Trimming Turnover Aug19

Trimming Turnover

The turnover struggle is real. Multifamily leasing offices face a turnover rate from a conservative 21 percent to a jaw-dropping 54 percent. Why might promising talent abandon ship? To decrease your turnover rate, you’ve got to identify what’s ailing your staff. End inadequate training Job training can be costly and time consuming. Filling a job posting cost about 6-9 months’ salary per the Society for Human Resource Management. That’s thousands of dollars and dozens of hours to identify, interview, and train a new hire. It’s tempting to put another body in the seat, give them a quick training and hope for the best—half expecting they won’t last long, anyway. Unfortunately, inadequate training contributes to the turnover issue. To be successful, employees need a firm grasp of their responsibilities and how to fulfill them. An online learning platform makes staff training more efficient, cost effective and consistent. You can customize classes to reflect your brand and role-based responsibilities. Staff can then learn at their own pace and, unlike live trainings, staff can review materials as needed. Assessments give leadership insight into areas where staff need additional guidance. Reward excellence, nurture opportunities When you track the performance of your sales team, you can learn a lot: which team members are pulling their weight, which aren’t, and where in the sales cycle prospects fall off. Use the first data set to reward high performers. The latter two points can help you reexamine training procedures and ineffective workflows. Make team building fun Interpersonal tension contributes unnecessary stress to workplace dynamics. Team building promotes better communication, creativity, and trusting relationships. Engage in corporate philanthropy to help team members work together on creative projects and reach goals together. Simultaneously, you’re making your community an even better place to live and...

YASC ANZ Aug18

YASC ANZ

The Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) returns to Sydney on September 17-18, bringing together real estate professionals from across Australia and New Zealand. Diving deep into Yardi Voyager and the ancillary software you use every day, YASC is a great opportunity to strengthen your skills and network with peers. With interactive discussions, local and international experts, more networking time, and new innovations revealed, this is one event you can’t miss! As one attendee shared about their YASC experience in 2018, “YASC provided great informative sessions and highlighted great new features. There were good training opportunities provided to help expand the scope of work with Yardi in the business.” Why will you attend in 2019? Here are a few new features at YASC Australia and New Zealand in 2019: Yardi Events App The Yardi Events app will help attendees streamline the YASC experience. Access all conference information, venue maps, class materials, social networking, in-app messaging and more within the mobile app. It’s designed to enable attendees to custom-tailor their daily schedule with classes, demos, panels and roundtables, and to set up one-on-one meetings with Yardi staff. The Yardi Events app is available for download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. A browser-based version, synced to the mobile app, will also be available, so attendees can access all these features from their desktop. User log-in details will be emailed to all registered YASC attendees. Questions? Email our team at yasc@yardi.com. Learn from the Experts Throughout the conference, attendees can learn from industry experts on the market trends and technology innovations that impact our work. With new products in the Yardi pipeline, get an exclusive chance to preview new products soon to be released in Australia and New Zealand. From specialist solutions for coworking, residential, and asset management, there will be a variety of product enhancements and new Yardi technologies to...

