Screening with Tech Jun25

Screening with Tech

Finding the right residents for a community is a complex, critical part of operating a multifamily community, and it is vital to the long-term success of a property. Looking into a potential resident’s background is not as simple as running a credit check. Effective screening can play a pivotal role in risk mitigation by ensuring leases are only signed with qualified tenants. Yardi recently partnered with Equifax to enhance ScreeningWorks Pro, the company’s resident screening platform, and enable property managers to quickly verify a prospective renter’s employment and income details. Patrick Hennessey, Yardi’s vice president of resident screening, and Tyler Sawyer, vice president of rental and real estate with Equifax, discuss how tech can lead to more efficient and effective screening processes. What is the biggest challenge for effectively screening potential residents today? Sawyer: Data is vital for a landlord or property owner looking to identify the right resident. From a credit-reporting standpoint, we work to alleviate any perceived challenges by ensuring these parties have access to the best data, regardless of whether a potential renter has a robust credit file or is categorized as having thin credit or no credit. Without robust data insight, potentially strong tenant candidates can be left paying higher deposits, needing co-signers or being rejected altogether. Hennessey: Helping our clients overcome the challenges of effectively screening applicants is our business. Getting that right for both the applicant and the property is critical. A trend we’re seeing is the desire by landlords to make good decisions as quickly as possible—in near real time, if they can. For screening companies, this requires ensuring we can rely on the sources that provide us with consumer data. It means finding reasonable and reliable ways to do our job both effectively and efficiently. Editor’s...

Connect at NAA Jun21

Connect at NAA

What do Mindy Kaling, David Rendall and real estate thought leaders — including experts from Yardi —have in common? They will be present to inspire and energize at Apartmentalize 2019. The apartment industry’s don’t-miss event of the summer — Apartmentalize 2019 powered by NAA — heads to Denver with exciting industry education opportunities for multifamily providers of all sizes. The event is set for June 26-28 at the Colorado Convention Center. Yardi will be there to provide attendees with answers to pressing real estate questions during three expert-led educational sessions and one-on-one meetings in the Yardi booth. Read on for the top three ways to connect with Yardi at Apartmentalize. Attend Educational Sessions How do you excel in apartment management? Three Apartmentalize sessions hosted by Yardi executives promise to deliver compelling answers on Thursday, June 27: Get Smart: Top Tech Trends for Better NOI will be moderated by Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. Bonardi is joined by panelists Taylor Wiederkehr, director of innovation services at BH Management Services and Garin Hamburger, Sr., director of national property marketing at Pinnacle. How to Leverage Big Data for Big Results will be moderated by Dhar Sawh, industry principal for Yardi Elevate. Sawh is joined by panelists Darren Wesemann, executive vice president and chief innovation officer at Berkadia, Diana Norbury, senior vice president of multifamily operations at Pillar Properties and Gino Ferro, director of sales and procurement at Bridge Property Management. Building Resilience with Tools, Trends & Energy Strategies will be moderated by Martin Levkus, regional director at Yardi. Panelists include Deb Cloutier, president of RE Tech Advisors and Cindy Zhu, fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy. View the full conference schedule for details and info on more great sessions. Visit Yardi’s Booth At Yardi booth #349 and in the new Yardi meeting center in the exhibition hall, Yardi experts will be on hand throughout the show to answer questions and demonstrate the features of innovative new products from the RENTCafé and Yardi Elevate suites. And while we want to fill your head with exciting possibilities and new ideas, we also don’t want you to leave empty handed. Participating attendees can enter show drawings for a chance to win a number of great prizes including Apple AirPods, a Fitbit and an Amazon Echo Dot. Go Online for More Answers The learning doesn’t stop when the show comes to a close: Yardi has created the realestatequestionsanswered.com resource to give Apartmentalize attendees ongoing answers to their important real estate questions. If you’ve ever asked yourself “how do I convert more leads?” or “how do I use technology to engage renters?” among other queries, this is the website for you. Ready to get your questions answered? Don’t miss the chance to connect with Yardi at Apartmentalize. Can’t make it to the show this year? Join a webinar to learn more about our latest...

