Over the years the real estate market has witnessed a tremendous change in the way it runs the business. Intense market competition has compelled the real estate firms to rethink traditional strategies and innovate. Therefore, modern realtors are considering various real estate innovations as opportunities to build up their valuation.
One such innovation prevailing in the real estate market today is the concept of an amenity-packed mobile app. Applications connecting tenants with a pool of amenities are the latest makeover tools adopted by realtors. These apps are now the trending treats offered by real estate companies to retain their existing tenants and attract new ones.
Amenity Apps – The Next Big Thing In Real Estate Market
Recent reports have revealed that the vacancy rate of offices in New Jersey and Westchester County, has increased to 20%. Even the overall vacancy rates of Manhattan is above 8.5%, approximately. With such high vacancy rates in the most competitive real estate markets, realtors have realized the need to adopt differentiated strategies to retain tenants. Hence, realtors are now stepping out of their specialty to foster services beyond the boundaries of property business. The most innovative approach through which builders are now keeping their buildings 100% leased is by introducing amenities.
Why Amenity Apps?
In today’s world where competition is at its peak, workers often fail to maintain a work-life balance. While striving to beat the nerve-racking competition of the modern world, employees are missing out on the necessary routines of life. Regular exercises, health checkups, haircuts, laundry or even picking up a meal becomes a hassle when work is tough.
Realizing these challenging situations of today’s workforce, some prominent realtors like Tishman Speyer and Sterling Bay, created amenity apps for their employees in New York. These apps are helping the workers to achieve a balance between personal and professional life. With these apps, property builders are extending their services to bring in amenities to the doorsteps of their customers.
Life hacks provided through prompt mediums like mobile and tablets are making buildings more attractive for tenants to stick on. Extending real estate services to provide better lives for tenants are not only upgrading the value of buildings but are also turning office markets to service businesses.
How To Woo Tenants With The Perfect Amenity App?
With amenity apps creating a hue in the real estate market, property builders are striving to introduce spellbinding services through innovation. Office landlords and building owners are integrating technology with small-scale businesses to woo their tenants. But to create an impact in the market, it is necessary to load these amenity apps with captivating features. To help realtors deduce the best amenities for their apps, here’s a short list of the popular ones that are boosting the customer retention rates for some leading real estate enterprises. While food services have already become the baseline of several amenity service apps, few other amenity types are also achieving an eminent position.
Health & Fitness
With healthcare activities gaining popularity among the current young workforce, several real estate firms are loading their amenity apps with wellness services. On-suite fitness programs like massages, meditation, yoga, and other healthcare programs are the prominent features of multiple amenity apps. hOm introduced by the Brookfield Property Partners is one such innovative example of technology-packed amenity provider that offers unique fitness events to create healthy communities.
Leading real estate providers are trying their best to create active and lively communities. Lack of time and rush life often makes it difficult for residents to engage well with their neighborhood. With a motive to diminish such hostility and create more engaging communities, property builders are now incorporating emerging technologies to implement amenities that bring people together. Services like group discussions, ride sharing, community meetings, travel management, human resource services, etc. are attractive features of amenity apps.
Access to Building Amenities
Gated communities often extend a wide range of amenities for their residents. Generally, these amenities are offered through common communication channels like emails and telephones, which makes it difficult for residents to reach them. Hence, property owners are now featuring portals to bring these building services closer to tenants. Recently Silverstein Properties introduced the Residential Community App which allows tenants to access rent payments, tenant referrals, community and neighborhood maps, shuttle services, discounts, offers and much more through their smartphones and tablets.
With the increased concern of protecting nature, property owners are now focusing on amenities that serve both tenants and nature. The SL Green Realty Corp., initiated a suite called SL Living Green that connects residents with group discussions, educational talks, recycling projects, eco-friendly waste disposal schemes, etc. to enhance their wellness and style of living. These amenity features allow tenants to feel responsible towards nature which attains them a unique experience.
Other Popular Amenities
Few other personal styling and emergency medical care amenities are popularizing among tenants. Medical aids like backup child care, health screening, drug delivery etc are some of the highly accepted medical features of amenity apps. Also, few real estate firms are designing their amenity apps to deliver styling amenities like blowouts and manicures, shoe shining, hair styling etc. to desired locations.
Related Reading: Self Showing App, an IoT application built by Fingent streamlines the complete inspection and leasing procedures of real estate firms. Find more in the case study here.
How Are Real Estate Amenity Apps Winning Hearts In New York?
Isolated lives of metropolitans have marred the quality of life. The struggles to socialize, stay fit and even to groom well, are becoming the increased concern of the modern generation. Hence, the leading real estate firms are empowering their amenity apps with services to sort these hassles of the modern world. One such enterprise is Tishman Speyer, who has integrated technology with small-scale services to create unique experiences for its tenants.
Tishman Speyer, a diversified real estate firm operating properties of worth $89 billion, including the iconic Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, rolled out an app called Zo. The Zo. app is winning hearts in New York, by exclusively connecting its employees to an unparalleled collection of services. They offer exclusive deals which include wellness programs, social and interest group gatherings, backup childcare, on-site health screening, and medical services, dry cleaning pick up and delivery, personal styling, individual meal delivery, catering, and much more. These services are enhancing the living standards of Tishman workers and tenants by creating a hassle-free work environment for them.
Another leading real estate developer in New York, entering the emerging war of landlord amenities is Sterling Bay. They have introduced their own app offering expanded eye-catching amenities for their workers.
