Visit Brevitas at ICSC RECon in Las Vegas, May 23-25, 2016

Brevitas is changing the way private transactions are conducted in the commercial space. With over fifteen billion dollars in asset listings, we are the leading online platform dedicated to private investment sales.

Stop by our booth at ICSC REcon and discover firsthand how the Brevitas private marketplace can drive value to your CRE business by increasing your listing’s exposure to qualified investors, giving you access to thousands of exclusive investment opportunities and growing your network within our vetted pool of members. Our team will be onsite showcasing live demos of the product, and  guiding new users through the sites’ many useful features.

Premium Membership is absolutely free for anyone who signs up before January 2017 and can be done onsite at the show, or by visiting https://brevitas.com/apply/

Find us Here:

Marketplace Mall is located in the North Hall of Las Vegas Convention Center, easily accessible where Paradise Rd meets Convention Center Drive.  You can easily locate the Brevitas Booth #N1166 by clicking here and selecting “Add to My Show” in the far right hand column of the page.

 

5 Ways Blockchain Technology could Change Real Estate

Blockchain and bitcoin technology are still in their infant stage. However, the technology has made steady progress as it begins to disrupt major industries and the debate over the potential uses and impact blockchain technology could have on the real estate industry is also heating up.

Commercial real estate has been considered a slow mover when it comes to adopting new technologies. This may also be the case for the acceptance of blockchain technology within the industry. All that could change fast if it could improve the bottom line. There are several ways in which bitcoin could impact the real estate industry, and we’ll review a few of these ideas and point you in the right direction in case you’d like to delve deeper.

Smart Contracts

Blockchain technology not only represents a new way to exchange funds or track payments, but it also has the potential make contracts smarter. The Blockchain’s distributed ledger can trace a series of events in chronological order, being able to mathematically verify these events eliminates instances of tampering or fraud.

The secure cryptography ledger can record events and create digital IDs for a multitude of scenarios. Some usage examples of this type of ledger could be for mortgage payments, escrow, or deed transfers. To make things simple, they allow for if-then statements in contracts to be made, then demanded fulfillment

Imagine if you finished paying your mortgage or you completed escrow on a new home or building. The moment those funds and conditions were met the digital contract would instantly transfer that deed ownership. Some would argue the Blockchain is the most reliable transaction record system ever created.

Foreign Investment

Investment into any foreign market is difficult today. There are many government conditions and terms, exchange fees, taxes, and regulations. Each country is different. However, all of them have their friction points.

Blockchain technology can exchange any value funds to any party regardless of location, identity or government regulations. This occurrence could bring up many issues in the future, but the demand to transfer funds and take advantage of changing currency rates will always exist.

Reduce Fraud

Banks are already using funds to research how blockchain could change the way they transfer funds.  Creating a certifiable digital ID allows for funds to be fully tracked. In real estate, the use of a proof of funds document or a bank letter is often used to show purchasing capabilities. These documents can often be forged or outdated. Often these documents are saved as simple .pdf files and can even be emailed and forwarded on without consent.

Blockchain provides a certifiable and instant way to verify ownership of funds. Picture an instance where you have verifiable proof of funds and a digital transfer of a deed. The Blockchain could allow two parties to exchange large assets instantly, securely and even anonymously.

Crowdfunding

Blockchain technology could allow crowdfunding to be even more liquid than it is today. New start-ups have come into the real estate tech scene recently that operate as secondary markets for alternative real estate investments. Companies like CFX are already setting up marketplaces to exchange these assets.

Bitcoin and sidechains could allow for these assets or fractional ownership in real estate to be traded quicker, and at a more accurate market price.

The Internet of Things

Just like blockchain, the possibilities for the internet of things are endless. Similar to our above scenario where blockchain technology could allow for smart contracts, the same could be said for the internet of things. The sharing economy has already taken hold as a major player in the tech space. The opportunity to share rides, cars, apartments, and homes has rippled through our economy.  In these instances, people are stuck doing some of the process or transaction. That may be dropping off keys for an AirBnB, or needed to meet someone in person to exchange a Getaround. What blockchain could influence is how we use tokens to grant permission for certain things to take place. A blockchain token could be used to open that apartment or car, or maybe to unlock a computer or phone.

