Home Smart Home Aug22

Home Smart Home

Wondering how to make your property more desirable in a competitive market? Research shows that today’s renters (especially millennials) would rather have high tech amenities than a pool or gym. And, they’ll pay more for a smart apartment that offers technology services on demand. Why? Smart apartments make life easier by keeping you connected, automating daily tasks, reducing costs through more efficient use of utilities and freeing up time for the things you really enjoy. Living in a smart apartment is like having a remote to control almost everything in your home from a phone. According to the 2018 NMHC Multifamily Disruption Report, “As real time and personalized purchasing experiences become the norm, a lifestyle-focused apartment is as important as location and layout.” Are you offering today’s most-wanted amenities? And going a step further, are you future-proofing your community with technology? Smart stuff To sign more leases with quality residents who are likely to stay for a while, you should cater to their needs on a lifestyle level by going beyond basic online services. Here are some of the most popular tech amenities that you can offer (and brag about in your marketing) now. Keyless locks Smart locks provide convenience and security with keyless entry into apartments via touchpads and mobile apps. They also log when someone enters and leaves a unit. Residents can remotely authorize access to house cleaners, dog walkers, maintenance staff and visitors. Smart locks can also alert residents whenever their door is opened — and can be connected to a security system for additional protection and peace of mind. Thermostats One of the most wanted amenities is a smart thermostat, which enables residents to control their apartment climates remotely. Since heating and cooling accounts for nearly half of a property’s...

Race for a Cause

Providing opportunities for children without homes and supporting those in need is important to Yardi employees around the globe. On July 18th, Yardi’s UK office participated in PropKart, a go-karting event hosted by PropSki with all proceeds benefitting LandAid and Maggie’s Centres. These two heart-warming charities prioritize emotional support and health support. Read on to learn about the exciting race and the special organizations benefitting from the event. PropKart A team of five Yardi employees proudly represented Yardi at PropKart, The Property Industry Karting Championships, at Buckmore Park Kart Circuit – the biggest professional go-karting track in Europe. In their first time participating in a PropSki event, “the team were raring to go! Enthusiasm got the better of one employee who spun out on the track, but all team members were excited by the event,” says Hannah Holmes, a Yardi marketing associate in Great Britain. Among the 23 property industry attendees were Vectos, Greenaway Architecture, and Buckler Environmental – the first, second, and third place winners. Yardi came in further on in the pack, but was most excited to help raise £5,000 for LandAid and Maggie’s Centres, two important and selfless organizations. LandAid LandAid brings businesses and individuals from across the property industry to change lives by working to end youth homelessness in the UK. According to LandAid,  around 86,000 people in the UK will be homeless. Through the nonprofit’s inspiring efforts, countless small-medium sized charities across the UK have received investments totaling over £2 million each year, which enables the construction of new buildings and renovation properties. In its work to end youth homelessness, LandAid follows up its funding with strategic advice and property expertise to each project. Last year, LandAid provided 472 homes for vulnerable young people, reaching their three-year target of...

MFE Data Survey Aug21

MFE Data Survey

Yardi will be part of a session on multifamily data at the 2019 MFE Conference in Las Vegas, happening October 2-4 at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino. Yardi also returns as a sponsor and exhibitor at this pivotal event for multifamily executives. Anant Yardi, president and founder of Yardi, will share the stage with Steve Winn, founder and CEO of RealPage, during a session moderated by Jamie Gorski, chief marketing officer of The Bozzuto Group, to talk about big data and its evolving impact on business decisions. “The multifamily industry has a wealth of data available to it, but how do you get the most out of it?,” said Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. “During MFE, we’re excited to share short- and long-term data strategies as well as innovative technology solutions designed to help multifamily managers compete and thrive.” MFE is asking multifamily executives to take a short survey to help inform the content of the multifamily data panel discussion. If you are an executive in the multifamily space, please take the survey...

