Life’s WORC May27

Life’s WORC

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Life’s WORC staff celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary. Today, we are featuring Life’s WORC, a Garden City, NY nonprofit that supports people with intellectual challenges, developmental disabilities, and autism. The organization is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year: 50 years of providing services that facilitate an independent and productive life experience for their constituents. “Over fifty years ago, Victoria Schneps Yunis created Life’s WORC after Geraldo Rivera exposed the deplorable care and conditions at a place called Willowbrook,” said Tina Moreno, director of development for the nonprofit. “Geraldo and Vicki are still dedicated to ensuring that individuals live healthy and productive lives.” The scandalous story of how patients – from children to seniors – were treated at Willowbrook horrified the nation when it was exposed in the early 1970s. “This institution in 1972 was a crime against humanity. Those aren’t just words, they accurately represent the reality of Willowbrook,” Rivera says in his original report on the atrocious conditions at the state facility. Life’s WORC was created to offer an alternative reality that was safe, healthy, clean, and supportive. Today, six of the original residents of the Life’s WORC Rivera home in Little Neck Queens continue to enjoy their home and a healthy lifestyle.  “Vicki, along with Geraldo and now-NYC Mayor Eric Adams, paid a visit to the home to celebrate our 50 years of achievements,” said Moreno. “Life’s WORC is proud of our achievements over the last 50 years and will continue the important work begun by Vicki Schneps Yunis. We strive to constantly evolve and adapt our programs to better serve the people we support. We look forward to the next 50 years of making a difference in the lives of even more people with special needs and their loved ones.” The organization has also recently been awarded an RFP to provide five additional supportive homes for the state’s growing autistic population. “That brings us to 50 homes over 50 years,” Moreno said. “In addition, this year we will be launching a brand-new program and building called WORC FORCE, a multi-purpose community-based center that helps those with disabilities and learning challenges master in demand skills for the workplace and beyond.  Our mission is to build confidence and find purpose.” “The funds received from Yardi will be used to assist the individuals we support by enhancing their ability to access these programs,” Moreno explained. “We have purchased technology equipment to ensure connectivity for those individuals that were unable to attend in-person programs. We have also created new online classes for our program participants so that they can increase their skills.” Opportunities to volunteer Life’s WORC welcomes volunteers to assist with our special events throughout the year. On September 18, the organization will hold a Walk for WORC FORC and invites Yardi staff to contribute as participants and to assist with the event. Additionally, Life’s WORC participates in Bike to the Beach on September 24. Participants will ride 100, 50 or 25 miles for disabilities and autism. For more information on participation, contact Tina Moreno by email at [email protected] Learn more about Life’s WORC at https://lifesworc.org/, and find future non-profit profiles at...

Self Storage Update May26

Self Storage Update

Self storage continues to perform well nationwide according to the latest National Self Storage Report from Yardi® Matrix. National average storage rates rose $1 to $146 in April, matching the all-time high set last fall. Street rate growth, however, is decelerating because rates increased more dramatically in 2021. Street rates for 10×10 non climate-controlled units nationally increased 4.8 percent year-over-year in April, while rates for 10×10 climate-controlled units saw slightly less growth at 4.3 percent. According to industry executives at the NYSSA investment forum this month, demand comes not only from normal factors like migration and student movement, but also from individuals who need storage to accommodate offices and businesses that have been squeezed out of the tight commercial market. Storage customers are renewing at high rates and extending the length of stays. It all results in growth in rents and net operating income, which has increased upwards of 20 percent for some REITs over the past year. However, market headwinds do exist. Consumer demand that has driven the recent boom could cool as higher interest rates slow migration and dampen home sales, which are major drivers for self storage. And although storage has a limited amount of capital expenditures, increasing expenses for items such as labor and materials may erode benefits of strong rent growth. “Storage executives, however, are confident the segment is uniquely well positioned in an inflationary environment because leases can keep pace with rising prices and they foresee an ongoing increase in demand,” states the report. Yardi Matrix tracks a total of 4,051 self storage properties nationwide in various stages of development — including 1,467 planned, 747 under construction and 526 prospective properties. Matrix also maintains operational profiles for 28,289 completed self storage facilities across the United States, bringing the...

Changemaker Series

“Often I’ve found that change comes at the most unexpected times, but I believe that’s what makes our work so meaningful.” Those words come from LCS President and CEO Joel Nelson, a member of this year’s Changemakers class. The annual Changemakers series recognizes bold, strategic leadership in senior living. With leaders like Nelson interviewed by Senior Housing News (SHN) throughout the series, you get an inside look at how industry pioneers are sparking change. Yardi is proud to sponsor Changemakers for the fourth consecutive year. Introducing Joel Nelson Joel Nelson’s career at LCS — a Yardi client and one of the nation’s largest senior living organizations — has been full of change. From starting the company’s real estate business to now operating over 130 communities in the LCS Family of Companies, Nelson is skilled at navigating challenges and developing solutions. In his SHN interview, Nelson shares how being prepared for change is critical, and discusses which changes he believes are vital for the industry’s future. Keep reading for a highlight. SHN: Thinking back on your career in senior living, what are some of the changes you’re especially proud of leading? Nelson: I’ve had the good fortune to be in the industry for the last 36 years, and there have been many changes in LCS and the senior living industry during that time. The one I’m most proud of is when I was given the opportunity to start our real estate company back in 2010. It was transformational for the company and who we are, and it has driven even more changes as a result. There’s a lot to be proud of in this industry, which is why I stuck around for so long. I’ve been on multiple association boards, and for the last couple...

