Celebrating Franklin Farrow

It’s time to introduce the next batch of 2024 Changemakers — senior living visionaries who are shaping the industry as we know it. Senior Housing News (SHN) has conducted thorough interviews with each of this year’s honorees, including the honoree we’re spotlighting today: Franklin Farrow. As the CEO and co-founder of Morning Pointe Senior Living, a Yardi senior living client that’s been in the industry since 1996, Farrow knows all about driving impactful change. In his conversation with SHN, Farrow shares how the company’s start still impacts how it operates today — as well as how he envisions Morning Pointe evolving in the future. Hear from Changemaker Franklin Farrow SHN: How have you changed as a leader since starting in this industry? Farrow: Our company was co-founded by myself and Greg Vital, who’s the president, 27 years ago in 1996. We each brought attributes and experiences, time, and talent to the table. He’s 15 years older, and so he had a different network of people than I did at the time. We blended our talents and experiences to launch the company. At that time, I was more capable of tasks and completion of thoughts and ideas. He was the more entrepreneurial leader having been in the business world in advance of me. To answer the question, I’ve transitioned from being more of executing the completion of the ideas that were generated to more of generating ideas and having others follow through on them. It’s been a metamorphosis of me, and I think this is true for any young professional who grows through any industry, that they are advanced because of their capacity to complete projects and they start leading others to help them complete projects, and then, ultimately, they start thinking and leading concepts and philosophies for others to complete and finalize and implement. I’m playing more of a top senior manager, owner role, setting larger vision, setting larger goals, and then, because I was involved in tasks and details, I’m able to articulate to them what I think the scope and capacity of the project is and make sure they have the resources, but don’t have to physically roll up my sleeves as much, although I enjoy that part. Also I have to caution myself that my time is more valuable being visionary and thought leading than task completion. SHN: If you could turn the lens back at yourself, what sort of changemaker do you think you are? What area do you think you’re a changemaker in? Farrow: I would say if you were to interview my senior management team who hears me pontificate and try to set direction, I think they would tell you that I do try to think through the mind, eyes, and feelings of those who are sitting in various seats, the seat of a regional operator, the seat of a senior manager, or the seat of a business office manager, or even a resident care aide. I’m constantly trying to shape and form the way we conduct our business, and I often use the word psychology. I’m not a psychologist. However, I’m constantly thinking, “What motivates a regional vice president or what motivates a nurse on the floor? What environment are they looking to operate in? How do they want to be treated?” I’m also trying to weave in principles of standards of conduct, ethics, and standards of the golden rule of doing to others. Not only are we trying to operate from the viewpoint of those in the seat or hot seat of those various capacities and roles, I’m also trying to say, “Let’s just do things because we want to be decent, honest, and upright standing people too, not just the pure business robotics of things.” I host a standing Tuesday morning session, where anyone in the company who can get away for 15 minutes can come and listen to an...

Moon Mining Jul19

Moon Mining

The moon has been orbited, sampled by uncrewed spacecraft, walked and driven on by humans, and proposed as a waystation for interplanetary travel. With the Earth facing steady population growth and diminishing resources, its only natural satellite has also been targeted as a potential source of valuable materials. Proposals to secure those resources have been gaining steam among governments and private operators alike. “The pace is quickening for using Earth’s moon as a near-term, go-to location to land on, live and explore,” veteran space journalist Leonard David reported last year. Proposals to mine, process and use the moon’s resources certainly are dramatic, but are the feasible? What’s there? Years of examination, including sample return missions by U.S., Russian and Chinese spacecraft, have revealed a trove of potentially valuable elements within lunar soil and rock. One of them is helium-3, an isotope created from the moon’s continuous bombardment by ionized hydrogen and ionized helium from the solar wind. Helium-3 is rare on Earth, but NASA believes there are tons of it on the moon and could represent a source of clean, renewable energy. Proponents of harvesting lunar helium-3, including Apollo 17 moonwalker Harrison Schmitt, envision fusing it with deuterium to produce energy without making surrounding materials radioactive. Seattle-based Interlune, whose founders include Schmitt and officials from space technologies provider Blue Origin, is raising funds to develop technology that could prospect and harvest helium-3 and other materials by 2030. NASA and private companies are also eyeing the possibility of extracting and processing oxygen, titanium, iron, aluminum and other elements for use in sustaining a functioning moon base and building a launch pad for missions to Mars. Other materials, such as rare earth elements used in smartphones, computers and other advanced technologies, are also present in moon...

