H.J. Russell & Co. Jul10

H.J. Russell & Co....

Imagine that you’ve enjoyed your home for decades: your kids’ growth charts are on a doorframe in the kitchen, you know your neighbors, and your favorite restaurants all know you by name and order. The neighborhood isn’t what it used to be, but it’s your home. Within a matter of years, a wave of new investments transforms your neighborhood. The cost of living increases and property taxes soar. You can no longer afford the home that you’ve nearly paid off, and you face eviction. That is the reality for many long-term residents of metro Atlanta neighborhoods. Neighborhood ascent, or gentrification, is the process of renovating communities that have experienced disinvestment. Through the process, crime rates drop, property values increase, infrastructure and services often improve. Gentrification, however, comes with grave disadvantages for existing residents including higher rents, higher property taxes, exclusion and discrimination. Yardi client H.J. Russell & Co. is an Atlanta-based firm that conducts construction, program management, and property management. It is aligned with sister real estate development firm Russell New Urban Development L.L.C. Together, they fight gentrification and nurture diverse neighborhoods through strategic projects and partnerships. Atlanta gentrification: an ongoing battle for “home” Atlanta is one of the nation’s largest cities for African Americans with 51.85% of the population identifying as Black or African American. It is also among the top 5 fastest gentrifying cities in the U.S. Several benefits come when investors support a brighter vision for a community. Unfortunately, that vision rarely implements practices that reduce out-migration and encourage long-term affordability. Longstanding residents are often excluded from the vision and priced-out of their homes. Neighborhood ascent does not necessitate segregation or displacement. With strategic planning and real estate firms such as H.J. Russell, neighborhoods can benefit from investment without ousting existing...

Changemakers Series Jul09

Changemakers Series

Due to COVID, some older adults and their families are hesitant on the idea of assisted living. But in many cases, and especially so for seniors with cognitive impairment, the level of care required for safe aging is only available in a community setting with skilled caregivers. “At this particular time of coronavirus, we’re working in a very fearful environment, and that’s where a trusting team benefits by the speed of trust,” said Loren Shook, founder and CEO of Silverado. “A lot of unknowns are being faced by people operating communities like ours and across the country.” Renowned for their standalone memory care communities, Silverado has pioneered research into programs that drive cognitive improvements for residents in early stages of dementia. The organization is often the top pick for referral partners, and the team is willing to take the most difficult cases. Silverado’s commitment to care, no matter the challenge, is helping them overcome COVID. And Shook’s willingness to try new things and continually adapt is why he’s been recognized as a Changemaker by Senior Housing News this year. Read on for excerpts from Shook’s interview with SHN where he discusses the perception challenges posed by COVID, interoperability opportunities with referral partners and the steps Silverado is taking to move forward. Do you see COVID-19 changing memory care specifically or senior living more broadly in more long-lasting ways? I think it’s really heightened the awareness of the buyer of services from us, as to asking, what are our systems for infection control and cleanliness? What are our capabilities for understanding changes in clinical condition for people? Then what do we do, if that’s the case? For some people, they’ll be asking, in a situation like COVID, if there is another pandemic or situation like...

