Property Managers: How to Handle the Influx of Package Deliveries

Welcome to the age of e-commerce. The contemporary digitized shopping module is impacting commercial real estate in more areas than just retail and industrial – it’s also having strong impacts on multifamily.

Multifamily tenants rely on massive online realtors, such as Amazon, meaning more packages are coming through the door – and they all need to be processed through the building’s centralized mail circuit.

A few years ago, this wasn’t much of a stressor for management. However, the times have certainly changed and the sheer number of online orders isn’t what it used to be.

According to data from E-Marketer, by 2023 the global e-commerce industry is anticipated to exceed $6.5 billion. This change has happened so quickly it’s left multifamily managers struggling to keep up.

Multifamily property managers are facing an unprecedented volume of package deliveries where both the frequency of deliveries and the number of boxes have been exponentially increased. The heat is on – and, with e-commerce on the rise, it’s only expected to intensify.

It’s time to get the situation under control before it gets out of hand. Use these 4 tips to stay organized:

Let Tech Lend a Hand

At this point, it’s a good time to invest in technologies. Technology is playing a pivotal role in supporting today’s quota of package deliveries.

There are tons of ways tech can be weaved into the package delivery process – be it at the front door for mailmen, through a community app that alerts tenants to their delivery, or a digitally delivered safe code key that needs to be shown to retrieve a package.

Don’t get overwhelmed with the possibilities for tech integration. The options are nearly endless, but focus on what matters most for your community needs. Property managers should take a deeper look at their specific issues and employ tech to their primary pain points.

Consider Expanding the Mail Room

If your property’s mailroom is already feeling cramped, it may be time to invest in a renovation. Expanding the mailroom is a must in order to accommodate packages – which are increasing in both number and size.

Hire More On-Site Team Members

At this point, the package delivery system has gotten so intense that it may be time to start growing your team.

Increasing the number of people on-site can help alleviate the pressures of accomodating for the frequent deliveries happening daily. In fact, some property managers even find it necessary to create a position specifically to handle the influx of e-commerce packages.

Delivery Lockers Assure Safety and Security

No property management team wants to incur the wrath of a tenant who can’t locate their package. Mailroom discrepancies are becoming a big issue for management teams that are struggling to mitigate the organization and security issues that accompany e-commerce deliveries.

In order to avoid these issues, delivery lockers are helping keep packages safe and secure. These unit-specific lockers are a safe house for e-commerce orders until their owners can come down and pick them up. This lock-and-key option is superior to leaving the package sitting out in the open.

These 4 tips are set to help streamline the added load of package deliveries to multifamily properties – mitigating the stress from the management team.

4 Must-Watch Real Estate Technology Trends

The boundaries of real estate technologies keep on expanding. Are you up to speed?

When looking at real estate technology trends, it seems like progress will never end. Ground-shaking technological advancements are spearheading the commercial industry by transforming how this business gets done, how tenants interact with properties, and how we view the CRE industry as a whole.

It’s 2020 and the pace is unprecedented. Commercial real estate pros from all around the globe need to keep their eyes on these highly anticipated tech trends.

These are the biggest technology trends in real estate that we can’t afford to ignore:

Expect to See Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality Integrations

When 3D modeling technologies began taking hold within the world of real estate, it marked a major progression of real estate tech. Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality integrations have been completely reimagining the industry at large.

One of the most prominent places we’re seeing VR in real estate is through virtual touring – something that’s already taken off within online leasing arenas and property listing websites. This major progression has helped enliven the market search process. VR tours are making the details clearer, expanding the target influence to remote buyers, and making listings more dynamic than ever. 

But, it doesn’t stop there. VR is also helping to expand pre-construction leasing by advertising properties while they’re still in the development stage. Additionally, VR is being used to plan property renovations and buildout projects, too.

Online Investment Marketplaces are Gaining Momentum

Shopping for real estate is going to get a lot more digital. This newly-introduced method of real estate marketing is helping investors from all around the world get in touch with buyers – regardless of their locations. Of course, virtual reality will be included in the marketing module.

Programs including these cutting-edge marketplaces are set to transform the real estate buying and selling process in major ways.

Hello, Big Data

In today’s world, information is the most powerful asset in business. That said, it’s no wonder that Big Data is marking a big presence within real estate. In this industry, Big Data refers to the massive stores of market research, analytics, and prospects that fuel winning real estate strategies.

