Miles for Moms 5K Apr19

Miles for Moms 5K

Yardi is again the title sponsor of the upcoming Miles for Moms 5K, a fun run and walk on Mothr’s Day weekend that will benefit Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital. The run will take place on Saturday, May 11, the day before Mother’s Day. Participants are encouraged to walk with or in honor of mothers by Cottage Hospital organizers. The route of the 5K will be familiar to many lunchtime joggers at Yardi’s corporate headquarters. Beginning at the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital parking lot at 351 S. Patterson Ave., the 5K route will travel south on Patterson and onto the Atascadero Creek Trail (Obern Trail). The route will turn back at Highway 217 and return to the hospital. A fun run for kids will also be part of the morning events, and registration is free for kids under 12. Prizes will be awarded to the top fundraiser, as well as first place prizes to female and male runners. All moms participating in the event will receive a special gift and various raffle prizes will be given away. A DJ will play music for the entire duration of the event. To register, visit the event registration site. Watch a recap video from the inaugural 2018...

Earth Week Apr19

Earth Week

Since 1970, Earth Day has served as a reminder to honor our beautiful, fragile, and generous planet. What started as a single day is now a week-long observance! Below, you will find ideas for Earth Day programming that build loyalty and community among your staff. Yardi Atlanta even offers a full week of fun, informative activities that you can adapt to your site.    Build loyalty Employees favor eco-friendly workplaces over traditional models. Millennials in particular desire workplaces that “improve society.” When working for an earth conscious employer, employees report a heightened sense of well being and purpose. Sustainability measures are popular tools to attract and maintain talent. Use Earth Week to highlight your existing green efforts or jumpstart new programs at your organization. In the process, you will build loyalty amongst employees and position your brand well with prospective new hires. Explore an office-wide celebration If a week of earth-friendly activities seems overwhelming, take heart. You don’t have to go in alone. Yardi Atlanta, for example, collaborates with local businesses to get employees involved in Earth Week. Its programming piques employee interest in sustainability while encouraging workplace satisfaction. Starting April 22, Yardi Atlanta will host fun and informative daily activities. Sustainability Within Atlanta Yardi (SWAY) teamed up with Yardi client and property management company, Cushman & Wakefield, to host these events: On Monday, Yardi corporate sponsors a healthy breakfast for staff. Selected foods will emphasize the role sustainable farming practices play in overall environmental health. Tuesday emphasizes sustainable transportation. A representative from the Georgia Power Electronic Vehicle Program will facilitate a session on EV car chargers and rebates. Guests are also invited to a car show with contributions by local dealers. Tesla, Porche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Nissan, and BMW will have cars and...

Meet Breck Austin Apr18

Meet Breck Austin

When you think about your senior residents and their families, do you think of words like “tech savvy,” and “forward thinking?” You should. Breck Austin, VP of operational services with Clearwater Living of Newport Beach, understands the importance of exceeding clients’ growing tech expectations. His organization has identified software that allows the company to advance with the times. We sat down with Austin to learn how the organization uses RENTCafe and Senior CRM to make life easier for residents and staff. Q: What are one or two business objectives you’ve been addressing over the last year? A: At Clearwater Living, our objective is to enhance residents’ experience in the senior platform. So one of the things we look at is technology. We look at how do we make ourselves more relevant? How do we make the residents’ experience relevant? We use a variety of things that we are addressing, from technology down to our philosophy of care. Q: How did Yardi technology help you accomplish this? A: Yardi technology was the best thing that ever happened to us in a growing state. It provided one single integrated platform that allowed us to address the growing need of the family’s involvement and their need to know what’s going on, transparency, to our consumers. So, it’s no longer just a resident living in our community. We’re addressing the family members or those that are responsible for members of our communities. The ability to communicate with them through technology, Yardi provided that outlet for us. And it’s integrated so that it addresses all areas of our touch points and building on the connections with our residents. Q: What Yardi products have been most transformative for you and why? A: Two products that have been transformative to the...

