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PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: RICS kicks-off cladding public consultation | Rental platform selected by US property investor

RICS commence public consultation on advice to valuers regarding cladding

With latest data suggesting nearly 10,000 properties still require remediation*, RICS Standards and Regulation Board (SRB) is taking further steps in the public interest to support lending on flats in buildings with cladding. This positive step is possible thanks to new statutory leaseholder protections and lending industry commitments** to recommence mortgage loans.

The proposed guidance supports RICS valuers to take a consistent and transparent approach in undertaking valuations for mortgage purposes on domestic residential blocks of flats (see note 1).  The draft approach also guides valuers on how to take into account any agreed remediation funding and timelines when valuing blocks of flats. 

The new draft guidance, open for public consultation from today, is the culmination of intensive work by an RICS-convened expert working group, comprising valuers, lending bodies, conveyancers, fire engineers with input from DLUHC officials.

RICS supports voluntary early adoption of the approach set out in this guidance where lenders wish to start lending prior to formal approval by SRB.

The loss of confidence in the fire safety of blocks of flats has severely impacted the property market and leaseholders, with many still unable to sell due to the absence of mortgage finance, and, until recently, facing unaffordable costs for risk mitigation and remediation. RICS acts in the public interest, and is committed to supporting all parties in tackling this issue head on. This consultation will build on recent progress and will play an important part in restoring a fully functioning market.

Prior to this public consultation, RICS worked closely with valuers, their lender clients, government and other key stakeholders.  Through the public consultation RICS encourages pro-active engagement from industry, government, leaseholder and homebuyer groups and the public to ensure all views are considered and to ensure the approach is workable in practice.

Once the consultation is complete, implementation of the guidance will be decided upon by the RICS Standards & Regulation board who will ensure it is appropriate and in the best interests of the public.

Moving forward, RICS anticipates, that with the implementation of the Fire Safety Act and the statutory protections for leaseholders against costs in the Building Safety Act, reliance on EWS1 will reduce further, with external wall fire risk assessments falling in line of the normal FRA process according to BSI PAS9980 – a standard that RICS helped to create.



US News: Laramar Group Chooses PERQ as Automation Platform for Automating the Renter’s Experience

PRESS RELEASE: Today PERQ announced that Laramar Group, the real estate investment management company headquartered out of Chicago and Denver, has selected the PERQ platform to support the growth and evolving business needs of their portfolio. PERQ’s platform will provide automation for Laramar’s interactions with prospective renters on the website, via SMS, and email allowing them to efficiently scale their marketing and sale efforts. “We saw that PERQ could take the repetitive question-answering off our teams’ plates so they could really focus on leads that are ready to lease,” said Stacy Valentine, Laramar’s VP of Innovation and Technology. “But we suspected it could go beyond that,” she added: “Because the team wouldn’t also need to spend time following up on low quality leads, they should have time to focus on other things like closing leases and getting back to our residents.” The PERQ platform will be rolled out across the conventional property portfolio.

Already, Laramar is experiencing an average increase in year-over-year lead to tour conversion of 182% across the properties included in their 3-month pilot. And, with increased tour traffic coming from their website, they have been able to fine-tune and reduce their marketing spend. “We have been able to drop underperforming lead sources and, at assets where we’ve done that, we’re running under budget on marketing by a couple thousand dollars a month,” Anna Shea, Senior Director of Marketing confirmed. Estimates on the costs savings provided by PERQ for the 3-month pilot period with four of Laramar’s properties exceed $100,000 in marketing and operational costs.

PERQ is positioned to enable Laramar’s marketing and sales needs due to its unique marketing automation platform that combines interactive, personalized website experiences, AI-powered chat across website, SMS and email, and personalized outbound nurture touches via email and SMS to engage, nurture, and convert every multifamily lead at a scale no onsite team could do on their own. “Many PMCs are challenged with scaling their teams across a high volume of prospective renters. PERQ automates this work and provides top-notch personalized experiences that consumers have come to expect,” explains Scott Hill, Chairman of PERQ. “We are proud to work with Laramar to advance their renter experience.”

The Laramar team is planning to roll out the PERQ platform to the other properties in their portfolio. “Our goal is to get PERQ on as many properties as quickly as we can. We are continuing to prioritize rolling it out to the communities that desperately need PERQ’s help, and now our operators are reaching out to us and asking if they can get PERQ because they’re hearing about PERQ’s results from their peers,” Stacy shared. Laramar expects to begin 2023 with PERQ’s automation installed for all of their conventional properties.

About Laramar

Founded in 1989, Laramar Group is a vertically integrated and distinguished national real estate investment and property management corporation with a multi-billion dollar portfolio. For over 30 years, Laramar has delivered an unparalleled level of service to the real estate industry. Laramar has a presence in over 20 markets from coast to coast and maintains corporate offices in Chicago and Denver.

About PERQ

PERQ is a multifamily marketing automation platform that automates and personalizes the renter’s journey. Powered by artificial intelligence, PERQ combines website personalization, interactive website experiences, natural language chat in more channels, and personalized automated nurture outreach to help multifamily PMCs automate their renter’s journey and achieve higher conversions, reduce their costs per lead and lease, and save time for their overburdened onsite teams.

Proptech and Property News in association with Estate Agent Networking.

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Andrew Stanton Founder & Editor of 'PROPTECH-X' where his insights, connections, analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are based on writing 1.3M words annually. Plus meeting 1,000 Proptech founders, critiquing 400 decks and having had 130 clients as CEO of 'PROPTECH-PR', a consultancy for Proptech founders seeking growth and exit strategies. He also acts as an advisory for major global real estate companies on sales, acquisitions, market positioning & operations. With 100K followers & readers, he is the 'Proptech Realestate Influencer.'