5 Ways Your Property Manager is Decreasing the Value of Your Property

Successfully managing a property is indeed not a ‘walk in a park’ or an easy task. It requires a specialized set of skills proven with years of experience to do that.  Several developers consider hiring a property management firm as an additional cost. There is a common notion among many developers that if they manage their own property, it will result in more savings and a reduction in the operational cost of the building, thus maintaining its property value. However, that’s miles away from reality

Several developers don’t have the necessary experience as well as complete know-how on various landlord-tenant laws and other laws regulating the real estate sector. This often costs the developers and landlords dearly in terms of legal penalties. Furthermore, many developers fail in the adoption and implementation of building management technologies or PropTech which costs developers a fortune in terms of poor maintenance of the building, high operational cost, surge in service charges for the residents, decline in tenant retention rate, and lower occupancy. These factors also have a profound impact on their Return on Investment (ROI) for the developer. Thus, in all fairness, it makes sense for the developers to hire a professional property management firm as they can assist developers in making wise decisions and taking care of their tenants while they focus on the ‘greater good of their business.

It is also crucial to hire an experienced property management firm to manage your assets as an inexperienced property manager can cause equal damage to the property value. Several developers prioritize the service fee while shortlisting the property management firm, however, that’s not a wise practice. A saving of AED 30,000 in service fee can cost developers 10-20 times more if the property manager fails to address tenant grievances, satisfaction rate, service charges, operating cost, occupancy rate, sales & marketing of the units, and timely maintenance and upgrades of the building due to poor management. Thus, it is always important for the developers to prioritize the experience, and expertise of the property management firm or property managers over the service charges. 

How Can an Inexperienced Property Manager Devalue Your Property?

Here are the common mistakes committed by the many property managers which can adversely impact the value of their property:

1. Lack of Maintenance & Upgrades:

Timely maintenance and upgrades can ameliorate the condition of the property and ensure its value stays stable. However, developing a viable plan to ensure timely maintenance is still trivia for global property managers as well as developers. 

Due to the lack of effective management or negligence of your property managers in conducting timely maintenance & upgrades, the property can fall victim to wall crack, ceiling, peeling paint, dampness, timber decay, fungi, sagging or deformation, erosion of mortar joint, insect or termite attack, roof defect, etc. Lack of timely maintenance & upgrades is to blame. This will result in a substantial decline in the condition and the value of the building. 

As an experienced property management firm, Kaizen AMS addresses the following issues through effective planning. Our highly experienced property experts do a well-thought analysis of the costs involved in performing the maintenance & upgrades and design a well-analyzed budget to manage future expenses. Kaizen AMS’ experts always make sure that they come up with a plan that is in the best interest of the building’s performance as well as the pockets of the developers.

2. Higher Time to Market:

Marketing the property has become quite challenging in the last decade. Earlier, developers used to rely on the traditional methods of promoting the property, either through networking or newspaper advertisement. However, the advent of technology has completely disrupted the real estate industry. Unsurprisingly, many developers are still struggling to comprehend technological changes. Today, most of the properties are sold online in their initial construction phase and on social media in their initial construction phase. Developers are losing big for missing out on attracting buyers to their properties by not embracing the technology and by working with an inexperienced property manager. This is resulting in properties being sold at lower prices which are negatively impacting the property value.

Furthermore, several traditional developers & their property management firms neither have technology nor systems in place to document the details of property and buyers nor have the knowledge of the right platforms to market their property. This is resulting in higher time to market (TTM) which has a drastic impact on the cash flows & the overall revenues of the developers. 

3. Lack of Proper Tenant Screening & Document Management:

Tenant screening is another ‘boil the ocean’ task for several traditional & small developers and landlords. They don’t have a viable process to conduct tenant screening which is an integral responsibility of a developer. This is maximizing their potential liabilities and possibilities of handing over their properties to the wrong tenant. Furthermore, lack of tenant screening is also an invitation to rent payment defaults & delays which can impact the revenues and brand image of the developer and ultimately results in the decline of the property value.

Several developers & landlords with a lack of technology usage in their business operations also face challenges in managing the documents submitted by the tenants for screening purposes. This often leads to missing out on or losing important tenant information which can create a problem for the developer in the long run. Lack of document management process can also lead to an inaccurate accounting of rental income and poor planning and strategic decision making.

It is also crucial to screen retail tenants in accordance with the retail strategy/tenant mix plan. A viable and well-thought tenant mix plan can play an important role for the retail sector in designing a strategy to attract tenants. If a property manager identifies an anchor tenant prior to the completion of a commercial property or a new mall or series of shops it can attract several new tenants. The property manager must also brainstorm on the concepts that will complement other concepts to multiply the tenants and increase the occupancy rate of the property.

4. Lower Tenant Satisfaction & Retention Rate:

For decades, several traditional developers and landlords have managed their properties themselves. This was easier back then as there was not much competition. Moreover, due to the limited number of developers in the market, tenants also didn’t have much choice. However, with the passage of time, the industry has become much more competitive with the entry of several world-class developers in the UAE. Thus, it has become pivotal to adopt newfangled technologies to offer higher value to the tenant within limited rent & service charges. This will uplift the level of tenant satisfaction score and retention rate and allow the developer to gain a competitive edge over rivals.

All this might look simple on paper but accomplishing it has been a ‘hard nut to crack’ for several property managers globally, creating an urge to choose Kaizen AMS’.

5. Invitation to Legal Problems’

With the advent of technology, it has become much easier to access information in a few clicks. This has empowered the tenants & residents more on their rights. 

Although it is good practice to know more about your rights in many cases, it has also given an invitation to several legal challenges for the developers. 

A minor error of the property manager has resulted in tenants filing hefty lawsuits against the developers, resulting in a serious loss of revenue and reputation. Thus, it makes sense to hire a property manager who possesses a thorough knowledge of local laws & regulations to comprehend these situations.

The Kaizen Difference:

Without a shadow of a doubt, hiring an experienced property management firm can assist the developers in overcoming all the pressing challenges discussed above, to keep increasing the value of a property:

Here are some ways through which Kaizen AMS’ Property Managers Enhance the value of the property:

1. Ensuring a Robust & Compliant Building Design:

Hiring the right property management firm during the construction & design phase can assist the developers in constructing robust building infrastructure which stands tall on compliance. During pre-occupancy, property managers assist developers in procuring all necessary operating contracts.

