Clear, Concise, Conscious Sep22

Clear, Concise, Conscious

Though working from home is novel in many ways, it has its disadvantages: you may feel disconnected from your peers, out of the loop with leadership and frustrated that you don’t have access to all the tools you’d have at the office. Add those concerns on top of a challenging work-life balance and we’ve got a recipe for short tempers, cluttered minds and poor communication. Yet in the age of social distancing, strong communication skills reassert their essential value. If you find that your team is struggling to stay amicable, focused and encouraged, consider the three Cs: clear, concise and conscious communication.   Clear intention First, identify what you want to accomplish. Geoffrey James, a specialist in sales communications at Sales Source, emphasizes that all communication has intention. “Before you initiate any communication, ask yourself, ‘What am I trying to accomplish?’ Understanding and focusing on the ‘why’ allows you to avoid side issues and ratholes that might otherwise obscure the situation.” Clear communication also encourages us to be specific and detailed in the first point of contact. This can minimize confusion and time-consuming follow-ups. Avoid assumptions, state your objective and provide your contact with the necessary information or resources needed to fulfill the objective. Think you’re overdoing it on the details? If you’re introducing an unfamiliar topic or content, you’re probably not. A Stanford University study reveals that speakers grossly overestimate how much listeners understand. When you’re dealing with a new project or concept, it may be essential to overcommunicate. Concise language While it is important to give adequate details, it is equally important to be concise. There are no hard and fast rules for this delicate balance. The amount of detail needed will depend on your contact’s familiarity with the content. But there are steps that you can take to be efficient with your communication. In writing, it is especially important to avoid hyperbole, downplaying serious situations and sarcasm. Written communication doesn’t include tone of voice, facial expression and body language to give context to what you’re saying. Any figurative language increase the chances of miscommunication. Additionally, communication specialist Deep Patel recommends focusing on communication that will garner respect rather than laughs. “It can be tempting to communicate with others in a lighthearted way,” says Patel. “But remember that the most successful communicators are those who have earned respect rather than laughs.” Conscious approach There are entire schools of study around conscious communication. To simplify a few concepts, keep two basic points in mind: no one can read your mind, and everyone is fighting personal battles. No one knows what you need unless you clearly and concisely explain it to them. When possible, empower them with resources to fulfill the objective correctly the first time around. You also cannot read their minds, so avoid making assumptions about their intentions, intelligence or character. Secondly, everyone is trying to adjust to these turbulent times. Financial uncertainty, health concerns, social injustice, longing for absent loved ones and frustrations within the household are just a few issues that contribute to irregular or unfavorable behavior. Keep that in mind when communicating with others. Proceed with kindness, compassion, empathy and patience. Undoubtedly, even the best attempts at conscious communication can fail. It’s important to learn what went wrong and address it before relationships and work suffer. Take responsibility for your feelings and identify what exchange triggered the upset, advises The Chopra Center. When applicable, note what you did not receive from the exchange and then ask for what you want. “The key principle of conscious communication is making it as easy as possible for another person to meet your need by asking for the specific behavior that will fulfill it,” advises Chopra. “When people feel vulnerable, they commonly compensate by becoming demanding and threatening, believing that forcefulness will increase the likelihood of getting what they want. This approach often has the opposite effect. A...

Software for Senior Living Sep21

Software for Senior Living

Business software is a big category. One so big that there are almost too many options to realistically consider. Take marketing for example, which already has more than 8,000 solutions in nearly 50 distinct areas, the sheer scope of which is obvious from just a glance at the popular marketing technology landscape. Fortunately, when it comes to senior living, the picture isn’t nearly as staggering. Sure, you could choose one of the 7,000 marketing solutions for your community, and it may do the job. Or you could pick from a much smaller list of solutions that were designed specifically for senior living. Software developers have spent decades in the industry working directly with communities to build products customized to their unique housing and care needs. That said, the software market for senior living is growing in step with the industry as a whole. New innovations and features are routinely released, while entirely new products are entering the field. Digital leases, resident portals, online services, mobile charting — you get the idea. Things are changing. Your guide to senior living software This software transformation is likely a big reason why 83% of senior living providers feel that they’ve underinvested in technology. So what kinds of senior living software are available now? And what should you have? We’ve created a new ebook to tackle those questions for you. The Complete Senior Living Software Toolkit breaks down each software type you can find in a modern community, explaining how it helps and highlighting the important features. That way, you can easily flip through the ebook for tools you may not have, learn a bit about their advantages and decide for yourself if it’s something that would work for your staff and residents. Essential software for senior living providers In the ebook, we group the senior living software categories by level of value. There are options that take your community above and beyond but aren’t crucial to running things. And then there are the solutions that every senior living organization should consider adopting. Here’s a quick preview of the first chapter on the most important software for senior living. Property management & accounting – The core financial software that handles the back-office business tasks. Commonly includes a general ledger, resident billing and payment processing. Customer relationship management – Where your sales and marketing team work to grow the community. Key features are lead tracking, activity calendars and campaign management. Electronic health records – The efficient, modern-day answer to paper-based resident records for your caregivers. Look for health assessments, incident tracking and mobile charting. Be sure to check out the full ebook to learn more about the best software for senior living...

