Category Archives: Real Estate

WIMS Client Spotlight: Commercial Carolina

Commercial Carolina brings wisdom, creativity, and innovation to the process of commercial real estate brokerage, investment, and development. Their goal is to offer a solution to your needs while exceeding expectations and deepening your relationship. They strive to achieve the best possible outcome in all endeavors and expect to be judged upon their results. Their firm utilizes up-to-the-minute technology including analytics software, wireless on-the-go connectivity, and client informatics and data mining from providers including Costar, Loopnet, and regional/local commercial listing services.

Services include:

  • Real Estate Development
  • Capital Investments
  • Tenant Brokerage

President Robert Settle has more than 30 years of experience in commercial real estate brokerage, investment, development, and financing. His expertise includes commercial property in the Eastern U.S. with over $200,000,000 + in closed transactions.

​As Commercial Carolina enjoys the advantages of technology, they know their success is truly grounded in “old-fashioned”, traditional values and methods. By providing the highest level of integrity and ethics in all matters, they will deepen their relationships and the value of their services with clientele.

Simply put, they will not be out-worked or out-thought by their competitors or out-of-sight when you need them. Check out their website https://www.commercialcarolina.net/ for more in-depth information on what they can do for you!

The Real Estate Branding Revolution - Creating an Immersive Experience WIMS Consulting

The Real Estate Branding Revolution – Creating an Immersive Experience

We have seen the benefits of storytelling and branding as a marketing tool to create an experience for companies and people in almost every industry. As of late, we have seen the real estate industry begin using branding and storytelling to create a lasting impression on people to invoke emotions and appeal to their aspirations. But what does this look like and how can it best be leveraged?

Sports teams, athletes, actors, and “influencers” hire marketers, agents, and consultants to carefully curate, promote, and monetize their personal brand to better connect with fans. Restaurants are leveraging their atmosphere/vibe, décor, and community involvement to appeal to customers just as much as they focus on the actual food and beverage offerings. So why not real estate too?

Traditionally, real estate has been a game of square footage, location, and expectation of appreciation to determine value. The best players in the real estate game look past these objective features and focus on the subjective needs of their target market.

This means taking into account, and optimizing, the impact you can have on someone by establishing a memorable experience that will leave them itching to revisit the property, envision themselves living, working, or owning it, and at the very least passing it on by referring it to others.

Many in the industry are now treating their buildings and spaces like they are their own company by creating a brand around the asset that helps to differentiate from competition. Developers, investors, and brokers are leveraging technology more than ever to showcase their properties. Commercial and industrial buildings are now building their own websites, social media, their own videos, and marketing, and much more. Apartments and multi-family buildings are too. Plus they’re integrating CRM systems into the day to day operations to close the loop on leads, prospects, and track referral sources.

Some are now adding virtual and augmented reality walk throughs to show off the amenities, highlight key features, and visualize the surrounding community and more as well. Tenants (and potential investors) can get an even deeper feel for what a space can offer without having to physically be present in the space.

Creating a story surrounding a space to develop a certain desirable atmosphere for people matters more than ever. You are no longer just selling square footage as much as you are selling the ability to solve their problems, meet their goals, and help add value to their life, business, or whatever the case may be.

Building a brand that people want to share is a powerful tool. Creating that reputation of being the place to be essentially markets your space for you. This could be through adding more amenities such as a pool, a gym, a lounge, a rooftop patio, an art gallery, anything to foster an ambiance of originality that can be shared with friends and colleagues. People remember what they have not experienced before, giving you an advantage over competitors if you can differentiate in this way.

All of this adds incredible valuable for commercial properties, office buildings, and apartment complexes. If you can create an immersive impression, it can have an effect like the movie “Inception” that lingers longer after they visit the website, do a walk through, view a brochure, or watch a video. That is when you know you nailed it and is what you should aspire to.

What other approaches are you seeing being used to help tell these stories and create these brands?