Canadian rental market analysis   Jul18

Canadian rental market analysis  

The Canadian multifamily rental market is undergoing a revolution. To make informed decisions, staying updated on the latest trends and preferences is crucial. Unfortunately, most of our current industry data is outdated and limited, which can hinder effective planning and management for housing providers. This is why new, comprehensive data like the 2023/2024 Canadian Multi-Residential Marketing & Leasing Snap Shot Report, conducted by simplydbs, is an invaluable resource. This report encompasses data from two surveys, featuring responses from 20,000 tenants and housing providers representing 400,000 units across Canada. This report reveals significant disconnects between what renters want and what housing providers are offering. Bridging the online gap between renters and providers One of the most notable findings from the report is the gap between how renters and housing providers view online property listings. While the industry ranks internet listing services (ILS) as the top choice for marketing, prospective tenants overwhelmingly prefer property-specific websites (PSW). According to the report, 92 percent of tenants said that a PSW is essential or nice to have, making it their number one preferred online touchpoint. Up to 76 percent of tenants of tenants stated that ILS sites are still important for them during their rental process. Another critical area is response times. The report found that 87 percent of renters are comfortable with a response time of up to 24 hours for prospect inquiries. This timely communication influences their decision to select a unit or property and their desire to stay there. To effectively address this disparity, employing a 24/7 omni-channel chatbot on a website can significantly free up onsite staff, allowing them to focus on higher value tasks such as assisting with in-person tours and applications. Growing fraud concerns Fraudulent rental applications are a growing concern across Canada. Applicants providing false information, like fake references or altered income documents, contribute to this issue. The report reveals the most alarming consequence: bad debt from unpaid rent due to fraudulent applications. The rate itself is rising, with 41 percent of housing providers reporting a one to ten percent increase and 14 percent indicating an 11-30 percent lift. This emphasizes the need for robust identity verification processes to mitigate fraud risks before applications are even considered. Embracing digital solutions The digital transformation of the rental industry is well underway, with residents increasingly expecting digital applications and services. The report shows that 88 percent of tenants use their building app to create and track maintenance requests, and 72 percent want an app to receive package delivery notifications. Once these apps are available, residents actively use them, underscoring the value of integrating digital solutions into rental communities. Adopting mobile technology also benefits your staff, expedites rental turns, and elevates rental revenue. Understanding the disparity between renters and providers In an industry that relies heavily on accurate and timely information, having access to up-to-date data is critical for mitigating risk and ensuring long-term success. This is where simplydbs comes in. simplydbs specializes in collecting and analyzing real estate data to provide actionable insights that drive better decision-making for housing providers. Their expertise ensures that real estate professionals have access to the latest trends and preferences, enabling them to adapt to current market demands and enhance resident and employee satisfaction. Narrowing the gap The 2023/2024 Canadian Multi-Residential Marketing & Leasing Report exposes the disconnects between renter expectations and experiences. By addressing these gaps, housing providers can stand out from the competition and attract, convert and retain quality tenants, ultimately enhancing resident satisfaction and improving overall operational efficiency. For a deeper dive into these findings, download the snapshot report. When searching for solutions, consider a tech partner with a long-standing presence in the market. Solutions that streamline creating property-specific websites, enhance online communication, prevent fraud, offer tenant apps and manage reputations can be incredibly beneficial. These tools help landlords provide better services, improve tenant retention and ensure smooth operations. Let’s bridge...

Trails and Open Space Coalition Jul17

Trails and Open Space Coalition...

Nature improves physical and mental health. This Yardi-supported nonprofit organization is working to make outside time fun, safe and accessible. Trails and Open Space Coalition (TOSC), established in 1987 in Colorado Springs, is a community-driven initiative to enhance trails, parks, and open spaces. In a significant win for the community, last April, city votes approved a 20-year extension of its TOPS (trails, open spaces, and parks) program. This victory will enable TOSC to conserve more acres of open space, expand the trail network, and enhance parks for the next two decades. TOSC spearheaded the grassroots movement to secure this extension, using yard signs, social media campaigns, and story maps to share the story of TOPS and the coalition building. “We are grateful to our community and proud of what we accomplished,” said Susan Davies, executive director for TOSC. Trails and Open Space Coalition is working on its latest initiative, One Bag Challenge, that empowers individuals and groups to help clean up public spaces independently. It provides reusable bags, stickers and a brochure explaining the program and suggested places to check out, plus the fact sheet describes how long it takes for common pieces of litter to decompose. It also includes a colorful activity card for families to make it more fun for kids. “We want people to clean up the places they love. We want it to become part of our community’s culture and increase pride in our amazing public spaces,” said Davies. In addition to the One Bag Challenge, TOSC is working on other projects. The Get Out Get Healthy program connects with underserved neighbors in southeast Colorado Springs and acquaints them with trails and parks where they live. Friends Group project supports friend groups in the community who need help recruiting volunteers...

Turning Point Foundation Jul16

Turning Point Foundation

Mental illness can touch anyone, regardless of their race, culture, income, age, or level of education. It affects one in four adults and one in ten children each year. Turning Point Foundation (TPF), established in 1988 in Ventura, Calif., is on a mission to improve the quality of life for adults experiencing serious mental illness, addiction, lack of housing and inadequate physical health care. TPF provides health navigation services, rehabilitation, wellness and recovery programs, and temporary, transitional and permanent housing in Ventura County. Turning Point Foundation plans to expand its critical community-based and client-centered mental health and rehabilitation services, as well as an array of supported housing (temporary, transitional, and permanent), housing and health navigation, and other support services, to 3,500 individuals annually. TPF is partnering with the Ventura County Criminal Justice System to support mental health treatment, substance use disorder treatment, and diversion programs for people in the criminal justice system with mental health and substance use disorders. TPF aims to improve the life trajectory of adults in the criminal system with housing support and evidence-based practices. “This program strives to reduce recidivism by fostering the principles of restorative justice through leveraging community partnership and collaboration, targeting populations who are underserved and inappropriately served through mental health and substance use service providers, or overrepresented in the criminal justice systems or experiencing or at risk of homelessness,” said Josh Carsman marketing events and fund development for TPF & Rena Sepulveda, contract and grants director for TPF. Ventura County has a significant need for adult resident facilities and care for the elderly “board and cares.” Many of the existing Board and Care facilities have closed in recent years and continue to close as the need grows. Next year, TPF will take over operations of an existing Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (The Elms), with a new name, Willow Terrace—a 56-bed-assisted living facility for adults 60 and older with severe mental illnesses. “Willow Terrace further exemplifies the dynamic benefits of leveraging public, private, and non-profit partnerships to improve the quality of life for some of the most vulnerable in our community,” they explained. TPF’s programs address the housing and health needs of mentally ill adults, moving from homelessness to housing, while linking them to healthcare, employment, and other resources. Turning Point Foundation will additionally grow the following programs and services: Street Outreach and Engagement: Provides access to immediate and basic needs and builds rapport and trusting relationships to help the homeless develop a housing plan linked to healthcare and other services. Homeless2Home Rapid Re-Housing: offers flexible financial assistance (rent, security deposit, moving costs) and case management services, including health navigation, housing location and stabilization services to house homeless mentally ill persons in Ventura County and continue to provide supportive services as needed after being housed. Last year, 55 homeless adults with mental health challenges received these services, obtaining permanent housing. Between 2023 and 2024, 72 homeless were provided flexible rental subsidies and voluntary supportive services, successfully obtaining permanent housing and ending homelessness. Veterans Transitional Housing Program: is in partnership with the Veterans Administration and, through six months, serves homeless veterans experiencing PTSD and other mental health conditions through assistance with obtaining permanent housing, income, medical attention, substance abuse treatment and mental health services. A first of its kind in Ventura County, since becoming operational in October 2015, over 500 veterans have been assisted through this program, with the majority successfully obtaining permanent housing in the community. Growing Works: is an innovative employment training, horticulture therapy, and wellness program that provides supportive employment through a wholesale native plants nursery serving mentally ill adults. Many program participants are homeless. Watch the video to learn more about Grow Works and TPF’s veteran’s stories after being housed. Yardi funds are a critical component of the private community support needed to fill the gap not covered by the government for the homeless continuum of services to assist mentally ill...