Successful Screening

Colliers International Group Inc. is a global real estate services company operating in 68 countries. Colliers International Saskatchewan (Colliers) in Canada manages some of the top multi-unit residential rental properties in Saskatoon, Regina, Weyburn and Moose Jaw. With offices in Regina and Saskatoon using different methods to screen applicants, Colliers was spending excess time and money to secure residents — and needed a consistent screening process to mitigate risk and support its leasing goals. Without transparency into screening data, the company also did not have access to performance analytics to help with business decisions. Then Colliers started using Yardi Resident Screening. “With Yardi Resident Screening, we can approve quality applicants in minutes,” said Leigh Anne Cripps, corporate project manager for Colliers. Selecting quality residents According to Cripps, the company chose Yardi Resident Screening for the cost savings along with its direct data flow into Yardi Voyager that provides total transparency into Collier’s screening and leasing performance. “In our Regina office we didn’t have a process for credit checks, which slowed down approvals and leasing. Once we rolled Yardi Resident Screening out in Saskatoon to automate screening and rental recommendations, we also decided to roll it out in Regina to create a consistent process across our offices,” said Cripps. With Yardi Resident Screening, applicants are promptly and automatically screened and rental recommendations are delivered within minutes. As a result, Collier’s onsite staff can lease confidently without the pressure of having to further research and then decide to approve or reject applicants. Devri Robertson, administration manager for Colliers in its Regina office, is not always able to be onsite to meet prospects. “With Yardi Resident Screening and its comprehensive background checks and credit data, there is an extra layer of security for the company in the leasing process. Now we have better visibility and know exactly who we are renting to,” said Robertson. In addition to quickly approving low-risk applicants so Colliers can sign leases faster, Yardi Resident Screening also helps the company reduce operational costs. Saving money For its Saskatoon office, Cripps noted a savings of five dollars per credit check compared with its previous screening method, which means a total savings of up to $500 per month for that office alone. Cripps also mentioned the value of Yardi Resident Screening reports. “The monthly reports from Yardi Resident Screening are a great way to review all applicants and see how the decisions to approve or reject are made. With that information, we can revisit the system settings and tweak any criteria we feel is too lenient or too stringent,” added Cripps. Learn more about Yardi Resident Screening and Yardi’s other industry-leading solutions for multifamily property...

Brisk Office Sector Aug13

Brisk Office Sector

Demand for office space remains strong and the supply pipeline shows continuing strength, according to a national office report from Yardi Matrix. Average asking rates increased 1.7% over the six-month period ending in June 2019, matching office-using employment sectors’ year-over-year growth rate that month. The national vacancy rate was 13.5%, 20 basis points below the previous month. “Demand is robust for higher-quality spaces with more amenities and heftier price tags,” the report says. The report documents 26.5 million square feet of office space delivered in the first half of the year and 174.7 million square feet under construction. Between 60 million and 70 million square feet will likely be delivered over the next two to three years. Putting what appears to be a massive pipeline in perspective, the report observes that “this level of new supply is modest compared to annual pre-recession completions.” Half of all space under construction is in six top gateway markets—Manhattan, N.Y., San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago—plus growing tech markets Seattle, the Bay Area and Austin, Texas. Office sales totaled $38.8 billion through June and “the decline of the 10-year Treasury yield … should continue to act as a catalyst for transactions,” the report says. Orlando, Fla., led all major metros in office-using employment growth as of May, with the bulk of its 5.5% year-over-year increase concentrated in professional and business services. There’s lots more about U.S. office property demand, deliveries, lease rates, construction and sales in the national office report for July...

Intentional Retention Aug12

Intentional Retention...

As a property management software provider with tons of solutions at hand, we’re proud to say that there are few property issues that technology can’t address. While tech is a terrific way to enhance the renter experience, zeros and ones have their limits. Some important components of community building require the human touch. Your ability to personalize the community experience links directly to resident retention and a healthy bottom line. Yardi client Pegasus Residential demonstrates how to personalize a memorable property experience to promote retention and drive revenue. It Starts with Your Reputation A smooth user experience, great photos and easy leasing options are a necessity in today’s online marketplace. But poor reviews and a bad reputation will quickly defeat your best efforts. Online reviews and reputation “will make or break a community and single-handedly increase traffic and occupancy,” says Wendy Dorchester, Pegasus Residential’s vice president of operations. Reputation management is an essential part of your community’s success. There are services to manage online reviews. Your in-house team can catch resident concerns before they make it online. They can also influence your reputation in the offline community. Encourage attentiveness and responsiveness amongst your leasing team, advises Dorchester. Online surveys are another good way to intercept concerns before they make it online or into the rumor mill. Build Up Your Image According to online technology news source TechCrunch, more than 90 percent of apartment hunters begin their search online. Few sign a sight-unseen rider, which means most will visit your property before committing to the lease. Curb appeal and staff representation matter. Stay on top of landscaping and building maintenance. “A community’s curb appeal is critical, too, as a prospective resident’s first impression of a community upon visiting has a huge impact,” says Dorchester. She...

