How PHAs Simplify and Save...

Public housing agencies are among the busiest organizations in the residential property management industry. There’s a lot going on. Most PHAs have thousands of names on their waiting lists. As names come up for consideration, staff faces hours of detailed work to ensure that that applicants qualify for housing assistance. Once applicants become residents, PHAs and the private landlords participating in their programs are responsible for all the normal property management duties associated with multifamily housing. To top it all off, PHAs are required to continuously report to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as other state and local government offices, for compliance purposes. Luckily, there’s an app for PHAs that streamlines each of these workflows. RENTCafé PHA is a unique solution available only to Yardi clients. By modernizing the way PHAs work with stakeholders, most every stakeholder group benefits. Here’s how. Prospects: RENTCafé PHA simplifies how an agency can open its waiting list for new names. The typical frenzy of activity that happens when an agency accepts new names is mitigated since people can join a waiting list online, and without having to turn in a stack of paperwork. RENTCafé PHA even offers automated solutions for agencies to periodically purge their waiting list without the need to mail thousands of notices and enter data returned in the mail. Instead, waitlisted households receive an electronic notice that it’s time to confirm their waiting list status. They can simply go online to quickly save their spot on the waiting list or opt out of consideration for assistance. Applicants: Nearly 800 housing applications were created in RENTCafé PHA every day in 2019. And contrary to traditional methods of applying for housing, applications in RENTCafé PHA are paperless. That’s nearly 300,000 stacks of...

Connection vs. Safety...

To remain competitive, real estate providers face pressure to provide high speed internet. This pressure is felt throughout all property classes, from subsidized to luxury housing and commercial properties. Yet the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is pushing back against signal boosters that pose a threat to public safety. The story is currently unfolding. Here is what we know: What is DAS? Broadband signal boosters are proving to be a benefit for multi-tenant real estate owners and a danger to FCC operations. Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) are one of the most common boosters. They are a network of separated antenna nodes connected to a single source that enhances wireless service within a geographic area or structure. DAS helps to provide high-speed internet in areas where infrastructure is unfavorable for any number of reasons. Such fixed wireless technology has relatively little capital expenditure for ownership. No street-level digging is required. But like its pricier fiber optics competition, it offers a wide range of broadband transmission capabilities. The challenges for real estate providers Real estate providers turn to DAS to improve internet accessibility and performance for renters and tenants. Renters demand high speed internet, and the demand shows no signs of slowing down. According to the National Multi-housing Council Resident Preference survey, 93% of renters rate reliable cellphone reception as a top interest.  About 55% of respondents view high-speed internet as a necessity. Additionally, 74% of renters are interested in community Wi-Fi. In the multi-tenant commercial environment, broadband connectivity is among the top three features that tenants require, reports the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International and the Urban Land Institute. Broadband connectivity is standard in new construction, and more than 50 percent of existing construction is retrofitted in some way to accommodate the technology, states...

Revisiting the 1920s Jan10

Revisiting the 1920s

Here’s a look at some energy milestones from the last time a ’20s decade dawned—a period described by Marquette University economics professor Gene Smiley as “the first truly modern decade.” Wind. In 1919, two Danish engineers advanced windmills’ state of the art by designing blades that worked like the wings of an airplane. Their “Agricco” could turn to adjust to the wind flow and automatically rotated to face into the wind. A German-developed windmill capable of producing electricity from wind and the U.S.-bred first wind power company followed in 1920 and 1922, respectively. Wind technology was superseded in the 1930s by power lines capable of transmitting electricity to rural areas. In common with other renewable energy sources, wind experienced a renaissance in the wake of the oil crises of the 1970s. Today, “renewable energy is seeing a boom in growth, with wind energy leading the way” and accounting for nearly 7% of U.S. electricity generation, according to the National Geographic. The World Wind Energy Assn. reports that global capacity for wind turbines reached 600 gigawatts by the end of 2018. There are 57,000 land and offshore wind turbines in the U.S. alone. Geothermal. At The Geysers, some 70 miles north of San Francisco, molten rock lying relatively close to the Earth’s service heats water in overlying permeable rock to very high temperatures. In 1921 an engineer drilled a geothermal well that powered a generator for lighting a local resort. In 1960, a steam-generated plant at The Geysers began generating electricity commercially. The Geysers stands today as the world’s largest commercially productive geothermal field. Its average output in 2017 was 647.7 net megawatts. Geothermal energy—which can be used for heating, cooling and generating electricity—contributes more than 3.7 gigawatts to the national grid, making the U.S....

