Categories
System Updates

System Alert! All Systems Good

Web host reports fully restored and operational email systems. Two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled again for standard logins. We still highly recommend that you connect your account to Google or LinkedIn for a more convenient login procedure and as a secondary means of access. We use them only for login auth, nothing else.

Categories
System Updates

System Alert! Email issues

Web host reported issues with their email system which impacted OC’ two-factor authentication (2FA) email service. Temporarily turned off 2FA while email service is again at full functionality. Apologies for any inconvenience. Please feel free to report issues so we can jump on them as quickly as we can.

Highly recommend connecting OC to Google/LinkedIn networks (go to Settings > Profile & Networks > Edit…) so you have secondary (or tertiary) way of accessing your account in cases of email outages or outdated email address in your account (from job switches).

Default behavior of the login script was updated to keep you signed in longer so you don’t have to log into OpenComps too often on your private, personal machine. If you are using a public (shared) computer, remember to Sign Out at the end of your session to protect the privacy of your account.

Categories
General Updates

OpenComps 4.0 – Private Entries

On the heels of us turning 10, we are extremely happy to announce our latest update to OpenComps. We feel that it significantly enhances and changes the purpose of the site that we would like to call this OpenComps 4.01. The new feature is the ability to record private entries.

What are private entries? In addition to creating publicly-visible entries, you can now create entries that can be seen only by you (Only Me) or by your shared private group (My Group). And we really mean the only part! We have worked extra hard to make sure nobody (even admins) can get to your privately-recorded entries. Those entries are yours and yours alone.

While only you can see them, you don’t have to do anything different to search the database and see your entries together with the public entries. For example, look at this search for “paris” and how easily you can filter your search results to show everything, only Public entries, only Only Me entries or only My Group entries:

If you noticed, the private entries are highlighted in the search results if there is no filter selected. The rows for the Only Me and My Group entries are in an unique, highlighted color and they also begin with an icon showing either a single user view or group of users view. Let’s take a look inside the entries:

Also, we hope you noticed that there are three entries for the same property. One happens to be a Public Comp transaction, one is My Group Comp transaction and one is Only Me Comp transaction. For the same search you can now see what is available publicly right next to any available private entries for the same property. Of course, the private entries could be either for the same Comp transaction or another Comp transaction. Or it could be a For Sale tracker, Development or Debt Comp. Because they all have the same address (and geocode to the same location), you can see all entries in the Related tab, which maintains the same highlighted rows format.

From any transaction entry for a given property – Public, Only Me or My Group – you can start another entry for the same property that can be either Public, Only Me or My Group by selecting the appropriate option in the +Add New dropdown. This is the quickest way to overlay a private entry on top of a public entry, or create a different entry type (Comp, For Sale, Development or Debt Comp) to a property. Or you can start from scratch with the +Add New wizard from any transaction list.

If you have Export privileges, you can export private (Only Me and My Group) entries as much as you want. Unlike Public entries, private entries are yours and there are no limits to how often you want to download them in an Excel-friendly CSV format2.

The powerful Advanced Search is fully enabled for you to search either across all transactions or limit to what’s Public, Only Me or My Group. Also, the instant statistics in Insights are similarly recalculated based on your preference for which transactions you want to be included. Please, rest assured that you are not seeing aggregated numbers that are including someone else’s transactions or that your transactions may be included in someone else’s Insights screens. As mention already above, your entries stay private throughout the entire site and nobody can see them or have them included in their aggregate screens.

Recording of private (Only Me or My Group) entries is a feature available to PRO subscribers. In fact, the shared My Group is based on the shared billing group, which is currently set up only by an admin. However, if you happen to be a PRO subscriber and created private entries, these will still stay available to you3 in full detail to see or search across even if you happen to drop your PRO subscription at some point (we hope only temporarily!). You just won’t be able to add new private entries.

We are really excited about this new functionality in OpenComps and we hope you will decide to take full advantage of it and support us by becoming a PRO subscriber. If you need to set up a group subscription, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We would love to hear from you with any comments or ideas about this new functionality. If you would like to discuss it in more detail via a private web-conference, just just get in touch.

  1. 1.0 – initial launch in 2006; 2.0 – site redesign and reactivation of development in 2012; 3.0 – social/newsfeed functionality in 2015
  2. In fact, even Public Your Additions transactions – transactions that you’ve contributed to the public body of transactions – are also excluded from the daily and rolling 30-day export limits
  3. For My Group transactions, assuming you still belong in the shared group.
Categories
General

OpenComps Turns 10

Happy Cinco de Mayo and with that happy 10th anniversary to OpenComps! It was May 5th, 2006, when the site first went live!

Thank you for your support throughout the years and looking forward to the next 10!