Hurricane Season Aug09

Hurricane Season

We are amid yet another hurricane season. (Along the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane season runs June through November). As recent history has taught us, locations that rarely experienced damages in the past are now at notable risk. The resources below can help owners of mixed portfolios take precautions to reduce risks to occupants and property. Rising Risks Overall, the cost of hurricane season has increased over the past several decades. Cost increases are beyond the normal adjustments for inflation. Storms are causing more widespread damages for a complicated combination of reasons. Data sets from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggest that warmer oceans fuel stronger hurricanes. Rising sea levels also contribute to more catastrophic flooding. Poor graywater management and diminishing green spaces broaden flood zones and prolong the time it takes for floodwaters to recede. What might this mean for you? Properties outside of recognized flood zones face greater risks than they did 20 years ago. Properties that were not impacted by hurricane winds before may now need additional protections. Fortunately, it’s not too late to minimize risks to your properties and their occupants. Advanced Preparation Take time to review your insurance information. Ensure that your property is up to date on insurance coverage that includes flood protection. This will cover your property whether it is in the direct path of the hurricane or areas that experience flooding related to a far-off storm. Category 1 and 2 hurricanes sustain winds of 74-110 mph, per the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Be sure that your plan for storm damage includes winds of at least 74 mph for the most complete coverage. Hurricane Preparation to Reduce Risks to Mixed Portfolios Preparation is key to reducing damage...

Drive Revenue Aug05

Drive Revenue

Permitting pets on your premises comes with its fair share of challenges. But with the right tools, permitting pets can also help to drive revenue by attracting renters and promoting resident retention! The tips below can help you create a pet-friendly property that adds value to the renter experience. Start with the basics—welcome pets! According to the National Apartment Association, more than 70 percent of renters own pets. Yet 82 percent of renters report difficulty in finding apartments that accommodate them and their furry companions, reports PetFinder.com. By accepting pets, you gain a competitive edge that can help to improve occupancy. Designate space for a leash-free dog run. You know that unused land near the retention pond? Or that plot near the trash receptacles?  Aesthetic fencing and landscaping help to transform unused portions of land into a valuable dog park. This gives pets a space to burn off energy rather than chewing on door frames. Dog parks also increase the perceived value of your property. Pet-friendly properties with dog parks can charge a rent premium between 20 percent and 30 percent higher than the average rent. Create a pet-friendly atmosphere. Sometimes, the fine details can help prospects and their pets feel at home in your community during tours. When prospects see dog bowls at the park, treats in the leasing office, and a pet wash station, they can sense that they will be a welcomed and integrated part of the community. Host pet-friendly events. A sense of community promotes resident retention. Pet events give renters opportunities to socialize and feel that they belong. They’re are also fantastic photo ops! Got pictures of residents interacting and having fun with their pets? You’ve got marketing gold. Use such content to foster leads on social media. Fine-tune...

Shared Workspaces

Looking for a way to increase occupancy without slashing prices? Creative value-add amenities can distinguish your property from competitors. One such value-add feature is a coworking space. The demand for shared work spaces is on the rise. You can benefit from this by transforming an existing area into a coworking space for residents.  Coworking Spaces for Multifamily? Nationwide, there are more than 57.3 million freelancers. In corporate America,  55 percent of hiring managers believe telecommuting among full-time employees is becoming a staple in their business structure. That number is expected to rise. Employers responded that nearly 38 percent of their workforce will be telecommuting within the next decade. So where are all of these freelancers and remote employees getting their work done? Their homes and coffee shops, mostly. Fortunately for you, you can be both and attract the revenue for yourself. You can create a shared workspace on your property by converting an existing conference room or business office. Add some chairs and a coffee maker and you’re done! Almost .. here’s the next steps. Must-Have Coworking Space Features Coworking offices are profitable and you can benefit from their popularity and capacity to drive revenue. You will, however, need more than a coffee maker and some chairs to get the most out of the space’s earning potential. Here are five must-haves to make your space functional. High-speed connectivity is a must. You will need to decide whether wi-fi or cable connection is right for your building. Comfortable, customizable seating is just as important as connectivity. Workers must feel comfortable if you want them to return and perceive your workspace as a reason to sign or renew their lease. To increase comfort, equip your space with a combination of adjustable office chairs at desks and...