Introducing Yardi Kube

Yardi Kube™, a single platform solution for coworking and shared workspace operators, is now available. Introduced this week at the GCUC conference in Denver, Yardi Kube is designed to help coworking operators successfully grow their businesses, eliminate third party integrations, save time and offer competitive member services. With the powerful Yardi Voyager property management platform as its foundation, Yardi Kube combines accounts payable, general ledger, merchant services and more in one easy-to-use technology suite. Yardi Kube includes comprehensive accounting, online marketing integration and powerful reporting capabilities. Users will be able to easily report to owners and investors and market to new clients, all from within the platform. The member portal gives coworking members the ability to manage their profile, connect with other members, pay bills, purchase services and book space with one click. Yardi Kube can also handle management of Wi-Fi and VOIP systems. “We chose Yardi Kube because of its robust capabilities to manage our businesses. The fact that Yardi was behind the development gave us confidence in its reliability and development path,” said Willie Gutierrez, COO and CFO of Premier Workspaces, a nationwide shared workspace provider. “Yardi Kube is the long-awaited technology solution that will allow shared workspaces to scale and grow with ease,” said Dale Hersowitz, vice president of coworking at Yardi. “It maximizes efficiency, eliminates leakage and allows for real-time reporting, all in a single platform.” GCUC, which concludes tomorrow, is the world’s largest coworking event, with conferences held in five continents. About 300 attendees convened in Colorado for the event. At GCUC, the Yardi Kube team has been conducting demos of the new platform and sharing the product’s exciting features, including the accounting platform, internet listing service and prospect lifecycle tracking. “We look forward to showing the extent of Yardi’s commitment to coworking, what the future looks like for Yardi Kube, and how the platform separates itself from the competition,” said Dale Hersowitz, vice president of coworking at Yardi. GCUC attendees are invited to come by the Yardi Kube booth, #10-11, to see Yardi Kube in action. Visit yardikube.com to learn more about the benefits of an all-in-one coworking management solution for shared...

LeadingAge Texas Apr16

LeadingAge Texas

What if there was a conference that offered answers to some of your most pressing property management problems? What if you could connect with other industry members and brainstorm solutions to emerging issues? You can do both at LeadingAge Texas in Austin, set for May 19-22. LeadingAge Texas annual conference guides not-for-profit members in their efforts to better serve seniors through advocacy, networking, services and education. This year promises to be better than ever! LeadingAge celebrates its 60th anniversary with a four-day conference packed with more than 45 sessions. Join 400 aging services professionals as you acquire the latest best practices and get real solutions to challenges that you face. Learn from your peers as well as session leaders. The agenda offers a variety of insightful courses and activities. Session topics include clinical excellence, operational success, policy, regulations and finance, ethics and leadership. You will also discover a myriad of ways to create thriving communities and strong workforces. This year’s theme is “What If.” It will be explored through conference sessions as well as an awards ceremony, fundraiser and an attendant-driven community service project. There will be an opportunity for you to get involved! Details will be revealed at the conference. Keep the learning going in the fun atmosphere of the Expo. Enjoy food, music, drinks and entertainment while you tour the booths. There will be nearly 100 exhibitors showcasing the latest in services, products, and technology. Be sure to visit Yardi at the Expo! Stop by booth #79 to learn how software and services can improve your bottom line and quality of service. Be sure to let us know you’d like to meet...

UAE Award Apr12

UAE Award

Yardi was recently named Property Software Company of the Year award. Hosted by Arabian Business, a weekly business magazine published in Dubai, the awards recognize the most accomplished companies and senior executives from around the region. The awards ceremony took place at the Ritz Carlton, Dubai and celebrated top technology performers in the UAE. Drawn from a select group of over 600 companies and individuals, 21 awards were presented. Arabian Business covers all aspects of Middle East commerce and investment, as well as lifestyle and real estate news. Last year, Yardi was recognized by Arabian Business as the UAE’s top real estate technology provider. This second consecutive year of recognition for software excellence demonstrates how the company is expanding its role in the region’s real estate business. “Yardi has a proven track record across the Middle East for providing long-term, customer focused solutions that represent innovative use of technology across real estate sectors,” said Said Haider, Yardi’s Regional Director for Middle East, who accepted the award on the company’s behalf. “We are honoured to receive this recognition from Arabian Business.” The company also recently announced that it is helping its clients participate in the DubaiNow platform, which provides digital access to multiple government services. DubaiNow is the first unified Dubai government services app, and currently offers over 55 services from 24 government entities. The DubaiNow platform makes city services more seamless and efficient. Examples of tasks that can be accomplished via the app include utility bill pay, visa tracking, trade license renewal, car registration and much more. Yardi worked closely with its Dubai-based clients in the development and testing of the new interface. For real estate and relocation, users can perform transactions associated with moving to a new residence using the DubaiNow app. This...