Real estate pros are harnessing the powers of Big Data to appeal to buyers, explore seller’s motivations, and zero in on the most coveted property features on the market. Don’t ignore the profit-boosting powers of data – especially in 2020 and beyond.

Going Quantum with Automation

Ever get the feeling there’s not enough time in the day? Well, business automation can help with that. Real estate businesses are choosing to harness the powers of automation to alleviate some of the busywork required to stay current in today’s market.

Social media streams, daily operations, client communications, and property upkeep are going through an intensive automation process – helping real estate professionals spend more time on the things that matter most.

No matter what your role is in the real estate industry is, keeping an eye on these trends will keep you ahead of the pack.

Is the Outdoor Office Just a Trend?

In search of greater workspace positivity, enhanced team performance, and professional wellbeing; today’s offices are getting closer to nature.

Outdoor offices are making waves in the world of workspace design. This new trend is expanding the boundaries of the office layout and tons of property developers are eager to hop on board. But, it may be wise to take a deeper look at the situation to see if and how it could be applied to your CRE property.

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor office to your existing building, you might want to consider these 3 points, first.

Why Bring Business Outside?

The question might be better asked ‘why not bring business outside?’

In the past decade alone, the world of business has taken on a completely new face. As global professional culture continues to adapt, the physical spaces need to keep up, too.

Countless trends have made their mark on workspace design. The open office concept, flexible space, eco-chic, and even modular designs have all pushed the boundaries of the physical spaces where work gets done. But, throughout all of these phases, one factor remains – a connection to the outdoors.

Adding plants and larger windows were on everyone’s ‘list of office improvements’. Today, this demand has taken the forefront as offices are actually moving outside. Contemporary research and analytics prove that connecting with nature and biophilic elements can work wonders in a professional atmosphere.

Motivation, happier moods, and better health are just some of the benefits commonly associated with workspaces integrating more nature. Adding an outdoor work environment as an option for tenants and team members is the latest way that CRE’s office sector is tapping into the perks of natural exposure on the workforce.

Will the Outdoor Office Movement Stay Strong?

Just because the outdoor office is relatively new on the scene doesn’t mean it’s not here to stay. The sudden burst in popularity and interest is likely in response to a need felt by many office tenants and CRE developers – especially those working in temperate climates. The industry has been steadily moving closer to nature and the outdoor office boom represents the next big step.

Whether it’s to build a strong company culture or boost productivity, outdoor offices are a great way to maximize a company’s potential.

3 Tips to Make it Work

While many benefits come along with adopting the outdoor office trend, use these forward-thinking tips to avoid any bumps along the way.

The experts recommend designing specialty areas that accommodate multiple different purposes. Create key areas for desk-like tasks, relaxation, and team discussions. Always choose furnishings that are both ergonomic and business-oriented, and don’t forget to add plenty of tables.

Be sure to incorporate shade-providing umbrellas and heavy paperweights to keep the elements from interfering with users’ workflows.

Choose easy to clean furnishings that can weather out any storms. Look for strong and durable materials that won’t get distressed or degraded easily to avoid having to make hasty replacements.

Apply these 3 tips when expanding your office outdoors.

Watch These 5 Markets in 2020

Commercial real estate is a business that’s all about location. That said, CRE developers and investors always need to keep up with the latest market ratings to fuel success amid the changing tides.

The start of a new decade means that everyone in the industry is busy formulating their new strategies to navigate the markets, and nothing enhances this process like strong analytics. According to data and research conducted by PWC, these are the best commercial markets to watch in 2020.

Make sure that these 5 top-rated cities in the United States for commercial real estate are on your list.

Austin, Texas

Austin came in first place on PWC’s list of top cities for commercial real estate investments. This Texan hotspot is a highly-rated 18-hour city that’s been gaining the attention of global and national investors. Austin has been rising in esteem lately and it’s improving in all-around CRE prospects.

In the United States and beyond, there’s no place that’s quite like Austin. The local community’s entertainment, art, and metropolitan amenities make it a city to keep an eye one.

Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Second place went to Raleigh-Durham, the two cities are some of North Carolina’s most popular locations. The two sectors that have seen the most growth and development in their office and multifamily markets – so CRE pros should pay some extra attention to these thriving arenas.

Raleigh-Durham is renowned for its esteemed and prestigious educational facilities, such as the University of North Carolina and Duke University. Investors are paying a lot of attention to Raleigh-Durham’s developing prospects as a popular tech hub.

