CSR Aids Retention Sep18

CSR Aids Retention

If you haven’t heard of corporate social responsibility, it’s time to start listening. What is it, and why should you care? Corporate social responsibility, CSR for short, is not just another buzz phrase in multi-family housing: it might be the key to employee retention. We met with Jen Piccotti, Chief Operating Officer at ManagInc, the industry leader in resident and employee satisfaction, retention and education to learn more. What is CSR? Jen Piccotti: Corporate social responsibility is a focus on corporate culture to improve retention, reputation, recruitment and performance. But it’s more than just volunteerism and green initiatives. CSR is rooted by three pillars: The Workplace This is a focus on providing the support and resources to employees so they can do their best work—as well as to suppliers. And that part is important because residents don’t always see a distinction between in-house maintenance staff, for instance, and the landscaping crew who’s contracted out. So it’s important to work with suppliers who are paying attention to their culture and their impact, because who you choose to work with is a representation of your brand. The Living Environment Here, we ask ourselves questions about the communities we build and manage. Are we providing everything residents want and need? How is our customer service? What do our policies and procedures look like? The Greater Good This is what most people think of when they think of CSR: it has to do with volunteerism, philanthropy, utilizing resources responsibly, and maintaining a code of ethics. What does CSR have to do with staff retention? JP: More and more prospective employees, especially Millennials who make up the largest segment of the work force, are asking questions. What kind of company is this? How do you run your business? They...

Forbes Cloud 100

Yardi has been named for the third time to the Forbes Cloud 100, the definitive list of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world. Yardi was a member of the inaugural Cloud 100 in 2016, moved up to the #26 spot on the list in 2017, and came in at #22 this year. The timing of this significant honor was special as Yardi executives and staff are welcomed the largest group of clients ever to the biannual Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference in San Diego this week. In Wednesday’s welcoming remarks, president and founder Anant Yardi noted that about 98 percent of clients now make sure of the company’s secure and reliable cloud. “We’re honored that Forbes recognized us again for our efforts to provide industry-leading cloud solutions,” said Jay Shobe, vice president of cloud services at Yardi. “To continue to rank high on this list is a testament to the efforts of our employees and invaluable support and feedback from our clients.” Published by Forbes in collaboration with Bessemer Venture Partners, the list will appear in the Sept. issue of Forbes magazine and is available at forbes.com/cloud100. The evaluation process involved four factors: market leadership (35%), estimated valuation (30%), operating metrics (20%), people & culture (15%), which the judge panel then weighed to select, score and rank the winners. With that data, the Forbes Cloud 100 judge panel, which includes major public cloud company CEOs, was then responsible for selecting and ranking the top 100 companies worldwide. “For the past three years, the Cloud 100 list has identified the top cloud companies that are reshaping their respective industries,” said Alex Konrad, Forbes editor of The Cloud 100. “I am consistently impressed by the caliber of companies honored on the Cloud 100 list. It is an exciting time to a be a cloud company and founder.” “All of the twenty-five cloud IPOs and major cloud acquisitions over the past three years have been prior members of the Cloud 100, and we absolutely expect that the dominant public cloud companies of the future will also come from this list,” said Byron Deeter, a top cloud investor and partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “The 2018 Cloud 100 represents well over $135B in private shareholder value–an astonishing figure that reminds us yet again of the power of the cloud. The way we do business will be dramatically different as a result of these companies and I am honored to celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of the founders and teams behind each company on the 2018 Cloud 100.” “The business opportunity for cloud companies is tremendous today as capital investment, customer demand and rate of adoption continues to grow,” said Matt Garratt, managing partner, Salesforce Ventures. “We’re excited to see the potential of these companies and look forward to seeing what innovative technology they deliver around the world.” Yardi was among the companies celebrated last night in San Francisco at the Cloud 100 Celebration, an exclusive event hosted by Bessemer Venture Partners, Forbes and Salesforce Ventures. The celebration is attended by the CEOs of the public cloud companies and the CEOs named to the Cloud 100 and the 20 Rising Stars...

