ENERGY STAR Talks Tech Dec04

ENERGY STAR Talks Tech

Utilities are the second highest controllable expense for property owners, so measuring and managing consumption is critical to control costs and minimize waste. The EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award Winner Webinar Series session on October 8 focused on innovative technologies (Innovative Technologies Part 2) for achieving energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR’s Stacy Glatting was joined by Dan Egan, senior vice president of energy and sustainability for Vornado Realty Trust and Randy Moss, ENERGY STAR benchmarking team lead at Yardi. Egan and Moss shared compelling data about energy costs and talked about tech that makes significant savings possible for real estate operators. The big picture Forward-thinking commercial building operators are implementing a variety of innovative technologies for energy management. Egan shared how Vornado has piloted induction unit valves at its buildings. Moss discussed how Yardi clients have achieved cost savings and maximized performance using a smart software platform that includes artificial intelligence to manage sophisticated building controls. Data analysis from Yardi — incorporating wasted consumption estimates from ENERGY STAR — shows that after MRO, utilities are the second highest expense for real estate firms, and they are controllable with the right solutions. Consider these statistics: Estimated annual spend across controllable expense buckets for 1M sq ft in a portfolio is around $1,980,000 The average commercial building is estimated to waste 30% of its consumption Potential savings equal $600k annually for every 1M sq ft in a portfolio “It’s a data-driven proposition for energy efficiency. We must not only evaluate energy consumption for our buildings, but also more granularly understand tenant consumption and landlord/base building consumption to identify drivers of efficiency,” explained Egan. He noted that the regulatory environment in New York City and the entire state compels companies to consider utility data sources such as the carbon intensity of the grid, hourly pricing (and carbon) signals and future transmission planning when evaluating different energy efficiency projects. “ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® and ENERGY STAR® Tenant Space™ provide frameworks to obtain and monitor these types of data,” added Egan. ENERGY STAR Tenant Space is a new EPA recognition for sustainability in leased office spaces. Vornado Realty Trust’s energy goals Vornado is the largest owner of LEED-certified property in the U.S. and is a member of the Climate Group EP 100. According to Egan, Vornado’s “Vision 2030 Roadmap” includes a total energy reduction goal of 50% with same-store portfolio. In 2019, the company reported progress toward that goal with a 24% reduction in energy use. “Energy efficiency goals must be a tenant partnership,” said Egan. Considering the company reported about 60% of electricity costs are recovered via tenant submeter, that’s no understatement. Egan offered these takeaways after discussing the company’s approach to energy management: Innovative technologies are sometimes tried-and-true solutions that are repackaged with automation and informed by good data to support their value One must understand energy data at different points of the supply chain (from source to end use) to understand the value streams to add to the solution stack Energy efficiency and GHG emissions reductions are often correlated but not always, and rarely linearly Regulation and market signals will drive efficiency further and shift the focus towards electrification Yardi Pulse for energy management Yardi’s Moss talked about managing energy and achieving sustainability using connected and responsive technology. For a complete energy management strategy across your portfolio, you must automate utility invoicing with the ability to mine and validate invoice data, benchmark sustainability, get real-time meter insights and detect system faults as they occur through constant monitoring. With regard to best practices, an energy management system built into your property management platform to combine all your operational data will deliver the best results. Yardi Pulse enables commercial real estate operators to manage energy intelligence and automate energy equipment to lower costs, reduce consumption, keep tenants comfortable and improve efficiency from one connected platform. Plus, Yardi Pulse loads data into...

Employment Impacts Dec03

Employment Impacts

The COVID-19 pandemic has been inconsistent in the way it has affected the U.S. employment market, creating a wide disparity between metro and job segments. This is the main conclusion of the latest special employment report from Yardi Matrix. Leisure and hospitality was by far the biggest employment sector loser, with 3.8 million jobs lost. In contrast, only 1.8% of the jobs in financial services have been lost since the start of the pandemic. However, the overall impact varied greatly depending on the city. Metros with the best job performance include those with relatively small leisure and hospitality industries and those that have lost relatively few jobs in the segment (Indianapolis, for example, lost only 6.5%). One outlier, Austin, has added 8,200 professional and business services jobs and 7,300 financial services jobs since February. While the size of a metro’s leisure and hospitality segment is a key in the extent of job losses, a more significant factor is how thoroughly the metro shut down to stop the spread of COVID. Few of the top 10 metros in the percentage of jobs lost since February are among the leaders in leisure and hospitality jobs, but all are at or above the average proportion of jobs lost in the segment. New York City, for example, has a relatively small leisure and hospitality segment (9.8% of all jobs), but a whopping 42.3% of those jobs disappeared. “The data does show hope for the future for the gateway metros that have been hard hit, because the core industries in those metros, such as finance and professional services, remain viable,” states the report. “Once a vaccine is available and people feel safe going back to entertainment venues, restaurants and the like, gateway cities (like New York, San Francisco, Boston...