Glassdoor Honor Jun19

Glassdoor Honor

(June 18, 2019) – Anant Yardi, founder and CEO of Yardi, was named for the third consecutive year to a prestigious list of the nation’s top corporate leaders by employer review website Glassdoor. Mr. Yardi again received a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award recognizing the Highest Rated CEOs, which he also received in 2017 and 2018. For 2019, Mr. Yardi is ranked No. 33 on the list of top-rated CEOs for large companies in the United States. This ranking is based solely on the anonymous and voluntary opinions offered by users of the Glassdoor platform, where people can rate their employment experience at past and current companies. The U.S. Large Company category includes firms with more than 1,000 employees. Glassdoor’s Top CEOs in 2019 were determined using company reviews shared by U.S.-based employees between May 2, 2018 and May 1, 2019. The final list is compiled using Glassdoor’s proprietary algorithm, led by its Economic Research Team, and takes into account quantity, quality and consistency of reviews. When submitting a review, Glassdoor users are asked directly whether they approve, disapprove or are neutral on the performance of the company’s CEO. Among the approximately 900,000 companies reviewed on Glassdoor, the average CEO approval rating is 69 percent. Those on the Highest Rated CEO list all have approval ratings over 90 percent. Mr. Yardi earned a 95 percent approval rating. “It’s an honor to recognize incredible leaders who, from their employees’ perspectives, exemplify exceptional vision, trust and communication. Glassdoor’s Top CEOs award continues to be more competitive every year, and I congratulate each leader on their achievement,” said Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor president and chief operating officer. “Today’s job seekers are looking for leaders who share their values and will empower them to bring their full selves to work.” The accolade is indicative of the high esteem Mr. Yardi is held in by employees at the company. Yardi was founded in Santa Barbara, Calif. in 1984 as a software start-up. Today, Yardi is a global technology leader employing over 6,000 staff in 35 offices worldwide. “Our corporate motto is ‘Take care of our clients, take care of our employees, take care of our communities, stay focused, and grow’ and we work hard to fulfill those commitments,” said Mr. Yardi. “I am grateful that our employees are happy with our efforts, and to receive confirmation in this way is extraordinary.” Glassdoor is one of the largest and fastest growing job sites in the world today. Set apart by the tens of millions of reviews and insights provided by employees and candidates, Glassdoor combines all the jobs with this valuable data to make it easy for people to find a job that is uniquely right for them. View the full list of highest rated CEOs for U.S. large...

Coworking Outlook

Editor’s note: this coworking perspective piece was authored by Justin Harley, regional director of coworking for Yardi, in association with Property Week. Harley was a co-founder of the flexible workspace management software Hubcreate. He joined the Yardi UK team in May. Having spent most of my career in the flexible workspace sector, I could not be more enthusiastic about how bright the future is for coworking and flexspace, and furthermore I am delighted to see technology and software leaders such as Yardi investing heavily in technology to fuel the growth and development of the sector. I have been privileged to see the coworking and flexspace sector grow from a few London-based serviced offices to what it is today, one of the fastest-growing parts of the real estate world. That said, it still only accounts for 4% of all deals in London, according to the latest research from Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers International. While real estate continues to develop an understanding of the coworking market, the industry is still a little shell-shocked about how it has crept up on them. That part of the real estate sector often misses the point when they debate coworking. I hear “we are not coworking, coworking doesn’t make money – when will the bubble burst?” Larger operators account for less than 13% of the market in the UK and the flexspace and coworking community is made up of businesses that care about innovation, member experience and the effect of their service on worker wellness. In short, it’s all about the customers and what makes them happy. Their obsession for customer service is what drives the industry. A happy client is a loyal client and, despite being on a flexible license, will stay for a long time. It is...

Construction Barriers Jun18

Construction Barriers...

The National Apartment Association (NAA) is known as a source of industry best practices, innovation and benchmarks. As the organization’s annual conference is nearly upon us, we took the time to look at some of the organization’s recent research. As the overall economy and U.S. rental market remains strong, the NAA’s research department conducted a national survey to explore what determines the construction of multifamily properties. The study aimed to identify best practices and factors that impact housing availability and affordability. The factors considered included: community involvement, construction costs, affordability issues, infrastructure, density and growth restrictions, land supply, environmental restrictions, approval process complexity, political structure complexity and time to develop a new property. “The intent of this study was to provide data to identify differences in land management and to provide a more holistic and fact-based review of best practices and factors that impact housing availability and affordability,” reads the report. Rising costs for renters In the past decade, the U.S. renter demographic increased by more than 19.6 million. As demand outpaces supply, rents rise with the largest strain on affordable and market rate housing. Within the past four years, rents in Denver, San Jose, Seattle, Boulder, Oakland, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle have increased overall by more than 18 percent. Housing also makes up a large portion of monthly spending, in some cases surpassing spending and budgeting best practices for sustainable lifestyles. More than 40 percent of residents in California, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, and Oregon spend more than a 34 percent of their income on rent. Major markets acknowledge the demand for affordable housing, but industry analysts disagree about how to meet the growing demand when confronted with barriers. Construction influences and issues The NAA study identified three major...