Kaizen AMS’ Property managers are well-equipped with advanced property management technology to overcome many issues that arise during the design & construction phase. We continuously invest in developing as well as in investing in PropTech software to curtail any possibility of defects as Kaizen AMS understands that such errors can seriously damage the reputation of a developer, and can adversely impact the value of the property. Furthermore, our property managers always keep an ‘eagle’s eye control’ on the budgets allocated by the developers to ensure the construction of the building is completed within the assigned budget by developing a well-thought budgeting plan.

To know more about the crucial role property management firms can play during the design and construction phase of a building, kindly go through an insightful article titled –Why are developers not consulting Property Managers during design and construction?” by Mr. George Malakos – Business Development Director at Kaizen AMS.

2. Timely Renovation & Maintenance:

 ‘Old is gold’ – unfortunately this phrase doesn’t stand right in the case of property. Irrespective of how better the property looks today, as time passes the building gets exposed to wear & tear which is very much noticeable by the buyers and has a detrimental impact on the value of the property. Building infrastructure, plumbing, and electrical arrangements & setups get obsolete which reduces its charm among the potential buyers & tenants. 

With the passage of time, buyers have now become more aware and conscious and they closely inspect for defaults and patchwork done on the property. They also thoroughly check for ventilation and sunlight. These factors have a deep impact on the value of the property. Conducting timely up-gradation and home renovations are the ‘cherry on the top’ as they transform the condition of the property and prevents it from going outdated. 

The significance of timely renovations can be understood from that statement that a two-decade-old property can attract more buyers and price compared to newly furnished if it is well-maintained. An experienced property manager can play a major role in keeping the property up-to-date and as per the dynamic requirements of the buyers & the industry. Furthermore, property managers can work around renovating and upgrading all available amenities such as – swimming pools, community centres, gyms, children’s parks, etc. to galvanize the value of the property and keep it as per the dynamic requirements of modern buyers.

Kaizen AMS’ property managers ensure timely renovations of the building to maintain its elegant interior & exterior. In this journey, our property managers also tie up with the building maintenance specialists such as – contractors, plumbers, technicians, and electricians and also leverages the power of advanced Building Automation System (BAS) to get timely updates on the current condition of the building and perform renovations accordingly. 

Kaizen AMS’ Property managers also conduct manual inspections to identify any snagging issues in the building. They often prioritize those parts of the building for renovation which are either out of date as per the building’s current code requirements or have the biggest impact on the value of the property with minimal investment. 

3. Minimizing Rent Defaults through Effective Screening & Documentation:

Kaizen AMS conducts an in-depth screening and background verification of the tenants and asks for both electronic & hard copies of all relevant documents before the final handover of the property. This significantly minimizes the possibility of rent defaults or delays. Furthermore, Kaizen’s property managers work around framing viable policies & frameworks to curb any practice that can adversely impact the revenues of the developers as well as the value of the property. We professionally address the cases of payment arrears, forms of breaches, and dishonored cheques and also make recommendations to the developers on the best ways to collect arrears from the tenants. 

In some cases, some of the property management firms also engage with collection agencies to assist with legal actions taken by the client against tenants. They also communicate & arbitrate all settlement arrangements with tenants.

4. Working on Reducing the Service Charges to Boost Tenant Satisfaction:

Higher service charges have been the biggest culprit in deteriorating the tenant’s satisfaction with the residence and his length of duration at the property. To ensure minimal service charges at its managed communities, Kaizen AMS’ property managers continuously invest in Property Technology or PropTech to minimize the operational cost of the building which results in lower service charges and energy bills for the tenants and homeowners.

Tenant satisfaction also has a direct impact on the property value as well as the brand image of the developer. It also positively impacts the ability of the developer to attract more tenants to their properties, resulting in more revenues for the developers.

5. Making Properties ‘Smarter’

Kaizen AMS’ property managers lay special emphasis on making the properties smarter. They liaise up with building automation firms to perform advanced technology upgrades to increase the value of the property. 

Some of these upgrades include – voice control, remote access over a home, a wirelessly controlled network of devices, installing advanced security features like home surveillance systems to send intelligent notifications, lighting control, and automated window treatments. Our managed communities are under the surveillance of CCTV and monitoring devices 24×7 to ensure the utmost security and convenience of the residents. 

Smart properties have a positive impact on tenant satisfaction, occupancy rate, revenues of the developer/landlords, and above all the value of the property.

6. Marketing of the Property:

Kaizen AMS’ property management team starts marketing the property even before its construction is completed or ideally when it is 50-60% completed. This practice ensures targeting the buyers in the initial stage before they make their mind to go with the other developer. It also ensures property doesn’t stay vacant for long and the developer doesn’t incur a loss. Kaizen’s Property managers try to create a buzz about the property to attract more buyers and ensure the property is sold at its highest value and fetch rents that are at par with the industry’s average. 

Some of the ways a Kaizen AMS’ Property Manager does marketing of the property are as follows:

  1. Posting an advertisement on the prominent property websites to capture most of the buyers during the initial stages of construction
  2. Working on the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings of the property advertisements to get it more attention on the internet
  3. Spreading a positive ‘word of mouth’ about the property to build a favorable brand image of the developer and attract more buyers through referrals
  4. Marketing the property in  the local real estate portals and newspapers to target buyers from every segment
  5. Promoting the property on signage as well as through local bulletin boards
  6. Tie-up with developers or media companies to advertise the property in weekly & monthly news publications 

7. Prevent Legal Challenges: 

Undoubtedly, hiring a professional & experienced property management firm like Kaizen AMS can protect the developers from several legal issues which can prove extortionate for them. Kaizen AMS’ property managers are very much familiar with State and Local tenant-landlord laws and safety codes. Furthermore, we also have a large team of lawyers or legal experts who have decades of industry experience. They guide our property managers on the next steps in case the developer faces any legal issues. 