Office Space Survey Dec02

Office Space Survey

The findings of the first BOMA International COVID-19 Commercial Real Estate Impact Study reveal that the death of the office is greatly exaggerated. While many tenants are reassessing the use and the size of their physical offices, a strong majority (74%) see their in-person office space as vital to conducting successful business. The nationwide survey of more than 3,000 office space decisions-makers and influencers gauged tenant sentiments relating to COVID-19, including its impact on their business and their attitude towards the physical work environment and office space decisions going forward. It was conducted in September and October of 2020 in conjunction with Brightline Strategies, with a grant from Yardi. The study’s key findings include: 65% of commercial office decision-makers continue to see significant value in on-site business operations, particularly as it relates to collaboration, coaching and culture. The economic headwinds on office tenants are far reaching, with 33% of respondents saying they have experienced at least a 25% revenue decline since the onset of the pandemic. While a strong majority see office space as vital, 61% of respondents across all tenant sizes report they will reassess space needs. 78% approve of the response their current property owner/operator has implemented during COVID-19. 47% of all tenants say their landlord’s coronavirus response exclusively has made them more likely to renew. 77% are confident they understand how to reduce and manage risk in their physical office. At the outset of the survey, 55% of respondents said they plan to renew their leases, unsurprisingly lower than the Brightline Strategies six-year national index of 78%. However, renewal likelihood increases 11 points — rising to 66% — if properties implement operational changes including new services, features and physical spaces in response to the pandemic. This uptick indicates a true inflection point, showing that a change in operations helps assure and retain tenants. Maximization of fresh air is the “most important” measure for properties to adopt, according to tenants. Additionally, more than 40% of respondents indicated that they would pay supplementary fees for disinfecting stations and twice-daily full office disinfecting. The collective sentiment toward amenities is changing too. There is less focus on traditional built-ins, like onsite gyms and cafes. Almost half say they are seeing more value in personal relationships with their property management company/teams. “Our collective charge was to help owners and operators better understand, mitigate and proactively address emerging industry trends, shifts in workplace priorities and tenant preferences resulting from COVID-19, as well as changes in market attitudes towards the physical work environment and their impacts on office space decisions going forward,” said Robert Teel, vice president of global solutions, at Yardi. Although COVID-19 continues to be a disruptive force for the office sector and its tenants, the value of the office as a key ingredient of business success remains strong. “We have seen a steady and significant rebound in the perceived value and utility of physical office environments since the onset of the pandemic, with nearly 75% of all tenant decision-makers across the country affirming that in-person offices are operationally vital to their businesses, long-term growth and sustainability,” said Henry H. Chamberlain, APR, FASAE, CAE, president and COO of BOMA International. “As our ‘new normal’ emerges, we will become increasingly focused on the form and function of office environments in a post-pandemic world.” Explore more survey data in the BOMA International COVID-19 Commercial Real Estate Impact Study executive summary, including renewal forecasts and space reduction estimates by renewal horizon. Read the press...

Let’s chat

Property management chatbots have been a hot topic lately, especially for multifamily rentals. A chatbot can meet renters’ increasing demands for digital communication and capture more leasing opportunities, but only if it’s used wisely. First, we’ll talk about why you should consider “hiring” a chatbot if you don’t have one on staff already. Then, we’ll show you three things your chatbot should be able to do. Finally, watch a short video to get chatbot tips from expert marketer Drew Davis, who spent months talking to chatbots in different industries to see what works and what doesn’t. Why a chatbot? Employing a chatbot as part of your customer experience team can ensure you never miss an incoming leasing opportunity, day or night, and it frees up onsite staff to focus on assisting applicants and residents. If you don’t have a chatbot yet, you’re probably losing leases to competitors that do. That’s because customers expect instant and accurate answers to their questions. They hate waiting. In fact, in a survey on response times that included more than 3,000 customers, 88% of respondents expected a response within an hour, with 33% of them saying they expect an answer in 15 minutes or less. Is that realistic for your agents, especially when you factor in after-hours contacts? Probably not. That’s where a chatbot comes in handy. But do people really want to talk to a bot? Recent data says they do. The 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report found that 48% of renters say they would use a chatbot in their next rental search. That number is anticipated to grow as chatbot adoption becomes increasingly common across multiple industries. A 2019 report by Chatbots Life predicts that chatbots will handle 85% of human interactions online within the next...