The Mobile Advantage Jan09

The Mobile Advantage

Your resident portal is a convenient and secure connection to your renters. While some renters like to access the resident portal via computer, studies show that most renters prefer to use a mobile app. If your current resident portal doesn’t offer a robust mobile option, you’re missing out on three key points for resident satisfaction. What renters want: convenience and efficiency with a mobile app According to the 2020 NMHC + Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Survey, community mobile apps are in high demand. Community apps permit a secure and mobile-ready way for users to access resident portals without using a web browser. Renters access mobile apps directly via smartphone or tablet, two devices that most of us always have within reach. In contrast, websites are best viewed via web browser on a laptop or desktop computer, which we don’t always have on hand. A community mobile app can promote renter satisfaction in three distinct ways. Mobile apps improve communication, task management, and daily operations for renters Residents prefer to communicate via mobile app more than conventional methods. About 60% of survey respondents prefer for leasing management to contact them via mobile app. Only 17% prefer contact through the website portal. On average, 64.5% of renters prefer to receive notifications through a mobile app. For example, 71.5% of renters want to receive mail and package notifications through the community mobile app. An app is also a preferred way to manage a household. On average, 58% of respondents prefer to pay rent via mobile app compared to only 23% who want to pay through the website portal. About 64% of renters want to submit maintenance requests via app. Even a formal event, like a lease renewal, is suitable for the app: on average, 46.5% of respondents...

Rate Weight Jan08

Rate Weight

A new report from Yardi Matrix shows that elevated supply levels continue to weigh on U.S. self storage street rates, which fell 1.7% year-over-year in November 2019 for standard 10×10 non-climate-controlled units and 3% for climate-controlled units of the same size. Self storage projects under construction nationwide accounted for 9% of the total existing national inventory that month, a 20-basis-point, month-over-month increase. San Jose, Calif., and Portland, Ore., led in this category with 18.5% each, followed by Seattle, New York City and Sacramento, Calif. The month-over-month national average street rate did increase by $1 in November as new-supply pressures slowly alleviated in select markets. Strong demand for storage space reflects job growth in metros like Orlando, Fla., which added more than 54,000 jobs in 12 months and saw its self storage pipeline grow 50 basis points from October to November. Other metros with rising populations, such as Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, also have seen significant new supply over the past few years that resulted in street rate declines. The most recent Yardi Matrix monthly supply and rate recap incorporates an enhanced approach for calculating projects under construction and planned as a percent of total existing inventory. “Compared to our old method, the new methodology provides a more complete picture of the development pipeline and results in a minor increase or decrease of the development pipeline of many markets,” the report says. See that new methodology put into action in the Yardi Matrix national self storage report for December...

RightSource Compliance Jan08

RightSource Compliance

Yardi announced this week the acquisition of RightSource Compliance, a Minneapolis-based software consultant and developer that improves the technology experience for affordable housing providers and provides standout compliance solutions. RightSource has developed a successful software solution to assist clients with meeting complex federal and state affordable housing regulations. RightSource software serves affordable housing providers in all 50 states, and in 2019, the company’s software and services were used to help more than 10,000 families move quickly into affordable housing. “Through our integrated services and technology, we’re able to provide site staff the tools and outsourced compliance services needed to complete paperwork efficiently and accurately, which allow families to move in faster and reduce the risks of compliance errors, including late recertifications,” said Chris Voss, president and founder of RightSource. “We started RightSource in 2007 with one simple goal: to reduce the costs and complexity of compliance. Those dollars and time saved can be put right back into the properties to improve resident services and quality of life,” Voss said. The RightSource team of over 50 employees will continue to operate from their existing offices based out of Minneapolis, Minn. “We’re pleased to welcome RightSource Compliance to the Yardi family,” said Gordon Morrell, executive vice president for Yardi. “Affordable housing is an important part of our clients’ portfolios and RightSource’s products, services and the expertise of its staff will be a great enhancement to our affordable housing product line.” About RightSource Compliance RightSource is a technology firm committed to increasing the availability and quality of affordable housing throughout the country by reducing the costs and complexity of compliance. RightSource partners with owners and operators of multifamily real estate to provide software, consulting, training and technology-enabled compliance services for their properties. Together, we help the homeless become housed faster and enable property managers to focus on collecting rents, maintaining the property, and providing resident services by taking away the burden of compliance. Find out more...