Camp Twin Lakes May24

Camp Twin Lakes

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, get to know Camp Twin Lakes, a Georgia-based organization that addresses the need for youth development and wellness opportunities for children with special healthcare needs and life challenges. “We work with more than 60 other nonprofits each year to build programs that engage campers in hands-on, nature-based programs to improve their well-being, self-esteem, sense of belonging to a community, and confidence in their skills and abilities,” says Anna Hutchins, Director of Grants & Outcomes Measurement for the organization. The 2022 summer camp season begins in-person on May 28. “All of our activities are fully adaptive and medically supported. That means that kids of all mobility levels, and their families, can sail down the zip line, scale the rock wall, ride bikes, and get in the pool. We are also able to take care of our campers’ medical needs onsite, including chemo and dialysis.” Expanding to fill growing needs Twin Lakes began operations in 1991 and held its first summer programs in 1993. Its two current campuses are in Rutledge and Winder, Georgia. “Our current partners and larger community have been expressing the need for more – more programs, more family weekends, more child-only summer camps,” explained Hutchins. “To meet this need, we are building a third, year-round campus on additional land in Rutledge that will allow us to serve 3,500 more campers every year, including kids with Down Syndrome, pancreatitis, skin diseases, and mental health diagnoses.” The new campus is expected to open in early 2023, and Camp Twin Lakes expect to serve more than 12,000 campers next year across all three locations. Yardi has been a community partner with Camp Twin Lakes for more than fifteen years. “Yardi supported us through the pandemic, making therapeutic, educational, and recreational programs possible for hundreds of kids during a really difficult time. And with our new campus opening next year, your support will bring the joy of Camp to even more campers,” shared Hutchins. Camp Twin Lakes offers a donor-funded Camper Scholarship Program. It funds program supplies, onsite medical support, accessible onsite housing, and meals meeting specific dietary needs. Providing this support relieves the financial burden from camper families, making the transformative experience of Camp possible for thousands of kids every year. A sense of fitting in We asked Hutchins to share one the story of a camper who was positively impacted by their experience at Camp Twin Lakes. She shared Morgan’s story with us. “Morgan has Apert Syndrome, which affects facial features and limbs. Morgan shared that people often stare at her because she looks different, but Camp is different,” said Hutchins. “No one stares at me,” said Morgan of what it is like for youth attending Camp Twin Lakes. “No one treats me like I am a kid with Aperts, or a kid who was born without fingers and toes, or who cannot lift her arms above her head. Camp is a place where kids who are extraordinary can just be ordinary. It is my favorite place in the entire world. I wish the world were just like it – understanding, patient, caring, and fun.” After first attending camp at age 11, Morgan is now a volunteer counselor for the organization during the summer. As a counselor, Morgan says her goal is to “tell my campers that it is OK to be different. People are going to stare or wonder why you are doing something a certain way, but it is uniquely your way.” Opportunities for Yardi employees to volunteer There are many ways for Georgia...

Patriot PAWS May20

Patriot PAWS

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, we are talking with Patriot PAWS, a Rockwall, Texas organization that since 2006 has provided fully trained service dogs of the highest quality to disabled American veterans at no cost to the veteran. Patriot PAWS was founded in 2006 by Lori Stevens, who observed several veterans attempting to train their own dogs to become service dogs. As a dog trainer with 30 years of experience, Stevens knew she could help. What started out as just Stevens and four volunteers has become a national organization with more than 380 service dog placements in 39 states and ongoing growth each year. Readying a service dog is a major undertaking.  Each Patriot PAWS service dog costs $35,000 to train and provide care for. “All funds will go towards continuing the mission of providing these life-saving dogs to our veterans in need,” said Marissa Pittman and Sarah Mathers, development coordinators for the organization. “Yardi’s generous support has helped us bring several dogs into training and place dogs not only as service dogs, but as in-home working dogs for our veterans as well. We truly could not do this without the support by amazing companies like Yardi,” Pittman and Mathers said. Freedom and Gus’ story Freedom, a U.S. Army Combat Medic, endured physical, mental, and emotional injuries because of her military service. While all these injuries impacted her life, she struggled most with debilitating Post-Traumatic Stress...