Real-Time Energy Management Jun14

Real-Time Energy Management

Real-Time Energy Management (RTEM) systems continuously collect live and historical building performance data through a cloud-based system. Building owners can use this data to optimize the building’s energy consumption and show in real time how the property is performing. By reducing energy consumption, RTEM systems also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and a building’s overall carbon footprint. This is particularly important to New York state property owners who, with the help of partners like Yardi, can qualify for incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), a public benefit corporation that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, when they install RTEM systems. Annette Durnack, regional director for Yardi Energy, explains how Yardi fits in with RTEM systems and NYSERDA. Q: What are the benefits of an RTEM system? Durnack: RTEM systems help building owners and operators manage energy consumption, so they can operate their buildings more efficiently and reduce energy consumption. They centralize energy usage tracking; monitor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; and manage the scheduling and operation of building equipment. They detect equipment faults, so they can be addressed before they become failures or impact tenant comfort. They also help track the effect of energy conservation measures. RTEM systems can help improve ENERGY STAR® scores and contribute to LEED certifications. In the state of New York, properties that install an RTEM system through qualified vendors such as Yardi may be eligible for significant incentive funding through NYSERDA. Q: What kinds of RTEM incentives does NYSERDA offer building owners? Durnack: The NYSERDA RTEM program provides up to $300,000 per electric utility account via a 30 percent cost-share for projects submitted by qualified RTEM vendors. NYSERDA provides funding for the installation of RTEM hardware as well as the provision of software and ongoing services. Additional funding may be available for projects that demonstrate the integration of multiple interoperable systems or include a commercial tenant in the project scope. Q: How can Yardi help building owners obtain these NYSERDA incentives? Durnack: Yardi is an approved vendor for NYSERDA’s RTEM program, giving building owners the option of employing the Yardi Pulse Suite to improve their building’s performance and to qualify for RTEM project funding. Yardi submits all required project documentation to NYSERDA in order to qualify and secure the incentive. Once approval is obtained, Yardi offers a turnkey solution for installing and servicing an RTEM system. Q: What benefits can building owners expect from the Yardi Pulse Suite? Durnack: Our Pulse Suite includes several energy management software solutions that can help reduce your energy costs and consumption. Most Yardi clients experience HVAC energy savings in the range of 10-15 percent. Yardi Utility Expense Management, for example, provides access to all energy cost and consumption data, enabling emission calculations and contributing to benchmarking for ENERGY STAR® reporting. Yardi Pulse Real-Time Metering delivers visibility into real-time demand and consumption that can be used change how a building operates. Yardi Pulse Active EE optimizes HVAC system performance by making incremental changes to set points every 30 seconds, which reduces consumption while maintaining tenant comfort. Yardi Pulse Fault Detection and Diagnostics helps prevent HVAC system equipment failures before they cost money or impact tenant comfort. We also offer emission calculations consulting, renewable energy credit purchasing, and energy procurement services. Our Yardi energy experts can help you select the right solutions that will best meet your needs. Click here for more information on NYSERDA’s RTEM program. Download a Yardi Pulse brochure for more information on energy management software...

Sunset on Solar ITC Jun10

Sunset on Solar ITC

This is the last year that businesses are eligible for the 30 percent federal investment tax credit (ITC) for solar—sort of. A few simple steps can position businesses take advantage of the solar ITC before step downs begin next year. The Tax Benefit Step Down Tax benefits have motivated sustainable upgrades over the past ten years. The 30 percent ITC was the most popular. The ITC “provides owners of solar systems with the ability to offset tax payments owed to the IRS in an amount equal to 30 percent of the eligible cost basis of a solar photovoltaic system,” summarizes Smart Energy Decisions. Beginning in 2020, however, the tax benefit will gradually decrease. The first step decline is to 26 percent for projects that “begin construction” in 2020. In 2021, the benefit declines to 22 percent. All projects starting in or after 2022 receive only 10 percent. “The good news is that there is currently a 30 percent ITC for the cost of the system for those installing solar before December 31st, 2019,” emphasized Ray Segars, CEM, consultant for energy and sustainability on Yardi’s energy team. He added, “The emphasis is on credit. This is a credit not a tax deduction. Tax deductions reduce taxable income, thus reducing associated taxes. Tax credits are more valuable because they reduce the actual tax bill dollar for dollar.” Gaining the Advantage on the Solar ITC Notice 2018-59 details strategies to help corporations navigate the step downs with financial finesse. Firstly, “beginning construction” is a surprisingly loose term.  There are two ways that a project may begin and still qualify for the year’s tax benefit. The Physical Work Test entails beginning physical work on your solar project The Five Percent Test entails paying or incurring 5 percent or...

