Must-Have 2019 Tech

While the coworking industry continues to expand, its important to keep up with the best new technology. Let’s take a look at some of the most latest critical tech components for coworking spaces. CRM Every coworking space should absolutely have a CRM in place. It is truly one of the most integral components to a modern thriving workspace. Not only does it assist in lead tracking, but a CRM will improve your relationships with your current and prospective members. A CRM will streamline lead entry, customer life cycle tracking, vendor relationship management, and many other operational tasks. It drives efficiency and will enhance productivity, and directly leads to greater profitability. The technology-driven corporate world we live in today demands a CRM. According to a study by Gartner, CRM will be the single largest revenue area of spending in enterprise software by the year 2021. Not only is the CRM going to be a core tool for sales and marketing, but it will also benefit customer service. Since your members are reaching out via social media, phone, chat, email, and any other method they can find, it’s important to consolidate all their interactions in one place. The uses of a robust CRM are virtually limitless for all aspects of a successful coworking space. Automated Billing Whether you operate one space or multiple locations, automated billing is a vital component for success. Consider the time you’re spending balancing and reconciling your books. Consider the outsourced cost if you hire a bookkeeper. With the market becoming more competitive,  shared space supply is increasing, and organized operators can run more efficiently. In many cases, operators streamlining their business with automated billing (among other tech solutions) can offer the same product at a more competitive cost. Standout softwares combine an accounting package with merchant services. Yardi KUBE...

Energy Snapshot Jan17

Energy Snapshot

The Balance Sheet compiled prognostications on some key energy issues: Coal stays stable. After a two-year decline, global demand picked up in 2017 and 2018. China accounts for about half of the world’s consumption, and growing demand in India and Asian countries is offsetting declines in the U.S. and Western Europe. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that the country’s electricity generation share from coal will average 26% in 2019, down from 30% in 2017. Oil retreats. The International Energy Agency and OPEC cut their forecasts for global oil demand growth in 2019, reflecting lower economic growth assumptions. The last time world oil consumption fell was in 2008-09, driven by surging prices and the recession. U.S.’s natural gas role grows.  New liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Louisiana, Texas and Georgia are scheduled to come online, doubling U.S. LNG exporting capability. China is a key driver of demand as the world’s largest gas importer. EIA expects the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas-fired power plants to be 35% in 2019, up from 32% in 2017. Politics play out. Climate politics will ramp up in the U.S. as the 2020 presidential election campaign gears up. In December 2018, leaders in the House of Representatives announced plans to establish a new panel, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. ‘Smart’ gets bigger. Investors and building managers will continue making green practices a core part of their business. “’Smart’ buildings are becoming more common because of new technology, which impacts building operations, and provides both efficiencies and connectivity which is increasingly being sought by tenants,” says the Counselors of Real Estate, an international property professionals organization. The Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit research and education group, adds, “Real estate has been proactive...

5 Voyager Features Jan16

5 Voyager Features

If you’re currently using Yardi Voyager as your property management platform, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the great features designed to make your job easier — and help your organization meet its goals faster. One of Yardi’s own Voyager gurus, Amy Walston, shared some helpful tips about five Voyager features you might not be using, but probably should. To find out what they are and what they can do for you and your business, keep reading.   Amenity-based pricing What it is: An amenity is an included, non-optional feature of a unit that increases or decreases its market value above or below the unit type rent. You can view units according to premiums that increase value such as cabinet upgrades or a desirable location.  An example of an amenity that decreases a unit’s value is a view of a parking lot. Benefits of using it: Pricing rental units only by number of bedrooms and bathrooms doesn’t always deliver the best results since other factors affect desirability. Attracting the right tenant at the right price is key. This tool allows you to control individual unit pricing based on the features of each unit, and lets you easily change unit pricing by updating amenity values. This tool includes user-based security to allow or restrict updates to amenity values and unit pricing.   Leasing specials What it is: Leasing specials are deals or offers that prospects can choose when they apply for units and that residents can select when they renew leases. Specials can be created to occur only once, such as a bonus for renewing a lease early, or they can repeat monthly, such as a rent discount for signing a 14-month lease. Benefits of using it: To improve occupancy by converting more prospects and retaining good residents,...

