Energy Management Jul25

Energy Management

Transparency Market Research reports that the global energy management systems (EMS) market continues to grow. The market will show an estimated compound annual growth rate of 13.4 percent between 2015 and 2023, leading to a valuation of $36 billion by 2024. The estimate reflects ongoing confidence in the benefits of sustainable initiatives. Increasing Demand Several factors contribute to the rising demand for EMS. Current fossil fuel sources lack security and sustainability. The long-term projections by the International Energy Agency forecast a rise in such energy costs. As a result, organizations—particularly office, retail, and industrial spaces– strive to mitigate rising expenses by decreasing dependency on non-renewable fuels. Data gathered by EMS highlights opportunities for organizations to use less energy while maintaining optimal site performance. Smarter energy use will minimize waste and keep operating costs low. EMS also contribute to higher property values. The value of buildings with sustainable features exceeds the value of conventional structures by a median increase of 7 percent, reveals a joint study conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics, United Technologies Corporation, and World Green Building Council.  The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings report states that 73 percent of green building owners are able to increase their leasing rates and 62 percent achieved higher asset values. EMS help buildings achieve and maintain the standards needed for green building certifications, increasing the ability to lease and resale sites with higher value and fewer concessions. The drive for increased productivity, employee satisfaction and retention also contributes to the increasing demand for EMS. Research points to occupant health as a component of employee satisfaction and retention. In The Drive Towards Healthier Buildings, 79 percent of respondents believe wellness-focused buildings will lead to improved employee satisfaction. Business owners listed products that enhance thermal comfort, such as EMS, among the...

Creative Funding Jul24

Creative Funding

Desperate times call for creative solutions. The city of Allentown, Pennsylvania faced a multimillion-dollar deficit, high crimes rates, and a dwindling population. A unique approach to capital investment saved the city, producing what the mayor calls “Allentown 4.0.” William Billowitch, Controller, City Center Investment Corporation, sits down with Yardi to explore the organization’s singular approach to development. Built from Necessity The city of Allentown, the third largest city in Pennsylvania, descended into a rut during the recession. Its blighted neighborhoods became a hotbed for crime. While neighboring cities gradually pulled out of their recession lows, Allentown continued to descend. In the effort to save the town, local leaders and visionaries from the public and private sector worked together to draft a revitalization plan for the urban core. With that plan in mind, real estate development firm City Center Investment Corporation created City Center Lehigh Valley. The mixed-use complex is helping to transform downtown Allentown into one of America’s most vibrant urban communities. It is a regional center of excellence for business, culture and metropolitan living. “Our objective is to stimulate downtown, the economy. We use pretty much almost all Pennsylvania labor, all Pennsylvania products, to build,” says Billowitch. With Allentown’s new arena, PPL Center, at its core, City Center includes more than 1 million square feet. The campus includes three Class A office towers, the Renaissance Allentown Hotel, STRATA East and West residential buildings, The Shops at City Center, upscale restaurant space and a co-working space called Velocity. The seven-story office building, One City Center, was the first installment of a 10-year master planned project. In addition to office space, it is home to a sports performance and fitness center. One City Center is currently fully leased. “Since then, we’ve opened a building every...

Masako Wakamiya Jul21

Masako Wakamiya

81-year old Masako Wakamiya is proving to the world that age is really just a number. At a TEDx conference in Tokyo, a lively, energetic, self proclaimed “chatterbox” Masako professed angst at the thought of retiring at age 60–the requirement in Japan. It’s why after 43 years working at a bank, she decided to teach herself how to use a computer. In those days computers were not the intuitive, user friendly machines we have today. Masako recalled the three months it took her to set up and learn how to operate her computer. “My face was covered in sweat and tears,” she described. That same determination is what lead Masako to create her own app. But not just any app. Masako decided to create one specifically for elderlies after noticing a shortage of fun apps aimed at people her age. “We easily lose games when playing against young people, since our finger movements can’t match their speed,” explains Masako. Her app, Hinadan, is an iOS game based on the traditional Japanese festival Hinamatsuri, or Doll’s Day. During the festival, ornamental dolls representing the emperor and his followers are dressed in traditional garb and displayed in a specific arrangement. The game aims to teach players the correct positions by having 12 dolls that players must situate properly on a display with four tiers. Once the challenge has been successfully completed, a congratulatory message pops up. “I [would] encourage [old people] to start having fun experiences using computers,” she explained. When she is not teaching computer classes or blogging, Masako leads the Mellow Club, a community she founded for retirees that aims to encourage active aging. As if all this was not impressive enough, she also runs the Mellow Denshoukan, a digital archive of personal experiences...

