Self Storage Update Mar18

Self Storage Update

The U.S. self storage industry mirrors the conditions in the larger economy, thriving for the most part amid some potential headwinds, according to a recent update presented by Jeff Adler and David Dent. They are vice president and senior real estate market analyst, respectively, for Yardi Matrix. Employment numbers and the overall economy are strong, with gains concentrated in lower cost locations like Nevada, Arizona and Florida. As a result, new self storage supply is strongest in these domestic migration destinations. Millennial favorites like Portland, Ore., Nashville, Tenn., Orlando, Fla., and Seattle, are similarly enjoying healthy demand for self storage facilities, as are underpenetrated metros such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. Forces that could impact the self storage industry adversely include the possibility of an inverted yield curve—when long-term debt instruments yield less than short-term debt instruments—and international trade uncertainties. But “sharpshooters” willing to research deeply can still prosper, Adler and Dent said. Opportunities could arise from facilities left vacant by retail bankruptcies; local supply, demand penetration factors; continued penetration in gateway markets; and underserved pockets of high in-migration secondary markets. Storage facility owners might gain opportunities to raise rents in markets with low storage-to-apartment-cost ratios such as Austin, Texas, and California’s Inland Empire. In addition, the self storage industry is broadening its service suite with automation and technology. Available or proposed enhancements include fully automated leasing, enhanced gate systems and other security, co-warehousing that uses vacant storage space for small industrial purposes, and climate controlled storage for wine collections and other temperature-sensitive possessions. As the overall economy approaches a soft landing in the downside of the current cycle, the self storage sector “is still attractive in the long term if you have the financial wherewithal to ride through” potential adverse...

Energy Updates Mar14

Energy Updates

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects, analyzes and disseminates energy information. The following items are drawn from recent postings on EIA’s Today in Energy news site.               Consumption Rates Slow The EIA’s energy outlook report for 2019 projects that residential and commercial purchased electricity consumption will grow more slowly than the number of households or total commercial floor space. As a result, electricity intensity—the amount of electricity consumed per household or square foot of commercial floor space—will decrease by an average of 0.3% per year and 0.4% per year through 2050 in the residential and commercial sectors, respectively. The number of households will grow an annual average of 0.7% and total commercial floor space by 1% per year during that period. The projected rates are much lower than what occurred from 1990 through 2018, when electricity sales grew at average annual rates of 1.7% in the residential sector and 1.8% in the commercial sector. The growth slowdown stems in part from improvements in technology and federal energy efficiency standards for space heating, cooling and water heating equipment, appliances and items such as light bulbs. Electricity’s New Generation An EIA short-term energy outlook released in January forecasted that wind, solar and other non-hydroelectric renewable energy resources will be the fastest-growing sources of U.S. electricity generation for at least the next two years, Wind generation will grow by 12% and 14% in 2019 and 2020 and utility-scale solar generating units by 10% and 17% over that period. About 23.7 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity will enter the U.S. electric power sector in 2019 alone. Wind accounts for 46% of those utility-scale additions, followed by natural gas (34%) and solar photovoltaics (18%), with the remaining 2% consisting primarily of other renewables and battery storage capacity. New...

Real Estate Questions Answered Mar13

Real Estate Questions Answered

Yardi has launched a dynamic new content series and website, Real Estate Questions Answered, where real estate professionals can find answers to a number of industry challenges. “Our clients are using technology to solve problems and create new opportunities every day. We’re excited to share their knowledge, expertise and experience with the industry at large,” said Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. “We began by interviewing several top industry professionals to gather the insights shared on RealEstateQuestionsAnswered.com and we will continue to feature more client experts and deliver more answers.” Real Estate Questions Answered showcases content focused on a variety of asset classes, including multifamily, affordable housing, commercial, investment management and senior living. The content resource library will continue to expand, with new clients and market segments featured and new videos, success stories, ebooks, white papers and more to be added regularly. Here is a small sample of the questions asked and answered on the new site: How do you optimize asset performance? Answer: Diana Norbury, SVP of Multifamily Operations, Pillar Properties. How do you increase investor confidence? Answer: Joe Anfuso, CFO, MG Properties Group. How do you increase lead conversion? Answer: Arun Das, Head of Marketing and Technology, Pangea Properties. How do you close deals faster? Answer: Richard Hickson, EVP, Operations, Cousins Properties. These insights are accessible at any time. Check back regularly to see what’s new on the Real Estate Questions Answered...