The growing number of tech companies calling Raleigh-Durham home are fueling growth in the local office and multifamily markets.

Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee’s metropolitan gem, Nashville, made third place on PWC’s list. This marks substantial gains from last year’s rating of fifth place. Nashville is steadily climbing the ladder and elevating the city to top-tier status.

Investment and development can thrive within this 18-hour city, so don’t count Nashville out. Pay special attention to the local retail scene as well as the entertainment industry since Nashville is a renowned destination for both recreation and tourism.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte was rated 4th in overall commercial real estate prospects. This city is gaining loads of attention from start-ups and companies looking to take their business to the next level. According to the report, Charlotte’s recent economic expansion is attracting manufacturing and technology firms.

The city has experienced two solid decades of growth, so investors should pay special attention to Charlotte’s commercial real estate market.

Boston, Massachusetts

What Boston lacks in size and population density is made up in quality and experience. Boston’s astounding economic performance has been catching the eyes of commercial real estate investors and developers since 2019.

The real estate market in Boston is fueled by the local area’s vast opportunities for education and business.

Investors and developers should apply these commercial real estate data insights into their 2020 strategies. Commercial real estate professionals need to keep a sharp eye on these 5 cities brimming with investment opportunities.

Using Technology to Enhance the Tenant Experience

Commercial real estate is being transformed by technology.

Tech has the ability to streamline industry workflows, expand a listing’s market reach, and even mitigate the legal risks associated with these big-ticket transactions. It seems like every aspect of CRE can be boosted with a little help from technology – and it’s not only the professionals in the business that are reaping the benefits.

According to the latest 2020 Commercial Real Estate Outlook from Deloitte, technology can also improve the experiences of CRE tenants. The report looked at how using digital tools and analytics can completely revolutionize the tenant experience.

The report goes as far as to state that the new mantra for CRE should be ‘location, experience, analytics.’ In this blog post, let’s look at some strategies that can elevate your tenant’s experiences by using tech.

AI and IoT

Technology’s applications in commercial real estate are getting more complex. The ‘it’ tools of last year are likely already outdated as contemporary development gets more diverse than ever before.

As a result of this amplification, industry standards have also gotten higher. Tenants are demanding better, newer, and faster tech integrations from commercial real estate properties.

Everyone has their eyes on AI and IoT. These are the two hottest trends in CRE technologies and they can enhance the tenant experience in a myriad of ways. But, both the Internet of Things and the IoT can do more than just keep tenants happy – they can also be powerhouses in boosting business.

The multilayered benefits of investing in AI and IoT are big reasons to consider applying them to your commercial property module.

Getting Serious About Security

One of the largest motivators to apply tech within a commercial property is to improve security. Using technology like Smart cameras and sensors can keep tenants feeling safe and secure. 55% of survey respondents noted that they’re looking to have access to tech-powered security, guidance, and constant online support.

Invest in Smart Building Features

The experts at Deloitte are predicting a 5-year countdown to a Smart CRE industry. Analysts state that Smart integrations will soon become the new norm.

The competition will be heating up around Smart amenities. Industry executives who took part in the survey said that they will be increasing their smart building portfolios over the next 18 months.

Don’t fall behind. CRE professionals should start getting serious about investing in Smart technologies to prevent their assets from becoming outdated.

Make the Switch to Mobile

Mobile access is a must for today’s tenants. Building users want to be able to download everything they need with the tap of a button. By 2023, the global market for mobile apps is expected to boom and reach $156 billion – and CRE will be a part of it, too.

Deloitte experts recommend using increased data to create an interactive, intuitive, and IoT powered app to open up a line of communication between building owners and tenants.

When asked to vote on which app features would best improve the tenant experience; app-based entry into relevant areas, more building information, property management contact information, and lists of amenities in the surrounding areas were all big demands.

Use these tips to improve tenant experiences with technology. 

PropTech 101: What CRE Professionals Should Know

Everyone in the CRE biz has doubtlessly heard the term proptech getting thrown around.

Whether it’s been in article headlines, on the web, or during business conversations; ‘proptech’ has officially integrated into the commercial real estate vocabulary.

Unfortunately, there isn’t always an on-hand dictionary available to help novices decode the latest and greatest CRE lingo. While proptech popularity has surely skyrocketed during 2019, some of us still may be confused as to what exactly proptech is.

We’re happy to clear up the confusion; covering what proptech actually is and why CRE professionals should care.