YASC San Diego Sep12

YASC San Diego

Yardi president and founder Anant Yardi welcomed 2,500 clients to the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on Wednesday for the largest Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) ever. “2500 is just such an incredible number. I recall when we had around 150 to 200 clients at our first YASC,” Mr. Yardi said. “We truly hope this conference is enjoyable and educational for you.” Yardi clients around the world can attend YASC events to gain product knowledge in training classes, troubleshoot issues with their current Yardi software, view product demos, network and much more. The two U.S. events take place each fall on the West Coast and spring on the East Coast. Mr. Yardi talked to the general session audience about the company’s overall road map for product development, which includes the newly released Yardi Elevate suite. Introduced at YASC DC in May, Elevate incorporates big data, machine learning and AI to offer predictive insights and is very popular with its beta users. “Our clients are very enamored already by Elevate. I think it’s going to do wonderful things for you,” Mr. Yardi said. While Elevate may be the wave of the future, in the present Yardi clients are continually working to gain new efficiencies for their business, whether that involves collecting rents, paying vendors, or marketing their properties. A video featuring 22-year Yardi client Marquette Management of Chicago and its use of the RENTCafé Reach marketing platform was shown during the session and prompted Mr. Yardi to reflect on how far the company has come. When Marquette came on board in 1996, they purchased Yardi’s first generation Enterprise platform. “I was the principal programmer on Enterprise. Isn’t that something how time has gone by,” Mr. Yardi said. Today, most Yardi clients across all real estate verticals...

Empowering Nurses Sep12

Empowering Nurses

Dennis McCarthy, chief information officer at Florida’s SRI Management, knows that nurses are critical to providing quality care for residents. Keeping clinical staff happy means making sure they’ve got the tools they need to do their jobs as easily and efficiently as possible. That starts with ensuring they have access to the most accurate, up-to-date patient health records. “Satisfying nurses is the number one thing. You don’t want them on a separate system; once you have people on two systems you have all sorts of issues—nurses are trying to figure out which record is current and things like that. Integration to the core software is critical,” McCarthy explained. That’s why SRI, already successfully using several modules in the Yardi Senior Living Suite, adopted Yardi EHR and eMAR last July. “We just had nurses watch it in action,” said McCarthy. Once the staff got their first look, they were hooked. The team began using EHR right away to record resident incidents. Documentation was simple and everything that was logged was immediately appended to residents’ files in the database and kept as part of their permanent record. But the best part was that all the information was readily available after the fact, said Casey Polk, chief nurse and director of resident services. She finds that feature indispensable. “At my fingertips in the Yardi platform, I have easy access to what nurses wrote and charted about each incident and how it was handled. I can quickly pull up the chart and read the notes and have all the information on hand. And I love that the software also has reports on resident activity, new orders and missed medications. It allows me to follow up with my staff based on what has or hasn’t been charted that week,”...

Top Fund Managers Sep11

Top Fund Managers

The Asian Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles (ANREV), in partnership with the European Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV) and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) recently released its annual Fund Manager Survey results. The report identifies top 10 real estate fund managers lists globally and by geographic region based on total assets under management (AUM). ANREV is the Asian association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles. ANREV is Asia Pacific’s leading platform for the sharing of knowledge on the non-listed real estate funds sector. Its goal is to improve transparency, professionalism and best practices across the industry, making non-listed real estate funds more accessible and attractive to investors. More information is available at anrev.org. The 2018 survey included 162 fund managers representing a total AUM of US$2.8 trillion at the end of 2017, an 11.8% growth over the previous 12 months. Yardi is proud that 50 percent of the top 10 managers listed today use Yardi software. Yardi clients also account for half of the top fund managers found on each of the North American AUM, European AUM and Asia Pacific AUM lists. “The ANREV/INREV/NCREIF survey provides a valuable annual industry yardstick for global real estate investment,” said Robert Teel, senior vice president of global solutions for Yardi. “We’re delighted that the 2018 survey demonstrates our clients’ trust in Yardi to provide a complete investment management solution for real estate asset and fund management, which enables in-depth insight into portfolio performance and accurate, timely investment reporting.” The survey also revealed that pension funds are the most significant source of capital for real estate across all regions, with sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies also being significant sources of capital. Organization members can access...

