Archive | Property management

Crockers signs strata management platform partnership with Urbanise

ASX-listed Urbanise.com Ltd said on Friday it had signed a 5×5-year technology licence agreement with Crockers Body Corporate Management Ltd (Rob Macdonald) to implement its strata management platform across the Crockers strata portfolio of over 900 buildings in New Zealand.

They’ve agreed to put the platform in place by the end of this year. Under the agreement, Urbanise will receive cash payments of at least $A900,000 over the first period of 5 years.

Crockers is New Zealand’s largest body corporate management company, managing almost 18,000 strata units throughout Auckland and in other areas, and also has an extensive property division. The parties have agreed to explore ways other modules of the Urbanise property cloud can be used across the wider Crockers group.

Urbanise’s global head of strata, David Bugden, said the agreement boosted the Australian company’s expansion into New Zealand, which began in January 2016 when it signed a hosted services agreement with facilities & property management company One Place Ltd (Philip Porteous).

Mr Bugden said: “We have been impressed by Crocker’s vision for the future and their exciting growth plans, and we look forward to working with them to improve efficiencies & the services they provide to their customers.”

Crocker Group Ltd operates property management, real estate sales, body corporate management services, commercial management, rentals & market research. Crocker Group took a 50% stake in 2015 in Active Property Services Ltd (Brady & Kylee Williams), which provides building management, security & cleaning services to apartment buildings.

Crockers chief executive Tony Dangerfield said: “After an extensive review of technology options from New Zealand & Australia, we concluded that Urbanise offered Crockers the most comprehensive solution. The platform’s scalability & focus on customer-facing solutions aligns with our vision as the most innovative strata management company in New Zealand.”

Urbanise created a cloud-based platform for delivering building services & managing property-related financial transactions. The Urbanise residential property cloud was designed for strata managers, service providers & asset owners, and the company said it was “transforming the traditional engineering approach to building operations – improving customer service, removing operational costs and enabling new revenue streams. Urbanise technology is used in some of the tallest towers & most prestigious communities around the globe.”

Urbanise said it “unites e-commerce tools with service management capabilities to let building managers sell value-added services to tenants online. They can plan, deploy & sell services to thousands of building occupants in a matter of minutes, using only existing resources to generate new revenue streams.”

Joining Urbanise as chief executive in mid-August (but already listed by the company in that role on its website) is Henry Arundel, who was Asia-Pacific chief executive for UGL Services Ltd/DTZ for the 4 years before Cushman & Wakefield bought it in 2015, and facilities management executive manager for the last 18 months at Ventia Pty Ltd, the Australian company which Auckland Council appointed in June to run its maintenance services.

Links:
Urbanise.com
Crockers
4 January 2016: Urbanise signs first NZ deal with FM provider One Place

Attribution: Urbanise release, Urbanise & Crockers websites, individual web listings, Companies Register.

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Auditor-general says school property critical to educational success

The Office of the Auditor-general made 8 recommendations to Parliament today suggesting ways the Education Ministry could spend more wisely on its $14 billion property portfolio.

The school property portfolio is one of the largest publicly owned portfolios of property assets and, the report said, arguably the most complex. Although the Crown owns school property and the Ministry of Education has overall responsibility for its management, some of the responsibilities for managing school property rest with school boards of trustees.

Deputy Controller & Auditor-general Greg Schollum said: “Given the significance of the school property portfolio, we expected the property function to be integral to the ministry’s operations. Instead, we found there is only limited consideration of property matters in the ministry’s accountability documents, strategic planning, risk management & performance information framework.

“Property is seen by the ministry as infrastructure supporting schools and there is no direct link made by the ministry to how good property management can positively affect educational outcomes.

“We consider that property is more than bricks & mortar. It is critical to educational success.

“Schools have a limited understanding of the ministry’s property strategy, but are generally clear on their day-to-day responsibilities for managing school property. Some of the responsibilities are often delegated to external property planners & project managers. However, most schools we talked to felt they needed more training & support in property matters. Property is an important part of the school boards’ & principals’ role, and they need to be better equipped to carry out this role.”

