s How to Make Your CRE Building Healthier

Is your building making people sick?

Commercial properties have an immense impact on their occupiers’ overall health and wellness. The first step towards creating a healthier commercial building is to see where you currently stand. Here are 2 things to consider when analyzing your property:

Air Quality

While the whole world is looking at environmental air quality, there’s another area that can be far riskier: the indoors. Studies show that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Today’s population spends an immense portion of their day inside, meaning they’re constantly facing the effects of mass pollutants.

An easy way to boost air quality is by always using high-performance air filters. Make sure ducts are cleaned out periodically to avoid the build-up of dirt, grime, and residue. Using a filter that protects against common allergens will help keep your residents and tenants safe during cold and flu season.

Another thing to look at is where your air is being sourced from. Ideally, vents should be in an area that is receiving fresh and unpolluted air. It’s a bad sign if the entire building’s air source is being derived from a parking lot or above a busy street – both of which will contain potentially hazardous chemicals and pollutants.

As a basic rule, commercial property managers and owners should make sure that their building’s air quality and ventilation systems are compliant with ANSI/ASHRAE standards.


In the case of commercial buildings, materials matter. There are many finishes and materials that leech off VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. These chemicals can off-gas into the indoor environment and cause a myriad of health issues.

Knowing what your building is made of is the first step. Look into the different materials used in the property’s construction and understand their effects on human health. Beyond the property itself, furniture can also harbor dangerous chemicals. Always make sure to choose furnishings that emit low levels of VOCs.

Be Ready to Make the Changes

CRE property owners need to understand that these health hazards should be considered as property defects. These issues require action, which means there will be inevitably be a bill to pay. Don’t push these problems off to the backburner. Any building element that has VOC-heavy materials or is polluting the indoor air quality is harming your occupants.

It’s time for CRE to take responsibility for the issue and start cleaning up the mess. Here are 2 things you can do to start making your commercial building healthier:

1. Choose Safe Cleaning Supplies

Keeping a commercial property clean is a key element in boosting it’s health rating – but property managers need to be careful about what supplies they’re using. Many cleaning solutions pose a danger to human health, with the elderly and children at the highest risks. Your building’s arsenal of cleaning supplies should be carefully chosen based on safety ratings.

2. Call In an Expert

The best way to help improve a building’s health is to accurately diagnose the problems. If you’re unsure about where your building stands in terms of health, don’t hesitate to contract a professional. Calling in an inspector is a great way to analyze the full scope of a commercial property.

For more CRE tips, explore the NAI blog.

5 Reasons CRE Investors Need a Trusted Real Estate Partner.

5 Reasons CRE Investors Need a Trusted Real Estate Partner

Investors, do you know how important your team is?

A 5-star team is the best way to expand portfolios, optimize profitability, and seamlessly manage all your assets. In a competitive industry like commercial real estate, investors need to have a group of experts on their side.

One such expert is a trusted real estate partner. Investors should always have a real estate professional working with them to bring their business to the next level.

In this industry, your network is everything. Here are 5 reasons why all CRE investors should always work alongside a trusted real estate advisor.

Get Access to Their Expert Insights

Commercial real estate advisors streamline the investing process and optimize property transactions. Real estate advisors are professionals in the industry, and their knowledge and experience are priceless assets to investments.

Investors who work with real estate professionals have access to their insights, helping to ensure their position in all of their deals. Whenever you need a strategy or plan of action, your real estate advisor will always be ready with the answer. 

Navigate the Market Like a Professional

While investors may be experts at building and sustaining wonderful portfolios, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can navigate the busy commercial markets like a pro.

Don’t worry – that’s where your real estate advisors come into play. Working with a trusted advisor means that you can rely on them to ensure you make the right moves. Don’t do business blindly – use all of the available tools to your advantage.

Don’t Make the Hard Mistakes

Did you know that working with a real estate professional can mitigate much of the risks associated with commercial investments?

Investments aren’t all guaranteed successes, and it’s common for things to go awry. Due to the sheer magnitude of property transactions, investment mistakes can create big monetary and legal issues.

This is something that no investor wants to face, so make sure you’re covering your bases. Real estate advisors can prevent you from making the hard mistakes – avoiding problems down the line.

Work With Their Exclusive Assets 

While all of these benefits will surely encourage commercial investors to work with a trusted real estate advisor, nothing compares to this key advantage:

After working in the commercial industry for so long, real estate professionals build up a strong repertoire of connections. This vast network of market professionals can give investors access to a wide web of exclusive listings, which aren’t open to the public.

This means that you’ll gain a competitive advantage over other interested investors, helping you to elevate your position within the industry.

Make Sure to Trust Your Advisor

The most important part of this strategy is to find a real estate professional that you trust. This person will be your main advisor for all things CRE related, meaning they’ll play a huge role in establishing your portfolio’s success.

When recruiting a CRE professional, find someone who you can easily do business with.

Ready to find your partner? Visit our website to explore our services.

