In Austria, an energy performance certificate (EPC) must be presented when renting, leasing or selling a property – for instance, to a bank when financing a condominium. The obligation to provide information on the energy condition of the building also applies to real estate advertisements. The energy certificate describes the electricity and, above all, heating requirements and can be designed differently depending on the building regulations of the individual federal states.
There is also a further trend toward resource conservation in the office sector, as tenants are increasingly asking for ESG-compliant space. In addition to environmental issues, the ESG “social” part is also a criterion – from offering children’s playgrounds through community spaces to affordable rents (the latter is not a top priority for all landlords, for obvious reasons).
From a landlord’s perspective, sustainability can also mean a purposeful choice of tenant structure. For example, real estate funds sometimes decide to exclude tenants from areas such as prostitution or arms dealing from their portfolios. There are now also discussions about this with regard to companies in the petroleum industry and even car repair shops.
Both perspectives – the tenant’s perspective and the landlord’s perspective – are welcome subjects in annual reports. Commercial tenants who choose green office properties benefit, and operators who implement ESG measures score points. For instance, an owner of a business park can claim an investment in rooftop photovoltaic systems as a green investment. At the same time, the asset in question is turned from a brown building to a green one.
Although the taxonomy ordinance was passed two years ago, measures and effects from it are still in flux. The legal text, which is about 400 pages long, provides the specifications – however, companies are only working their way up to the regulation in practice. Everybody wants to take green investments under their wing, and especially on the owner’s side, the possibilities for improvements in the ratings are discussed in different ways.
But what options do real estate operators have to encourage tenants to manage commercial property in a sustainable manner? Landlords are increasingly relying here on so-called “green leases” – in principle, these are sustainability clauses in the lease agreement. Depending on the type of building, they may require ecological building materials in structural changes, environmentally friendly cleaning agents and water conservation in facility management, or caps on the use of heating and cooling systems.
In many places, the industry is striving to convert customers to green leases when they renew a lease. For new leases, it’s almost standard. It’s a win-win situation: owners demonstrably ensure green income this way. Moreover, leased-in companies save resources for the good of their bottom line and the environment. It also gives facility management companies the opportunity to position themselves positively in the marketplace. Green leases are important to landlords for another reason: part of the clauses is access to tenants’ energy consumption data. This is necessary to be able to calculate the complete CO2 balance of a building.
The bottom line is that real estate funds must now prove to their institutional investors which parts of their assets are actually classified as green. The EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) also aims to achieve uniform quality and comparability in sustainability reporting. With the CSRD coming into force at the beginning of the year, more than 50,000 companies in the EU are now obliged to report sustainability figures according to the new standards. Small and medium-sized companies will follow.
With a share of 40 percent of total energy consumption, Europe’s building stock has the highest energy consumption across all sectors. The “European Green Deal” has now laid the foundation for climate neutrality in the EU by 2050. Austria initially wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent by 2030 – measured against 2005 levels. In the country, the building sector is also seen as having great potential for savings, especially through thermal renovation measures, by dispensing with fossil fuels in newly constructed buildings and by switching to renewable energy sources in existing buildings.
So what investments and economic activities are green and environmentally sustainable? In June 2020, the European Union adopted the so-called Taxonomy Regulation. It defined a set of rules to guide investments in sustainable projects. After all, the energy transition is primarily a financing transition, as changes in the real estate sector are always driven by investors.
While the private housing market has so far been largely exempt from the legal requirements for achieving climate targets, the focus of political measures lies on institutional investors and larger companies. Public funds, for example, have to meet certain quotas for “environmentally friendly” investments. Pension funds that invest in real estate (as an alternative to the stock market) for stable asset provision have also set targets in this regard. This gives momentum to energy efficiency measures and smart building concepts. But it also entails risks. If a building’s taxonomy rating is poor, there is a risk of investors bailing out. The building may no longer be tradable. Currently, this applies roughly from energy efficiency class F (annual energy consumption of 160 kWh and more per square meter) – if a building stock cannot be economically renovated. The asset is then considered stranded.