Protect Your Communities

Calling all senior living operators: are you requiring renters insurance in your communities? And not just any renters insurance — trustworthy, comprehensive packages that give residents great coverage at an affordable price. And of course, packages that protect your communities under a broad range of circumstances. You may already know the importance of requiring renters insurance, but perhaps you haven’t made the switch to an all-inclusive solution. Or maybe you’re still weighing the benefits of steering your communities in that direction.   Either way, we have some exciting news to share. Thanks to the dedication of team Yardi, ResidentShield — a proven risk management solution — is now available for senior living. Whether you’re an existing Yardi client or someone new to our single connected solution, we’re eager to show you how ResidentShield can protect your communities, boost resident satisfaction and more. So if you’re still unsure how something like ResidentShield can work for you, just keep reading. Introducing ResidentShield for senior living What exactly is ResidentShield? At baseline, ResidentShield offers reliable risk management plans that provide coverage to residents and protect owner assets from resident-caused loss. You can say farewell to out-of-pocket expenses and time-consuming insurance claims. With ResidentShield, the heavy lifting is done for you, and you, your community, its owners and all residents reap some pretty fantastic benefits. How it works ResidentShield offers flexible combinations to meet your needs. Whichever route you take with this integrated solution, residents access simplified renters insurance — and your communities receive maximum protection. ResidentShield enables: Comprehensive protection — safeguard your assets with ResidentShield Master Policy Program, backed by the most experienced underwriters in the industry.Reliable coverage — reach and maintain 100% compliance via ResidentShield Protection Plan, with automated tracking built into Voyager Senior Housing.Satisfied residents — provide a quick and easy claims service through ResidentShield renters insurance. No residents are denied coverage. Eligible operators can even earn revenue for assisting with program implementation and administration. That means you can cover your communities and keep residents happy, all while improving your bottom line. Benefits for senior enrollees When you choose ResidentShield, senior enrollees can:   Tap into an electronic protection programAccess discounts up to 20%Receive thorough coverageGet timely estimates for valuable assets Contact us ResidentShield is now part of the Yardi Senior Living Suite for senior living providers. Ready to learn more? We invite you to read our ResidentShield brochure. To get in touch with our team about ResidentShield, simply fill out this form. We look forward to...

Chenetta Watson May18

Chenetta Watson

“My journey with Yardi has been exceptional – it exceeds the experiences I have had with other corporations I have worked with in the past. The difference here is that I have really felt nurtured by my work, the journey, the company, and the people,” says Chenetta Watson, technical account manager on Yardi Atlanta’s Affordable Client Success GA 1 Team.  Chenetta Watson Chenetta is an expert in epic journeys and has made international travel a top priority in her life. She recently visited Argentina and Antarctica, a bucket list trip that proved that bravery pays off. Read on to hear more about the trip and see some of her amazing photos. A Yardi journey Chenetta joined Yardi in 2018 after completing her Master of International Business from Georgia State University shortly after earning her Bachelor of Communication from Purdue University – West Lafayette. “Before joining Yardi, I did not know how much the technology industry had to offer nor was it something I thought I could do. With prior experience working as an end user of Voyager while working in Student Housing, Yardi turned out to be a perfect fit,” she recalled. She started her Yardi journey on PHA’s RENTCafe PHA Implementation team, then transitioned to PHA Voyager Implementations. “On PHA, I learned a solid set of foundational skills that have allowed me to find new ways to tackle tough problems, to be led by great leaders, and opportunities to transfer knowledge to my peers.” Currently, she is on the Affordable Client Success GA 1 team where she has been provided with the ability to transition from a role that was process oriented to a role where you must meet the problem where it is within the software. On the Affordable team, she has expanded her knowledge base by working more closely with Voyager accounting cases, strengthened her knowledge of federal housing compliance types that exist within Voyager such as HUD 50059, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, and many others. “What is very special about Yardi is the depth of leadership, opportunities to learn and grow with others, and a wealth of women who make intentional efforts to learn with you, encourage you to think beyond what you are and more of what you could be. In business, it is not often that you have a reservoir of women to tap into for learning and development in the business and technology arena, but also women who have served the company for over 20 years. This is a sign of a true and genuine workplace and has helped me to see myself working here long term,” Chenetta observed. Chenetta described herself as someone who loves a good mission, strong culture, and challenges that will take her professional growth to the next level. Since day one, the Yardi motto “Take care of our clients, take care of our employees, take care of our communities, stay focused and grow” has been a mantra she works by. Her membership on Yardi Atlanta’s non-profit committee drives the mission home. “With the changing global, national, and local landscapes constantly changing around us –and not always in a positive way, it helps to know that my company cares and I play an active role in contributing to the betterment of the world around and beyond me. As meaningful as it is to receive equitable pay and working in a positive work environment, it is as important to me that I work with a sense of purpose for a company who is morally fit.” A global journey While studying at Purdue University, she developed a love for traveling and has so far visited Antarctica, Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, and the United Kingdom – more countries than the average person gets to visit in a lifetime. She considers this to be a great privilege and takes the lessons learned from each culture and tries to implement...