Meet Arun Das

Say hello to Arun Das, head of marketing and technology at Pangea Properties in Chicago. Arun is featured in Yardi’s new Real Estate Questions Answered series, a fantastic way to find out about how real estate professionals use Yardi software to solve problems in real life. Arun’s role at Pangea means that he’s a fluent in marketing technology. He’s also a genuinely nice person. We recently talked with Arun about the online renter experience, website optimization and conversion rates – and peanut butter! Keep reading to learn a little bit about Arun and how you can apply what he’s learned from his marketing initiatives at Pangea to your own properties. Can you tell us a little more about Pangea? A: Founded in 2008, Pangea Properties is a private real estate investment trust (REIT). We have more than 500 buildings and 12,000 apartment units spread across Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore. Pangea’s mission is to provide service, value and care, one resident at a time. We’re also extremely passionate about giving back to the communities in which we operate. What are one or two marketing objectives you’ve been addressing lately? A: Over the past year, we’ve focused on a variety of process enhancements. Specifically, we’ve been working to streamline resident communications and improve our overall application experience for prospective residents. How does Yardi technology help you accomplish your goals? A: Yardi’s full stack software solution allows our RENTCafé, RENTCafé CRM and Voyager instances to seamlessly communicate with one another. That lets us use robust Yardi resident communication tools without having to transfer information between different software platforms. On the prospect side, the application and screening tools give us the ability to collect custom information, which then provides us a better underwriting process and overall a better application experience for our residents. The seamless online application process also saves our staff a lot of time – we estimate we saved around 150,000 hours over the last year. What would you personally like to achieve in your role at Pangea? A: I would love to continue having a positive impact on the lives of our residents as well as positively representing the communities and neighborhoods we serve. I’m passionate about Pangea Cares, our corporate social responsibility program designed to give back to our Chicago communities. (Watch a video about the impact of Pangea Cares and how it helps the company connect with the community.) Our staff is encouraged to take time to volunteer for Pangea Cares’ community efforts. They might use it to create marketing materials, put together baskets for Thanksgiving deliveries or hand out back-to-school supplies to area kids. So far, we’ve donated around 7,700 volunteer hours, and I’m personally invested in the continued success of this initiative. What marketing trend are you currently most excited about? A: I’m excited about artificial intelligence. There are starting to be services out there that can take over your property tours or your call center or your website. We’re years away from a product that will match our level of service, but things are coming, and I think this could really transform the industry. Tell us something interesting about you that would surprise someone. A: Something interesting about me that would surprise pretty much everyone is that I absolutely hate peanut butter. I think it’s the most disgusting condiment ever, and I catch a lot of flak for it daily. Watch Arun’s real estate questions answered videos and find more answers to real estate technology questions on the Real Estate Questions Answered...

App-Based Future

It’s 2019, and safe to say that the world is fully immersed in the digital age. A recent report from Hootsuite claims that 67% of the world’s population are unique mobile users and 57% are internet users.  There are around 4.38 billion users of the web, and 95% of the population of Western Europe has internet access available. According to the “Manifest 2018 Consumer App Survey,” around 51% of respondents use apps between once and ten times a day. And as of late 2018, there were approximately 4.1 million apps available from the Google Play and Apple App Store. Consumers have now come to take it for granted that live in a fully digital world.  There is increasingly a sense of expectation, tinged by frustration, when we cannot find a digital application to accomplish a given task. The new norm is an expectation that, within a matter of seconds, we will instantly be able to access and assess millions of pieces of data on almost any topic. The Internet, the go-to source to conduct research and answer any question serious or frivolous, delivers the ability to arrange and organise our daily lives. Instantaneous research helps us with personal, informed decision-making as well as educating us and helping us make specific lifestyle choices. The list of life-altering, or some may say, life-enhancing applications are mind-blowing when put in perspective. Take travel as an example. Researching a holiday destination, finding accommodations, sourcing and booking door to door transportation, researching and building your trip itinerary, where you will visit, where you will eat and even checking out the anticipated weather conditions before you pack means you can organise the perfect trip in a short period of time from anywhere. The list of examples doesn’t end there and...