5 Social Media Strategies

Social media platforms and technologies have redefined how multifamily managers engage with customers to attract, convert and retain residents. According to one survey, people spend one-seventh of their time on social media. In a crowded online environment, does your corporate or property social media strategy have what it takes to stand out and get noticed? Get ready for 2020 with these five smart social media strategies. Plan for the future by looking to your past. By analyzing current social performance data, setting realistic goals, and planning your social content calendar ahead of time, you’ll be set up for success in 2020. Get started: Do a social media audit Set your goals for 2020 Map out your path with this social media planning guidebook Get your proposal ready And if you’re new to social media marketing, here’s a great checklist on how to get started. Beat the algorithms. Multifamily marketers are competing with crowded social platforms and everchanging algorithms. Get a head start on 2020 by considering these strategies: New mediums, such as 3D photos, 360-degree videos and Facebook Live, are incentivized by Facebook, so being an early adopter is a smart move. This applies to other social networks too. Have you considered TikTok or Snapchat? As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. Those early to adopt can benefit from incentives like higher visibility and increased engagement rates. Investing in quality photography across your social media accounts and website can benefit your brand by showcasing your resident culture in a highly visual way. Not only do high-quality photos and video perform better, but they also provide a glimpse of the experiences offered at your community. Consider hiring a professional or purchasing equipment to create high-quality photos. Learn from top multifamily marketers and digital marketing experts at the 2020 Multifamily Social Media Summit. On Thursday, Jan. 9, join Kelley Shannon, the Bozzuto Group’s senior vice president of marketing & customer engagement and Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi Systems to understand how social media and digital reputation strategies have evolved, and what it will take to influence social savvy renters in 2020 and beyond. Get personal with your customers. Personalized experiences between brands and customers is becoming the norm. “Brands that haven’t focused on relationship marketing techniques will either spend more on their pay-to-play model or dive into building and hosting community conversations that create brand advocates and support a belonging vs. buying mindset,” says Jessika Phillips, social media strategist and founder of NOW Marketing Group, with Social Media Examiner. Focusing on personalized service experiences will increase renter satisfaction and improve online reputation. Using smart marketing technologies can help businesses personalize the customer journey from lead to lease. Make automation your friend. Smart marketers are using automation to be consistently present in today’s increasingly busy digital world. Marketing automation reduces repetitive tasks, tracks user behavior and delivers targeted content. Nudge marketing, online tour scheduling and automated follow-ups can help improve the lead-to-lease experience for prospects as well as resident retention. Implementing marketing automation tools can also free up staff to focus on customer care and the unique needs of prospects and residents. Ready to take your marketing automation to the next level? Download our free eBook and discover nine strategies you can implement at your property now. Continue to learn. Whether it’s attending conferences like the 2020 Multifamily Social Media Summit, tuning into marketing podcasts and webinars, or making it a habit to stay on top of industry news, investing in yourself is a great building block for...

Energy Pipeline Jan06

Energy Pipeline

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the U.S. Department of Energy’s R&D arm, has provided about $2 billion dollars for more than 800 potentially transformational energy technology projects since 2009. Here’s a sampling of projects currently receiving support from ARPA-E. Fill it up, fast.  The University of Illinois, Chicago, is designing a new high-power converter circuit architecture for charging electric vehicles quickly. “The reduced weight and size of the universal battery supercharger can enable both off-board stationary fast charging systems and [serve] as a portable add-on system for EV customers who require range enhancement and quick charging in 15 minutes,” ARPA-E says. The system’s bidirectional power flow capability enabling vehicle-to-grid dispatching offers another potential benefit. No-pain windows. Massachusetts-based thermal management solutions provider Aspen Aerogels and its partners are working on a cost-effective, silica aerogel-insulated windowpane for retrofitting single-pane windows. Silica aerogels are strong insulators that resist the flow of heat. The team’s design consists of an aerogel sheet sandwiched between two glass panes to make a double glazed pane. It would be manufactured using an innovative supercritical drying method that significantly reduces drying time. The windowpane could be used to replace, at substantially lower cost, single panes in windows whose thickness or weight preclude replacement with common double-pane units. Frozen hope. Massachusetts renewable energy technology provider American Superconductor (AMSC) is developing a freezer that doesn’t rely on harmful, inefficient liquid refrigerant systems and is more energy efficient than conventional systems. The solution uses helium gas as its refrigerant, offering hope for a safe, affordable and environmentally friendly approach to cooling. High-efficiency freezers could be mass-produced cost effectively and without polluting refrigerants. Scrap value. Lexington, Ky.-based advanced materials developer UHV Technologies Inc. is working to apply X-rays to distinguishing between high-value metal alloys found in...

