Austin Things to Know and Do for Visiting CRE Pros

Posted on: Tuesday, February 27th, 2018, under Uncategorized.

The first quarter of 2018 has been a busy time here in Austin’s CRE world. One of our favorite events, the CORFAC 2018 Spring Conference, is coming up on February 28 – March 3.

And while we’re looking forward to connecting with the best and brightest international network of independently-owned and entrepreneurial brokerage firms that will be in attendance, we know that if we were visiting Austin we would want to sneak away and see at least some of the renowned activities and eats that Austin has to offer.

If you’re limited on time and can only indulge in the essentials, here’s RealMassive’s list of the top four activities you don’t want to miss out on while here in Austin:

  1. Take a Tour of Austin’s Breakfast Tacos: Juan in a Million, Taco Mex, Torchy’s, Tacodeli. If you’re having something else for breakfast while you’re here, you’re doing it wrong.
  2. Go bat-watching under Congress bridge around dusk. It’s a great way to savor the sunset and is just a few steps from Downtown and happens to be one of the most Instagram-worthy locales to make everyone back home jealous.
  3. Take a stroll down South Congress Avenue on a weekend morning/afternoon for brunch, cupcakes, unique boutique shop gazing, and more.
  4. For a casual night out, gander down Rainey Street for an array of eateries/food trucks, bars, and live music.

So, after you’ve checked off all the above and are now seriously considering moving here (trust us: everyone does), we expect you might want some data on the local market. With our platform that covers 388 million square feet of commercial space in the Austin Metroplex, we’re in a great position to help you out.

The average asking price right now for commercial properties in the Metroplex is $30.46/sq ft.
It’s $31.19/sq ft for Retail
It’s $31.47/sq ft for Office
It’s $27.29/sq ft for Industrial.

The average property size is currently 8,068 sq ft.
It’s 12,538 sq ft for Retail
It’s 5,247 sq ft for Office
It’s 7,310 sq ft for Industrial.

When you’re at the conference, visit us at our booth to say hi. We’ll give you the insider’s tip for the best breakfast tacos that we’re not willing to share publicly (you know, we locals have to keep some of our secrets).

How Commercial Real Estate Uses Big Data: It can help you reach the right client

Posted on: Wednesday, February 21st, 2018, under Commercial Real Estate, Open Data.

Market Data is the lifeblood of Commercial Real Estate; without it, we simply cannot do a good job representing our clients. This is why the best brokers spend so much time and effort gathering the most accurate picture of the market. It’s also why we always hear stories of brokers giving inaccurate information about their listings to some companies gathering Market Data: keeping the real data for yourself can give you an edge over your competition.

But big data is able to change all that.

Before we dive into the how, it’s important to talk about what big data actually is. When terms like cloud computing, machine learning, and big data get used as much as they do, they start to take on different meanings to different people.

What Big Data Is

For us, big data is simply a large amount of information. But what’s most important is not the amount of data, though if there isn’t a lot, it isn’t big data. The value you can get from analyzing it is important, but it doesn’t take the cake either. The most important part is what you can do with the information.

That sounds semantic, we know. But hear us out:

How Big Data Is Changing Commercial Real Estate

Amazon changed retail and Zillow changed residential real estate in one simple way: they gave people more control over, and more access to, information. Today, people can research products, see reviews and make a decision on what they want to buy on everything from coffee makers to homes because the markets have a large amount of transparency.

Commercial Real Estate, on the other hand, is one of the last bastions of the 20th century way of managing information. But people, be they investors or prospective tenants, are used to handling a large amount of research on their own.

And they prefer it that way.

By simply giving them what they want, you’ll be simplifying your operations, and freeing up your time, while providing better customer service. This is exactly why we’ve seen a big shift in listings for properties being showcased online, instead of being hidden behind closed doors, over the past few years. This gives us the critical mass of data that lets us shift to how Big Data is changing CRE.