Yardi Enhances EHR Dec01

Yardi Enhances EHR

Yardi has been building Yardi EHR, a full service electronic health record solution for senior living, for the better part of a decade. Client feedback and ongoing development give rise to regular product enhancements. Here’s a sampling of recent upgrades. Clinical move-in Users can now execute a clinical move-in process that includes adding global contacts, allergies, diagnosis, orders from a library, and schedule assessments.  This new feature allows a facility to perform a financial move-in prior to the resident physically arriving in the building or vice versa.  Clinical staff can move a resident in and the billing staff can complete the financial move-in when they return. A new KPI shows a resident’s pending move-in status, allowing the facility to easily monitor resident move-in activities. Medication tracking Recent enhancements allow counting of controlled substances between shifts, check-in of medications delivered to the community and documentation of medications disposed of. Facilities can also update the quantity of medication on hand when new deliveries arrive. Digital care plan signatures New functionality enables digital signing of service plans. Five new KPIs monitor the signing status. Continuity of care document interface (CCDA) Facilities can now create, send and receive CCDA documentation using the KNO2 interface. The CCDA document sends and receives data elements in a standard format. Information exchanged includes advanced directives, allergies, adverse reactions, medications and social history. The CCDA user interface lets you search for documents by a date range or create a new document. Shower/housekeeping/laundry schedule A new report assists staff with weekly shower, laundry and housekeeping schedules. Filters allow for multiple schedules to be displayed and is viewable in a list or calendar view. The list view can also display task details. Simple wounds The wound module has been streamlined and enhanced for assisted living...

High Returns Nov27

High Returns

Like property and investment management technology, satellite imagery capabilities and applications are constantly evolving. The Balance Sheet revisits a topic we first explored in 2017. How can satellite imagery help improve business performance? The benefits can start with simple counting, as when Swiss investor UBS Investment Research started using space-based data to determine the population of Walmart parking lots about 10 years ago. The retail giant’s quarterly sales could be estimated from the number of cars entering and leaving the lots over periods of time. UBS thus was “one of the first financial institutions to leverage satellite imagery to gain useful investment insights,” notes Valerie Hernandez, writing in banking, finance and world affairs analysis publication International Banker in June 2020. Other satellite imagery providers now count attendance at McDonald’s, Costco, Starbucks, Whole Foods and other retailers. In the decade following UBS’s breakthrough, satellite technology evolved from a passive eye-in-the-sky to a predictor of corporate profits and a key analysis tool for the investment community. Data collected encompasses everything from solar-panel installations, sawmills’ lumber inventories, the number of cars produced at an auto plant and the mining of metals – all key metrics of business performance. In fact, Hernandez says, “whether it’s counting cars in a retailer’s parking lot as a measure of sales activity, tracking ships across the seas, monitoring crops or scanning the activity at oil rigs, refineries and ports, satellite imagery is proving incredibly useful as a way to measure levels of industrial activity that may not necessarily be possible to determine at ground level.” UC Berkeley law professor Frank Partnoy, writing in The Atlantic, recounts the derailment of a train carrying iron ore in Australia in November 2018: “Iron-ore prices soared on the news that the supply of a resource used...

Clients Star Nov26

Clients Star

Yardi clients placed high in the third annual J.D. Power U.S. Senior Living Satisfaction Study, a measurement of the resident experience this year in assisted living, memory care and independent living communities. Chicago-based The Senior Lifestyle Company LLC earned a tie for the highest rating among assisted living/memory care providers for overall customer satisfaction among family members or other decision-makers. Residents named Life Care Services LLC of Des Moines, Iowa, the top independent living operator for overall satisfaction. Responses from nearly 5,000 senior living residents and their families formed the basis of the J.D. Power study. Survey participants rated community buildings and grounds, staff, dining, price paid for services, resident activities and the family member’s living unit. J.D. Power said in a news release that “amid continued worries about COVID-19 outbreaks in senior living communities nationwide, the families of assisted living/memory care residents are generally very satisfied with assisted living/memory care operators” and their initiatives on cleanliness, social distancing and other elements of dealing with the pandemic. More information about the consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics provider’s study is available here. The Yardi Senior Living Suite comprises a single connected solution for managing all types of senior living communities. Learn more and view a brief...

Long-Term Care Nov25

Long-Term Care

Registration has started for the Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care Program. This innovative collaboration facilitates free, on-premises COVID-19 vaccinations for senior living providers. CDC facilitates vaccination services for senior living residents The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has partnered with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to offer vaccination services for residents of senior facilities. The new program, called Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care (LTC), “provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process, including cold chain management, on-site vaccinations, and fulfillment of reporting requirements, to facilitate safe vaccination of this patient population, while reducing burden on LTC facilities and jurisdictional health departments,” reports the CDC. Senior living providers gain free access to services such as: on-location clinic dates orders for the vaccine and necessary supplies vaccine administration cold chain management for the vaccine reporting to local, state and federal jurisdictions compliance with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) COVID-19 testing requirements for LTCF staff Skilled Nursing facilities (SNF) must register through the National Healthcare Safety Network. Assisted living facilities (ALF) must register via REDcap. Registration is non-binding and facilitates may opt out at any time. What to expect during Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care registration Providers will have the opportunity to select between CVS and Walgreens as their pharmacy partner for the initial phase of the vaccinations. After the initial phase (about two months) facilities may chose a pharmacy provider of their choice. Online sign-up details will be disseminated through the providers’ communications channels including but not limited to websites and email. The CDC will coordinate facilities’ preferences with the pharmacy partners. Please be advised that the CDC may reassign facilities to accommodate availability and other considerations. Registrations for the program ends November 6. Explore FAQ regarding the Long-Term Care Program for COVID-19...