Yardi Matrix Aug01

Yardi Matrix

Affordable housing advocates hail New York state’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 as a life raft for renters in more than 1 million apartments in New York City alone. Other observers, however, regard it as a minefield that will eliminate incentives for building upkeep, remove housing stock from the market, and drive away landlords and investors. A key provision of the law empowers a board to tie rent increases to an inflation-indexed percentage. Owners previously could raise rents 20% when stabilized units were vacated, with deregulation allowed when rent level or resident income thresholds were reached. Another section limits rent increases to cover only $15,000 of improvements over a 15-year period, regardless of actual costs. “New York State has taken a historic step towards a fairer housing system by reforming the rent loopholes that allowed landlords and property owners to harass and displace tenants across the State. By passing this legislation, we are finally delivering equity and justice to our clients and all low-income New Yorkers,” the Legal Aid Society said in a statement. “[The law] makes it likely that no new apartment buildings will rise. It guarantees that existing ones will decay. It will make repairs and upgrades prohibitively expensive for landlords who must eke out puny profits from properties that require major reinvestment, but where they can’t charge enough rent to pay for it,” countered New York Post editorial writer Steve Cuozzo. In July, a month after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law, a coalition of trade associations and building owners filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the legislation is unconstitutional. A new Yardi Matrix bulletin weighs in on the new law. “Market players say that the values of properties with stabilized units dropped anywhere between 20-40...

A Spark of Creativity Jul31

A Spark of Creativity...

Know your way around a canvas? The upcoming National Assisted Living Week is your time to shine –and help your elderly loved ones channel their own artistic side. The annual observance takes place from September 8-14, and this year’s theme is “A Spark of Creativity.” Now in its 24th year, National Assisted Living Week is an opportunity for residents, family and staff to celebrate the individuals served in assisted living. It’s also a great excuse to explore the different elements and ideas that make up this avenue of long-term care. The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), who organize the week-long event, hope the artistic theme will inspire staff of all levels to host fun, unique activities that enrich the senior living experience for each resident. “‘A Spark of Creativity’ encourages everyone to get their creative juices flowing – whether it’s residents trying out new things, or caregivers exploring innovative ways to improve care and community life,” said Scott Tittle, executive director for the NCAL. More to Art Than Meets the Eye Art therapy has long been a recognized method for boosting happiness and stimulating mental ability. Many residents report better well-being after taking part in the arts – and it’s even helpful for those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. By infusing art into the everyday experience of their communities, staff can help their residents sustain a sense of purpose and stay connected with one another. The great thing about art (and the benefits therein) is that it’s not limited to just painting a picture, which can be a dexterously demanding task for older adults. Some communities put on recreations of famous plays or movie scenes with their residents, coached by local actors. Other senior living providers bring in licensed music therapists who use...

Energy Automation Jul29

Energy Automation

Dallas-based multifamily community manager Pinnacle sought to reduce utility late fees and increase vacant utility cost recoveries at 170,000 residential units that it manages. “We needed to automate the entire process—payables, receivables, consumption data analysis and reporting that drilled down to a granular level of detail,” said Nicole Ellery, the company’s ancillary performance manager. Doing all this required replacing its cumbersome manual utility consumption tracking and billing with the Yardi Energy Suite. One element of the suite, Yardi Utility Expense Management, receives, validates and completes payments for Pinnacle’s utility bills. Another part, Yardi Utility Billing, monitors and bills residents for their utility consumption, which helps the company recover vacant unit costs, monitor usage, forecast utility revenue and cut waste with consumption alerts. How has the Yardi Energy Suite worked out for Pinnacle? The bottom line, Ellery said on a utility expense management panel at the most recent Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC), is “lower late fees across the board.” That happened because the comprehensive solution for utility billing, energy management and submeter data administration helps the company “track how properties are performing with line-by-line data down to the individual meter level as opposed to only invoice data.” “When we onboard a new property, we can see red flags such as high consumption on a meter and follow up with an investigation,” Ellery said. “Our property managers and accountants can drill down to each general ledger account and invoice if anything looks off and see what’s going on. We can see gradual increases in consumption and process invoices as soon as they come in.” She added, “We have saved thousands of dollars every year by nearly eliminating late fees. The suite vastly simplified our vacant unit recovery process, so it maximizes income too. We’d be...