Sustainable Fun Aug21

Sustainable Fun

Want to cut costs across your portfolio while improving environmental conditions for future generations? Of course you do. You can achieve both when you turn sustainability initiatives into games that get residents and tenants involved. The basic tools below can help you get started today. Gamification: Undercover Education (and Self-Help) Meetings, lectures, and classes on saving energy rarely alter our habits. Feedback, seeing the results of our actions often in real-time, has proven to help to change habits. That’s where gamification fits into your energy-saving strategy. What is gamification? In short, it’s implementing game design elements in non-game contexts. It’s making something that tends to be unexciting and intangible more exciting and interactive. Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development in the Netherlands published research on the gamification of energy savings. Researchers concluded that solely issuing smart meters in buildings did not result in optimal energy savings. It was also necessary to change residents’ energy usage behavior. Games proved to be an effective way to heighten awareness and alter user habits. Historically, residents and tenants are slow to change comfortable behaviors even if we know that we can save money. That’s because changing our behaviors takes effort, such as closing blinds before we leave the building to minimize radiant heat or using an app to turn off lights and outlets. None of those tasks takes much effort. But any task is yet another thing to do in a world where we already feel too busy! Gamification helps to take the effort out of changing our comfortable behaviors and makes conserving resources more entertaining. Copernicus Institute details the following components for effective gamification of energy savings. What Makes Gamification Successful? Gamification can be simplified for both commercial and multifamily properties. The American Council for an Energy Efficient...

NIC Fall Conference Aug20

NIC Fall Conference

Going to the NIC Fall Conference? This is one senior living opportunity you don’t want to miss. The NIC Fall Conference is the only industry event where senior living executives and capital providers come together. Set for September 11-13 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, the conference will bring in over 3,000 leaders from senior housing, skilled nursing and post-acute care. You’ll have the chance to meet industry-drivers and dealmakers while learning more than a thing or two about the latest market trends. Yardi is proud to sponsor the NIC Fall Conference once again. We partnered with NIC last year to collect accurate, transparent data on senior housing rates, and this three-day event is the perfect showcase for the research and learnings that NIC continues to drive. Insightful Sessions, Renowned Speakers Whether you’re a senior living investor or operator, the NIC Fall Conference has takeaways galore. The 18 sessions are sorted into two focus areas: Managing Margins and Realizing Returns. The first covers property operations and management, while the latter dives into investments and capital flow. During the opening general session, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Dr. Janet L. Yellen, the first-ever woman to be appointed chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and one of the world’s leading authorities on economic policy. She’ll share her thoughts on economic trends the senior living industry will face in coming years. Kathleen Hays, editor for Bloomberg Television and Radio, will be moderating the discussion. Among other notable speakers at the event, Joseph F. Coughlin, Ph.D. and director of MIT’s AgeLab, will take the stage during the luncheon general session, sponsored by Yardi. He’ll explore the crossroads of demographics and business innovation, sharing his award-winning research on how the baby boomers’...

Nearing Zero Aug20

Nearing Zero

The processes and technology needed to start moving to “net zero” buildings—those that produce enough renewable energy to meet their annual energy consumption requirements—are available today. How to make them widely understood, accepted and implemented was the focus of a recent webinar featuring Akshai Rao, Yardi vice president of procure to pay and energy, and other industry experts. ENERGY STAR® estimates that the average commercial building wastes 30% of its energy consumption. Real estate is the fourth largest generator of greenhouse gas emissions; if that industry alone cut its emissions by 30%, the U.S. could hit the Paris Agreement targets, Rao told the webinar audience. This means there are significant monetary as well as societal incentives for achieving net zero. “Because energy is a building’s second largest controllable cost, it can really eat into investor returns. Having a cohesive energy strategy is one of few things the real estate industry can do from an operations perspective that increases portfolio value,” Rao said. Any hope of achieving a net zero building or portfolio, he said, starts with understanding a building’s load factors and prioritizing which buildings to invest in, which is based on benchmarking the portfolio against the industry with ENERGY STAR. ”There’s so much cost and consumption data to be gained just from utility bills. Rather than just approving and paying them, you can achieve portfolio-wide insights and property cost/consumption trends that help identify capital investment that can reduce consumption,” Rao said. Properties can couple this data with real-time metering to visualize the demand profile of a building, which can highlight tactical actions for reducing spend. Once you have data on your portfolio, the next step is to identify properties to invest in for the highest energy savings return. Several solutions on the market...