YASC San Diego 2017 Jul20

YASC San Diego 2017

Surf’s up! Yardi’s user conference moves to San Diego this fall. The Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference, also known as YASC, will be hosted at The Bayfront Hilton on September 13-15, 2017. “We are excited to welcome guests to our new location in San Diego. The new venue is beautiful and we believe clients will really enjoy the expanded conference space and program we have in store,” said Tim Hoover, creative director for Yardi. With an anticipated attendance of almost 2,000 Yardi clients, this could be our biggest YASC ever. The new location offers ample space for expanded education sessions, in-depth training and great networking opportunities. As one past YASC attendee shared: “I had the sheer pleasure of meeting Mr. Yardi and some of the wonderful Yardi staff I communicate with. Yardi is a top notch and highly professional company that knows how to take care of their customers with hands-on training, great entertainment and wonderful customer service.”   Features of YASC San Diego include: A new conference app We’re excited to launch a new conference app that will offer a mobile and streamlined conference experience. Attendees can access conference information, venue maps, social networking and in-app messaging, and more on the YASC app. It’s designed to enable attendees to custom-tailor their daily schedule with classes, demos, panels and roundtables, and to set up one-on-one meetings with Yardi staff. The YASC app will be available for download at the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. A browser-based version, synched to the mobile app, will also be available, so attendees can access all these features from their desktop. Stay tuned to your email inbox for log-in information! Questions? Email our team at yasc@yardi.com. One-on-one advice at Knowledge Central This is the new home of our...

Western Focused Jul19

Western Focused

Casey Lynch and Mike Brown were graduate school classmates at UCLA when they started their real estate investment and development company, LocalConstruct, with limited funds and bona fide sweat equity. “We bought a $55,000 condominium in Fontana, Calif. that we painted and renovated ourselves. We were at Home Depot, buying our own supplies,” recalled Lynch. Flash forward nearly a decade, and LocalConstruct has become a thriving small firm with multifamily and mixed-use projects in California, Colorado, Idaho and Montana.  The Los Angeles-based company, a Yardi client, has developed 2,000 apartment units to date. Lynch and Brown have a specific vision for urban infill development. Seeking out markets with plentiful jobs but limited work-proximate housing, they have hit a sweet spot where limited supply meets unprecedented demand. We talked with Lynch about LocalConstruct’s market choices and formula for success.   You started your company in 2008, when real estate was in a desperate place. Why? Lynch: We saw a great opportunity to start an entrepreneurial enterprise, given the volatility in the market at the time. We raised a small fund to go out and buy single family homes and convert them into real properties in Los Angeles. You always hear developers who have been in the business 30 to 40 years talk about their first deal and working their way up the ladder. For us and our story, that would be true.   Things have changed tremendously since then. What happened to LocalConstruct in the last nine years? Lynch: We went from one unit projects to 2 to 4 to 8 to 20 to 100 to 300. We have a presence in four states in the West and we are focused on infill housing strategies, primarily rental housing, and we are focused on emerging markets...

Ecoluxury Jul18

Ecoluxury

Modern renters gravitate towards housing that allows them to protect natural resources without sacrificing convenience. Increasing demand has paved the way for sustainable features to shift from ecoluxury to affordable communities. Luxury is not a term for opulence. Rather, the phrase reflects the Latin luxus, which denotes something that is precious and of optimal caliber. The ecoluxury lifestyle and products signify the value of our environment and the high quality of the products used to protect it. Joyce Mihalik, Vice President, Integrative Design, Forest City Realty Trust, defines ecoluxury as “seamless elegance embedded with sustainable design that gives the tenant a luxurious experience.” Sustainable features must blend with convenience, functionality, and style. Ecoluxury appeals across demographic boundaries. “If you can afford it, you will want it,” Mihalik casually says. The trending products below reappear in ecoluxury communities throughout the United States. As demand rises and pricing becomes more competitive, these features will appear more frequently in market rate and affordable communities. Home Automation Devices GID Investment Advisers, and its property management company Windsor Communities, is a national leader in green multifamily properties. With 11 green certified buildings and nine additional properties in the certification process, the Boston-based company takes pride in its ecoluxury residences. Matthew Bernstein, Asset Manager, GID Investment Advisers, notes the growing popularity of smart home devices, “Home automation will continue to grow, offering new opportunities for residents to enjoy smart homes.” Home automation devices allow renters to remotely control thermostats, fixtures, appliances, and even outlets through the use of a mobile device. GID’s  Los Angeles property, Hanover Olympic, offers 20 Eco-green units. Each unit is equipped with a Google Nest Thermostat. After one week of use, Nest learns the preferences of inhabitants. The device then automatically adjusts interior temperatures to account...

