Retail Technology Advances
Developing financially successful retail centers is a challenging task anywhere in the world. Investors and managers involved in retail assets must be sound strategic planners who can successfully assimilate a number of disparate factors, such as demographics, macro and micro economics, as well as cultural and political circumstances. Rising e-commerce makes a competitive business environment even more acute.
Successful strategies require engaging shoppers with the right product, creating a tenant mix that suits geographic and regional trends, and accommodating local culture, demographics, regional economics and other factors. Many malls are adding themed restaurants and attractions to attract more customers. As consumers start to buy more of their clothing items online, dancing fountains, amusement park experiences, and themed restaurants are almost as important to attracting footfall as an anchor tenant’s spring clothing fashions or new video game boxes.
A mall can be regarded as an ecosystem that needs full financial, maintenance and leasing information to be meaningful and easily accessible. Across all markets—the Americas, Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East—the tendency toward large malls mean operators must be able to handle large tenant counts. For example, due to the sheer size of the shopping area, instinct and walk-throughs are insufficient for detecting inefficiencies and troubled tenants. Only reliable data and metrics will serve that purpose.
A Single Platform Global 'Glue'
With the retail sector generating more data in a single month than many other vertical real estate markets do in a year, and with investors expecting strong returns for their money, the imperative to store, maintain, manage and utilize retail property data bonds the industry like glue. These operations are as important as inventory, location and demographics in determining the success of a retail center. As a result, retail owners and operators around the world are turning to cloud-based business-wide systems such as Yardi Voyager® to manage the enormous amount of data involved in retail management.
This type of systems lets companies execute all property, financial and ancillary operations such as performance measurement, period closing, invoice processing, business intelligence, budgeting, and more from a single information source. This capability mitigates risk and delivers analytics to desktops and mobile devices in real time. Other applications integrate with a retailer’s web presence to give consumers, investors, property managers and vendors an online means to interact in the retail ecosystem.
A business-wide platform also generates business intelligence that unifies property and accounting information to give property managers and investors crucial analysis on retail spaces. When an unhealthy tenant can’t pay rent, for example, the landlord suffers, as does the investor. Because percent rent on tenant sales boosts revenue, the monthly sales trend for a tenant is very important for investor ROI. If a coffee shop is selling $1 million worth of coffee per month for two years in a row, but the last three months have been closer to $500,000 per month, that’s a graphic indicator that traffic patterns might have changed. That coffee shop will go out of business if the landlord doesn’t act, and the investment will suffer.
With portfolios broadening across geographic boundaries, ongoing competitive and regulatory pressures and evolving consumer shopping habits, operators and investors cannot afford to underestimate the importance of managing operations as effectively and efficiently as possible. The value of shaping operational and financial information into meaningful accurate metrics can’t be ignored. Whether a European high street, a rural outlet in the United States or a Middle Eastern mega-mall, traditional shops and shopping are here to stay for the foreseeable future despite e-commerce competition, economic slumps and other challenges. But to thrive, retailers and investors must collaborate to adopt new ways of engaging consumers while delivering services that enhance relationships, drive down costs and increase value.
This Week’s Sponsor
Now in its fourth decade, Yardi® is committed to the design, development and support of software for real estate investment management and property management. With the Yardi Commercial Suite™, Yardi Multifamily Suite™, Yardi Investment Suite™ and Yardi Orion™ Business Intelligence, the Yardi Voyager® platform is a complete real estate management solution. It includes operations, accounting and ancillary processes and services with portfolio-wide business intelligence and platform-wide mobility. Yardi is based in Santa Barbara, Calif., and serves clients worldwide from offices in North America, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.yardi.com.
UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
Commercial Real Estate Information Management - Best Practice Showcase - 5/10/2018
Years ago, the choices were much simpler. Property Management, Accounting and Email were all you needed to run a Commercial Real Estate organization. Fast forward to today and the complexity of the industry’s information management requirements have grown exponentially. Single stack, integrated best-of-breed, and open ecosystems are all options under consideration. Databases, warehouses and now lakes, as well as new technologies such as AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain all add to the growing complexity of real estate information management strategy. Additionally, there are thousands of new companies that want to be part of the solution. Join the debate as best practices are uncovered.
Founder of Realcomm Conference Group, an education organization that produces Realcomm, IBcon and CoRE Tech, the world's leading conferences on technology, automated business solutions, intelligent buildings and energy efficiency for the commercial and corporate real estate industry. As CEO, Jim interacts with some of the largest companies globally pertaining to some of the most advanced and progressive next generation real estate projects under development.
Sam Wong is Head of Analytics and Data Science at QuadReal. He has over 15 years of experience in Analytics and has worked within numerous industries with a wide range in technologies. Sam is a featured speaker on Data Science and Analytics, most recently he spoke at the 2018 Gartner Data and Analytics Summit and at IBM THINK 2018.
Chong P. Huan is Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Inland Real Estate Group. Chong has over 22 years experience and a Proven track record in aligning business with vision and IT strategies to achieve efficient and cost-effective IT organizations. Diverse expertise in financial products and services, order and portfolio management, risk management, securities trading, processing, research and operations with IT acumen to achieve growth and enhance shareholder value.
Brian Zrimsek is Industry Principal at MRI Software. Brian brings 25 years of large scale enterprise software experience to MRI, most recently as an IT Vice President at the Irvine Company. With over a decade of experience in real estate technology he has become a well-known subject matter expert, industry panelist, and trusted advisor, especially within the multifamily real estate market.
Abhinav (Abe) is an experienced investment, financial, technology, business development and operations strategist. He is currently the Chief Revenue Officer for LEVERTON. Abe has worked with many law firms and institutions over the years and has a deep understanding of the real estate technology / CREtech / PropTech space. With LEVERTON, Abe is revolutionizing how corporations use artificial intelligence based machine and deep learning algorithms for data extraction.
Alex Stanton has over 20 years working with in the real estate application space. Currently as VP of Solution Consulting for Yardi Systems, he leads the solution presales team, who work with customers and prospects to explore how to address business needs. Alex’s recent areas of focus has been to work with clients on the real estate specific applications of cloud, mobile, 'big data' and energy.
Jeff Thompson is co-founder and CEO of AwareManager. He leads the company's commercial and corporate real estate clients’ most complex projects. By combining his industry and IT expertise, Jeff helps organizations get data models set up correctly from the very start and helps them overcome major hurdles to user adoption, data-driven decision-making and stakeholder engagement.