Flexibility Holds Key Nov25

Flexibility Holds Key...

COVID-19 has had a jarring impact on commercial real estate in the form of health risks, stunted growth prospects, permit and construction delays, reduced income for property owners and the acceleration of e-commerce at the expense of physical stores, among other disruptions. The pandemic precipitated what global management consultant firm McKinsey & Company calls “an unprecedented crisis for the real estate industry.” What will the CRE landscape look like when the pandemic fades? For one thing, new building codes designed to limit the risk of future pandemics could affect standards for HVAC, square footage per person and amount of enclosed space. Office building tenants will almost certainly be driven “to look beyond their traditional building preferences. In this new environment, tenants will gravitate towards the properties that best solve for flexibility, adaptability, and well-being,” according to Erin Saven and Evan Danchenka of Gensler, a global architecture, design and planning firm. Maria Sicola, a founding partner of real estate planning services provider CityStream Solutions and sales and training consultant Integrity Data Solutions, believes tenants will likely make their space “more personalized and less communal – we will likely not return to all-private offices and fancy conference rooms. But all space – personal and meeting — will need to be viewed with more breathing room.” And, of course, cleanliness will command more attention than ever. Commercial Property Executive predicts that “some products and techniques that have been used in medical office buildings and in hospitals are going to be brought to the office sector,” such as microbe-resistant door handles and elevator buttons and sanitation with ultraviolet light. Amenities as differentiators Building owners and developers, for their part, would be well advised to explore “new real estate design strategies that can differentiate them from the competition and...

Amenity Reset Nov24

Amenity Reset

Amenities can be the irresistible lure that persuades apartment searchers to choose one community over another. Rooftop pools, fitness suites, concierge package service, housekeeping, business centers and dog wash stations all have devotees. “Over the past several years the multifamily asset class has been engaged in an amenities war, with projects offering better and more luxurious add-ons in order to draw in residents,” GlobeSt.com reported in April 2020. But COVID-19 prompted some apartment residents to rethink what matters to them, which in turn forced owners and managers to reevaluate their offerings. “Everybody is really searching for creative solutions right now,” Jeremy Brutus, co-founder of gym facility management company Urbn Play, told the New York Times in September. “I don’t think amenities will ever go back to the way they were before,” added Whitney Kraus of New York residential sales and leasing specialist Brown Harris Stevens Development. Several of the most common changes are fairly unobtrusive, such as lounges repurposed as schools, limited capacity in common areas, clubhouses divided into separate rooms, movable couches, touchless key fobs, cordoned-off work and recreation areas, and mandatory reservations for facilities. Package delivery and storage services and HVAC upgrades to make interior air cleaner are also in greater demand, according to Rick Haughey, vice president of industry technology initiatives for the National Multifamily Housing Council. Some communities have even swapped steel handles on barbells, weight machines and other equipment for copper, which is more expensive but harbors the coronavirus for a shorter time. Apartment communities on the high end of the rental scale, such as New York’s Madison House, can get even more creative with members-only primary care and emergency medical service offerings. Sollis Health, which services the building, says 50% of its business is house calls made by...