Mixed-Income Housing Jul08

Mixed-Income Housing

As the demand for affordable housing continues to rise, local governments form unique partnerships to fill the need with efficiency and quality. Three Jersey City governmental agencies and two Yardi clients have joined forces to execute Bayfront Redevelopment Plan which includes the largest mixed-income housing development in the Tri-State region.  A clean slate The significance of the Bayfront Redevelopment Plan begins with its history. The West Side of Jersey City has had it share of ups and downs. The diverse neighborhood is currently experiencing a renaissance as a wave of investors aim to highlight the beauty of the neighborhood’s eclectic nature. The new development will breathe life back into the Hackensack Riverfront, making it a thriving part of the West Side rather than a forgotten nook. Additionally, the new development will provide the neighborhood with the economic stability that accompanies mixed-income housing. Bayfront Redevelopment Plan includes the transformation of the former Honeywell Corporation building which the City acquired in 2016 for $100 million. The site, which will remain in control of the City, will boost the local stock of affordable housing from 5% to 35%. The plan is a leap forward for the neighborhood, and it is a formidable feat. Making the vision into a reality has required the collaboration of multiple entities. Mayor Steven M. Fulop, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA), and the Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce (HEDC) represent local governmental agencies. Yardi clients Pennrose, LLC, and Omni America, LLC created the joint venture Bayfront Development Partners, LLC, which will handle development and construction at the site alongside BRP Development Group. Omni: for the love of community Omni is a black-owned firm that acquires, rehabilitates, builds and manages quality affordable housing throughout the United States.  The organization, which includes...

Student Housing Jul07

Student Housing

Already well known in the industry for its dependable, up-to-date and prescient market data, Yardi Matrix will take those skills to school as it begins reporting on the student housing sector. The new research area from Yardi Matrix comes at a particularly opportune time, as student housing owners and investors are navigating an uncertain environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With many colleges and universities still making final decisions about what campus life and enrollment will look like in fall 2020, housing providers are anxious to see how this unprecedented situation will impact revenue streams and investment health. Quarterly Matrix reports focused on the student housing market will be available beginning this summer. Market coverage will include over 2,000 universities and colleges nationwide, including the top 200 investment grade universities across all major collegiate conferences. Reports will also include shadow markets, meaning campus-proximate housing that often is rented by college students, though it may not be categorized as traditional student housing. “We’re looking forward to offering the same comprehensive and future-thinking reporting that we do for the rest of the real estate industry to the student housing sector,” said Jeff Adler, vice president of Yardi Matrix. “We’ve done a deep dive into student housing fundamentals and look forward to sharing our insight with all who are interested.” To that end, the Yardi Matrix team will host a July 15 webinar focused entirely on the student housing market. Attendees can expect to gain insight on the short and long-term impact of COVID-19, best and worst-case scenarios, key indicators for operators and potential areas of opportunity. You can secure your spot in the online session by signing up here. Yardi Matrix offers the industry’s most comprehensive market intelligence tool for investment professionals, equity investors, lenders and property...

Long Term Impacts Jul06

Long Term Impacts

With the U.S. economy in a recession, unemployment numbers sky high and COVID-19 cases surging in the south and west, multifamily owners and operators face challenging times ahead. And things may get worse before they get better, according to a new special report from Yardi Matrix. The report is based on a study of 107 major metros, with data reflecting April and May 2020 asset performance. Over that period, multifamily asking rents dropped .4% nationally, and twice as many markets saw rents decline as opposed to increase. Renters are looking for less expensive units, with the biggest impacts in the sector felt by Class A+ properties. Rents for “luxury lifestyle” properties dropped by -1.2% over the last two months, compared to a decline of .5% for “renter by necessity” properties. “Multifamily’s nearly decade long run of healthy performance increases came to an abrupt and unexpected end this year,” said Jeff Adler, vice president of Yardi Matrix. “Job losses have been particularly high among apartment renters, and simply collecting rents and maintaining occupancy is a new area of focus for owners and managers.” Multifamily had a long run of strong performance – asking rents grew by 26% nationally between January 2015 and 1Q20. But going forward, the future looks cloudy at best. “The shape of the recovery remains unclear. More importantly, the pandemic is spurring changes in working conditions and social trends that will impact housing demand for years to come,” states the report. What’s ahead will be determined by a complicated combination of economic factors, public health metrics and renters’ feelings about the future. If renters decide to eschew urban apartments for a more distanced standard of life in the suburbs or smaller cities, multifamily could be in for a prolonged pain period. Gain...

