If it’s March, it means that we’re finally heading out of winter (please) and it’s also time for the IREM Asset & Property Management Conference in New York. Building Engines was proud to continue our support of the event as a sponsor and I had the privilege again to participate as a panelist – and this year, to moderate a panel as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed facilitating the discussion as moderator for the Property Management Power Panel. Participants included:
- Michael Aisner, Portfolio Property Manager, RXR Realty
- Christopher Cayten, Managing Director, CodeGreen Solutions
- Nathan Collier, Principal and Chairman, Collier Companies
- Richard Doetsch, Chief Executive Officer, C&C Apartment Management
- Mitchell Gelberg, Managing Director of Property Management, Rose Associates
Nathan Collier, Richard Doetsch and Mitchell Gelberg shared terrific and often very entertaining insights on the challenges and best practices in managing affordable student and market rate housing in New York and Florida. It was great to contrast that with the commercial real estate class A building experience that Michael Aisner brought. Chris Cayton did a terrific job articulating how he supports each of their energy and sustainability initiatives.
In the mornng, I was fortunate to sit on The Devil’s in the Details: The Cutting Edge of Maintenance & Operational Best Practices panel with BEI clients from SL Green and RFR Realty, as well as our Moderator, Frank Socci, Principal and Director of Property Management, NAI Long Island.
Other panelists included:
- Andrew Cooke, Vice President – Property Management, Hines
- Marwan Saidi, Manager – Property Systems, RFR Realty
- Patricia Revellese, Property Manager, SL Green
My favorite part of our discussion was listening to the Andrew Cooke sharing his insights on all of the leading edge technologies he’s evaluating in his role overseeing the Morgan Stanley portfolio for Hines.
Some of the key take ways from the panel discussion, as well as from the audience questions, included:
- Technology is a tool. The organization that knows how to utilize and wield the tools best wins.
- People still matter most. Don’t hide behind the technology. Use it to free up your time to get in front of your clients more often and have conversations that matter. Find out what’s going on in their business. Use data/information from systems to guide discussions.
- It’s incumbent upon technology providers to help their customers keep up with what they need to know. Don’t leave them out there to fend for themselves. Help them learn and you’ll win hearts.
- Technology providers need to figure out how to work together better, share information and stop gouging the customers for that. Seems to be more of a legacy technology problem. Start-ups are doing a better job here.
Other highlights from the day included listening to another Building Engines client and innovation leader Jonathan Schultz from Onyx Equities on his panel, as well as keynote speaker Jonathan Rose from Rose Associates. He presented fascinating data on the state of American cities and their place in worldwide demographic shifts and connected these trends to his investment and development decisions. Most impressive was how he has been able to incorporate his own ethical standards for affordable housing and sustainability into his plans and still maintain his financial objectives. Truly inspiring.
IREM has added Dallas (in May) to the schedule for this year and is continuing in San Francisco again in September. Building Engines is pleased to commit to supporting both events and if New York is a barometer, I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in hearing best practices and information from the industry leaders in those markets to get the dates on your calendars now.