New Cohabitation Reforms Likely to Boost UAE’s Real-estate Sector

In a historic and unprecedented move, the UAE Government has unveiled a series of changes in its Islamic personal laws. The new law permits unmarried couples in UAE to stay together without any consequences. Until now, it was illegal for unmarried couples or unrelated flatmates to live together or share a home in the UAE. The new rules are applicable with immediate effect. The laws pertaining to alcohol consumption, divorce, and women’s rights have also been relaxed. 

The core objective behind these amendments is to make the UAE more welcoming for expats and tourists. Cohabitation reforms will fuel a flurry of commercial activities in the UAE as it gets ready to host the World Expo in Dubai which is expected to be attended by more than 25 million international visitors and will attract billions of dollars of investment into the economy. The high stake event was pushed back a year because of the coronavirus pandemic and will now take place in 2021.

The Impact of New Laws on UAEs Real-estate Sector & Economy

The experts perceive the changes made to the UAE laws as a giant leap in the process of granting greater personal freedom to the residents as well as to the UAE’s 88% population of expats. The introduction of cohabitation laws will have a favorable impact on tourism to the UAE and will spur the demand for both commercial and residential accommodation in the region. This is indeed very positive news for the UAEs real-estate and property management sector. Furthermore, hiring a trained and qualified workforce has been a long-standing challenge for the UAEs real-estate and property management sector. Relaxing the cohabitation laws will allow the sector to retain the top talent into local businesses.

The relaxation in cohabitation laws will also attract an influx of Israeli investors to substantially contribute to the UAEs real-estate sector following a historic US-brokered deal to normalize relations between the UAE and Israel. The real-estate sector will also be positively impacted by the reinforcement of UAEs position as the most attractive and tolerant places to live within the Middle East region, which would open new avenues of international investment and business opportunities in UAE. These changes will also help revamp the local legal landscape for expats which is expected to have a positive impact on the overall economy and will also boost international investor’s confidence ahead of the World Expo.
The approval of new laws will protect individualism and foster foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UAE. According to the prominent media firm – Bloomberg, cohabitation laws are part of UAEs efforts to attract foreign experience and investment and play a pivotal role in building the open-minded image of the UAE. They will also open doors to millions of international tourists, fortune-seekers, and businesses to the UAE which is already very popular across the globe as a skyscraper-studded destination.

OYO Life: ‘Thriving on the Idea of Cohabitation

OYO Life is India’s long-term fully managed housing rental solution company. The company was founded on the idea of cohabitation which is forbidden in most of the residential accommodations or hotels in India and in many other countries where the company operates. The implementation of unique thought of cohabitation in India made Oyo Life one of the most successful startups in the country and a preferred choice of youth for accommodation. 

Banking on their idea of cohabitation and offering budgeted accommodation to the youth, OYO Life clocked 4.5 times year-on-year (YoY) growth. The six-year-old company increased revenue to US$951 million for the fiscal year 2019, from US $211 million in fiscal 2018. In just a span of two years, Oyo Life has more than 10,000 units signed and over 6,000 live beds and is adding over 1000 new beds every month.

OYO Life success was later replicated by several other budgeted hotel chains in India such as – LuvStay and StayUncle who went on to taste the triumph. 

OYO is one of the finest examples of how cohabitation can work wonders for a housing rental firm and simultaneously benefit other related sectors. The relaxation of reforms in UAE will make its real-estate sector more attractive for the world, foster tourism, bring valuable foreign exchange, positively impact the revenues of the real-estate sector, and will enhance the international image of UAE.

How to make your investment property stand out from the crowd in the Dubai Real Estate Market

Making your rental property stand out to potential reputable tenants is an essential first step in securing a consistently high return on your investment. The current market is flush with options for renters, and expectations are high. Quality tenants expect features such as energy efficient appliances, centralized urban locations, and bright open spaces. The great news for the owner is that this generation is mobile and seem to want to rent for extended periods of time.

Put your best face forward

Getting your property into top form is key in attracting quality tenants to your investment. Presentation, appearance, and general maintenance of your property will go a long way in setting your property apart in this renter’s market. Investing just a few thousand dirhams into basic property maintenance can make a significant difference when it comes to the number and type of tenants you attract. Small changes can make a big difference in your property’s first impression. Start in a small area like the bathroom. Replace shower heads, toilet seats and reseal worn out edges. Look through the rest of the property for things that can easily be fixed or updated. Replace basic fixtures with new designs, remove older switches and sockets and put on a fresh coat of paint and you can give your property the makeover it needs to make the grade. For a bit more, replace old doors worktops with sleek, modern designs, and update scuffed floors to change the entire look of a space. Oftentimes, these small changes can change the look and feel of a property and help you to retain reputable tenants who will stay long-term.