Real Estate Tech

The State of Technology & Innovation in Real Estate

The integration and adoption of technology into every industry is inevitable, even in industries that are traditionally relatively slower to adopt like real estate. Tech developments are enabling professionals in the space to be able to facilitate easier, faster, efficient, and more secure deals for all parties involved. Below are some of the emerging technology trends that are being integrated into real estate now, and in the coming years, many of which have been accelerated by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

The AR/VR spaces have seen tremendous growth, and it seems with the onset of COVID-19 the demand and urgency to roll out these capabilities has only increased. With the need for limited contact during the pandemic, restricted travel, and work from home trends, it is only natural that AR/VR trends will continue to surface in the real estate industry.

AR/VR technology increases the efficiency of managing tangible spaces and properties. Buyers and investors can view homes, office spaces, apartment complexes, industrial properties, office buildings, etc. without having to physically visit these properties. This saves time and money. The benefits are plentiful and include:

  • Virtual tours to advance remote property viewing,
  • Increased efficiency of property marketing,
  • Web and mobile applications for easy accessibility (even if a user does not have a headset),
  • Detailed investigation of properties that saves time,
  • Potential to remotely cover all stages of the negotiation process,
  • More dynamic and real-time collaboration with architects, developers, GC’s, and brokers,
  • Ability to build out a space, input secured tenants, and decorate a potential property, and
  • Many other use cases and capabilities are being developed daily.

The increasing popularity of real estate mobile apps and websites to search for properties will only be enhanced by AR/VR technology. People are closing deals and investing in properties/land without even physically seeing properties and are saving time in eliminating those properties that they would otherwise waste view in person.

CRM, Automation, & Business Intelligence

CRM programs are still in an early stage of adoption in the real estate industry despite being around for a while, and regardless of having proven their incredible value to companies in every industry. This industry relies on, and has a heavy emphasis on relationships, so the value to having a great system is immense. In addition, the more a firm and its professionals can automate the sales and marketing process to supplement their activities, the more likely they will be to grow.

Further, not just helping with the management of relationships and sales but tracking and referencing data can really set firms apart as well. For example, “Business intelligence derived from big data is already one of the biggest trends in property management. It can empower a real estate application affecting the process of interaction of property owners, agents, and customers in the app. BI provides various tools for the optimization of decision-making. Business analysis algorithms are applied to get intelligent predictions defining the relationships of app users. Then, it is easier to give an answer to the question about what is going to happen. Reviewing internal data and analyzing business processes, BI is increasing your data-driven real estate business. With business intelligence software solutions, you can optimize your operations leveraging and processing all incoming data.”

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

AI and ML have a bit longer of a way to go yet compared to the other trends, but they’re likely a lot close to widespread adoption then you’d think. An article from Forbes, highlighted some of their potential use cases:

“Right now, property search sites rely on simple preferences like location and size to display properties for sale; in the near future, however, AI may enable these sites to recommend properties based on additional preferences, personality traits, and values.

AI will also be able to help predict pricing trends more accurately. This type of technology would look at historical trends in the market for an area, but might also take into account area crime, schools, transportation, and marketplace activity.

It may also make the buying experience faster and easier. Companies are already creating ways to digitize the entire homebuying experience — no more reams of paper to read and sign at closing.”

Crowdfunding & Fund Syndication

Purchasing real estate, especially in the commercial/industrial sector, obviously requires a large amount of capital, which creates high barriers to entry. Syndication through crowdfunding, (along with blockchain mentioned below) allows for part-ownership in properties. Similar to how crowdfunding has become popular for those wanting to invest in start-ups without the traditionally large amounts invested by private investment firms and angel investors, you can now crowdfund to invest in properties too. This easier access enhances the trend towards a “sharing economy” where expenses are distributed, yet relationships flourish, through sharing the tangible things that traditionally single people or businesses would own. This is further evident in the business space through the popularity of coworking spaces.

Blockchain

Blockchain is most often associated with cryptocurrency, but it is reshaping business practices in traditionally non-tech industries. Blockchain does not necessarily change how real estate business is done; however, it serves to mitigate many of the challenges that arise in real estate negotiations, creating a safer and more efficient approach for the industry.