Extreme competition in the real estate market is determining the growth of property businesses on the basis of the number of people in it and not by the square footage. More than magnificent buildings, residents are now attracted to communities that deliver unique and lively environment. Tenants prefer buildings that provide amenities through advanced technology channels that enhance the living experience. Incorporating smarter technologies and utilizing real estate software, is emerging to be an essential ingredient in real estate business today.
With emerging technologies transforming communities, the real estate market is witnessing a new era of property services beyond bricks and mortar.
Related Reading: A Property Management Software can be a boon for real estate managers if adopted the right one. Find the secrets of finding the right property management software here.
Read More: Mobile App Development : 4 Tips To Consider
The real estate industry has traditionally been a technology laggard, with antiquated systems, ad-hoc processes and manual documentation ruling the roost. However, things are changing, with innovation and tech disruption set to change the fundamental paradigms of the real estate sector.
Can real estate technology advances actually predict property prices?
Leveraging Machine Learning Algorithms to Predict Real Estate Property Prices
Smart purchasers and investors look at the value of the property rather than the price. Just as the price of a stock denotes nothing about its inherent value, and one needs to delve into the PE and other ratios to estimate the value of the stock, the price of a property says little about its actual worth, and one has to dig into the underlying data to get to the true worth of a property.
The opacity and lack of access to underlying information surrounding property hitherto inhibited a proper and objective analysis of the true worth of property. Often, the only information available to the stakeholders is the prices at which previous properties of a similar nature, in the same locality were sold. As such, the asking price for properties has always been subjective, depending on what the seller thinks the property is worth, with a loose estimate of the prices other properties have sold in the locality and other subjective insights constituting the basis for asking price.
However, things are changing, and changing fast. Real estate data sets are growing larger and larger with every passing day, every single day, thanks to the ever-improving computing power and cloud storage capabilities. Smart retailers and other stakeholders have already deployed several new tools and services that leverage such data, and many more tools and services are in the offing.
The National Association of Realtors estimates about 42% of buyers looking at property online as the first step in their home buying process. Most of them now delve into further details, such as the crime rates in the neighborhood, availability of public transit, the profile of local businesses such as gyms, groceries, restaurants, and several other factors.
It gets better. Machine learning now infuses objectivity and transparency in property pricing, besides promising a scientific basis into price fixation of property.
Machine learning models, comprising of hundreds of explanatory variables, offer insights into almost every aspect of a specific property, to a very a high level of accuracy and objectivity. Such models scour through piles of data and are capable of not just identifying an accurate price for the property, but also identifying hidden gems among the swathes of properties available for sale. Buyers and may use such insights to quote a fair and accurate price for the property, Sellers may likewise quote a fair price and sell their property faster, without the risk of under-selling themselves. Banks and financial institutions may use the insights to offer loans based on the predicted future value.
Identifying Correlated Variables
Home buyers and investors often end up making unscientific comparison among two properties and are often deluded by a lesser price for a property, oblivious to the far inferior value on offer.
While the obvious variables such as the number of bedrooms and square foot area may be obvious and explicit, some variables remain hidden or not too obvious.
Some variables are also closely correlated with others. Some pairs, correlated by nature, such as “Basement finished area” and “Basement unfinished Area,” and other pairs, correlated by deduction, such as “Overall condition” and “Year built” help to identify the true worth of a property relative to the asking price.
Machine learning models not only factor in such variables but also give proper weight to each variable. For instance, two homes may seem similar while considering the obvious variables, but property A may offer far better value owing to the superior quality of plumbing materials used in construction and availability of groundwater compared to property B.
Related Reading: Find how Fingent developed a customized solution to streamline all the processes in a property management life cycle. Check out the case study – Rentmoji: All-In-One Property Management Platform.
Unearthing Seasonal factors
Seasonality has an impact on property prices, but the impact may be subtle or hidden. Crunching historical data makes explicit trends in sales prices associated with seasons. For instance, sales may be more surfing summer months, when the new school year starts, leading to a spike in prices. Such seasonal prices help property investors leverage their buys, property sellers price their property more accurately, or postpone their sell for a few months to get a better price, and more.
Related Infographic: Major Challenges of Big Data in The Real Estate Industry
Identifying the True Value of Extraneous Factors
Buyers always consider the neighborhood of the property, in terms of crime rates, the quality of grocery shops in the vicinity, the proximity of schools, and other factors. However, such analysis is often done ad-hoc, and on a generic basis. The “devil” in the detail may often be overlooked. Machine learning models factor in the extraneous factors at a much deeper level, correlating factors such as frequency of power cuts in the locality, unemployment in the locality, frequency of transportation links, school ratings and more, all of which not only offer an objective and scientific basis on the true worth of the property, but also have an immediate bearing on the property prices.
However, the true value of machine learning is the ability to derive valuable trends and insights from the data. For instance, analysis of police arrests and the chemical compounds in sewers indicate the use of crack cocaine, indicating that gentrification could soon arrive. When the crack is replaced by cocaine, it may indicate that gentrification may already be complete. Such insights may not be available at plain sight and may be impossible to decipher without the analysis of such underlying data.
While real estate technology now makes it easy to predict property prices with a high level of accuracy and objectivity, the challenge is creating the underlying data models in a robust way. The machine learning system is only as good as the algorithm which powers it. Success depends on creating linear models, co-opting all possible categorical variables and historical data associated with each variable.