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Propmodo’s Top Ten Articles of 2022 (And What That Tells Us About You)

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Propmodo’s weekly perspective on commercial real estate and things interesting to real estate executives. Curated by Franco Faraudo. View Archive Become a Subscriber

It’s time to start looking forward to a new year, but before we do, we always like to look back a bit on which articles performed the best over the past twelve-months. This helps our team understand reader preferences and allows us to plan even better content for 2023. Some of this year’s buzz words and trendy topics included AI, vaccine mandates, and ESG. And as always, news involving large property organizations like JLL and CBRE drew a lot attention. Some popular topics were a bit of a surprise such as our reader’s Starbucks fascination and the universal dislike of apartment trash valets.

While top-ten lists are fun, there are a few important caveats with this one. First, articles published at the beginning of the year naturally have more time to garner attention. Although most articles see the bulk of their engagement in the first week or two, a longer shelf life leads to more clicks. Second, popular search terms can drive a lot of traffic from non-core visitors. This just goes to show how important Google’s black box website ranking system is for every publisher on the internet. Articles with the names of large companies get a search boost which explains why so many other real estate publications often have headlines that read like gossip rags. 

In the year ahead, our team will continue to write great content for a sophisticated real estate audience. Content that you can’t find anywhere else. We hope that your Propmodo subscription will be a key piece of your business intelligence. If you are not a subscriber and your resolution is to be more informed about property industry trends, innovation, and technology, I kindly ask that you give us a try. Use discount code HOLIDAYSAVINGS for half-off the standard rate when subscribing here. Happy New Year!

Okay, let’s begin the countdown. 

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#10: Does the Starbucks Effect Still Apply to Real Estate?

Starbucks isn’t just the place where the world goes to get a Frappuccino. It is also the place where the real estate industry goes to learn about up-and-coming areas. But now that Starbucks seems to already be in every major metro area, is it still a sign of gentrification?

#9: The World’s Most Ambitious Skyscraper is a Real Estate Mess

Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman stunned the world with what has to be the most ambitious public works project since the middle ages, Neom. While the innovative linear design of the city is truly visionary, there are plenty of problems when it comes to how the city will deal with real estate law in a restrictive Muslim society. 

#8: Inside the JLL Lawsuit That Every Real Estate Brokerage is Watching

Legal dramas often provide a compelling narrative, especially when it involves one of the most well-known property organizations on the planet. In this case, JLL sued its own client in an effort to recover over $800,000 in commissions it claims it was owed. The client refused to pay saying that JLL didn’t properly disclose its dual agency status. An often controversial, although common, practice dual agency is when the same broker acts for both sides in a transaction. While the court has ruled against JLL for now, the much-watched case will continue to play out on an appeal.

#7: CBRE Plans Layoffs After Tough 3rd Quarter, Predicts More ‘Painful’ Recession

This is the only article on the list that is one of our Daily Briefs. If you don’t receive our daily briefs with the latest news affecting the commercial property industry, sign up for them here. A lot of our articles about layoffs also did well showing the truth to the old newsman adage: if it bleeds, it leads.

#6: Why the AI Revolution in Real Estate May Never Happen

Gone are the days when real estate thought leaders see AI as being able to solve all of real estate problems. Now that people are getting a better understanding of how AI actually works and the limitations that it creates, we will likely see more interest in honest conversations about AI’s place in the industry.

#5: How Do You Measure the Social in Real Estate ESG?

Similar to AI, the industry’s thinking around ESG is also coming back to reality. Despite many property companies making ESG commitments, there are still questions about how the often forgotten “S” for social can actually be measured.

#4: Untangling the Mess of OSHA’s Looming Vaccine Mandate

One of the most controversial issues this year was the post-pandemic vaccine mandates the Biden administration has been pushing for workplaces. Well, the controversy isn’t going away yet. Just this month, the Supreme Court decided to allow Health and Human Services to require COVID-19 vaccination among healthcare workers but it blocked the government’s broader vaccine-or-mask mandate for employers with at least 100 employees.

#3: Mandatory Valet Trash Services are a Racket and Residents Know It

Okay, so this article seemed to really strike a chord with the thousands of renters who find themselves, often unwillingly, paying extra for trash services at their apartment complex. These add-on services can help boost profit for landlords but are a double-edged sword since they are certainly not popular with renters.

garbage valet multifamily

#2: How the Irvine Family Helped Shape Southern California

This article is a bit of an anomaly because it was originally written as one of my weekly subscriber-only articles. I wrote about an interesting piece of Southern California history that became the origin story for one of the country’s largest commercial real estate owners, The Irvine Company.

#1: When Will Real Estate’s Tokenization Transformation Happen?

Taking the number one spot is this article about some of the high-profile failures of real estate tokenization attempts. Notably, this article was published well before the FTX scandal, so the negative sentiment toward tokenization was around long before the crypto scams became global news. 

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