Trimming Turnover Aug19

Trimming Turnover

The turnover struggle is real. Multifamily leasing offices face a turnover rate from a conservative 21 percent to a jaw-dropping 54 percent. Why might promising talent abandon ship? To decrease your turnover rate, you’ve got to identify what’s ailing your staff. End inadequate training Job training can be costly and time consuming. Filling a job posting cost about 6-9 months’ salary per the Society for Human Resource Management. That’s thousands of dollars and dozens of hours to identify, interview, and train a new hire. It’s tempting to put another body in the seat, give them a quick training and hope for the best—half expecting they won’t last long, anyway. Unfortunately, inadequate training contributes to the turnover issue. To be successful, employees need a firm grasp of their responsibilities and how to fulfill them. An online learning platform makes staff training more efficient, cost effective and consistent. You can customize classes to reflect your brand and role-based responsibilities. Staff can then learn at their own pace and, unlike live trainings, staff can review materials as needed. Assessments give leadership insight into areas where staff need additional guidance. Reward excellence, nurture opportunities When you track the performance of your sales team, you can learn a lot: which team members are pulling their weight, which aren’t, and where in the sales cycle prospects fall off. Use the first data set to reward high performers. The latter two points can help you reexamine training procedures and ineffective workflows. Make team building fun Interpersonal tension contributes unnecessary stress to workplace dynamics. Team building promotes better communication, creativity, and trusting relationships. Engage in corporate philanthropy to help team members work together on creative projects and reach goals together. Simultaneously, you’re making your community an even better place to live and...

YASC ANZ Aug18

YASC ANZ

The Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) returns to Sydney on September 17-18, bringing together real estate professionals from across Australia and New Zealand. Diving deep into Yardi Voyager and the ancillary software you use every day, YASC is a great opportunity to strengthen your skills and network with peers. With interactive discussions, local and international experts, more networking time, and new innovations revealed, this is one event you can’t miss! As one attendee shared about their YASC experience in 2018, “YASC provided great informative sessions and highlighted great new features. There were good training opportunities provided to help expand the scope of work with Yardi in the business.” Why will you attend in 2019? Here are a few new features at YASC Australia and New Zealand in 2019: Yardi Events App The Yardi Events app will help attendees streamline the YASC experience. Access all conference information, venue maps, class materials, social networking, in-app messaging and more within the mobile app. It’s designed to enable attendees to custom-tailor their daily schedule with classes, demos, panels and roundtables, and to set up one-on-one meetings with Yardi staff. The Yardi Events app is available for download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. A browser-based version, synced to the mobile app, will also be available, so attendees can access all these features from their desktop. User log-in details will be emailed to all registered YASC attendees. Questions? Email our team at yasc@yardi.com. Learn from the Experts Throughout the conference, attendees can learn from industry experts on the market trends and technology innovations that impact our work. With new products in the Yardi pipeline, get an exclusive chance to preview new products soon to be released in Australia and New Zealand. From specialist solutions for coworking, residential, and asset management, there will be a variety of product enhancements and new Yardi technologies to...