Surviving + Thriving Sep18

Surviving + Thriving

During every Yardi Matrix webinar, vice president and presenter Jeff Adler shares the big picture of current economic conditions and conundrums – also known as the Yardi Matrix House View. Here’s how the view is looking from the Matrix vantage point these days: “We had a deep recession. We’re in the middle of a recovery. That recovery is likely to be choppy,” summarized Adler to close out Thursday’s Matrix update on the self storage sector. A recording of the presentation is now available, and you can view that here. But for those invested or interested in the self storage market, the seas are not looking quite so rough. Of all commercial real estate sectors, storage had a brief negative impact from COVID-19’s rise in the U.S., and then quickly recovered. “Storage is actually doing quite well,” said Chris Nebenzahl, editorial director for Yardi Matrix. “The demand for storage has been consistent and is stronger than some of the other asset classes in commercial real estate.” Key factors for the sector’s resiliency include: Relocations and population migration. Americans are leaving congested big cities like New York and Los Angeles for second-tier markets where they have more space. Residential volatility. For example, college students have faced ever-changing mandates about whether they would resume classes in person and online, prompting quick moves that often involve a need for storage. Economic hardship. Job losses for millions of Americans are contributing to relocations and downsizing. According to a Pew Research Center Survey, roughly one in five U.S. adults say they have either changed their residence due to the pandemic or know someone who did. The proof of sustained demand for storage is in the street rates, particularly for the non-climate-controlled category. Month-over-month rates reported for August showed that national...

Forbes Cloud 100 Sep16

Forbes Cloud 100

Global real estate technology provider Yardi has been named for the fifth time to the Forbes Cloud 100, the definitive list of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world. Yardi was a member of the inaugural Cloud 100 in 2016, landed at No. 30 for 2019, and is No. 34 this year. “We’re honored that Forbes has recognized Yardi yet again for our industry-leading cloud solutions,” said Jay Shobe, vice president of cloud services at Yardi. “To continue to rank among these prestigious companies reflects the efforts of our employees and the tremendous support of our clients worldwide.” The evaluation process involved four factors: market leadership (35%), estimated valuation (30%), operating metrics (20%), people and culture (15%). The Forbes Cloud 100 judge panel weighed the factors to select, score and rank the winners. With that data, the judge panel, which includes major public cloud company CEOs, was then responsible for selecting and ranking the top 100 companies globally. “The private cloud ecosystem continues to mature in light of rapid digital transformations, making the competition to land one of the coveted spots on the Cloud 100 list steeper than ever,” said Byron Deeter, a top cloud investor, and partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “Private cloud valuations are getting bigger as the market’s appetite for cloud continues to grow. Over the past five years, the average Cloud 100 valuation has grown by a tremendous 2.5x, from $1 billion in 2016 to $2.7 billion in 2020. In fact, our 2020 Cloud 100 includes over 87 private cloud unicorns! These founders represent the absolute best in cloud computing today.” “For five years now, we have ranked the best and brightest emerging companies in the cloud sector,” said Alex Konrad, Forbes editor of The Cloud 100. “With...

Argentum 2020 Sep16

Argentum 2020

Argentum’s largest event of the year is back. And this time, it’s virtual. The Senior Living Executive Conference, originally scheduled for the spring, is now set for September 22-24. Out of consideration for safety, Argentum leadership made the choice back at the start of the pandemic to go virtual, but they’re committed to making the experience as valuable and insightful as it’s ever been. “Through the virtual event, we can continue to educate and advance the industry on important matters through a medium more accessible and convenient given the extraordinary circumstances we are facing as an industry and as a country,” said James Balda in an email announcing the decision. “We can incorporate much of what we are learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as focus on what support the industry needs to get through — and eventually beyond — this crisis.” Argentum is offering 30 hours of programming across the three-day live event. From big general sessions with C-suite panelists to smaller breakouts across multiple tracks, there are plenty of opportunities to come together. Those include sessions with best practices and lessons learned for COVID-19. Plan on attending? We hope you do. We’re sponsoring the registration this year, and we’re also hosting a special Zoom Room discussion about business intelligence that you don’t want to miss. Join us for our virtual session Today’s communities require data that combines real-time financial, clinical and marketing intelligence. How can technological advances in BI help? Richard Nix and J.R. Southerland from the Yardi Senior Living team will discuss emerging technologies and how they could impact your community, including your operational processes, resources and residents. We plan to highlight Yardi Senior IQ, our new BI tool built for senior living. The solution offers hundreds...