Doing Good Jun07

Doing Good

Giving back to local and global communities is a central tenant of Yardi’s mission. At the recent AIM Conference, Yardi invited attendees to join our team in supporting two local Southern California charities. In the second part to our AIM Conference coverage, we spotlight our charitable partners, Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAPOC) and the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OCSPCA). Keep reading to learn more about Yardi’s selfless selfies donation drive and the work of these two inspiring nonprofits! Selfies for Charity AIM Conference attendees were invited to snap and post selfies at the RENTCafé kiosk with cuddly OCSPCA therapy dogs and fun props from CAPOC’s Orange County Food Bank. For every post shared to social media with the conference hashtag #AIMConf, Yardi donated one dollar to the day’s featured nonprofit. In total, AIM attendees helped raise $500 for each nonprofit with their selfless selfies. In addition to the social media donation drive, both nonprofits educated AIM attendees on their programs and volunteer opportunities. Community Action Partnership of Orange County The CAPOC has provided support services to address hunger and poverty in Orange County since 1965. Each year, CAPOC helps more than half a million people in need through its comprehensive program offerings. This includes the OC Food Bank, emergency utility assistance, financial empowerment education, family counseling services, and transitional housing. The goal of these programs is to empower healthy living, stabilize families and prevent the causes and effects of poverty. “Our goal is to ensure that the people we help have the tools and resources they need to not just survive, but also thrive! We meet people where they are at and help them achieve their personal goals so that they are safe, comfortable and living a life of well-being,” explained LaShanda Maze, Vice President of Philanthropy at CAPOC. Funds raised at AIM will support CAPOC’s Food Bank, which offers food and nutritional education for low-income children, families, seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Each year, the OC Food Bank distributes 19.5 million pounds of food to nearly 1 million at-risk residents, including one in five kids living in Orange County. Through its network of nearly 400 partner charities, the OC Food Bank provides 26,000 boxes of food each month to seniors at 70 sites throughout Orange County, and areas of Los Angeles County. According to Maze, “Whether it’s helping a family for the long holiday weekend who may need food from our OC Food Bank or seeing how our weatherization program can make a home safe and warm for a senior, we are impacting lives every day.” Get involved with the CAPOC at capoc.org. Find out more about CAPOC’s Hope for the Holidays Kick-Off Dinner, a unique culinary experience and fundraiser, on Sunday, October 13 at The Playground DTSA. You can learn more by visiting capoc.org/h4h. Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Since its founding in 1984, the OCSPCA has been a leading animal welfare organization in Orange County. With a mission to save the lives of animals in the region, the nonprofit focuses on programs to strengthen the human-pet bond through proactive education, emergency resources, and networking. “What I enjoy the most about my job is receiving feedback from those who we have been able to assist when no one else would step in to help,” said Kevin Marlin, Executive Director at the OCSPCA. “Pets play such a vital companionship role in the lives of so many, and we are so glad to be able to promote that human-animal bond and to enable residents with the resources to keep their pets in their loving families.” As an ally to animals of all kinds, OCSPCA made a huge impact in 2018. The nonprofit delivered 63,250 pounds of pet food to families in need, funded life-saving medical services to 350 animals and assisted more than 6,000 Orange County residents and...

Senior Living Innovation Jun06

Senior Living Innovation...

What’s better than a game-changing forum experience with unparalleled networking opportunities? That same forum set in beautiful Santa Barbara! The 2019 Senior Living Innovation Forum takes place in Yardi’s hometown. Breathtaking mountains, refreshing beaches, and one of the nation’s best forums are just a few things that Santa Barbara has to offer. We are excited for you to join us. The Senior Living Innovation Forum is an invitation-only retreat for senior housing providers that want to disrupt the status quo: like you. The event is designed to help you adapt to the changing landscape of senior housing. We all must re-imagine our business models in order to offer relevant services in the future. The Forum can show you how. This year’s theme, “Innovation Uncorked,” embodies the essence of the conference: discovering cutting-edge advancements in a fun environment.  The agenda is packed with informative panels, engaging sessions, and opportunities to forge solid relationships. You can’t ignore a session called “Igniting Purpose in Your Life .. and Your Residents’.” Sessions like “Disruptive Innovation: The Future of Senior Care and Health Care,” and “What Senior Living Can Learn from Hospitality,” offer tips to help you get ahead of your competitors. There is much more in store. Learn proven ways to strengthen recruitment and retention efforts. Get practical tips for building a purposeful culture and forging healthcare partnerships. Explore the future of senior living with artificial intelligence and robotics. The forum makes each moment of this three-day conference worth it. The forum also offers opportunities to digest what you’ve learned and unwind with your peers. A catamaran cruise, an evening of polo, networking happy hours and a night at the museum will ensure that you enjoy your Santa Barbara experience. Join Yardi for a one-on-one consultation at the...

Rents on the Rise May31

Rents on the Rise

A new national office property report from Yardi Matrix shows that asking rents rose by 1.1% in April 2019 over the previous three month period while robust absorption of new supply kept the vacancy rate unchanged at 13.7%. Office rents’ strength across the U.S. reflects “the continued health of the economy and the growth of the technology, health care and coworking segments,” according to the report. Nineteen of the 25 major markets covered in the report saw gains in asking rents over the past three months. Rent growth was strongest in markets with a healthy dose of “new economy” and technology tenants such as Austin, Texas, Brooklyn, N.Y., San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, along with Tampa, Fla., and Nashville, Tenn. Only Chicago and Seattle saw declines of more than 1%. About 14.4 million square feet of office space came online through April, with Class A space accounting for about 90% of the total. Properties under construction represent a 2.9% growth of total inventory. “While it is early in the year and we expect the pace of deliveries to step up later in the year, so far in 2019 suburban construction has outpaced that in central business districts compared to last year,” the report says. Asking rents stood at $36.40 per square foot nationally in April. The vacancy rate was unchanged at 13.7%. Office property transactions valued at $19.8 billion closed in the first four months of the year. Want more insight? View the full Yardi Matrix national office report for May...