Energy Distinction Apr09

Energy Distinction

Yardi has long been proud to provide energy-related technical services to clients with the aim of improving efficiency, lowering costs and meeting sustainability benchmarks. The company gained a measure of its impact this month in the form of an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award in the service and product provider category. The award signifies that Yardi demonstrates exemplary leadership, innovation and commitment to environmental protection by instituting ENERGY STAR values, tools and resources within the industry, and its own operations. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped American families and businesses save more than $450 billion and over 3.5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity while also achieving broad emissions reductions. The EPA co-manages ENERGY STAR, a voluntary program that helps consumers and businesses save money and protect the environment through the adoption of energy-efficient products and practices. Past ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award recipients include familiar companies such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Northwestern University and HP Inc. “This award reflects our clients’ success in using ENERGY STAR resources to achieve their corporate and community sustainability goals. We are proud of those achievements and look forward to helping our clients and the industry gain even more benefits from ENERGY STAR,” said Anant Yardi, founder and president of Yardi. “Energy efficiency is a core component of our mission as a real estate technology provider. We thank the EPA for this high honor and will continue applying technical innovation to current and emerging industry challenges,” said Akshai Rao, vice president of energy and procurement at Yardi. Yardi’s ENERGY STAR-related initiatives in 2018 that the EPA evaluated included: Benchmarking more than a thousand buildings in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® in 27 compliance jurisdictions every month. Yardi also benchmarked other properties in non-compliance areas for other programs Documenting its real estate clients’ success in using energy optimization software to maximize efficiency and reduce costs. One example is SL Green, New York City’s largest office landlord, which used intelligent energy optimization software from Yardi to increase the ENERGY STAR score for one of its properties from 48 to 76. SL Green also won the 2018 Earth Building of the Year Award from BOMA NY Sponsoring the BOMA Water and Waste Challenge Program, which helps property managers track, gather and analyze data. Yardi solutions supported W2 participants by automating data capture and generating insightful reports. One client, Kilroy Realty Corporation, reduced water use at a Class A building by 30% Promoting ENERGY STAR value propositions like higher occupancy and rent, increased asset values, actionable benchmarking information and favorable impressions among investors. The company did this through webinars, industry trade shows and publications, client user conferences, executive briefings, corporate blog posts and other activities Earning ENERGY STAR certification for its corporate headquarters in Santa Barbara, Calif. Working with EPA to improve ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager software functionality in such areas as building energy performance measurement and reporting Yardi will receive the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on April...

Talent Retention Apr09

Talent Retention

It’s no secret that high turnover rates are an industry-wide problem for property management. The revolving door leads to repetitive training and service inconsistencies. Retaining talent minimizes both problems and paves the way for success. Below are four tips for talent retention to help your affordable housing property operate smoothly. Reimagine Training When employees feel overwhelmed and under-educated, you’ve got a recipe for turnover. Minimize the risk with thorough training and easily accessible review courses. “Any organization without savvy and competent employees will face high turnover,” said Jeff Ratchford, Technical Recruiter, SHRM-CP. “Empowered engagement and buy-in starts as early in the on-boarding process as possible. Ensure that employees thoroughly understand their roles and the technology that they’re expected to use.” Online learning software enables staff to learn at their own pace. They can also review materials anytime and anywhere with internet access. Administrators gain insights from course data, which can be used to plan group reviews or acknowledge staff members that excel. Supplement online training with in-house demonstrations and hands-on opportunities. “Each new hire is different. Leadership will benefit from employee training that offers multi-faceted learning techniques,” added Ratchford. Empower Staff Empower staff to play an active role in the development of protocols. Acknowledging, addressing, and correcting current shortcoming creates a more efficient workplace. Additionally, employees remain loyal to companies that value their creativity and insights. If you don’t already have a process in place, create a space for staff to share their challenges. (It may be as simple as a custom email address.) Encourage staff to offer suggestions on how those challenges may be overcome. Review the submissions regularly. Channel the most promising proposals to the applicable leadership. Of equal importance, acknowledge each response even if it is to let the employee know...