Voice Tech

Voice-controlled online entertainment is flourishing in American homes. Many multifamily firms have expressed interest in smart speakers and similar tech options for their properties. Until a few industry challenges are resolved, however, voice-activated gadget cannot fulfill their potential in multifamily applications. Growing Popularity Consumers love voice-controlled devices. In 2017, about 40 percent of broadband households used voice recognition software. The growth continues. Research and analysis firm Parks Associates estimated that household penetration will reach 47 percent by 2022. Voice-activated artificial intelligence (AI) offers multiple conveniences for users. With a simple command or question, users receive helpful information such as commute updates, weather forecasts, and reminders. Consumers also turn to voice recognition software to manage their other devices. Last year, the average American household had 8.8 devices with unique interfaces. Voice-activated technology bypasses the need to switch between devices by offering one interface for them all. The growing popularity and usefulness of voice-controlled AI are promising. Though the technology appeals to consumers, it may not yet offer full value to property owners. Growing Pains Consumer-friendly AI is capable of more now than ever before. Oddly, flaws with basic functionalities still plague the technology, causing trouble for multifamily applications. Command comprehension is the pitfall most likely to annoy users without causing serious damage. Voice-controlled tech may not respond properly because it does not understand user commands. Virtual assistants fail to accommodate for variables such as user syntax, dialects, and the use of non-English words or names.  As a result, user satisfaction with virtual assistants—and the properties that carry them—will vary. Connectivity poses a greater issue. Voice-controlled tech often integrates with other devices. A smart speaker like Alexa, for example, can control the thermostat, lighting, and alarm system for a unit. Unfortunately, interoperability—the ability for one gadget...

Yardi KUBE Preview

Ed. Note: WUN KUBE has joined the family of Yardi property management software. KUBE provides a suite of technology products for coworking and shared space management. This piece on the new platform originally appeared on the KUBE Blog. As we approach the much anticipated release of the new Yardi KUBE platform, we conducted a client-exclusive Q&A session to address a variety of topics. The response was overwhelmingly positive and we cannot wait to debut the new KUBE. We will beta launch in January 2019, and full roll-out is set for April. Below, we’re going to summarize some of the main talking points from the recent webinar. What are  the main changes for KUBE? It’s tough to put into words exactly the incredible extent to which Yardi is impacting our platform, but we tried to do so again in the webinar. Dale Hersowitz, our VP of Coworking, explained that Yardi is best known for building software for the real estate industry, from commercial to multiunit to many other facets. They are now fully diving into the Coworking world with the acquisition of WUN last year. The most important change for KUBE is essentially putting together a single stack. What does that mean? Yardi has a full general ledger suite, an accounting package, they’re also a merchant, they offer a vendor procurement solution, they are an e-broker, and KUBE will continue to provide the operational component to power your day to day functions of your space. No more third-party integrations. Yardi will encompass 7 modules in one tightly integrated solution. Everything in a single platform allows for greater efficiency, cost savings, prevents leakage, and enables operators to scale effectively. Enhancements and New Features The attendees asked several questions regarding the enhancements of the new platform. Yardi has a...

Yardi Bill Pay Jan11

Yardi Bill Pay

We recently caught up with Jesse Dowler, Client Services Division manager for residential clients of Yardi Bill Pay. He started his support career as a technical account manager at Yardi in 2009. What is Yardi Bill Pay and what does it do for property managers? Yardi Bill Pay is an optional element of the Yardi Procure to Pay Suite or the Yardi Payment Processing service, which outsources to Yardi the process of paying vendors. The Bill Pay team at Yardi pulls invoices from the client’s Yardi Voyager database, routes them through the client’s approval workflow, and pays the vendor by the client’s preferred method—ACH, electronic funds transfer, credit card or paper check. Why do clients want to adopt Yardi Bill Pay? Processing invoices and going through all the steps to complete payments take a lot of time and labor. Check printers are expensive too. When you’re going through thousands of invoices a month, those expenses add up fast. It’s easier to let Yardi do it all. Not only does Yardi relieve the manual labor, but our check printing is less expensive as well, for clients choosing that option. About 40% of Bill Pay clients prefer checks so that’s still a popular payment method. What point do you and the Bill Pay team emphasize when discussing Bill Pay with clients and prospects? A major proposition for Bill Pay is its integration with Voyager and the workflows established there.  Clients continue to use the Commit Payment and Process Payment screens as they are accustomed to, and once payments are processed in Voyager, Yardi Bill Pay steps in and handles the movement of the actual cash, including check printing and sending ACH instructions to banking institutions. How did Yardi Bill Pay evolve? A small team at Yardi...