CMS Overhaul May30

CMS Overhaul

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) may soon change the way that payments are allotted. The organization hopes that the new payment structure will reflect its renewed commitment to quality care. Rewarding Performance In the past, facilities received payments based on the total cost of care provided. The new case-mix CMS model directs Medicare payments to facilities based on the patient’s condition and treatment. A recent proposal could increase payments to skilled nursing facilities (SNF) by $887 million in fiscal year 2020. That’s about a 2.5 percent increase from the current fiscal year. Not all SNFs will receive the increased payments. Facilities must meet a list of requirements to receive the funds. If facilities fail to meet the new requirements, payments will be reduced by 2 percentage points. About 60 percent of the funds withheld from under performing SNFs will be upcycled as incentive payments. The caveat, however, is that under performing SNFs will be expected to improve quality of care with fewer resources. Additional Payment Increases Other areas of care may receive a noticeable uptick in payments. CMS has announced that it plans to increase payments to inpatient rehab facilities (IRF) by $195 million for federal fiscal 2020. Hospice payments may get a $540 million increase in payments, which is roughly a 3 percent boost. Like SNFs, hospice providers will be evaluated based on the services provided to patients. High-performing centers will receive the increase whereas under performing centers will get a 2-percentage point cut. Influencing Change There is still time to influence legislation. CMS encourages industry feedback on proposed rule [CMS-1718-P]. The organization will accept comments until June 18, 2019. The final proposed changes will take effect in October...

Call Center Value May28

Call Center Value

Stress comes in different forms. The anticipation of relocating, weighing our housing options, and investing in a new lease or mortgage all lead to stress. When we’re hit with stress, we seek human interaction for help and comfort. Yet in the age of efficiency, stressed-out prospects and residents are channeled to self-service technologies like websites, apps, and robot assistants. When we fail to balance automation with the human touch, we distance ourselves from our customers and our relationships falter. Humans Prefer Humans to Close Deals Harvard Business School conducted a study on how people feel about their investment choices with and without the assistance of a human advocate. Researchers published their findings in an article in Harvard Business Review. The study reveals that, “anxious customers interacting through self-service technology feel dissatisfied with their decisions even when those decisions appear aligned with their goals. Their dissatisfaction reduced their trust in the service provider.” Researchers were able to boost investor confidence and decrease anxiety with the addition of human interaction. In some cases, the human was a peer. In other cases, the human was an investment expert. In both scenarios, “when people had the ability to connect with another person – either an expert or a peer – the deleterious effects of anxiety were offset. “ The ability to interact with a human also increases the likelihood of closing a deal. In the experiment, applicants moving forward with the deal jumped from 64 percent to 80 percent when customers receiving automated messages were also invited to interact with a human for guidance. RENTCafé Connect: Streamlined Efficiency with a Human Touch As a software company, we take pride in the efficiencies that we can offer through automated services. But we also acknowledge that the human element is essential...

CALA Conference May24

CALA Conference

Looking for a senior living conference that combines the best of practical learning with exciting interactive activities? The California Assisted Living Association (CALA) 2019 Spring Conference and Trade Show is just what you’re looking for. Learn with the Industry’s Brightest The annual CALA Spring Conference and Trade Show is first and foremost an educational event. Its more than 900 attendees learn the latest in emergency preparedness, workforce development, technology, and dementia care. The conference’s theme, Elevate, encourages attendees to explore innovations in senior care. These may be new technologies or innovative approaches that make senior care safer, more efficient, and engaging. Work Hard, Play Hard But that doesn’t mean that CALA is all work and no play! There will be plenty of opportunities for attendees to socialize and get free gear. The Trade Show Breakfast is a new feature this year. In addition to a delicious meal, attendees are encouraged to forge meaningful connections with guests and vendors. Trade Show attendees are invited to visit Yardi at booth #36! After watching a brief demo, guests will also be eligible to win a portable Bose Bluetooth headphones On Tuesday, the Cocktails with a View reception provides an opportunity for conference attendees to network in a scenic environment. The event takes place at the Ferrantes Bay View Ballroom on the top floor of the Monterey Marriott. Enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the Monterey Bay will enjoying cocktails and camaraderie. The final day of the conference marks the Award Luncheon, which honors the state’s leaders, visionaries, and altruists. Awards given will include The Excellence in Service Award for Outstanding Caregiver, Team Member, Department Director, and Executive Director; and The Culinary Knockout Champion. “Yardi is proud to sponsor the CALA Awards Luncheon,” said Ray Elliott, vice president of...

CRM for Senior Living...