A Bright View Aug16

A Bright View

Since opening its first community 20 years ago, Brightview Senior Living has established itself as a leading developer and operator of independent and assisted living and dementia care facilities across eight Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. The company, based in Baltimore, will open its 40th community by the end of 2019 and intends to continue opening three to five new communities annually. Marilynn Duker, CEO of Brightview, has spent much of her 27 years in the real estate business focused on the firm’s success. After completing a presidential internship for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, she joined forces with a lawyer-turned-developer and began developing affordable, market- rate and mixed-income communities. The partnership soon added a property management arm that at one time oversaw some 22,000 units for clients. Eventually, the business expanded into senior housing and gradually disposed of the property management operation and apartments. Tell us how Brightview began and why senior living appeals to you. Duker: Senior living is really an operating business that happens to have real estate as a platform, so it’s much different than other real estate asset classes. Arnie Richman, who had built and ran a large nursing home company, joined us in the 1990s and brought the operating experience, and we had the development platform. While we have grown significantly over the last 20 years, getting to scale wasn’t a big goal. Instead, it has always been about providing a high-quality experience to our residents. We have a lot of control over our destiny, too. The four business partners have owned 10 percent of every equity fund we’ve raised, and we have had tremendous repeat investment. (Brightview’s first fundraising effort in the 1990s attracted about $6 million.) Its most recent fund in 2017 topped out...

Staff Training

Could the most important component of technology be the instructions? It’s arguable that a complex piece of software cannot live up to its potential without well-trained users, no matter how well it is designed. Fortunately, Yardi has taken user training beyond a manual with Yardi eLearning, a dedicated learning management system just for Yardi users. Property management companies such as Viridian Management have found Yardi eLearning indispensable considering the benefits it offers vs. traditional training methods. Getting Started with Yardi eLearning Yardi eLearning arrived just in time for Viridian. Late in 2018, their leadership team was developing a training curriculum for staff to use Yardi Voyager, the property management, accounting and affordable housing compliance software used by Viridian. They soon found it was very difficult to craft training content for their users, even with all of the support documentation available for Yardi software. “We were in a bottleneck because there is so much to cover. As we inventoried the skills we wanted our staff to master, we found it would take hours and hours of training to get users where we wanted them to be. When we saw the courses included with Yardi eLearning, we discovered that about 70% of everything we wanted to teach was already available and ready to use,” says Patrick Patterson, president of Viridian. Training on Affordable Housing Viridian manages 120 properties with more than 4,000 affordable units spread throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho. They specialize in developing and managing tax credit properties, and have experience with USDA Rural Development, HOME, HUD Multifamily Housing, as well as state and local sources of funds. Training for each of those housing programs is facilitated by specific learning tracks in Yardi eLearning. Viridian can simply assign staff to those learning tracks based on...

Successful Screening

Colliers International Group Inc. is a global real estate services company operating in 68 countries. Colliers International Saskatchewan (Colliers) in Canada manages some of the top multi-unit residential rental properties in Saskatoon, Regina, Weyburn and Moose Jaw. With offices in Regina and Saskatoon using different methods to screen applicants, Colliers was spending excess time and money to secure residents — and needed a consistent screening process to mitigate risk and support its leasing goals. Without transparency into screening data, the company also did not have access to performance analytics to help with business decisions. Then Colliers started using Yardi Resident Screening. “With Yardi Resident Screening, we can approve quality applicants in minutes,” said Leigh Anne Cripps, corporate project manager for Colliers. Selecting quality residents According to Cripps, the company chose Yardi Resident Screening for the cost savings along with its direct data flow into Yardi Voyager that provides total transparency into Collier’s screening and leasing performance. “In our Regina office we didn’t have a process for credit checks, which slowed down approvals and leasing. Once we rolled Yardi Resident Screening out in Saskatoon to automate screening and rental recommendations, we also decided to roll it out in Regina to create a consistent process across our offices,” said Cripps. With Yardi Resident Screening, applicants are promptly and automatically screened and rental recommendations are delivered within minutes. As a result, Collier’s onsite staff can lease confidently without the pressure of having to further research and then decide to approve or reject applicants. Devri Robertson, administration manager for Colliers in its Regina office, is not always able to be onsite to meet prospects. “With Yardi Resident Screening and its comprehensive background checks and credit data, there is an extra layer of security for the company in the leasing process. Now we have better visibility and know exactly who we are renting to,” said Robertson. In addition to quickly approving low-risk applicants so Colliers can sign leases faster, Yardi Resident Screening also helps the company reduce operational costs. Saving money For its Saskatoon office, Cripps noted a savings of five dollars per credit check compared with its previous screening method, which means a total savings of up to $500 per month for that office alone. Cripps also mentioned the value of Yardi Resident Screening reports. “The monthly reports from Yardi Resident Screening are a great way to review all applicants and see how the decisions to approve or reject are made. With that information, we can revisit the system settings and tweak any criteria we feel is too lenient or too stringent,” added Cripps. Learn more about Yardi Resident Screening and Yardi’s other industry-leading solutions for multifamily property...