Cold Work, Warm Hearts Jan10

Cold Work, Warm Hearts...

Have you ever wondered how food banks get fresh produce and meats to people in need? Such perishable items require special care and the work of dedicated volunteers. Yardi Raleigh employees endured the winter temperatures to provide nutritious meals for the hungry. A Lasting Relationship Yardi Raleigh has been a proud sponsor of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (CENC) for several years. Its simple yet vital mission to feed the hungry has spoken to the hearts of Yardi team members. They have dedicated their time, energy, and resources the cause. Their work is needed now more than ever. The nonprofit services about 600,000 people across 34 counties in the state. Through its care, children, seniors, and other vulnerable groups receive nutritious food, clean water, and the educational resources needed for self-sufficiency. In emergencies, such as recent natural disasters, Food Bank CENC acts as a first responder. As soon a safe pathways are cleared, the Food Bank opens its branches and satellite locations to provide food to those displaced by flooding, hurricanes, and other acts of nature. Yardi continues to support Food Bank CENC with a recent volunteer initiative in rather frosty conditions. Yep. That’s Cold. In the past, Yardi Raleigh team members have made financial contributions, sorted goods, and packed boxes for Food Bank CENC. The most recent visit the food pantry proved to be a bone chilling yet heart warming experience! Rather than packing non-perishable goods, Yardi Raleigh got a taste of the meat freezer. Volunteers Rose Hiebert, David Minehart, Steve Sharpe and Mike Harrison were responsible for packing 230 boxes of perishable items such as frozen poultry, beef and pork. That’s nearly 7,400 pounds of meat! The proteins will be a part of 6,100 balanced meals to feed...

AP Efficiency

Property managers can save time, reduce errors and decrease paper use with Yardi Bill Pay, an automated vendor payment solution. Yardi Bill Pay, part of the Yardi Procure to Pay Suite, automates check writing, electronic payments and credit card processing for accounts payable (AP). Payments are issued and distributed, then recorded in the user’s Yardi Voyager database in real time. Yardi Bill Pay works seamlessly with approval workflows. Just click a button to authorize Yardi to make the payment on your behalf via ACH, check or credit card. The solution pulls daily payments from the user’s database, creates and transmits files to the user’s banking network, then sends acknowledgement files back to Yardi Voyager. Yardi Bill Pay users have always been able to process incoming payments for accounts receivable, and they can now manage that process and AP from one platform. More than a passive routing system, Yardi Bill Pay can be an active revenue earner by turning AP in a revenue center with credit card payments. Clients have the option of obtaining single-use Mastercard®-branded virtual card numbers to make payments to their vendors. Yardi completes the entire paperless transaction through vendor payment. Benefits of the credit card option include: Earning a rebate percentage on every dollar spent through a credit card Frictionless payment—you just process a payment in Yardi Voyager and the vendor sees the money in their bank a few days later Yardi assistance with vendor outreach Card acceptance driven through VENDORCafé , resulting in higher card acceptance rates than are possible through competing solutions “With both buyers and suppliers looking for ways to increase efficiency and improve their bottom line, virtual card programs can unlock shared value that meets the needs of all parties.” Single-use account solutions combine “the benefits of...