With more senior living options than ever, competition is fierce for would-be residents. Communities must set themselves apart to attract customers – and the most effective way to do that is through online marketing. It might come as a surprise, but Baby Boomers spend more time on the internet than Millennials, with 31% reporting they use their laptop, tablet or phone more than 15 hours per week. So how do senior living operators get the biggest bang for their buck? The answer is simple: CRM. What is CRM, exactly, and how does it help cut through a crowded marketplace to grow occupancy? First, a definition: CRM stands for customer relationship management. It is technology used to oversee interactions with potential clients with the goal of improving relationships through use of data. CRM software captures both qualitative and quantitative data across various channels and stores it in one centralized location to paint a holistic view of prospects, surfacing insights to make strategic decisions and optimize your marketing. This increased visibility boosts the effectiveness of your outreach. And because CRM allows you to track and analyze the performance of various online marketing vehicles to see where your dollars are working hardest. you can decide which campaign types are most meaningful for your business. Here are just a few of the ways CRM helps optimize marketing spend to maximize ROI. Tailor Messaging The first step of developing an effective marketing effort is identifying your audience and what types of marketing content they respond to. CRM systems like Yardi Senior CRM allow you see prospects’ interactions and identify which channels and messages are most compelling. If consumers are ignoring display ads but opening your emails, you can dial down advertising spend and invest more resources in refining your...

The Work Number May22

The Work Number

Property managers using Yardi’s ScreeningWorks Pro solution have a new tool for making resident screening faster and more reliable. The Work Number® from Equifax enables instant online verification of current employment status and payroll income and eliminates reliance on applicant-provided pay stubs and federal W-2 forms. “We are very excited to join forces with Yardi to offer instant verifications to the rent community utilizing The Work Number database,” says Tom Ciulla, vice president of enterprise alliances at Equifax, which manages the nation’s largest repository of verified income and employment information. “Available for the first time in rental markets, these solutions will not only help speed up the application process, but greatly assist the consumer and property manager with each transaction.” Patrick Hennessey, vice president of resident screening for Yardi, adds, “Without online access to verified income data, property managers could spend hours tracking down current and legitimate pay stubs. The Work Number is a great service that helps ScreeningWorks Pro clients reduce fraud and speed up the approval of qualified applicants.” The Work Number database houses employment records contributed by tens of thousands of employers nationwide, including 82% of the Fortune 500, a rapidly increasing number of small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) and the majority of the federal government’s civilian employers. See how companies are finding success with ScreenWorks Pro, a comprehensive solution that includes credit reports, rental history and other publicly reportable civil or criminal records....

YASC DC 2019 May21

YASC DC 2019

The first Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) of 2019 kicked off this morning in Washington, D.C., where over 2100 attendees are gathered to improve their knowledge of Yardi’s products and services, network with peers, and have a little fun. “What do you say this week we turn Washington, D.C. into our nation’s real estate technology capital?” said Esther Bonardi, Yardi vice president of marketing, as the general session kicked off. The conference is the largest YASC to date. With a focus on sharing information, educating users on how to get the most out of their Yardi platform, learning about new products and features, and connecting with fellow real estate professionals, YASC is also a place where attendees answer important questions. “How do you elevate your company to that next level? You do it by gaining information,” said Bonardi, introducing Anant Yardi, company founder and president, during the general session. Continuous communication Mr. Yardi focused his remarks on the theme of continuous connection and how it can be beneficial for business relationships. “This day and age of continuous connection doesn’t necessarily mean we are communicating all the time. But it does mean that we are available, and we respond.” While displaying an image of a group of people around a dinner table, all intently staring at their smartphones, Mr. Yardi suggested that perhaps the group all had various roles in the real estate industry, as well as the capability to respond to customer and client requests, anytime and anywhere. Yardi’s technology platform already allows real estate professionals to accommodate such requests, but as Mr. Yardi and the executives who presented after him Tuesday morning demonstrated, the company is poised to deliver even more innovation. “Our goal is to provide a connection between the business, the consumer and the property,” said Mr. Yardi, introducing the concept of “business to property” transactions. “As we think about continuous communication, the basic way we do real estate doesn’t change. But the way we transact business may change.” Yardi has positioned its platform to facilitate that change with solutions like Yardi Elevate for improving asset performance and Yardi Kube for coworking management, a potential way for property managers to capitalize on unused space, and the Yardi Pulse platform, which can monitor energy use and automate energy management, leading to waste reduction. Future-focused product development YASC attendees also got a sneak preview of Yardi’s forthcoming smart home technology solution which will allow property managers and residents to easily manage connected services like utilities and door locks, all from an app-based interface. “Using a single app, a resident should be able to make payments, enter service requests, request concierge services, but also make sure that the door is locked,” Mr. Yardi said. Such a hub will also have advantages for property managers, who will be able to manage the utilities and locks of vacant units all from a centralized dashboard. John Pendergast, Yardi senior vice president, multifamily services, went into more details on the convenience, security, comfort and automation that Yardi’s new smart home technology solution will provide. The morning presentation concluded with remarks from Rob Teel, Yardi senior vice president, global solutions, and Akshai Rao, Yardi vice president of energy and procurement. Teel introduced the Yardi Elevate platform, which is powered by big data, market data from Yardi Matrix and uses predictive analytics and prescriptive actions to increase revenue, decrease expenses, increase asset value and reduce risk. “Yardi Elevate will help you answer forward-thinking questions, like how much should I spend on marketing next month. These are not the accounting questions you’d be answering with Yardi Voyager. The goal is to help you make better business decisions,” Teel said. Yardi Elevate provides next-level insight into asset performance, budgeting and forecasting, construction and facility management, and more. Community connections Rao concluded the general session with a look at Yardi’s corporate philanthropy programs, which offer employees in each...

