YASC DC 2019 May21

YASC DC 2019

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

Security Deposit Alternatives May21

Security Deposit Alternatives

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

Marketing Insights May18

Marketing Insights

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

YASC DC 2019 May17

YASC DC 2019

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

Standard of Excellence May16

Standard of Excellence

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

Multifamily Market May14

Multifamily Market

While the U.S. multifamily sector basks in a period of extraordinary growth and vibrancy, owners, investors and residents alike should remain on guard against potential headwinds. This was a key message in a recent state of the industry webinar presentation by Jeff Adler, vice president of Yardi Matrix, with assistance from Jack Kern, director of research and publications. Adler repeated many of the macroeconomic themes in his and Kern’s recent U.S. office industry update: The economy is in good shape, the labor market is tight, wages are rising, the Treasury yield curve remains flat and high American oil production is taming inflation. In addition, demographic and lifestyle factors such as divorces that produce new renters, young people marrying later in life and an older population living longer, healthier lives, are fueling a demand for multifamily housing that could exceed 425,000 units annually. Job formation and in-migration to favorable markets will continue fueling this demand for the foreseeable future. While this environment is favorable for absorbing current supply, housing production isn’t likely to keep up with future demand, especially in locations with anti-growth and rent control policies. A worrisome potential outcome is “pain on the affordability side that becomes a danger to the industry,” Adler said. Although homeownership costs are rising faster than renting, the median asking rent has exceeded the inflation rate since 2012. The cumulative weight of those increases is now bearing down on median-income residents in urban locations. Moreover, metros such as San Francisco, Portland, Ore. and New York City drive rents up by constricting new supply, then apply rent control to shield residents from the impact. This approach backfires, making housing even more scarce and unaffordable and prompting outmigration, Adler said. These factors and high taxes have resulted in New York...

Utility Expenses May14

Utility Expenses

Want to make your property more appealing to prospects? Keep their bills low. Senior living clients love to save money. Even more so, they love knowing that their housing provider is taking additional lengths to make saving money easier. By focusing on utility expenses, you’re creating value and enticing customers with cost savings. Cost savings on utilities aren’t traditionally sexy in advertising. It’s hard to make submeter installation look exciting. But money saved has proved to be appealing to seniors, especially when the savings are complemented with improved efficiency and high-quality services. Sustainability Matters Baby Boomers value sustainability. A 2018 High Tide Technologies survey of 2,000 adults discovered that Baby Boomers are more frugal than younger generations. Boomers consume less water and electricity. They’re also more likely to recycle, compost, and be food waste conscious. A separate study lead by Pew Research suggests that 36 percent of Boomers have molded lifestyles that protect the environment “at all times.” Only 12 percent of Gen Xers and Millennials report similar sentiments. The two bodies of research indicate that seniors are looking for more than fancy meal plans. They are seeking housing providers that are concerned about the welfare of their finances and the environment. So how do businesses deliver savings to residents? We sat down with Akshai Rao, vice president of energy and procurement at Yardi, to learn more. The Need for New Strategies While lowering overhead costs benefits businesses, that savings can be passed on to residents. Satisfied residents improve the bottom line, offering a win on two fronts for business owners. “Focusing on reducing consumption doesn’t just affect the bottom line, it may make you more desirable to potential residents,” says Rao. But a recent Argentum survey reveals that 49 percent of executives viewed...