Yardi Think Tank Jul05

Yardi Think Tank

Yardi and Property Week recently invited experts from across the build-to-rent sector to take part in a digital debate on the key issues facing the market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The consensus was that despite the challenges posed by the outbreak, there is also an opportunity for BTR to move forward and evolve Michela Hancock Managing director, Greystar Europe Justin Harley Regional director, Yardi Systems Hannah Marsh Co-founder & marketing director, HomeViews Sanjeev Patel Managing director, PPP Capital Kevin Watson Operations and commercial director, Platform Simon Creasey Contributing editor (features), Property Week (chair) Earlier this month, in the latest in the Yardi Think Tank series, Property Week contributing editor Simon Creasey chaired a discussion with key figures in the UK build-to-rent sector on how Covid-19 has affected BTR and the factors driving innovation for investors and residents. Also up for debate was how the pandemic might affect future BTR development. Simon Creasey: What impact has the Covid-19 lockdown had on your operations so far? Kevin Watson: The main impact has been on amenities spaces, which obviously have been closed now for a significant amount of time, and that’s clearly a key part of the value proposition of BTR. On the operations side, the thing that’s been really good to see is the transition to virtual and video viewings and other tools that enable engagement with residents. I think we’ve all been pleasantly surprised at how a lot of people both from the operator side and also from the resident’s side have taken to that. We still have some way to go to make those virtual viewings as interactive and as effective as a face-to-face viewing, but it’s been great to see that come through. Michela Hancock: We’re all kind of dealing...

Energy Benchmarking Jul04

Energy Benchmarking

When you invest in your energy strategy, the rewards are proportionate. Simply put, the upgrades can pay for themselves. You just have to get the ball rolling first. That was just one of the key takeaways from our recent webinar on energy efficiency with McKnight’s Senior Living. Randy Moss of Yardi led the discussion on ENERGY STAR benchmarking and best practices for providers, and he was joined by Christopher Wright from Merrill Gardens, who shared his company’s own experience with tracking energy usage and reducing spend. Merrill Gardens’ road to energy success Starting in 2016, Merrill Gardens was required to record and report their energy usage by the city of Seattle. And at first, everything was done manually. Staff were pulling data from paper bills and accounting systems to upload into ENERGY STAR for benchmarking. Eventually, the city’s utility provider enabled automated data sharing, which simplified the entire process. The state of California soon followed with regulatory requirements, and seeing the writing on the wall, Merrill Gardens began rolling out benchmarking at all of their communities nationwide. Like in Seattle, many utilities needed manual data entry at first, but nowadays, the majority allow automated data transfer. By late 2019, Merrill Gardens had a year’s worth of data, which gave them great visibility into their buildings’ usage compared to one another. “Based on those sorts of trends, we already had the ability to identify buildings to focus special attention on for CapEx and operation improvements,” said Wright. Unfortunately, the pandemic brought new hurdles, but that only sharpened their focus. “In early 2020, like everyone else, we discovered our resources were suddenly and unexpectedly limited, while at the same time, savings and operational efficiencies were even more important,” said Wright. “Partnering with Yardi over the last...

Building Economic Resilience Jul03

Building Economic Resilience...

Is it possible to shorten the fallout of an economic crisis? Researchers at the University of Maryland believe it’s possible. Preventative measures can mitigate the impact of economic downturns by creating neighborhoods that are naturally resilient to variances in economic performance. Diverse neighborhoods, researchers propose, can decrease the rate of foreclosures and sales before and after economic crises strike. What puts homogeneous neighborhoods at risk?  After World War II, planners developed neighborhoods with a single income bracket in mind. Like their urban counterparts, these planned communities segregated individuals and families based on their earning power and, occasionally, place of employment. During difficult economic times, neighborhoods that lack diversity are prone to clusters of foreclosures and sales before and after the peak of the recessionary activity. Neighborhoods that relied heavily on one employer also suffered severe spikes in financial difficulties. The homogeneous nature of these neighborhoods left them vulnerable. If one company or industry suffered, the entire neighborhood suffered as well. Neighborhoods with high concentrations of bank-owned and for-sale homes take longer to recover from economic downturns. Residents that struggled with mortgages may have postponed home maintenance in an effort to conserve resources for mortgage payments. As a result, many foreclosed homes show signs of physical deterioration. Additional damages may occur during the eviction process. Neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreclosures and sales experience the devaluation of nearby homes. Additionally, as lender confidence decreases, so will investment in the area. To create neighborhoods that are more resilient in the face of economic trouble, University of Maryland researchers suggest that developers shift to mixed-income housing models. Uncovering the economic disadvantages of homogeneous neighborhoods The study began by creating a data set that logged zoning and foreclosures across 14 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). Researchers selected MSAs from throughout the...