Property owners and managers are currently most interested in these questions: How can I make my product as green as possible? What measures should I take to achieve this – such as integrating renewable energy? And how can I prevent the stranding of properties that emit too much CO2? This is what companies active in the real estate market are dealing with. Two factors are working against each other here: the legal requirements for energy efficiency and the economic viability of measures to improve this balance.
Many companies document the rating of their properties themselves – in Excel or via ESG modules (“Environmental, Social, Governance”) of asset and portfolio management tools such as ICRS. And there are other sources of help in the industry: The German initiative ECORE, for example, focuses on ratings for existing buildings. The name stands for “ESG Circle of Real Estate” and was created with a tool of the same name in a collaboration between consultants and companies from the real estate and finance industries. The members, including many major players in Germany, have developed their own scoring standards for the sustainability of real estate portfolios. ECORE does not only aim to assess the risk of real estate but also to compare the “performance” of buildings and portfolios. The platform and service is one of the best-known initiatives on the market, but corporate customers must de facto commit to it.
The British counterpart “GRESB Real Estate Assessment” operates a more open model that can also be mapped in third-party software tools. GRESB can also be used to assess existing portfolios across asset classes and locations – also on the basis of standardized indicators from the Global Reporting Initiative. This provides an international standard for sustainability reports in a wide range of areas – not just buildings.
We are thrilled to announce our partnership with blue auditor – provider of a management tool for sustainability in buildings and real estate portfolios. This collaboration opens up exciting opportunities for both organizations as we work together to create exceptional value for our customers.
blue auditor’s ESG management tool for real estate assets and portfolios provides holistic and overall performance monitoring and improvements for ESG management, most importantly EU Taxonomy, CO2 stranding assessments, climate risk analysis, green building certification and various ESG reporting.
blue auditor and metamagix created an API interface to streamline the exchange of ESG-relevant data.
“We are happy that our customers can now benefit from the seamless integration of their portfolio data and ICRS capabilities with the ESG expertise available on blue auditor”, says Martin Gilly, Managing Partner metamagix.
This brings several advantages to both metamagix´s and blue auditor´s clients: Leveraging the data of real estate portfolios held in ICRS can be sent to blue auditor with the click of a button. Once analyzed, selected ESG-related KPIs can be reported back to to megamagix´s platform where the data can be directly integrated in operational processes, reporting and planning.
Wolfgang Lukaschek, Managing Director blue auditor, added: “Integrating metamagix and blue auditor provides the best of both the portfolio management and ESG management solutions to the commercial real estate market.”
We look forward to offering the market the possibility to seamlessly integrate data for sophisticated real estate management and provides real value to our users.
We have introduced the ICRS ESG module with great success. To really be able to evaluate the hot topics around ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) by means of an appropriate rating for your properties, our ESG module offers flexible and configurable question catalogs. The rating can be adjusted and improved at any time by adding investments or other items (e.g. certifications, improvements in terms of waste management or energy efficiency, bicycle parking, etc.). The focus here is on the implementation of the EU taxonomy, as well as customer-specific adaptations around recording and forms up to the import of existing Excel questionnaires. By importing the respective data into ICRS, these calculations are performed automatically. Also, a coupling with the ICRS planning module as well as the display of an own ESG section in reports is possible. By means of the ESG module, ESG ratings can be displayed aggregated on company or fund level.
Flexible adjustment of ratings
The ESG module was developed in coordination with the EU taxonomy and initiatives such as ECORE or GRESB and supports dynamic ratings adapted to usage types and scenarios. Thus, several models can be run in parallel, and parts of the rating generation can be automated by external data. The combination with the ICRS market data module, which allows an automatic evaluation of your rating, is ideal as well.
In addition, metamagix quickly creates interfaces to platforms that screen buildings and derive possible improvement measures. Use this head start to be able to manage all your real estate and ESG relevant data in ICRS.