Global Partnership May12

Global Partnership

Yardi has long supported the mission of Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), an Amsterdam-based limited private company, to improve real estate sustainability performance with environmental, social and governance benchmarking. The property management technology provider recently elevated its commitment by becoming one of just nine sustainability consultants and solution providers in GRESB’s Global Partner program. In this role, Yardi helps GRESB participants complete sustainability assessments, manage ESG data and advance ESG performance. The company will also collaborate with the organization’s industry, media and research partners to share sustainability best practices across the property management industry. GRESB works with the industry to define the global standard for sustainability performance in real assets, providing standardized and validated ESG data to the capital markets. More than 80 institutional investors, collectively representing more than $18 trillion in institutional capital, use GRESB data and analytical tools. In 2018 GRESB assessed 903 real estate funds and property companies, 75 infrastructure funds, 280 infrastructure assets and 25 debt portfolios. “GRESB members can use Yardi’s energy solutions to drive actionable environmental, financial and operational insights into their real estate portfolios and engage more closely with the investor community. These capabilities benefit our clients around the world, and we are pleased to extend them to an even broader community of real estate portfolio managers,” said Akshai Rao, vice president of energy and procurement for Yardi. A GRESB evaluation measures sustainability performance indicators including energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and waste. A multi-layer validation process produces high-quality data that investors and participants can use in their investment and decision-making processes. “Real estate companies that establish and track a full range of ESG metrics achieve multiple tangible business outcomes for shareholders,” GRESB says on its website. In one recent project, S&P Dow Jones...

HUD Holidays May10

HUD Holidays

Who doesn’t enjoy back-to-back holidays, even if they are unknown outside of those who work on affordable housing? The Yardi PHA and Affordable Housing teams in Santa Barbara are furthering the trend of personalized holidays this week. The subject of their celebration? HUD forms 50058 and 50059. Forms 50058 and 50059 are often abbreviated to 58 and 59, which makes May 8th and 9th the appropriate calendar days to celebrate. But what are these forms anyway? In a nutshell, 50058 and 50059 are forms used by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses to certify eligibility for housing assistance. And, since HUD is involved, they are quite complicated. So why celebrate them? “Our 5/8 and 5/9 days are a chance to recognize the great work of our PHA and Affordable Housing teams. Sure, numbers from the form are a bit strange to celebrate. Nonetheless, it is a perfect chance to take a couple of days to have some fun,” said Gabrielle Van Horn, director of PHA support for Yardi. Will 5/8 and 5/9 become reoccurring holidays? Check back next year to find out. In the meantime, take a moment to appreciate the resources created by PHAs and affordable housing providers in your community. What better way to celebrate?...

Easing Applications May08

Easing Applications

Use of Yardi’s RENTCafé Affordable Housing platform is skyrocketing. With more than 250,000 units covered nationwide, affordable housing providers, residents and applicants are reaping the benefits of online applications. Historically, affordable housing applications could be characterized as a big homework assignment. Interested households would leave a leasing office with an envelope full of papers to fill out and a checklist of things to find. Later, they’d be tracking down a photocopier for their bank statements, paycheck stubs and other paperwork. RENTCafé Affordable Housing replaces that process with a self-service, online app. Applicants can work on their application when they want, and where they want. Instead of a stack of papers, applicants submit PDF’s and digital files. Files are safely stored electronically, not stuffed into a file cabinet. Rather than calling the affordable housing office, applicants can go to online FAQ’s and explainer videos to get their questions answered. Simply put: online applications are a big change and they’re creating a lot of benefits. Just how successful is RENTCafé Affordable Housing in revolutionizing the process? Let’s look at the most up to date usage data from actual RENTCafé Affordable Housing clients. By the numbers 683: the number of affordable housing applications created online every day, as of April 1, 2019. That’s 683 stacks of paper that don’t exist. That’s 683 (at least) applicant intake meetings that didn’t happen. That’s a lot of savings, and it’s happening 683 times every day. 78 percent: the rate of affordable housing applications that are abandoned before submission. This is a scenario where a high rate of abandonment is a good thing. By putting eligibility requirements and application forms online, applicants can self-screen themselves from the process. This statistic proves that nearly 8 in 10 do. Self-screening is a unique...