Brisk Office Sector Aug13

Brisk Office Sector

Demand for office space remains strong and the supply pipeline shows continuing strength, according to a national office report from Yardi Matrix. Average asking rates increased 1.7% over the six-month period ending in June 2019, matching office-using employment sectors’ year-over-year growth rate that month. The national vacancy rate was 13.5%, 20 basis points below the previous month. “Demand is robust for higher-quality spaces with more amenities and heftier price tags,” the report says. The report documents 26.5 million square feet of office space delivered in the first half of the year and 174.7 million square feet under construction. Between 60 million and 70 million square feet will likely be delivered over the next two to three years. Putting what appears to be a massive pipeline in perspective, the report observes that “this level of new supply is modest compared to annual pre-recession completions.” Half of all space under construction is in six top gateway markets—Manhattan, N.Y., San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago—plus growing tech markets Seattle, the Bay Area and Austin, Texas. Office sales totaled $38.8 billion through June and “the decline of the 10-year Treasury yield … should continue to act as a catalyst for transactions,” the report says. Orlando, Fla., led all major metros in office-using employment growth as of May, with the bulk of its 5.5% year-over-year increase concentrated in professional and business services. There’s lots more about U.S. office property demand, deliveries, lease rates, construction and sales in the national office report for July...

Collaborative Curriculum

Yardi eLearning users have the opportunity to study topics far beyond Yardi software instructions. The catalog includes hundreds of courses that deliver knowledge essential for property managers. Learners receive instruction on topics such as compliance for human resources, leadership skills, residential leasing, safety, communication and other general office best practices. Yardi eLearning is the best place to learn Yardi software. What other source would have the most comprehensive, insider knowledge on Yardi technology? But what about the other courses that make up the Yardi eLearning catalog? Why should you learn professional development skills from a software company? The answer lies in Yardi eLearning’s unwavering focus on meeting clients’ need for a one-stop shop for everything a property management employee needs to grow professionally. Patty Evans, director of Yardi eLearning and corporate training, recently described how her team has worked to accomplish that goal, and dispelled the myth that Yardi eLearning just teaches Yardi software skills. “It is extremely important for users to feel confident and capable when using Yardi’s software, so that’s always going to be a very high priority for eLearning. But, we also feel that having a well-rounded catalog also offers great value to our clients. The curriculum we create is comprehensive and completely customizable, and is often more affordable than hiring a consultant to provide classroom training that is not reusable,” said Evans. So, what is the secret to Yardi eLearning’s success? Extensive collaboration with industry leaders, in-house experts and a diverse client base of property managers directly involved with course development. “Diversity in stakeholder input is the key to making the best content in Yardi eLearning,” says Evans. Creating dynamic course content From the very beginning of the course development process, the Yardi eLearning team seeks input from a varied group of people. The goal of the development process is for newly created courses to meet three basic standards: Relevancy for property managers Accuracy for property managers Compliance with legal mandates Industry relevancy is achieved by engaging with Yardi’s extensive client base from the start. Yardi eLearning meets regularly with clients in a variety of staff roles to identify new content outlines, relevant scenarios and examples to ensure the content is delivered in a way that is relatable and practical. Participants give feedback as to whether the material fits the learning needs, closes skills gaps, and provides appropriate challenges, to ensure the content is hitting the mark. To maximize industry accuracy, Yardi eLearning leans heavily on subject matter experts from its internal team and, again, those from its vast client base. Collectively, that group of industry experts has decades of combined experience in property management which ensure that Yardi eLearning courses teach information that is not only practical, but also reflective of current industry trends in property management. Legal accuracy comes in collaboration with Yardi’s in-house legal team, who vet courses to ensure they meet compliance requirements. “Our course catalog covers topics such as sexual harassment prevention, workplace bullying, fair housing and more. These aren’t topics that someone could just sit down and write about without professional, working knowledge of the ever-changing legal landscape of the property management industry,” says Evans. A Key Component of Every Course During our interview, Patty pointed to a quote that influences eLearning’s approach to course development: When we come together with people who are not just like ourselves, that’s when we think big, think different, and achieve beyond the boundaries of what was possible before. When diversity is not just supported but celebrated, employees thrive, products improve and the community benefits. “As a product team, we’ve applied this philosophy in how we approach course development and maintenance. Getting the best courses to our clients depends on the input from a lot of people who all provide different perspectives and insights. We value teamwork, innovation and creativity. And above all, collaboration is the best ingredient in our course development recipe.”...