Summary:

The top ways in which your property managers are decreasing the value of your property are –

  1. Not performing timely maintenance & upgrades
  2. Lack of technology adoption leading to higher time to market 
  3. Lack of effective tenant screening & document management which is leading to frequent defaults and delays in the rent payment. This is adversely impacting the revenues and brand image of the developer and the value of the property
  4. Ineffective management of tenant grievances leading to lower tenant satisfaction & Retention Rate with lower occupancy
  5. Inviting legal issues & hefty lawsuits by not managing the property in a professional manner

The Need for you to Choose Kaizen AMS – (a top 3 Property management firm in Dubai)

Kaizen AMS property managers:

  1. Assists developers in procuring all necessary operating contracts during pre-occupancy and provides their valuable advice during the design and construction phase
  2. Performs renovation & maintenance of the property on a timely basis
  3. Conducts an in-depth screening and background verification of the tenants and also asks for both electronic & hard copies of all relevant documents before the final handover of the property. 
  4. Continuously invest in Property Technology or PropTech to minimize the operational cost of the building which results in lower service charges
  5. Liaise up with building automation firms to perform advanced technology upgrades to increase the value of the property. 
  6. Market the property even before its construction is completed or ideally when it is 50-60% completed to ensure the majority of units are sold by the time building is completed.
  7. Backed by a large team of lawyers & legal experts protect the developers from complex legal challenges.

Dubai’s Real Estate Market is Thriving in 2021 – What’s the impact?

Dubai’s real estate sector is going through an interesting phase of transformation. Effective planning has enabled the city to navigate through the global economic slowdown and strengthen its property sector reforms. 

Dubai’s real estate market set a new benchmark, the highest in the last four year by value of real estate sales transactions. The 15th edition of Mo’asher, Dubai’s official sales price index, by Dubai Land Department (DLD), shows that May 2021 had the highest total sales transaction values since March 2017 in excess of Dh11.11 billion, with a growth 1.4 % compared to last April. The number of real estate transactions in May 2021 reached 4,429, bringing the year total, to date, to 20,989 transactions worth Dh47.19 billion.

While the global property real estate sector was battling for its survival in 2020, Dubai’s real estate market was thriving like never before. This was very evident from the number of sales transactions recorded by the Dubai Land Department (DLD). The sector recorded 51,414 transactions worth over Dh 175 billion in 2020 as per the annual transaction report issued by the Dubai Land Department (DLD). 

The first quarter of 2021 has come up with more reasons to cherish for the real estate headhonchos. Due to decline in property prices & rental rates, the sector witnessed the highest number of transactions in the last two years. 

Let’s take a look at Q1 2021 performance:

Dubai Real Estate Sector: Q1 2021 Performance

The recent bulletin issued by Dubai Land Department (DLD) titled ‘Real Estate Updates Q1 2021’ highlights the sector’s continued positive results in Q1 2021. Real estate transactions reached their highest mark since 2017, registering 6,590 deals valued around AED 22.9 billion, growth in number by 43% and in value by 40% year-on-year. 

The real estate transactions in Q1 2021 achieved a phenomenal growth of 27% and 47% compared to Q1 2020 and Q1 2019, respectively. The value of real estate brokerage commissions achieved by active real estate brokers in the real estate market reached AED 392 million in Q1 2021, while 143,374 Ejari contracts were recorded in Q1 2021, 57% of which were new contracts and 43% were renewed contracts.

Dubai’s Skyscrapers are Standing Tall on the Expectations of New Investors:  

Despite all market uncertainties, the Dubai real estate sector has not lost its charm. According to the DLD bulletin for Q1, 2021, the sector attracted 5,683 new investors, which was 64% of the  total number of investors. The Dubai property market has been highly successful in winning the trust of both local & international investors. 

The areas that remained ‘an apple of an eye’ of investors to buy villas in Q1 2021 include – Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Wadi Al Safa 5, Wadi Al Safa 7, Nad Al Sheba 1, and Al Thanyah Fourth, as per the bulletin.

The areas that remained the top choice for apartment sales are –Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, Business Bay, Burj Khalifa, and Al Merkadh were the top choice for apartment sales. 2021 will prove to be more positive for the industry as the demand-supply ratio is heading towards stability and expected to remain relatively resilient to the effects of 2020.

Growth Drivers:

Rising cases of covid-19, strict travel restrictions, lengthy lockdown phase, economic slowdown, and massive business losses due to lack of demand & job losses, were the top reasons for the global investors especially from Europe, India & North America to invest in Dubai real estate market. There has been an enormous rise in the number of affluent investors from Britain, Italy, France, and Germany buying villas and holiday homes in Dubai due to rising cases of coronavirus in their respective nations. Even in the middle of the pandemic in 2020, the Dubai real estate market got a big boost from foreign investors. According to the data posted by Gulf News, in 2020, Dubai’s real estate market attracted 19,757 foreign investors, who concluded 24,666 investments worth over Dh35.6 billion.

The triumph of the UAE real estate sector is also attributed to its visionary national leadership for coming up with business-friendly measures like FDI laws, restoration of relations with Qatar, fastest and well-executed Covid vaccination drive, digitization, reduction of interest rates, Expo 2020, increase in LTV ratios for the first time buyers of the property, long-term residency visas, and launch of golden visa to offer quick pathway to citizenship. 

In 2020, Kaizen AMS witnessed many of its prestigious real estate clients coming up with new units as demand for the property increased exponentially. This has positively impacted our business last year. Banking on the favorable business climate, government measures, real estate spending, and rising foreign investments, Kaizen AMS is all set to thrive and expand its client portfolio several folds in 2021.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Property Management Firm

Property is indeed one’s most valuable possession. It requires professional and proactive management to nurture it. To ensure that a property always remains in better shape and its value doesn’t deteriorate, it is of paramount importance to choose an experienced, transparent, licensed, and responsive property management firm.

Selecting the right property management (PM) firm can be an overwhelming task, especially for the first time. There can be multiple questions coming to the mind such as – what should be their experience level, regulatory requirements, fees, client’s list & testimonials, reviews, etc. This article will clear all your doubts once in for all.

Here are some tips on choosing a great property management firm: 

Property Management Experience:

Experience always speaks louder than words. The number of years of relevant industry experience property management (PM) firms possess always holds an upper edge and is an ideal way to evaluate its potential. It is vital to go through its list of clients served available on the website or in the company’s publication. This will provide an idea on whether the property management firm only possesses experience in serving clients with similar requirements or is also well-versed in catering to the dynamic and inimitable requirements of real estate clients from diverse backgrounds.