Become a Yardi Ambassador Jan03

Become a Yardi Ambassador

If you are a Yardi client with an affinity for the technology that has helped better your business, the new Yardi Client Ambassador Program might be a perfect fit for you. This special opportunity for engaged clients is a great opportunity to share feedback, engage on social media, speak with other clients about your tech experience and much more. It’s easy to participate and requires only the level of engagement that works for you. The Yardi Ambassador Program is a direct-to-client engagement program that identifies and engages some of our most enthusiastic, passionate, experienced and strategic clients. These clients reflect Yardi’s markets, products, services and priorities and help contribute to our reference program, marketing content creation, and speakers for Yardi’s regional and corporate events. Sean Geraghty, manager of the program, explained how it works: “The new Ambassador program evolves how Yardi plans to work with some of our most passionate and enthusiastic clients. By formalizing our customer marketing process, we are making it easier than ever to allow Yardi’s clients to interact with us on social media, participate in the creation of marketing content, and share their leadership and knowledge by speaking at our many events,” said Geraghty. In other words, we know clients love to hear about other clients’ experiences using Yardi products, and this program will help facilitate that. “We are also making it easier for us to express our gratitude and thanks to our customers by providing fun rewards and incentives to those clients who participate,” Geraghty concluded. “We want to dialogue with you. Building on our Yardi history of client relationship prioritization, we hope the Ambassador Program will lead to strong relationships and conversations in the months and years to come.” Highlights of the program for clients include: Any customer can participate, regardless of company size or length of contract. Limited engagement includes simply liking social media channels or completing a software review. More involved engagement includes marketing interviews and sharing your success with Yardi products. If you are interested in speaking at Yardi events as a client panelist, this is your chance! Select your level of involvement on our easy online signup form. Does this sound like a good fit for you? Learn more and sign up here....

Caregivers Cut Off

As technology advances, crime keeps pace. Modern lawbreakers can now hold lives hostage from afar. It’s all because of type of malicious software called ransomware. These programs are designed to lock down computers and data until a monetary demand is paid. When these viruses first cropped up, they generally targeted users indiscriminately by casting a wide net of spam emails and infected links, waiting for an unsuspecting web surfer to bite. Your computer would freeze, or your data would disappear under encryption, and you’d be treated to a pop-up asking you to pay up. But cyber criminals have gotten more sophisticated with their methodology just as the technology itself has evolved. These hackers now increasingly target health care organizations for their vast wealth of confidential medical records, which can be sold on the dark web for up to $1,000 each. At the same time, the attackers can deny access to the health care organization’s systems, including their electronic health records and medical administration solutions. This can have huge consequences for caregiving. Since most health organizations now rely on tablet-based charts, staff are left without medical histories and care plans to ensure proper treatment, putting their patients’ lives at risk. Long-term care under attack Hospitals aren’t the only care facilities affected by ransomware. Criminals have begun targeting businesses who handle the IT service needs for smaller organizations in health care – including senior living providers. This way, hackers can infiltrate hundreds of client businesses from a single breach. It’s what recently happened to Virtual Care Provider Inc, based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On November 17, a criminal group encrypted the data of their entire customer base: 110 skilled nursing and acute care providers in 45 states. Resident records were locked, internet access blocked and medication...

Onward, Ottawa Dec28

Onward, Ottawa

Ottawa used to be a city that thrived under the radar. Now, its growth is catching international attention. The 2019 Ottawa Real Estate Forum explored the rapid growth and evolution of the nation’s capital city. This year’s theme, “Ottawa’s on Track: The Hidden Gem of Canada” presented attendees with economic and social forecasts to inform investment decisions. The evolution of Ottawa In 2018, Ottawa was ranked the second most concentrated tech city in North America. With more than 180 tech companies in Ottawa and growing, a smart growth revolution is necessary to attract and retain talent. Yardi sponsored the session “A Vision for the Evolution of Ottawa” with His Worship Jim Watson the Mayor of Ottawa as keynote speaker. Hugh Gorman, CEO of Colonnade Bridgeport, lead a subsequent interview. Watson and Gorman discussed the need of improved efficiencies for policy approvals and repurposed buildings to help municipalities keep up with economic growth. Ottawa has plenty of space to welcome new industries and support existing businesses. At 2,790 km², it is larger than Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton combined, the Mayor emphasized. Yet the evolution of Ottawa isn’t solely about new spaces and experiences. Watson encourages the reimagining of existing spaces to enhance usability. Ottawa is also making a name for itself as a center for transportation tech innovations. The city is constructing an autonomous vehicle test track. Ottawa’s vast range of weather conditions make it an excellent training ground for un-manned vehicles. When combined with the $2.1 billion new light rail system Ottawa’s status as transportation innovation center grows. Understanding the retail market Canada’s growth is undeniable. The population of 37 million is estimated to reach nearly 40 million by 2025; since 2016, major cities have created the bulk of the nation’s jobs,...