PropTech Explained

The moment you’ve been waiting for is here… when you finally get a concise definition of the term PropTech.

According to real estate technology experts at Forbes, proptech is ‘the acronym used to describe any technology for the real estate space.’

If that’s not clear enough, here’s another universally-accepted explanation developed by major players in the fields of CRE technology:

“Property technology, in short called Proptech, sometimes also called Real estate technology, is a term that encompasses the application of information technology and platform economics to real estate markets.”

This basically means that the term ‘proptech’ is a fancy way of saying ‘property technology’, which really refers to tech employed by the real estate industry to help make navigating the business easier, quicker, and more efficient.

That said, proptech can be understood as the way that cutting-edge technologies are influencing the world of commercial real estate. As more and more tech-savvy advancements seep into our day-to-day workflows, the industry is using the umbrella term ‘proptech’ to explain what’s happening.

How PropTech is Transforming CRE

Truth be told, every commercial real estate professional should be aware of the proptech revolution. While proptech does refer to real estate as a whole, it yields a particularly strong influence over the commercial side of things.

Not only do property technologies help CRE professionals achieve greater organization, but they also help to streamline workflows.

As with any tech tool, proptech software expands the capacity of its user on a quantum scale. The volume of available tech services enables today’s CRE workforce to achieve never before imagined possibilities.

Thanks to proptech, CRE is extending its reach and streamlining workflows.

Why PropTech Matters: 6 Key Advantages

Now that you know what the term proptech is referring to, you may still find yourself wondering: “why does it matter?’

In reality, proptech offers CRE players massive competitive advantages in the field. Here are 6 key applications where utilizing proptech can make all the difference:

  • Helping your company/practice stay up to speed with the contemporary business module.
  • Appeal to clients from younger generations.
  • Keeping in contact with your client pool.
  • Record massive stores of information and perform data analysis that helps to perfect the lead-to-deal funneling system. 
  • Attract winning team members.
  • Boost your services’ selling point with tech-fueled strategies.

Congratulations! You’re now versed in all things proptech. Don’t forget to check out our blog for more.

Should CRE Transactions Be Easier?

Technology has the potential to streamline our entire lives. Today’s tech can lend a hand in solving our problems, handling everything from day-to-day tasks or complex issues.

When such vast possibilities are available to us, society must decide when to draw the line. When does employing automation become too much? When does something become too easy?

This crossroads is where commercial real estate currently stands. Should the commercial real estate transaction process be made easier? As with any business, there are pros and cons to changing up the flow. This establishes a delicate balance for deciding where and how CRE employs technology in the transaction process.

Following the Convenience-Based Model

Our world is obsessed with all things easy and fast. Contemporary businesses are reconfiguring themselves to fit the newly established standards, and everything is about customization and immediacy.

We see it in healthcare as facilities adopt more comforting designs and move closer to their patients. Retail is adapting to the e-commerce module and rethinking the place of physical storefronts. Entertainment is becoming increasingly mobile and accessible. The list goes on and on.

Tech Replacing the Middle Man

Can you spot a common theme in contemporary optimization?

All of these strategies employ technology or software to get the goods straight to the consumer. Automation becomes the primary vehicle that companies use to make their services easier – and thus, more appealing.

How This Applies to Commercial Real Estate

So what would happen if commercial real estate followed this same path?

For starters, the entire process would likely become digital. From browsing the market to contacting your agent, the transaction would be conducted on the web. Although today’s CRE is extremely tech-heavy, this fully computerized system would be an entirely new ballgame.

There’s also the possibility of a CRE website platform that functioned like a mass retailer – just one with price points in the multimillion-dollar range.

This kind of one-stop-shop environment would nullify the roles of agents and brokers by simplifying the entire process. Everything would be automated and individualized through data analysis and algorithms. Employing AI servers can even act as ‘professional resources’ for answering questions in a real-time chatbox.

Benefits and Drawbacks

On one hand, making CRE easier would surely streamline the transaction process. Lengthy, complex, and hard-to-navigate are some common pain points associated with this business.

However, an easier commercial module takes away many valuable aspects of the industry. The business loses the element of expertise which provides a basis for competitive advantage. The perks of having professional connections would become a thing of the past. Specially-accessed deals and unlisted properties would no longer be available.

While these features do make the business complex, they’re also inherently human elements that may be the way you land your next best deal. While automation is always appreciated, it’s a fine line to walk.

What’s your take on this issue? For more CRE news, visit our blog.