Together We Care Jan07

Together We Care

The Ontario Retirement Communities Association and the Ontario Long Term Care Association have teamed up to bring senior care professionals the learning event of the year. The annual Together We Care conference is just around the corner—and you won’t want to miss it! Together We Care is the largest senior living event in Canada. The conference inspires and connects more than 1,200 senior care professionals. Informative + Engaging Sessions The conference will cover the latest industry updates, best operational practices, trends, innovative programs and housing models for senior services. Gain inspiration and insight from renowned keynote speakers Discover interesting ways how data analytics can support decision making Understand the nuances of consent and advanced care planning (ACP) Learn how to update your legal forms and policies to avoid risk Dive into hot topics like medical and recreational cannabis use Discover solutions for advancing leadership and workforce capacity Learn how you can evolve your operations to prepare for the care of tomorrow’s seniors Explore prevalent and emerging quality of care and quality of life issues Improve client care and satisfaction with a multidisciplinary approach to nutrition and dining And much more! Keynote Speakers Three terrific keynote speakers are scheduled to motivate and encourage attendees. Business powerhouse Arlene Dickinson will share her insights on success: where it came from, what shaped it, and what trials were involved. Get tips for overcoming self-doubt to maximize success. Canadian broadcasting personality Michael Landsberg will spark conversations on mental health in the workplace and beyond. He explains how to beat the stigma around mental illness and save lives in the process. Stand-up comedian Jody Urquhart uses humor to address the stresses of the senior care industry. She will leave the audience inspired to navigate challenges with humor, grace, and a...

Meet Delicia Miller Jan04

Meet Delicia Miller

Our first Yardi employee profile for 2019 highlights Delicia Miller. Delicia works in the Atlanta area and is a senior technical account manager on the VENDORCafé support team. She’s got a down-to-earth look on life and a lot of history with VENDORCafé. How long have you been at Yardi? I have been with Yardi since January of 2017, but I worked in the apartment management industry for 17 years prior to coming on board. In fact, I was on a client team that went live with VENDORCafé on day one in May of 2014. As an early adopter, I was quick to appreciate the value of VENDORCafé and was thrilled to join such a great team when I got my job with Yardi. What hobbies do you enjoy? I absolutely love reading. I have always gotten lost in books. I just started using a Kindle, which I’m beginning to appreciate. I don’t deny the convenience of digital books, but I admit I sometimes miss the feel of the real book pages. I also enjoy spending any free time with my husband, son and our friends. How long have you been supporting VENDORCafé clients? Since my very first day at Yardi! My first client went live three months after I started, which felt like a nice accomplishment. When I joined Yardi, VENDORCafé was growing quickly. Our team worked very well together both in support of current clients and also in implementing the fast-growing list of new clients. It was an exciting time. What are the biggest vendor management challenges? The top challenges I see are document collection and workflow automation. Property managers are required to collect a lot of documentation from vendors. Centralizing those documents with automated, paperless processes makes vendor onboarding and management infinitely...

That’s a Wrap! Jan03

That’s a Wrap!

Getting an email from the human resources often means forms to fill out or documents to sign. The creative minds in Yardi Atlanta HR decided to spice things up. It has become their tradition to encourage holiday cheer by hosting a fun and engaging activity for the office. This year, they sent out an email initiating the first ever Yardi Wrap Battle. No, it wasn’t a present wrapping contest. This battle challenged teams to create a holiday-inspired rap song. Catrina Ishman, human resources generalist with Yardi, shared the inspiration behind the event. “One of our employees writes a daily positive message on her white board,” said Ishman. “As I was reading Monday’s message, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if we could do a poetry contest but with a twist?’ and the wheels started turning from there. We decided on a Wrap Battle that’s a play on wrapping gifts and wrapping up the year 2018.” For the Wrap Battle, teammates collaborated to write, perform, and record a 60-second rap. They were challenged to include the words: wrap, jingle, bells, snow, and Yardi. A committee of peers judged the submissions and announced the winners based on overall creativity. The winners of the 2018 Wrap Battle represent RENTCafé Affordable team! The grand prize is a catered lunch of their choice. In the spirit of the holidays, HR decided to create a snack basket for other participating teams. In addition to showing the friendly side of HR, the annual holiday events support Yardi corporate culture. “Some of the characteristics that make up Yardi’s unique culture are fun, collaboration and team work,” said Ishman. “I think activities like these allow employees to showcase their creative sides while still embodying who we are as a company. Our culture is...