Green Growth Mar12

Green Growth

A green groundswell grips the multifamily industry, influencing everything from building materials to construction standards and certification systems. Green financing is no small part of this trend. As sustainability becomes further embedded in the multifamily sector’s fabric, so are the capital sources available for environmentally responsible upgrades. Both investment and commercial banks are increasingly entering the space, for a variety of reasons. “We’re definitely seeing that banks have shareholders who are driving investment into this space,” observes Jason Haber, a broker with New York City-based Warburg Realty. “And it’s not just for concessionary gains. What’s proven out is by being green, your returns can now be commensurate with the market—or even outperform the market.” Studies indicate that improving energy and water efficiency can generate economic savings of 28-38%, clip energy costs as much as 31% and spur 40% in utility cost reductions for residents, according to Peter Giles, president of production and sales at Freddie Mac, which, along with its fellow government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) Fannie Mae, offer the multifamily sector’s most comprehensive green financing opportunities Cutting utility costs can also help increase the availability of affordable housing. According to a 2015 Freddie Mac analysis, a 10% cut in utility costs can increase affordable rentals by at least 10%, Giles notes. Fannie, Freddie Go Green Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sponsor loan programs for construction and renovation projects that include lower interest rates, higher leverage and energy audits. Those features are designed to promote energy consumption reductions of 20% or more, noted Ray Sturm, CEO of AlphaFlow, an online real estate investment management firm. Lower interest rates and larger proceeds can help offset the cost of green building materials and labor and cut utility bills, resulting in improved overall cash flow. The GSEs have no...

Lease Renewals Mar11

Lease Renewals

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if your residents signed lease renewals months in advance? Wouldn’t it be even better if they signed a multi-year lease? When you know that good residents are staying in place, you can save time and money. Cut costs on searching for new tenants and turning units. Save time on tours, interviews, and paperwork. Business becomes easier with more renewals, and these five practical tips can secure them. Start Renewal Campaigns Early Don’t waiting until a month before the lease ends to ask residents about renewal. You’re placing yourself at a disadvantage. First, you’ve given residents plenty of time to think about leaving and shopping around. Worst, you’ve only given yourself a month to find a new resident if needed. If you can’t quickly fill the vacancy, one month’s loss of tenancy can deplete nearly a year’s worth of revenue. Consider contacting residents about renewals midway through their lease. You’re getting their attention long before they think about shopping around. You’re also giving yourself ample time to secure a new resident before the current lease ends. Make it Easy to Renew Don’t make your residents take time off work to trudge down to the leasing office and sign their renewal. They will postpone signing until the last possible moment. Encourage early signing with online lease renewals through a convenient resident portal. Residents can renew their lease via a responsive website or a mobile app. This means that renters can submit renewals 24/7, even when your leasing office is closed. Be Transparent Rent hikes, fee changes, and other surprises give residents an opportunity to pause. “Do we really want to sign this? Are other communities charging this much?” With the terms of your renewal in hand, they may begin to shop around....