Warm Social Distance Jul01

Warm Social Distance

Virtual and self-guided tours have helped numerous property managers fill a lease up during social distancing. When it comes to welcoming new residents, though, creativity and agile software make it possible to maintain space without seeming distant. Personalization is essential Personalization is a key element in helping new residents feel welcomed. These days, many of the best practices for personalizing welcome packages still apply. They simply require a bit of creativity to implement while keeping space, health, and customer satisfaction at the forefront of welcoming efforts. Leasing agents can assist welcoming committee members with helpful tips about the new residents. When your marketing and leasing platform integrates with your property management software, the notes that you put in prospects’ files easily transfer to resident files! Note pet ownership and areas of interest such as container gardening and DIY crafts. Your notes can inform the types of gifts included in each new resident’s welcome package. Remember: thoughtfulness makes a greater impression than price! Even when you can’t greet new residents face-to-face, the thoughtfulness and personalization of your welcome package can speak for you. Local treats delivered Since COVID-19 precautions required businesses to limit on-premises operations, delivery features have become a necessity. Many locally-owned small businesses that did not invest in delivery services have implemented them in recent months. The shift to delivery works in your favor. Include gift cards and discount vouchers in your welcome basket. Gifts from locally-owned shops and restaurants have an even stronger appeal. Every transaction is vital to small businesses. Your patronage demonstrates your efforts to support entrepreneurs in the community while giving residents a preview of the hyper-local treasures in the neighborhood. Use your online concierge platform as a delivery system for your welcome packages. Notify residents when the package...

New IPO Standards Jul01

New IPO Standards

The first day of the Goldman Sachs diversity pledge has arrived. The investment bank announced that as of July 1, 2020, it will require diversity amongst the board members of new applicants in the United States and Europe. When announced in January, the investment bank could not have foreseen how poignant the pledge would become. All eyes on diversity Late spring and summer brought an onslaught of social issues to the forefront of American culture. As the nation attempted to establish a new normal amidst COVID-19 precautions, essential workers kept the economy and healthcare systems afloat. During these times, 1 in 3 women were considered essential workers. Also during this time, researchers revealed that the pandemic brought worsening economic and social inequalities for women. The necessary role of women in the workforce juxtaposed the inadequate measures to help them balance the demands of work and home. To add to the complexity, March marked the beginning of social unrest. A series of police-involved shootings sparked the first wave of protests highlighting discrimination against minorities within the justice system. The protests continued into June, joined by Pride Month events that highlight the struggles of the LGTBQ community in the workplace and healthcare system. Consumers and employees across the U.S. forced businesses and institutions to examine their inclusion practices or lack thereof. Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon could not have foreseen any of this back in January. He could not have known that pandemic fallout and social justice demonstrations would place the bank at the forefront of the social equity revolution on Wall Street–but timing is everything, even when it’s unplanned. Bye bye “bro boards” Goldman Sachs now requires all American and European IPOs to have at least one “diverse” board member. Solomon emphasized that women are...