OHCA Convention Sep09

OHCA Convention

Senior Living is headed to Portland as the Oregon Health Care Association (OHCA) hosts its Annual Convention & Trade Show, the largest long-term care conference in the state, on September 17 and 18. The event, expected to draw 1,200 attendees including owners, regional managers, administrators, nurses, department heads and direct care staff, takes place at the Oregon Convention Center. This year’s theme, “Experience the Music of Life,” is inspired by senior living staff and communities that encourage residents to live rich lives and enjoy each moment. A musical thread will weave its way throughout the conference: participants can observe music therapy best practices during the featured Music & Memory luncheon, which focuses on the use of music as a non-pharmacological remedy for residents facing challenges. Attendees are also invited to join the fun at an 80s themed dinner and karaoke event. The convention is set to close with an awards ceremony sponsored by Yardi. Keynote speaker Eddie Slowikowski, gold medal winner for the USA track and field team, will open the event with an address that encourages attendees be the best version of themselves in order to be stronger leaders. Over forty informative sessions, including many earmarked for continuing education units, are on the convention schedule. View complete session in the conference brochure. While exploring the trade show exhibitors, attendees are invited to discover Yardi’s single connected solution for senior living by visiting Booth...

YASC San Diego 2018 Sep07

YASC San Diego 2018

The Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference returns to sunny San Diego for in-depth training, networking and fun. The sold-out user conference, also known as YASC, will be hosted at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront from September 12 – 14, 2018.    Why attend? Choose from a wide range of classes, demos, panels, and roundtables to create a schedule that fits your learning objectives. Attend a class and discover the latest software updates and insider functions to keep your skills sharp. Gain insight from experts and industry peers during a panel discussion. Explore new Yardi solutions with a hands-on demonstration. All sessions provide ample opportunity to ask questions, discuss your organization’s challenges, and share information with industry experts. As one past attendee shared: “I picked up tips I can use back at the office, met new folks and connected with my company’s Yardi account manager. YASC was a great experience!” New features at YASC San Diego: Download The App Attendees can access all conference information, venue maps, class materials, social networking and in-app messaging, and more on the Yardi Events 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 at 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 have been emailed to all registered YASC attendees. Questions? Email our team at yasc@yardi.com. Get Personal Attention Open throughout YASC, Knowledge Central is your one-stop-shop for assistance from Yardi staff. Whether it’s a new product you’d like to see, a scenario with your current software that you would like to resolve, or anything else on your mind, come to Knowledge Central to get your software questions answered by the experts. Visit our Knowledge Central Concierge Desk to schedule a time to meet with a member of our team or stop in between classes – we’ll be ready for you! Want to win big? Attend a 15-minute product preview in Knowledge Central and be entered to win our daily Bose travel speaker giveaway. Find Your Network YASC is all about learning, but we also want our clients to have opportunities to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones. Attendees can look forward to scheduled networking breaks between classes, lunchtime table discussions, evening cocktail receptions and industry-focused “Meet and Greets” in our Networking Lounge. Stop by the Networking Lounge to network with peers in your market: Wednesday, September 12 10:45 – 11 a.m. Specialty Residential 3:30 – 4 p.m.      Multifamily Thursday, May 31 10:45 – 11 a.m. Public Housing & Affordable Housing 3:30 – 4 p.m.      Commercial For all conference activities and receptions, bring your conference name badge and get ready to network! Let’s Get Social! Share your conference experience on social media using the event hashtag #YASC2018. We’ll be running contests throughout the conference, so be sure to post often and follow Yardi on your favorite social networks for conference news, prizes and more! Connect with Yardi on our corporate blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We’re excited to see our clients and staff in San Diego!...