Technology:

Technology has played a vital role in facilitating easy accessibility and keeping the property management firms closer to the tenants. There is no need for the tenants to visit the office as they can communicate with property management firms through phone, WhatsAPP, email, and electronic communication means. 

Leveraging its state-of-the-art customer communication platforms, Kaizen AMS provides 24/7 Support via calls, emails & WhatsApp. We offer real-time reporting & solutions for all maintenance-related issues to elevate the standards of customer experience. Kaizen AMS simplifies the move-in & move-out process for the tenants through automation by building a seamless process for all other requests via. its innovative online platform. All of our internal & external business stakeholders can connect with us via. phone, Whatsapp, email, or by scheduling a video call with the Experience Manager.

Research:

Spending time & money on research might sound like an extra cost; however, it is indeed an undeniable fact that this exercise can avoid choosing a wrong property management firm. 

Prioritize a PM firm which has more experienced Community Managers. Visit LinkedIn and select the name of the property management firm. Then click on the employees’ profiles to find out the details on their work experience in serving various communities and whether it matches your requirements. Selecting a property management firm with an experienced staff is some sort of assurance of receiving quality service with minimal complaints from your tenants.

It is also crucial to research the staff turnover. A high staff turnover reflects that experienced staff rarely stays with the company. This dilutes the experience of overall staff, which can take a toll on the level of services offered. It also makes sense to do a cost-benefit analysis of the fee charged by the property management (PM) firm and the level of services offered.

Devoting time to investigate these facts will reflect on the delivery of the service and can save you from making costly mistakes.

Compliance:

While selecting a property management firm, it is recommended to check whether the firm complies with the guidelines set by RERA – Dubai Land Department

To stay tall in terms of compliance, a property management firm must possess all necessary certificates such as – tax compliance, business registration, insurance certificate, and other local authority requirements. Any extra professional affiliations and certifications such as International Standard Organization (ISO) will be a plus. 

Reporting:

Reporting is a key requirement for business engagement. The property management firms which release business reports on a timely basis have better chances of securing more business from bigger & compliant real-estate firms. The primary objective of these reports is to make all relevant stakeholders aware of its current situation with a strategy to improve the numbers in the near future. 

Some of these business reports include – 

  1. Tenancy reports: these reports offer regular updates on occupancy, turnover rate, and pending notices
  2. Financial reports: these reports provide information regarding the business margins, a summary of rent collected, agency fees, other service fees, and managing expenses
  3. Ad-hoc reports: these reports offer insights on industry trends and the factors which can act as disruptions. Thus, it facilitates in making quick decisions.

Go through Internet Reviews & Testimonials:

Based on internet reviews, real estate firms evaluate which property management firm matches their requirements even before initiating the conversation. It is important to check Google reviews and Yelp reviews of the clients they are working with or have worked with along with comments across social media platforms. They both work best as a valuable  resource while comparing multiple companies at a time.

The information on the quality of work delivered by the property management firm can also be collected through personal or professional references or relationships. This is one of the most viable & reliable ways to analyze the capabilities of the property management firm.

Thoroughly Review the PM Agreement:

Property management agreement clearly outlines the business relationships between a client & property manager. The document offers briefs on the services offered by the property management firm, the owner’s responsibilities, contract duration, and termination clauses.

The property management agreement must clearly explain the insurance protection policy – including to what extent the firm is insured. Whether the PM firm has just appropriate general liability insurance, or it possesses property-casualty insurance, errors, and omissions (E&O) policies, etc. Property management agreement must be read carefully and required changes must be made before signing off. It must be made sure that the document has no disagreeable clauses.

Property Management Fees:

Property management fees must be reasonable to offer quality services with better margins. It is important to decide which payment model should be followed as some property management firms charge a fixed fee, while others charge a percentage of rent collected, or a blanket fee based on the business needs. Some companies also charge a commission-based rate combined with other incentives paid for excellent services offered to the tenants. 

Financials:

Financials of a property management firm play a critical role in its selection. Selecting a financially sound PM firm ensures that there won’t be challenges in employees receiving their salaries on time and are better taken care of. This will boost their morale and will also result in the client receiving improved services. 

On the contrary, selecting a property management firm with poor financials reflects that its employees are or might be in near future face challenges in receiving salaries which will lead to low morale, poor service, unexplained delays, and other bad traits. It is also an invitation to fraud and other unwanted events which will ultimately have an adverse impact on the brand image. 

While selecting a property management firm, it is important to review its balance sheet, cash flow statements, P&L statement, liquidity ratio, acid test ratio, and audited books of accounts.

Reasons to Choose Kaizen AMS as Your Property Management Firm:

Here are the top reasons to Choose Kaizen AMS as your preferred property management firm:

  • 13000+ units managed across the UAE
  • Developed list of ERP, CRM, and Maintenance platforms inhouse which easily gets integrated with client’s systems
  • Proud corporate member of the U.S. Green Building Council
  • ISO 9001:2015 certified company
  • Some of the highest occupancy rates in its managed properties across U.A.E
  • Proud winner of a list of prestigious industry accolades such as – Superbrands, multiple awards including Gulf Real Estate Awards for ‘Best Employer in Real Estate’ and ‘Best Consultancy in Real Estate’ –2018, ‘Best Owners Association Management Initiative’ & ‘Best Media and Communications’ -2019. Additionally, the most recent include being featured on the Influential Companies of 2020 list by CM Today publication.

7 Reasons for Rising Allocation of Family Offices in Real-Estate

Family offices play a crucial role in the investment and management of funds to sustain long-term wealth. Post the global financial crisis in 2008, the stock market has consistently hit its peak levels with global wealth rising like never before. Family offices have always facilitated the elite in taking control of their financial fortunes through single or multiple-family offices. As per the research conducted by Dominic Samuelson, CEO of Campden Wealth, family offices currently hold assets over USD 4 trillion globally. The credit goes to the colossal increase in the number of billionaires across the globe.

The world we live in is unpopular for its unequal distribution of wealth, which is one of the biggest reasons for the swift rise of family office culture. According to the Global Wealth Report -2019 from Credit Suisse, 44% of global wealth belongs to 46.8 million millionaires. Advent in technology and easy access to information has allowed the elites to leverage investment management solutions that were exclusive to investment banks earlier.