Reopening Multifamily Amenities Jun30

Reopening Multifamily Amenities

It has been about four months since U.S. multifamily communities restricted access to amenities like gyms and swimming pools. You’re likely eager to resume offering the stellar features that helped build your community brand. (Your residents are probably antsy, too!) As shelter-in-place restrictions lift, you may be unsure how to reopen those amenities with ongoing social distancing. It’s a valid concern, but we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll explore tips and tools for reopening your community amenities and public spaces. Before reopening your amenities Start by creating a reopening plan. The National Apartment Association (NAA) released recommended best practices for reopening amenities at multifamily properties. Along with those best practices, consider that a single reopening plan may not work for all properties, even those within a portfolio. It is important to customize a plan for each property so that directives align with the relevant guidelines issued by national and local health officials. You will also want to review your liability insurance policy and update it with pandemic provisions. Many insurance providers and legal institutions offer helpful customizable templates. Communicate these updates and obtain compliance signatures from property managers, vendors, staff and residents. Watch this webinar to learn how LumaCorp and Gables Residential navigated the reopening process. Preparing maintenance staff and vendors for reopening Your maintenance staff will be working double duty. You may even need to expand your maintenance team. Keep all team members on the same page with the latest cleaning schedules and updates using a mobile maintenance app. Yardi Advanced Maintenance provides the tools that you need to assign tasks, track and supervise your site’s schedule. Manage all preventive, routine and emergency maintenance within a single app. This tool will allow staff members to access revised cleaning schedules on the go and signoff on completed tasks without revisiting the office. Outside vendors will also need additional resources to stay up to date on revised supply and service schedules. Use a mobile vendor management system like VendorCafe to issue updates to existing vendors and onboard new vendors. You can also use the software to pay vendors, which will reduce traffic in the leasing office as well as lower printing, mailing and storage costs. Watch this video to learn how VendorCafe streamlines vendor communication and payments. Restoring full functionality to the leasing office If the community is like a body, then the leasing office is its brain. It’s the epicenter of services and sales that helps the community function. Due to its necessary function, the leasing office probably never completely closed, and that’s okay. The key now is to resume as much functionality as possible with fewer nonessential interactions. Use online payments and online maintenance requests to limit foot traffic in the leasing office. The RENTCafé Resident app empowers residents to do both with a single login. The app has experienced 89% year-over-year adoption growth due to its simple user interface. You can also offer services to prospects while practicing social distancing at the leasing office. A survey of 3,000 apartment shoppers reveals that 83% of respondents would take a self-guided tour if available. Their reasons vary: nearly 60% of respondents wanted to observe social distancing. About 63% of renters want to tour model units at their own pace and 43% appreciate more flexible scheduling. Prospects can easily schedule self-guided tours online through your RENTCafé marketing website. The app will automatically create a guest card and convenient customizable follow-ups. Join a webinar to learn more about the versatility and flexibility of RENTCafé. You’ve got mail … and lots of packages Mailrooms have remained open at all properties, yet revisiting mailroom protocols can improve safety for occupants. Mailrooms are rarely spacious, which makes social distancing difficult for residents and mail personnel. Consider limiting the number of people who can enter the space at any given time. It may also be beneficial to close the mailroom for disinfecting after...

Changemakers Series Jun30

Changemakers Series

The current rate of change in senior living is unprecedented. Even before the coronavirus outbreak spurred extra safety measures, providers were quickly adopting novel models and methods as the boomer generation has grown closer to becoming the core market. Mary Leary, president and CEO of Mather, has driven many such changes herself. A leader with decades of experience on both the for-profit and not-for-profit sides of senior living, Leary is unafraid to forgo tradition in pursuit of something better and bigger. It’s a core reason why Mather, under Leary’s stewardship, has grown from serving 5,400 older adults to nearly 60,000 in the 18 years she’s been at the helm. And it’s also why Leary has earned the title of Changemaker from Senior Housing News. The Changemakers is a Yardi-sponsored series that profiles senior living leaders who’ve helped redefine their industry. Leary’s interview with SHN goes into depth on how Mather has successfully transformed its operations during the coronavirus and what senior living might look like after things return to “normal.” Check out this excerpt from the interview: Obviously, this is something that’s shaping the industry. Is it changing how you are currently thinking about senior living in general? I think COVID-19 will absolutely lead to changes in senior living, and I think that it will speed up the pace of change in a way that is unprecedented. Everything that I do and think about right now is colored by the dramatic changes in our country and communities. I think part of innovating is forgetting, unlearning, dismantling and undoing what one does currently, and that is exactly what is occurring in senior living and our country right now. With virtually everything, the increased velocity and adoption of technology is already impacting everything we’re doing. It’s...