Low-Cost Markets Sep06

Low-Cost Markets

A recent study evaluated home listings in the top 200 metros in the United States. The analysis explored the price of listings with any of seven green features and compared them to conventional listings in the area. The study then identified markets where the cost of homes with green features came in lower than the cost of conventional housing. Where Green Dollars Go Farthest California excels in moderately priced sustainable homes. In Salinas, buyers can find eco-friendly listings that cost 14 percent less than the median home price for typical properties. This translates to buyers saving an average $233, 850 on homes with solar panels, for example. In San Jose, homes with at least one eco-friendly upgrade can cost 5 percent less than conventional homes. That may surprise many who are searching for a property in one of the hottest markets in the nation. In Connecticut, the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro has a median home price of $792,050. Earth savvy buyers can pursue green listings and save an average of $37,050 for an ENERGY STAR certified home. Fort Collins, Colorado leads the list of metros where buyers can snag a home with green features at comparable cost to a conventional home. More than 35 percent of the town’s April listings had at least one eco-friendly upgrades. In those homes, the median price per square foot fell on par with their less sustainable counterparts. In some cities, the listing price of homes with sustainable features is higher than conventional homes but not by much. In Dallas, the median price per square foot is about 4 percent higher than homes without green features.  Green Becomes More Affordable Housing with sustainable features carry a loftier listing price than conventional homes in many metros. Yet overall, the cost of green...

Tenant Power Sep04

Tenant Power

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program has helped business owners and individuals save money and protect the environment through energy efficiency since 1992. Now there’s a new dimension to the program. In the fall of 2017, EPA launched the ENERGY STAR Tenant Space pilot program to promote energy efficiency in commercial tenant spaces. EPA recently recognized 48 office tenants that demonstrated commitment to energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. The award recipients met five energy efficiency criteria during the 10-month Tenant Space pilot program: estimate energy use, meter energy use, light efficiently, use efficient equipment and share data. Recipients of 2018 ENERGY STAR Charter Tenant Space Awards include Forest City Realty Trust Inc., Kilroy Realty Corp., LinkedIn and Shorenstein Realty Services LP. Some organizations, such as Cushman & Wakefield, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, JLL and JPMorgan Chase, earned recognition for multiple locations. “Adhering to sustainable best practices not only enhances our bottom line, but it also highlights our broader efforts to consistently act as a responsible corporate citizen,” Jason Kern, CEO for LaSalle Americas, said in a statement in June following the designation of LaSalle’s corporate headquarters in Chicago as a Charter Tenant Space Award recipient. Along with verifying its electricity meters, LaSalle estimated the office’s energy consumption using an online tool developed by EPA with analytical support from the U.S. Department of Energy. The company documented its nearly 100% LED lighting fixtures, daylighting/occupancy sensors and nearly 100% ENERGY STAR certified equipment and appliances. LaSalle also established an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account to measure energy and water consumption. The voluntary Tenant Space program was created by the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, which encourages owners and tenants to implement high-performance energy efficiency measures in commercial buildings. EPA continues to analyze the...

Score Alert Aug28

Score Alert

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® score gives building owners a snapshot of their property’s energy performance by comparing it to a database of similar buildings. Performance metrics in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, an online tool for tracking energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, changed on Aug. 26 to reflect the most recent market data available. This update is part of EPA’s standard process to “keep ENERGY STAR metrics as current as possible, and reflective of current market performance,” the agency says. The revised ENERGY STAR criteria incorporate the most recent Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), which constitutes the baseline against which owners compare their buildings to earn certification. In short, the change is an effort to make sure that the “similar building” comparisons for performance are as accurate as possible. EPA continues, “The most recent market data available shows an overall improvement in the energy performance of the U.S. building stock in recent years. So when Portfolio Manager metrics are updated on August 26, ENERGY STAR scores and other performance metrics will, on average, go down.” The new calculations “will be applied across all time periods, which means scores and metrics for all historical benchmarking data will change. By applying this update across all time periods, you’ll continue to be able to analyze changes that are a result of your own activities, rather than changes in underlying market data.” “The change is significant for buildings pursuing LEED or Green Globes certification, for buildings with GSA or other government space leases tied to an ENERGY STAR score of 75, for buildings in cities with mandatory benchmarking, and for the more than 450,000 commercial properties that have an ENERGY STAR score,” says Baltimore environmental attorney Stuart Kaplow, publisher of a green...