Family Office: What does it mean?

A family office is a comprehensive financial shop for opulent people. It serves as wealth management and financial advisor for high net worth (HNW) clients with a special focus on the “ultra-high net worth’ segment.  The “ultra-high net worth’ category is usually defined as anyone with $30 million or more to invest.

There are two main models of family office:

The Single Family Office: Single Family Office is a financial advisor that serves only one client and manages their massive fortune. This concept originated in Europe.

The Multi-family Office: Due to the emergence and implementation of innovative technologies, the efficiency of financial firms has expanded and they have started serving several clients at the same time. The multi-family Office firms serve more than one client although the client base of multi-family Office firms remains the super-rich high net worth (HNW) individuals.

Services Offered by the Family Office:

The major services offered by the Family office includes – tax planning, investment management, budgeting, insurance, wealth transfer, managing the buying and selling of properties, guiding the firms on their charitable donations, advice, concierge, and other wide range of services.

Growth Drivers:

The prominent factors that attract the world’s elite towards the family office model include – cost-efficiency, increased customization, flexibility, and greater control.

Exponential Rise in Family Office Culture in the Middle East:

The importance of Family offices is rising every day for the real-estate markets in the Middle East. In the last decade, there has been a colossal rise in the transfer of wealth from corporations to individuals in the region. According to the research conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the privately-owned assets in the Middle East will account for US$11.8 trillion by the end of the year 2020 (report post-COVID), with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, accounting for over 22% of the total.

As per the report by Campden Research in July 2019, pre-COVID there was no sign of this trend abating, with key global research, quoting that there was estimated to be 7,300 single family offices worldwide, with collective estimated assets under management of US$ 5.9 trillion. Meanwhile, the wealth of the families behind them totals a vast US$ 9.4 trillion. With such a huge pace of wealth transitioning in the hands of private players, the family office culture has emerged as a key influencer in the private wealth sector in terms of fund investors and structuring trends.

There is huge outstanding liquidity on the wealth held in Gulf nations. Around 82% is held in investable assets as compared to the global average of 60%. As per PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Private Equity Trend Report 2019, 73% of private equity firms consider family offices as the potential investors in their next round.

Factors Driving Allocations of Family Offices in the Real Estate:

In the last few years, there has been a rising trend of Family offices increasing their allocations to real estate. The top reasons behind this rapid increase include – asset class outperforming other asset classes, low-interest rates paid by the banks, and the potential of wealth that real estate can create for the future.

Here are the different motivations for family offices to invest in Real-estate –

Diversified Asset Allocation:

There has been a rising trend of diversified asset allocation as several families consider real-estate and hard assets as an indispensable component of a balanced investment portfolio. Since its inception in 1950, Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) has had a major influence on institutional investor allocation strategy. Taking the idea from the MPT, the Yale Model was developed and imitated by several institutional investors. These investors witnessed numerous benefits of deploying capital away from traditional methods such as stocks and bonds, in favor of alternative investments including hedge funds, private equity, and real estate. It has become standard for institutional investors including family offices to consider diversification and alternative investments outside of purely stocks and bonds.

Boosts Cash Flow:

Family offices prize cash flows and revenue streams in their investments. A family-office can own property based on the structure of the real estate investment which provides it with cash flow. Family offices always allure the clients to owe properties by highlighting them the opportunity to earn income on top of asset appreciation. Family offices also target those families which are least interested in investing in the real estate market through other indirect ways of investment which has a positive impact on the cash flows of the real estate firms. These involve – limited partnership funds or agreements, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), mortgage securities, royalty trusts, and other real estate-related vehicles. This has a positive impact on the cash flows of real estate firms.

Lower Interest Rates:

Global investors especially from the US and Europe are exploring inflation hedges due to very low-interest rates in these countries. A list of hard assets with basic value such as – gold, land, timber, foreign currency, etc. has become a standard component of many investors’ portfolios.  Several family offices perceive the real estate sector as a method to gain from an increase in asset prices and income benefit from rising asset prices to earn income from multifamily housing, commercial buildings, and hotels.

Longer Investment Period:

One of the most distinctive aspects of a Family Office is they have a scope for long-term investment. The single-family office is under no compulsion to distribute returns to investors like LP funds. Family offices are under less pressure for achieving their short-duration gains if there is an opportunity for greater benefit over a longer investing period. They guarantee better performance because of the long-term horizon. Family office might perform poorly compared to fund or could sell at any point in time, the long-term mindset offers extra flexibility with a broader mandate than other investors.  Family offices are the best and most preferred option for the real-estate sector as it follows a longer investing cycle than public equities or fund investments and serves the purpose of long-term investing.

Highly Stable:

The Volatility Index (VIX) is the most preferred indicator to compare volatility. According to VIX, real-estate is a much stable asset class and far less volatile compared to public equities, which have gone through a very long phase of volatility in the last two decades.

Offers Direct Control over the Investments:

There has been a major shift in the desire of the elite class to directly control the investments in the portfolio. This has been the biggest growth driver in the rise of a family office. Post the 2008 financial crisis, the world was seeking an option that offers transparency. Family office emerged as a preferred choice as it facilitates direct investments. Direct investments bring transparency by allowing the investors in exercising complete control over the investments and internally managing the deal processes. In the case of smaller deals, direct investing is the preferred option to purchase real estate properties, or in buying a stake in a firm.

Limited Downside:

Family offices have emerged as a blessing in disguise for the real estate sector in the case of any market correction. They can be swiftly allocated to the real estate sector as they have limited downside. Family offices minimize the possibility of complete loss of the investment value.

Final Words:

Family offices are the need for today’s dynamic world where markets change rapidly. Not only the real-estate but every industry must increase allocations into Family offices to ensure a better and safe future. Since the dawn of the 21st century, the global economy has been trembled by the failure of Lehman Brothers, and American International Group (AIG). The billion-dollar corporations have ended up filing for bailout packages. Hedge funds ended up losing a majority of their investor’s capital.  To counter these catalogs of volatilities, investors are showing interest in investments with intrinsic value and limited downside. Undoubtedly, there is no better option than family offices. Realizing the potential of Family offices and benefits it offers, real-estate firms are increasing allocations into it. Real-estate investments provide family offices with a degree of comfort in comparison to other asset classes that have not been successful in meeting the dynamic expectations of the investors.