Commonwealth Senior Living

73 percent of employees at Commonwealth Senior Living say it’s a great place to work compared to 57 percent of employees at a typical U.S.-based company. That’s according to a survey made possible by Great Place To Work, and it’s exactly why this senior living provider earned a place on the 2022 Great Place To Work list. Great Place To Work makes it easy to survey employees, uncover actionable insights and get recognized for exceptional company culture. Across industries, earning a place on the list means employees report a positive work experience — and a true appreciation for their employer and company as a whole. From our team here at Yardi, congratulations to Commonwealth Senior Living for earning a place on the 2022 list! Commonwealth named 2022 Great Place To Work Creating an environment in which employees feel respected and empowered is no easy task. And when it comes to senior living, employers need to treat employees in a way that positions them — and empowers them — to provide excellent resident care. Earning a spot on the 2022 Great Place To Work list, Commonwealth embodies what it means to maintain a great workplace. Drawing from the administered survey, Commonwealth employees reported the following: 89 percent feel their work has special meaning: this is not “just a job”84 percent feel they make a difference at the company82 percent feel a sense of pride when looking at what the company accomplishes82 percent say when you join the company, you’re made to feel welcome80 percent feel people at the company are given a sense of responsibility Great Place To Work also draws top words from employee comments within the survey, which included things like love, care, team and family for Commonwealth. Read more about what makes Commonwealth employees love what they do. Learn about Commonwealth Senior Living Flipping the organizational chart upside down, Commonwealth firmly believes that all home office and regional management positions exist to support the services that are being provided at their communities. Ultimately, the people who are providing the care to residents are the most important asset to the company. Commonwealth has roughly 1,722 employees based throughout the U.S and offers services in independent living, assisted living and memory care. Explore what makes Commonwealth different. This provider’s success with Yardi In order to serve residents with excellence and provide the best care possible, Commonwealth draws help from the Yardi Senior Living Suite. From RentCafe Senior CRM, to Yardi EHR to Yardi eMAR, Yardi’s integrated tools give Commonwealth employees everything needed to devote their efforts to improving residents’ lives. Learn about Yardi’s single connected solution for senior living. We couldn’t be happier to share Commonwealth’s Great Place To Work certification — and congratulate them for their amazing company culture. Be sure to read more about Commonwealth and their efforts in senior...

Matrix Trading Bulletin May17

Matrix Trading Bulletin

Real estate investors are gung-ho on multifamily – so much so that last year they were willing to pay more for it than ever before, especially in certain circumstances. Whether that trend continues or a bubble burst is on the horizon is the focus of a new Multifamily Trading Bulletin from Yardi Matrix. Record-high property sales and prices were recorded in 2021. Yardi Matrix tracked $215 billion of multifamily property sales in the U.S. in 2021 that traded for an average of $192,105 per unit, a year-over-year increase of 21.6 percent. The new bulletin analyzes repeat sales over the last decade in Matrix’s database of 83,000 properties. Among those, 4,500 multifamily properties in the US — about 5.3 percent – sold at least three times over the last decade. The average compound annual growth rate for the repeat-sale properties averaged 17.7 percent nationally. Analysts found that rents rose rapidly during the 10-year cycle, but not as much as price appreciation. Multifamily rent growth in 2021 was up 14 percent for the year, a record, but rent growth has been above the long-term average for over five years (except for during COVID-19 lockdowns). “The rapid growth in pricing reflects a combination of factors: the exceptional amount of liquidity in real estate and multifamily, the extremely strong rent growth, the low cost of financing as interest rates bottomed and debt costs were near historical lows, and the optimism about the sector’s prospects in the next few years,” says Paul Fiorilla, director of research for Yardi Matrix, who authored the bulletin. Deal flow roared back in 2021 to a record $215.3 billion, a 67.3 percent increase from the prior high point in 2019. 2021 also set new records with 6,488 properties sold and 1.34 million units traded. “The extraordinary increase in pricing likely to be threatened going forward by the increase in interest rates and questions about the economy, which has already prompted a slowdown in investment activity and will likely end the period of appreciation growth,” Fiorilla stated. What sort of assets are driving these increases? Investors know what they like, and that includes smaller assets in secondary markets geared toward working-class renters. They are considered to have rent-growth potential due to relatively low rents and location in markets with above-trend rent growth. They will also pay a premium for strategically located value-add properties. The most popular regions include secondary markets and areas with strong in-migration, particularly Texas, the Southeast and Southwest, where demand and rent growth is growing faster than the rest of the nation. Relatively few properties in gateway markets made the list of repeat sales. Yardi Matrix tracks properties in 162 markets with 50 or more units. Gain more insights from the new Multifamily Trading Bulletin from Yardi...

Changemakers Series

Now in its fourth consecutive year, the Changemakers series showcases forward-thinking leadership in senior living. But not just any leaders earn the honor. The Changemakers title is reserved for those who drive positive change across the industry — and who pursue innovative strategies along the way.  It’s empowering to see how each honoree is transforming the industry as we know it. That’s made possible through in-depth interviews conducted by Senior Housing News (SHN) and sponsored by Yardi. And lucky for you, the first batch of interviews is live. That includes one from Tana Gall, president of Merrill Gardens, a family-owned company and Yardi client. Her story is one you don’t want to miss. Meet Tana Gall From decades of experience in senior living, Changemaker Tana Gall is skilled at problem solving. That comes from her initiative to take risks and forge new paths, which Gall has done throughout her career. Now as president of Merrill Gardens, she has an important perspective on what it takes to spearhead change. In her interview, Gall tells SHN about her bold but calculated risk-taking approach, plus she shares lessons learned from her 27 years in the industry. Keep reading for a highlight.   SHN: Thinking back on your career in senior living, what are some of the changes you’re especially proud of leading? Gall: In the early 2000s, I was able to work with a group on changing our industry messaging. For my first few years in the industry, a lot of the same words were used to describe what we did — respect, integrity, independence. They were generic and didn’t capture what the industry represented, so we took a leap. During my time at Leisure Care, I worked with a very creative group of people to roll...