See The Value Of EHRs...

Forty percent of seniors take five-plus prescription medications on a regular basis — triple the rate from twenty years ago. In senior living communities, this level of medication use comes with a heightened risk for medication-related errors.  Fortunately, with effective technology solutions in place, providers can ensure they’re passing medications securely. This helps mitigate the risk of medication errors and in turn, enhances care, limits liability and boosts resident satisfaction. Our informative white paper explores the value of technology further, sharing the benefits of our single-stack, ever-evolving solutions: Yardi EHR and eMAR. Understanding medication errors in senior living The white paper — The Importance of EHRs in Senior Living — details the different types of medication errors with a focus on adverse drug events (ADEs). You’ll see how seniors are the highest-risk age group for ADEs, with supporting statistics like the following: Older adults are twice as likely than younger people to visit the emergency room due to an ADE, and seven times more likely to be hospitalized after an ER visit as a result. What can senior living providers do to help reduce ADEs? Implementing electronic health records and medication management technology is key — and the white paper shares why. You’ll see how EHR technology can help prevent anywhere from 28% to 95% of ADEs. See the power of technology Yardi EHR is our full-service electronic health record solution that combines your clinical intake process, wound care charting, behavior management, interoperability initiatives and more on a browser-based, mobile-friendly platform. By simplifying record keeping and centralizing workflows on a single online platform, you ensure residents receive accurate, effective care. When paired with Yardi eMAR, our dynamic medication management solution, our EHR solution offers even more benefits. Yardi eMAR eliminates inefficiencies and helps minimize...

Pollinator Awareness Jul12

Pollinator Awareness

Understanding how urban areas and technology can significantly support and protect pollinator populations is important. Let’s explore the world of pollinators and their significant economic impacts worldwide. History perspectives. Our history is intertwined with that of pollinators. Ancient cultures, such as those in Egypt, Mesoamerica, Greece, and Rome, revered and utilized pollinators in various ways, reflecting their profound importance throughout history. Bees, for instance, were domesticated for honey and beeswax and held symbolic significance in Egyptian mythology and art. The role of stingless bees in Mayan and Aztec cultures was studied for honey production and religious rituals. Bees were used in ancient Greece and Rome for agriculture, medicine, and mythology, with references in literature and the development of early beekeeping techniques. Economic impacts. The role of pollinators in the economy is often underestimated. Crops such as almonds, apples, avocados and coffee rely on pollination. In fact, according to the National Library of Medicine, 75 percent of crop species benefit from animal pollination for fruit or seed set and yield. Pollinators have a tangible monetary value. For example, in the United States, pollinators contribute billions of dollars to the economy annually. They also indirectly support jobs in agriculture, food production and retail. A declining population could lead to significant economic losses, increased manual pollination costs, and reduced crop yields. This underscores the urgent need for their conservation. Urban areas can be significant allies in the fight to protect pollinators. With thoughtful planning and community engagement, urban habitats like green spaces, community gardens, and rooftop gardens can become vital refuges for pollinators. Many cities are already implementing policies and initiatives to increase pollinator-friendly spaces, such as the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. This initiative encourages the creation of pollinator-friendly gardens and landscapes to help revive the health...

Down Home Ranch Jul11

Down Home Ranch

Down Home Ranch, located in Elgin, Texas, is a Yardi-supported nonprofit empowering the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through social, educational, residential and vocational opportunities. Since its establishment in 1989, it has worked to expand programming to allow more people with disabilities and their families to enjoy the Ranch. By increasing its programs, Down Home Ranch will create more jobs for adults who live on the Ranch. Down Home Ranch plans to host more local Special Education Vocational programs and focus on providing outdoor education to schools, community groups, and families. “In 2023, we had over 420 local students with and without disabilities access to the Ranch. Then 274 campers from Central Texas and around the state attend a weeklong overnight sleep-away camp,” said Derek Knapp, development director for Down Home Ranch. Funding from Yardi helps improve access to farm animals. Currently, Down Home Ranch is in the process of a multiple-phased project to make its barn and animal area more accessible for people who have mobility issues, such as those who use a wheelchair. “We are truly grateful for the support that Yardi provides. We can impact the lives of thousands by providing access to a rural community and lifestyle. We sure appreciate y’all,” expressed Barry Hamilton, executive director for Down Home Ranch.  Successful Rancher One of Down Home Ranch’s residents, who was in their 30s at the time, stated that the first time they felt like a “real person” was when they received their first paycheck from working on the Ranch. This was the first time they had seen their name written on something, and it was an empowering moment for them. Andy and Chris Holliday Andy Holliday, senior category manager from the Yardi Austin office, has a brother...