Startups like International Blockchain Real Estate Association are starting to populate the blockchain / real estate space, with so many potential uses, only time will tell if blockchain can emerge as the next everyday real estate technology.

Off-Market Deal Book | April 2016

The Brevitas Off Market Deal Book provides you with a curated, varied selection of recent off market commercial real estate transactions.

Why Asian Investment Dollars are Flooding into Australia in 2016

As the world continues to shrink (metaphorically, don’t panic), international real estate investment is becoming more popular than ever before. Improved communications, reduced transactional friction, and investment-friendly policies are drawing Asian investment to the U.S. market in record numbers. There’s also been intense activity in Australian real estate, particularly from Asian investors.

iProperty.com conducted a survey at the end of the year which showed that Australia was the first choice of investment location for international property buyers based in Singapore and Malaysia, second for Indonesian investors.

Experts suggest that these investors see Australian properties as a better investment than real estate in other countries. It is often relatively cheap, given currency fluctuations. The Australian dollar has fallen by about 30% in the last few years.

Asian investors arelooking at larger towns like Newcastle and Wollongong. Larger established towns (with) universities in place and also potential for growth from a commercial side of things,” according to a profile posted last summer.

There’s been a high level of investment from China as well. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Chinese investment in Australian real estate has doubled in the past year. This segment accounts for 16% of the total sales of Australian real estate.  In fact, China invests 3 times the amount in Australian real estate that the U.S. does, and 6 times what Singapore invests. Prior to 2013, the U.S. was the leading investor in Australian property.  China is extremely important to the Australian economy. It is Australia’s largest export destination and also contributes to that country’s growing international tourism.

This is partly fueled by uncertainty surrounding the Chinese economy. Favorable trade agreements and a growing Chinese middle class also encourage the flow of investment to the Australian market. High net worth individuals in China find the Australian market attractive, both in terms of price and economic stability.

Actions by the Australian government at the end of 2015 put a bit of a damper on foreign real estate investors. The government cracked down on property owners who had not gotten the required approval for their investments. It also instated a new fee for international investors registering their Australian properties.  Rules governing newly built properties are less restrictive, and this has led to record participation from foreign investors in development projects.

The international impact is being felt most in the residential market, in part due to the small size of the commercial market, which is dominated by domestic investors. Still, foreign money is going into commercial properties as well as development plans.  Overall, in the past year, 50% of Australian real estate investment capital came from foreign investors, according to Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.

Observers predict that this high level of foreign interest will have an impact on all sectors of the Australian market. Demand is expected to grow in hotels and resorts and even in the rural land market. It’s likely that this trend in high demand will continue into 2016.

3 Non-Gateway Cities Where Foreign Investment Dollars May Surprise You

Foreign investment in America, CRE has been booming in recent years, and fierce competition for a limited supply of properties has led some international investors to look beyond the primary markets to find a more suitable deal. Certainly New York still attracts the most foreign capital, including massive sovereign funds as well as high net worth individuals from China and the Middle East.

High profile transactions help to highlight the level of foreign investment going on in the U.S. commercial real estate market. The purchase of New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel by Chinese insurance group Anbang was big news last year – just one of several major deals struck by foreign investors in NYC.

Along with New York, other American gateway cities also enjoy considerable interest from international investors. Washington and Los Angeles are also notable for the rate of international investments in their commercial properties.

A check of some sources whose business it is to follow the deals involving international capital shows that foreign dollars are being put into some markets that you might not expect.

Miami

It might surprise you to know that this South Florida metropolis ranks among the top global real estate investment destinations, according to a report from CBRE. In fact, it comes in at #19, on a list that includes formidable markets like Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Nearly a billion dollars were invested there in 2015 by foreign sources, many originating in South America.

Houston

Falling just short of Miami’s influx of foreign capital, Houston also had a strong showing in 2015. The Texas city, with a population rapidly galloping toward 7 million, is one of the most diverse in the country. Residents speak more than 100 languages. Rising rents and low vacancy rates have made commercial properties here very attractive to foreign investors.