Earth Week for All

Yardi Atlanta’s Earth Week celebration proved to be a fun way to promote workplace camaraderie and environmental consciousness. The new approach to Earth Week serves as a successful model for other corporate environments. The Best Earth Week—Ever The week was packed with informative and interactive events for Yardi Atlanta employees. To promote sustainable transportation, a representative from the Georgia Power Electronic Vehicle Program facilitated a session on EV car chargers and rebates. Employees also enjoyed a car show featuring Tesla, Porche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Nissan, and BMW vehicles. Dealership representatives talked about their lineup’s latest green advancements. Employees couldn’t stop talking about the eye-catching Porsche E Tron. It demonstrated a luxurious approach to sustainable transportation. A sleek design, spacious interior, and user-friendly dashboard helped employees reimagine the electronic driving experience. The following day, Georgia Power returned to offer a presentation on energy efficiency at home. Employees learned practical tips to lower their energy bills.  Fulton County Water Department also made an appearance during Earth Week, leading a presentation on water conservation. Attendees learned multiple ways to make their homes more efficient. They also discovered rebates and programs that can decrease monthly utility costs. Rubicon Global’s trash audit offered many interesting findings. Yardi Atlanta learned that 70 percent of its trash was compostable and could be diverted from the waste stream! Additionally, the office learned that its recycling practices were clean with minimal contamination. The news encouraged employees to pursue zero contamination. For the full week of events, check out our last blog post. Keys to Success Yardi Atlanta Earth Week was a huge success thanks to teamwork, local collaboration, and relentless marketing. Sustainability Within Atlanta Yardi (SWAY) brainstormed and organized the Earth Week events. The volunteer-based group is led by employees Ethan Arbiser, energy benchmarking analyst, CSD and Evan Hearn, energy management analyst, CSD. The group received support from Don Rogers, general manager, G&A. SWAY reached out to local businesses to garner support. Yardi client and property management company, Cushman & Wakefield, agreed to transform Yardi’s Atlanta office into a multidisciplinary learning environment. Local utilities, dealerships, and grocery stores also contributed to Earth Week events. Earth Week would not have been a success without the attendance of curious and supportive Yardi Atlanta employees. To attract the masses, SWAY shared the week’s itinerary via blog, press release, and several daily social media posts. Looking Forward SWAY’s Earth Week celebration can be replicated at other Yardi offices! Yardi offices are encouraged to create local volunteer groups, like SWAY, to organize Earth Week events at their sites in 2020. The volunteer group may also choose to work with its local Yardi office manager to pursue green solutions for the site year-round. Together, the manager and volunteer group may explore eco-friendly trash audits, recycling services, even vendors that supply sustainable office and kitchen supplies. Collaborating with other local organizations, such as utility providers, adds depth and diversity of knowledge to Yardi-sponsored events. Have questions about starting an Earth Week campaign in your Yardi office next year? Contact Ethan...

GCUC Recap

Last month, Yardi Kube was introduced to the coworking world at the Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC). The U.S. edition of the annual event was held in Denver from April 15-18. This popular coworking industry gathering provides attendees with extensive in-depth sessions with experts in the coworking space, educating them on financing, technology, community building, and branding. The first day of the event was a deep dive into especially hot topics for the coworking industry. Industry hot topics: making money Led by Jerome Chang of Blankspaces, the finance discussion focused on the number one way to make money as a coworking operator – through lease incentives. Fundraising methods for shared space startups include venture capital funding, personal loans, investment from friends and family members, and other avenues, but Chang shared that SBA loans for such businesses are unlikely. The average traditional office space will have about 165-185 square feet per employee. In a coworking space it could be as low as 50-70 square feet. Coworking operators can book common areas at up to 150 percent capacity, because your space won’t always be full (this uses the same logic as a gym membership: it’s possible to overbook because not everyone works out simultaneously). The biggest moneymaker, however, will be meeting rooms. They’re priced higher per hour than any other amenity or space in and should be rentable to the general public, as well as members. Virtual memberships provide a low-cost entry to members wanting to try out the industry. While individually, these memberships won’t be a primary source of income, it is a source of unlimited potential with no space restrictions. The Blankspaces model allocates 35-50 percent of space to private offices, Chang shared. And it’s important to make over 70 percent of your total available square footage...