Chicago Multifamily Apr08

Chicago Multifamily

With healthy demand almost balancing out supply, Chicago’s multifamily market seems to have left the fear of overbuilding behind, at least for now. The city has been adding jobs at a more accelerated pace—particularly in the construction, manufacturing and education and health services sectors— and has been strengthening its tech hub status, which fueled demand for housing across the metro. According to a recent Yardi Matrix multifamily report, at the end of last year, rent growth reached the highest value since 2016—2.5 percent, which, although still below the national rate, represents an achievement for the market. Growth was mainly led by suburban submarkets such as Grayslake and Chicago-Heights North, but several neighborhoods near Downtown, including Hyde Park, Bronzeville and South Shore, also recorded rent increases. Yardi client Pioneer Acquisitions is a multifamily investor with a portfolio of roughly 2,000 units in Chicago. James Peterson Jr., founder & principal, said that “the fundamentals in Hyde Park are very strong” and the neighborhood has been attracting a lot of interest from investors and residents priced out of Chicago’s core areas. Peterson reveals what other submarkets are strong for investment, the evolution of rent growth in 2019 as well as the company’s strategy for the year ahead. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Chicago’s multifamily market? Peterson: Strong demand remains one of the main strengths of Chicago’s multifamily market, particularly in Hyde Park and the far north side neighborhoods. We continue to see tenants being priced out of near north side neighborhoods and moving north, along the “L” lines, to find units that fit their budgets. One of the main weaknesses, particularly downtown, is the continuing introduction of new supply with elevated amenities and leasing incentives, which encourages tenants to trade up to newer buildings. Soaring real...

Meet Anja Jacobs Apr05

Meet Anja Jacobs

They say polo is the sport of kings. But in the case of Anja Jacobs and her teammates, make that the sport of queens. Jacobs, an Atlanta-based Yardi senior manager for military housing, and three fellow mallet-wielding warrior women were recently crowned U.S. Open Women’s Polo Champions. Their March victory in Palm Beach, Florida was the result of a long year of hard work, long travel journeys, and rising above challenges. Jacobs is the type of person who sets her mind on a goal and goes for it – both at work and in her personal life. About 15 years ago, she decided it was time to fulfill a lifelong dream: riding horses and playing competitive polo. Today, she has 13 horses in her backyard and devotes most of her free time to the sport. “I had always wanted to ride horses as a kid, but I grew up in Miami, and there weren’t a lot of opportunities to do so,” said Jacobs, who has worked at Yardi for the last seven years. “After I’d graduated from college, I attended an alumni event that was hosted at a polo game, and I immediately knew I had to try it.” First, she had to learn the rules of the game – which is basically high speed croquet on horseback. “It looks like chaos if you ever try to watch a polo game without knowing the rules, but there are really strict rules that are all about safety. It looks like one of the most dangerous sports there is, but every rule is about the animals’ well-being first and foremost,” Jacobs said. With a background in martial arts and ballroom dancing, she has both a killer instinct and sense of balance that are essential for a successful polo player. Jacobs is a defensive specialist, meaning that her role, and that of her horse, is to clear the field so her teammates can get to the goal. “I’m a scrapper and a fighter,” Jacobs says of her efforts on the field. Her U.S. Open championship team also included Nina Clarkin, the No. 1 ranked women’s polo player in the world; Mia Cambiaso, a 15-year-old phenom in the sport, and Pamela Flanagan, who not only plays polo but is also an attorney and horse rescuer. The group came together organically after Jacobs and Clarkin, who met at international polo events, struck up a friendship. Success in the sport is based on the player’s handicap level, which ranges from -2 to 10. Jacobs boasts a handicap of 2; Clarkin is rated a mixed 4 in the U.S. and a 10 on the Hurlingham Women’s scale in Great Britain, her home country. The U.S. Open Polo Championship does not require all players to be from the U.S. Flanagan and Jacobs are both U.S. citizens, while Cambiaso is from Argentina. In countries like Argentina where polo is extremely popular, children learn the sport very young. Cambiaso was already playing competitive polo at age 5. And Jacobs’ favorite horse, Power Ranger Red, is also a former Argentinian who she purchased from a four-year-old Argentine boy. “He is the most amazing horse. The reason I have 13 horses is because I bought Power Ranger Red, and then bought 12 more trying to find another horse like him,” said Jacobs. Power Ranger Red is her go-to starter, the first horse she rides in every polo match. Atlanta may not have a huge polo community, but it is horse-friendly and there are many opportunities to learn to ride. That’s what Jacobs did when she decided to take up the sport 15 years ago. Two years ago, she purchased a 10-acre farm outside Atlanta so that her horses would have a great place to live. When she’s not assisting Yardi’s military clients, Jacobs’ free time is occupied by exercising her herd of horses and preparing for the next polo match. The...