Explore New Functionality

New features in the Yardi Senior Living Suite are here! This release includes improvements to Voyager Senior Housing, RentCafe Senior CRM, EHR and eMAR and as always, everything was powered by client feedback. Keep reading for a snapshot of what’s new! Our senior living clients can also explore new features documentation and webinars, shared below. See evolved functionality in Voyager Senior Housings Voyager Senior Housing is our community management solution that unites financial accounting and complete business oversight in one place. Courtesy of the new release, this single connected solution now offers: 1) Community Manager dashboard updates including features to move-in and manage services for residents plus the option to remove a pending manage service. 2) The ability to move non-residents into excluded units and bill them. 3) A new option to require lease execution at move-in. 4) Expanded abilities for managing leave of absence details after moving out Medicaid residents. 5) Refreshed entrance fee functionality such as amortization when a daily rate changes mid-month and ledger consolidation with drill down to individual transactions. Learn more about the Voyager Senior Housing new features. Explore new features in RentCafe Senior CRM RentCafe Senior CRM — our mobile-friendly sales and marketing solution — is built to help operators strengthen lead management, maximize occupancy and more. With the latest release, our clients benefit from: 1) The ability to capture gender identity and pronouns on the prospect profile which transfers to Voyager Senior Housing and EHR upon resident creation. 2) The option to set specific charge codes for concession in the proposal workflow. 3) Functionality to force a lease to be executed before you can move-in a resident. For a complete list of new features, clients can click Help in CRM and select Updates and New Features. Discover the latest in EHR & eMAR EHR (our full-service electronic health record solution) and eMAR (our dynamic medication management solution) are both designed to help staff deliver the highest quality care. Thanks to the new release, clients will now access: 1) The option to update all active and inactive care plans simultaneously with a new community care plan feature. 2) A new document signature section in the resident profile that gives better visibility into workflows and equips you to generate new documents for digital signature. 3) Usability enhancements to the order resolution queue that allow you to bulk archive, reprocess or delete. 4) The ability to view the complete field modification history of a progress note directly from the resident progress notes screen. 5) The option to link progress notes that different users entered, then view all linked notes at one time. Watch the EHR new features webinar and the EHR new features setup and configuration webinar. For a complete list of new features, clients can click Help in EHR and select Updates and New Features. Connect with team Yardi We’re pleased to provide our clients with exciting new functionality across the Senior Living Suite. New to Yardi senior living solutions and wanting more information? Book a meeting with our...

Children’s Flight of Hope Jul09

Children’s Flight of Hope

For over 30 years, this organization has worked country-wide and partnered with American Airlines so sick children can get the services and help they need. The Children’s Flight of Hope was established in 1991 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Since its inception, it has been unwavering in its dedication to reducing the health disparities for children grappling with rare and intricate medical conditions. This commitment continues to inspire all who encounter it. “We believe distance and cost of travel should never be barriers to life-changing and life-saving care. We, therefore, provide commercial air travel for very ill children and a parent or guardian to centers of healthcare excellence in the United States,” explained Pat Nelli, CEO and president of Children’s Flight of Hope. From its headquarters and only office in Raleigh, Children’s Flight of Hope serves children from across the country and 30 other countries. Families in medical crises face many emotional and financial burdens, and their paths can be long and challenging on many levels. Once medical and financial needs are verified, Children’s Flight of Hope eases these burdens by providing flights to specialists as often as a family may need. Children’s Flight of Hope has provided more than 100 flights for children. In 2023, flight volume dramatically increased, and in May 2023, Children’s Flight of Hope had over 200 flights. In February 2024, Children’s Flight of Hope had an organizational high of 259 flights! Therefore, its top priority is to ensure they welcome new families and serve them throughout their healthcare journey. Children’s Flight of Hope is working to focus on expansion to its staff and board members and committees, so they are keenly focused on growth and ensuring resources keep pace. Other areas they are focused on are technology improvements and target marketing. Yardi funding from last year provided 15 round trips for children to receive critically needed care and for the accompanying guardian. “Yardi’s donation was an unexpected and welcome surprise and meant so much during this time of unprecedented growth. It is one of the examples we use in our development committee and marketing conversations regarding the endless opportunities when we expand awareness, share our impactful story, and invite others to join in bringing this care within reach,” said Nelli. She continued, “It has also been an example we learned from: Are we doing enough to thank our corporate partners? During this busy time, we must be sure Yardi and others know the depth of our gratitude.” Nova’s Journey At just six months old, Nova was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer that affects less than 1,000 children a year in the US. Through travel to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Nova had surgeries and a variety of treatments, and one year later, doctors shared the powerful words that she was NED—no evidence of disease. After initially taking 44 flights provided by Children’s Flight of Hope, Nova now travels several times a year for a clinical vaccine trial to ensure she stays cancer-free. “And thanks to the kindness of many, Children’s Flight of Hope will be there for Nova and her family every time they turn to us,” expressed Nelli. Volunteer Opportunities Children’s Flight of Hope has limited volunteer opportunities due to the nature of their work. However, they are open to volunteer opportunities at its three local events and volunteers for its committee and board leadership. One event is Hops for Hope, which pairs 30 breweries with 30 companies in a team competition to raise funds for its mission and to create a signature beer. This culminates with a public festival in September. Company teams usually have at least ten members and are led by a team captain. For event involvement, please get in touch with Heather Miller, Director of Community Engagement at [email protected]. “We are committed to taking thoughtful and strategic steps to expand our national awareness and...