SRI Keeps Spirits High Jun29

SRI Keeps Spirits High...

It’s been months since the coronavirus arrived and upended normal as we knew it. But slowly and surely, things are stabilizing, business are reopening and people are going back to their routines. In senior living, however, safety measures remain for the protection of residents and staff. It may be many more months until anything resembling “normal” returns for older adults in communities. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun and live their lives in the meantime! For the previous two posts on positive senior living news, I covered different Yardi clients across the country. This time, we’re focusing on one in particular: SRI Management. They recently highlighted creative activities at their communities in their own blog post and invited us to share them with you. Here are a few stories from their residents and staff. Enjoy! Music video goes viral With ample social distancing, handmade signs and a great sense of humor, residents from the Cove at Marsh Landing showed how much they’ve already overcome throughout their lives, affirming their strength and resolve to beat this pandemic too. All to the tune of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. Check out the news article for the video. Delivering care outside the community With visitor restrictions still in place, spouses of residents haven’t been able to see their loved ones as much as they’d like, and many are battling loneliness without the support of an engaged community. So the workers at the Superior Residences at Brandon came up with the idea to go visit the residents’ spouses themselves and give out gift bags. They called it “Operation Spread the Love.” Mother’s Day drive-through parade For Mother’s Day, residents at The Arbors of Gulf Breeze were treated to a parade on wheels, courtesy of family...

Creating Comunidad Jun28

Creating Comunidad

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Antonio Marquez’ Comunidad Partners’ properties in Sunbelt markets throughout the U.S. were standouts in the affordable housing sector. Not only did they offer safe and affordable residences for families, but residents of the portfolio’s approximately 10,000 units could take advantage of after school programs, health and wellness classes, financial literacy and tax help courses, and more. Featured at a 2018 Fannie Mae conference hosted by The Atlantic and profiled in this exceptional video posted by Affordable Housing Finance, it’s easy to grasp the sense of community that Comunidad Partners created from its start in 2007 – when Marquez founded the company to invest in underserved workforce and affordable housing communities. Asked often about his “why” for such deep community involvement, Marquez says he was motivated by his family background. As immigrants and entrepreneurs, his parents Juan Antonio and Pamela instilled a strong sense of community responsibility in Antonio Jr. His father began his working life as a vineyard worker, but ultimately started one of the nation’s largest distribution networks of Hispanic foods from his garage. His son learned that with a good idea, and a lot of hard work, amazing outcomes could be achieved. After finishing his undergraduate degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California, he began exploring the multifamily industry. “I wanted to provide more than just shelter. These are living, breathing souls and families,” Marquez said. “I really boiled down my ‘why?’ to what I took for granted growing up. My parents made sacrifices and were phenomenal in terms of supporting us and providing a quality roof over our head, food on the table, a good education even though we were a low income family. My ‘Why?’ was to provide these same impactful things to...

