On August 16, 2018, REjournals hosted the Asset, Property, Facility Management conference. Held at the Drake Hotel in Oak Brook, Illinois, the 14th annual event attracted approximately 150 industry professionals to hear experts discuss the trends and best practices for asset management.
Jim Hochman, partner at Schain Banks moderated the first panel, looking at the state of the market. Joining him were Bob Dahlgren, senior director of property management at Podolsky Circle CORFAC International; Sam Delisi, regional director of management services at Newmark Knight Frank; Dan Hanson, principal at Mid-America Asset Management; Helen Karlos, vice president – property management at Zeller Realty Group and Vince Zuppa, vice president, property management at Prologis.
The role of technology came up, and the ability it provides in optimizing a property’s performance from the boiler room to the rooftop. While some owners may still have trouble grasping the full advantages that are available, they shouldn’t pass them up.
“Technology is so much cheaper now, so much easier to install and so much smarter than it was even five years ago,” Delisi said. “It really helps us look at and understand our buildings.”
The panel also touched on new and prospective tenant demands. Every property manager is focused on attracting and retaining tenants, so what do tenants want?
“Amenities. All the amenities, Karlos said. “What they have at home, they want at the office, and more.”
For office and multifamily properties, this generally means Wi-Fi everywhere, fitness facilities, business centers and more. Industrial tenants, Zuppa pointed out, want more LED lighting and a streamlined lease process.
“Every lease we’ve done since January has been a clear lease. Everybody has embraced it. And that’s really a disruptor in our industry,” Zuppa said. “People want things better, faster, cheaper, simpler. As an industry, that’s the future.”
The second panel addressed the problems, solutions and strategies that those in the trenches wrestle with, moderated by Jennifer Cook, event coordinator at Everest Snow Management Group. Panelists included Jenn Allen, energy efficiency program outreach coordinator at ComEd Energy Efficiency Program (who spoke with REjournals ahead of the conference); Kami Farahmandpour, principal at Building Technology Consultants; Prasan Kale, co-founder of Rise Buildings; Andrea Kuhn, general manager – Midwest region at Kastle Systems and Terry Ramsett, founder & CEO of Foodbarz.
One topic of discussion was the evolution of smart buildings. What people typically think of when they hear the term “smart building” is HVAC. Today’s smart buildings will perform differently depending on occupancy and use. But these systems also have implications for building security.
“Access control plays an interesting role because of the data that we have naturally,” Kuhn said. “We know who could and should be in the building and at any given time, your access control system should be able to tell you who is in the building.”
The expert speakers covered a number of other topics, such as how to offer health and well-being opportunities to tenants and how to evaluate building energy performance. They also discussed the ways that a retail, office, industrial, multifamily or mixed-use property can perform to peak economic standards.