Intentional Retention Aug12

Intentional Retention...

As a property management software provider with tons of solutions at hand, we’re proud to say that there are few property issues that technology can’t address. While tech is a terrific way to enhance the renter experience, zeros and ones have their limits. Some important components of community building require the human touch. Your ability to personalize the community experience links directly to resident retention and a healthy bottom line. Yardi client Pegasus Residential demonstrates how to personalize a memorable property experience to promote retention and drive revenue. It Starts with Your Reputation A smooth user experience, great photos and easy leasing options are a necessity in today’s online marketplace. But poor reviews and a bad reputation will quickly defeat your best efforts. Online reviews and reputation “will make or break a community and single-handedly increase traffic and occupancy,” says Wendy Dorchester, Pegasus Residential’s vice president of operations. Reputation management is an essential part of your community’s success. There are services to manage online reviews. Your in-house team can catch resident concerns before they make it online. They can also influence your reputation in the offline community. Encourage attentiveness and responsiveness amongst your leasing team, advises Dorchester. Online surveys are another good way to intercept concerns before they make it online or into the rumor mill. Build Up Your Image According to online technology news source TechCrunch, more than 90 percent of apartment hunters begin their search online. Few sign a sight-unseen rider, which means most will visit your property before committing to the lease. Curb appeal and staff representation matter. Stay on top of landscaping and building maintenance. “A community’s curb appeal is critical, too, as a prospective resident’s first impression of a community upon visiting has a huge impact,” says Dorchester. She...

Meals that Heal Aug11

Meals that Heal

It all started with football. In the early 70s, Philadelphia Eagles player Fred Hill spent many days in hospitals with his daughter as she underwent treatment for leukemia. The merciless straight-back chairs, lack of beds, limited and unhealthy food options were trivial problems compared to the cost of care and accommodations during treatment. It was a formidable challenge even for an NFL salary. Hill realized that something needed to be done to help families. The concept for Ronald McDonald House (RMH) soon took form. How McDonalds Got Into Health Services How the fast food mega chain, McDonalds, developed its health services nonprofit is an unlikely story. The Eagles raised money for the first house on their own, passing a bucket at a home game. They gathered more than $10,000 in donations at a single game! Team representatives then approached McDonalds. They asked if $0.25 of profits from The Original Shamrock Shake promotion could be donated to buy a property. McDonalds decided to dedicate all proceeds from the shakes to the property fund in exchange for naming the house after the company. The first Ronald McDonald House was purchased with $100,000 in donations from sports fans and milkshake lovers. Yardi Atlanta Volunteers with Ronald McDonald House, Peachtree-Dunwoody Ronald McDonald Houses rely on volunteers to make the houses into homes. Volunteers regularly offer support, entertain kids, and provide meals for families. Yardi Atlanta stepped up to the plate to pitch in. Volunteers included Shawn Walker, Jay Troxel, Craig Giattino, Amanda Leake, Keiya Huguley, Janese Walker, Tonika Law, Erica Rascon, Thomas Barker, and Stephen Malone. The volunteer event began with a tour of the facility lead by Scott Mills, evening manager. Yardi employees learned the history of RMH Atlanta and explore the building which included resident rooms,...