Honoring Justin Dickinson

The annual Changemakers series — sponsored by Yardi for the sixth year in a row — continues to celebrate innovative leadership in senior living. We’re loving the opportunity to feature visionaries like Justin Dickinson, co-founder of Evolve Senior Living, who’s part of this year’s Changemakers class. With Evolve launching in 2023, Dickinson has fresh insights on topics crucial to the industry today including value-based care, data visibility and more. Read on for a glimpse at his insightful interview with Senior Housing News (SHN). Learn from Changemaker Justin Dickinson SHN: Do you see yourself as a Changemaker? Are you always excited to drive change? Dickinson: Definitely. I think that the industry, depending on who you have spoken with or what your opinion is, was really founded in the early to mid-90s in terms of private pay, AL, and memory care. Over the course of time, the industry has shifted from more of a hospitality model to more of an acuity-driven model. As that shift has happened, there’s been a lot of change as it relates to data, technology, the operations, and the investment structure. I think that that change will continue to happen in what the future looks like in terms of hospitality or the acuity model is to be determined. I believe that is going to be more of a care-driven model. From my perspective, being a new operator, and a younger individual in the sector, I do view myself as a change agent, having the ability to look at some of these problems with a fresh set of eyes and with fresh perspective. I think it’ll be interesting as regulatory pressures persist and the model changes to continue to look at things through a new lens. SHN: Given where you think it needs to go, do you think that the industry is changing fast enough to keep up with the times? Dickinson: Change is happening faster now than it ever has. This change is being driven by some of the regulatory pressures I mentioned and external capital market pressures. You’re seeing consolidation abound. We went through the change curve that we saw on the data side through the ’90s and early 2000s. 2005 through late 2020 was the advent of the [Software as a Service] model. SaaS companies came about within our space and started to really make a move. I think now we’re starting to see AI make a big play, and I’ll layer that onto the SaaS model. The change curve on the data size is reaching a new era, which will further expedite change. Change is happening quickly, and stakeholders need to be prepared for that. SHN: Choose one artist, scientist, thinker, engineer, entrepreneur, or other person living or dead to help change the senior living industry for the better. In only a few words, who are you choosing and why are you choosing them? Dickinson: Steve Jobs, because he’s a revolutionary thinker and he helped to reimagine his sector. We can use that type of insight in ours from a technological perspective. Read more insights from Changemaker Justin Dickinson Explore Justin Dickinson’s interview with SHN. We look forward to highlighting the next batch of honorees — coming...

Local Event Impact

Buying property is not just an investment. It’s a potentially lucrative venture that can significantly influence various aspects of life. Let’s explore how the impact of arts, culture, and local events can uniquely influence the real estate market for a promising return on investment. Positive impacts. Popular events draw more visitors and potential buyers to the area, increasing the demand for real estate. For example, New Orleans is a vibrant music city with festivals like Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest, which draw in thousands of visitors yearly and have a notable impact on the city’s real estate market. Jazz Fest has a ripple effect, with property values having a noticeable uptick, increased rental demand, and neighborhood development. It also fosters a strong sense of community pride and identity among residents of Mid-City and Gentilly neighborhoods, creating a sense of belonging and appeal for potential buyers. Successful events. Signature summer festivals, like the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, have positively impacted local real estate trends and the economy and demonstrate the long-term effects of annual events on the market. These events, which bring in millions of dollars in city-wide profit and create thousands of job opportunities, have a sustained influence on the market, providing a sense of security and confidence for potential investors in their long-term investments. Overall, these successful events are a driving force behind the appreciation of property values within the community. Challenges and considerations. Temporary crowds and noise are potential downsides of living near event locations. Some locals may even leave town due to the increased tourism and traffic events bring with them. Buyers should evaluate these considerations and see if the temporary crowds and noise are worth the ROI. Market volatility in event-driven demand can lead to...

Association for Mental Health and Wellness Jul03

Association for Mental Health and Wellness

Many suffer the stigma and negative perceptions surrounding mental health. However, this association is breaking the barriers so individuals and families do not experience delays, leading to long-term consequences. The Association for Mental Health and Wellness (MHAW) is committed to empowering and inspiring people of all communities to identify, pursue and sustain healthy, meaningful lives. Founded in 1990 in Ronkonkoma, New York, the association promotes mental health as a critical part of overall wellness. “We advocate for prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated services, care and treatment for those who need them, and recovery as the goal,” said Colleen Merlo, chief executive officer for The Association for Mental Health and Wellness. The Association for Mental Health and Wellness is committed to closing the gap between need and access to care. Unfortunately, more than half of America is living with a mental illness that does not receive treatment. In addition, more than half of America’s youth living with major depression do not receive the proper care. MHAW is distressed by this data and continues to fight disparities faced by individuals living with mental health challenges in connection with timely and appropriate support. To achieve health services to individuals in a reasonable manner, The Association for Mental Health and Wellness aims to expand access to its services by ensuring they have skilled staff ready to accept referrals, build its continuum of services and create pathways for individuals to know about the services available across the system of mental health care and offering quick response and assessments for new clients. MHAW will prioritize:  ·       Program Growth  ·        Program Excellence  ·        Rebranding and consolidated messaging  ·        Bring Crisis Residence online  ·        Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging training and activities   ·        Establish and maintain leadership excellence  ·        Recruit and retain excellent staff  ·        Launch the Central Access department Funding from Yardi helps improve access to care by supporting enhanced public awareness of the signs and symptoms and available services and resources. The first step to accessing care is knowing that help is needed. Funding also helps support enhancements to MHAW’s website to improve and expand screenings for psychological distress. The struggle is real Last year, Jasmine, one of MHAW’s educators, was visiting a local high school when she noticed a young woman stayed behind and seemed to want to talk but was challenging to engage with. When the bell rang, she rushed out of the room. The next day, MHAW received a phone call through its Information and Referral line, and the caller explained she had heard Jasmine’s presentation about the signs and symptoms of emotional distress and was afraid to talk. After taking a screening on its website, she realized she needed help. “The screenings on MHAW’s website have the power to save lives, and with improved functionality, they can expand their ability to reach and connect people to care,” explained Merlo. Since that day, the caller has connected with MHAW several more times, and they came to learn that she had lost a friend to suicide and was struggling with feelings of guilt and shame. Due to the screening she took on MHAW’s website, she realized she was experiencing depression and needed help to navigate her complex emotions.  This screening is a huge step in this woman’s long journey toward healing. “Yardi’s donations help many more people take that first step,” said Merlo. Volunteer Opportunities The Association for Mental Health and Wellness has several volunteer opportunities in their two food pantries, a soup kitchen and an organic healing garden. Volunteer work includes stocking food along with greeting and serving diverse community members. Regarding the healing garden, MHAW welcomes volunteers on Saturdays from 10 am -12 pm to help with planting, watering, weeding and harvesting food for the upcoming week. In addition, MHAW’s Recovery and Wellness Center needs some remodeling. Volunteers can help paint and create enhancements for clients to have a...