Top Notch Tulsa Dec24

Top Notch Tulsa

When it comes to the typical self-storage customer, renters living in tiny metropolitan apartments come to mind. But Tulsa, Oklahoma breaks the mold. The self-storage market thrives in this spacious rural town. Let’s take a look at why, and what the future may hold for cozy Tulsa. Why is Tulsa a Hot Spot for Self-Storage? Tulsa is a spacious town with large apartments and even larger homes. Why do residents crave extra space? An Amazon distribution center recently opened in the area, boosting employment for locals but also drawing in new residents who may be in need of more space. Amazon isn’t the only new employer. Though trade wars have stalled job growth, several initiatives already in the pipeline make the city’s economic prospects for 2019/2020 quite favorable. Tulsa is also a city for outdoor adventurers. Nestled along the Arkansas River, locals enjoy getting out on the water. Kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards and massive inflatables take up lots of space. The nearby Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area is a popular spot for mountain biking and horseback riding. Rather than filling garages and basements, Tulsans take advantage of affordable self-storage units. (More on unit affordability below.) The affinity with nature bears a dark side. Tulsa is prone to tornados. After devastating storms, families may salvage what is left and place it in storage units until their homes are reconstructed. Tulsa Self-Storage Market, Grown and Growing In Q3 2019, Yardi Matrix data revealed that the year-over-year change in Tulsa storage street rates was positive for most unit types. That’s excellent news, as most major cities in the region experienced a decline. What’s even more impressive is that this growth has happened without price hikes. Tulsa self-storage facilities have some of the lowest rental rates in the nation....

Pet-Friendliest Cities Dec23

Pet-Friendliest Cities...

Some days, you make look at your property lawn and wonder if it’s worth it to permit pets. Operating a pet-friendly community comes with its challenges. Your pet policy and unique services, however, are profitable differentiators when you’re amongst the nation’s most fur-friendly cities. RENTCafé.com recently released its list of the 50 Best Cities for Renting with Pets. To create the list, the ILS analyzed pet-friendly rental listings across the nation. Analysts then factored in monthly pet rent, deposits, additional charges and amenities to determine the most pet-friendly cities for renters. When your city appears on the list, there are distinct benefits that can work in your favor. There are also challenges that, when overcome, give you and your properties even greater opportunities to shine. The Benefits While this list was published with renters in mind, property managers and owners can benefit from it as well. Pet-friendly apartments are in high demand: almost 70 percent of U.S. households own a pet, reports the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey. Of those households, the American Veterinary Association estimates that 50 percent of renters have pets. Of the renters without pets, 35 percent said that they would have pets if allowed by landlords. By offering pet-friendly rentals, you can reach prospects with pets as well as those who want to have pets. That’s more than 80 percent of renters! You then have a healthy pool from which you can identify quality, low-risk renters with resident screening. The Challenges (+ the Work Arounds) If your city is on the list, it’s an indicator that you’ve got a lot of competition. You are in a city where plenty of multifamily communities accept pets. To stand out, you’ve got to outshine the competition. Draw in prospects with your carefully curated amenities. These pet-friendly, value-add services...