Facebook Live Jul17

Facebook Live

Video continues to rise to the top of the digital marketing playbook. If you’re skeptical about the power of video, consider that almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. And four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. Video content can also improve SEO, increase engagement and boost brand loyalty and awareness. Within the realm of real estate, the industry – from retail to residential to student housing – is finding creative ways to leverage video. What’s clear is video isn’t going anywhere, so it’s time to jump in feet first. Facebook Live offers an interactive, free and highly visible way to engage with an audience. The platform now sees 8 billion average daily video views from 500 million users. With help from social media experts, in-depth tutorials and best practice tips, even the most novice user can become a Facebook Live pro.   Here are five tips to rock Facebook Live: Step 1: Ask permission If you plan to live stream other people, ask for permission before you record them. Keep in mind some conferences and venues may have strict no streaming policies. When in doubt, ask. Step 2: Game plan Some questions to inform your live video strategy: Why do you want to do live video? Who are you hoping to reach? What do you want this audience to do? What will you talk about? How long will you go live for? Facebook recommends 10 to 90 minutes, but even 5 minutes is great. Do what feels right for your organization and your viewers. Where will you go live from? Walk the room and consider reserving a spot in front. Minimal background...

Tradition Meets Tech Jul14

Tradition Meets Tech

With 8 communities in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan and 3 more in development, Randall Residence prides itself on a history of providing quality care dating back to 1975. Though the company has been around longer than the personal computer, they aren’t stuck in the past. In fact, by embracing the data management capabilities of Yardi to improve staff efficiency and more effectively manage operations throughout their portfolio, Randall Residence is using the best of modern technology to continue their track record of excellence. For Noel Salgado, a key element of the company’s success lies in its ability to harness the power of information. As CFO for Randall Residence, Salgado watched as the company transitioned from a small, regional company to a senior living provider with properties spanning three states. As the company evolved, its needs also changed, including demand for a comprehensive and integrated software system capable of incorporating accounting and care management. “As CFO I want to make sure I can see all the effects that are occurring in real time instead of having to wait a month before knowing whether anything needs to be adjusted,” says Salgado. From Basic to Comprehensive When Salgado first arrived at Randall Residence, the company was in the early stages of Voyager 6 integration. Although Salgado was aware of the software’s capabilities, he admits that at first Randall Residence was “using it in a very minimal way.” “We weren’t utilizing all the Yardi Voyager capabilities at first,” he says. “For the longest time, we used only a minimal portion of the software, before realizing the value of what we could do.” For Salgado, the realization hit when the company transitioned to Voyager 7S and began to add modules and expand utilization. “Moving from Voyager 6 to Voyager...

A Winning Team Jul14

A Winning Team

Jeff Bischoff and Michael Grimaud were classmates and friends at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. But that’s not all they have in common. After graduation, both built rewarding careers on the Yardi sales team. Sales at Yardi, an industry-leading real estate technology company with offices around the world, offers many exciting opportunities for professionals of wide-ranging skill and experience. Bischoff and Grimaud entered the company out of college and quickly ascended. Other positions are suitable for experienced sales executives and customer care professionals. Both Bischoff and Grimaud began their careers in Yardi’s client services division and then moved to sales. You can learn more about available Yardi sales roles on yardi.com/careers. We recently caught up with Bischoff and Grimaud to learn more about their experience. Both have been with Yardi for about five years. Bischoff currently works as Regional Manager for Public and Affordable Housing sales, while Grimaud is a Senior Account Executive focusing on the multifamily sector. Both employees say that Yardi’s prestigious position in the real estate industry, as well as the chance to truly make an impact for the clients they work with, are among the most rewarding parts of the job. “I truly enjoy visiting clients face to face on a regular basis. To build strong relationships, it is important the client trusts you and there is no better way to do so than by sitting down and interacting, whether it be through a meeting, a presentation, or a meal.  I also enjoy providing clients with a real solution to solve their business issues. When you show a new product to a client for the first time and you can see their eyes light up – that is a great moment,” said Grimaud, who works out of the Yardi Santa...