Reach for New Renters Aug27

Reach for New Renters

With spring’s college graduations and early summer’s high school graduations behind us, a whole new generation of renters is coming online. These young renters are bringing new life into the rental market, along with their mobile devices and digital expectations. Born in 1995 and after, the first wave of Gen Z are now in their 20s and chances are, they will be searching for rentals with their smartphones. Are you doing everything you can to attract these tech-dependent prospects to your properties? Trends show that Gen Z doesn’t really respond to traditional advertising, but does read reviews and makes decisions based on them. They spend more time on Instagram than Facebook. They are likely to prefer online chat or texting for communication, and expect to pay for things online. That means rent, too. Here’s some great news: the advanced marketing services of RENTCafé Reach are now available to our Yardi Voyager Student Housing clients. Now it’s easier than ever to reach more renters who are searching online for a place to live. What is RENTCafé Reach? Managing your student housing marketing, leasing and resident services from one platform that includes dynamic property websites and smart multichannel marketing tools gives you the greatest competitive advantage. With RENTCafé Reach, you can take your targeted efforts even further for the best possible results. How renters find vacancies when searching online (the most popular way) often takes multiple paths. RENTCafé Reach is comprised of three distinct services—search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and promoted internet listings—working together to make sure your communities are positioned to attract more prospects, no matter how renters choose to search. RENTCafé Reach has a team of property marketing experts who are available to help you with search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and enhanced online listings. As a certified Google Partner, we’re ready to optimize your search and lead generation efforts. Because RENTCafé Reach integrates with RENTCafé and Voyager, you get accurate reporting and complete transparency into your data. SEO & PPC Services The RENTCafé Reach digital marketing team is comprised of Google certified experts in both Google AdWords for paid traffic and Google Analytics for organic traffic. This allows us to use Google as a resource to answer questions and identify future opportunities. Our SEO services include: Optimized on-page content, page titles and meta descriptions Off-page optimization, including business citation and brand management Location data management through our partnership with Yext Regular website health audits and maintenance Monthly reporting, service calls and a dedicated account manager Comprehensive reporting to track results Our PPC services include: Strategic PPC advertising tailored to your goals Campaign management by Google AdWords Certified Specialists Ad targeting based on demographics, location, timing and mobility Ad extensions and landing pages to increase conversions Retargeting campaigns that follow engaged prospects Plus, white hat strategies help our clients improve website performance while actively protecting them against black hat techniques that get flagged by search engines. Get Ready for Gen Z Learn more about end-to-end student housing property management using our single connected solution. From social media marketing and online screening and leasing to text rent payments, you can attract, serve and retain quality new renters who improve your bottom...

Save My Spot Aug22

Save My Spot

Demand for public housing assistance far outweighs the available supply in nearly every community nationwide, but the challenges can be especially great in California. The Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo (HASLO) and the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara (HACSB) are prime examples of public housing agencies challenged with creating housing opportunities for low-income residents. There is never a slow work day for HASLO or HACSB, and the mere opportunity to join a housing assistance waiting list can create a frenzy of activity. “The vitality of every community is dependent on housing that is attainable for all income levels, and public housing agencies add incredible value to the regions they serve. The magnitude of their waiting lists, nationwide, is a great demonstration of the scarcity and value of affordable housing,” said Boone Atkins, vice president of affordable housing and PHA sales for Yardi. A PHA waiting list includes households seeking public housing units, housing choice vouchers and affordable housing. Given the local market conditions, those lists would grow daily if the HASLO and HACSB kept lists open to new names permanently. However, closing waiting lists to new households is just one way to keep the lists under control. Another way to maintain PHA waiting lists is periodically purging the names of households who are no longer seeking assistance. Purging PHA waiting lists has historically been a labor intensive process requiring envelope stuffing and data entry. PHAs also incurred costs for postage and paper to facilitate mailing forms to thousands of waitlisted households. RENTCafé PHA, and its embedded Save My Spot waitlist management feature, can mitigate those costs. Yardi is the only PHA software provider offering a modernized waitlist management solution, bringing relief to a longstanding industry issue. A Primer on RENTCafé...