IoT in Student Housing

The Internet of Things (IoT) has achieved great popularity in the last decade as it increases the comfort and quality of life. A growing number of homes and commercial properties have smart systems controlled by smartphones and microcontrollers through wireless communication techniques. The trend applies to student housing too. A smart strategy can help universities and property managers improve facility management, lower operational costs and enhance student experiences. Millions of students will head to class this fall with tablets and smartphones in tow. All those students are expecting lightning fast Wi-Fi to get the job done on campus and in student housing. IoT is reshaping not only the way students learn, but the way they live. According to Securedge Networks, by 2020 more than $1 trillion will be spent on IoT devices for college campuses across the country. Many universities have implemented smart technology in dorms. For example, Saint Louis University and Arizona State University have installed Amazon Echo Dot devices to help students get information on campus activities. University of Chicago, New York University and University of California, Davis also partnered with Telkonet to help students control the thermostats via a mobile app. According to Telkonet, colleges and universities spend roughly $14 billion on energy expenditures every year. A lot of energy is potentially wasted. Dorm rooms are vacant approximately 70 percent on an average day. IoT as a Service on in Student Housing Most colleges are skeptical when it comes to investing in non-essential technology due to limited budgets. Partnerships can lower project costs. The latest innovation in student housing tech comes from a partnership between Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions and IOTAS (which stands for IoT-as-a-Service). The developer and operator of infrastructure projects for colleges and universities united with the premier smart apartment technology innovator to deliver an integrated smart home experience for students. The partnership targets energy savings, security improvement in residence halls, and marketing to tech-savvy prospects. A few states away, Aspire at Discovery Park offers students the possibility to fully operate and customize their living units via a mobile app. The units feature various smart features including smart lighting, thermostats, outlets, sensors and locks, as well as a full integration of Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. Located in the Discovery Park district of West Lafayette, Indiana, the community ranks as the region’s  first property to include a fully-integrated smart home system installed during construction. The system operates in all 835 units. Currently found in multifamily communities across 40 U.S. markets, the IOTAS system connects residents’ and property managers’ authorized devices to smart home features such as: smart switches, outlets, door locks and thermostats door, humidity and motion sensors leak detection ceilings fans window coverings garage door control A Broader Reach with IoT Students use IoT devices to access homework assignments or to access classes remotely via video conferencing. On the other hand, alerts can be sent for those students skipping classes, which benefits school officials to help those who may be struggling academically. Colleges and universities are also trying to reduce traffic congestions, increase road safety—both for drivers and pedestrians—and lower carbon emissions by jumping into the autonomous vehicle cause. These days, the quality of a student housing community is determined by its tech offerings. Families consider Wi-Fi strength, coverage range, and other tech factors when making a decision on student...

Office Market Update Dec18

Office Market Update

Here are some key findings in the most recent U.S. office property report from Yardi® Matrix. All figures are as of October 2019 unless otherwise noted. Demand for office space remains strong, with office-using sectors adding 545,000 jobs over the past 12 months. One of every three jobs added in the 12 months ending in September were in office-using sectors. The average U.S. office asking rate increased 2% year-over-year. Per-square-foot prices for central business district buildings are 24.6% higher than in 2018. Prices for buildings with A+ and A ratings have increased 12.1% this year. Markets with the highest year-over-year listing rate growth were San Francisco, Tampa, Fla., the San Francisco Bay Area and Manhattan. N.Y. The national vacancy rate increased 40 basis points from the previous month, to 13.7%. Lower interest rates have helped accelerate transaction activity since the summer, with investment volume totaling $74 billion. Office space delivered nationally totaled 59.2 million square feet. 1 million square feet of space is under construction. Get all the details in the Yardi Matrix national office report for November...

Pet Therapy Pros Dec17

Pet Therapy Pros

One of the best forms of therapy for older adults is also the furriest. Turns out, a friendly dog or two can do a lot to lift the mood and health of those who live in senior living communities. Pet therapy (or animal-assisted therapy in non-layman’s terms) is a service where animals – usually dogs – are brought in for short visits. Residents get the opportunity to interact with the animals by holding and petting them or simply sitting alongside and watching. Either way, the experiences often bring smiles to faces and wags to tails, and science has shown there are many more benefits besides. What benefits does pet therapy provide? Mental: Caregivers often report higher levels of happiness in residents after an animal visit, but the changes can be seen in the brain chemistry too. Studies reveal that the act of petting a dog can cause the brain to release serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, “feel-good” hormones that help regulate and elevate your mood. At the same time, a visit by a dog can drop your level of epinephrine, a hormone produced by the body under stress. Physical: Pets can do one’s heart good – literally. Weekly visits with therapy dogs can lower blood pressure for older adults, while pet owners have been shown to have a 33% lower risk of death following a hospitalization for a heart attack. Pet therapy can even decrease use of antidepressants and medical services. Social: Animals provide unconditional companionship, which can help people feel less lonely. In one study, senior living residents who received 30-minute pet therapy sessions weekly for over a month scored significantly lower on loneliness scales than those who did not. Therapy animals also motivate residents to communicate more, even those with memory conditions like...