Location, location, location

The neighborhoods of Dubai are both vibrant and diverse. Renters and buyers are going to want to live in a neighborhood that reflects their interests and lifestyle. For example, Arabian Ranches is known to be a great area for young families, whereas Dubai Marina has a more metropolitan vibe, and appeals to young professionals the go for the outdoor lifestyle. Good tenants will want to stay in your property long-term and will want to see that the neighborhood fits their style. In your listing, be sure to include details about the surrounding locations like supermarkets, access to public transport, schools and restaurants. Going above and beyond by providing a welcome package or area guide for new tenants can turn a short-term renter into a long-term reputable tenant.

Have the right people on your side

Hiring a reputable property management representative will save you time, money, and headaches along the way. A quality property manager will assist you to maximize rent, minimize expenses and increase the resale value of your investment. Reputable property managers will support your investment by managing the day-to-day tasks that steal away your time like marketing, determining rental rates, managing small tenant disputes, inspecting properties, screening tenants, and collecting rents. Your property manager should also manage your property listings, and ensure that all available properties are listed with quality pictures and an enticing written description. If you are managing your property from outside the UAE, a locally-based property manager is essential.

Be flexible

In this rental market, it is important to offer flexibility and value-added services to your tenants. The Dubai trend of demanding payment in one cheque is on its way out, and we are seeing multiple-cheque options pop up in suburban areas like Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai Sports City, Damac Hills and more. Offering a one-month free option is also a great way to expand your pool of potential tenants. To add value to your rental property, consider outfitting your investment with high-quality modern appliances and smart home technology solutions like smart lighting and smart thermostats. Smart home technology can benefit landlords, tenants, and the environment!

Monitor your activity

Your leasing agent or property management representative will send you weekly reports on your property’s activity if requested. Ensure that these reports are detailed, including how many times your property was viewed and the number of leads generated. Give your agent feedback on the quality of the report, and be sure they optimize the document with the data that you require. These insights are critical to ensure that your listings are properly managed.

Experts expect that an additional 30,000 units will be handed over by the end of 2019. Avoiding the vacancy cycle will take forethought and quality property management. The Dubai economy is maturing, and tenants expect well-maintained properties and flexible payment rates. Stay flexible and add value to your properties to ensure long-term tenants and a steady return on your property investment.

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.

Dubai: From trading pearls and fishing to engineering the happiest city in the world.

It all started with a vision of one man, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, who wanted to make Dubai become the happiest city in the world.

A great leap forward from fishing and collecting pearls to be traded with other nations to engineering the happiest city in the world. Long ago, most Dubaiers used to live in houses made of corals with no water for sewers and electricity, However, Dubai now is indeed the pearl of the East and one of the world’s most favorable go-to places.

The culture of Dubai is a great mixture of beautiful Islamic and western styles. A metropolitan where the East and the West converge. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine, and lifestyle are very prominent in the city. Everyone in Dubai is guaranteed a free-way living. A city that once was home for a single ethnically homogenous community has now transformed to become also home for other ethnic groups and nationals. If you’re in Dubai, you’ll have the chance to hear hundreds of languages with different dialects and accents, and you don’t have to travel anywhere to buy stuff. You can just buy it from Dubai Mall that has products from nearly 120 countries.

Visitors of Dubai can also enjoy very culturally-rich experiences. Especially after the launch of Dubai Culture that empowered many projects and initiatives as part of a great step forward to achieve the vision of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 that aims to boost Dubai’s stand as a cosmopolitan city for culture, arts, and literature. These initiatives and projects include Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition, Visual Art Programme, the First cultural visa in the world and my favorite is the SIKKA Art Fair.

Another interesting aspect of Dubai Culture is the adoption of happiness and positivity approach. Thus, happiness programmes and initiatives were launched to spread joy among people. After a while, some surveys revealed that a surprising majority of Dubai residents said they feel happy and safe. In Dubai, you can see a police Happiness Patrol handing out rewards to law-abiding drivers instead of fines and tickets. People are asked to rate public services with emojis to reward good behaviors instead of punishing the bad.

The UAE is one of four national governments to appoint a senior government member responsible for coordinating national happiness efforts. Happiness in Dubai is a serious matter, especially after it became an increasingly preferred indicator for social progress by governments and global organizations such as the United Nations.  

In conclusion, happiness is an integral part of Dubai’s smart transformation. A smart and happy city that prioritizes happiness as a key objective, led by the Smart Dubai Office that oversees that transformation and utilizes innovative technology.     

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.