Australia Explores Coworking Mar07

Australia Explores Coworking

As coworking continues to gain traction in office markets around Australia, Neal Gemassmer, Yardi vice president of international, looks at the top three tech trends helping landlords stay ahead of the curve. This post is reprinted with permission and originally appeared in Property Australia. More coworking space in Australia was leased in 2018 than in the previous three years combined, finds recent research from JLL. Sydney and Melbourne accounted for nearly two-thirds (60%) of all coworking space – or 95,700 sqm – leased since 2015, JLL has found. But Australia’s other capitals are also jumping on board the coworking juggernaut. Meanwhile, Colliers has recorded a 46.9 per cent increase in flexible workspace in Sydney’s CBD last year. Although, with this representing just 2.44 per cent of the market, coworking is still in its early days. Gemassmer says Australia’s large office landlords are well placed to stay ahead of the curve if they embrace the right technology. He says three tech trends are at the heart of any successful coworking strategy.   Know your customer with a CRM Every coworking space should have a customer relationship management system, or CRM in place, Gemassmer says. “A CRM will streamline lead entry, customer lifecycle tracking, vendor relationship management and a host of operational tasks – driving efficiency, enhancing productivity and ultimately leading to greater profitability.”   Streamline systems with automated billing Whether you operate one space or multiple locations, automated billing is one of the most vital tech components to success, Gemassmer says. “Manual entry, regardless of how meticulously done, can create leakage – and this problem is worse when you’re a multi-space operator. “Operators who streamline their business with automated billing – particularly when done so alongside other tech-driven solutions – can offer the same product, but at a higher margin and lower cost.” There are software options which combine an accounting package with merchant services, such as the Yardi KUBE, which has a full general ledger suite and accounting package, Gemassmer explains.   Let’s get connected “Not all coworking enablers are tech-driven,” Gemassmer observes. “Hosting after-hours events, creating sports teams or designing spaces to encourage incidental interaction are among the many ways to build a coworking community. “But ultimately, most coworking members spend their day sitting behind a screen, and this means tech plays a central role in building and enhancing that sense of community. “Yardi’s member portal helps members book meeting space, connect with an online marketplace, access special deals and pay invoices in just a few clicks. People may be attracted to coworking for its collaborative potential, but it will be the seamless technology experience that keeps them.” The new Yardi KUBE platform allows operators to seamlessly manage their coworking space operations and financials in a fully-integrated platform while providing a phenomenal member experience. Learn...

Resident Retention Mar06

Resident Retention

Resident retention plays a major role in easy lease renewals and favorable reviews. Maintaining existing leases also cuts costs: no turning units, new marketing campaigns or strategies to covert new prospects. Doesn’t that sound awesome? The following seven strategies for resident retention can help you make the most of existing relationships. Begin at move-in. A positive move-in experience is a key factor in renter retention. Welcome packages are an easy way to help residents feel at home. Depending on your brand, you may choose to spoil your residents with wine, decadent treats, and certificates to fine local restaurants. Perhaps you go for thoughtful and practical like light bulbs, toilet paper, and instant coffee. Either way, the gestures leave a positive impression with residents. Be proactive! A survey by J Turner research reveals that maintenance issues top residents’ lists of complaints. Staying on top of maintenance requests promotes resident satisfaction. Preventative measures, such as regular spring cleaning and winter maintenance, also keep dissatisfaction at a minimum. Respond quickly and professionally to negative feedback. Negative reviews and feedback are inevitable. Your staff must respond quickly and professionally to resident feedback to keep bad situations from getting worst. With the right perspective, even negative feedback can be transformed into an opportunity to shine! Encourage resident engagement with the property and staff. Create opportunities for residents to have positive interactions with staff members and the property itself. Is your property’s demonstration kitchen collecting dust? Is your community garden suffocating under weeds? Highlight the site’s marketable features through events and activities. Remind residents why they moved in! Don’t forget to leverage staff creativity. Encourage your social media person to offer smartphone photography classes. Got a craft beer snob working in your office? Let them coordinate a bar hop for...

The Power of Data Mar04

The Power of Data

Editor’s note: Richard Gerritsen is regional director for Yardi’s sales team, based in Amsterdam. The following piece appeared in Property Week and is reprinted here with permission. The tech giants of the world – the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon – are putting all their efforts into gathering, analysing and monetising data about our everyday lives. I find it fascinating that so much of the data they use is generated inside a property, whether it Is the residential property where I live, the office where I work or the shopping centre where I shop. And yet we in the real estate industry are happy to sit back and observe these companies make money from that data, without questioning how we ourselves can better use it. We focus far too much attention on wondering whether data is relevant. This, I believe, is the wrong way of thinking. We need to capture as much data as possible in our properties – because providing we can learn to properly analyse that data, it will allow us to make infinitely better decisions about our portfolios. I understand why property companies are reluctant to embrace the power of data. After all, the essence of traditional real estate is based on the scarcity of information. If you’re a UK investor wanting to invest in Amsterdam, for example, you look for a local expert. If I’m that local expert, and I know something you don’t, you must pay me for it. I’m making money, and if I give you the right advice, you’re making money too. Everyone is happy and the model works. But when innovators come in and disrupt that model, and recognise my local knowledge is just data that could be in a database, we risk being overtaken....