For this report, the Office of the Auditor-general looked at the effectiveness of the ministry’s property strategy & its role as an asset manager.

Mr Schollum said the office found the ministry had considerably strengthened its approach to managing school property in the last 10 years, setting up the Education Infrastructure Services business unit in 2013, but said there was room for further improvement: “We consider that the ministry needs to better integrate its property function with the rest of its core business. In the ministry’s accountability documents there is only limited consideration of property matters, and no direct link to how good property management can positively affect educational outcomes.

Factors worsening performance

“We noted the following factors that may prevent the ministry making the best use of the funds available:

  • We saw no evidence that the ministry uses its whole-of-portfolio view of the condition of school property for decision-making. Instead, it has relied on its staff putting business cases forward for the schools most in need of investment, and
  • The property funding given directly to schools for annual maintenance & renewals does not consider the type, age, condition or use of buildings, so does not take account of actual maintenance needs.

“We also asked a small sample of schools for their views on school property matters and the support the ministry gives them. Schools have a limited understanding of the ministry’s property strategy, but are generally clear on their day-to-day responsibilities for managing school property.

“However, most schools we talked to felt they needed more training & support in property matters. Property is an important part of the school boards’ & principals’ role, and they need to be better equipped to carry out this role.

“The ministry also does not know whether schools are spending their annual maintenance funding wisely or getting value for money. We acknowledge that there are currently some barriers to the ministry being able to act as an effective asset manager. These include current funding mechanisms and how it deals with the large amount of underutilised classrooms.

“However, the ministry needs to consider how it can better use information from schools, such as monitoring the use of maintenance funding and sharing the lessons from projects of all sizes. The ministry should also consider how it uses the levers available to it to ensure that schools are using the funding provided effectively & efficiently.”

The recommendations:

  1. fully integrate school property matters with the rest of its functions to recognise the contribution of school property to its educational outcomes. Priority should be given to:
    1. aligning its property strategy with other key accountability documents
    2. ensuring that all of its functions support the implementation of the property strategy
    3. having measures showing how investment in, and management of, school property contributes to its educational outcomes, and
    4. including property risks in the ministry-wide risk management framework
  2. further develop & promote the use of its whole-of-portfolio view of the school property portfolio’s condition, to support effective evidence-based investment decisions
  3. collect information & feedback from schools & property advisors on completed projects so lessons can be shared, including the educational benefits achieved
  4. consider the way annual maintenance & renewal funding is allocated to schools so it responds better to different property types, age, condition & purpose of buildings
  5. identify schools not maintaining their property to the required standards, find out why, and establish interventions to remedy the situation (a recommendation originally made in 2006)
  6. with the school sector, more clearly define the roles & responsibilities of the ministry, principals & boards of trustees for managing school property and recognise that these may differ between schools
  7. enhance the relevant training, tools & support provided to schools to allow them to carry out their property management responsibilities, and
  8. increase the capability & capacity of school property advisors so frontline services to schools can be improved.

Link: Auditor-General’s report: Managing the school property portfolio

Attribution: Office of Auditor-general release.

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Colliers signs up 9 management contracts & a sale

Colliers International’s real estate management team has secured a 3-year contract to manage the Kimiko Trust properties at 139 Remuera Rd, Remuera, and 316 & 318 Ti Rakau Drive, East Tamaki.

The agency said this contract was for full property, facilities & financial management and followed 2 months in which 8 other contracts were signed.

The agency also reports the sale of 2 office & showroom units in Morningside.

Other properties added to the Colliers management portfolio:

CBD:

203 Queen St
Ricoh House, 200 Victoria St

Isthmus east:

Newmarket, 5 St Marks Rd
St Heliers, 5 shops on St Heliers Bay Rd

Isthmus west:

Eden Terrace, 96 New North Rd

North-east:

Birkenhead, 16 shops on Mokoia Rd
Takapuna, 1-7 The Strand

North-west:

Henderson, Courthouse

Sales

Isthmus west

Morningside

7B & 7C Taylors Rd:
Features: combined 560m² of offices & showroom, 10 parking spaces
Outcome: sold vacant for $1.4 million
Agent: Jonathan Lynch

Attribution: Agency release.