Commitment to Education May16

Commitment to Education

Continuing a longstanding focus on education, Yardi is pleased to announce the establishment of new scholarships at four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Atlanta and Raleigh, cities that are also home to Yardi offices. There are 107 colleges in the United States that are identified by the U.S. Department of Education as HBCUs. Most were established in the Southern U.S. prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and were created to provide opportunities to Black Americans who were excluded from attending other higher education institutions during segregation. HBCUs are known for providing diverse and inclusive communities of scholarship, strong academic preparedness for post-college life and rewarding student and alumni experiences. HBCUs Morehouse College, Spelman College, North Carolina Central University and Shaw University will be home to four-year full tuition scholarships funded by Yardi that will begin in Fall 2022. Yardi already supports secondary education in its hometown of Santa Barbara, California through its support of the UC Santa Barbara School of Engineering, Santa Barbara City College, CSU Channel Islands, and the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation. Reflecting Yardi’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, Yardi’s executive team decided to support secondary education at HBCUs. A working group of Yardi employees, James Armour, Jackie Jones and Adrian Paul, led the effort to identify the best institutions to fund and the scope of the scholarships, supported by philanthropic leads Liana Rao and Arnie Brier. “Expanding our commitment to continuing education by funding full scholarships at HBCUs is incredibly important to the company,” said Rao. “These scholarships exemplify our corporate commitment to diversity and inclusion at Yardi. We hire talented folks from all four of these schools and are excited to expand our partnership with each university.” James Armour, Finance Director in Yardi’s Atlanta office, commented on the critical impact that support of HBCU students can provide. “In life, we have different starting lines and some people start ahead of others. I think this is just one step in moving that starting line for those who are at the back. I see this is as life changing for the recipients that will be receiving these scholarships. They will be that much closer to their goals,” Armour said. Jackie Jones, a Senior HR Manager in Yardi’s Raleigh office and a graduate of NCCU, described the significant impact attending an HBCU had on her college experience and life. “The HBCU experience, for me, was nurturing but also provided lessons at every turn,” Jones recalled. “I still attend homecoming events each year when I can. I made friends during college who are still among my best friends today.” Marcus Rutherford, a member of Yardi’s corporate training team, attended Johnson C. Smith University, an HBCU in North Carolina, said that his experience at the school has empowered his future. “It’s a legacy that I hold near and dear to my heart. As an alumnus I can encourage dreamers wanting to attend college to believe in their dreams. Don’t just reach for the stars. Be the star,” Rutherford said.Learn more about HBCUs and more about Yardi’s corporate philanthropy...

Reach for Excellence May13

Reach for Excellence

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees. In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities. Today, we are getting to know Reach for Excellence, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that serves middle-school children through educational enrichment. Founded in 2001, the mission of Reach for Excellence is to empower determined leaders and expand their possibilities in the classroom, in the community, and in life. Reach for Excellence is a tuition-free academic and leadership enrichment program that offers students of limited income a mix of academic, cultural, and community-based experiences that prepare them for the challenges of college-preparatory programs and high schools. Director of Development Matt McGee shares: “While there are many worthwhile educational enrichment programs in the Atlanta area, Reach for Excellence is one of the few that focuses on middle school-aged children. Research from ACT found that the academic achievement students attain by eighth grade significantly impacts college and career readiness. Therefore, it is critical for this age group to gain exposure to the academic and leadership skills necessary to succeed in high school, college, and beyond.” Program offerings Reach for Excellence keeps students focused on learning by engaging young scholars in academic and leadership enrichment classes over six weeks during the summer. The program continues throughout the school year with 16 Saturday sessions. Two hot meals are provided each day in the summer, and a hot lunch is provided on Saturdays, ensuring that students are well-fed and ready to learn. Reach for Excellence also provides transportation assistance. “The program requires hard work, commitment, and discipline, but the rewards can last a lifetime,” says McGee. He shared the story of Jocelyn Calvillo, a Reach for Excellence student who later became an attorney. “Jocelyn was eager to join Reach, but her parents were concerned about maintaining a commitment to attend classes on Saturdays and during the summer. She had three siblings, and both parents worked demanding schedules. Transportation to the program would be an issue. Her parents recognized the importance of education and worked with Reach and other families to negotiate Jocelyn’s transportation,” McGee shared. But once she was able to attend, “It was comfortable to be in an environment with kids from similar backgrounds, and she never felt like she was less than her peers. She recalls that there were always books available and visited Reach’s library often. She loved reading and was good at math, a big part of the Reach curriculum,” said McGee. Calvillo ultimately attended high school at Atlanta’s Marist School in Atlanta, Agnes Scott College, where she majored in political science and Spanish, and Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law. She now helps her community as an immigration attorney with Catholic Charities Atlanta, an organization that helps families to overcome barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. “Jocelyn believes that Reach for Excellence opens doors and helps students succeed despite all the barriers they face. Seeing all that her fellow Reach classmates have accomplished, she believes Reach students will change the world,” said McGee. Future goals In 2022 and 2023, Reach for Excellence is working to offset the impact of the pandemic on students’ academic growth. The pandemic has taken a particular toll on the education of children in low-income families. Research from Georgia State University recently found that many students in the Metro-Atlanta area experienced reductions in academic growth over the last two years. The math and reading achievement reductions were more significant among students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, students of color, and English language learners. All of Reach for Excellence students match these demographics and experienced more significant reductions in academic growth than their peers. “Additionally,...