Remote Onboarding Nov23

Remote Onboarding

Working from home, remote work, telecommuting: whatever you call it, it’s a challenge for property managers across the nation. If you’re lucky enough to be hiring in during the pandemic, you’re also facing the challenge of onboarding in a remote work environment. It’s not easy. With the right tools, however, you can onboard new team members with ease and efficacy. Check out these recommendations from industry experts for remote onboarding, simplified. Just when you thought property management couldn’t get any harder… Property management is a notoriously tough business. The National Apartment Association reports an average turnover rate of 33% in 2019. The highest rates are for leasing and maintenance, at 31.9% and 39.2% respectively. With each vacant position comes the time and money spent on marketing, hiring and training. The time it takes to train a new employee varies. It’s safe to say, though, that hours spent training a revolving door of new hires isn’t an ideal use of your team’s time. When translated to dollars, it costs between $5,505.80 and $9,444.47 per turnover to replace an entry-level employee. High turnover is costly, time consuming and counterproductive. Then a pandemic arrives that complicates everything for everyone everywhere. Property managers who are lucky enough to hire must now do so without interviewing or training applicants in person.  Teams attempt to build office culture and support with the same screens used for work and productivity. A career path that deters 33% of employees each year now faces additional challenges. Fortunately, robust e-learning software is here to help. What methods can help property managers overcome these challenges? Begin with the cloud. Cloud computing empowers property owners to implement e-learning and remotely train new hires. The system facilitates real-time collaboration between participants on documents and projects. Additionally, software that operates on integrated and centralized cloud storage is advantageous to a piecemeal assemblage of programs. Patricia Pomies is chief delivery officer at Globant, an innovator in workplace efficiencies. The cloud is a powerful tool because it provides 24/7 access to learning content. Remote, easy access is key for distance learning. “Their approach should be focused on promoting a culture of continuous learning, and training programs should live in one central, digital location for employees to access easily,” says Pomies. “It’s also best to give employees access to different learning experiences and training based on their time, interests, level and expertise—whether they are a remote employee or not.” Create online trainings that are branded and customizable. Consider a remote learning platform that enables branding and customization. Since your new hires won’t go into a physical office each day, it is essential to use branding to instill a sense of place and company culture. Customization ensures that your messaging within the e-learning platform is consistent with corporate messaging. Of equal importance, you will be able to customize learning modules based on the new hire’s role within the organization. This ensures that new hires can prioritize and specialize as needed. Customized content also encourages the most engagement from participants. Jim E. Guilkey, author and doctorate in instructional design and learning strategy, suggests that engagement improves problem-solving skills. In an interview with Society for Human Resource Management, Guilkey encourages clients to explore engaging options such as virtual collaboration rooms and role playing. “Instead of simply lecturing, put the impetus for learning on the learners,” he says. He recommends putting students in a virtual collaboration room to evaluate real and hypothetical situations pertinent to their roles. Together, they can analyze, troubleshoot and propose solutions and improvements. Rather than relying on industry standard, pre-set modules, customized courses provide hyper-local learning opportunities. Presenting scenarios specific to the brand, property or region create a stronger sense of place and culture for remote learners. Check for comprehension before assessments and analyze assessment data for additional learning opportunities. When teaching in person, an instructor can use body language to gauge whether content is “sinking in”...

Navigating + Embracing Change

Two catalysts prompted drastic changes in the real estate industry in 2020: COVID-19 and remote work environments. During REALPAC 2020, Anant Yardi, president and founder of Yardi, was joined by Robert Courteau, CEO Altus Group for the session “Emerging and Relevant Proptech in a new COVID-19 World Future of the Canadian and Global Economy.” The leaders dove into the impacts of the pandemic and remote work to explore the latest trends, lessons learn, and projections for the future. Digital services, accelerated In the past eight months, proptech has entered a point of inflection. These occur when new technology enters and permanently alters an industry. Proptech leaders such as Yardi are exploring the applications of AI, big data and IoT in real estate. From building automation to chatbots, those three components pressed the industry forward through the pandemic and the transition to remote work. “Of the hundreds of tech companies that have been started in real estate, their success or demise will be accelerated by the pandemic,” said Mr. Yardi. “It’s a very exciting period to study these technologies and bring them to the market for the benefit of the industry.” The research and innovation needed to bring technologies to market are moving at a faster clip. Panel participants observed that the industry has changed from a push model to a pull model. Real estate owners now approach proptech innovators in search of tools and solutions. Owners are seeking and investing in technology rather than waiting to be convinced of its value. Trending tools are showing permanence Since the onset of the pandemic, owners are implementing technologies that convert transactions and communication to paperless and automated systems. Touchless, client-facing solutions have also experienced a surge in interest and implementation. In the US and soon in Canada, Yardi Chat IQ offers 24/7 chatbot services with natural language processing. Prospects can learn more about the property and receive details on available units. Once interested, prospects can schedule a self-guided tour via the automated system. Smart home tools permit self-guided tours with enhanced security features. Once a prospect schedules a tour online, they can arrive at the unit and complete a tour on their own: the system verifies their ID and receives driver’s license information. It can validate their identity using a “selfie” image. The system then issues a unique digital key that permits the prospect to enter. Sensors verify that the tour is complete and lock the door once the prospect has left the unit. Leasing agents have access to all tour data through their dashboards. They can see when the door was unlocked, by whom, and when the person exited. That data connects to CRM functions so leasing agents can follow-up after the tour. “These tech advances are so fascinating,” said Mr. Yardi. “The capacity to work with the industry, this very vibrant industry, is very promising.” Digital technology that was once viewed as a luxury is now seen as essential for safe and efficient properties, observed the panel. Mindful adoption of technology Not all tech tools are equal in value to real estate professionals. Discerning which tools to adopt and which to forego is a delicate balance. “Proptech is a vision and a spirit. The spirit of proptech is to understand new technologies and how best to apply them in real life problems. In that spirit, there are new opportunities that will surface,” said Mr. Yardi. “The vision of proptech is about how best to run real estate operations, taking into account tech transformations,” he continued. “My counsel to industrial practitioners is to keep an eye on proptech but everything they do has to be based on a clear value proposition and that has to be influenced by any of the following key elements: increase revenues, reduce cost, increase customer satisfaction and reduce risk.” He added, “These drivers don’t change. These driving principles are key in the world of business....