Fraud has existed in every industry that uses paper contracts. Why try to develop fraud detecting software or practices instead of just getting rid of the real problem: paper. So-called smart contracts can link digital property ownership to the blockchain, preventing any altering of material terms once they are encrypted. The documents become impossible to forge as the cryptography keeps them safe.

Although records are impossible to forge, they are not impossible to update. Typically, up-to-date, and relevant property information can be difficult to obtain when dealing with real estate paperwork. Also, it often must be paid for. Blockchain, however, provides all the historical data on properties and relevant updates in real time, preventing the need for any intermediaries to provide and verify relevant information.

Real estate deals involve many different individuals: notaries, bankers, real estate brokers, and others. Blockchain allows the buyer and seller to reduce the time needed from some of these respective individuals for their deals.

Drones

Marketing has become less about specific products/capabilities and more about storytelling, creating an emotional attachment to material things. Creating videos using drones can help tell the story of properties while maintaining a cost-effective marketing budget. Different angles give a better big picture look into what a property can offer.

Furthermore, drones can also assist in estimating the value of a property. Not only can you see surrounding properties, but you can get a better feel of the surrounding community. Drones can be used to spot potential risks or maintenance issues, providing a more thorough evaluation of properties.

Conclusion

This article just scratches the surface here, as there are many other technologies rolling out related to construction best practices, architecture, maintenance, materials, marketing, etc. The industry is ripe for further disruption and optimization which presents incredible opportunity for those that embrace it and make the most of these emerging technologies.

 

Written By: Mike Simmons and Evan Shirreffs.

WIMS Client Spotlight Amodernary Furniture Design

WIMS Client Spotlight: Amodernary Furniture Designs

Amodernary Furniture Designs is an interior design showroom located in the heart of South End Charlotte, North Carolina. They focus on custom built, one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that bring any space to life. Their unique pieces are tailored to specific needs will leave anyone in awe.

Amodernary Furniture Design is also your local resource for interior design and elegant home décor. Their professional interior designers will help you select color themes, stylish furnishings, and accessories for any room in your home or office. They also have a showroom where you can browse their furniture selection (the vibe is incredible)!

Whether you want to transform your whole house or just one room, make sure you have a professional interior designer by your side. The interior designers at Amodernary Furniture Design have the skills and experience necessary to style your space with trendy appliances, home décor accessories, and furnishings.

The selection and design services focus on the following areas of your home/office space:

  • Great Room
  • Dining Room
  • Bedroom
  • Office
  • Lighting
  • Art
  • Décor
  • Outdoor

BRING STYLE TO YOUR HOME WITH AMODERNARY FURNITURE DESIGN

Visit their website at https://www.amodernary.com/ or call 704-390-0984 to schedule interior design consulting services from Amodernary Furniture Design – or stop by their showroom today. They have financing options, seasonal sales, and more to help bring your interior designing dreams to reality.

WIMS Client Spotlight MDO Partners

WIMS Client Spotlight: MDO Partners

MDO|PARTNERS is a boutique law firm that focuses on Corporate, International and Real Estate Law as well as Global Compliance and Business Ethics. The firm is comprised of a solid team of attorneys and advisors who are committed to the business goals and best interests of their clients. They deliver value-added services of the highest caliber, and serve as a trusted advisor to their clients through their practical and business-savvy approach. MDO Partners is also a certified minority-owned business that values diversity with Hispanic, black, and women attorneys and advisors.

Before we get into the details about the firm however, we want to mention that MDO Partners is putting together a package to assist companies that are looking to pursue any of the various CARES Act/CoVid-19 financial relief options. Whether helping to put the documentation together, interfacing with potential banks/lenders, they’ve mobilized a team to help walk clients through it in order to increase their likelihood of receiving funds. If you’re interested, and need the assistance please reach out and we can facilitate an introduction.

Check out their robust and informative write up, “CARES Act: Q&A on New Loans and Forgiveness” here.