Bumpy Roads Ahead May12

Bumpy Roads Ahead

As the stock market rocks and rolls, inflation becomes a fact of life and many Americans continue to relocate, what’s in store for the multifamily industry? Answering that big question was the goal of a recent Yardi Matrix webinar presented by Jeff Adler, vice president of Matrix, who presented fundamentals, economic indicators, geographic trends and much more. If you missed the presentation, you can view the recording and slide materials. Additional multifamily insights are available in the latest Yardi® Matrix Multifamily Report, which reported this week that the average U.S. asking rents rose $15 in April to an all-time record $1,659. Multifamily asking rent growth measured a record 14 percent increase in 2021. However, that performance is expected to moderate during the remainder of 2022, due to multiple factors. “I do expect the economy to continue to grow – at a slower rate. I do expect multifamily to continue to grow – at a slower rate. Bottom line, it is going to be bumpy,” Adler said. On the plus side, multifamily fundamentals are strong, and the sector should remain resilient during the next year and beyond. Beyond external factors like inflation, rising interest rates and economic volatility, there are many trends impacting housing that investors and multifamily professionals should make note of. They include: Ongoing population migration: “The hybridization of the work force and the ability to work from anywhere has enabled a spreading of the population,” said Adler. That has been beneficial for secondary and tertiary markets over gateway markets. Find out which ones in the presentation materialsLease renewals: While multifamily asking rents have jumped 20-25 percent over the last year in most markets, lease renewals are more likely to ask for about 10 percent more per month, Adler stated. That means many...

New Ways to Work May12

New Ways to Work

As workers migrate back to their offices, they’ll enter an environment that’s dramatically more accepting of nontraditional working arrangements than before the pandemic. Most industry observers agree that openness to flexible work arrangements among employers will be the norm. A survey by video messaging platform Loom that found that 90% of workers and managers are happier with the increased freedom they now have to work from home. LinkedIn reports that 1 in 67 U.S. jobs offered a remote work option in March 2020; today, that number is about 1 in 7. Here are a few of the trends workers might encounter when – or if – they return to the office: Hybrid here to stay. Harvard Business Review reported in January that more than 90% of employers plan to adopt a hybrid working model in 2022. “In the U.S., employees expect flexibility within their job as much as they expect a 401(k). Employers that don’t offer flexibility will see increased turnover as employees move to roles that offer a value proposition that better aligns with their desires,” according to HBR contributors Brian Kropp and Emily Rose McRae of the Gartner HR Practice. “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach: Experiment with ‘Team Tuesdays’ or in-person office hours between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., two days a week. Consider quarterly off-sites that bring far-flung teammates together regularly,” suggests Microsoft in its Work Trend Index 2022 survey report.Growth in AI and automation. The World Economic Forum predicts that artificial intelligence and automation will spark the creation of 97 million new jobs by 2025. AI will affect many existing jobs as well, by automating managerial tasks such as approving expense reports and monitoring direct reports’ completion of tasks and letting workers focus on areas requiring creativity, imagination and high-level strategy....

Blake Cole May11

Blake Cole

Meet Blake Cole, a team lead for RightSource auditors in Yardi’s Minneapolis office. Blake started at Yardi in November 2020 as an auditor and was promoted to team lead within six months. Blake Cole Recently, he had the opportunity to be part of longtime Yardi affordable housing client ALCO’s very first internal podcast. We caught up with Blake to learn more about how he proactively tackles client challenges. Read on to learn more. TBS: How do you spend your work hours? BC: As Team Lead, I oversee the compliance and review of certifications for numerous affordable housing programs (e.g. HUD, LIHTC, HOME) across 11 states. My work hours are spent developing and cultivating strong relationships with our clients, responding to compliance questions and inquiries, supporting auditors in their review of complex certifications, as well as problem solving and troubleshooting software issues that may arise. I began my career in affordable housing 14 years ago as a Leasing Consultant for a 175-unit elderly property in Atlantic City, NJ where I utilized Yardi Affordable software daily to process rental payments and complete certifications on site. This experience of overcoming the day-to-day challenges of compliance in affordable housing ironically are some of the same challenges that my clients presently endure. Having walked in their shoes for more than a decade of my career has unquestionably positioned me to better meet their needs today. TBS: What do you most enjoy about your work at Yardi? BC: I enjoy being able to pursue my passion of problem solving and providing exceptional customer service all while working remotely. I enjoy having easy access to continued education and online training. I believe Yardi attracts the best of the best; and doing so gives me the opportunity to learn from professionals who...