Win at Branding

Want to amplify your marketing returns and build a loyal customer base? Developing a strong brand identity can help you do both. Whether you’re an established midsized business or a burgeoning small company, it’s never too late to strengthen your brand identity. We attended the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations conference with Sam Amin, marketing manager at Yardi, to learn more about creating a brand. What is a Brand Identity? Brand identity is more than your logo and color templates. Those are important, but your brand extends beyond what you can see and touch. At its foundation, a brand is a distinguishing mark, such a logo and other design choices. It tells us the source (company) behind a product (multifamily community). But as the “father of marketing” David Ogilvy explained it, the brand is “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.”  That means that your brand is also a set of associations connected to your business based on facts, emotions, and customers’ aspirations. How to Create Your Brand There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Amin recommends choosing from several branding formulas online to help you get started. Most formulas will require you to carefully articulate who you are and identify your customers and competitors. You’ll need to determine the type of community that you want to provide for your renters, physically and socially. As you work through each piece of the formula, be specific and authentic. Select messaging that feels natural even if (and especially if) it’s an unexplored angle for real estate. Your Brand—Everywhere, All the Time For the greatest impact, keep your brand in front of audience’s eyes. Be consistent with your messaging and steady with fresh marketing efforts that convey your messaging. “Use all your marketing tools including SEO,...

Retail Rewards Jul24

Retail Rewards

The sustainability framework that leading retail property owner, operator and developer Macerich operates under calls for eliminating energy waste and nearly eliminating emissions, water waste and landfill impact. Evidence of Macerich’s success in translating these “Innovating to Zero” principles into best practices includes a No. 1 GRESB Benchmark ranking for four years running among North American retailers and a Top 30 onsite generation designation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based S&P 500 company has generated 16 megawatts of grid relief and saved more than 300,000 KwH annually with solar panel installations and LED retrofits. It’s the only U.S. retail real estate company to earn the highest “Climate A List” ranking from CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), the world’s most comprehensive collection of self-reported environmental data. Another accolade came in the form of a Commercial Real Estate Digital Innovation (“Digie”) Award in the Most Intelligent Building Project category that Macerich received at the Realcomm ׀ IBCon conferences in June. Macerich recently marked another notable milestone: the 10-year anniversary of a multifaceted energy management sustainability program that has reduced the company’s environmental impacts while squeezing every ounce of efficiency from its operations. The company’s plan called for using advanced energy management software to combine internet of things data with additional logic and analytics functionality. The goal was to turn disparate charts, graphs and reports into coherent, actionable intelligence for operations teams and managers across 51 million square feet of real estate in 15 U.S. states. The software central to achieving that vision, the Yardi Pulse Suite, integrated Macerich’s central energy management systems with utility billing, energy data collection and the Yardi Voyager property management and accounting system. The suite enables connection, analysis and display of building information from Macerich’s...

Chic. Cozy. Smart. Jul23

Chic. Cozy. Smart.

Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation organization of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has plans for a new neighbourhood in Toronto. The 800-acre site, Quayside, will be the first of its kind. The Neighbourhood Hip innovation and practicality combine on the streets of Quayside. “Torontonians want more affordable housing, faster ways to get around the city, safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, [and] a cleaner and healthier environment,” said Jesse Shapins, Sidewalk Labs’s director of public realm. “That’s what we are aiming to do by creating this new neighbourhood.” To fulfill this vision, the site will be composed of mixed-use developments and 12 mass timber buildings up to 30 stories tall. “If the primary load-bearing structure is made of either solid or engineered wood, it’s a mass-timber building,” says Tsay Jacobs director of the Building Technology Lab at Perkins+Will and a member of the International Code Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings. The recently reimagined building method is a risk, but it bears great promise. Mass Timber + Modular Construction Due to innovations in building technologies, the unique construction style is strong enough to support tall structures with timber frames. It is also non-combustible, a necessity for many existing building codes. Canadian builders lead the industry in mass timber construction. The new Toronto neighbourhood has several experts on hand. In addition to durability and safety, mass timber construction can also be more sustainable. Sidewalk Labs estimates that construction carbon emissions will be 75 to 85 percent less than conventional construction. How? A combination of mass timber construction with modular technologies will allow for a significant portion of the building to take place off site. Modular construction cuts back on street closures, traffic congestion, scaffolding construction, site congestion, and a host of other disruptions and safety hazards. “We can build and manufactured building and have it stacked in a matter of months and have almost none of that disruption,” says Karim Khalifa, Director of Building Innovation with Sidewalk Labs. “By manufacturing, we should be more efficient and be able to drop down the cost to build these buildings.” Modular building also cuts back on the cost of renovations in the future. Modular spaces can be more easily customized as the needs of the resident or tenant change. “I can take a wall panel, make it become unclipped, and a new wall panel will be clipped in. The turnover time now will only be weeks,” says Khalifa. Buildings that permit greater customization may minimize cost construction and urban sprawl. As young families grow into larger families, for example, they may be able to grow in place. Quayside neighbourhoods become fluid, shifting with the needs of the community. “The landlord has the flexibility of taking that unit that might be one bedroom and combining them into family units to keep people on site,” says Leslie Gash, VP Development at Waterfront. Getting Around Getting around will also be more efficient. Quayside plans to connect to light rail for quick transit throughout the metropolitan area. A flexible streetscape is also in the works. Though the plans are not complete, the streetscape will meet Vision Zero guidelines and be suitable for autonomous vehicles. To boost pedestrian transit and cut traffic, covered walkways called “stoas” will help protect walkers from the elements. A floating walkway will connect Quayside with Promontory Park, an anticipated new greenspace. Pedestrians can also access the new Silo Park, which will be the star of the Parliament Slip inlet attraction. Efficiency has been worked into the power infrastructure as well. Grid energy for the buildings will be supported by photovoltaic panels, battery storage, geothermal wells, and sewer heat recovery. The ambitious combination of alternative energies aims to break tradition with neighbourhoods that are dependent upon city utilities. The housing plan breaks barriers, too. Toronto has faced an affordability crisis for years. At least 50 percent of residences will be priced at 40 percent below market rate....

Coworking Marketing

As the coworking and shared space industry continues to grow and evolve, it’s becoming much more evident that profitability is not only viable, there are ways to maximize and continue to grow your profits as an operator. Let’s dive into the best coworking marketing strategy for maximum growth. Host Events You’ve likely heard about the potential for fantastic events at coworking spaces. One of the major keys to building your brand is to hold events that are open to the local community. It’s free advertising! People who would otherwise have never stepped foot in your space get firsthand access to all the benefits your space provides. Even if they are not coworking candidates, word of mouth is one of your biggest assets. The more people know about your location, have been inside and can speak to its benefits, the better for you of course. Here are some ideas for events that you could organize within your space: Community panel discussions ‘Breakfast and Learn’ / happy hours Singles’ meetup events Yoga classes Also, keep in mind, if your space does not have 24/7 access, a great way to increase revenue is to host private events after hours. Whether it’s birthday parties, receptions, sporting event watch parties, or just about anything else that you have the room for and would take place past typical working hours. Last year’s Global Coworking Survey revealed that 21% of operators found organizing events to be a top challenge for them, and 50% said attracting new members was a top challenge. These events, whether during or after hours, will solve for a large part of both of those obstacles. Want to learn more about coworking marketing strategies? Check out the rest of this post on the Yardi Kube...