Energy Boom Mar01

Energy Boom

Christy Cannon, a Yardi Energy account executive and holder of the Certified Energy Manager designation from the Association of Energy Engineers, discusses how integrated systems are streamlining building operations. The exchange below includes excerpts from an interview published in Commercial Property Executive. Q: How do building managers perceive the network of physical objects that can sense, communicate and interact with the external environment, otherwise known as the Internet of Things (IoT)? A: The principal appeal is the opportunity to reduce operating costs, increase NOI and ultimately increase property value for the building owner. Our retail clients also face pressure to provide space that helps their tenants cultivate an image of environmental stewardship. I see people who do the heavy lifting every day being excited about IoT. It’s like giving them a superhero cape. IoT devices help facility managers perform predictive maintenance and optimize heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), which not only reduces the number of comfort calls they have to deal with but also lowers repair and maintenance costs and extends the life of expensive equipment. Energy managers can view utility consumption in real time. They can manage peak electric demand and save 20% or more off their unregulated utility bills, or immediately identify a water leak. Q: What’s the relationship between the IoT and artificial intelligence (AI)?  A: The IoT architecture looks something like a wheel with hundreds or thousands of spokes, with each spoke representing an IoT device. Multiple network structures enable IoT devices to get their data to software that can use it. AI takes all the big data buildings collect from IoT devices, building automation systems and submeters, and learns how to predict future outcomes or make decisions based on the best available options. Consider all the factors that contribute to a building’s...

5 Features

As an operator of a coworking space, you’ll have many choices when selecting a management platform to power your shared workspace. Compare pros and cons and check what features each choice provide, but make sure these five features are included in your software. Robust Accounting Accounting is a vital component to the operation of your space. You may choose a software that integrates with third party applications such as Quickbooks, FreshBooks, or others. That is a significant step up from manual labor. In a perfect world however, your management platform would have all accounting solutions built in. This will eliminate third party apps for accounts payable, payment processing, merchant services, and reconciliation, among other functions. ILS There are numerous benefits to having an ILS (internet listing service) built into your coworking management software. List your space and eliminate marketing time and dollars. Potential members can check out your space at a glance, and improve the quality of your leads. In addition, you will greatly benefit from the ability to sell your services online in real time. Offer spaces, services, and just about anything else you can list. Keep track of sales and revenue live. Real-time Reporting Real-time reporting goes beyond just statistics. Being able to track data and results live will help you track sales, revenue, space usage, and many more driving factors of the success of your space. At the end of the day, the goal is to increase your revenue and provide better service to your members and guests. Real time reporting is at the core of all those goals, as you’ll have visibility to change membership plans, designs, and service based on tracking data over periods of time. Learn more about the benefits of CRM and automated booking in your coworking management software on the...

Self Storage Portrait Feb22

Self Storage Portrait...

A new report from Yardi Matrix illustrates how the self storage industry’s performance mirrors employment growth and population gains. Development activity for self storage space is highest in metros such as Portland, Ore., Nashville, Tenn., Seattle and Orlando, Fla., where corporate expansions and relocations, along with college student enrollment and multifamily development, are driving demand. Nationwide, units under construction and in the planning stages account for 9.4% of inventory. The report also documents strong development activity in Boston and New York City, which are historically undersupplied markets. Street rates for self storage units declined slightly nationwide in December a normal seasonal occurrence. In addition, the report notes, “New projects coming online over the past few months continued to weigh on rent growth at the national level, albeit at a much slower pace compared to the previous month.” Yardi Matrix tracks nearly 2,000 self storage development projects in the pipeline and maintains operational profiles on more than 24,600 completed properties. Read the full supply and rent recap for January 2019. Learn more about Yardi self storage...