Advantages of the ICRS ESG module at a glance
Are you considering implementing the new ICRS module in your organization? Let’s summarize the reasons why many of our customers have decided to use the new module:
Flexible and qualitative object evaluation with free definition of scoring models
Provision of historization and extensive analysis options
Can be coupled directly with the ICRS market data module
Flexible, versionable ESG rating is already integrated
We regularly report on current ESG-related topics on LinkedIn, so if you’re interested too, follow us for updates.
Feel free to tell us about any additional requests you have in connection with our ESG module. We accept feedback at any time (email@example.com).
Do you also need to keep land register data up to date on an ongoing basis? In Austria, it is common practice to query land register data via various online providers by entering an address or land register number and deposit number against payment. We have now created an interface that allows you to automate this query so that you are always up-to-date when changes occur.
Wide range of automated land register queries
Our customers are not only automatically informed about relevant changes in the land register through the interfaces between ICRS and various Austrian providers of land register data, we even go one step further. Because land register excerpts and ownership can also be updated, DKM maps, cadastral plans and purchase contracts can be queried automatically.
Depending on your individual settings, you can, for example, set up automatic (email) notifications, meeting invitations, information to sales tools, etc., in the event of movements in the land register that are of interest to you. In addition, the updated land register data can be promptly stored in the details of your properties managed by ICRS.
The new interface makes regular land register data queries quick and easy. Customers have already integrated the interface into ongoing processes, for example in purchase and sale situations, or for owner analysis.
The highlights of the land register query
The immediate creation of an object structure from the land register excerpts
Automation of queries to land register providers, e.g. Compass or Manz, via automated interface
Ongoing extraction of data, e.g. of floor areas or owners
Possibility of direct filing of land register documents in ICRS
Automated information alerts in case of changes in the land register via interfaces to notification systems and mail distribution
Have you already automated your queries? How do you use automation? Feel free to share your experiences with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is live! The big step of going live took place at the beginning of the year. Our focus was on a fresh and modern design, higher usability as well as a clear presentation of our offer. Thanks to the language diversity at metamagix we were able to add three new languages. This allows our employees to serve our customers even better in their native language. By expanding the existing content and focusing on a strong visualization, we believe that you will find what you’re looking for even faster, with more insights.
We, known as a camera-shy team, even got in front of the camera for you at a team photo shoot … if that’s not a reason to start surfing?
The metamagix team set up, adapted and put ICRS into operation for Wohnraum AG, based in Kempten, Germany. Wohnraum AG buys, modernizes and manages residential real estate and invests in small and medium-sized towns and their surrounding areas. The focus is on existing properties in particular.
The introduction of ICRS at Wohnraum AG started last year and went live at the beginning of February 2022. The particularly good cooperation allowed for a relatively short project lead time. With the core module of ICRS Wohnraum AG has automated the entire data flow from the external and the new internal property management, directly to Wohnraum AG.
In addition to that, the Wohnraum AG team has opted for two more ICRS modules that will make forecasting, planning and controlling of the real estate portfolio easier in the future: the Planning & Controlling module and the Cash Flow module.
Martin Gilly, Managing Director of metamagix, reports: “The project cooperation with Wohnraum was perfect for us – in addition to the highly professional project implementation and the great teamwork, we particularly appreciated the friendly working atmosphere.”
Lisa Bek, Board Member of Wohnraum AG reports: “We were basically looking for a real estate asset management tool that would give us a quick and easy overview of our various residential portfolios. We found metamagix as a company & ICRS as a system and were immediately enthusiastic about it. Why? Because the software can do so much more than we initially wanted. Really amazing! In addition to the diverse and highly professional modules from ICRS, we are also happy about a great partnership with the motivated minds at metamagix. Here in the Allgäu one would say ‘‘It just fits‘‘. That is why we can warmly recommend both the team behind the company as well as the software.”