IoT in Multifamily Jul18

IoT in Multifamily

During the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations (CFAA) annual conference, attendees walked away with a powerful call to action: understand the role of the Internet of Things (IoT) in your business before implementing. Fulfilling this objective can lead to success for multifamily firms of all sizes. What is the Internet of Things? The IoT embodies a multitude of devices that are connected to the internet. These devices range from smartphones to home automation and even wearable fitness monitors. Such devices can be controlled remotely and interact with other devices. In many cases, devices connected to the internet also gather and store user data to contribute to machine learning. Masa Hoshino, product manager at Yardi, explained that three components drive change in the IoT on the consumer level: hardware, software and culture. Hardware, like a smart refrigerator, may use wireless connectivity to automatically set the time on the clock. Software, such as apps installed on that fridge, is designed to solve a problem and provide a better user interface such as peeking in when grocery shopping. Lastly, the convenience of internet connectivity has made it a necessity for consumers. Connectivity increases the perceived value and functionality of hardware and software—and a home. How Does the IoT Impact Real Estate? In real estate, consumer culture and corporate benefits demand the integration of the IoT in our properties. Smart homes offer convenience, entertainment, and the potential for lower utility bills. While a home with multiple smart features is desirable for modern renters, multiple apps to control those features is very undesirable. True efficiency entails a single, reliable app that connects residents to their smart homes and property management through a secure user portal. For property stakeholders, the IoT can also be used to promote greater efficiency and...

Building a Flexible Brand Jul17

Building a Flexible Brand

New Yardi UK roundtable discussion: With more property companies launching flexible workspace brands, Property Week and Yardi gathered a panel of industry experts to identify the secrets of success in a highly competitive market. Justin Harley (JH) – regional director, coworking, Yardi Maria Cheung (MC) – director and head of interior design, Squire & Partners Giles Fuchs (GF) – chief executive, Office Space in Town Alessa McNally (AM) – head of member’s experience, The Office Group John Williams (JW) – head of marketing, The Instant Group Simon Creasey (SC) – (moderator) contributing editor/features, Property Week What are the key components needed to create a successful flexible workspace brand? GF: Location, design, building layout, staff, culture, ethos, IT, consistency of customer service. You can go on forever making a list, but all of those things need to be a part of it. AM: Location is absolutely key. It’s definitely at the top of the list of things we look for when opening up a space. Also member experience. We are here to create a memorable experience for our members. JW: I agree, it’s all about the member experience. The conventional real estate market is still referring to the ‘occupier’ or the ‘tenant’. They’re thinking about looking after an asset and not providing an experience, which is what flexible workspace providers do so well. Once people experience the flexible workspace market I think it’s a shock when they go back to conventional office space because the level of service just isn’t there. What makes a great location for a flexible workspace centre? GF: We previously had a company that covered the whole of the UK and when we opened a property outside London one of my metrics was it had to be five minutes -walk from a Marks & Spencer. In London, our MO is that the location has to be within a four-minute walk – five minutes is probably okay – of a tube or rail hub. JW: I said two years ago that we were going to start to see the rise of second cities and coworking and flexible space becoming a story in the regions and I’m glad to say I was right. Demand for flexible workspace in cities like Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester is increasing by 25% to 30% every single year at the moment. Those secondary cities in the UK are really flying and we’re also seeing that in Europe and in the States. How important is design and fit-out to a flexible workspace brand? MC: It’s become massively important. It should have always been massively important, but the standards have been raised and everyone is really enjoying and realising the benefit of great design in the workspace. It’s no longer about sitting at a fixed desk. We are working in different ways. People want to be able to sit, to stand, to walk around and look at things. Design can enhance and allow different ways of working through the use of things like natural light, biophilia, control of the environment and even acoustics. JH: One of my favourite spaces in London is [flexible workspace provider] Uncommon. They have a lot of biophilia, but it’s the scent in their buildings that’s really beautiful. Smell is one of the most important senses. JW: I think there is a perception of how coworking and flexible space should look; it’s a bit like coworking design bingo. There should be exposed brickwork, free beer, lots of dogs and avocados on tap, but that’s not the case. There is a real individuality of different approaches and different spaces being provided. In the flexible workspace and coworking sector the word ‘community’ pops up time and time again. How important is it to create a sense of community in your flexible workspace? MC: When we created The Ministry [The Ministry of Sound’s private members club and coworking space] we worked closely with them...