Senior Living 100 Feb21

Senior Living 100

Yardi is proud to sponsor the 2019 Lincoln Healthcare Senior Living 100 conference! This invitation-only event combines today’s best practices with tomorrow’s promising innovations. About Senior Living 100 Since 1998, Lincoln Healthcare has inspired excellence in strategy and modernization in the increasingly value-based system of senior care. To achieve this, Lincoln Healthcare owns and operates five executive conferences for AL/IL and CCRC industry leaders. Each event fosters visionary education, peer networking, and memorable experiences. Get Involved! The forward-looking educational program at Senior Living 100 reveal opportunities for growth amongst its community of talented attendees. Lincoln Healthcare’s thought leaders invite participants to explore the latest trends and forecasts. This year’s theme, Creating Blue Skies: Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Senior Care, will focus on improving existing business models in preparation for the future of senior living. Rapid learning techniques will help attendees retain a solid understanding of content that is “forward-looking,” “candid,” “change-oriented,” and “super productive.” Participants can cap off information-rich days with fun-filled evenings. The Executive Golf Tournament at the Oceanfront Monarch Beach Golf Links is a par 70 Scottish links-style course that challenges novice and experienced golfers alike. A relaxing sailing regatta or adrenaline-pumping flight simulator are also on the agenda. Each day offers a new adventure! The spouse program enriches the conference experience. Significant others can enjoy the resort and sightseeing in the beautiful town of Laguna Niguel. Participants are also invited to attend all recreation, activities, and dinners with conference participants. Connect with Yardi Senior Living  at the Lincoln Health Care Senior Living 100 conference at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California on March 10-13,...

Industrial Markets Feb18

Industrial Markets

Boosted by healthy economic fundamentals, the U.S. industrial real estate market maintained its historic growth throughout the first half of the year, according to the most recent Yardi Matrix industrial report. The sector continues to benefit from increases in online consumer spending. Traditional core industrial markets such as Chicago, New Jersey, Dallas-Fort Worth and the Inland Empire are still leading growth, but new areas of interest are emerging. Demand is stronger than ever, with more than 128 million square feet of space absorbed nationally in the first half of 2018. Yardi client Winstanley Enterprises is one of the largest owners and operators of warehouse and distribution space on the East Coast, according to a National Real Estate Investor survey. Founder & Principal Adam Winstanley has roughly three decades of experience in real estate acquisition, development, finance, construction, leasing, asset management and disposition. Winstanley shares insights into the East Coast’s industrial markets and touches on technology’s impact on the sector. He also talks about what causes distress among investors and reveals his plans for the next years. Which are the hottest industrial markets on the East Coast? Winstanley: The hottest industrial markets on the East Coast remain Exit 8A in New Jersey, Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania and the current newcomer Connecticut—between Hartford and Springfield, Mass., on Interstate 91. What do you take into account when deciding your next investment location? Winstanley: We look for sites that have low site development costs, with quick access back to major interstates on primary distribution routes. This interview originally appeared in Commercial Property Executive, a Yardi publication. Read the rest of the conversation with Winstanley...

Reporting Made Easy Feb13

Reporting Made Easy

As an owner, you wear many hats and have many strengths. If interpreting reports is not among your talents, you’re not alone. Many leaders aren’t getting the most out of team updates because they are not comfortable with the terms used on the reports. A brief refresher may do the trick! Below is a quick cheat sheet of nine common ratios that you will encounter and how to interpret them. Capitalization Rate (Cap Rate) When you are just getting started with a property, cap rate comes in handy. The cap rate tells you the actual value of an investment beyond its appraisal value. To find the cap rate: Cap rate = sales price of a comparable income property ÷ net operating income of comparable income property Net Operating Income (NOI) NOI is also used to determine the value of a property. It uses data from the previous year to account for the loss of rental revenue due to vacancies, maintenance and other factors. To find the NOI: Net operating income = gross operating income – (operating expenses ÷ gross income) Market Value Your cap rate and net operating income can then help you to understand your market value. This will change over time based on several factors. To find market value: Market value = net operating income ÷ capitalization rate Vacancy Rate This is undoubtedly a figure that you will refer to often. The vacancy rate is the number of unoccupied units compared to the number of units available for rent. A lower number is better than a higher number. To find the vacancy rate: Vacancy rate = number of unoccupied units ÷ total number of units Occupancy Rate Another common ratio used to understand the quantity of available units is occupancy rate. To find the occupancy rate: Occupancy Rate...