YASC ANZ 2018 Aug21

YASC ANZ 2018

The Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) returns to Sydney on August 29-30, bringing together real estate professionals from across Australia and New Zealand. Diving deep into Yardi Voyager and the ancillary software you use every day, this is a great opportunity to strengthen your skills and network with your 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 2017, “I come to YASC to learn more about the systems that helps me in my role. This includes best practices, new functionality that improves my work days, and discovering system efficiencies.” Why will you attend in 2018? Here are a few new features to 2018 YASC Australia and New Zealand: Yardi Events App We’ve added a conference app to streamline your YASC experience. You can access all conference information, venue maps, class materials, social networking and in-app messaging and more on the Yardi Events 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 at 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 have been emailed to all registered YASC attendees. Questions? Email our team at yasc@yardi.com. Hear from the Experts Throughout the conference, attendees will hear from industry experts on the market trends and technology innovations that impact our work. We’re excited to partner with MSCI, who will provide a real estate sector update and what’s ahead for Australia and New Zealand in 2019. You won’t want to miss this presentation during lunch on the first day. With...

Conscious Commercial Aug19

Conscious Commercial

Imagine an oasis of calm just outside of the bustling city, a place where the community is structured around wellness and a connection with nature. Now imagine that this place has as many fun shopping and entertainment options as a conventional neighborhood– without conventional waste issues. This place exists and it’s called Serenbe. Welcome to Serenbe The New York Times calls the development “a utopian experiment in new urbanism being molded out of Georgia red clay ” about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta. More than 700 residents call Serenbe home. The community is often called together for music festivals, goat yoga, movie nights, wine tastings, and local theater performances. As provincial as it sounds, Serenbe is not a haven for barefoot wanderers and struggling artists. Homes start at $1,400 per month for a 600 square-foot apartment and max out shy of $2,000,000 for a single family home. Those are high price tags for Chattahoochee Hill Country, an otherwise unassuming rural community. With that said, Serenbe is probably the coolest countryside hamlet in the southeast for its emphasis on wellness and sustainability. Conscious Convenience For several years, development focused mostly on residences, often countryside getaways for Atlanta’s elite. Commercial construction has established a presence in the community—still abiding by community virtues—but offering more experiences and conveniences for residents. Four complexes form the hub of shopping at Serenbe. Each has a unique focus such as art, education, agriculture and health. The Mado District is the latest addition with an emphasis on health. One Mado will be a $250 million, 30,000 square-foot mixed-used development that is an alternative to the quintessential strip mall. Tenants will likely include health and wellness specialists such as a chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncturist, and other holistic practitioners. There are also parcels for...

Senior Citizens’ Day Aug17

Senior Citizens’ Day...

With new holidays and observances cropping up all the time, can be hard to keep track. But there’s one upcoming celebration not to be missed: Senior Citizens’ Day, marked each year on August 21. While thinking of ways to honor the special seniors in your life, let’s recall the origin of this important observance. It began with a proclamation by Ronald Reagan on August 19, 1988. Our former President lauded the achievements of our nation’s elders, thanked them for their leadership, and highlighted the ways in which older people, living longer and fuller lives than ever, continue to make their presence felt for their own good, and that of others. As we consider all the seniors we know and what they’ve contributed to our lives and to our society, it’s important to think about what we can give back. The Senior Citizens’ Day proclamation addressed this too: We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older— places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity. The words proclaimed decades ago still hold true. The most important way we can repay those who came before us is to ensure they’re well taken care of in the communities in which they now reside. How much progress have we made in the thirty years that have passed since these words were penned? While we still have opportunities to better the senior living industry, today’s seniors have more choices for quality care than ever before. From luxury independent living to high-tech, patient-focused care regimens, residents are no longer resigned to just a...