Client Spotlight Apr04

Client Spotlight

Based in the heart of Texas, Yardi client Churchill Residential is an affordable housing provider with a focus on senior housing that works to provide exceptional customer service for its residents. We recently caught up with Michelle Bless, director of accounting, to learn how the company has benefited from its use of the Yardi affordable platform and how the Walk In Payment System (WIPS) is truly a game-changer for affordable housing providers. Michelle, tell us about Churchill Residential? We were founded in 2002, and pride ourselves on developing and operating high-quality, 100% affordable housing communities, most of which are for seniors. We’ve leveraged Low Income Housing Tax Credit funds to build 17 communities and more than 2,700 units across the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area. What does Churchill do best? Customer service is at the forefront of Churchill’s mission. Our guiding principles focus on enhancing the lives of residents, onsite staff and office employees. When we see an opportunity to make a change towards improving service, we take it. What changes have you gone through recently? We’ve achieved improvements in staff efficiency and resident services by implementing the Yardi integrated software platform. That change has helped us improve performance by simplifying many processes and improving data transparency across our organization. How does having an integrated accounting software translate to happier residents? Time savings for our onsite staff definitely benefits our residents, as the staff now has more time for personal interactions every day. As far as resident-facing technology goes, electronic payment processing is a nice perk for our residents because they can log in at any time to check their up-to-date ledger. We couldn’t offer residents that type of real time information prior to adopting the Yardi integrated software platform. Churchill just went live with...

Simple Software Apr03

Simple Software

At ISS World Expo in Las Vegas this week, one of the largest conferences for self-storage professionals, Yardi Breeze Self Storage made its debut. The theme of the conference focused on perfecting the self-storage customer service experience, and Yardi’s latest product enables smaller operators of storage facilities to do just that. Yardi Breeze Self Storage is refreshingly simple software for self storage property management. It’s designed to help owners and operators with smaller portfolios increase efficiency, reduce IT headaches and save time and money. Self storage owners, investors and managers can use the innovative tools built into Yardi Breeze Self Storage to market, lease and manage their facilities from any device. These tools include: Full accounting: manage operations and financials in one place Integrated marketing: fill vacant units faster with syndicated online listings Automated reporting: generate and share financial reports via email or secure portal Online payments and maintenance: streamline collecting rent and fulfilling work orders Tenant communications: create, send and track emails and texts to renters A simple online setup process lets users start working in Yardi Breeze Self Storage right away; no lengthy implementation process is required. Unlimited live chat support is included. “Yardi Breeze Self Storage is easy to set up and simple to use. And amazing support is always there when I need it,” said Laura Van Tassel, self storage operations manager at Stuff It Storage, LLC and an early adopter of the new product. As operators’ needs expand, there is a growth path to the Yardi Self Storage Suite for larger portfolios. “Yardi now offers a range of software options for self storage businesses of all sizes. Yardi Breeze Self Storage builds on the success of our Yardi Breeze property management platform for smaller portfolios to deliver an easy...

What’s Your Energy Strategy? Apr02

What’s Your Energy Strategy?

Did you know that the average commercial building wastes 30% of the energy it consumes? Or that energy costs will rise as much as 60% in areas of the U.S. by 2028? It’s true, according to an analysis and calculation of Yardi consolidated property data. These facts should be red flags for property management companies without an energy strategy in place. Luckily, adopting an energy strategy is not as daunting as it may seem. In fact, taking incremental steps towards a comprehensive strategy can generate measurable savings in a matter of weeks with a relatively modest investment. Here are five reasons why an energy strategy is good business: Reduced costs Operating expenses such as utilities and maintenance are easy first targets for reduction through an energy strategy. By taking advantage of usage data and trends, property managers can quickly identify excessive usage, lower maintenance costs and identify benchmarks for energy consumption across a portfolio of properties. Increased value Assets that cost less to operate and generate higher rents quickly become more valuable. An energy strategy promotes both savings and revenue by reducing operating costs, reducing the need for rental concessions, making properties more marketable and, as a result, increasing potential net operating income. Efficient accounting The benefits of automating property management processes such as payment processing, procurement, vendor management, etc., are now viable for energy management. Gone are the days of a stack of paper utility bills waiting to be opened and paid. Automated utility expense management sends digital invoices to accounting staff and mines data from smart metering equipment to validate usage. With a relatively low upfront investment, property managers can reduce duplicate payments, avoid late fees and be confident that their utility spend is accurate. Happy tenants Doing business in a building that is LEED certified or meets ENERGY STAR® benchmarks can make a tenant feel proud, comfortable and socially responsible. They’re also less likely to call for maintenance with modern, energy efficient equipment servicing their building. That satisfaction reduces tenant turnover and increases competition for your space. Happy investors A successful energy strategy demonstrates to investors that your organization is proactively maximizing occupancy and revenue, and minimizing operating expenses. It’s also a great way to reassure investors that your properties are working to achieve local, state and federal government energy conservation goals, as well as boosting Environmental, Social and Governance scores for socially conscious investors. Need help getting started? Start with a focus on utility expense management as an approachable first step with low upfront investment required. From there, you may take bigger steps, such as energy intelligence at the property level with real time metering, ENERGY STAR benchmarking and prescriptive alerts for any property in your portfolio. The next level of investment is characterized by advanced energy automation in HVAC equipment, fault detection, diagnostics and demand management. No matter which level of strategy you take, the potential return on investment is tangible and may be evident as soon as your next utility invoice. Yardi Pulse clients have seen as much as 5% annual savings in energy costs with the first two incremental steps alone (utility expense management and energy intelligence). Annual energy savings of up to 15% or more are expected for properties that implement further energy automation measures. If you are a current Yardi Voyager user, contact our team for a complementary consultation. We’ll do an analysis to compare your costs with benchmarks. It’s a simple way to get an idea of the potential savings that an energy strategy can deliver to your...

