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4 Ways Real Estate Companies And Individuals Are Redefining The Industry


Good management translates into value, and well‐managed properties can improve the quality of life for the people in them. For last year’s Real Estate Management Excellence award recipients, challenging and reshaping best business practices is a daily part of the job.  

The Institute of Real Estate Management uses the awards to highlight positive business practices. Businesses continue to see the value in fostering corporate responsibility, and real estate professionals have followed suit. In an industry that thrives on interpersonal relationships, the REME Awards affirm real estate’s ultimate goal: to impact how and where people live. 

Here are four ways the real estate management community is creating positive change in the industry.  

1. Fostering sustainability and environmental stewardship

Buildings account for 39% of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. An increasing number of real estate businesses have made strides enacting sustainability initiatives across their portfolios. 

National Community Renaissance received the 2017 REME Award for Sustainability Programs within the workplace environment. National CORE is a nonprofit builder of affordable, multifamily, mixed-income, senior, workforce and special needs housing. The organization launched its “Doing Our Part” initiative last year, which focuses on water conservation across their portfolio and combines resident education with physical improvements and upgrades like turf removal and high-water-efficiency fixtures. 

Corporate environmental responsibility has also gained popularity, as online tools allow managers to track office energy use in real time. SL Green Realty Corp. received the 2017 REME Award for Corporate Innovation for its use of EnergyDesk, an energy management platform that provides performance diagnostics across 20.5M SF of its portfolio.


2. Bringing a human touch to property management

For Lieberman Management Services Regional Director Paul Petrulis, personal interaction with owners, residents, co-workers and vendors has been a cornerstone of his business practice for years. As managers increasingly rely on technology to help with property operations, human interaction can get lost behind screens and keyboards.

IREM awarded Petrulis the REME Award for Accredited Residential Manager of the Year for his understanding of the value of personal service to clients, tenants and residents, as well as his commitment to IREM ethics and best practices. 

At Mission Rock Residential, President Patricia Hutchison brings a similar level of personal interaction to the role, along with 27 years of multifamily experience in the Denver market. She was honored with the 2017 REME Award for Certified Property Manager. 

In Nashville, family-owned Accredited Management Organization Freeman Web Co. has been a resource for Nashville’s real estate community. People are flocking to Nashville for more than its legendary music scene. Cranes dot the skyline and the city has more than $4B in active building permits. 

Freeman Web has maintained a commitment to providing consistent service to clients, tenants and residents, from property management to investment. IREM honored Freeman Webb with a 2017 REME Award for AMO of the Year. 

3. Creating the leaders of tomorrow

The rigid leadership hierarchies that once defined the business world are on the way out. According to a survey from Virtuali and Work Place Trends, 91% of respondents expressed a desire to lead. Another 50% of respondents said leaders should empower others. Sensing this need for more collaborative work environments, JLL Mid-Atlantic launched its Emerging Leaders Program. The program cultivates the leadership ability of high-value talent who demonstrate a desire to grow, along with a strong potential for future career success.

Seventy percent of participants earned a promotion during the program. JLL was honored with the 2017 REME Award for Employee and Leadership Development for its efforts. 

4. Giving back to the community 

Real estate development goes beyond luxury high-rises and trophy office buildings. As affordable housing crises sweep across the U.S.’ major cities, leaders in the industry are making strides in creating projects that improve local communities. Conifer Realty was awarded the 2017 REME Award for Corporate and Social Responsibility for leading the development, fundraising and construction of an 82-bed homeless shelter, the House of Mercy, in Rochester, New York. 

Conifer raised nearly $6M in funding for the new shelter. It also provided its time and talent to more than triple the size of the previous shelter location.

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