Security Deposit Alternatives May21

Security Deposit Alternatives

Are your security deposit requirements costing you good renters? Sometimes, desirable renters are short on cash. But, do you really want to risk losing a good and potentially long-term resident because they can’t pay a high security deposit before they move in? Imagine you show a unit to a young professional who is relocating to your area. They have a good new job and great credit along with excellent references. They’re the kind of reliable resident you’re looking for — and they’re ready to sign a lease. But, they don’t have enough cash to pay the security deposit you require. Do you have to let them walk away? As it turns out, you don’t. You can let good renters move in for less money up front by allowing them to post surety bonds in place of a traditional cash deposit — and still ensure your properties are protected. Read on to learn more. What is a Surety Bond? Surety bonds are a form of insurance that constitute a contractual promise to meet security deposit requirements while taking less money up front from new renters. Renters simply pay a one-time, non-refundable bond premium that is typically less than 20% of a traditional security deposit, and the surety bond provider acts as a third-party guarantor up to the limits of the bond amount. While relatively rare before the mortgage crisis of 2008-2010 when many families experienced job losses and home foreclosures and needed help getting into rentals, surety bonds have become more popular with landlords in recent years to help renters deal with move-in costs. What are the Benefits? While renters are happy to keep more hard-earned money in their pockets and not worry about getting security deposits refunded, property staff are relieved of managing escrow accounts and processing deposit refunds — which also means saving banking fees and administrative costs. Many property managers also find that offering a deposit alternative gives them an advantage in competitive rental markets. Three Great Reasons to Accept Surety Bonds Gain a competitive advantage and fill vacancies faster: Without the barrier of a big security deposit, surety bonds can help you rent available units faster. Plus, accepting surety bonds as a deposit alternative for qualified renters could help you market your properties, especially in competitive areas. Take the burden off management and mitigate risk: With surety bonds, property owners and managers are removed from the collection process and, in most cases, from litigation should disputes arise over the return of security deposits.  Reduce work for property staff and lower administrative costs: Opening separate trustee or escrow accounts with your bank for new tenants can be a hassle and takes hours of your staff’s time to process, in addition to monthly bank fees that eat away at your deposits over time. Surety bonds don’t require any of that, nor do property staff need to track and pay out interest on security deposits. Ready to give your renters an affordable move-in option that also helps your busy staff and protects your bottom line? Download a free brochure to get...

Marketing Insights May18

Marketing Insights

The multifamily marketing industry recently gathered in Huntington Beach, Calif., for the 2019 Apartment Innovation and Marketing (AIM) Conference. The 2019 edition focused on digital marketing best practices and innovative technologies. Keep reading for top insights from the 2019 conference! The ever-expanding Internet of Things A second wave of connected technologies is making its way to multifamily. In fact, according to Terry Jones of tech giants Travelocity, Kayak and Wayblazer, 75 billion smart devices will be connected to the internet of things by 2025. From smart home integration and keyless entry to smart thermostats and high-speed WiFi, AIM sessions focused on the convenience and opportunity afforded by embracing IoT advances. At AIM, Yardi experts also previewed connected technology innovations coming soon to the RENTCafé Suite. “Marketers are going to need to understand technology more to be successful,” shared Ben Burns, vice president of digital strategy at Bozzuto, during a growth-focused question and answer panel. “At the end of the day, we’re providing experiences.” Is your business ready to embrace new technologies and give renters what they want? Attribution, automation and analytics New technologies appear on the market every day. But which ones made the jump from novelty to widespread adoption? The AIM Technology TrendTalk with Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi, explored multifamily technology trends and how smart marketers can use them to improve business outcomes. Meet the speakers: Diana Norbury, Senior Vice President of Operations, Pillar Properties Norbury spoke about utilizing benchmarking and prescriptive analytics to help drive more informed marketing decisions. At AIM, one thing was clear: data is a marketer’s best friend. Prescriptive and predictive analytics can use that data to inform your marketing strategy, improve customer experiences and, ultimately, boost conversions. “Predictive analytics allow our staff to work...