Real Estate Customer Service: The rise of chatbots

It’s 2020, and chatbots have truly evolved and have an impact on every aspect of our lives. Facebook Messenger to Skype, we talk and interact intelligently with them on a daily basis. Chatbots have revolutionized the way we buy, sell and rent properties but most of all they revolutionize the way we interact with the end-user.

In 2016, we saw Facebook, Microsoft and Google launch their chatbots, post this AI-applications started to boom. AI platforms are improving at such a rapid rate and will help not only business run more efficiently, they will most of all assist with enhancing customer experience. In real estate we have identified the importance of incorporating these technologies to engage with customers in addressing questions that don’t need human input. The success of chatbots have been tested across industries like healthcare and e-commerce and the overall ROI on customer engagement has been exponential. Here are 5 reasons why chatbots in real estate customer service will guarantee you success:

24/7 Support:

Humans have constraints and deadlines and cannot be available 24/7, here comes chatbots in real estate being available round the clock, 365 days a year. Customer queries can be addressed even outside operational hours.

Focus on User Experience:

Customers today expect support customized to their specific needs. Fast paced customers today do not want to partake in the phone loop disaster, they want instant gratification. Chatbots in real estate are built around the general concerns that the sector’s customers experience, and address issues with relevant content. Chatbots have the ability to process data, perform calculations in the power of thousands in a matter of seconds.

Managing High Volume of Queries:

The real estate sector experience cycles and in some of these cycles we see a spike in queries. These increase in queries naturally translates into an increase in labor and training costs. Through chatbots, real estate management companies can easily handle large volume of queries and offer a uniformed customer engagement experience.

Chatbots align to the Modern Customer:

The modern customer is everywhere. E-mails, social media chat platforms, message reminders and companies need to be present on all these platforms in the near future. Chatbots can help integrate the engagement experience across all platforms.

Chatbots reduce human error:

Sometimes humans forget, but chatbots don’t forget. Chatbots have access to enormous information and can help answer queries accurately. The cognitive technology incorporates customers responses and provide accurate automated responses.

Chatbots are a win-win situation for the customer and business. Automating a certain portion of the customer service funnel can result in considerable savings for businesses. A single chatbot can handle thousands of request at any single time and can ensure no increase in headcount. In the US alone chatbots help with $23 Billion dollars savings in the customer service industry. The UAE AI adoption in customer service is increasing and this can only boost the bottom line for UAE real estate entities. Chatbots also act as great stress reducers for customers wanting to make a quick decision. At this stage though it’s  important to note that chatbots aren’t replacing a traditional customer service or sales role, but they instead act as a supplement to enhance a strong customer service experience.

Why hire a decorator if you can do it yourself! Here’s some DIY ideas on a budget.

Stop reading decorating magazines, it will only make you feel unsatisfied with how small your room is or how poorly your apartment was decorated. Instead, you can remodel, rebuild or redecorate your rooms with these three easy tips & tricks.

Utilize the dark side of the bed!

If you have a small apartment filled with clutter and stuff, your bedroom, especially your bed area is a great place to store things underneath. If you have an elevated bed or a platform bed, you can easily throw whatever stuff you want underneath it. And if you don’t have a bed like that, don’t worry, you can always get bed risers which give you additional space under your bed. You can then store things like suitcases, luggage or old boxes. You know, those suitcases and old boxes can also be used to store in them whatever junk you want to get rid of.

Build upwards … Take advantage of your vertical space.

Another trick is to use your vertical space to your advantage. You can have, for example, a huge wall gallery. If you enter someone’s apartment with a gallery on their wall, this gallery will immediately draw your eyes from the floor to the ceiling, because there’s a lot of stuff to look at. This tip works not only with small rooms but also with large ones too.   

Utilizing the vertical space also means building upwards, you know, like putting up a shelf. A simple shelf on a wall next to your bed means that you can keep favorite reads and books within easy reach, you can also display lots of catchy things like trinkets and book covers. Believe me, nothing could go wrong with a simple shelf. They are simply practical. Wall shelves could be installed everywhere in your apartment, and they can hold additional things like books, décor, knick-knacks and lots of stuff.

Shelves are my favorite. They can be installed above your TV or above your kitchen cabinets. If you think about it, there’s lots of room for using the space upwards.

Rearrange your room design.

If you’re bored with your room design and you can’t afford buying new furniture now, you can always ‘Feng Shui’ your room by moving furniture around. This will allow natural light to enter different corners of your room. Furniture can make your room look different and bigger for free. You can shop secondhand for an old wooden chair if you don’t already have one, dip it in bright red paint and see how beautiful it will look next to a bright set of chairs.  

You can do a lot of things with tips and techniques like these. If you put imagination to work, your options are limitless. Plus, DIY gives you satisfaction of being able to show off projects that you did yourselves. They even have a name for it. It’s called “The IKEA Effect”!