Recognizing Vassar Byrd

Ready for insightful stories and advice from a senior living leader? Courtesy of the 2024 Changemakers series, presented by Senior Housing News (SHN) and sponsored by Yardi for the sixth consecutive year, industry visionaries are sharing their experiences through in-depth interviews. Today’s honoree in focus is Vassar Byrd, CEO at The Kendal Corporation. Her Changemaker interview covers her thoughts on diversity, risk-taking and growth — paired with examples from her career. Read on for a highlight.     Say hello to Changemaker Vassar Byrd SHN: Think about a time you implemented a change and things didn’t go according to plan, how did you pivot and what did you learn as a leader? Vassar: There are so many failures. That’s part of not being afraid of change. The beauty of being a single-site is that, at that scale, you can afford to try new things and fail. The most important thing is to never fall in love with your own opinion. You’ve got to look for contrary voices. You’ve got to make sure that you don’t take yourself too seriously or your organization too seriously because we’re all just practicing all the time. I was trying to think of a specific example that would be interesting, and I would say I failed over and over and over figuring out how to make our operations team work well at Rose Villa in particular. I’d get parts of it to work, and then the rest wouldn’t. You have got to keep your eyes open to say, “Okay, that was not successful. Let’s try it this way.” It’s never going to be perfect, but you can get as close as possible. SHN: Changemakers tend to be risk-takers. Do you agree with that statement? And how do you describe your own appetite for risk? Vassar: I think people really misunderstand risk. Doing nothing is as risky as doing something. Doing nothing is a choice. For me, that’s a foundational principle. When you take into account that everything else around you is changing all the time, then doing nothing is even more risky than not changing. Why would you stand still if everything around you is changing? I will say that I have a great appetite for perspective, and that’s the perspective that makes the risk not scary. SHN: In what ways is Kendal is changing for the current times to be able to meet the demand? Vassar: I would say that we are really focusing on how we can partner with different kinds of organizations. I would love to find other interest groups, other affinity groups, other areas where we can make a difference, to do something with that organization that neither one of us could do by ourselves. Partnership is really key to diversifying who we are, diversifying the kinds of services that we offer, and the types of housing that we offer. Certainly, our Kendal at Home Affiliate is a huge part of the future. I’m super interested in growing that. See more from Changemaker Vassar Byrd Read Vassar Byrd’s full SHN interview. Don’t forget to continue visiting The Balance Sheet for the Changemaker interviews to come — released in batches as the series...

Back to the Future at NAA Jul01

Back to the Future at NAA

It was a film buff’s paradise last week at the National Apartment’s Association biggest tradeshow, Apartmentalize. In addition to the Yardi Theater showings, eventgoers had the opportunity to attend a session titled “Leasing: Back to the Future with AI & Human Touch.” Led by Paul Yount, industry principal at Yardi, the discussion featured Anne Baum, director of marketing at Towne Properties; Diana Norbury, SVP of multifamily operations at Pillar Properties; and Tyler Lucas, director of marketing technology at Gates Hudson. (Pictured, right.) Onsite staff were also presented virtually, with Emma Akervold, assistant property manager at Pillar Properties and Leslie Armstrong, area manager at Towne Properties, sharing their thoughts on Chat IQ, Yardi’s virtual assistant that answers to prospects and residents. Back to the future of customer service & technology Yount set the stage with a “Back to the Future” theme, even donning Marty McFly’s iconic vest. The theme highlighted how modern renters want traditional customer service nostalgic of the past, but with the efficiency of cutting-edge technology one could expect from the future. (But the good news is that this kind of innovative technology is available today.) “In the past, hands-on customer service meant compromising staff roles. Great service but very inefficient,” Yount explained. “But today, with the right technology, you can have that great hands-on customer experience and leverage efficiency at the same time.” Yount demonstrated how customer expectations for excellent service have remained constant, but the means to deliver it have evolved. Drawing parallels between scenes from “Back to the Future” and property management, the session emphasized AI and technology’s role in improving human-centered service and overall efficiency. Reshaping & elevating onsite roles The panel discussed how AI and automation reshaped onsite roles to focus more on higher-priority tasks. AI-driven solutions help staff handle repetitive and manual tasks, lightening workloads. This gives teams more time to focus on more meaningful, high-value activities, which leads to better customer experiences and employee satisfaction. Additionally, AI can instantly provide leasing teams with the information they need to enhance performance. “It’s performing faster than any of us can,” Lucas emphasized. But AI’s powerful capabilities can’t completely replace human abilities — it just enhances them. Panelists agreed that AI and automation enable property managers to reallocate their resources more effectively, ensuring that human talent is utilized where it can have the greatest impact. How AI transforms operations Speakers shared their experiences with Chat IQ, highlighting improvements in lead conversion rates and operational efficiency. They noted a significant reduction in the time between lead inquiries and scheduled appointments, resulting in faster lease conversions and reduced vacancy periods. “We’ve seen a huge increase in inquiries being scheduled without us having to initiate that conversation,” Akervold, assistant property manager at Pillar Properties, said. “I can’t emphasize enough the value that I find in it.”  The benefits of AI extend beyond operational efficiency—they also power faster response times and improved lead management, which directly contribute to better occupancy rates and revenue performance. Team & customer reactions to AI Integration While skeptical at first, staff members like Leslie Armstrong of Towne Properties eventually embraced AI for its ability to handle routine tasks, freeing them to focus on resident engagement and customer satisfaction. This change led to improved team morale. “Chat IQ makes our customers feel like we’re always present even after business hours,” Armstrong said. “When I’m at home with my family, I know that my offices are still being supported.”  As staff attitudes shift towards the support of AI, operators can also look towards using AI to combat staffing issues. “I think what nobody talks about when you’re short-staffed are that the people that are left behind. It’s a lot of burnout. They feel a lot of the pressure and so it allows you to be a little bit more flexible with operations,” Norbury noted. Choosing the right AI platform It’s no secret that the multifamily...