Do you already know what REST APIs are? Then you will probably be happy to hear that metamagix.ICRS supports them. We believe that configurable REST APIs are quite important to enterprise software and workflows, so we enable them for ICRS. If you plan to integrate ICRS into your existing IT environment, this can easily be implemented using configurable REST APIs – without even requiring the assistance of our ICRS customer support. Challenge accepted?
ICRS supports the following standard REST APIs functions:
View detailed entry
You can therefore independently
Set up interfaces between business applications (e.g. CRM, ERP)
Implement workflows with different systems, ergo RPA Robot Process Automation
Use standard login procedures such as OAUTH to authenticate to the service more securely and easily
Use cases for REST APIs with ICRS
To illustrate their potential we have compiled some application scenarios of REST APIs between ICRS and your IT environment.
If you use sales management software or a CRM like Salesforce, you can automatically report any vacant unit or expiring contract to your sales team. Therefore, they can act promptly without wasting any time.
Automatic data transfer
Set up automatic data transfer between ICRS and a folder in your cloud storage (e.g. Sharepoint, Nextcloud) via REST APIs. A manual transfer is no longer necessary.
Automate communication processes
With REST APIs you can automate your communication processes. Reminder via chat or e-mail and the creation of tasks can now be triggered automatically.
Finally! metamagix celebrated its 20th company anniversary with a 1 year delay. At the beginning of June this year, metamagix invited its customers, partners, companions and the entire team to the Viennese Augarten to raise the glasses to 20+ years together and to review these years.
During the interactive company quiz it was noticed that there was no agreement in relation to how many offices metamagix has had in its history. No agreement was reached to whether the room in Randolph Kepplinger and Martin Gillys’ shared flat at the time they got into entrepreneurship after graduating from the Technical University of Vienna, was to be added to the list or not. In any case, the quiz, the exclusive tour of the Viennese Augarten Porcelain Manufactory and the long-awaited reunion at dinner with birthday cake were fun for everyone.
If you are in Vienna in autumn, you are very welcome to visit us in our 5th (or 6th) office in the Kienmayergasse. You can make a personal appointment with us here. If during our anniversary you were not able to enjoy the historic Viennese Augarten Porcelain Manufactory – there are guided tours that allow you to look behind the scenes (https://www.augarten.com/en/content/besucherinfos.html).
Arealis relies on ICRS for efficient asset management
Arealis is one of the largest real estate service providers in Austria. Arealis also takes on the asset management for its institutional clients. The properties are spread across Austria and several CEE countries are individually managed by a total of 20+ different property managers which makes the task a rather complex one. In addition, the portfolio of this customer group of Arealis consists of heterogeneous investments: from industry, office and retail spaces to rental apartments, all investment forms are included. For Arealis it is of great importance to offer its customers a consistent and extremely efficient service for the entire real estate management. ICRS from metamagix is used for this purpose. This summer, Arealis’ asset management team started the implementation of ICRS together with the metamagix team. The system is already configured, and data has just been imported.
How does ICRS help manage assets efficiently?
“ICRS helps us to implement a uniform portfolio view and control across a multitude of property management companies, different IT systems, countries and company structures” explains Christoph Roiser, Managing Director of Arealis and adds: “We appreciate the great competence of metamagix with regards to the implementation of our requirements and the years of experience in software development. ICRS has brought us a decisive step forward in the area of asset management.”
Lukas Zwölfjahr, Asset Manager at Arealis and Project Leader for the implementation of ICRS at Arealis confirms that he always experienced the cooperation as very pleasant: “the high level of competence and fast reaction times of metamagix are unique among IT service providers. The metamagix team is very knowledgeable, everyone is right there with you and thinks ahead. This is exactly what is reflected in the product range and scalability of ICRS. For example, metamagix is already thinking about the implementation of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) criteria in ICRS. My conclusion: we have chosen the best long-term partner.”
At Arealis, the team is excited about the gain in portfolio transparency, the visualization and simple clustering of data by usage, geography, risk, or ownership. In the future, ICRS will also facilitate reporting to boards and clients and serve as an important decision-making tool with up-to-date data on vacancy trends, rental income, and portfolio composition.