Apartment Idol

For musicians Jay Filson of Nasvhille and Jeremy Gentry of Chicago, a year of free rent in a brand-new apartment building is a golden ticket while they work toward establishing fledgling music careers. And for Chicago-based Magellan Development Group, a Yardi client, hosting the two musicians as “Artists in Residence” at its new properties is an amenity so unique that it has garnered significant press attention. Filson and Gentry are the inaugural winners of a creative lease-up competition held by Magellan as it marketed The Sobro in Nashville, and Exhibit on Superior in Chicago. The goal was to find Artists in Residence who would perform at the communities and provide music lessons to residents in exchange for a year of free rent. The Contest Each Artist in Residence winner competed against dozens of other musicians who submitted videos about why they were the most deserving and talented applicants. A live final performance, a la American Idol, concluded the competition. “Our Magellan principals envision this musician/artist in residence as teaching, playing, connecting with our residents in a variety of ways. They believe that music brings people together,” said Sherri Cuda, Director of Leasing for Magellan. Both Filson and Gentry are newly out of college and each was struggling to figure out what next steps their pursuit of a music career would take when they heard about the “Sobro Star” and “Exhibit A-Lister” competitions. Gentry, who works at one of Chicago’s dueling piano bars in the evenings, was thinking of moving back in with his parents. Filson had been working in marketing but knew that music was really the passion he wanted to pursue. “This is the kind of opportunity that does not come up, ever,” Gentry said. “I’m hoping that before next year I can make some original music. That’s my goal, to release an EP or a short album of original music before my time is done here.” Filson has a similar plan. He was working at his alma mater, Indian Wesleyan University, when the opportunity to compete for free rent in “Music City USA” came his way. “I tried not to get my hopes up too high but it just seemed like such a perfect opportunity,” he said. “And then it worked out, so I packed up all my stuff and moved to Nashville.” Since arriving, he’s been working on establishing a broad base of contacts and exploring the local music scene. “People here really do care about music in a really exceptional way. So it’s fun to be able to play for people and residents here that really love music and are open to hearing new artists,” Filson said. Benefits all Residents As part of the terms of the contest, each Artist in Residence puts in 30 hours a month of musical contributions toward their community. “We get a great deal out of it, but the residents get in house entertainment on a regular basis,” said Filson, who often mixes his own original work with mash-ups from popular artists like Eminem. “I’ve been playing by the pool, playing any events we have, and playing events at other Magellan buildings,” said Gentry, who is trained as a pianist but also plays guitar and drums. To augment his preparation for work at the piano bar, Gentry asks his neighbors for their song requests when he plays at the pool. He also has a list of residents who are interested in lessons and plan to start teaching soon. Expanding Possibilities Cuda says that Magellan plans to continue to roll out the contest in other future lease-ups, with the option to expand the scope. The talent portion of the event garnered significant publicity and attention in both markets. Local public relations agencies helped market it via social media and local news outlets. “In future projects, we intend to tailor the program. We may include culinary, wellness, fitness, or other areas. We...

Affordable Housing Jul12

Affordable Housing

In the face of crippling budget cuts, housing authorities rely on innovation, resourcefulness, and advanced software to stimulate growth. Carlos Pizarro serves as Vice President of Housing at Housing Authority of the City of Lakeland, Florida. His decade of experience in the private sector made him an unlikely candidate for the position. That experience, however, is the key to the housing authority’s success. “Public housing and section 8 must change,” reflects Pizarro.  “It needs the private sector and the public sector to work together to create something new. I don’t see the government able to support Section 8 and public housing forever. There has to be an effort between everybody.” Such industry changes are felt across the nation. Fort Smith Housing Authority in Arkansas has managed to ride the waves of these changes under the guidance of Rachel Brown, Section 8 Director. “You can’t depend on public housing funding anymore,” Brown says. “Public housing is going away. A lot of us are focused on converting public housing into RAD.” Fort Smith Housing Authority demolished 170 of its public housing units. The 288 remaining units were converted to Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) units. RAD, per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “allows public housing agencies to leverage public and private debt and equity in order to reinvest in the public housing stock.” The program is an effort to address a $25.6 billion dollar-backlog of public housing capital improvements. Blending funding options within a portfolio, and even within a single project, is one way that housing authorities stay afloat. Discovering untraditional sources of income is another. Innovative Incomes Both the City of Lakeland and Fort Smith housing authorities have created construction and development branches. “We got into developing properties, which is new for a housing...