Simple, Streamlined Procurement

Efficient, automated procurement and single-point supplier management are within reach. Through Yardi Marketplace, HD Supply Canada offers tools of the trade for multifamily, hospitality and healthcare property managers. It is a collaboration that empowers clients to work with greater simplicity, efficiency and savings. For Munawar Quraishi, general manager for HD Supply Canada Inc., teaming up with Yardi was a merging of interests. Both organizations emphasize caring for employees, clients and the community. Quraishi says, “Improving our people’s lives is at the core of everything we do. We know that having engaged, successful people within our business will drive the success of the organization.” He continues, “We look at the right balance of people, profit and processes.” To enhance its processes, HD Supply Canada sought a collaborator with similar perspectives on innovative technology. Together, Yardi and HD Supply Canada aim to advance the future of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) buying and distribution. HD Supply, Canadian market leaders HD Supply Canada is the leading supplier of MRO products for multifamily living, hotels and long-term retirement care in the nation. Its pick, pack and distribute business model offers next day shipment. Product availability constantly grows: currently, HD Supply Canada offers 14,000 SKUs. Within the next several years, the goal is to get over 100,000. The process includes consulting subject matter experts on new products so that clients can rest assured they’re getting high quality and value. “Our sales team engages with vendors and peers to research and give our customers the best solution,” says Quraishi. Getting quality products into the hands of clients has involved process innovation at HD Supply Canada. The supplier was determined to implement digital solutions that streamline processes for its staff and its clients. HD Supply Canada + Yardi Marketplace add value for clients “Yardi Marketplace helps us act as solution providers for our customers, not just transaction executors. Having one platform for orders, payment and analytics will give our customers a previously unattained degree of visibility and help improve their productivity,” explains Quraishi. Previous transactions occurred via fax, email, phone and website. This approach resulted in unnecessary time delays and errors. “Yardi’s integration takes away the ambiguity of purchase order development before it gets to us, whether that’s a price change, error or issue with the print catalogues,” says Quraishi. An online marketplace also allows property technicians to maximize their time by using a mobile-ready service to place orders while they’re in the field. Clients note that site-level productivity has improved once operating on Marketplace. Additionally, HD Supply Canada conducts enterprise resource planning (ERP) through Marketplace. This allows the customer to make better decisions around budget and pricing. “This technology was a big play for us: it allowed property owners to understand how they’re spending dollars, especially in a time like today with COVID-19 where budgets and working capital become more important,” Quraishi says. “Such budget and capital insights allow clients better visibility than they had in the past.” Pouring (not trickling) the savings to clients Improved efficiencies within HD Supply Canada have a resounding impact on clients. HD Supply Canada reports that Yardi Marketplace has facilitated fewer price discrepancies, fewer errors with purchase orders and better visibility into approvals and budgeting. The organization now picks, packs and ships without completing the approval process via disparate systems and methods. The streamlined approach expedites business at multiple levels. The future of technology in MRO buying + distribution  Quraishi and his team collaborate with technology companies like Yardi to usher the distribution industry into the future. “We believe technology is the solution to help us grow and we will grow with it,” says Quraishi. “Our investment in technology allows us to enhance the customer experience. We believe our system will pull information quickly and provide superior data to our clients. Those resources will help customers understand what they are buying, standardize those purchases and realize cost savings in the...

Did COVID-19 Spark Nov19

Did COVID-19 Spark

Some industries, such as technology and online media, are doing well amid COVID-19, even as the pandemic cuts a swath through virtually every public health, political, social and economic structure. Other segments of the economy, such as travel and hospitality, face a perilous future. And what about the vital energy sector? Before the pandemic hit, energy demand was projected to grow 12% between 2019 and 2030, as developing nations broadened their power generation capacities. But COVID-19 “has brought the generation of energy from fossil fuels to breaking point,” says the World Economic Forum, with global energy demand declining by 5% in 2020. Despite a larger population and world economy, demand in 2050 will be about the same as it is today, according to risk management and quality assurance experts DNV GL, due partly to the effects of COVID-19. “The scale of the fall in demand, the speed of change, and how widespread it has been have generated a radical shift that seems to be more than a temporary short-term drop in demand for fossil fuels, at least in the power sector,” Nelson Mojarro, a World Economic Forum advisor, said in June. That development has opened the door for renewable energy generation to play an even more prominent role on the world energy scene. Renewables, including solar, whose cost has fallen by 82% over a decade, are the lowest-cost source of new power generation, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. That trend is expected to hold over the foreseeable future. And COVID-19, Mojarro says, “has had a game-changing effect in accelerating the clean energy transition in the power sector.” Within 10 weeks of the start of widespread lockdowns, according to data compiled by the International Energy Agency, the U.S. increased its renewable energy consumption...