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Southern Lakes property managers top awards again

Queenstown & Wanaka property management agency Housemart has taken out the best agency title for the second year running in the annual industry awards run by the Real Estate Institute.

Housemart Queenstown & Wanaka team (left to right): Colleen Topping, Andrea Bono, Hayley Stevenson, Liz Jeffrey, Katrina Roberts & Brigit Russell.

Housemart Queenstown & Wanaka team (left to right): Colleen Topping, Andrea Bono, Hayley Stevenson, Liz Jeffrey, Katrina Roberts & Brigit Russell.

The agency secured a clean sweep in all categories it & its staff entered, and runner-up places in 2 categories after only 3 years in business.

Director Hayley Stevenson commented after winning the national title: “To say we’re delighted would be an understatement. Back-to-back category wins has never been done before, so it’s a remarkable achievement.

“We were up against some of the big corporate agencies from around the country, so it’s almost unbelievable that a small company such as Housemart can not only be in the same league but take out the top awards.”

Colleen Topping (Housemart Wanaka) was named residential property manager of the year and colleague Katrina Roberts, from the Queenstown office, was runner-up. Andrea Bono (Wanaka) was named residential property management support staff person of the year and Liz Jeffrey runner-up.

Housemart launched in Wanaka in 2010 and the Queenstown branch opening later that year. The company is highly systemised and offers a premium customer experience, with rental property portfolios exclusive to Wanaka and Queenstown.

Last year Housemart won 3 awards and also came runner-up in one category.

Attribution: Company release.

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Colliers wins Downtown management contract

Published 2 November 2012

Precinct Properties NZ Ltd (the former AMP NZ Office Ltd) has awarded the property management contract for the Downtown Shopping Centre to Colliers International.

Precinct bought the centre from the Westfield Retail Trust and Westfield Group in September for $90 million. Settlement is scheduled for this month. Colliers’ corporate & institutional sales team handled the transaction on behalf of Westfield.

The 15,230m² centre runs along Customs St West from the bottom of Queen St to Lower Albert St. It has 70 retailers.

Colliers’ 50-strong retail real estate management division is the largest independent retail property manager in New Zealand, managing over 400,000m² & $1.2 billion of shopping centres.

Colliers was also recently awarded the property management contract for the Shore City mall, sold to Aviva Investors Asia Pacific Property Fund for $83.5 million through Colliers’ corporate & institutional sales team on behalf of Westfield in June.

Earlier story:

24 September 2012: AMP Office pays premium to Westfield Downtown centre value but sees big “optionality”

30 June 2012: Westfield sells Shore City to Aviva fund

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Attribution: Agency release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Prime Retail to acquire Oyster management business

Published 22 September 2010

Prime Retail Management Ltd reached agreement on Monday to acquire the Oyster Group’s management business (Oyster Management Ltd) for an undisclosed price, and for the companies to partner in future syndication activities.

Prime Retail Management manages a comprehensive portfolio of specialist retail properties throughout New Zealand, including the Dress-Smart outlet chain.

The Oyster Group specialises in syndicating & managing quality properties for investors and has a portfolio of properties around the North Island, ranging from commercial office buildings through to industrial & retail property.

Hamilton-based Mark Winter & Heather Coyne established the Oyster Group in 2004 will remain directors of both Oyster Management Ltd & Oyster Property Group Ltd. Mr Winter said: “We currently have over 600 investor clients, many of whom invest in multiple properties. The Oyster portfolio is currently valued at over $250 million, with gross rentals exceeding $25 million/year.”

Prime Retail Management chief executive Mark Schiele said both organisations brought complementary skills to the mix that would significantly benefit all clients – Prime in property management, Oyster in syndication.

Prime is owned by 5 Aucklanders with long experience in property – John Bougen, Graeme Edwards, Gary Gwynne, Nigel Powell & Mr Schiele.

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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Spotless wins Housing NZ maintenance contract

Published 1 June 2010

Housing NZ Corp has appointed Spotless Group Ltd to preferred supplier status for the building maintenance contracts on 12,000 residential properties in Auckland.