Not just hot air Jan01

Not just hot air

Look up and there’s the sun, whose rays can be captured and converted into electricity. Peer down and see fossil fuels, the engine for much of the world’s economy. You need to burrow even further to find another key source of energy, one that’s driven by the molten essence of the Earth. Geothermal energy originates from the heat at the planet’s center. It can be captured as a source of electricity to heat and cool buildings with geothermal heat pumps, which transfer heat to buildings by pumping water or a special fluid through pipes just below the Earth’s surface. Geothermal energy can also generate electricity through geothermal power plants using wells drilled 1 to 2 miles deep into the Earth to pump steam or hot water to the surface. Tapping the Earth’s internal heat dates back thousands of years, with Roman, Chinese and Native American cultures using hot mineral springs for bathing, cooking and eating. The first geothermal plant, built in Italy in 1904, used steam to turn a turbine that powered five light bulbs. Today, more than 20 countries generate geothermal energy, according to National Geographic. Iceland and the Philippines meet nearly one-third of their electricity demand with geothermal energy, while18 power plants at the Geysers Geothermal Complex north of San Francisco comprise the world’s largest geothermal installation. The U.S., the global leader for installed geothermal capacity, provides more than 3.7 gigawatts to the national grid, according to the U.S Department of Energy. Although geothermal offers an environmentally friendly, renewable, reliable and stable energy source with the smallest land footprint of any major power source, it does have its drawbacks. These include the risk of releasing greenhouse gases that tend to congregate near geothermal power plants, power plants’ effect on fragile land stability, high...

Sharing the Bounty

Food strengthens the body and propels the mind. Yet one in six residents of Ventura County struggle with food insecurity. Seniors are among the vulnerable population. The local food bank and volunteers work together to end hunger, helping seniors thrive in their golden years. Ventura County Food Insecurity An inability to access healthy food impacts multiple areas of a person’s life. Hardworking people must make daily sacrifices that affect their health and wellbeing.  Of the food insecure in Ventura County, 69 percent must choose between food and utilities. More than 65 percent must choose between food and medical care Among the food insecure that must make those tough calls, roughly 46,650 are seniors. Ventura County’s Agency on Aging reports that “approximately 39 percent of all elders aged 65 and older do not have enough income to meet their most basic needs.” The inaccessibility of fresh, nutritious food leads to a reliance on more affordable but less healthy options. As a result of this and other factors, 58 percent of households have a member with high blood pressure with 77 percent occurring in senior homes. About 33 percent of households in the county have a member with diabetes with 47 percent in senior households. Volunteering with Food Share Food Share of Ventura County aims to improve seniors’ quality of life. Each year, Food Share stores and distributes nearly 11 million pounds of food to those in need. The Food Share program serves nutritious meals to 74,500 people every month, about 3,100 of which are seniors. Senior programming prepares boxes of food including items such as canned fruits, vegetables, salmon, cereal, milk, peanut butter, fruit juice, and spaghetti. The nonprofit organization relies on the help of 190 pantry partners as well as volunteers. Ten Yardi Santa...

Welcome to Mobile 5G

We can all use faster internet! Make daily operations more efficient for your staff with the latest advance in US mobile technology. Beginning spring 2019, AT&T will offer a faster internet speed for mobile devices in 12 cities. 5G, Revamped If you feel like you already read about this early in 2018, you’re sort of right. AT&T introduced a version of 5G earlier in the year. It was 5G TF, which came with a ton of limitations. T-Mobile CEO John Legere was quick to point out those shortcomings on Twitter, “I cannot begin to explain how important 5G is going to be for this country, so I have to say congrats to Verizon on delivering its 5G* Home Service today. It doesn’t use global industry standards or cover whole blocks and will never scale… but hey, it is first, right?!” AT&T’s limited release was offered to residences via the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot in more than 20 cities. Now, the Dallas-based company ups the ante with mobile access on 5G NR, the more commonly accepted application that meets industry standards. The new 5G offers faster speeds and very low latency. That means you will be able to enjoy faster responsiveness from Yardi Voyager property management software: quickly upload receipts, forms, and other files to the cloud for easy access and safe storage. Your team can reach more prospects by live streaming property tours and events on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. With delivery and rideshare services skyrocketing, you’ll have an advantage with 5G. Your communities can offer safer access to driverless vehicles. The applications are endless. Mobility, Faster Without mobile devices that can keep up, mobile 5G would be unexciting. Fortunately, the first 5G-compatible handsets should be available in early 2019. Samsung has promised...