Now back to more information about MDO Partners…

The firm’s representative clients include Fortune 500, middle-market and startup companies as well as public-private partnerships in the industries listed below. They also represent financial institutions, registered investment advisers, broker-dealers and family offices in the United States and Latin America.

They have a range of specialties, but the following are their bread and butter:

  • Corporate Law
    • Corporate Governance
    • Corporate Finance
    • Contracts & Agreements
    • Mergers & Acquisitions
    • General Counsel Services
  • Global Compliance
    • Corporate Compliance
    • Anti-Corruption (FCPA)
    • Antitrust & Competition Laws
    • Government Contracts & False Claims
    • Broker-Dealers & Investment Advisers
    • Employment Law
  • International Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Business Ethics

MDO Partners has expertise with the following industries (among others):

  • Aerospace
  • Aviation
  • Banking
  • Construction
  • Cruise Lines
  • Food & Beverage
  • Logistics
  • Medical Devices
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Travel & Tourism

 

WIMS Client Spotlight Close Off Market

WIMS Client Spotlight: Close Off Market

Close Off Market, Inc. and its team have been working tirelessly to solve a major problem facing the real estate community: tighter margins caused by slowly moving deals and antiquated business practices. Close Off Market has created a unique technology platform that offers subscription-based access to off market commercial real estate deals in an efficient and user-tailored manner. The platform leverages pre-existing technology (such as e-signature, CRM, ecommerce, etc.) and then adds its own proprietary algorithm on top to bring it all together. The business is built off the hypothesis that further enabling technology to add another layer of efficiency will help streamline the entire sales cycle and will make a tremendous impact on users businesses.

If you’re in the commercial real estate industry, you know how important getting access to the best possible deals at the best possible time can be to help increase the ROI on a potential transaction. Whether you’re a developer, investor, property manager, or otherwise having access to the best information, operating an efficient business, maintaining great relationships, and making timely decisions can make or break your organization.

Close Off Market has completely systematized the process to streamline the entire cycle and present its users with off market deals that are fully customized to their specific desired criteria.

Close Off Market’s co-founders are Clifford Blanquicet, Jr. and his wife Anna Blanquicet. Clifford is an entrepreneur and CEO of Blanq Real Estate, he’s also a commercial real estate broker, investor, and property manager. This problem is something he experiences daily and is extremely familiar with. Finding a way to solve it became a passion project of his that eventually led to the spin off and creation of the new entity.

He wanted a simple, automated, yet functional platform that expedited the commercial real estate acquisition process, while also providing invaluable insight into what his clients needed and wanted in their respective businesses. After searching unsuccessfully for such a platform, he noticed a void, and a potential opportunity. This led him on the path of creating Close Off Market.

After allocating the necessary resources and assembling a team, he and the company recently finished their internal development and testing phases and have now launched the initial beta platform to the public. While there is an extensive product road map in place that will continue to be rolled out in the near future, the existing iteration of the Close Off Market platform is ready for further user testing.

ABOUT CLOSE OFF MARKET

Charlotte-based Close Off Market, Inc. is a real estate tech startup focused on streamlining the process of commercial real estate acquisitions. The company offers a secure, cloud-based technology platform that provides subscription-based access to off market commercial real estate deals in an efficient and user-tailored manner. For more information, please visit: https://www.closeoffmarket.com/.

Charlotte Fall Updates

Charlotte in Fall

As the calendar has turned to October the temperatures in Charlotte are finally cooling off slightly after some record heat through September. While the weather may be cooling down and the fall spirit is spreading from Ballantyne to Belmont the business community around the Queen City is staying busy. Cranes can be seen all around the city and the roads are packed with dump trucks and construction vehicles. The real estate market is continuing to be very active as new residents continue to move into the Charlotte area and millennials embark on their first home buying purchase. Technology jobs are expanding across Charlotte bringing high paying jobs to the city and diversifying the entire regional economy. As job growth continues the real estate market in Charlotte is becoming one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. As an increased number of jobs are being created and the major infrastructure investments are made across the region the area is striving to move forward and be positioned for the economy of the future. While challenges including access to affordable housing and congestion exist the improvements and efforts of public and private leaders across the Charlotte region are addressing critical issues and moving the city towards a brighter future.