Beyond BI Sep15

Beyond BI

“Grubb has a top-down philosophy of promoting long-term residents,” said Shawn Cardner, executive vice president of operations at Grubb Properties. “We always felt our long-term resident program that caps rent at five years was the right thing to do and was working, but we didn’t have a lot of data on it. We do now thanks to deep property and portfolio analytics, and that’s very exciting.” The analytics Cardner refers to come from Yardi Asset IQ, part of the Yardi Elevate Suite for multifamily. Asset IQ is taking Grubb beyond business intelligence by providing property, portfolio and market analytics for benchmarking, budgeting, analyzing collections and adjusting quickly to changing needs. Cardner and other execs get fast insights from dashboards that display real-time performance with drilldown to details. They not only have stats that show residents are staying longer but can also “get into the weeds” and see what’s behind the numbers to really understand what’s happening at their properties. Validating a long-term renter program At one of Grubb’s apartment communities, an impressive 42% increase in length of residency was only part of the story. “Using data from Asset IQ, we correlated the success of a long-term resident program to important financial metrics: $30 increase in rental income per unit and $32 lower expenses,” said Cardner. Grubb utilizes the benchmark KPIs on its Asset IQ dashboard for renewal rates, renewal percentages and new lease rates. The company also likes to keep a close eye on maintenance expenditures. Cardner added, “I see benchmark data as a tool that brings visibility into possible areas of improvement.” Benchmarking against peers and budget With Asset IQ, Grubb can compare its actual leasing, financial and operational data to a defined peer set and to its own budget. An easy-to-use dashboard...

Caring is Essential Sep11

Caring is Essential

The pandemic has brought change to senior living like nothing else before it. But through it all, the industry’s commitment to care has never wavered. In fact, many caregivers have gone above and beyond to keep their residents healthy and happy. In honor of these heroes, NCAL has announced “Caring Is EssentiAL” as the theme for this year’s National Assisted Living Week, set for September 13 -19. Established in 1995, National Assisted Living Week provides an opportunity for residents, loved ones, staff and the broader community to recognize the role of assisted living in helping seniors and those with intellectual disabilities. By encouraging senior living providers nationwide to host special events and activities all week long, NCAL plans to celebrate residents and caregivers together as well as educate the public about long-term care. The annual observance will have to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions this year, but despite the hurdles, the staff of senior living deserve to be recognized for their incredible work. And although the event many not look quite the same on the surface, the spirit of celebration will still be there. Socially distant activities for National Assisted Living Week Each year, NCAL puts out a planning guide for National Assisted Living Week with event ideas to inspire providers. This time around the suggestions focus on ways to have fun even with the extra safety protocols in place. Here’s a quick rundown of what they recommend: Celebrations: Try an end-of-summer ice cream delivery, schedule a family car parade and get creative with a dress-up day. Music: Host a hallway singalong, invite musicians among the community to share their gifts or stream a recorded concert. Exploration: Encourage virtual museum visits, share live webcams of zoo animals and “tour” favorite destinations through photos. Connections: Organize...

Port Management Sep11

Port Management

Editor’s note: The following interview was originally published in Pacific Ports Magazine’s August edition. It is reprinted here with permission. With over 30 years of property management and software implementation experience, Jay Rainaldi is the professional services director for government business at Yardi. and oversees the implementation, support and client acquisition in the government space. He has served on many boards and committees in the residential, military, single-family and government arenas during his career and has been a speaker and moderator at numerous industry conferences and events. Over the past decade — not to mention the past few pandemic challenged months  — efficient port management has increasingly become an art in and of itself. Whether it be for management of property, facilities or construction projects, tenant services, accounting and payment processing, budgeting and forecasting or even to gain energy efficiencies, the many tasks related to port management have multiplied as the maritime world moves toward digitization, industry growth, environmental sustainability and increasing government regulations. The APP recently discussed the topic of port management with Jay Rainaldi, director of government solutions at Yardi, to gain insights into the many factors affecting efficient operations and how solutions, such as the Yardi Ports Suite, can provide much needed assistance. Jay, first, thanks for helping the Association investigate ways to assist Port Members on best practices. Could we start by identifying the trends you’ve seen in port management over the past 10 or 20 years, including how technological advances have impacted on port staff and how has port management changed? JR: Increasing globalization, world trade and financial constraints have created changes in port management in the last several years. Ports have been forced to modify their infrastructure to allow for larger ships and containers. Additionally, ports are doing...