Svetlin

Categories
General

PRO Feature Review: Advanced Search

In OpenComps, easy and intuitive design is on top of our minds. To find something on OpenComps, we have a large search bar persistently on top of every page. It is big, it’s easy, it’s quick. (And did you know that pressing “/” on your keyboard on any screen, brings you inside that search bar? Type “?” (Shift+/) to see all keyboard shortcuts.)

However, this basic search is like shooting with a canon; it searches for the given keywords in all database fields at once. Sometimes to kill the right bird, you need to shoot with a rifle, a more refined and precise instrument. This is where Advanced Search — available to all PRO subscribers — comes into play.

Advanced Search

You can find Advanced Search in the More dropdown at the end of the basic search field. On mobile, it is on the rightmost on the home row of buttons at the bottom of the screen. Or, you can type “a /” (a followed by /) as a keyboard shortcut (because you are a power user!).

Categories
Updates

Now Tracking: Developments and Financings

Some of you may have noticed that, over the past few weeks, the transaction list has gotten very GREEN, a lot less pale blue and maybe just a little bit dark blue. That’s because we added two new transaction types to our research coverage: new developments and financings (debt comps).

As part of our re-focus on hotel only, we are looking to significantly expand our coverage of the sector as well as introduce new features. While previously we covered what sold (comps) and what’s on the market (for sale), we are now expanding to also cover what’s coming into a market (developments) and what has been (re)financed (debt comps). We think this should significantly increase OpenComps’ value to hospitality investment professionals who would like to dig in or stay on top of a specific market.

For developments, we are covering hotels that are in planning (proposed), permitted, in construction, and opened (or cancelled). Take a look at this recent Advanced Search for developments in New York, NY.

Or if you are looking to capture a broader area view of the area (say, include the Brooklyn developments too), you can use the Proximity feature of the Advanced Search and set yourself a radius search, like this.

NYC Developments Radius Search

Don’t forget our Insights section, which can provide you with interesting overviews related to developments, like which are the most popular brands, states or cities with most activity, or who is lending on construction. PRO users can use Advanced Filters for more precise analysis.

We are starting our research coverage from scratch. We are adding developments as we go. If you know of any that we may be missing, drop us a note or add us to your press releases distribution list. If you want to update us on any that we have in the database already, drop us a note via the built in “Tell us more” button on each transaction. Help us move development projects from planning, through in construction, through opening!

As always, please send us your thoughts and ideas. We would love to hear from you.

Categories
Updates

New Feature: Saved Searches

Very excited to introduce our latest new feature: the ability to save your searches. Long requested, the feature is a fantastic tool to re-create a search with one-click or get automatic email updates of new transactions matching your search. You can make OpenComps reach out to you with updates, staying in the know even if you are not visiting the site regularly.

Whenever you execute a search – a simple or an Advanced Search – you now have a Save link/button next to the search results summary. Click it to give your search a name and choose a notification schedule, if you would like to receive email updates.

Once you save your search, you can access your search using the More dropdown at the end of the search bar on the desktop or the Advanced tab on the home row on your mobile.

Once saved, you can “run” your search again at any time from the More dropdown (which shows the latest 3 saved searches) or the Saved Search management panel (follow either the “Manage saved searches” or “See all” link at the bottom of the More dropdown). Saved searches are always displayed in reverse chronological order (newest to oldest).

Basic (free) users can save up to 3 simple searches. PRO subscribers can save up to 10 simple or advanced searches.

With the ability to save your search and receive updates, the existing Advanced Search functionality – available to PRO subscribers only – becomes turbo charged. It is now easier than ever to quickly execute an often-done Advanced Search (incorporating a Proximity search, if desired), which gives you field-specific precision and accuracy compared to the broad simple search. And with email notifications turned on, you can now receive precise and accurate updates on the markets or deal specifics you care about without having to constantly log into OpenComps. We like to think of this as the OpenComps Executive Edition: set several advanced searches with precise parameters of the markets or deal specifics that you are interested in and receive timely updates via email. It’s a great way for senior managers to analysts to stay in the loop.

Email Update On Saved Search
Email update example

You can choose to get updates on your saved searched once a day, once a week or once a month. You can set up an individual notification setting for each saved search or you can choose to set the notification based on a master notification setting. You can control your master notification setting in your Saved Searches management panel. Setting your saved searches to “per master” notification setting is a great way to quickly turn off a group of saved searches or re-assign them to a different – daily, weekly or monthly – notification schedule.

We hope you enjoy this new functionality. If you have any comments or further ideas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Categories
General

OpenComps Is Now Hotel Only

Since our early, humble beginnings in May 2006, we had always focused on the four major real estate asset classes of hotels, office, retail and multifamily. While technically hotels is the smallest of all these asset classes, we always put it first because it has a special place in our minds, interests and professional background. Today, we are furthering our interest in the hotel sector even more: by making OpenComps exclusively focused on it.

