Opinion: Landlords are adopting ‘must-have’ technologies to remain competitive

Opinion: Landlords are adopting ‘must-have’ technologies to remain competitive
November 25, 2019

Tere Blanca is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Inc., an independently owned commercial real estate services firm headquartered in Miami.

Radically transforming commercial real estate, new technology — much of it in the form of convenient, user-friendly apps — is being adopted by property owners wishing to remain relevant and competitive. Landlords who want to work smarter, protect their properties, and attract and retain tenants, do well to become acquainted with future-forward technology redefining property management and tenant relations.

While numerous contenders may vie for attention, the following are tried-and-tested options being used in many commercial spaces throughout Miami.

One of the original ground-breaking companies in the industry, Kastle Systems, established more than five decades ago, provides an integrated platform of cutting-edge solutions, delivering both excellent consumer experiences and landlord peace-of-mind. Tenants can conveniently open or unlock property doors with their smartphones, doing away with the need to carry cardkeys or fobs, while allowing landlords to entrust the task of making their space safer to a dedicated team.

On call 24/7, they provide video surveillance, visitor and identity management tools, and monitors alarms, security reports, repairs and more. CUBE WYNWD, a RedSky Capital office project, relies on Kastle Systems to provide top security and access for its tenants. Additional disruptors in the security systems space include Kisi and Openpath.

Another provider of advanced technology that has become invaluable for landlords seeking to better understand real space needs and save costs — Mapiq tracks activity within your office space and building common areas in a single dashboard. A heatmap reveals how people are concentrated throughout the building or a space.

The data, collected in the analytics dashboard provides quantified statistics over time, enabling confident, strategic decisions. For employees, this cloud-based solution facilitates finding available desks and meeting rooms and other employees. With Mapiq, landlords, tenants and employees access tools which effectively position them to have control over their environment.
Additional solutions include Jabra, TrueView Heatmap by Mirame.net and several others that are in development phases.

A third resource — award-winning HqO, connects tenants to their community, facilitates commerce, and provides content, among other features. This app provides the means to maximize positive tenant experiences and strengthens the tenant-landlord relationship.

HqO enables tenants to pay for the amenities and services offered throughout the building; be apprised of events taking place on or near the property, and receive timely notifications, while also providing messaging and concierge services. It can also be used to control the environment in the building, including opening doors and accessing common areas. HqO brings a wealth of information and a smart tool for communication which tenants can access by simply picking up their smartphones.

Other apps that focus on the tenant experience include Comfy, Bixby and SkyRise, and many traditional property management platforms are also launching similar tools.

Yet another innovative option is Motionloft, developed by a leader in artificial intelligence and computer vision, it is rapidly gaining in popularity. Utilizing wireless sensors, Motionloft gathers real-time vehicle and pedestrian data, enabling developers to gauge foot traffic and attract retailers accordingly. Currently, Goldman properties in Wynwood utilizes this solution, allowing them to gauge traffic throughout their retail and dining spaces.

A fifth tool, Kepler Analytics is designed to decrease operating costs and enhance customer satisfaction. Kepler analytics measures sales in stores outfitted with sensors which allows it to monitor individual stores to entire regions — forecasting which stores will meet daily targets and which might need a little attention. It also controls access.

RetailNext, ShopperTrack and Aislelabs are also similar tools being leveraged in the retail sector.

Commercial real estate landlords who expand their offerings to include mobile platforms and future-forward technology are amplifying their competitive edge, facilitating how they market their properties, and securing tenants and their properties. Using one’s phone to book a conference room, pay rent, learn about an upcoming event, access building areas, and much more, is a convenience tenants will soon come to expect.

Savvy landlords will do well to stay at the forefront of the technology curb as this technology becomes more ubiquitous and helps to shape the future of commercial real estate.

Tere Blanca is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Inc., an independently owned commercial real estate services firm headquartered in Miami. She may be reached via email at tere.blanca@blancacre.com or via LinkedIn here. www.blancacre.com.ents will continue to hold with moderate rent increases, if any.”

Demand for Miami office space remains strong as companies relocate to the region

Demand for Miami office space remains strong as companies relocate to the region
November 15 , 2019
By Rebecca San Juan

“It’s a healthy office market,” said Blanca CEO and President Tere Blanca.

Demand for office space continues to rise as companies from outside of Florida relocate to Miami-Dade County, driving up average asking rates by more than 5 percent from a year ago. An increase in co-working spaces also played a significant role.

The average weighted asking rate grew for Class A and Class B office space, according to the Blanca Commercial Real Estate third quarter 2019 market report released this week.

For Class A space, average weighted rates grew 5.6% year over year, from $45.51 per square foot in the third quarter 2018 to $46.37 per square foot in the third quarter 2019. The highest average asking rates were in Brickell, at $59.10 per square foot, and Wynwood/Design District, at $55.97 per square foot.

The average asking rates for older, simpler Class B space crept up slightly, from $33.39 per square foot in the third quarter 2018 to $33.47 a square foot in the third quarter 2019. But the class suffered a loss of 248,000 total square feet, primarily in the Miami Airport market.

The vacancy rate for Class A space dipped slightly, from 13.9% to 12.7%, while the vacancy rate for Class B space inches up from 16.1% to 16.9%.
A total of 324,000 square feet of multi-tenant office space was delivered, said Blanca, for a total Class A/ Class B inventory of 36,953,985 square feet. Another 2.1 million square feet of multi-tenant office space is underway and set to be delivered by late 2022.