Building, Fire Smart

For the past 50 years, California has been besieged by an increase in wildfires. More than 1.8 million acres have burned. Yet rebuilding efforts rarely reflect an inclination towards fire safety. Builders and homeowners must explore the affordable innovations available to end this deadly trend. The Underestimated Threat In 2018, the nation witnessed Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in recent history. The fire blazed 135,000 acres and engulfed 14,000 buildings. Camp Fire claimed the lives of 85 people. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that wildfires will contribute to increase in frequency. The land burned by wildfires has increased since the 1980s, and “of the 10 years with the largest acreage burned, nine have occurred since 2000.” Though the frequency of wildfires has spiked, many homeowners are choosing to rebuild their home without additional fire precautions. The problem isn’t isolated to California. In Western Australia, for example, a series of deadly bushfires ravaged four regions in the course of two years. Few homeowners rebuilt their homes with additional fire precautions in place. Fire-Resistant Architecture Some architects specialize in fire-resistant structures, such as Glenn Murcutt. His work in Australia includes black ceramic tiles that reflect radiant heat, rooftops equipped with permanent water features, and powerful sprinkler systems that protect home exteriors. The fire-conscious elements of Murcutt’s designs add only 5 percent to building costs. In the absence of a specialized architect, there are several recommendations for fire resilient rebuilds: Consider wildfire burn patters. Build at least 30 feet away from ridges and cliffs. Wildfires travel fastest uphill. A 20° increase in slope can double wildfire spread. Customize vents for fire safety. Add flame- and ember-resistant vents or metal screening to attic and crawl space access points. Upgrade glass features. Double paned and tempered glass...

Attracting + Retaining Talent

Talent scouting and retention are a hot topic in the senior living industry. Organizations struggle to attract, identify, and retain talent. Without a solution, the industry is poorly equipped to provide quality care. Existing employees are overworked, and residents may wait underserved. The results can be fatal: a European study of 260,000 nurses reveals that increasing a nurse’s workload by one case could increase mortality risk by 7 percent within 30 days of admission. Tactics to improve recruitment and retention are crucial. A Growing Problem According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 53 percent of senior care providers say that “insufficient numbers of quality applicants” is their primary problem. Once talent comes onboard, retention becomes a hurdle. The industry is challenged by a 50 percent turnover rate among direct-care staff. Without drastic changes, the industry will not be able to keep up with growth forecasts. Improved healthcare and living conditions has extended lifespans. There are more Americans living over the age of 65 now than at any other point in history. By 2030, the senior population will increase by 75 percent. The workforce needs to at least double to meet growing demand. Questions to Identify Practical Solutions Reexamining your current protocols for attracting and retaining talent may help you identify problems. The questions below can help you get started: What does your online reputation tell prospects about you? Pretend to be a prospect. Search for your organization online. Consider housing reviews, employer reviews, and social media commentary. What impression do you receive? About 84 percent of organizations use social media to recruit new hires. Are you among them? You may need to revamp your online presence. Begin by addressing the most pressing concerns to arise in the past 30 days. Then work to maintain your online reputation as new content arises. Can qualified talent quickly find your job posting and easily apply? Hone recruitment by focusing on healthcare job listing sites. This approach narrows the pool more quickly than a general online job board. Also consider a referral incentive for current employees. Nurses, for example, have completed specialized training. They may know other qualified graduates in search of work. Do you offer an appealing employee experience? The employee experience is what occurs when employees walk through the door of your community How employees feel about their workplace and management are major factors for retention. Consider: Are employees given clear guidelines for their mission? Do they have a clear career trajectory? Can they easily access a formal and efficient way to voice their concerns and suggestions? Do employees receive tools to help them manage stress, such as free wellness programs and classes? Does the current staff lounge encourage teammates to rest and recharge for the next segment of their shift? Teammates that are balanced, motivated, and supported can provide the best care—and build a respected brand. Does your retention plan realistically address the needs of employees? If you don’t know, ask. You may be surprised by what you find. For example, you may think a hip staff lounge would entice and retain young talent. What you may find is that “56 percent of Millennials said they would take a pay cut to work somewhere that is positively changing the world.” Learn what staff wants before overhauling your retention strategy. Do current teammates feel appreciated? When teammates feel undervalued, they’re likely to take their talents elsewhere. Defeat turnover by creating an employee recognition program. Monthly kudos, annual awards and perks show talent that you appreciate their efforts and value their loyalty. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that healthcare is one of the largest and fastest growing fields in the nation. The numbers are encouraging. As organizations refine their plans to attract, identify, and retain talent, we can turn the tide on the senior care...