Energy Storage Aug15

Energy Storage

Though energy storage is a relatively new addition to the property operations toolkit, it offers vast potential. Battery systems have demonstrated multiple ways to enhance sustainability, cut costs and supply reliability. A key tactic is load shifting, the process of obtaining power during off-peak hours and storing it for use during costlier peak hours, noted Elliotte Quinn, an energy and construction attorney with Charleston, S.C.-based law firm Parker Poe. Batteries offer an alternative backup strategy to diesel generators, and can store solar power for use at night or on overcast days, Quinn noted. Earlier this year, The Irvine Co. launched a multi-property storage strategy at 21 office towers in Orange County, Calif. When requested by local utility Southern California Edison, the buildings switch their power source from the grid to a storage system that’s powered by Tesla batteries (pictured above). The office portfolio becomes a “virtual power plant that can be used to take the load off the grid instantaneously,” explained Susan Kennedy, CEO of San Francisco-based Advanced Microgrid Solutions, the system’s designer and manager. Shifting to battery power reduces the load by 10 megawatts for as long as four hours to help SCE balance the grid. Wholesale Changes An order issued this year by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should make it easier for property owners to sell energy into the wholesale market, but there is a hitch. “If you do that, you’re making yourself subject to federal regulation,” said Quinn. Wholesale selling is likely to be the purview of larger owners, he predicted. As is generally the case with newer technology, battery storage remains a work in progress. By most estimates, costs are dropping, yet the difficulty of predicting payback periods presents a challenge for owners that need to make a multimillion-dollar...

CRE Leans Green Aug14

CRE Leans Green

In July, parts of the U.S. saw record demand for electricity, driven by higher temperatures pushing up power usage. Pennsylvania-based regional transmission organization PJM Interconnection LLC reported 144,557 megawatts of demand on July 3, the highest level in almost two years. Power usage in New York City reached its highest level since 2013 the previous day, July 2. On the other coast, move than 80,000 Southern California residents lost power on the July 7-8 weekend as a heat wave caused problems with distribution system equipment. Meanwhile, ERCOT, the grid operator for most of Texas, expects to set a new peak demand record this summer. Resource capacity should allow the grid to operate reliably, but unexpected outages to major generators could prompt demand-side management measures, including potential emergency load shedding. Strain on the grid has obvious implications for property managers, since the residential and commercial sectors account for about 39% of total U.S. energy consumption and more than two-thirds of the electricity used nationwide. Summer heat and havoc it wreaks on the power grid is one reason many property owners seek to incorporate energy efficiency as a core business tenet. One resource in that effort is the Green Lease Leaders program, which encourages lease terms that give both landlords and tenants a stake in adopting building efficiency practices and investments. The Institute for Market Transformation, which administers the Green Lease Leaders program with the U.S. Energy Department’s Better Buildings Alliance, estimates that green leasing could help reduce utility bills by up to $0.51 per square foot (22%) in U.S. office buildings alone; if all leased office buildings executed green leases, the market could achieve over $3 billion in annual energy costs savings. In June, IMT and Better Buildings Alliance recognized companies that incorporated innovative energy...