Changemakers Series

Remember Changemakers — the annual series recognizing pioneers in senior living? It’s a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the innovation, drive and commitment circling the industry, and honor the leaders behind it all. We’re pleased to announce the 2022 series has officially begun. Proudly sponsored by Yardi for the fourth year in a row, the Senior Housing News (SHN) Changemakers series will showcase some of the most dynamic leadership senior living has to offer. Released in batches over the next several months, this year’s interviews will feature never-before-seen insights from visionaries across the industry. In that spirit, meet our first Changemaker: Tom Grape. About Tom Grape As founder, chairman and CEO of Benchmark Senior Living, a dedicated Yardi client, Grape is well versed in spearheading change. Having founded the company in 1997, he embodies what it means to shape senior living as we know it. In his interview with SHN, Grape details how he’s led Benchmark through change to attract a more complex consumer, his mission to increase diversity at the leadership level and more. Here’s a snapshot: SHN: What changes have you driven at Benchmark or in the industry that you’re especially proud of? Grape: I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I’m proud of having been, at least in the assisted living side, there from the ground up. I was one of the founding members of, then ALFA, now Argentum, and was a chair many years ago. I founded the Massachusetts chapter, helping write legislation in Massachusetts and as a founder of the Connecticut chapter, I take pride in being one of the early folks. Benchmark was an early champion of promoting positive culture, and we are still defined by that characteristic today. The Boston Globe has named us in their “Top Places to Work” list each of the 14 years they’ve had it. We’re the only company to accomplish that in their large company category, and I’m so proud of that. We’re continuing to be a strong proponent of culture. Care, in general, is something on which we’ve worked hard to differentiate ourselves from others. And we’ve become a pioneer in capital over time. We were the first one to bring opportunity fund capital and international capital to the sector, and we were one of the first RIDEA deals. SHN: How do you think about timing so that a company like Benchmark can innovate without getting so far ahead that a new idea is just too new? Grape: The best way to drive change is to do it in increments. We’ll start with a pilot, depending on what kind of change it is, to test it, tinker with it and work out some of the kinks. If it’s not being well-received but you think the execution is OK, then maybe you’re doing it too soon. I would try to avoid too many broad-scale changes at once without having done some form of test or early introduction. SHN: If you could change one thing about the senior living industry, what would it be? Grape: I’d love the senior living industry to find a way to have our product/service received in a more universally positive fashion. Our product is a real gift to the people we serve and yet, it is not always received as such. It’s not always delivered as such. If we can have it delivered, received and portrayed more consistently it would be a great advance for the industry. Read Tom Grape’s entire interview To read the rest of Tom Grape’s conversation with SHN, check out the full interview. To learn how Yardi solutions help providers like Benchmark drive positive change, explore our Senior Living Suite infographic or product...

Ready to network?

Argentum is well known for their advocacy efforts in senior living. From influencing policy decisions to informing the public about pressing issues, they’re always working to better the lives of older adults.   This makes their annual conference a can’t-be-missed opportunity. The event gathers thousands of senior living professionals, operators, owners, executives and community leaders to discuss the future of senior living. And this year, you can connect with team Yardi at booth 805. Ready to network at the Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference? We’ll see you May 16-18 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Come to booth 805 There’s no denying the importance of technology in today’s senior living landscape. Integrated, comprehensive solutions like the Yardi Senior Living Suite have the tools needed to unify operations, increase move-ins and enhance resident care. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our single connected solution has undergone some powerful enhancements lately, and each improvement was built to power your communities like never before. With that in mind, we invite you to meet team Yardi at booth 805 come Argentum 2022! We’ll answer any questions you have, whether it be on the Senior Living Suite as a whole, or individual tools like RentCafe Senior CRM and Yardi EHR. We can’t wait to show you what’s new with each product — and demonstrate how everything connects on a single platform. Want to get something on the books in advance? Schedule time to meet with us at Argentum. Start exploring our single connected solution Eager to learn more about Yardi before Argentum? Check out our newest infographic to see how our software evolves — with functionality like electronic signatures — to help operators succeed. We walk you through every step of our electronic leasing process, and offer testimonies...