New Tools at Your Disposal

Ok, these aren’t ‘new’ tools exactly, but they are more efficient and effective versions of your old tools. With big data, your expertise becomes more valuable, and you are able to spend less time gathering and analyzing data and more time gathering and helping clients.

Here’s how it works:

Confirming previously formulated opinions

 If you think the market is being distorted by a few big deals skewing the average sale price, a quick look at the market’s data can glean the truth. Along the same vein, if you think sales volume is down because of a lack of new properties hitting the market, it’s easy to verify. With Big Data, what took hours now takes minutes.

Developing an actionable strategy

Confirming your theories, obviously, helps you build your strategy. You can interpret the data and show your clients that now is not a good time to buy, that they should rent for another year or two before looking to purchase because of x, w, or z reasons.

Discovering new metrics to measure the market by

This is the real game-changer. By sorting and resorting the data based on multiple different metrics, you can begin to see patterns, like the premium a building gets for having a loading dock. This, in turn, informs your actionable strategy for a given client based on their needs and goals.

Creating more accurate deal valuations

The phrase, ‘Price is what you pay, value is what you get,’ has almost become cliché…but it doesn’t change how true it is.

The more data you have at your fingertips, the stronger your negotiating position is. And if you have real-time data to mine, you can know exactly what is going on in the market without having to spend large amount of time and resources to discover it.

What’s Next

Access to big data is changing the face of the CRE industry. It saves brokers time and gives them better information to act on.

The best news? Once the masses are using it, you’ll have to use it as well just to keep up. But right now, getting on board as an early adopter gives brokers a competitive advantage.


The Census 2020 Impact on the Office Market and Economy

Posted on: Tuesday, February 13th, 2018, under Uncategorized.

Bob Samiiby Liz Berthelette, Director of Research NAI Hunneman. Liz is a seasoned CRE researcher with a penchant for maps, graphs & data; providing insights on the local Boston market and beyond.

Demographers and data geeks rejoice! Preparations are well underway for one of the largest data collection efforts in U.S. history; the decennial census. With 2020 just around the proverbial corner, it’s not surprising that the U.S. Census Bureau is already gearing up to take on this mammoth task. While the survey results provide invaluable insights on the nation’s population base and ever changing demographic profile, this undertaking has deeper implications for the U.S. economy and office market.

A look back at the most recent decennial Census, which took place in 2010, offers us key insight on what the future might hold. In a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2011, the impact of national employment was far from negligible. In fact, the number of temporary and intermittent workers hired to complete the 2010 Census actually muddied monthly employment trends during that year. Below are some key data takeaways from the BLS report:

1. Temporary/intermittent hiring totaled 564,000 workers
2. Soup-to-nuts the project took 30 months to complete
3. Peak hiring occurred in May of 2010
4. Temp employment declined by almost 100% by September of 2010

With that many new employees on the payroll it’s not surprising the General Services Administration (GSA) was also in need of commercial space. Accordingly, 12 Regional Census Centers and 494 Local Census Offices were established throughout the United States to temporarily house collection operations. Ultimately, this space acquisition program resulted in several million square feet of short-term office demand in 2010.

For the upcoming Census 2020 program, the GSA has released requirements for 245 short-term leases nationwide. The average size of these temporary offices ranges from 6,600 to 8,550 square feet, with up to 19 months of lease term. While this represents roughly half the number of requirements issued for the 2010 Census, additional U.S. office demand will likely surpass two million square feet on a temporary basis. When you factor in the need for several Regional Census Centers (RCC), which require a much larger footprint, this number is closer to 2.5 million square feet. We’re already starting to see the impact of the GSA’s latest space acquisition program. The administration’s first regional operation will be located at 1601 Market Street in Philadelphia; where a 37,500-square-foot lease was executed in November of 2017. The effect of the decennial census operations may only be provisional, but as history has shown us, it won’t go unnoticed.