Eric Michaels

Eric Michaels joined Yardi as an account executive for the Yardi Energy team in the spring of 2018. He recently discussed his position and background from his office in New York City. TBS: Eric, what types of businesses do you serve with the Yardi Smart Energy Suite, and what makes up your territory? Michaels: My focus is on commercial property ownership groups, management companies and investment firms. My clients are primarily in larger metropolitan areas such as New York City but my territory also encompasses New York state, New Jersey, Connecticut and other New England locales. Any commercial real estate business, from industrial to retail and high-rises to strip malls can benefit from the Yardi Smart Energy Suite. We have solutions that also work for new construction projects or owners that have been using Yardi Voyager and other products for a long time. Q: Where were you before joining Yardi? A: I spent 11 years in energy-related positions with utility providers and commercial building operators in New York. I worked in project management, sales and implementation, so I got experience in everything from boiler rooms in a building’s basement to chillers on the roof from multiple perspectives as a vendor and client. Q: And before that? A: I was a school psychologist in the New York public school system. Q: Why did you leave that position? A: I was ready for a new and fulfilling challenge. Energy efficiency was just beginning to take off, and utility companies were offering incentive and rebate programs for properties that upgraded to energy-efficient lighting solutions. I received an offer to manage the Long Island Power Authority’s residential energy conservation program for an energy service company. Q: How did you learn about Yardi? A: When I joined the world...

Nutrition + Wellness Aug09

Nutrition + Wellness

When it comes to the discussion of seniors’ mental wellness, we are often directed to the latest medicines and advances in technology. To help many seniors prevent and mitigate illness, we need to look no farther than their plates.  Mental Wellness Starts from Within Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky led a team of researchers on a quest to understand just how much of our happiness lies within our control. Based on their research, the team proposed the 50-10-40 formula: “approximately 50 percent of variance in happiness is determined by genes, and 10% of variance in happiness is determined by circumstances.” That leaves the remaining 40 percent of our happiness to be determined by our actions. We may immediately think of how we handle stressors as a factor of joy, but one of our most important actions is how we nourish our bodies. Feel-good hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine, are produced in the gut. When we consume inflammatory foods—which for many include dairy, sugars, processed grain, and alcohol–we interrupt the natural balance of the gut. The probiotics, or good bacteria and yeasts, cannot operate optimally. Bad bacteria, yeasts, and parasites thrive, adversely affecting the production of feel-good hormones. The results can cause or aggravate several ailments that affect seniors including fatigue, anxiety, and depression, as well as digestive issues, respiratory problems, several autoimmune disorders, arthritis, and more. In addition to a hormone imbalance, poor nutrition can weaken our immune system. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is responsible for antibody production. When the GI tract experiences inflammation and imbalance, protective antibodies are not produced adequately. We are more susceptible to infection and illness. When we are sick, our social interactions suffer as well as our ability to exercise and maintain high spirits. Food: Tried and True Medicine When...

Pay Vendors Faster Aug01

Pay Vendors Faster

A vendor provides a product or service for a property management company. Then they get paid, the sooner the better. That’s the theory, at least. In practice the traditional process can be laborious for both sides of the ledger—vendors and property managers. Submitting paper invoices, securing approvals, cutting checks, stuffing and mailing envelopes, and taking payments to the bank breed opportunities for errors and delay. Yardi’s online vendor management solution, VENDORCafé®, speeds up the invoicing process for vendors while reducing printing, mailing and storage costs for property managers. “We’ve noticed a significant improvement in expediting our invoices through the system. It’s user friendly, and provides an easy transition from one task to the next. Thanks VENDORCafé!” says Shamrock Press and Graphics. Yardi has taken the lead in developing new technology for vendors that makes processing invoices and payments, uploading insurance certificates and accessing statements, much easier. VENDORCafé offers: Easy, secure, mobile-enabled uploading of invoices and statements Reduced costs through electronic invoice processing Automated transmission of compliance status, expiration alerts and other information This infographic takes a look at the step-by-step VENDORCafé process. For property managers, VENDORCafé is a single vendor management system of record that cuts risk in vendor onboarding, eliminates lost and duplicate invoices and integrates fully with their Yardi Voyager® property management and accounting platform. “VENDORCafé eliminated the frustration that our vendors and internal staff previously experienced.  Before, vendors would reach out to our staff to get updates on invoices. Now that vendors can follow their invoice online through the payment process, we have seen a visible increase in efficiency,” says Iris Esguerra, Yardi project manager and information technology business analyst for Grubb Properties, a developer in Charlotte, N.C. with commercial and residential holdings. She adds, “VENDORCafé gives our vendors confidence and...