Seasonality of Real Estate Jun27

Seasonality of Real Estate

The real estate market ebbs and flows with the seasons. Understanding these trends is a key to success for those in the market. And when it comes to prime time, summer takes the crown, offering various benefits for the real estate market. Summer increases inventory, with many properties listed in the spring and summer, leading to a more extensive selection. The market experiences a surge in activity, reaching peak time in June.  Typically, a property will go on the market and within a month, it is sold, whereas in the winter, it averages 50 days on the market. With summer’s better weather, it’s an ideal time for property hunting, inspections and moving. The impact of better weather showcases a property’s natural lighting and landscaping. Summer is also crucial for family considerations since most would want to move during the summer before the next school year begins. June is the peak season for the market since the school year just ended. By the end of the summer, families try to settle before the school year starts. Though there’s still high demand for selling, buyers tend to have less competition and better negotiating power toward the end of summer. Advantages vs. disadvantages. For a seller, summer brings in a surge of demand and activity. Sellers can confidently ask for a higher price, and properties tend to sell faster. Selling in the summer can enhance the property’s curb appeal by showcasing lush gardens and optimizing outdoor spaces—for example, plant lavender or other aromatic plants for instant gratification for those approaching the property. Native plants are a splendid option since they are aesthetically pleasing, practical and ecologically valuable for landscaping. Another tip is to consider adding landscaping lighting to boost curb appeal in the summer with solar lighting and accent lighting that highlights landscaping features. Keeping up with yard maintenance in the summer showcases the potential and stirs the excitement to see the interior. For buyers, summer presents a wealth of options, a diverse range of properties on the market, and the potential for some promising negotiation opportunities in a competitive market. Buyers can feel empowered in the summer real estate market by staying informed about off and pre-market listings, considering strategic concessions and contingencies, and making personal connections with sellers. Of course, summer has challenges in the real estate market with higher prices and competition. Properties can increase in price, so budgeting appropriately and securing financial assistance is crucial. And with such a competitive market, bidding wars are inevitable. That’s why working on negotiation strategies and adding a personal touch when highly interested is vital for summer real estate transactions. The past few summers have been a seller’s dream. However, now, fortunes are changing. Home prices are still rising, but gone are the days of throwing up a for-sale sign, and a mad rush begins. According to Business Insider, sellers around the country face similar circumstances: fewer buyers, and those on the hunt have more options. Now is the time to price properties conservatively and take care of more significant repairs before listing. Since buyers are already battling high interest rates and prices, taking on more expenses as soon as they get the keys is...

Foster Love Jun26

Foster Love

When an organization is deeply rooted in the real-world foster care experience, it transforms the foster care landscape and ensures every child feels valued and supported. Foster Love (Together We Rise) is a Yardi-supported nonprofit organization founded in 2008 in Brea, California. This organization is dedicated to transforming how youth navigate the foster care community. The organization provides critical and unprecedented resources, support and services to current and former foster youth. Programs range from the organization’s Sweet Cases to full-tuition scholarships and mentorship programs. Foster Love is steadfast in its commitment to transforming the lives of high-risk foster youth by providing them with critical resources and advocating for systemic changes that ensure their voices are heard in the realm of child welfare reform. Through powerful social media campaigns, engaging speaking engagements, and collaboration with policymakers, Foster Love champions the perspectives of those with lived experiences, fostering empathy and understanding. This advocacy is so powerful because Foster Love’s board members, leadership, and staff are not just professionals but individuals with personal connections to the foster care system. They are former foster youth, foster parents or have dedicated careers in child welfare, bringing a unique and authentic voice to the table. “Many of us are former foster youth, have been foster parents, or have dedicated our careers to child welfare. This connection provides us with an intimate understanding of the challenges and nuances of navigating the foster care system, enabling us to offer trauma-informed, compassionate services to a population that too often feels overlooked or marginalized,” said Ambyr Barlett, grant writer for Foster Love. Foster Love is gearing up for a series of impactful initiatives and milestones this year to empower system-impacted youth. “Our upcoming second annual Foster Love gala on July 13th in Irvine, California,...

Celebrating Changemakers 2024

It’s time for the annual Changemakers series, a collection of in-depth, insightful interviews published by Senior Housing News (SHN). Each year, the series celebrates a group of senior living leaders driving positive change in the industry. As sponsor for the sixth year in a row, Yardi is proud to join SHN in presenting the 2024 class of honorees. These honorees are trailblazers, innovators, visionaries and more — and their interviews detail how they got to where they are today. We’re delighted to introduce the first batch of Changemakers as the series begins, starting with a dedicated Yardi senior living client: Chris Guay, founder and CEO of Vitality Living. In his interview, Guay discusses how Vitality is evolving in the industry, the importance of staff diversity and how he creates a safe environment across his communities. Read on for a highlight of what he shares — then check out his full interview with SHN. Meet Changemaker Chris Guay SHN: We at SHN think of you as a Changemaker, but do you think of yourself as a Changemaker? Guay: I do see myself as a Changemaker. I believe it was always in me. I started out working with Emeritus, and I think I was a Changemaker there; always trying to push us to do things differently and work things through. Then when I got the chance to start my own company, I had to put a little of that on hold initially, because you’re trying to build an organization and build it forward. We’ve been fortunate that I’ve got a really great team of people. We’ve been able to build a really good company. The last couple of years, I’ve been able to shift back into that Changemaker role. I like to change things. I’m always innovating, always trying to change. That sometimes drives my team crazy. I have to find that delicate balance of pushing us forward, but also making sure we’re not pushing so fast that we’re changing just for the sake of changing. I ask myself, “Is this going to improve the experience for our residents?” I’ve really tried to hone in on if a change is going to improve the experience for our team members as well. If a change makes it harder for a line staff or caregiver, it’s probably not a change we should do. The third customer that sometimes gets forgotten in this business, “Is that change going to have a positive impact for our ownership partners?” I filter everything through those three pieces. Then based on how that comes through that filter, then I decide what we’re moving on. SHN: Do you think that the industry is changing fast enough to keep up with the times? Guay: I don’t. I find myself getting into the same conversations that we’ve had for the last 10 years. There’s opportunity in that because if you are a company that’s innovative, there’s opportunity to excel. However, it’s hard to innovate when you’ve got different weights dragging you down. It’s not an easy time. I don’t think people aren’t changing because they don’t want to. I just think there are some headwinds that keep dragging us back. You’ve got to keep fighting, you’ve got to keep pushing. SHN: The coming year is sure to be a year of growth and evolution for this year’s senior living industry. In what way is Vitality growing and evolving? Guay: One, we’re preparing and we’re building. We like to build a team around what we see, where we think we are. We don’t wait for it to come. We try to get ahead of it. We are really trying to be a world-class sales organization. We also look at the digital space. How we win there and how we get really innovative there is important. We decided to invest on the people side. We’re really shifting into how do we become a...