YASC DC 2019 May17

YASC DC 2019

The Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference returns to the East Coast next week, offering in-depth training, networking and fun for Yardi clients. The annual user conference, also known as YASC, will be hosted at the Washington Hilton from May 21 – 23. We’re excited to see our clients and staff in Washington, D.C.! As one past YASC attendee shared, “I always enjoy YASC because you get to hear how others use the software. Can’t wait to learn more!” Get a glimpse of YASC Washington, D.C.: Yardi Events App Get connected at YASC with the Yardi Events app! Attendees can access all conference information, venue maps, class materials, social networking, in-app messaging and more on the Yardi Events app. Customize your daily schedule with classes, demos, panels and roundtables, and set up one-on-one meetings with Yardi staff. The Yardi Events app is available for download in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. A browser-based version, synced to the mobile app, will also be available, so attendees can access the app features from their desktop. User log-in details have been emailed to all registered YASC attendees. Questions? Email our team at yasc@yardi.com. Knowledge Central Knowledge Central is the place to be if you want to learn more about new products and upgrades, or if you have questions about your current software. We’ve gathered the experts in one place, so you’ll know where to go to get all your questions answered. Bonus: attend a 15-minute product preview in Knowledge Central and be entered in a daily iPad giveaway! Expand Your Network How many industry connections can you make in three days? There will be over 1,500 attendees representing nearly every segment of the real estate sector at YASC. The conference will offer several opportunities to connect with peers in your industry, including scheduled breaks and networking...

Standard of Excellence May16

Standard of Excellence

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s designation of Yardi as a 2019 ENERGY STAR® Award recipient in the service and product provider category was previously announced in this space. The award recognizes the company’s outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. More than 180 organizations across a broad swath of industries joined Yardi in receiving ENERGY STAR awards in April. Some of their achievements that ENERGY STAR documented are summarized below. Along with saving more than 5.6 million kilowatt-hours from LED retrofit and solar programs, Chicago apartment community developer and manager AMLI Residential engaged its leasing staff to educate residents and prospective residents on the benefits of living in an ENERGY STAR-certified community. Boston Properties incorporated cost recovery for ENERGY STAR certification, sub-metering of high-intensity tenant equipment and tenant energy disclosure through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® into its master lease form. The self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust also achieved ENERGY STAR certification for 77 properties in 2018. Bozzuto Management Company of Greenbelt, Md., pursued 100% benchmarking in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for all managed assets and achieved energy reductions of more than 3% and 2% in site and source energy usage, respectively, across its portfolio in 2017, which equates to a calculated energy cost savings of more than $4 million. The manager of more than 255 multifamily communities also communicates sustainability and ENERGY STAR issues through its internal Bozzuto in the Know program. CommonWealth Partners, a Los Angeles private real estate investment, development, management and operating company, developed an internal Battle of the Buildings Bootcamp competition that focused on empowering properties to reduce energy, water and waste over three months. The effort saved more than 12,000 megawatt-hours of energy, 16,000 kilogallons of water and more than 3,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Fairfax (Va.) County Public Schools, which serves more than 190,000 students, has saved more than $23 million since 2014 through a comprehensive energy program. The 10th largest school division in the U.S. also enacted student-conducted home energy audits, a Battle of the Buildings competition and extensive promotion of ENERGY STAR and energy efficiency through social media. Hudson Pacific Properties, a vertically integrated real estate company in Los Angeles, implemented an engagement and recognition program that recognized properties that achieved the largest ENERGY STAR score improvement, hosted the best tenant engagement event and demonstrated the largest reductions in energy, water and waste usage. Los Angeles-based Kilroy Realty Corporation received ENERGY STAR Charter Tenant recognition for one of its offices and promoted ENERGY STAR in an innovative TEDx talk. It also joined the BOMA W2 challenge, an initiative built with the support of a grant from Yardi, across 84 buildings. LBA Realty LLC achieved ENERGY STAR certification for 21 properties in 2018. The Irvine, Calif. office and industrial property manager and investor also increased its average ENERGY STAR score portfolio-wide from 78 to 81 and reduced its average weather-normalized source energy use intensity by over 5% from 2017-18. Memorial Hermann Health System of Houston saved more than 14 million kilowatt hours by retrofitting light fixtures. It also became the first healthcare system in Texas to utilize new ventilation rate standards that reduce energy use while still meeting air change rates set by the department of health. Principal Real Estate Investors LLC of Des Moines, Iowa, achieved more than 3% reduction in average weather-normalized source energy use intensity from 2017-18. The company has achieved more than $52 million in cumulative avoided energy costs and more than $137 million in potential increased asset value since 2008. Defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions provider Raytheon Company designed and built an energy-efficient onsite data center that can be replicated at other sites, earning a top project award from its manufacturing peers. The Waltham, Mass.-based company also completed onsite battery storage projects at two facilities that help offset power consumption from the grid during peak periods. SL Green...