Better AP Options Sep10

Better AP Options

Senior living providers have a lot to manage in their communities, including engaging residents, dispensing medical care, interacting with families and meeting compliance obligations. Also, like other businesses, they process a constant stream of invoices for material and service purchases. Executing all the various accounts payable tasks manually is time-consuming. Could this burdensome aspect of senior living management be easier, faster and less prone to error? Yes, says Carmin Tomassi, vice president/controller for Silverado, and in a free Sept. 17 webinar he’ll share tips for better AP execution from the Irvine, Calif.-based provider of memory care assisted living and hospice services. Hosted by Senior Living Foresight and moderated by its publisher, Steve Moran, the 35-minute session will also feature Kim Hensley, manager of procure to pay for Yardi. As a Changemakers participant and Yardi client success story subject, Silverado has already offered insight into the cost, time, accuracy and scalability advantages of automated AP. At one point, for example, Tomassi’s staff wrestled with stacks of invoices in various stages of action, endured lengthy approval and reconciliation processes, and juggled no fewer than 12 different systems. Yardi PayScan scans Silverado’s invoices into electronic transactions and automates approval workflows through vendor payment in a single connected system. The solution helped Silverado cut costs with paperless processing, and it enforces consistent standards, minimizes errors and ensures timely vendor payments. Today, Tomassi says, Silverado has “a level of information that we didn’t have before. Now we can act on that data and do something about it. [PayScan] helped our accounting department improve their processes, like really getting people to pay attention to how they’re coding invoices.” Ready to banish your biggest accounts payable headaches, just like Silverado and many others did? Register for the Sept. 17 webinar. It...

ARPA-E Update Sep10

ARPA-E Update

Earlier this year, The Balance Sheet summarized some energy technology projects sponsored by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which carries out R&D for the U.S. Department of Energy. Here are a few more active projects. Warm and cool on demand Syracuse University seeks to improve comfort for office building occupants with a near-range micro-environmental control system. The system would store the cooling produced by the compression system at night and release it as a cool breeze of air to make occupants more comfortable during the day. And when heating is needed, the system would draw heat from its phase-change material and deliver warm air. Syracuse claims that the control system, combined with an expanded set-point range, could save more than 15% of the energy used for heating and cooling while maintaining occupant comfort. “If successful, [the control system] could increase energy efficiency, reduce emissions produced by powering traditional HVAC systems, and enable more sustainable heating and cooling architectures for energy-efficient building design.” Building breath test Specialized sensors tip off a building’s HVAC system that carbon dioxide-exhaling people are around and need ventilation. A Purdue University team is working on small-scale sensing systems that would use mass and electrochemical sensors to detect the presence of CO2. The Purdue team believes that combining two unique sensing technologies into a single package for monitoring CO2 levels could reduce building energy use by nearly 30% without sacrificing occupant comfort. Chopping home energy costs Meanwhile, researchers at Texas A&M University are looking at new detection solutions for residences, specifically enhanced pyroelectric infrared sensors that track occupancy and activity. Whereas such detection sensors traditionally can only notice people in motion, Texas A&M’s proposed system would identify non-moving heat sources. Quantitative information on movement would come from an “optical chopper”...

YASC Global Sep09

YASC Global

The Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference began in 1999 with about 200 guests in attendance. YASC eventually encompassed six events on four continents dedicated to giving real estate professionals in-depth training in Yardi property and investment management software. There were always plenty of networking opportunities and fun as well. COVID-19 diminished in-person meetings this year but not the YASC mission. Yardi kept the tradition going in May, hosting a digital version in lieu of gathering in Washington, D.C. More than 16,000 clients around the world completed 107,000 on-demand classes and viewed 50,000 hours of content at YASC Digital. Yardi will build on YASC Digital by combining the year’s five remaining conferences into YASC Global, a presentation of more than 280 on-demand classes Oct. 20-22. Like YASC Digital, YASC Global is free to all clients and features customized, self-paced learning and market-based registration tracks. There’s also live chat support from product specialists, in-depth spotlight sessions, real-time chat with fellow attendees, prizes and giveaways, and social media interaction. Attendance at YASC Global is expected to exceed that of YASC Digital. “We’re gratified that our clients gained so much from YASC Digital. That outcome inspired us to repeat the experience and enhance it with expanded class offerings, panel sessions and exclusive special events,” said Kevin Yardi, the company’s vice president of global solutions. “We look forward to joining industry leaders around the globe in a memorable event.” Learn about the value in store for Yardi clients at YASC...