It is sad to say good bye to the office, retail and multifamily coverage. But we had to. Frankly, we just weren’t getting traction in those sectors. Over the past three years in particular, we spent enormous amount of time focusing and researching these asset classes, but our subscription audience in those sectors just wasn’t keeping up with the subscription support we were and are receiving in the hotel space.

So, following the sage business advice, we are focusing on what we are doing best (as many of you had told us). We are hoping that by doing less, we can do better. We have owned the hotel space since 2006 and we want to own it even more. We truly believe that our records of hotel transactions are best in the industry and, hopefully, with the renewed focus and dedication, you can join us in ensuring this.

OpenComps has never focused on being the biggest company in the real estate analytics world. We have always been focused on making the best product in that sector and bringing the cost of research down. If you are in the hotel space, you can help us grow and fulfill this mission, by supporting us and not the much larger and much more expensive competitive services.

We are a small but passionate team. Your support via the paid subscription tiers of the service is extremely important to us. We thank all the users and organizations that have supported us in our journey so far. We would greatly appreciate your continued as well as new support going forward.

Categories
Transactions

ARC Hospitality Is Eating Up Hotels

From 0 to 176 in less than 16 months… ARC Hospitality is eating up hotels faster than anyone right now. With no less than 6 portfolio transactions since early 2014, ARC Hospitality has amassed over $2.75 billion worth of hotels. See the map below or for the full list, click here.

ARC Hospitality 2014-2015 Map

Categories
General Updates

Go ahead and like (or comment on) this post… in OpenComps

We are excited to announce two new enhancements to the Post to the Newsfeed feature: likes and comments. We created the Posts feature to promote and encourage the discussion about real estate deals in a focused and dedicated space (you can leave your latest find of a cool dinner spot for that other network; or the best ideas how to conduct your next interview for yet another network). With these new features, we hope to take the conversation inside OpenComps to the next level.

Post Discussion

You can like any post by hitting the ♥ Like button. It will “light up” (turn red) to indicate your preference. If you change your mind, hit it again and it will “dim” (turn grey) to remove your like. You can add your comments at the bottom of the comments stream by writing your thoughts in the box and hitting Enter. Comments – just like Posts – are limited to 255 characters and can be only written as a single paragraph (remember hitting Enter will post your comment). If you change your mind about your comment, immediately or in the future, you can hit the Delete button on the right of your comment to delete it permanently.

Comments – just like Posts – have few special tricks up their sleeve:

  • To reference an OpenComps-recorded transaction, start with “=“. For example, =123, will automatically create a link to transaction 123.
  • To reference another OpenComps user, start with “@“. For example, @svetlin will automatically create a link to the profile for “svetlin” (my profile!).
  • To reference an outside internet address, make sure you include a full URL. For example, http://www.google.com will automatically create a shortened link to this internet address, which will open in a new tab/window.

On the right-hand side, underneath the post, a simple counter will show you how many likes or comments have been recorded. You can click on the like counter to see who else has liked the post.

When you are in your Newsfeed – either your Personal feed based on who you follow or the Public feed – you can always use the Actions newsfeed filter to limit your newsfeed to user posts only. This allows you to stay on top of posts and conversations uninterrupted by other Newsfeed action posts like user tagging or new on-the-market transactions.

We really hope you embrace the Post to Newsfeed feature. We would love to create commercial real estate-focused discussions that stay in a protected community. OpenComps’ Newsfeed is currently only available to registered users and is not available to general crawlers like Google or Bing to expose to the world. Your OpenComps activity stays in OpenComps and won’t be spread around the Internet.

If you are an active participant in the institutional commercial real estate market, we think you can find quite a few uses of the Post to Newsfeed feature, such as announcements like these:

To celebrate a recent closing and give credit:
“Congratulations to @myteammate1 and @myteammate2 on the closing of =123 sale.”

To invite people on a new deal:
“XYZ Broker is very excited to exclusively market for sale =123, an unique investment opportunity to acquire prominent boutique hotel in the much sought-after area of City.”

To update people on a new development on a current deal:
“We are actively conducting tours for =123. Get in touch if interested. Will call for offers on April 25th!”

We are sure you will find many other uses of this feature and will likely come up with much more creative posts than the ones above. You can actively monitor users engagement with your posts via likes and nurture an interactive dialogue via the comments.

It’s no fun if your posts are not getting noticed. So, make sure you promote your activity on OpenComps by spreading the word about your profile and invite others to join. Just look for the “Invite More” link or button in the Newsfeed or Community Search and send invites to your colleagues and friends to join OpenComps.

We welcome your comments… this time on our related post in the Newsfeed! 🙂