Forbes Cloud 100 Jul11

Forbes Cloud 100

Global real estate technology provider Yardi has been named for the second time to the Forbes Cloud 100, the definitive list of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world. Yardi was a member of the inaugural Cloud 100 in 2016, moving up to the #26 spot on the list in 2017. Published by Forbes in collaboration with Bessemer Venture Partners, the list will appear in the July 27, 2017 issue of Forbes magazine and is available at forbes.com/cloud100. “We’re honored that Forbes chose to recognize our efforts to provide industry-leading cloud solutions for our clients for the second straight year,” said Anant Yardi, founder and president of Yardi. “Our cloud-based software serves real estate and investment companies of all sizes around the globe.” The Forbes 2017 Cloud 100 was selected by a panel of judges representing leading public cloud companies, using qualitative and quantitative data submitted by nominees, along with third-party data sources. The evaluation process involved four factors: estimated valuation (30%), operating metrics (20%), people & culture (15%) and market leadership (35%), which the judge panel then weighed to select, score and rank the winners. With that data, the Forbes Cloud 100 judge panel, made up of a majority of public cloud company CEOs, was then responsible for selecting and ranking the top 100 companies from all over the world. “Our inaugural Cloud 100 list showed the tech and venture capital community just how many standout private cloud companies there are to watch, and this year’s list is no exception,” said Forbes editor of the Cloud 100 list Alex Konrad. “Forbes has a keen eye for businesses, and combining that with Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures’ deep knowledge of the cloud industry, any company’s inclusion on the Forbes 2017 Cloud...

Kindness Rules Jul11

Kindness Rules

To mark two decades in the senior care industry, Benchmark Senior Living recently embarked on a seven state mission to spread kindness and neighborly love in towns and neighborhoods where the company’s 54 senior living communities are located. For the month of June, residents living near a Benchmark community discovered care packages on their doorstep along with small helpful acts like a newspaper moved closer to their front porch, all with a note commemorating Benchmark’s “Radiant Acts of Kindness.” Employees committed to 1,000 such acts throughout the month. “This is Benchmark’s 20th anniversary year, and we want to give back to the communities and families that have supported our company’s growth since 1997,” Tom Grape, the company’s founder, and CEO said in a statement. “So, every one of our 54 senior living communities across seven Northeast states — and our home office in Waltham, Mass., — has committed to performing at least 20 Radiant Acts of Kindness during June in their local neighborhoods and towns.” Located in Waltham, Mass., Benchmark Senior Living operates 54 senior living communities throughout the Northeast. They offer services ranging from independent living to skilled nursing and memory care. For the last nine years, Benchmark has been recognized by The Boston Globe as one of the “Top 100 Places to Work,” and many of Benchmark’s executive directors and staff embraced the June initiative. Every one of Benchmark’s communities committed to the 1000 Acts, with many taking a creative approach that went beyond gift baskets to include washing cars, providing free tennis balls to neighborhood dogs to handing out random gift certificates. “We can’t wait to share these compassionate acts with West Chester and surrounding areas,” commented Doug Buttner, executive director, Wellington at Hershey’s Mill. “Our employees already have surprises prepared...

Brittney Dolinger Jul10

Brittney Dolinger

A Texan who now makes her home in Toronto, Brittney Dolinger has an exceptional outlook on life – and a great perspective on her Yardi journey. Currently working as a team lead supporting Yardi’s Genesis2 clients, Dolinger started with Yardi more than seven years ago, when the company had an office in Dallas. “I was just in one year remission from cervical cancer,” said Dolinger, who learned about Yardi from her sister, Laci Ortiz, a 10-year Yardi employee. “My sister told me about a new vision Yardi had and was looking for exceptional customer service oriented people to help build their new call center.” After diving into her new job, she began learning the ropes of a new industry and was part of the team who helped build the Yardi Call Center in Irving, Texas. “When we moved from the Dallas office to the Irving office, I took the opportunity to step up my game. We started to have more and more clients and that comes with more responsibility. We were making a name for ourselves and working on delivering top quality customer service to the industry,” she recalled. The call center team, known among Yardi’s global offices for its camaraderie and rapport, quickly expanded and became a valued part of the Yardi Marketing Suite, where multifamily clients use RENTCafe Connect to meet their after-hours customer service needs. While use of the product grew, so did the families of many of the call center employees, including Dolinger’s. “Nine of us were pregnant at the same time in the call center. We like to call them our Yardi babies,” she laughed. Her son Finn is now three and a half. After he was born, she went back to college to finish her bachelor’s degree, which...

