What happens when Commercial Real Estate (CRE) firms invest in technology to help them make better data-driven decisions? Attendees at the ARGUS Connect 2016 conference had a unique opportunity to find out during a panel discussion with top industry leaders.
Rick Schwartz, Senior Vice President of Global Customer Success, Altus Analytics, moderated the Extending The Market Ecosystem Through ARGUS Enterprise panel discussion among senior executives from the leading global real estate advisory services, valuations, capital markets, and investment management firms. Panel participants included:
- Berick Treidler, National Director, Strategic Advisory Services, CBRE Group;
- Romel Canete, Executive Managing Director, Financial Services, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF);
- Ryan Licudine, Product Director, Capital Markets, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL); and
- Jim Moran, Executive Managing Director, COO, Cushman & Wakefield.
Their discussion provided insights and key learnings into how some of the world’s largest global real estate players have been transitioning their businesses over to ARGUS Enterprise (AE), the world’s most comprehensive valuation, forecasting, asset and portfolio management platform.
Implement best practices for on-boarding
Change management can be a challenging task but many firms have been able to successfully transition and recognize the benefits of AE.
CBRE, for instance, sought a technology that would integrate well with other initiatives to support their firm’s growth and service delivery to clients. They also created a working group comprised of key stakeholders who provided critical feedback to Altus Analytics over the past 24 months to support its capital markets, valuation and advisory services, and global investment management firm’s transition onto AE. In the past few months, CBRE has deployed and provided training at their offices, including over 300 valuation and capital markets professionals to service the global marketplace.
Another real estate services giant, JLL, is continuing its deployment and training as part of its migration over to AE. Like CBRE, JLL has adopted the platform and has provided extensive feedback to Altus Analytics during the migration process. Subsequent to those efforts, they have trained the capital markets teams in North America and are seeing more brokers servicing clients on AE and including AE in marketing materials. They expect to see this trend continue to increase over the next several months.
Challenges brings opportunities
While rolling out ARGUS Enterprise, some firms are finding additional benefits to standardize its practice, and capitalize on the increased access to data.
ARGUS Enterprise has helped NGKF begin to standardize and garner additional efficiencies while migrating to one branded marketing template for various regions and product types in conjunction with their capital market activities. The result: a faster and more efficient solution for analysts and underwriters. Schwartz underscored this comment by noting that other leading real estate investment banking companies who were not able to participate on the panel are seeing similar gains. For example, underwriting a portfolio using AE can be done in minutes vs potentially hours they previously spent in DCF or other solutions..
Cushman and Wakefield, which delivers integrated solutions to landlords, tenants and real estate investors, has been experiencing the same results. With the Cushman and Wakefield – DTZ merger and other changes, this market leader went through a transformational stage and faced the challenges of integrating a hundred new finance systems. Hence, this slowed down some of the initial roll-out of AE but the firm has invested significantly in the deployment of AE across the global user base and is already servicing many clients on the platform – in addition to integrating it with internal systems.
Clear and open communicate with clients
Panelists agreed that while they have switched to ARGUS Enterprise, not all of their clients have done so in a similar timeframe, so a key part of the approach is to work with them throughout the migration process. For instance, both CBRE and JLL are currently providing ARGUS Enterprise files along with DCF files for select deals as they transition into broader use of AE only in the coming months.
Cushman and Wakefield maintains that it’s critical to proactively communicate AE’s multiple benefits, particularly data aggregation and analysis capabilities, to help clients see why they should invest in the technology. Clients do recognize the value once they see how their performance is maximized using a single platform that offers: asset and portfolio valuations; budgeting and investment structure forecasting; flexible reporting; and sensitivity/scenario building for structured stress testing.
As far as when the market is going to start sending AE files, CBRE and JLL said they are already doing it and expect the pace to pick up over the next 3-6 months and accelerate further in the third and fourth quarters of 2016. Others agreed.
Contact us if you would like additional information on this session or wish to speak with an Altus Analytics representative about your business needs.