Foodie Culture Feb11

Foodie Culture

Food continues to be a hot topic in senior living. Television personalities like Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern ignited the modern “foodie” culture. Their meals dripped with excitement and worldliness. Under such influences, aging Boomers have high expectations for their dining options. Senior living experts will have to keep up with costs and trends to appease them. Rising Costs Food costs are at an historic high. Prices have risen an average 2.6 percent each year over the last 20 years. Long term, prices will continue to rise. A survey  by senior living association Argentum reveals that 51 percent of industry decision-makers agree that their average food costs increased in the past year. Organizations are seeking alternative methods improve cost efficiencies. Local Sourcing: Cost-Saving, Community Friendly Local food sources provided one way for 29 percent of organizations to cut costs. By decreasing storage and transportation expenses, locally-sourced foods can cost less. More than 75 percent of respondents currently offer locally-sourced produce. Nearly 55 percent offer locally sourced animal proteins. Local sourcing also appeals to the current trend in foodie culture that cherishes farm-to-table preparation. This more sustainable option promotes in-season, small batch fare. The quality of such local foods is more easily controlled and verified. Additionally, local sourcing reflects a growing concern for local economies. Nearly 25 percent of respondents that serve local produce do so to support other neighboring businesses. For 15 percent of senior living communities, locally-sourced goods are a point of differentiation against competitors. Stop Food Waste to Slash Costs Worldwide, over one-third of food  is wasted. Americans alone toss up to 40 percent of their food purchases into the trash. Decreasing food waste ensures that food fills bellies instead of trash cans. Nearly 40 percent of respondents are using food waste tracking to...

Member Personas

One of the most critical aspects to properly marketing your coworking space is building member personas. You could be doing tons of hard work and spending time and dollars on marketing, but if you’re not aiming at the right target, it could be all for nothing. Let’s take a look at how and why to build member personas. What are member personas? Imagine creating your ideal member, in detail. Consider what characteristics, habits, demographics, and many other factors formulate the member you would most associate with your space. For example, you could say ‘Tom’ is an entrepreneur, based in Miami, age 34, losing creative spark due to isolation, and needs to work a flexible schedule due to other demands. Tom is your target customer. This guide is a good way to check off the questions you need answered, so that you’re not just marketing to “everyone.” But why can’t you just target a wide scope and range of potential members? You’re bound to hit on some of them, yes, but for the most part this isn’t a prudent strategy. You’re going to be wasting your efforts targeting lots of personas that simply don’t match with what your space is all about. If your scope is too wide, your space will be too formal for some, too informal for others. It may be too large or too small. It may be out of driving distance. It may be out of budget. An important note from coworking marketing expert Cat Johnson is that your potential member can get a desk and Wi-Fi in many places. Make sure you are targeting someone who needs more than that, be it intangible features like community and collaboration, or tangible benefits like conference rooms and after hours access. Learn how to create...

CAM Reconciliations Feb06

CAM Reconciliations

In many commercial leases, tenants are responsible for rent and a share of the property expenses. Common area maintenance (CAM) fees help cover the direct expenses of maintaining areas shared by all tenants. If you’re a commercial landlord or property manager, you might charge monthly fixed CAM fees based on estimated expenses, then run a reconciliation against actual expenses at the end of the year. But because CAM expenses vary depending on the actual charges accrued, manually reconciling estimated CAM charges with actual charges can be time consuming. Larger operators have long been able to automate CAMs with Yardi Voyager Commercial. Commercial property managers with smaller portfolios can now do the same thing using Yardi Breeze. It’s one easy way to save yourself a significant chunk of time. What do CAMs include? CAMs can include the cost of maintaining both internal and external spaces. Internal common areas may include elevators, public restrooms, hallways, lobbies and more. Outdoor common areas often include parking lots, landscaped spaces and signage. Clearly stating what your CAM fees cover upfront can help you avoid leasing disputes later. CAM fees are usually allocated to tenants on a pro rata basis, meaning the more square footage a tenant rents, the greater their percentage of CAM expenses. How do CAM charges work? Tenants pay a monthly estimated charge for the property expenses. The actual expenses are tracked in recoverable expense accounts throughout the year. Then, at the end of the year, a reconciliation is done. The tenant’s share of the actual expenses is calculated. The tenant’s share is compared to the estimated charges the tenant has paid. If the expenses are greater, an additional charge is created for the tenant. If the estimates are greater, the tenant gets a credit. Saving time...