“It’s a healthy office market,” said Blanca CEO and President Tere Blanca.

Net absorption increased overall year-over-year, by 412,191 square feet, led by Class A space offering amenities such as wellness programs, concierge services, Wi-Fi indoors and outdoors as well as tenant lounges with snacks and coffee. Tenants in legal, financial and professional services gravitate toward buildings with water views, she said.
Much of the change in the Class B market was driven by companies already in the market looking to right size their spaces — both by increasing and decreasing — and seeking new layouts, said Blanca.

Overall, tenants are also looking for buildings connected to transit and those with open floor plans and flexible conference spaces.
Of the positive absorption, 292,000 square feet or 44% came from co-working companies leasing in Downtown Miami, Miami Beach, Brickell and Coral
Gables. Co-working now accounts for nearly 4% of the total office inventory in the county.

“In addition to making an impact in taking up space within existing buildings, they have actively established a presence in a large portion of new supply underway. Buildings like 830 Brickell, One Cocowalk, and CUBE Wynwd are anchored by co-working companies,” she said. “These companies are also allowing out of market companies to test the Miami market by offering flexible lease terms and move-in-ready spaces.”

Despite WeWork’s woes, several companies, including Venture X, still continue to expand their co-working footprint in South Florida.

“Although there is a large presence of coworking spaces, the majority are doing very well given Miami is an entrepreneurial community with access to a global market,” said Blanca.
New-to-market firms are driving net absorption, led by companies in finance, technology and professional services, said Blanca. Those include Starwood Capital, which is moving to Collins Avenue in Miami Beach; SoftBank, which took space in Brickell, and Icahn Enterprises, which will relocate from New York to the Milton Tower in North Miami Beach.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a favorable business environment and climate are driving new companies to relocate to Miami, said Blanca.

About 150 companies have expanded to Miami since 2017, encompassing 592,000 square feet, wrote Blanca Chief Marketing Officer Diana Pubchara over email. The majority of the companies had an office elsewhere out of state and decided to open in Miami-Dade County. Some organizations in foreign markets are establishing their U.S. headquarters in the Magic City. And about 15 new companies are touring the market and would cover another 201,000 square feet when they are expected to sign leases in the next few months.

“As more companies announce to relocate or expand into Miami, we expect other companies to follow suit given our tax friendly environment and unique access to global markets,” said Pubchara.
The entrance of new firms, said Blanca, will help “backfill vacancies in existing buildings and create positive absorption.”

The market looks bright looking over the next 25 months, said Blanca. She said, “We’ll see continued absorption and rents will continue to hold with moderate rent increases, if any.”



Kris Conesa
Roar Media


Building Will Be First Class A Office Tower To Deliver In An Opportunity Zone Locally


MIAMI–(November, 5, 2019) – Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Florida’s leading independently owned commercial real estate brokerage firm, today announced that Optima, a destination office campus designed to meet the unique needs of driven business leaders, has topped off its Onyx Tower and is on schedule for completion in Q2, 2020. The Onyx Tower is the latest addition to the highly sought-after office campus which also includes the White Tower and the Red Tower, both of which are already completed and have been proven as top-tier office destinations in Aventura/Hallandale.

Optima’s Onyx Tower, a new Class A office masterpiece of innovative design and sustainability located at 21500 Biscayne Boulevard, just a few minutes away from the planned Virgin Trains station in Aventura, features 20 floors of office space with balconies and panoramic ocean views and consists of 308,198 square feet. Tenants will also enjoy first in class fitness amenities that include a lap swimming pool, more than one acre of green rooftop spaces, a jogging trail and fitness center. The building is designed to be LEED certified platinum and also features an efficient floor plate design of approximately 17,000 square feet, along with a full-floor conference facility for tenants’ exclusive use, an 8-story parking garage and a state-of-the-art backup generator to ensure business continuity during a power outage. The building will also feature an impressive glass box design fronting Biscayne Blvd for an upscale restaurant.

“Once completed Optima’s Onyx Tower will be a destination class A office space like no other, said Tere Blanca, Founder and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate. “The ownership group has spared no expense to make this amalgamation of design, sustainability and top-tier amenities an attainable reality for businesses seeking world-class office space connected to mass transit via the recently approved Virgin Trains Aventura Station.”

Optima’s other compelling attributes include its proximity to four airports, major highways and countless shopping, dining and entertainment options at venues like Gulfstream Park, directly adjacent to the complex, and Aventura Mall located less than 1.5 miles away. The property is also just minutes away from banking, hotels, parks, golf courses, marinas and the beach.

More information and office leasing opportunities are available by contacting Tere Blanca, Juan Ruiz or Mike Nathanson with Blanca Commercial Real Estate at (305) 577-8850.

About Blanca Commercial Real Estate
Blanca Commercial Real Estate, the leading independently owned commercial real estate brokerage firm in Florida, provides a complete range of brokerage and advisory services to owners and users of commercial real estate. Established in 2009, the firm is noted for delivering distinct client value through a personalized approach, unique methodology, data-driven insight, vast network and deep community engagement. Practice areas include landlord representation, tenant representation, build-to-suit advisory services, and land/investment property acquisition and disposition. For more information, visit www.blancacre.com


 Editor’s note: Interviews are available upon request