C.A.R.E.4Paws Jun24

C.A.R.E.4Paws

For over a decade, this organization has been working to save beloved pets’ lives, particularly those in the marginalized areas of California’s Central Coast. Their efforts have brought hope and a new lease of life to these innocent creatures. C.A.R.E.4Paws, founded in 2009 in Santa Barbara, works to reduce pet overpopulation, keep animals out of shelters and improve the quality of life for pet families. It serves a range of resources to low-income, senior, disabled, and unhoused community members in underserved areas through Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. C.A.R.E.4Paws includes free, low-cost wellness services through its Mobile Community Medicine & Spay/Neuter Outreach program. “In 2023, operating out of two mobile veterinary clinics, we assisted 17,500 dogs and cats with vaccines, spays/neuters, dental, mass removals, wellness exams, flea treatment and other critical wellness services,” said Isabelle Gullo, C.A.R.E.4Paws executive director and Cofounder. C.A.R.E.4Paws also provides pet food, supplies, grooming, dog training and foster care for hundreds of pet families in need each year through its Companion Pet Assistance program. In addition, its Safe Haven program supports pet families exposed to domestic violence, and its Paws Up For Pets program works with local youth to inspire kindness for all living beings. C.A.R.E.4Paws regularly gets much gratitude for their services from their clients, which are intended to provide a safety net so that animals stay healthy and with their people for life! C.A.R.E.4Paws programs are not just growing but flourishing at a rapid pace since the pandemic. It envisions adding more clinic days and expanding its outreach geographically by operating Mobile Community Medicine & Spay/Neuter Outreach. It will also forge partnerships with over 20 vet clinics and emergency care facilities to provide discounts. C.A.R.E.4Paws launched the Albus Fund at the end of 2023, specifically for...

Commercial Briefing Montréal

Yardi Canada recently hosted its inaugural Executive Commercial Briefing at the W Montréal Hotel, setting the stage for an evening of insightful discussions and networking. This event left attendees inspired and eager for more conversations with industry experts. Keep reading to learn what you can expect at our future executive briefing.  A platform for industry insights and collaboration The Executive Briefing series is an invitation-only event that delves deep into property and program management topics. It provides industry leaders and our executives with the opportunity to discuss the latest challenges and technology solutions shaping the real estate and housing markets. These briefings offer a platform for sharing insights, best practices and innovative strategies directly from top experts and decision-makers in the field. Through exclusive networking opportunities, interactive sessions and presentations from leading analysts, participants can forget important connections and gain valuable knowledge. With the rapid evolution of the real estate market and its supporting technology, these briefings are essential for staying ahead of the curve. Key highlights from the briefiing Jason Chacko, senior account executive of Yardi, shared compelling insights into the Yardi Investment Management Suite. He highlighted the efficiency brought by automation, stating, “The example I like to quote is with on of our major clients. On a quarterly close, they were taking 21 days to calculate their waterfalls. They reduced that to a half-day process with Yardi.” By integrating accounting, performance measurement and reporting into one platform, real estate businesses can streamline investment management. This tool provides real-time insights, boosts efficiency and supports data-driven decisions, helping clients like Timber Creek reduce manual work and improve accuracy in financial operations. The client panel also provided valuable perspectives on digital transformation. Olivier Rocheleau, corporate controller of Groupe Petra, emphasized the necessity of a fully integrated solution, saying, “We were looking for a best-in-class solution and a strong partner to establish ourselves with a solid foundation. Once we identified the modules we needed, Yardi’s implementation team guided us through the process seamlessly.” Groupe Petra is a leading real estate investment and management firm known for its extensive portfolio of commercial properties across Québec. They focus on acquiring, developing and managing high-quality real estate assets, ensuring sustainable growth and value creation. By partnering with Yardi, Groupe Petra aims to enhance their operational efficiency and maintain their reputation for excellence in the real estate market. Michael Sutherland, vice president of Canderel, echoed this sentiment, reflecting on Yardi’s impact on their operations. “We saw Yardi facilitate our strategic direction to streamline our service lines. The savings were compelling when we eliminated ancillary software and replaced it with a single Yardi stack. It was a no-brainer for us.” Canderel is a prominent real estate investment, development and management company with a diverse portfolio spanning office, retail, industrial and residential properties across Canada. Known for their innovative approach and commitment to excellence, focusing on creating value through strategic acquisitions, developments and property management. By adopting our solutions, Canderel aims to streamline their operations, enhance efficiency and support their long-term growth objectives. Exploring the future of AI in real estate David Franklin, industry principal at Yardi, captivated the audience with a discussion on our advancements in artificial intelligence, particularly in lease abstraction. “This technology is exciting. We are going after the ability to abstract leases, cut time on accounts payable and give [clients] a built-in assistant using technology.” Virtuoso represents a significant leap forward in real estate technology. Virtuoso includes advanced features designed to enhance efficiency and accuracy, such as chatbots for improved customer interactions, smart AP for automating accounts payable processes, smart Lease for lease abstraction and an AI assistant for various operational tasks. By integrating these tools, Virtuoso provides seamless automation and intelligent assistance, helping Yardi clients streamline workflows, reduce manual errors and make more informed decisions. Looking ahead Yardi is dedicated to supporting and enhancing the real estate market in Québec. During the...