Silverado Success Sep08

Silverado Success

Implementing a new EHR system is not a job for one person alone. Especially when you include a medication management solution, complete with pharmacy interfaces. You need a well-coordinated team with the right partners to make sure the rollout is a success. Case in point: Silverado of Irvine, California. The organization specializes in senior care with an emphasis on memory care assisted living, as well as hospice. Silverado’s philosophy of care pursues “a symbiosis of top-notch clinical care and compassion that recognizes each client, resident or patient’s uniqueness.” After years of growth on ALMSA eMAR, Silverado was interested in upgrading to further support their nurses. Since they were already a Yardi client, leadership sought a solution that would not only integrate with Yardi Voyager but also provide advanced clinical capabilities for residents across the continuum of care. The Solution: Yardi EHR and Yardi eMAR Yardi EHR is an electronic health record solution designed for assisted living, independent living, memory care and skilled nursing. The single-vendor solution combines clinical intake processing, resident assessments, care planning, wound treatment, behavior management and more in a browser-based platform optimized for mobile devices. Yardi eMAR simplifies medication administration through an online solution that interfaces seamlessly with pharmacy partners. Advanced drug database and clinical support functionality also helps expedite order entry and promote compliance. The Story: Collaborating for Improved Clinical Outcomes Silverado leadership understood the importance of allocating resources to ensure successful continuity of care, resident safety and compliance. They knew from the start to accomplish these goals would take a collaborative effort. Based on their experience working together, Yardi was selected as the right partner, and a pilot began in early 2018. “Our pilot went extremely well,” said Beth McCurdy, senior director of clinical informatics at Silverado. Nursing staff...

OHCA 2020 Sep07

OHCA 2020

Over the past half year, senior living teams have been working tirelessly to keep residents safe, engaged and happy. Although the pandemic has created many new challenges for the industry, it’s been incredible to see how many people have stepped up to help. In honor of these courageous, masked caregivers, the Oregon Health Care Association are “Celebrating Health Care Heroes” as the theme for their biggest event of the year: the OHCA Annual Convention and Trade Show. Of course, the event, always well attended, is making changes to protect the health of members and their residents. It’s now a live virtual experience, scheduled for September 15 and 16 with pre- and post-event activities as well as on-demand education available afterwards. The event may be different than what you’re used to, but there’s a lot to be excited about: Live-streamed keynotes and sessions, including tracks on leadership, clinical, nursing facilities, quality improvement, COVID-19 and more Networking opportunities to connect with other attendees and presenters through interactive live discussions and Q&A chats The OHCA Awards ceremony where deserving staff are recognized for their dedication to the care profession Yardi is proud to sponsor the awards ceremony this year. Now more than ever, it’s important to honor those who go above and beyond for others. As this year’s theme makes clear, these hard-working individuals are true heroes. Visit Yardi on the virtual trade show floor During the event, you’ll also be able to stop by our booth to see what’s new with the Yardi Senior Living Suite. We’ll have plenty of resources to download, products to showcase, plus a giveaway for a lucky few! And if you want to talk with us face to face, there’s even a video chat option. We’re grateful to each and every...

Compass Commercial Sep05

Compass Commercial

Bend, Oregon is well-known for its gorgeous mountains, forests and rivers, well-balanced and high quality of life, and prospering remote work culture (even prior to COVID-19). So, it’s no surprise that despite the pandemic, real estate is continuing to thrive in Central Oregon. Nearby cities Redmond (home to the Bend/Redmond regional airport), Sisters (a charming tourist destination) and Prineville (hometown of Les Schwab tires and now the location of a major Facebook data center) are seeing a boost as well. The team at Compass Commercial Real Estate Services, a new Yardi CRE client, knows that firsthand. They have been providing asset management, construction, brokerage and leasing services since 1996. Currently, their management portfolio includes 700,000 square feet of office assets, 500,000 square feet of retail, and 500,000 square feet of industrial. “We originally started out managing single individual assets, and as Bend grew, we began moving into the next generation of institutional buyers  and local owners with portfolios,” said Jackie Niebling, Vice President of Asset and Property Management and a principal broker for Compass Commercial. “Bend has become a hotbed for individuals seeking work-life harmony. We’re seeing a great deal of activity from outside investors wanting to invest in Bend so that they can relocate here and enjoy our lifestyle,” Niebling summarized. A privately held company, Compass Commercial is not only the largest CRE provider in the region but also a leading authority on regional real estate activity. They even publish a quarterly guide to local rent and transaction activity aptly titled “Compass Points,” which offers a comprehensive snapshot of CRE trends. The most recent edition focused in on the impacts of the pandemic on Central Oregon real estate. And apart from smaller office leases, things appear to be holding up well. Retail and...