New Energy Regulations Dec16

New Energy Regulations

Yardi recently hosted a series of webinars for property owners in the U.S. and Canada facing the prospect of complying with a raft of energy, water and waste benchmarking requirements. A new statewide ordinance in California, measures in a host of municipalities and the Energy & Water Reporting and Benchmarking Regulations (EWRB) in Ontario, Canada, require measurement and public disclosure of whole building energy and/or water efficiency. All told, 49 mandatory policies to leverage ENERY STAR® plus a like number of voluntary policies requiring commercial and multifamily property owners to gather, assimilate and submit data will be on the books next year. Energy experts Randy Moss, Kimmy Seago, Ashley Nelson, Carson Spraker and Ethan Arbiser used the webinar series to illustrate the process and benefits of ENERGY STAR, the industry benchmarking standard that shows how efficiently a building performs compared to other similar buildings. Challenges often associated with benchmarking include managing multiple vendors and data request processes, compiling multiple street addresses into a whole building, obtaining owner and tenant authorizations, ensuring data quality, and properly setting up data and reporting through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®. As an ENERGY STAR partner that has benchmarked 320 million square feet within Portfolio Manager, Yardi has energy management software and certified experts that make collecting, assimilating and reporting required information much easier for building owners. Benchmarking steps include setting up properties in Portfolio Manager, requesting whole building utility data from providers, and verifying and submitting the data. The Yardi team also tracks regulation updates and properties’ compliance status. The webinar presenters pointed out that property managers can use information loaded into ENERGY STAR for purposes beyond compliance. These include earning certifications that exempt properties from audits and recommissioning and gaining access to low-cost green financing. Benchmarking can also help attract investors, many of whom factor ENERGY STAR scores into their investment decisions. Data gathered from benchmarking also helps property managers plan and evaluate future energy conservation measures and compete in internal and external energy-saving competitions. Learn what’s ahead in American and Canadian energy regulations and learn how Yardi, which actively manages ENERGY STAR compliance for more than 2,000 commercial and multifamily properties in many jurisdictions, can help you get...

Seasonal Savings Dec15

Seasonal Savings

If sustainability is a part of your branding, the holidays are your time to shine. Did you know that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, Americans toss about one million extra tons of trash each week? The additional waste is mostly holiday packaging, wrapping, and shipping supplies. Americans are particularly wasteful with energy during the holidays, too. Households in the US consume more energy during the holidays that some countries do in a year. Multifamily properties can set new precedents for the holidays. Below are six tips to make your property more environmentally friendly and cost efficient. By implementing conservation techniques and rewarding resident participation, we can break the tradition of holiday waste. Sustainable Switches, Great and Small Do you have a healthy budget for sustainable upgrades, or are you’re advocating for Mother Earth with your bare hands? Below are a few tips for budgets of any size. Make the Switch to LEDs If you haven’t already made the switch to LED lights, do so. This includes your holiday lighting. According to Eartheasy, the average business can save about $3,700 per year, per 25 bulbs. Each LED bulb last up to 200,000 hours, meaning that you replace bulbs and strings of lights less often. Step Up Recycling After the holidays, host recycling hauls for residents. For example, invite residents to bring their outdated electronics down to a truck near the leasing office. It’s then a single trip to recycle tablets and smart phones for the entire community. (Many electronics store offer recycling services.) You can also invite a tree specialist to the property to clear Christmas trees. Some companies will bring a mulching truck and recycle trees on the spot! Improve Utility Billing Some residents decorate like there is no tomorrow. Others leave town or skip the décor...