Self Storage Data Jul07

Self Storage Data

Yardi Matrix has expanded its self storage coverage to 125 markets, up from 99. This total represents 26,535 properties, of which 1,398 are some form of new supply, and 1.4 billion square feet of space and encompasses 83% of the U.S. population. The addition of 26 markets produces the self sector’s most comprehensive market intelligence and competitive analysis source. Yardi Matrix also covers multifamily and office portfolios. “Matrix is now the largest data set for market intelligence and competitive analysis in the self storage sector. The recent expansion is the latest example of Yardi’s commitment to providing the industry’s leading tools for identifying and executing development, management and underwriting deals,” said Jeff Adler, vice president of Yardi Matrix. Yardi Matrix is a business development and asset management tool for investment professionals, equity investors, lenders, and property managers who underwrite and manage investments in commercial real estate. Its resources include true ownership, in-place debt, and rental and sales history data, along with a new supply pipeline that includes 1,398 tracked projects. Yardi Matrix covers multifamily, industrial and office property types in addition to self storage. Email matrix@yardi.com, call 480-663-1149 or visit yardimatrix.com to learn...

Optimizing Data

Yesterday, we laid the foundations of a strong online presence. We now continue with how to gather insights from analytics to inform marketing and retention decisions. Micro-Adjustments Lead to Success When vacancy rates inch upward, resist the urge to slash prices. “Price should be the last negotiable item, not the first,” advises Sawh. Examine your SEM data, which will show leads generated and which keywords drive conversions.  Use that information to adjust pay-per-click ads, the easiest marketing factor to manipulate. In a case study, Bell needed to fill several 2-bedroom units. Data revealed that people who visited the website’s Pets page were most likely to reach goal completion. The team marketed 2-bedroom units to pet lovers to successfully fill the units. You can also make adjustments based on prospects’ objections to visits and objections to leasing. Leverage Soft Data “Business intelligence tools can give you a purview in but it doesn’t tell you the story. Customer insight is the soft data, the human touch,” says Weaver. SEO and SEM generate traffic but once traffic is translated into website and site visits, ORM and customer relationship management (CRM) capture data about visitors. Both give insights into why visitors chose to lease (or not) with your property. Use data gleaned from ORM to tweak the resident and prospect experience. If several reviews indicate that the marketing doesn’t match the product, for example, it’s time to update your gallery and re-examine your marketing message. With prospects, poor follow-through lets many conversions slip away. “It will take eight times of someone telling you no before they say yes,” explains Norbury. “Three points of contact aren’t enough.” “What we tend to forget is that we paid, maybe $20, for the phone to ring. If we don’t answer or don’t...

Maximize Revenue

The National Apartment Association (NAA) recently hosted the 2017 Education Conference in Atlanta. Marketing Maneuvers: Data in the Driver’s Seat explores how data can inform marketing decision and maximize revenue. Panelists included Candace Weaver, Director of Marketing, Bell Partners; Diana Norbury, Vice President, Multifamily Operations, Pillar Properties; and moderator Dharmendra Sawh, Industry Principal, Revenue Management and Business Intelligence Sales at Yardi. The trio reinforces the importance of operations, revenue management, and marketing working together to reach goals. Below are three takeaways from the session: Understand the “Magic Mix” Before you can gather data, four key components must be in place to generate web-based data sets: SEO– search engine optimization is how your site is written to interact well with search engines. If you don’t have this solid foundation, you’ll have to work harder and spend more on SEM. Quality SEO contributes to higher organic rankings. SEM– search engine marketing includes paid search features. It is second best to organic rankings. “In one of our properties, there were an average 497 organic views but an average 690 views with paid search. Paid search will boost you but you can’t do SEM well without SEO,” explains Weaver. SEM comes with unique benefits as well. In one Bell case study, only 23 percent of leads came from SEM yet those leads made up 43 percent of total conversions. ORM -online reputation management entails how your brand is perceived online. This includes but is not limited to reviews and comments on your site and third party sites. Both Norbury and Weaver recommend having designated reputation management teams. “Of the 2 percent of people that click ‘Reviews’ on our property website, they have a 46 percent chance of converting,” says Weaver. SMO- social media optimization may overlap with ORM...