End of Urbanization? Sep04

End of Urbanization?

For years, 24-hour and 18-hour cities, and the live-work-play concept, have been mantras in commercial real estate. Suddenly, however, cities are facing a pandemic-driven exodus. Is this a temporary blip or the start of a long-term trend? COVID-19’s impact has been particularly deep in major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, which have seen sharp drops in apartment occupancy rates and rents as the city centers are largely shut down and residents shelter elsewhere. In Manhattan, for example, office buildings that were closed for months remain mostly empty upon re-opening, as employers avoid putting workers at risk and people avoid public spaces. Midtown streets that are typically teeming with tourists are nearly empty as Broadway and other entertainment venues remain shut. New York City’s story is being played out in city centers across the country. Not only do urban areas temporarily lack the jobs and cultural institutions that drew people there, but the crowds and closeness are suddenly an element to be feared rather than fascinate. Few if any saw this coming, as growth has coalesced in cities in recent years. The United Nations has forecast that 75 percent of the global population would live in cities by 2050, doubling their size, and the U.S. seemed to be headed in that direction. A recent study of the largest 30 U.S. metros by the George Washington University School of Business and Smart Growth America in conjunction with Yardi Matrix found that walkable neighborhoods encompassing office, housing, retail and entertainment grew faster and produced higher absorption and rent growth over the last decade than counterparts without that combination. During that time, 70 percent of the jobs created were in the top 50 U.S. metros. Corporations have been following the preferences...

Dementia Care Reimagined Sep02

Dementia Care Reimagined...

Two unlikely forces are improving dementia care in Sweden. A member of the royal family is collaborating with a ready-to-assemble home supply store. Together, they’ve reimagined senior housing development in a way that is affordable, sustainable and chic. The collaboration couldn’t have come at a better time. By 2040, nearly one in four Swedes will be 65 years or older. While long life expectancy is a good problem to have, the government desperately seeks affordable ways to fund care for its aging population. Queen Silvia has taken a personal interest in the nation’s senior care. After losing her mother to Alzheimer’s, she became more involved in dementia care initiatives. BoKlok, an affordable and sustainable housing partnership between Ikea and Skanska, captured her attention. The three powers began a multi-decade endeavor to develop an affordable approach to housing the nation’s elderly while keeping quality and sustainability at the forefront of their efforts. SilviaBo: affordable, sustainable housing Together, BoKlok and Queen Silvia created SilviaBo, senior housing developments that rose to the demands of affordability, quality and comfort. They are designed to allow seniors to age in place rather than nursing homes. “To take care of elderly people, that cost is exploding,” BoKlok CEO Jonas Spangenberg told CNN Business. “It’s much cheaper for society and the public to give them service back home.” To date, SilviaBo includes 11,000 prefab homes with communities in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Their success has relied on the Ikea model for mass production. To keep costs low, the homes are produced in high volumes in warehouses, succinctly packed and then shipped to the site. Ikea and Skanska also took responsibility for the supply chain from start to finish: land acquisition, production, assembly, marketing and leasing all take place under the BoKlok umbrella....