As they say, if there is one thing certain that’s uncertainty, rest everything is uncertain. The world of real estate and real asset investments is full of uncertainties. To minimize the level of volatilities involved in the process, the investors will prioritize investments with intrinsic value and with limited downside. This will flourish the future of family office as other asset classes were not able to provide investors with downside protection and live up to their expectations.

Dubai Real Estate Transactions Reach its Highest Figures Since 2013

Dubai’s real estate sector sets a new record in 2020. The secondary market transactions of the property sector crossed an astonishing two thousand mark in November & December which was the highest figure since 2013. 

According to Data Finder, December witnessed 2,485 secondary transactions worth AED 6.12 billion, which was the highest figure in the last 7 years. December 2020 figures were 9.7% higher compared to November 2020 which reported 2,179 deals, which was at the second-highest number since 2013.

The secondary sales were the lowest in April & May 2020 due to the lockdown. However, since the easing of restrictions, the secondary residential real estate sales went on to break all past records.

Annual Transactions Crossed AED 72 Billion:

There were 35,434 transactions that took place in 2020 worth AED 72.49 billion. This comprised 14,749 off-plan properties worth AED 20.31 billion and 20,685 secondary/ready properties, worth AED 52.18 billion.

There were 12,978 transactions took place in 2020 for mortgage deals worth AED87.39 billion. All of them were for secondary/ready property.

Residents Prefer to Buy Property Over Renting : 

Dubai reported the highest sales transactions – both in terms of volume and value in the Q4, 2020. The total number of transactions that took place in Q4 was 11,065 valued at AED 22.07 billion. The prime reason for this surge in sales is most of the residents now prefer to buy the property over renting it.

Top Reasons for the Surge in Transactions:

For several years, immigrants have been hesitant to buy property in Dubai or the UAE as it does not offer long-term stay back options such as – permanent residency (PR) or citizenship programs like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or the US. However, the launch of the Golden visa program (which offers long-term residence visas to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor with 100 % ownership of their business) has again made the region attractive for foreign investors and immigrants. These visas are issued for 5 or 10 years and get renewed automatically. 

The launch of the Golden Visa program has changed the global perception of Dubai as a stable and immigrant-friendly emirate to work & live just like many western countries. This has attracted more investors, buyers, developers, and talented immigrants to the UAE’s real-estate sector, resulting in a colossal increase in the volume and value of real estate deals.

Furthermore, the list of other government initiatives such as – the enactment of Cohabitation laws, resuming trade relations with Qatar, hosting EXPO 2020, and 100% Ownership of Businesses by Expats, Covid vaccination, and expansionary fiscal stances by the federal and local governments have led to this magical rise in real estate transactions.

UAE Resumes Trade Relations with Qatar. What does it mean for the Real-Estate Sector?

Ending its three-and-a-half-year split, Qatar is finally back into the GCC family. The restoration of relations will attract invaluable investments from affluent Qatari investors into the UAE. This will have a significantly positive impact on the economy and is also much-needed for the recovery of UAEs retail and hotel sectors. 

UAE’s Stand on the Matter:

The UAE joined Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt on Jan 12, 2021, in signing an accord with Qatar during a summit of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders. The UAE government has already announced to reopen its borders and airspace with Qatar after a long conflict and has already commenced the commerce and travel with Qatar.

The trigger behind this move was Saudi Arabia announcing to settle its long conflict with Qatar and restore diplomatic ties and its allies will follow suit during the annual Gulf Arab summit which took place on January 05, 2021, in Saudi Arabia’s desert site of Al-Ula.

Why is Qatar So Important for the UAE Real-estate Sector?

According to the World Bank, Qatar’s economy is expected to grow 3% in 2021 and is amongst the fastest growing economies in GCC nations. Qatar is the richest country in the world in terms of per capita income. The country is expected to attract billions of dollars of investments as it is slated to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Qatar will be investing a major part of these investments in the real estate, tourism, and hospitality sector across the GCC nations which will also spur the growth of the UAE economy.

Qatar has been a second home for UAE businesses. They have a long tradition of operating in Qatar as the country offers a significant cost-advantage and access to the consumer base of 2.8 million. 

Here are the top four reasons that make Qatar a Key to Success for UAE Real-estate:

  1. Investments: Prior to the severing of ties in 2016, Qatari investors were amongst the top 10 most active investors in Dubai’s residential market. As per the figures released by Dubai Land Department (DLD), real estate transactions from 2016 exceeded AED 91 billion from 55,928 investors. This included 1,006 investors from Qatar purchasing a property in the emirate. 
  1. Tourism: Qataris have one of the highest spending-power in the world and an affinity towards luxury properties which is expected to underpin stronger demand levels in this market segment. An exponential surge in the inbound tourism in Dubai from corporate and leisure travel from Qatar will have a favorable impact on Dubai’s commercial as well as the residential property market.
  1. Trade: Qatar has huge trade with the UAE. The total trade with the UAE stood at $3.5 billion just before the year the embargo was imposed in 2017.  
  1. Economy: The restoration of relations will also have a profound impact on the UAEs economy. The reopening of Emirati airspace to Qatar ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, will attract over a million soccer fans from across the globe which will bring considerable revenue for UAE airline companies and will be a big boost for the real-estate sector as well as for the economy. 

The resolution will also enhance the prospects of optimum utilization of socio-economic benefits of international air connectivity.

The Impact on the UAE Real-estate Sector:  

The real estate sector in the UAE will be the biggest beneficiary from the end of a diplomatic crisis with Qatar as the country is amongst the top investors. It will foster a free flow of capital in the UAEs regional marketplaces.

The industry experts believe that the UAE real estate and infrastructure sector will gain a lot from the deal as Qatar. UAE is expected to witness an exponential surge in its investment as high-spending Qatari tourists which were previously key consumers of UAEs luxury goods and hospitality services are getting ready to spend their fortunes on experiencing UAE’s lifestyle. Furthermore, the move will also open doors for UAE companies to operate in Qatar’s rich market which has one of the highest consumer spendings in the world. The deal will also work wonders for Qatar as it will leverage UAE’s geostrategic to gain wider access to the markets. 