Senior Living Security...

Hackers never sleep. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), data breaches increased by 40 percent last year, and the healthcare and business industries were amongst those hardest hit. Much of this increase can be attributed to the fact that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) including patient data and healthcare records present an alluring target to hackers. As Jay Shobe, Vice President, Technology at Yardi, explains: “Any centralized database is at risk of a breach. Because the cyber security continually evolves, it’s important to maintain constant network security that’s able to evolve as the threat evolves.” Yardi Takes Security Seriously. For healthcare providers and senior living communities, advances in software and data collection are helping keep costs, increasing operational efficiency and improving resident care. Unfortunately, advances in cloud-based productivity and convenience open the door to vulnerability. In Yardi’s latest whitepaper, Senior Living Data Security, senior living providers will get the latest information on the most common database and network vulnerabilities and discover how to protect their organization’s sensitive data with the industry’s most trusted cloud provider. Senior Living Data Security provides insight on the evolution and forecasts how data breaches will dominate the healthcare industry for years to come. Along with recommendations on how to develop robust security data protocols to safeguard sensitive information the whitepaper also provides suggestions on how to address network vulnerabilities and establish effective security protocols. Download Senior Living Data Security today, and see how multiple layers of security can help you stay proactive and hacker...

Laptop Ban Update

The Department of Homeland Security releases new air travel security regulations, but there’s no need to leave your laptop at home…yet. Responding to pressure from US airlines fearing adverse economic impacts as a result of a widened ban on in-flight electronics, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decided not to extend its laptop ban beyond airports already included in the electronics prohibition.  European airlines were especially vocal about their opposition. Alexandre de Juniac, director general, and chief executive of the group, which represents 265 airlines, wrote in a letter to Kelly and Violeta Bulc, the E.U.’s top transportation official that expanding the ban could cost $1.1 billion a year in lost productivity, travel time and “passenger well-being.” While those fears have been put to rest, for now, foreign and domestic airports and airlines will nevertheless face stricter security requirements moving forward as part of the DHS plan to anticipate threats before they become a reality. “The United States and the global aviation community face an adaptive and agile enemy,” DHS said in a statement. “Terrorist groups continue to target passenger aircraft, and we have seen a ‘spider web’ of threats to commercial aviation as terrorist pursue new attack methods.” Stay of Execution Currently, flights originating from eight countries – Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates – must relegate any electronic bigger than a cell phone to the cargo hold. Airlines affected by the electronics restriction saw passenger numbers drop dramatically, prompting airlines from other countries to vigorously lobby against extending the ban. Ultimately, the DHS dodged the issue, preferring instead to focus on upgrading security on the ground. While European airlines greeted the DHS announcement with studied relief, de Juniac remained cautious about the financial ramifications of the new safety...

Floating Panels

Floating solar panel technology has been around for just over a decade. The water cools down the solar panels, making them run more efficiently, while the panels themselves don’t take up valuable space on land. Europe’s largest floating solar array was a 6.3MW plant located in the UK. That was overshadowed by a plant in China becoming the world’s biggest floating solar power plant. Over the past few years, Chinese companies have built up wind, hydro and solar plants around the country, despite China’s reputation for heavily polluted skies and thick clouds of smog. China has over 100 cities with population of more than 1 million, in comparison with the U.S. which has only 10. The country has been investing more and more into clean, renewable energy. Located in China’s eastern Anhui province in the coal city of Huainan, the solar farm floats above a flooded area which was once used for mining coal. Thanks to its placement offshore, it doesn’t take up any “space,” and it uses less energy than most solar farms as the seawater acts as a natural coolant. The panels help to conserve precious freshwater supplies by lowering the amount of evaporation into the surrounding atmosphere. In return, the water keeps ambient temperatures around the solar panels lower, which helps boost their efficiency and limit long-term heat-induced degradation. Built by the company Sungrow Power Supply, the 40-megawatt solar power plant will produce enough energy to power 15,000 homes. While the company has not revealed the exact size of the operation, it produces twice as much energy as the previous holder of the largest-floating-solar-plant title, which is located in the same area and was launched by the company Xinyi Solar in 2016. “Our response to climate change bears on the future...