Yardi + AIM

Are you missing live events? While we can’t bring back the hum of the tradeshow floor just yet, we’re excited to team up with AIM to host a live webinar event that we hope will rival some of your favorite speaking sessions from conferences past. Keep reading to see how we’re bringing industry leaders from Bozzuto, KETTLER and The Management Group together on one virtual stage … and why you want to reserve your seat asap. The New Apartment Marketing Playbook: Consumer Behavior Has Shifted, Have You? Thursday, Sept. 17, 11 a.m. PDT Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, renters are still on the move. With social distancing measures in place, renters expect to interact with properties in new ways. This increasing demand for virtual and contactless engagement is nothing new. But now that we’ve adapted to a new norm and the virtual conveniences that come with it, there’s no going back. Considering this shift in consumer behavior, here are some questions your property management teams may be facing: Is it possible to create an online experience as powerful as a visit to your properties? How can you offer game-changing online and self-service tools that don’t compromise your security standards? What should your leasing agents be doing to pivot and provide real value in an increasingly virtual world? “Don’t lose customers to your competitors while you’re waiting for things to ‘get back to normal.’ Normal as we knew it is changing. Taking this opportunity to make smart updates to your leasing process will have a lasting positive impact on your business in the months and years ahead,” said Esther Bonardi, session moderator and vice president of marketing at Yardi. During this live online event, you will learn how to: Convert more renters by creating authentic experiences online Lease more units by offering a range of tour types to fit every need Improve the prospect experience while prioritizing the safety of your team and properties Evolve leasing positions to meet the demands of the new customer experience Speakers include: Jamin Harkness, Executive Vice President, The Management Group Kelley Shannon, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Customer Engagement, Bozzuto Daryl Smith, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, KETTLER Register now Free ebook Webinar registrants will receive a free copy of The New Apartment Tour with their confirmation email. This exclusive ebook details three ways you can modernize different tour types at your properties to convert more renters, both online and in person. Save your seat today to get your...

Tiny Homes Aug31

Tiny Homes

On the surface, tiny homes seem to address the needs of those who need the least. The affluent New Yorker seeking a COVID getaway near the beach, or a recent grad making a name for herself off the grid are the ideal images of tiny house inhabitants. But in (what we hope is) the wake of a pandemic, public health officials and city planners are seeing the value of tiny houses for those in need. The compact panacea This summer, the U.S. faces an interconnected web of high unemployment, a high cost of living near job hubs and seemingly unending wave of COVID-19 infection rates. Those who can are migrating from cities to less populated suburbs in search of space and peace. They’re often taking their remote work with them. But for more than half a million homeless people in the United States and 16.3 million unemployed, that’s not an option. City planners are turning to tiny houses to de-intensify shelter housing, bring people in off of the streets and offer affordable housing for those in need. Additionally, the compact units facilitate social distancing while offering access to private, outdoor space that isn’t readily available in multifamily and public housing. Long term, low-cost tiny houses provides a pathway to homeownership (and potentially, wealth-building equity) for marginalized communities. It took a pandemic to showcase the true value of tiny homes. Affordable housing and homeless services in America are permanently enhanced because of it. Tiny homes improve public health in major metros Seattle was one of the first cities in the US to feel the full force of the pandemic.  The city’s vulnerable populations, the homeless and elderly, were the hardest hit. On April 20, Public Health Seattle & King County officials reported 112 COVID-19 infections amongst shelter occupants and staff. Later that month, The Multi-Service Center South shelter in San Francisco reported 96 guests and 10 staff tested positive. As the pandemic spread, major metropolitan reported high infection rates among vulnerable populations. Homeless shelters, traditionally arranged in barrack-style floorplans, did little to slow the spread of the virus.  Major metros throughout the nation soon ditched conventional shelter arrangements to promote social distancing: they removed beds to lessen density, and converted hotels and public buildings into emergency shelters. These short-term solutions, however, highlight problems that won’t quickly fade from memory. Homeless shelters are underserved and overpacked. Low-Income Housing Institute’s (LIHI) tiny house villages stood out as a long-term solution. They facilitate public health procedures, foster a sense of safety and autonomy, and have proven to be more cost-effective than conventional shelters. LIHI operates 12 villages serving Seattle, Olympia and Tacoma. The newest community stands in Puget Sound, offering 400 houses that have helped more than 1,000 each year. Two more communities are in the works with at least 50 houses. Each community contains units with less than 100 square-feet. The tiny spaces offer more personal space and privacy than shelters. The houses permit residents to live and sleep more than six feet apart. On-site case managers provide the support residents need while facilitating a path towards permanent housing. The villages pay off for residents as well as city managers. The City of Seattle, for example, funds nine villages. The average cost of tiny house living is only $38 per night. That’s $18-$94 less per night than The City’s current housing options. The construction of the homes is also a cost saver for The City. Shelterforce organizes volunteers to build the homes. Much of the construction can take place off-site in volunteers’ yards when necessary. The free labor reduces home construction costs to $2,500 each. In dire straits, Shelterforce hires contractors who build the homes for $5,500 including labor and materials. In both cases, the per square-foot cost has proven to be more cost effective than conventional shelters. Be Loved Village, Asheville combats homelessness and affordability crisis Asheville has struggled with affordability...