AI for Real Estate Jul15

AI for Real Estate

When you think of artificial intelligence (AI) in real estate, do you imagine a young Haley Joel Osment conducting unit tours? Maybe Data from Star Trek taking your job? Fortunately, the integration of AI into real estate is subtler. The day-to-day applications of AI are a great investment for your organization when you’re working with the right provider and services. During the 2019 CFAA Conference, Dharmendra Sawh, industry principal, sales for Yardi Elevate at Yardi Canada spoke on the selection and integration of AI for real estate professionals. Below are a few takeaways. What is AI in the Context of Real Estate? AI includes machine learning and problem solving. In layman’s terms, this means that your software can gather data, process the information, and then use it to make observations and predictions. With the use of algorithms and statistical models, the software can use patterns and inference to perform tasks without receiving guidance from the user. In real estate, Sawh explained, AI assists with countless day-to-day functionalities. It can collect data to show utility consumption by season, building, unit and tenant history. It can observe trends and identify oddities that may indicate a problem, such as a leak in a unit or ineffective SEM keywords. Apps that facilitate online leasing and marketing can increase response rates and improve property listing results. This information helps real estate professionals manage costs. The possible applications for AI in real estate are endless! When is AI Right for You? With its vast array of potential, it is important for real estate professionals to discern which AI applications are beneficial for them. Sawh suggested that AI is best applied in two circumstances: when there is a need for strong and unbiased data and when you want to create smoother...

Energy Education Jul14

Energy Education

Yardi didn’t have to venture far recently to share sustainability expertise with an audience eager for innovative energy efficiency ideas. The company provided top-level sponsorship plus an exhibit and speaker for the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC), a forum for research and case studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, just a few miles from its headquarters. The four-day gathering included more than 700 California higher education professionals including sustainability coordinators, construction, energy and environmental managers, engineers and facilities directors along with faculty and students. Experts from Yardi shared how the Yardi Pulse Suite, an integrated set of software solutions, supports sustainability efforts by helping reduce energy costs and consumption across all property types. They provided examples of the company’s success in helping property owners benchmark to ENERGY STAR® and make energy efficiency investments, and shared how Yardi promotes energy efficiency and sustainability through webinars, articles in trade publications, educational sessions at industry conferences and other activities. CHESC attendees learned that Yardi further displayed its sustainability sensibilities by achieving ENERGY STAR certification for its headquarters in 2018 and installing a real-time online dashboard that shows consumption data for each building at the corporate campus. In April 2019, the company’s initiatives earned designation as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year. “It is our hope that tools like ours will continue to help property owners and managers be more successful with energy initiatives and comply with new mandates like the California 2030 Green Building Goals,” Lexi Beausoleil, marketing campaigns specialist for Yardi energy solutions, told the conference, adding that technology can be a powerful tool for engaging people to “see the impact of their behaviors and empower them to make better choices.” Other presenters at the conference’s opening session included Dominique Hargreaves, deputy...

Workplace Accolade Jul12

Workplace Accolade

Yardi client Brightview Senior Living was named a “Best Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work Institute. It is one of only 40 aging services workplaces in the nation to receive the honor.  Each year, Great Place to Work reviews applications and surveys to determine which thriving employers also have satisfied and enthusiastic employees. The goal of its evaluations and certifications is to help employers create outstanding, competitive workplaces that shine in business metrics like growth, profitability, and retention. Great Place to Work is also responsible for the annual Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list. To determine a “Best Place to Work” certification, Great Place to Work reviewed the surveys of more than 1,000 Brightview Senior Living employees. Each survey addressed 60 elements of team members’ experiences on the job. Those elements explored how employees feel about their work, their views on their workplace, employer’s involvement in the community, and the support and encouragement provider by the employer. Rankings are directly influenced by employees’ survey responses. Additional factors include metrics on cultural programs available to employees, workplace practices to attract and maintain talent, and programming that supports employees’ work-life balance. “We applaud Brightview Senior Living for seeking certification and releasing its employees’ feedback,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Kung, CEO, Great Place to Work’s senior care division. “These ratings measure its capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace for high performance.” Check out the feature story on the Brightview blog. Brightview Senior Living constructions, owns and manages a portfolio of 35 senior living communities that offer independent living, assisted living and dementia care. Properties span the East Coast as far south as Virginia. Learn more at...