A Match Made in Heaven Dec12

A Match Made in Heaven

The 2020 NMHC & Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Survey reports that 71 percent of rural renters and 70 percent of suburban renters ranked “additional storage outside apartment” as a top interest. Many multifamily properties, however, are not equipped with storage units for renters. Self-storage facility managers can fill the gap and benefit from a steady stream of clientele—if you make the right connections. Make an offer they can’t refuse Before the turn of the millennium, additional storage wasn’t as in-demand then as it is now. As a result, many older properties weren’t constructed with storage units for renters. Even some newer properties with storage options don’t have enough to meet demand. Such properties may prove to be your valuable partners.  Renters who need storage may find the additional space they need at self storage facilities in the neighborhood. The challenge is to make sure that your storage facility tops their list. You could amplify your online marketing strategy, but that could be costly and time consuming. A captive audience, through a partnership with local apartment communities, could be a much surer path to success. Think about negotiating an incentive or deal for residents in nearby apartment communities. You’re interested in predictable, long-term clients. Multifamily agents want to meet prospects’ and renters’ demands for storage space outside of the unit. There is room for both parties to benefit. “Consider approaching the apartment community with a win-win proposal without a formal monetary reward if there is not another competing storage property within proximity. Pitch your storage property as a neighborhood amenity that the community manager can promote.  Only offer a referral bonus if competition forces you to do so,” advises Mark Smith, Director of Marketing with Yardi. He continues, “Storage operators should consider (and continually re-evaluate) their new customer acquisition costs. Make sure that your referral bonus agreement with an apartment community is in line with your normal acquisition costs.” Benefit from verified clients Most multifamily properties vet their residents before allowing them to sign a lease. A verification of employment history, good credit standing, and background checks are quite common. In contrast, very few self-storage facilities require an in-depth approval process. When you create a relationship with an apartment community, you can benefit from their verification process. Multifamily renters go through additional steps that could in turn reduce your exposure to missed payments and other risks. You will still benefit, though, from your own due diligence. “Track all tenants that rented via referral programs and evaluate for ROI,” says Smith. “Are they tenants that have paid their bills and stayed long enough to provide a positive revenue stream, or are you better off terminating the agreement with the apartment community?” Put your best foot forward To secure your position as their preferred vendor, clearly detail what differentiates you from the competition. You then have a platform to confidently state your price because you have demonstrated the value that you can offer to their renters. There are a few key features that renters want in off-site storage. If you offer such features, be sure to highlight them in your proposal: Security In an ideal world, renters would safely store their belongings in their apartment. But with limited space, that isn’t an option. They rely on you to provide additional space that is also secure. Keyless access via a smartphone app or personalized keycodes are popular with renters. (Some use similar technology to access their apartments.) By implementing such tech, you can offer a secure way to access units without the burdens and risks of physical keys. Most renters expect security cameras and gated entry. Offering 24/7 staff availability (or at least extended office hours) adds an appealing layer of security and reassurance during emergencies or other issues. Ease of Use While renters want secure self-storage, they want to access it on demand. This is another place where keyless entry places you...

Yardi Named a Best Place to Work Dec11

Yardi Named a Best Place to Work

Yardi has again been honored with a major award from Glassdoor as one of the top places to work in the U.S. The 2020 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award relies solely on employee feedback from Glassdoor, a popular job rating and review site. The site enables employees to voluntarily and anonymously share information about their jobs, work environments and companies. Yardi ranks No. 53 on the list of Top 100 U.S. Large Companies list. Below are just a few words employees shared on Glassdoor that contributed toward the award and make us feel incredibly honored: “Yardi is a great company to work for, the company culture is really great and a big factor in my 5-star rating. Yardi genuinely cares about their employees, and employee growth and retention. Though the company is established and stable, the company is still very innovative and is looking at the big, long-term picture.” – Client Services Department employee review. “The management is responsive to employees’ needs professionally and personally. I have been given opportunity to grow in my role and can talk to my boss candidly. My path for growth has been outlined and my manager helps me achieve my goals.” – Accounting Department employee review. “Great place to work. I get to meet new people every day. I love working with clients to see what Yardi software products can make their life better. I look forward to many years at Yardi Systems.” – Sales Team employee review. Glassdoor’s 2020 Best Places to Work list was determined using company reviews shared by U.S.-based employees between October 23, 2018, and October 21, 2019. To be considered for the U.S. large company category, a company must have had at least 1,000 or more employees and have received at least 75 ratings across each of the eight workplace attributes from U.S.-based employees during the period of eligibility. The final list is compiled using Glassdoor’s proprietary algorithm and takes into account quantity, quality and consistency of reviews. “Taking care of team members and offering opportunities to contribute to our clients’ success are guiding principles,” said Anant Yardi, the company’s president and founder. “We are honored to receive this prestigious award from Glassdoor, and we are grateful for the supportive culture that has been fostered at all levels within our organization.” On Glassdoor, current and former employees of companies worldwide can share insights and opinions about their work environments by sharing a company review, designed to capture an authentic inside look at what it’s like to work at particular jobs and companies. “This year marks the shift to a culture-first decade in the workplace, and Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards winners are employers that are prioritizing culture, mission and employees at the heart of everything they do. By doing so, their employees have spoken and are recognizing them truly as the Best Places to Work in 2020,” said Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor president, chief operating officer and incoming chief executive officer. “In addition to putting culture and mission at the core of how they operate, this year’s winners stand out for promoting transparency with employees, offering career growth opportunities and providing work driven by impact and purpose.” This year isn’t the first time Yardi has been recognized among the top U.S. companies by Glassdoor. In June 2019, President and Founder Anant Yardi was named for the third time to Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEO list. That honor was also based on feedback submitted by current and former employees. Of 100 CEOs recognized nationally, Anant Yardi ranked No. 33. Interested in joining our winning team? We are hiring! Find out about current employment opportunities worldwide on the Yardi careers...