Sony vs. Apple

With open office spaces becoming more popular, focus and quiet can be problematic. Headphones or earbuds are increasingly in use at the workplace. Picking the right pair of wireless headphones is not an easy choice when there are so many options to choose from. Some say Sony’s WF-1000XM3 will be Apple’s top rival when they are launched in August. But before we compare the two pairs, we need to talk a bit about Apple’s original Airpods and the updated version, the Airpods 2, that was recently released. Apple Airpods 2 Everyone was anticipating Apple to release the Airpods 2, a new version of the Airpods that would be waterproof and noise-cancelling. But in reality, Apple’s new Airpods are an improved version of the originals. Updates include an upgraded H1 chip and wireless charging. The new chip means you can use a $40 Qi-compatible charging mat to power the case rather than using a cable. The company said that H1 chip improves pairing connectivity and battery life. It also allows for a new “Hey Siri” voice activation feature which allows users to control volume and swap songs through voice commands. Airpods 2 are advertised to provide users with 50 percent more hands-free talk time, according to Apple. When exactly will the company release its newest version of the earbuds? Rumor has it they will land at the end of the year, or early in 2020. Sony WF-1000XM3 Sony’s new earbuds features an updated HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1e, which cancels out ambient sound. Pretty useful when you’re in the subway and don’t want to be disturbed. The newest Sony earbuds also offer two microphones on each earbud that improve noise-canceling and also enhances voice quality on phone calls. WF-1000XM3’s case is slightly bigger than the...

Hurricane Season Aug09

Hurricane Season

We are amid yet another hurricane season. (Along the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane season runs June through November). As recent history has taught us, locations that rarely experienced damages in the past are now at notable risk. The resources below can help owners of mixed portfolios take precautions to reduce risks to occupants and property. Rising Risks Overall, the cost of hurricane season has increased over the past several decades. Cost increases are beyond the normal adjustments for inflation. Storms are causing more widespread damages for a complicated combination of reasons. Data sets from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggest that warmer oceans fuel stronger hurricanes. Rising sea levels also contribute to more catastrophic flooding. Poor graywater management and diminishing green spaces broaden flood zones and prolong the time it takes for floodwaters to recede. What might this mean for you? Properties outside of recognized flood zones face greater risks than they did 20 years ago. Properties that were not impacted by hurricane winds before may now need additional protections. Fortunately, it’s not too late to minimize risks to your properties and their occupants. Advanced Preparation Take time to review your insurance information. Ensure that your property is up to date on insurance coverage that includes flood protection. This will cover your property whether it is in the direct path of the hurricane or areas that experience flooding related to a far-off storm. Category 1 and 2 hurricanes sustain winds of 74-110 mph, per the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Be sure that your plan for storm damage includes winds of at least 74 mph for the most complete coverage. Hurricane Preparation to Reduce Risks to Mixed Portfolios Preparation is key to reducing damage...