Proptech Musts

So, you’ve decided to invest in more robust property management software to navigate the challenges of remote work and social distancing. One look around the proptech marketplace reveals that there are dozens of options available, many of which seem to offer similar services. With so many options on the market, what should you look for? Discover five key features to look for when choosing property management software. Truly seamless integration There are plenty of property management systems that are compatible with ancillary services by a different brand. There are, however, a few problems with integration between different brands and different platforms: Primarily, there is no guarantee of long-term integration. When you’re dealing with two separate companies, there are opportunities for acquisitions and other changes that may affect long-term compatibility and availability of either product. Secondly, there are two software systems that need regular updates. That means more maintenance and headaches for your staff. When those systems are updated, you can only hope that they will update in unison. If not, you may experience delays, lose functionality or accuracy. That’s wasted time for your staff and potentially costly errors for you. Seamless integration occurs when both the property management software and ancillary products function on a single platform by a single company. With seamless integration, you can ensure optimal efficiency in the long-term with less work for your staff to keep products in sync. Mobile ready and browser agnostic A web-based property management solution is essential as organizations honor social distancing protocols. Web-based and mobile-ready software allows you and your team to work without being tethered to the leasing office. When working from home, out in the field or travelling, you can securely access the information you need. Your office staff will be empowered to...

Meeting the Need

Yardi Vasti Vikas Prakalp (YVVP), Yardi’s dedicated corporate social responsibility project in Pune, India, supports NGOs and implements direct interventions in urban communities (vastis) of Pune city. As the global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted India severely, YVVP has pivoted to help. Normal field visits to the vastis halted when a lockdown to prevent COVID-19 spread began in late March. The CSR team switched to using virtual platforms to stay connected with beneficiaries and stakeholders, to understand the situation on the ground and address unprecedented issues. This has presented various challenges. Many vasti residents do not have smart phones, internet access or resources to recharge phones. “Lockdown restrictions in congested spaces combined with loss of jobs have created high levels of fear, anxiety and frustrations among family members, in addition to hunger,” said Bharati Kotwal, head of CSR at Yardi Pune. “Our stakeholders in vastis, such as community mobilizers, sanitation committee members and youth leaders have helped us to identify the neediest families and do what we could to relieve some of the distress.” Aiding with sanitation and sustenance needs YVVP has provided relief to vasti residents in two significant ways during lockdown: Provided dry ration kits (food and grocery items) to families identified through the YVVP field team and NGO partners. Supplied masks, sanitizer and sanitary pads to those isolated in shelters located in municipal schools. “We provided dry ration kits to over 2800 households in three months through NGOs or by procuring items directly and distributing them ourselves,” Kotwal said. “Though NGOs, foundations, individuals and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) were providing similar help, we could reach those who were left out because of our connections in the vastis.” Keeping community toilets clean and functional is one of the largest efforts of YVVP. The...

Work Life Balance Jun24

Work Life Balance

You know that coworker who always wants to show you pictures of their grandkids? Every successful company has one—and with good reason. Compassionate people draw joy and strength from the success of others! Harding Easley is one such grandfather. His work-life balance and zeal for his granddaughter’s career has helped her latest project become the #1 film in America. Finding balance with Yardi When Easley joined the Yardi team five years ago, he was drawn to the company’s demonstrated prioritization of work-life balance. Today, Easley is an account executive with the Yardi Matrix sales team. He demonstrates how data can empower prospects and clients with the information needed to make better business decisions. From multifamily to commercial properties, he helps clients discover how to assess prospective sights, benchmark performance and target the right market using data and reporting. Learn how Matrix helps you target the right market with the right data. Breaking box office records against the odds Easley’s ability to target the right market carries over to his work outside of the office. The account executive plays a leading role in his granddaughter’s marketing team. Granddaughter Ja’Layah Washington is a professional model and actress. Since the age of six, Easley has helped the starlet establish a presence in the industry. He happily created and manages her website. His skills have helped to successfully catch the attention of the right casting directors at the right time. “I used to be an actor, and I often joke that I gave Ja’Layah my acting skills gene,” laughs Easley. “Her mom was a model as well, so between the two of us Ja’Layah has always had that ‘Disney’ star power from a young age.” The proud grandfather is the biggest marketer and advocate for the film The...