Senior Finances Feb01

Senior Finances

The recently released Argentum 2019 Forecast Report takes a quick peek at past senior economic activity as well as current trends and future projections. A Glance Back, Ending 2018 At the end of 2018, the economy added more than 19.4 million net new jobs over the span of 94 consecutive months of expansion. The national unemployment rate dropped below 4 percent, which is the lowest unemployment rate since 2000. The 15 percent improvement in the employment base created a positive foundation for 2019. Looking Forward to 2019 Economic forecasts for 2019 are positive. Argentum projects a robust labor market with ample opportunities for workforce entrants as well as advancement amongst seasoned laborers. The nation’s real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to increase by 2.8 percent in 2019. Following a 2.9 percent gain in 2018, the projection would represent two historic back-to-back years of growth. It is likely that the Federal Reserve will assume a neutral monetary policy, neither accommodative or restrictive. Trade woes may lead to higher prices for U.S. consumers, particularly on goods imported from China. Senior Households Thanks to recent tax cuts, most households can expect an improved financial outlook. Disposable personal income may increase by 2.6 percent, similar to income increases in 2017 and 2018. For households headed by seniors ages 65 to 74, median income bumped up 1.4 percent to about $50,804 in 2017, the most recent figures reported. While income growth has slowed, expenditures steadily rise. Average household expenditures exceeded $60,000 in 2017, an increase of 4.8 percent from 2016. On trend, seniors are still big spenders. Between 2012 and 2017, expenses in older households increased by 25 percent. In 2017 alone, households headed by seniors ages 65-74 experienced an 8.1 percent increase in expenditures. Seniors were not...

Build to Rent Update Jan31

Build to Rent Update

Yardi UK invited a team of northern property experts to The Slate Yard, a build-to-rent (BTR) development in Salford managed by urbanbubble, to discuss how the relatively nascent sector is evolving in the north of England and to explore the main obstacles that stand in the way of BTR’s future growth in the region. Participating in the discussion were: Michael Howard (MH), managing director, urbanbubble Matt Crompton (MC), joint managing director, Muse Developments Adam Higgins (AH), founder, Capital & Centric Shelagh McNerney (SM), head of development, Salford City Council Gavin Taylor (GT), regional general manager, Far East Consortium Simon Creasey, consulting editor (features), Property Week (chair) Where have we seen significant levels of BTR development take place in the north to date and why? MC: Manchester is streets ahead of other cities at the moment. I guess it comes down to the rental levels that you need to derive from occupiers and the void levels you can accommodate, which filters through the financial model to result in whether something is developable or not. The dynamics in Manchester work because you can see lots of activity happening here, but you don’t see as much activity happening in other strong northern cities – Liverpool, Leeds and the like. The same dynamic must exist in those cities in terms of agile workers that want to live there and have the flexibility of the BTR offer, but rents need to get to a level where developments become viable. SM: You can’t separate what’s going on in the housing market [in Greater Manchester] at the moment from all those large new employers coming into the city and I think that’s what distinguishes the area. While those other northern cities have got great assets and things to offer, it’s just the sheer...

Optimize Payments Jan30

Optimize Payments

There are two groups that want you to optimize online payments: your residents and your staff. According to the National Apartment Association, about 79 percent of residents prefer to pay their bills online. It’s quick, easy, and means one less task to occupy their time each month. Your staff wants to enjoy a workweek without opening mail, scanning checks, trips to the bank, or data entry into your real estate accounting software. When you increase adaptation to online payment processing, everyone wins. Check out these six tips to boost online payment enrollment. Provide easy access to the payment portal. Consider adding a button directly on your property website or prominently displayed on the resident portal. Make enrollment easy for your residents. Consider creating a step-by-step how-to guide on enrollment that includes screenshots. The text and visual aids will help your residents, resulting in fewer calls to your office for help. Designate a tablet or computer to online payment enrollment. When a resident visits the leasing office with a rent check, agents can then offer to help them setup online payments on the spot! Inform residents of their options. Some residents may be unfamiliar with the options available or not understand the lingo. Broadcast which options they have– ACH, Text to Pay, reoccurring EFT—and well as what each payment option means. Create an awareness campaign including emails, social media posts, and print posters at the leasing office (especially near the drop box). Consider a catchy slogan and imagery for the campaign that will stick in residents’ minds. As a last resort, create an incentive program. Consider gift certificates, prizes, or small discounts off the rent. The incentives are an upfront investment with long-term payoffs. Learn more about online Payment Processing with...