The experts also believe that if things become normal between the two nations, there can be an incremental trade growth of 10% which is indeed a ‘glad tidings’ for the UAE real-estate sector.

Smart Ways for Owner Association Firms to Reduce Service Charges

With the rising impact of Covid-19 on the job market, remuneration, and businesses, property owners in UAE are demanding a reduction in service charges. There has already been a huge payment backlog of service charges, and owner association management firms are navigating the ways to overcome the situation.

A Massive 75% Decline in the Collection of Service Charges:

According to Gulf News – a leading daily English language newspaper published from Dubai – since February 2020, the payment collection of service charges has declined by almost 75% with the majority of the tenants holding Coronavirus responsible for the non-payment. As per the notice issued by Dubai real estate regulator, Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), all such payments should be paid by the tenants to ensure the upkeep and well-being of the community. However, residents have different views altogether. 

Several residents interviewed by Gulf News stated that service charges should be reduced as most of the facilities they pay for under service charges such as gym, pool, tennis or squash courts, sauna, clubs, etc. have been closed due to Covid and not been used. Thus, they should not pay for them. Other tenants stated that the service charges should be reduced on the grounds of an exponential decline in property value. 

Can OAs Reduce the Service Charges?

Technically, It is not feasible for the OAs (owner’s association’s) to reduce the service charges. They are in the stage of distress as the payment backlog piles up. Service charges are an operational cost and have nothing to do with the fluctuations in the prices of property or rental value. The top head honchos of OA firms believe that it is not possible to reduce or waive the service charges as that is the amount that goes towards the upkeep of the properties and cannot be escaped. For instance – the cost of maintaining a swimming pool will remain the same as the quantity and the price for chemicals, cleaning, daily maintenance, labor cost, etc. will remain standard. The same is the case with other facilities. In fact, the Coronavirus pandemic has increased the operational cost for the OAs as their utility bills surged several-fold due to a rise in demand from the residents for increased sanitization and disinfection in a building. 

Thus, OAs are under the impression that they are entitled to collect service charges even if the services are not used by the residents as maintenance and operational cost for them remain fixed.

Best Practices OAs Can Adopt to Reduce Service Charges:

Here are the top ways for owner’s association firms to curtail their service charges:

Focus on Sustainability:

The owner’s association firms must invest significantly in introducing newfangled sustainability programs and energy efficiency initiatives to reduce the overall cost of operations. They can also organize a formal review of the real estate portfolio every year to identify unique ideas for cost savings.

Leveraging Govt. Schemes:

There has been a list of schemes and economic incentives launched by the UAE government on new facilities, space renewal, and capital expenditure. The owner’s association should make the best use of these schemes to minimize the overall operational expenditure.

Releasing Guidelines for Vendors:

OA firms should design and release their guidelines for all vendors that align with their sourcing strategy. This will not only reduce the cost but also add value to the operational process. 

Identifying the ‘Dark Space’:

Owner association firms should identify space in the current portfolio that is not used or under-used, also called ‘dark space’, and work towards eliminating it. This will reduce the operational cost by several folds for the OAs and they can pass the benefit to tenants by reducing their service charges. To achieve this it is of paramount importance for the owners association firms to conduct an energy assessment of each individual site and identify the areas to improve efficiency.

Making the Best Use of Technology:

Owner’s association firms can take advantage of facility technology such as – computer-based maintenance and predictive maintenance techniques to prevent any possibility of equipment damage which involves expensive repairs. They can also use novel software and dashboards to analyze the current usage of existing lighting systems and retrofit lighting fixtures to minimize the cost of energy. Automation of the dashboard will allow OAs in keeping a birds-eye control of the cost incurred and saved and will remove the need for manual reporting.

Effective Benchmarking:

The owner’s association must benchmark their operational cost against their closest competitors to find out the areas of improvement. They must also implement cost benchmarking and competitive bidding techniques to cut down the costs of renovations or fit-outs.

Govt. Initiatives to Reduce Service Charges:

The UAE government has taken a list of measures to minimize the financial burden on tenants and homeowners of properties due to the adverse situation caused by a coronavirus. These initiatives are as follows:

Reduction in Service Charges:

With a core objective to cut down the cost of owning a house in UAE, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) has instructed the Owner Association (OA) firms to closely review all expenses and cut down service charges in Dubai. Furthermore, DLD has decided that any fines on non-paid overdue charges on service fees in Dubai between 2019 to 2020 will also be waived off as part of the plan. Property owners will also be eligible to pay off their service charges via installments.

Reducing the DEWA Utility Bills:

As a part of the AED 1.5 Billion stimulus package to support businesses during the Covid 19 pandemic, the Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum has launched an initiative to reduce DEWA utility bills in Dubai. Under the initiative, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy has issued a directive to reduce the fuel surcharge for electricity and water. The reductions will be applied to electricity and water bills with effect from December 1, 2020. Fuel surcharge for electricity will be reduced by 23% reduction and for water, the surcharge will be reduced by almost 33 %.

Rent Relief in Dubai:

The developers and landlords have announced rent relief packages in Dubai for their commercial and residential tenants which are adversely impacted by the restrictions from the Covid-19 outbreak. Due to the shutdown of several UAE venues due to the pandemic, landlords of retail and commercial tenants across Dubai have announced rent relief of up to three months for eligible tenants. The initiative was led by Meraas with an AED 1 billion package for commercial tenants at their developments such as City Walk, Bluewaters Island, and La Mer, among others. Al-Futtaim Group also implemented this initiative and unveiled rent relief of up to three months for retailers at Dubai Festival City Mall.

Creating Memorable Experiences to Increase Occupancy

Being amongst the top property management firms in the UAE, we at KAIZEN Asset Management Services (KAIZEN AMS), offer specialized end-to-end solutions in Property Management, Community Management, Owner Affairs, Unit Management, and Handover Services. Our managed properties maintain some of the highest occupancy rates in U.A.E. as we always strive to ‘Create Memorable Experiences’

These memorable experiences we build have a long-lasting impression in the minds of the tenants of the buildings we manage. They rejoice every moment – from the time they have spent at the gym to the neighbors they have met. They remember the ease of parking, greenery, and fresh air, cleanliness, ambiance, and above all the cooperative staff.