COVID Communication

For the loved ones of residents in senior living, concerns about the coronavirus have not yet abated, even as states reopen and life gradually returns to “normal.” Residents in communities are at a higher risk for COVID, and restrictions on visits remain in place to protect them. So it’s not hard to see why family members would want transparency from senior living providers. Has anyone there caught it? What protocols are in place to help? How is everyone holding up? Since the start of the outbreak, dozens of states have instituted reporting guidelines that require assisted living and skilled nursing facilities to report their COVID numbers to public health authorities. But some states have gone even further by asking providers to share those same numbers with the family members directly on a daily basis. Of course, many providers have already taken great steps to expand their communications. They’ve added FAQs to their website, posted notices to their online resident portal, and have sent plenty of emails to loved ones, residents, staff and vendors. At Yardi, we’ve had clients reach out for help setting up email campaigns like these, so we’ve put together a quick tutorial video that covers how you can create emails that can be sent in bulk to a customized list of contacts. Senior living email correspondence in Yardi Both Yardi Voyager Senior Housing and RENTCafé Senior CRM offer email correspondence. Whichever you choose to use, you can leverage templates to pull in information like the recipient’s first name, today’s date and facility name from your database. That way, you can easily customize your emails in bulk. The video will walk you through how you can choose your information categories, format your text and then filter your contact list. It also explains...

Getting the Job Done Jun22

Getting the Job Done

Public housing agencies across the country are open for business, even when their physical offices are closed. Their services and resources are literally vital to the health, safety and welfare of millions of Americans. How do they make it work? Hagerstown Housing Authority (HHA), which serves the city of Hagerstown in Maryland, uses specialized software solutions from Yardi that connect their staff to critical workflows that serve waitlisted households, applicants, participants and residents, and landlords. “The coronavirus is an awful situation, of course, but it has given us an opportunity to help our staff realize the benefits of cloud-based software, as well as online solutions for our applicants and residents,” says Sean Griffith, executive director for HHA. HHA has been serving its residents for more than 65 years. As a high-performing housing authority, as distinguished by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HHA owns and/or oversees 1,320 dwelling units in 11 communities and more than 900 Housing Choice Vouchers for use by residents who do not dwell in HHA-owned properties. Approximately 12% of the city’s residents are assisted by HHA housing resources. The waiting list for housing assistance from HHA grows daily as economic variables affect local residents. “There has been a definite uptick in need for housing assistance. Our properties are in demand, and the waiting list for Housing Choice Vouchers is growing,” says Griffith. Using RENTCafé PHA, HHA makes it possible for interested households to place themselves on its waiting list. The process is handled completely online without the need for an office visit. That feature is particularly timely for HHA given the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency went live with the Yardi PHA suite in the spring of 2019 and considers cloud functionality one of the...

Virtual GWA 2020 Jun20

Virtual GWA 2020

The 2020 GWA Conference, like many events nationally this year, was forced to pivot to a virtual setting. Despite the quick timeline to put the online event together, GWA was able to gather a fantastic group of presenters and over 1500 attendees took part in the 24-hour production.  The prevailing themes were health and safety for both members and staff, as well as the changes the coworking industry can expect to come out of this crisis stronger and smarter. Here is a look at some of the takeaways from the global event. The office is not dead One of the interesting nuances from the pandemic has been how productive employees have been while working from home. Employers have generally been pleased with the productivity of a completely remote workforce. It is potentially a defining moment for coworking spaces, which could reap the benefits of companies who realize they don’t need to house everyone in one centralized location, and many positions could become fully remote. Previously remote workers, on the other hand, may just feel some satisfaction at what they’ve known all along. However, bandwidth limitations, distractions or lack of comfort could pose some challenges while working at home. Joe Brady, CEO Americas of The Instant Group, explained that while work from home policies have had success, coworking solves for the issues that WFH presents. Brady’s stated the 3 C’s for where people choose to work are concentration, community and collaboration. While one may achieve some aspects of that from home or with the emergence of video conferencing, the coworking industry is a hub for all three simultaneously. “The idea of innovation could be dying if everyone is permanently working from home,” he said. “The threads of culture strengthen when people come together.” Ensuring health...