Housing, Affordable Aug07

Housing, Affordable

Since 1937, the benchmark for cost-effective housing has remained the same. Occupants can be expected to allot about 30 percent of their income on housing. Yet in the Triangle region of North Carolina, many low-income families cannot find housing at 30 percent of their income. The struggle is exacerbated when disability and other medical issues consume a significant portion of household incomes. CASA of Raleigh aims “to provide access to stable, affordable housing for people who are homeless or at risk by developing and managing rental communities.” The nonprofit acknowledges that homelessness is a complex problem. Yet CASA has simplified its approach: the solution to homelessness is housing. CASA in Action CASA has supported the Triangle region since 1992. The organization owns, manages, and rents homes to individuals and families in need. To date, CASA communities are divided with 70 percent serving as supportive units and 30 percent as workforce units. Populations served include those living with disabilities, veterans, families and individuals that have previously experienced homelessness or are at risk. Last year, CASA welcomed 137 new families into new homes and renewed leases with 300 households. Of those homes, 78 percent have one disabled member and 23 percent include a veteran. CASA’s programming relies on community support and donations. Contributions both large and small can make a significant difference in the lives of those in need. Yardi + CASA Yardi’s Raleigh office recently volunteered to construct gift baskets for current and incoming tenants of CASA communities. The baskets vary, some containing kitchen essentials while others were geared towards family time and activities. The latter included picnic-style baskets, meal kits, snack and activity kits. The staff at CASA will distribute the baskets to tenants based on their need. New tenants receive baskets that have...

Tech for the Team

You’ve finally found your dream real estate management software. You’re pumped about the efficiencies that your organization will gain and the money that it will save. But before you can reach those results, you’ve got to get your staff on board. Without proper employee buy-in, the implementation process will be slow, tedious, and less productive. The six tips below can improve employee buy-in. Get leadership enthusiastic about the new technology. C-Level and mid-tier leadership need to understand the benefits that new technology will offer them and their teams. They also need to receive answers to their questions well before implementation begins. With those two factors in place, leadership is better able to present the change to their teams with confidence and gusto. “Ensuring they’re informed and can provide input throughout the transition are essential in earning their support,” states Elizabeth Dukes, employee experience expert at Inc.com. Pinpoint the administrative tasks that devour staff’s time. Understand the pain points around the current workflow. Explore any non-essential tasks that hamper productivity. Then explain how the new real estate management software will address those issue. Note how the technology will streamline day-to-day workflows, permitting staff to focus more on what matters most. Identify inconsistencies in task execution. Inconsistencies are often a red flag. They indicate a point in the process that seems too time-consuming for staff to complete properly. Reiterate the importance and benefits of following protocols. Then show employees how the new software can make it easier for them to achieve consistency. 4. Educate staff on role-based, flexible training software. Employees dread learning new programs for several reasons: Some trainings are too broad, wasting their time on information that is not applicable to their job. Most trainings cater to auditory learners, which make up only 30...

Drive Revenue Aug05

Drive Revenue

Permitting pets on your premises comes with its fair share of challenges. But with the right tools, permitting pets can also help to drive revenue by attracting renters and promoting resident retention! The tips below can help you create a pet-friendly property that adds value to the renter experience. Start with the basics—welcome pets! According to the National Apartment Association, more than 70 percent of renters own pets. Yet 82 percent of renters report difficulty in finding apartments that accommodate them and their furry companions, reports PetFinder.com. By accepting pets, you gain a competitive edge that can help to improve occupancy. Designate space for a leash-free dog run. You know that unused land near the retention pond? Or that plot near the trash receptacles?  Aesthetic fencing and landscaping help to transform unused portions of land into a valuable dog park. This gives pets a space to burn off energy rather than chewing on door frames. Dog parks also increase the perceived value of your property. Pet-friendly properties with dog parks can charge a rent premium between 20 percent and 30 percent higher than the average rent. Create a pet-friendly atmosphere. Sometimes, the fine details can help prospects and their pets feel at home in your community during tours. When prospects see dog bowls at the park, treats in the leasing office, and a pet wash station, they can sense that they will be a welcomed and integrated part of the community. Host pet-friendly events. A sense of community promotes resident retention. Pet events give renters opportunities to socialize and feel that they belong. They’re are also fantastic photo ops! Got pictures of residents interacting and having fun with their pets? You’ve got marketing gold. Use such content to foster leads on social media. Fine-tune...