Insight from POAH Apr01

Insight from POAH

The economy is approaching a decade without a downturn. U.S. and global GDP are likely to hit a multi-year high at about 3 percent this year and the consensus view is that growth will slow only slightly in 2019, according to a recent Yardi Matrix report on the state of the real estate market. However, the same report shows that rising interest rates and affordability are making it difficult for first-time buyers to afford homes, with construction getting more and more expensive. Soaring land and materials costs have made it difficult to pencil all but high-end new projects in many metros. Multi-Housing News asked an industry veteran to weigh in on the poignant affordable housing issue. Aaron Gornstein is a leader in affordable housing policy and development, with more than 25 years of executive experience. He is currently the president & CEO of Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), a national nonprofit organization that owns more than 7,000 units across 11 states. Gornstein used to serve as undersecretary for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Prior to that, he spearheaded the passage of state and federal legislation, launched innovation programs and helped form numerous coalitions as the executive director of Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association. How serious is the affordable housing crisis in the markets you currently operate in? Gornstein: Several major national studies show a severe lack of affordable housing in every state in the country. A new report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, for example, found a shortage of seven million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income renters and found that no state or major metropolitan area has an adequate supply of rental housing for the poorest renters. There is a serious shortage of affordable homes in every...

Green Brings Green Mar28

Green Brings Green

Did you know that adding sustainable features to your property can improve tenant retention? It’s true! If you’ve been brainstorming ways to increase lease renewals and decrease overhead costs, green upgrades may be the answer.  The Benefits of Sustainability Tenants look favorably upon earth conscious workspaces. DTZ, an international leader in commercial real estate services, analyzed responses to the 2015 Kingsley Associates’ tenant survey. Researchers discovered a strong correlation between sustainability and client satisfaction. Respondents expressed greater satisfaction with sites that offered environmentally conscious upgrades and services. Fortunately, there are several sustainable features that you can offer that also benefit you! Check out the suggestions below: Promote paperless services. Online services such as online rent payment, online maintenance requests, and online communication are easy ways to decrease deforestation and keep paper out of landfills. Clients will love that online services are quick, simple, and easy to track. You’re improving efficiency for staff while cutting costs on supplies, printing, and fewer late payments. Implement intelligent utility billing. Catching leaks, billing errors, and monitoring consumption through submetering are just a few benefits of energy management systems. Systems’ automated cost recovery programs can save thousands. Make ride share easier. The share economy is estimated to become a $335 billion industry by 2025. Show that you’re savvy to what clients want by promoting ride share at your property. Designate a few easily accessible spaces for ride share drivers. Shared rides decrease traffic congestion. Conduct an energy and resource audit. No one likes to be audited. Fortunately, this audit is a great way to shave overhead costs and gain points with occupants. Have a third-party conduct a water and energy audit of your property. Professionals can catch leaks and wasted resources to help you save money, and then pass...