Improving Energy Efficiency Aug26

Improving Energy Efficiency

Class A commercial buildings get all the fanfare. They have the nicest amenities, the best views and, of course, the highest rent. But let’s not overlook the value that class B and C spaces bring to communities and business owners. Often located in suburban areas or lacking glamour that high rises provide, these buildings still possess many advantages and simply don’t get the same type of recognition. A recent ENERGY STAR® report stated that 94% of all U.S. commercial buildings were properties under 50,000 square feet. Because class B and C buildings significantly outnumber class A, they can lead the way in contributing to a cleaner environment, improved leasing practices and cost savings techniques. At the recent 2020 Virtual BOMA Conference, Marta Schantz, senior vice president of Urban Land Institute (ULI), explained three major challenges for class B and C owners in regard to energy efficiency: Information constraints – Stakeholders are so consumed with day to day operations that energy efficiency gets put on the backburner. Lean on your property manager for data and best practices and educate yourself about building benchmarks to understand what’s working or not. Resource constraints – These buildings don’t have the budget or staff size of class As, so they often lack someone specifically assigned to energy projects, or a third party hired to oversee this aspect of the portfolio. Funding constraints – B and C class buildings typically don’t have capital planning funds to invest in larger retrofits with up-front costs. Owners also may not be able to take on long-term debt. How can a building owner overcome some of these challenges? Primarily, there are financing options available so that B and C owners can reach long term savings goals: cost recovery in terms of lease forms, utility on-bill financing, commercial property assessed clean energy financing (C-PACE), among others. As Schantz explained, an HVAC retrofit alone may not provide the necessary ROI, but bundled with LED installation or sensor installation, it can provide long-term savings with a relatively short-term payback process. As explained in a 2020 BOMA report, class B and C properties could save 15% on energy costs with basic low- to no-cost initiatives, or even up to 35% with the larger investments detailed above. BOMA’s research has found that sustainability initiatives can reduce operating expenses for class B and C buildings between $0.26 and $0.61 per square foot and increase the net operating income for these properties between 2.4% and 5.6% per year. What are some of the simplest energy solutions to implement? According to Joey Cathcart, associate at the Rocky Mountain Institute, here are some of the best low-cost, quick payback measures for energy savings across property type: LED lighting: LEDs use significantly less energy and last much longer than incandescent lighting. Controls/Sensors: Install LED’s in high-use areas and controls or sensors in low-use areas like closets and restrooms. Programmable thermostats: Simply program your temperature setting in times of low or no occupancy. Energy audits: Establish a baseline and identify where improvements can be made. Local authorities often provide grants for these projects. Window filming or shading: Reduce demands on HVAC and reduce solar radiation with tinting or shading. Lease provisions and green leases help increase investor, owner and tenant interest. “They help to overcome split incentives, improve transparency and indicate a commitment to sustainability,” Cathcart said. He detailed three low cost components to drive the highest lease impact: Integrate new building expectations by implementing low or no cost strategies into standard operating procedures. Integrate language into leasing that includes periodic energy audits. Tenants see this as a commitment to sustainability. Document operating best practices to optimize performance in common areas and tenant spaces. “The best time to integrate provisions is either during tenant renewal or at the beginning of a new tenant lease,” Cathcart explained. Eugenia Gregorio, founder and principal at Gregorio Sustainability, presented a case study of The Tower Companies...

Back to the Office Aug25

Back to the Office

One of the most significant factors hindering a smooth return to work has been the legal uncertainties surrounding COVID-19. The main concern is the lack of uniformity in the laws between jurisdictions, and the tightening and loosening of restrictions as cases rise or fall. Therefore, employees, tenants and landlords all need to understand what can and cannot be enforced. Contract clauses, deferrals and concession negotiations have been ongoing since March, and the ramifications of these changes will carry on for months to come. Compliance for reopening If a manager cannot ensure the safety and wellbeing of workers, then an office simply cannot reopen. On a recent Realcomm webinar, Evandro Gigante, partner at Proskauer law firm, explained that compliance for reopening varies by jurisdiction, but New York, where their main office is located, has a thorough set of rules laid out for businesses to reopen. “There is a very robust set of guidelines that include, among other things, the development of a comprehensive health and safety plan which requires a close look at screening, testing, contact tracing, signage and social distancing procedures to be put into action,” he said. The guidelines require a written document detailing expectations for landlords and employers. Administering questionnaires regarding self-health is going to be a key, and there will be many questions about the legality or requirements involved with temperature taking. “Under Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, you can diagnostically test your employees,” Gigante explained. “But the EEOC has not sanctioned antibody testing for the purpose of making employment decisions.” You can legally collect medical information on individuals, according to the EEOC, including their temperature or their symptoms, as long as you maintain it confidentially and separately from personal files. But here is where different jurisdictions and different guidelines...