Energy Honors May08

Energy Honors

Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honors a group of businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. As a Service and Product Provider, Yardi is honored to receive the 2022 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award from the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy after being named Partner of the Year for four consecutive years. The award celebrates companies that offer energy services and products in the commercial, institutional or industrial markets for successfully assisting their clients in strategic energy management and building design. Highest EPA Accolade The Sustained Excellence award is the highest honor bestowed by the ENERGY STAR program. Its winners have made a long-term commitment to fighting climate change and protecting public health through energy efficiency. They are among the nation’s leaders in driving value for the environment, the economy and the American people. Partner of the Year winners are not only promoters of ENERGY STAR, but also are especially adept at operating within the programs and work with ENERGY STAR to make ongoing improvements. The award acknowledges Yardi’s efforts to educate and support clients with benchmarking services and technology solutions across a variety of real estate sectors. Energy wins According to the EPA, in 2020 alone, more than 270,000 commercial properties used EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® tool to measure and track their energy use, water use, and/or waste and materials. These buildings comprise more than 25 billion square feet of floorspace more than a quarter of all the commercial floorspace in the nation. In 2021, Yardi helped more than 200 clients benchmark energy in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for over 5,000 buildings, a 42 percent increase from the previous year. Yardi helped clients benchmark water in over 4,000 buildings, a 33 percent increase from 2020. In addition, Yardi actively promotes ENERGY STAR benefits, publishing 70 articles and providing resources for benchmarking energy performance and energy management such as webinars, client conferences courses, executive briefings sessions and other activities. “We’re so proud to receive this top honor from the EPA for the fourth consecutive year, and we again applaud our clients’ success. We look forward to continuing to help our clients and the real estate industry reap the benefits of using ENERGY STAR to meet their business and sustainability goals,” said Akshai Rao, vice president at Yardi. Learn more Find out how Yardi empowers real estate companies to meet energy and sustainability goals. See the complete list of 2022 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award...

11 Big Ideas

More than 800 people joined the Apartment Innovation and Marketing Conference in Huntington Beach last week for four days of learning, networking and fun. The REACH by RentCafe digital marketing agency was in attendance as marketing leaders and multifamily experts from across the country took the stage to share both strategies and results. Here are some quotable moments from this incredible event to help you get inspired for your next campaign. Connect with the speakers by clicking on their names. Making marketing matter “What does it mean to be in marketing? Your job is to make a brand cool and don’t get it sued.” Nick Tran, former global head of marketing at TikTok “Be authentic. Trends aren’t one-size-fits-all. Do what works for your brand and each community.” Sarah Wieman, PRG Real Estate “In marketing, we don’t want to be order-takers. We want to be decision-makers. Stop treating yourself as support. Bring data to the table so you can come in with value.” Kelley Shannon, Bozzuto “For marketing to work in a silo, you might as well just go stand against the wall and bang your head. Getting more traffic isn’t the highest and best use of your marketing dollars. Educate your team about the value marketing brings to the table and how it impacts ROI.” Gigi Giannoni, Gables Residential “SEO should be a foundational element for you. Why would you put money in places with diminishing returns when you could make a winning long-term play?” Melissa Cartagena, Greystar Give renters what they want “We’re focused on our brand and the lifestyle, but we know from looking at our analytics, lifestyle images aren’t necessarily what sells. Lifestyle helps bring your story to life, but we need core property content and images to sell units.” Tim Hermeling, Cortland “Only 2% of residents say property management overcommunicates. And 45% of residents think their rent will stay the same or go down. Are you setting realistic expectations?” J. Turner Batdorf, J. Turner Research “A full 90% of renters are either interested in or won’t rent without soundproof walls. This feature ranks only slightly below air conditioning and in-unit laundry, and yet is advertised by very few properties.” Sarah Yaussi Pienik, NMHC Social media content is queen “We have not traditionally trusted our leasing teams with social media. But in reality, they’re the closest to your customers. Give them the power to create content. They can become the ultimate creators for you.” Kristi Fickert, Realync “You can reach so many more potential renters on Pinterest. Did you know 72% of users use Pinterest to decide what to buy offline?” Brooke Atsalis, The Management Group “I didn’t have any expectations when we tried TikTok, I just didn’t want to offend anyone. We’re in lease-up; we need velocity. We’ve gotten 74 leads. A very interested lead slid into our DMs. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.” Kira Brown, Wood Partners #REACHpeace The REACH team was also able to donate an additional $1,250 to Direct Relief International to provide aid in Ukraine because of engagement at the event. Thank you to all who participated. We look forward to seeing everyone next year at AIM...

Celebrate NSNCW 2022

It’s National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW)! Established by the American Health Care Association (ACHA) in 1967, this week-long observance recognizes the essential role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s seniors and disabled population.    Skilled nursing care centers across the country are hosting events to mark the occasion, which runs through May 14. And this year’s theme — Creating and Nurturing Connections — is especially inspiring.   We’re here to share the meaning behind NSNCW and offer some ideas to celebrate. We hope you’ll join us in recognizing skilled nursing care centers, and their staff members, for all that they do to improve residents’ lives.   All about NSNCW Skilled nursing care centers and their staff are no stranger to dedication. They continuously strive to provide high-level care for their residents, no matter the circumstance. And we’ve seen just how committed they are throughout the last two years of the pandemic. They’ve worked to provide exceptional care without fail, protecting residents around the clock during periods of limited visitation and social distancing. Staff members became family members and friends when residents needed social connection more than ever. It’s why this year’s theme, developed by ACHA, is perfectly fitting. The focus of this year’s NSNCW is simple: celebrate the essential role that skilled nursing care centers and staff play in creating and nurturing connections for their residents. Learn more about the role of skilled nursing care centers and staff, as well as details on NSNCW 2022. ​How to celebrate Don’t miss your chance to celebrate NSNCW! Drawn from ACHA’s 2022 planning guide, we have a list of activities designed to help residents staff and families create new connections — and nurture existing ones. Working together, we encourage you to create and...