Looking at Liability Nov18

Looking at Liability

As public health restrictions lift, many homes are welcoming loved ones, guests and clients again. The influx of visitors may have you second guessing your renters insurance policy. If you’ve wondered if you’re liable for COVID-19 transmitted while in your rental, read on. What is the “liability” part of your renters policy? Liability insurance is a specific field of coverage on your renters insurance policy. It protects you, the purchaser, from the risk of liability resulting from legal action. Such legal action may pertain to bodily injury or property damage that guests experience while at your home. When we think about liability insurance for rentals, slips and falls come to mind. If someone delivers a mattress to your house, trips and falls over an extension cord in the hallway, that’s a matter for your liability insurance. But what happens when the threat is unseen? Hundreds of flu seasons have come and gone since the advent of renters insurance. Few people, however, considered their liability if someone contracts an infectious disease while in their rental. Infectious diseases such as the common cold, flu and COVID-19 may cause bodily harm, but they are treated differently under liability insurance provisions. The liability of disease is a contentious topic: to what degree can a property owner or tenant protect occupants and guests? What measures are they required to take, legally or ethically? How precisely could guests pinpoint the exposure to the rental? Answers will vary, but for nearly all renters, your liability is limited. The majority of liability clauses in renters insurance policies contain virus and pathogen exclusions. This includes liability, loss of use and personal harm due to exposure to a virus. Consider these CDC guidelines for guests visiting your community. Does remote work influence my liability...

Better Health Assessments Nov17

Better Health Assessments...

A registered nurse quoted on the American Assn. of Nurse Assessment Coordination’s website says that obtaining baseline patient health data “is an invaluable tool to us in long-term care. It involves so much of the nurse and her relationship with the resident and getting them to get to that highest level of function. It is so important, it’s so exciting, and it’s a tool that just drives great care.” Completing that assessment, known as the resident assessment instrument minimum data set (RAI MDS), is a mandatory element of guiding resident care planning and monitoring in long-term care settings. But compiling the required information manually often involves uncoordinated efforts by multiple parties who don’t always know if the information they’re dealing with is current. Nurses, administrators and other senior care providers now have the means to complete the RAI MDS process more easily and accurately. Yardi Long Term Care, a new mobile electronic health record solution available in Canada, saves time and eliminates errors by automatically prefilling the RAI MDS with data from previous assessments through electronic workflows. Staff members updating an RAI MDS don’t have to spend time entering data or backtracking through a lengthy paper trail. Mobile charting that sends resident data from the point of care to the MDS saves even more time. Yardi Long Term care also tracks frequently changing regulations and automatically checks submissions for fatal errors, missed fields and inconsistencies. It provides a clear audit trail, with user logs, change reasons and up-to-date chart data housed in a centralized platform. Yardi Long Term Care is the Canadian version of Yardi® Skilled Nursing, a new solution that sends resident data from the point of care directly into the MDS. “Accurate data from Yardi Long Term Care will equip senior living...

5 Fun Holiday Ideas Nov13

5 Fun Holiday Ideas

Social distancing and partying don’t seem to go hand-in-hand. With a little creativity, though, you can host fun holiday events for your community while honoring safety protocols. Check out these five fun holiday party ideas that add value, encourage a sense of community pride and resident loyalty. Themed partner yoga party The first step in hosting a successful partner yoga party is to select the location. Warmer locations (ahem, southern states) may still make use of their tennis courts and other outdoor spaces. Cooler climates may consider their roomy community club or renting space in a local brewery or event center. You’ll want an area that is spacious and level. Once you decide where to host your partner yoga party, the rest is super simple! Contact a local yoga studio and request a private teacher for your event. The teacher should be familiar with the basics of partner yoga or acro yoga. Once the details are set, have residents register via the community concierge. Encourage residents to find a same-household partner and dress in holiday-themed activewear. (Cozy holiday pajamas would work, too!) On the day of the event, divide your space: every ten feet, leave a sticker, party favor or other marker. That will let duos know where to place the center of their mats. Then the experienced yoga teacher can guide pairs through safe yet fun postures that encourage teamwork, communication and laughter. If you charge for the event, consider donating a portion of the proceeds to a local nonprofit. #ShopLocal wine + beer tasting Collaborate with a local wine shop or brewery for this unique spin on bar hopping and wine tasting! Many local shops offer tastings that encourage clients to experience new brands or unique beverages. You can replicate the experience...

Opposite Outlooks Nov12

Opposite Outlooks

It’s a tale of two outlooks for the industrial and office real estate sectors, reported the experts from Yardi Matrix and CommercialEdge in a commercial real estate webinar presented on Nov. 11. As the end of 2020 nears, each market has a different trajectory. For owners and investors in the office sector, the full impact of the pandemic and its impact on the way employees work, especially in the knowledge and technology sectors, has yet to be unveiled. Major office properties tend to operate on long leases, so while rent remittance has been generally solid this year, as leases come to term in 2021 things could change. The big question, said Yardi Matrix vice president Jeff Adler, is what use of office space looks like in the future. One thing 2020 has taught us is that it likely doesn’t look like the old model of spending five days a week in a cubicle. “There is a re-evaluation of ‘what is the purpose of space?’ Was the purpose of that space that people got things done there? Or was it a culture purpose? If it was simply to do a task, it’s become clear that task can likely be done at home. How space is used, why space exists and why you need it in the first place is going to be reimagined,” Adler said.  “What kind of office footprint do you actually need to achieve the business goals that you have?” The answers to those questions will determine the floorplans and lease terms of offices post-pandemic. Also at play: where they’re located (public transit use is still dramatically decreased) and how many workers will come to the office on any given day. Right now, going back to a 5-day office work week seems highly...