Spreading Joy

For most young children, toys are an essential highlight for Christmas. The thrill of unwrapping a surprise brings excitement. Playing with the toys, of course, prolongs the fun! But for some children, familial and financial difficulties threaten to hamper their holiday joy. Marine Toys for Tots strives to bring cheer to children in need. Toys for Tots Since 1947, Toys for Tots has provided holiday gifts for disadvantaged kids. The organization collects donations from community members and corporate sponsors. Social welfare offices, churches, and other community agencies help Toys for Tots coordinators identify families in need. On Christmas day, Marines deliver the donated gifts to eligible families. Nearly 40,000 servicemembers participate in the program each year. Their efforts have put 548 million toys into the hands of 251 million children. The United States Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR) unit stationed at Luke Airforce Base proudly serves the Toys for Tots program of Maricopa County. The 9,400 square-mile space is home to more than 3,800,000 people. Nearly 16 percent of that population is living below the poverty level. USMC Toys for Tots helps make the holidays a little brighter for such families. Supporting Local Children Each year, Yardi offices across the nation participate in Toys for Tots programs. In 2018, the Yardi Scottsdale office donated four large shopping carts full of toys to USMCR Toys for Tots. As a result of team members’ generosity, children of all ages enjoyed toys and games for Christmas. “This is at least the eight year we have hosted a toy drive in the holiday season. Every year, it continues to grow as we grow,” said Peter Kolaczynski, Manager, Matrix at Yardi. He believes that the corporate culture at Yardi inspires employees to give back on a personal level. “Yardi as...

Chic. Cozy. Smart. Dec23

Chic. Cozy. Smart.

Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation organization of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has plans for a new neighborhood in Toronto. The 800-acre site, Quayside, will be the first of its kind. The Neighborhood Hip innovation and practicality combine on the streets of Quayside. “Torontonians want more affordable housing, faster ways to get around the city, safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, [and] a cleaner and healthier environment,” said Jesse Shapins, Sidewalk Labs’s director of public realm. “That’s what we are aiming to do by creating this new neighborhood.” To fulfill this vision, the site will be composed of mixed-use developments and 12 mass timber buildings up to 30 stories tall. “If the primary load-bearing structure is made of either solid or engineered wood, it’s a mass-timber building,” says Tsay Jacobs director of the Building Technology Lab at Perkins+Will and a member of the International Code Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings. The recently reimagined building method is a risk, but it bears great promise. Due to innovations in building technologies, the unique construction style is strong enough to support tall structures with timber frames. It is also non-combustible, a necessity for many existing building codes. Canadian builders lead the industry in mass timber construction. The new Toronto neighborhood has several experts on hand. In addition to durability and safety, mass timber construction can also be more sustainable. Sidewalk Labs estimates that construction carbon emissions will be 75 to 85 percent less than conventional construction. Getting around will also be more efficient. Quayside plans to connect to light rail for quick transit throughout the metropolitan area. A flexible streetscape is also in the works. Though the plans are not complete, the streetscape will meet Vision Zero guidelines and be suitable for autonomous vehicles. To boost pedestrian transit and cut traffic, covered walkways called “stoas” will help protect walkers from the elements. A floating walkway will connect Quayside with Promontory Park, an anticipated new greenspace. Pedestrians can also access the new Silo Park, which will be the star of the Parliament Slip inlet attraction. Efficiency has been worked into the power infrastructure as well. Grid energy for the buildings will be supported by photovoltaic panels, battery storage, geothermal wells, and sewer heat recovery. The ambitious combination of alternative energies aims to break tradition with neighborhoods that are dependent upon city utilities. The housing plan breaks barriers, too. Toronto has faced an affordability crisis for years. At least 50 percent of residences will be priced at 40 percent below market rate. Those homes will be evenly split between affordable and middle-income pricing. Sidewalk Labs intends to include senior housing in the mix. In theory, the new neighborhood will take less of a toll on waste management than conventional neighborhoods. In its Urban Consolidation Center, robots will collect waste and transport it through a tunnel system. As a result, neighborhood occupants will experience less noise, pollution, and traffic. Sidewalk Labs estimates that it will also be able to divert about 80 percent of waste from landfills. That’s more than twice the efficiency of traditional apartment communities. Quayside will rest on Toronto’s east waterfront with Quay Street and a spacious public walkway running parallel to the waterfront. It will support about 3,000 new jobs, a wellness center, a daycare, and elementary school. The Civic Data Trust Sidewalk Labs claims that the new project will be “the most measurable community in the world.” A multitude of sensors will capture user data in Quayside. That data will be used for public services and planning. No one—not even Alphabet—will own the data. Naturally, privacy issues have been a public concern. Sidewalk Labs is exploring solutions, such as a data trust and independent third-party oversight. That proposal has raised more questions since there are no established data trusts to serve as models. To date, Quayside is a fascinating concept. The final plan will be reviewed by Waterfront Toronto...