The Urban Land Institute reports that international investors are coming to Houston from China, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Mexico, Japan, Russia, the Middle East, and from additional countries in Latin America, Asia, and Europe.

The Tel Aviv–based Azrieli Group, has been especially active in Houston’s commercial real estate market. In 2014, the firm paid $76 million to buy its fifth Houston property, a four-story suburban office building. Houston is the location of more properties in the Azrieli Group’s commercial real estate investment portfolio than any other, aside from properties in Israel.

Atlanta

International investment in the Georgia capital was reportedly around that $1 billion mark for 2015 as well. Local observers say that foreign investors see the potential for greater returns in Atlanta compared with similar properties in other cities. Properties in the city’s downtown have been especially attractive to foreign investors.

Availability is favorable in these secondary markets, and competition for commercial properties is not as great as in the top tier cities. This is leading international investors to look beyond places like New York, Washington and L.A.  While the largest funds continue to stick with the major markets, smaller funds and individuals in particular continue to expand the reach of international capital in the U.S. commercial market.

These 3 CRE Tech Trends are Fueling Capital Raises for Developers

Marketing approaches for CRE development projects have come a long way. Attracting strong buyers now involves strategic implementation of CRE tech tools that enhance and streamline the process. It’s worth incorporating new technology that brings projects to life, clarifying details and providing context.

Drones

An important new tool in many areas of the business, “unmanned aerial vehicles,” or drones, are changing the game in property tours and site selection. Drones can be used to photograph properties from new viewpoints to provide a clearer perspective on building size and location, as well as its proximity to transportation and other facilities. Through the drone’s camera, the context for proposed construction and renovation can be clearly established.  One look at the striking visual images and video provides extensive information and instantly communicates possibility.

There are rules for commercial use of drones, and these are still evolving as the FAA considers new uses that are being dreamt up. Usage is very restricted for Devices weighing over 55 pounds, and there are limitations on how high a drone is allowed to fly. Currently these small drones can only be flown during the day, and they have to always be within sight of the operator.  The FAA recently opened a site for registering these smaller drones.

Small drones are fairly inexpensive drones and easy to operate, but most firms leave that to specialists. Companies like Spark Aerial have come along in response to this need. They specialize in creating amazing marketing pieces for a variety of industries, including commercial real estate development.

Sensor Technology

Basing plans and marketing on data is an industry best practice, and sensor technology is becoming an important source of data in CRE. An electronic sensor can serve as a tireless assistant, gathering information and reporting round the clock from its designated location.

Traffic sensors have been around for years, and are extremely useful in city planning and evaluation of transportation systems.  The data on pedestrian and vehicle traffic patterns helps these agencies to optimize the use of space and also ensure public safety. In recent years, other industries have adopted these tools to inform decision making and increase efficiency.

Commercial real estate applies this technology as a source of data on any location.  It’s surprisingly easy and cost-effective to get set up and start gathering data. The hardware is very inexpensive and only requires an electrical outlet. This is a fairly trouble-free and low-maintenance technology. Support for these devices is provided by services like Motionloft, which also gather and aggregate the data for their clients. Property owners or managers can access this data at will and send useful reports to tenants and potential investors.

Sensor data are very valuable in setting the scene for proposed development. The level of traffic in a specific location helps to inform and justify all sorts of decisions related to demand, capacity, and potential returns.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is becoming widely used in CRE. It can be used by brokers, agents, and developers to create a remote customer experience that is very close to a physical tour of a property –and in some respects, even better.  Using headsets like the Hololens is making “augmented reality” a CRE term. Services like Foundry 45 are blazing a trail and expanding our idea of how VR can be used. Using VR, potential investors can be immersed in a speculative environment, and can be given a realistic picture of proposed construction or renovation.

Related tools can create 3D models that include incredible property details, and digital floor plans that can be shared in an instant.  These are powerful tools for collaboration and planning, and also expand upon the level of information that can be provided to prospective investors in a big way.  At sites like Floored you can find interactive 3D models, video fly throughs and other digital experiences.