We Create Memorable Experiences: 

Kaizen’s managed properties are known across the UAE for their state-of-the-art facilities. We work towards maintaining warm lighting, heart-touching music, perfumed lobbies, and better utilization of space, along with inspirational quotes on the walls to maintain a positive and encouraging environment that fosters creativity, happiness, and above all creates ‘Memories’.

Kids Club: 

There is always a special place for the little ones – the ‘Kids Club’. To recreate memorable spaces for the kids, we transform storage areas into a place where they can spend time, play, grow, foster creativity, and learn new things every day. 

Kaizen Inspires Community:

We inspire a better way of living through ambiance in the buildings by offering on-demand hospitality. Additionally, some of our most commonly enjoyed services by the tenants are car wash, maintenance, parking management, access management, visitor management, and a one-click payment solution for service charges, utility rent, and ultimately – peace of mind.

With the goal of developing and achieving happier communities, we inspire change at home and promote resident engagement. This is done through community, sporting, or festive events, wellness sessions such as yoga and gym classes frequently to maintain a healthy happiness index in our managed properties.

Some of our popular community events include:

Krafty Kids:

Krafty Kids’ event offers an exciting opportunity for kids to learn artworks, paint, and enjoy an afternoon of fun and games, and make new friends.

Family Day:

Family Day is an event that provides a unique chance for every resident to get to know his neighbor and have a fun time with them. This event enhances the relationship and bonding among the residents to create unforgettable memories of a sense of community.

Movie Night:

An outdoor movie night is an ideal event for our residents to enjoy watching movies together and have a wonderful evening in their backyard.

Valentines Day:

Kaizen AMS believes in spreading love within its communities, and Valentine’s day is indeed the best time to do that. We cherish this auspicious festival of love by sending a beautiful bouquet to our residents with a heart-warming message.

Even unprecedented situations such as COVID 19 couldn’t deter our commitment to the wellness and safety of our tenants. Due to this commitment, we are currently organizing the events virtually on a weekly or monthly basis. Furthermore, to ensure that tenant satisfaction remains the top agenda for our portfolio managers, we evaluate their performance on the outcomes of ‘Community Happiness’.

Why Choose Kaizen?

The credit for maintaining some of the highest occupancy rates goes to the distinctive and visionary leadership of KAIZEN. Thanks to our dedicated team of researchers who perform an in-depth market analysis on the UAE’s Rental Index and consumer behavioral patterns, we design plans to implement the findings of the research effectively to set competitive rents. Furthermore, we believe in offering modern and most desired services by the tenants to our managed properties to ensure our tenants get the worth of what they are spending. 

Backed by a vast network of dedicated portfolio leasing agents and marketing strategists for marketing the properties of our clients 24x7x365 days, we strive to ensure that our properties maintain the highest occupancy rates with a special emphasis on retaining tenants. KAIZEN AMS possesses decades of experience in designing unparalleled tenant retention strategies that have worked wonders for the landlords and tenants in the past. 

For more information on our Property Management Services, please get in touch – propertymanagement@kaizenams.com 

Kaizen Asset Management Services takes home 3 awards at prestigious Gulf Real Estate Awards 2019

Dubai, UAE – 2nd April 2019: Kaizen Asset Management Services (KAMS) proudly announces receiving recognition with three awards at the 3rd edition of the Gulf Real Estate Awards ceremony which took place from the 26th to the 27th of March 2019. The awards include the prestigious Best Owners Association presented to by His Excellency Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department in addition to the Best SME/Youth Projects and Best Media and Communications awards. Kaizen Asset Management Services were also nominated in the Best Customer Experience, Best Employer and Best Real Estate Consultancy categories. The winners of the Gulf Real Estate Awards, the GCC’s most prestigious industry institution, recognising and rewarding excellence across the real estate in the region took place at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC. Altogether, there were twenty-one category award winners, competing against the region’s most prominent companies from diverse industries. The awards aim to support organisations and businesses as a vehicle for sharing best practice and for promoting continuous improvement, learning and personal development. “Timing, perseverance, and twelve years of working diligently made this possible. We at Kaizen are dedicated to improving the community management sector within real estate and we always strive to deliver more than is expected. We are passionate about what we do and most of all we are passionate about our clients,” commented Fadi Nwilati, CEO, Kaizen Asset Management Services. With live transparent judging and benchmarked feedback reports for all the finalists, the Gulf Real Estate Awards continues to raise the bar in industry standards and Kaizen Asset Management Services endeavors to break new boundaries in the pursuit of excellence.

Working to live or living to work!

It is without a doubt that work can help us find ourselves, make a difference, and perhaps to live a happy life. But in this pursuit of happiness, we sometimes forget that we also have lives to live and times to spend with our loved ones. That’s why it’s important to strike some balance here between life and work to avoid stress and to maintain a healthy wok atmosphere.

The old saying goes: ‘healthy body, healthy mind.’ That’s why if you want to physically feel well, you have to maintain your mental health and vice versa. That can be achieved by doing daily exercises and eating healthy food. You can’t keep working like a machine without taking breaks, and you can’t keep thinking about work or take it home with you. This won’t only ruin your family relationships but worse still, the stress caused by such behavior can cause other physical problems like high blood pressure or heart diseases.

So if your life is all about work, then you’ve missed a lot of interesting and positive aspects of life that make you an interesting person to other people, especially to employers. Thus, having other interests outside the work environment helps to improve your social skills and to build a well-rounded and sophisticated character that will eventually make you more attractive to people, and you can share those experiences with them. That’s why it’s important to have hobbies and activities and include them in resumes. Because most employers look for such qualities in employees.

It’s sad how some employees don’t get how important mental health is in the workplace. Studies have shown how dangerous and risky ignoring mental health could be. In some cases, it can lead to stress-related illnesses, depression and even burnout. This happens when employees suffer a great amount of pressure and stress that could be caused by outrageous workloads, eventually leaving them with a feeling that their work isn’t being appreciated.

In conclusion, we only live once. So if you do feel you’re acting all spooky and out of character, then perhaps it’s time for you to take a break and to really start looking into your work-life balance. To maintain a good work-life balance, we all should take some personal time off when it’s necessary, breaks should be taken all the time, doing exercises, going on holidays, spend time with friends and family, eat healthy food, get enough sleep, and above all, we shouldn’t bring work home with us.