Cable Free Cometh

Charging cables, while a necessity, are something we’d like to never have to use again. That means batteries too. Battery technology, despite the increasing need in the auto industry, is only slowly advancing, but the results show potential. Researchers have been investing resources into annihilating cables; not long ago researchers from the University of Washington presented a system they named Power over Wi-Fi (PoWiFi). More recently, scientists from MIT and the Technical University of Madrid are looking into a new way of converting energy from Wi-Fi signals into electricity that could power electronics. Their latest study involves a new kind of rectenna: a device that converts alternative current electromagnetic waves into direct current (DC) electricity. The rectenna uses a flexible radio-frequency antenna which captures electromagnetic waves, including those carrying Wi-Fi, as alternative current (AC) waveforms. This antenna is then connected to a novel device called rectifier, for which the researchers used a two-dimensional semiconductor just three atoms thick (called molybdenum disulfide—MoS2), one of the thinnest semiconductors in the world. The AC signal travels into the semiconductor, which converts it into a DC voltage that can be used to power electronic circuits or recharge batteries. In short, this battery-free device passively captures and transforms ubiquitous Wi-Fi signals into useful DC power. Furthermore, the device is flexible and can be set up to cover very large areas. “What if we could develop electronic systems that we wrap around a bridge or cover an entire highway, or the walls of our office and bring electronic intelligence to everything around us? How do you provide energy for those electronics?” asked Tomás Palacios, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science & director of the MIT/MTL Center for Graphene Devices and 2D Systems in the Microsystems...

People Focused Mar26

People Focused

Aarty Sonambekar, a director with Yardi’s Global Solutions team, believes the secret to her success is understanding people. Based in Yardi’s Pune office, she focuses on the company mission to “take care of our clients” and “take care of our employees.” Growth naturally follows. Her team of nearly 90 PSG consultants, account managers and technical resources are responsible for supporting clients across Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Each interaction, she said, gives her a better opportunity to understand client needs and how to meet them. “My role helps me to be in touch with clients in the Asia Pacific region,” Aarty told us. “This gives me better insight of how the product is used and how we can actually partner the clients in their growth. Making the same product work for different clients across different countries is both fun and challenging.” “Managing teams also helps me interact with different people on daily basis, study their reactions and understand them,” she added. The human-centric approach has served her well in more than 13 years with the company. That isn’t to say that she has always enjoyed smooth sailing. Aarty has encountered her fair share of challenges. “A major challenge is being able to multi-task and handle multiple projects at the same time,” she said. “I am getting a better hand over it by improving my time management techniques.” Mastering time and task management are lessons that can never be learned too soon, and they can always be improved upon. “My advice to my 20-year-old self would be ‘First thing first.’ This helps one to prioritize things according to importance. It improves focus and brings in the virtue of systematization,” said Aarty. Nourished by Creativity For Aarty, balancing her technical work with creative expression is key...

Investment Tax Incentive Mar25

Investment Tax Incentive

A new white paper from Yardi Matrix offers insight into the impact of a U.S. real estate investment tax incentive. Tax reform passed in December 2017 designated more than 8,700 low-income “opportunity zones” where capital gains taxes may be lowered or eliminated depending on how long an investment is held. Opportunity zones encompass about 10% of the U.S. population and 12% of the country’s land. The white paper notes that opportunity zones have attracted intense interest from real estate investors because they “draw from a new base of largely untapped investors” and offer value-add opportunities in “new markets that were thought to be too small or risky as investment strategies.” Among the opportunity zone facts reported in the white paper: 9 million multifamily units, 960 million square feet of office space and 180 million square feet of self storage space are either in place or under construction The development pipeline—projects approved but not begun—includes another 450,000 multifamily units, 120 million square feet of office space and 12 million square feet of self storage space As a percentage of total space, properties in place or under construction in opportunity zones represent 13.1% of total multifamily units nationwide, 13.7% of total office space and 11.4% of total self storage space Ground-up development is likely to be a major focus of opportunity fund capital, since the law requires investors to significantly increase the basis of assets purchased. For properties in place, that would mean buildings in need of wholesale improvements, limiting the pool of assets that would qualify Washington, D.C., Phoenix and Brooklyn, N.Y., have the most multifamily units in place and under construction Houston, Detroit and Portland, Ore., are the leaders in office square feet in place and under construction Metros with the most planned and prospective self storage space are Richmond, Va., Phoenix and California’s Inland Empire Learn more about this still-developing investment vehicle in the white paper, titled “The Big Opportunity for Investors in Opportunity Zones.”...