From Despair to Hope Dec22

From Despair to Hope

More than 85 million people worldwide have been made homeless by natural disaster and conflict. That’s more than every resident of California, Texas, South Carolina and North Carolina combined. ShelterBox offers survival tools for displaced families in their time of need. ShelterBox: Transforming Despair into Hope ShelterBox specializes in mobile shelters and supplies for emergency relief efforts. The UK-based organization has provided vital aid in 21 countries. In 2017, more than 162,000 people received ShelterBox assistance. Each aid experience is customized for the needs of the recipients. Emergency packages may include tents, building supplies, fresh water, solar lights, mosquito nets, and blankets. School kits help to mend the learning gap caused when access to education is interrupted. ShelterBox supplies empower recipients in a variety of ways: • 82% of surveyed beneficiaries said that they felt safer in the shelter they repaired or rebuilt using aid provided by ShelterBox. • 85% of surveyed beneficiaries agreed that receiving aid from ShelterBox meant they were warmer at night. • 88% of surveyed beneficiaries said that they had more privacy for themselves and their family after they had received aid from ShelterBox. Yardi + ShelterBox ShelterBox USA recently hosted a Lunch & Learn session with corporate sponsor, Yardi. The Yardi Santa Barbara office broke the Lunch & Learn attendance record with 45 attendees. Lunch and Learn featured a presentation by ShelterBox President Kerri Murray. Attendees received an overview of one of the organization’s popular innovations, The Standard Relief Tent. This waterproof tent protects its inhabitants from UV rays, winds up to 100kmh, and heavy rainfall. Inhabitants stay dry, even when exterior standing water levels reach up to six inches. While keeping the elements out, the tent maintains comfortable conditions inside. A unique ventilation system creates a 10-degree temperature...

Spreading Compassion Dec21

Spreading Compassion

Yardi Scottsdale Charity Committee recently hosted a ceremony honoring the recipients of its 2018 charitable grants. The contributions demonstrate Yardi’s mission to “take care of our communities” in action. Each recipient is a nonprofit nominated and approved by Yardi Scottsdale employees. Arizona Burn Foundation The Arizona Burn Foundation mission is to “improve the quality of life of burn survivors and their families while promoting burn prevention education in Arizona.”  The organization provides child burn survivors with physical, psychological, emotional and social support. Services include reconstructive treatment, family assistance, survivor and family camps, counseling, and prevention and education programs in the community. Upon nominating the Arizona Burn Foundation, a Scottsdale employee wrote, “My step son is a burn victim. He suffered third degree burns over his entire body when he was just 1 year old. The Arizona Burn Foundation has been a part of our lives for many years. My family volunteers and provides support for other families that are just starting the recovery process.” Eve’s Place Eve’s Place specializes in “supporting any victim of domestic, sexual and teen dating abuse by increasing access to services through mobile advocacy.” The organization has helped victims to restart their lives outside of the circle of abuse. Participants receive assistance with safety planning, goal setting, and obtaining shelter.  Personal advocates and support groups help victims of abuse to rebuild their esteem and sense of purpose. To help victims attain justice, Eve’s Place also offers support and information on various legal topics within the civil and criminal justice systems. Heart Encouragement Heart Encouragement assists individuals suffering from cancer and provides support and encouragement for them and their loved ones during their cancer journey. The broad spectrum of care services empowers cancer patients and their families in a variety of...