 

The properties are in Glenn Innes, Mangere, Mangere East, Manurewa, Panmure & Otahuhu.

 

Spotless Group managing director & chief executive Josef Farnik said yesterday this contract would enable the company to lift its New Zealand commitment. It manages nearly 80,000 housing properties in Australia & New Zealand, recently listed on the NZX and won another large contract with the Corrections Department 4 weeks ago.

 

The Housing NZ contract is due to start on Thursday 1 July and will run for 2 years, with an option to extend for a further 2 years, subject to performance.

 

Earlier story:

7 May 2010: Spotless wins Corrections facilities management contract

 

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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Spotless wins Corrections facilities management contract

Published 7 May 2010

The Corrections Department has awarded a 5-year facilities management contract to Spotless Group Ltd, covering 20 prisons & 125 community probation & psychological services sites. Spotless will employ more than 100 people servicing the 145 locations nationally under the contract, which begins on 1 July. The company will be responsible for delivering about 15 services, including skilled trades, asset maintenance, cleaning & painting services.  Spotless Group managing director & chief executive Josef Farnik said the company had long-term growth aspirations in New Zealand by leveraging its breadth of service offering and depth of market sector knowledge. The ASX- & NZX-listed group is one of the 10 largest employers in New Zealand, with 12,000 staff providing services across food, cleaning, painting, commercial laundries, facilities management & asset maintenance.

 

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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Colliers wins contract to manage Vodafone property requirements

Published 23 April 2010

Colliers International has won a 3-year contract, with a 3-year right of renewal, to manage all of Vodafone NZ Ltd’s property requirements.

 

Colliers’ occupier services business won the contract through a competitive international tender. It involves the management of over 1500 offices, network sites, cell sites & retail outlets.

 

The contract is part of a larger win for Colliers around the world, which will also see the company handle all of Vodafone’s real estate in a number of other countries, including the UK, where the group’s global office is based.

 

Colliers Occupier Services director Don Smith said a key element of the New Zealand contract was responsibility for Vodafone’s lease & administration management, which involved co-ordinating communication with landlords, managing lease obligations such as rent reviews & renewals, and administration of all lease payments & rent collections.

 

Colliers set up the occupier services business last October. Its first major contract was to manage Inland Revenue’s national lease portfolio, spread over 22 sites.

 

Mr Smith said: “A number of corporate clients are seeing the value of the synergy between our lease management services & local brokerage teams in our 14 offices around New Zealand. Our brokerage team has concluded many leases for Vodafone over the last 10 years. Taking advantage of the current market conditions, we have just restructured 3 key leases for them, resulting in multi-million dollar savings.

 

Main operations are set to start on Saturday 1 May, after a transition period that began on 1 April.

 

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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Pulse makes big start to installation target

Published 24 June 2008

Pulse Utilities NZ Ltd has secured arrangements with a number of multi-tenant property developers & managers to install Pulse technology on their apartment blocks & residential subdivisions.

 

Executive chairman Don Purdon said Pulse would start installations immediately on 2 apartment buildings with 500 tenants and stage one of a residential subdivision with the first 100 homes.

 

Mr Purdon said these property groups collectively managed more homes than its 5-year target of 61,000 installations. He said the deals meant the company could meet its target earlier & more cheaply.

 

These customers will be offered an expanded service including electricity, and in some cases gas & water metering services. Pulse will offer the new gas & water metering services off its existing technology platform.

 

“The Pulse service will remove the difficult billing process from some of the multi-tenanted property managers, who currently have to manage the often contentious process of dividing one utility bill between tenants, and then billing & collecting payment. All customers are likely to receive cheaper electricity, with water & gas being passed through at cost.”

 

Mr Purdon said the board thought debt-financing had become more likely, particularly to fund meter asset acquisition & installation, and Pulse had started discussions for debt funding in addition to equity. Pulse said recently it had a conditional commitment from a lines company for $2 million and it had since secured another $500,000 from a private investment fund. Both are conditional on gaining a further $2 million in funding.

 

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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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