This is Where PropTech is Headed in 2020

This is Where PropTech is Headed in 2020

Commercial real estate’s greatest disrupter is technology – and the industry is loving it.

Technological advancements are constantly changing the way business gets done, and the speed of innovation is increasing. Upgrades, enhancements, and new software restructure the industry; and it’s up to all of us to stay current.

There’s so much activity brewing in the world of PropTech. From Smart systems and the IoT, 2019 has already seen significant developments. It has the ability to breathe fresh life into old buildings and revitalize the commercial market which has immense promise for what’s to come. Once 2020 rolls around, proptech is vamping up to restructure CRE.

In order to stay current, agents, brokers, and their clients all need to know what’s coming next. This is what the experts are forecasting for 2020’s proptech evolution.

Environmentally Friendly

Across the board, there’s a major shift towards eco-awareness. As consumers become more conscious of carbon footprints and the impact human civilizations have on the planet, going green has been a main point of interest for major companies around the world.

It’s a movement that’s impossible to ignore – and it’s making its mark on proptech. Due to the sheer size, scale, and functions of commercial properties; they tend to use large amounts of energy and create waste. To combat these negative results, sustainability is becoming a pivotal aspect in defining a company’s success.

This ecologically-friendly evolution of property technologies will play a huge role in facilitating this shift. Smart technologies used on commercial properties will be able to conserve resources and cut back on waste – making large strides towards a greener industry.

Designing with Users in Mind

It’s no secret that today’s consumers want convenience, access, and automation.

In efforts to provide everything they want and more, proptech companies are designing with the user in mind. User experience has been a main focus point for businesses in the last few years, and its application to property technologies will boost productivity and efficiency.

These technologies will use AI to make predictions and create algorithms that give users a personalized experience. By observing past actions, these proptech systems will be able to give suggestions and anticipate users’ wants.

In 2020, expect to see proptech working with users to help optimize their experience.

Complete Connection

The biggest proptech trend in the 2020 forecast is establishing seamless connectivity. Interconnected systems are expected to become commonplace within commercial buildings. A mass integration of systems running under the same software will bring unity to the various moving pieces involved in property management.

Team members, tech tools, apps, and other systems will be linked to one core processor that interweaves everything together as one harmonious unit. These complex systems of data and analysis will be seen as imperative to business, whereas today we see them as a bonus or perk. Already consumers are demanding greater connectivity and access to keep up with the changing industry.

The possibilities seem endless. What proptech trends are you watching out for next year? For more CRE insights, visit our blog.

Investors: Pay Attention to Opportunity Zones Before the End of 2019

The clock is ticking for opportunity zone investment. Are you prepared?

As 2019 comes to a close, investors will need to play their cards right regarding opportunity zones. The coming months will be vital to the development of the country’s opportunity zone program.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening with OZs and some tips to help investors stay on their A-Game.

Off to a Slow Beginning

When 2019 started, investors were taking their time. There was a lot of speculation within the industry as to how opportunity zones would play out in the big picture. The tangible benefits and ROI-boosting powers of opportunity zones weren’t so clear, causing investors to withdrawal until there was a better idea of what’s coming next.

For the most part, investors chose to err on the side of caution and wait it out. Playing it safe meant stalling on the big moves, and this resulted in a slowdown in opportunity zone activity. Fundraising projects were slow to grow and many thought that there just wasn’t enough interest around the country’s OZs. 

Finally Heating Up in the 3rd and 4th Quarter

Things were at a stalemate — that is, until the second half of 2019 came about.

Why did this happen? What caused the sudden turnaround?

The tides started changing when the US Treasury Department released its second round of opportunity zone regulations in March. This release helped to put investors at ease and also clarify their position when dealing with OZ assets.

On the topic, the President of Javelin 19 Investments, Jill Homan, shared with Bisnow:

“I think this set of regulations covers a lot of ground, and will certainly spur investment in the operating business side and get a lot of real estate investors comfortable, because this incentive really fits neatly with how we traditionally operate.”

Steve Glickman, the Founder and CEO of Develop LLC, also shared some expert insights:

“I think now, the capital that has been waiting in the wings will finally begin to get out there and form funds or invest in funds that have already launched. The overarching thing that’s positive about the regulations is just the sense of clarity and finality about what we’re going to get from the Treasury Department.”

This news was exactly what investors were waiting for as it seems to already be taking effect. Since April, there’s been a significant increase in OZ investment activity. Funds are growing, money is moving, and investors are taking another look at the program as a whole.

Deadlines Are Approaching

Besides the good news, investors still can’t get too comfortable. Time is nearly running out to join in on the opportunity zone movement.

December 31, 2019 is the current deadline. Anyone who participates before this cut-off date will be given the 15% tax reduction for investing in the program – a huge benefit that any investor’s hungry for.

While some political figures are working to extend the deadline, nothing has changed as of yet. The limited time frame and heightened stakes are causing experts to believe that the OZ project will be even more successful than initially anticipated.

Things are happening fast in the world of opportunity zones. Are you ready? For more commercial real estate insights, check out our blog.