Office Re-entry Nov12

Office Re-entry

The topic of safely re-entering the workplace has now been top of mind for over half a year. While some businesses are still closed and employees are working remotely, there are a growing number of offices who have decided to open their doors following local safety guidelines. On a recent BOMA webinar, a group of service providers ranging from software vendors to elevator engineers to wholesale suppliers discussed best practices for ensuring employee health and safety while successfully reopening their physical spaces. Brian Sutherland, Yardi industry principal, detailed some trends that Yardi has seen based off research from CommercialEdge: Office vacancy is currently at 10-15%. Since April, subleasing is up 35% as tenants try to either downsize or upsize for distancing purposes. New construction is down 40% from the previous year among office assets. Office demand is changing: f leasing terms, private office demand and suburban models are all growing. Rent is being paid, but physical occupancy is at risk: landlords are considering whether long-term leases are sustainable or whether tenants will not need the space they’re paying for. Only about 12% of New York City workers are back in office, as of latest estimates. There are specific questions to analyze when considering a move back into the office. Employees who want to confidently re-enter the workspace are asking how to accurately report health status updates and how to stay connected with colleagues. Office managers, on the other hand, are tasked with ensuring a safe and orderly re-entry while assessing how to limit available workspace to promote health and safety and follow guidelines. Landlords want to encourage tenants to return to the office, but they first need to understand their tenants’ use and occupancy of the space. In order to help answer some of...

APTvirtual Nov11

APTvirtual

The apartment industry met online at APTvirtual, powered by NAA, from Nov. 2-6 to forge more powerful connections with each other and the technology that will take us forward as we stay connected at home. With the theme “Yardi keeps you and your residents connected” we were there to share, learn and spark inspiration together. What we shared It was a pleasure to not only hear your voices but also see your faces, including through the virtual mosaic that allowed attendees to be together in spirit. Thank you for sharing your photos to help build this fun digital community — look closely to find your friends and colleagues. How we learned We hope you joined our educational sessions, but if you missed them and were a registered attendee, you can watch them on demand until Dec. 4. Big Data, Benchmarking and Forecasting: A Tale of Two Studies With advances in big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence, the ability to manage your business with laser precision and shape future outcomes has never been greater. In this session, industry leaders share how they use operational benchmarks to identify opportunities and predictive analytics for marketing and leasing to make timely changes and realize gains. Here are a few sound bites: “Using machine learning, we’re able to pick out patterns and trends in a much broader pool of data. We have lots of data points, including around spending on SEM and how it correlates to leasing ratios. Seeing the data reinforces decisions about when to spend marketing dollars to meet our leasing and revenue goals,” said Shawn Cardner, executive vice president at Grubb Properties. “Our asset management team takes a very active role in the budgeting process, and benchmarking is extremely important to them. Being able to look at a region and do comparisons — down to spending on plumbing and landscaping — gives us visibility down to budgeting line items,” said Joe Anfuso, chief financial officer at MG Properties. Emerging Issues: Looking Ahead to the Post-Pandemic Future Even as we deal with ongoing economic and societal impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all thinking about what the future might look like. Universal truths for our industry will persist: people will still need to rent apartments. “What we’re seeing from our RENTCafe.com surveys is that renters want more choice with self-guided and virtual tours. I think these options for more convenient touring will persist long after the pandemic,” said Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. Bonardi was joined by Garin Hamburger from Pinnacle, Pei Pei Mirabella from Bozzuto and Ian Mattingly from LumaCorp to share forward-thinking ideas for multifamily’s post-pandemic future, including marketing and leasing. Where we talked tech Thanks for visiting our booths to chat with Yardi experts and tell us what you’re excited about! Big data and self-guided tours are leading the way into 2021, and according to our polls, 69% of respondents are most excited about self-guided tours. Asset IQ, part of Yardi Elevate, uses big data to deliver predictive analytics and prescriptive actions to lower costs and increase revenue. RENTCafé Self-Guided Tours helps operators meet the demands of a changing market, giving prospects the ability to tour at their own pace and maintain social distancing. Booth visitors also learned about RENTCafé Chat IQ, an AI-powered chatbot that learns and adapts to fit each community. Who we met We hope you enjoyed hearing from Anant Yardi himself during the Connect with Yardi Executives session. In addition to talking about the state of the industry and tech trends, Mr. Yardi said, “Relationships with our clients are so important to us. I’m looking at all of you and so many memories of working together over the years are coming back. Thank you for dedicating your time to this.” How to connect with us now Missed us at APTvirtual? Contact us, and we’ll show you what you...