 

A Southern Tech Hub

Charlotte is expanding beyond being more than a financial services hub, it is becoming a major destination for tech talent. The CompTIA Tech Town Index 2018 ranked Charlotte as the best city to embark on a technology career. The lower cost of living, 1.3% below the national average make Charlotte a desirable place to move, begin a family and purchase a home. The cost of living is particularly more affordable than other tech hubs including the Bay Area, New York, and Boston.

Many workers from the Midwest and Northeast are relocating to Charlotte to settle down in a place with lower taxes and an abundance of recreational activities to supplement career growth. The projected number of openings over the next five years in the tech sector is a steady 11% showing how the growth in the Charlotte tech sector is here to stay. Many Charlotte companies desire tech workers including some of the largest regional job creators including major banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Mooresville, NC based Lowe’s is opening a tech hub in the South End neighborhood of Charlotte bringing 2,000 jobs by 2021. This favorable job growth is spilling into the real estate market which consistently ranks as the one of the most active markets in the US.

 

Real Estate

The Charlotte real estate market was ranked fourth in the 41st annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate behind only Raleigh-Durham, Austin, and Nashville. The metrics from this report combine tech jobs to real estate investments in determining the rankings. The ranking of fourth marks a move from ninth in the 2018 report showing how the Charlotte real estate market is heating up. Some of the insight from the report also highlighted how strong home building prospects are in Charlotte, ranking second in 2019 up from fourth in 2018. The ability to attract technology and manufacturing to diversify beyond financial services is another factor driving regional growth and helping the housing market. Investments in infrastructure projects have provided additional benefits to improving desirability to Charlotte including improvements at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and an expanding Light Rail system. Along with massive success comes some growing pains and Charlotte, like many other Sunbelt cities, is feeling some residual effects of growth. These include higher housing costs, additional roadway infrastructure projects, and a need to improve stormwater systems. All things considered the real estate market is continuing to be very active, attracting 1.2% of US real estate investments from 2016-2019 while accounting for only 0.8% of the nation’s population. As additional companies  relocate to Charlotte and retirees move to the desirable Carolina climate and tax situation additional single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses will be needed to handle continued housing demands.

 

Relocations and Expansion

Over the past 12 months multiple companies have announced major relocation projects. The Charlotte Regional Business Alliance has been working with local and state officials in South Carolina and North Carolina to attract companies to expand current business operations, open regional offices, or relocate their headquarters to the regions. Some recent projects which have created new jobs across the region include Honeywell, which has relocated their headquarters to Charlotte in a move expected to create over 750 jobs.

These jobs along with new jobs from Lowe’s and a continued presence by Duke Energy, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo mean some of the world’s largest companies have a major presence in Charlotte. Beyond these firms the startup community in Charlotte is growing with recent expansions coming from AvidXchange who is planning to grow to accommodate 1,200 new employees. This diverse economic landscape allows Charlotte to grow beyond traditional financial services institutions while utilizing the skills of the regions highly skilled workforce.

 

 

WIMS Partners

The WIMS team has a robust and expanding presence in Charlotte utilizing the skills of partners. As we continue to grow, we are always looking for new partners and if you believe you can grow with us, we want to hear from you to see if opportunities exist. With the continued growth of WIMS it is exciting to see the city and region around us changing and growing.

 

Concluding thoughts

Charlotte has established itself as a major economic powerhouse in the Southeast that is seeing increased investment and interest on a regional, national, and international scene. As companies continue their planning for 2020 and beyond, many in the Charlotte region continue to grow towards an even brighter future. The institutions in the city through public private partnerships are investing in the city’s institutions to continue to encourage investment and relocations to Charlotte. By focusing on sustaining growth and creating a better region for the future, Charlotte is positioning itself for long term success moving up the ranking of best places to live as the quality of life in greater Charlotte region continues to improve.