Shifting Spaces

While industry fundamentals are healthy and the economy is strong, the U.S. office sector faces pressures that could fundamentally alter its business model. Jeff Adler and Jack Kern, vice president and director of institutional research, respectively, for Yardi Matrix, provided an update on a sector in transition in a recent webinar. After a shaky fourth quarter of 2018, the U.S. economy has rebounded into “really good shape,” Adler said, with a rising stock market and inflation that is largely held in check by increased domestic oil production. The labor market is very tight—the best in 50 years, he said—with office-using sectors outpacing overall job and wage growth over the past five years and most markets absorbing available office space. Metros such as Dallas, Houston and Atlanta are growing fast and adding office-using jobs. Other locations with job growth and low unemployment, such as Orlando, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., San Francisco and the nearby Bay Area, have to import workers to meet staffing needs. Most markets still have room to absorb office space. In short, the industry is in a good place, and if the federal government’s pro-growth policies outweigh its anti-growth ones, “the party goes on,” Adler said. So what are the challenges? One of the main secular (long-term) factors is coworking, which pulls 1-3% of market demand from traditional office leases and keeps growing as companies expand beyond their primary locations. The practice is growing everywhere and won’t likely go away anytime soon, Adler said. Per-employee square footage is decreasing, particularly in central business districts and high-cost metros. With a tight labor market, companies are luring talent by making office “an experience-driven sector,” similar to what has happened in retail, incorporating design elements and attractions such as new technology, spaces for relaxation, natural light,...

Flexible Workspace

Yardi assembled a panel of flexible office experts to discuss the importance of a service ethos, how workspace providers can stand out from the competition and why the sector looks well placed to weather a possible recession. Panelists Gareth Evans, chief executive of BizSpace Katrina Larkin, co-founder of Fora Cal Lee, founder of WorkThere William Newton, president of Wiredscore Katie Whell, managing director at Pure Offices Tony Freeth, director of coworking at Yardi Simon Creasey, features editor at Property Week (chair) Flexible workspaces have been hailed as the future of offices, but as the business model continues to mature many questions arise about what this future might look like. To debate what lies ahead for flexible workspaces, Yardi put together a panel of some of the industry’s heavyweights. SC: How important is customer service for the coworking industry? GE: Customer service is what it’s all about. It’s quite interesting as a concept because one person’s customer service is another person’s lack of service. It depends on where you are regionally, what kind of centre you’re in and what people’s needs are. You can provide frothy coffee or whatever, but if that’s not what the customer wants then you’re not providing good customer service. KL: Myself and [Fora co-founder] Enrico [Sanna] come from a hospitality background, not from a workplace background. So, for us, customer service is absolutely key. We have worked with one of the top hospitality schools in Switzerland to attract the best people from the hospitality industry. WN: Before WiredScore moved into WeWork, we were with a provider who clearly hadn’t yet got what service meant. Their front of house people were security people trying to prevent people getting into the building who shouldn’t be there rather than welcoming in guests who...

PM Springfest Apr26

PM Springfest

The industry is flooded with sustainable technologies. There are a variety of considerations to make when selecting the best solution for your organization. The experts at the 2019 PM SpringFest tackled the topic, helping attendees focus on what matters most. The session PropTech: Technology Challenging the Status Quo explored beneficial technologies that transform conventional properties into sustainable, energy efficient, safe and high-performing assets while delivering notable ROI. Session speakers included Phillip Raffi, national energy and sustainability manager with Colliers International; Matthew Lennan, innovator in residence at Oxford Properties Group; and Thano Lambrinos, vice president, smart building technology, digital innovation at QuadReal Property Group. Peter Altobelli, vice president and general manager of Yardi Canada, moderated the panel. Altobelli began by asking: “What elements are important to look at as a foundation before you think about more advanced energy operational efficiencies?” Lambrinos encouraged organizations to have a designated sustainability tech expert on staff. “You won’t realize potential if it is a pet project,” he said. The second step is to invest wisely. “Look at creating an innovation slush fund. Our CEO encourages us to fail but fail fast,” he smiled. “The tech may not even have a business case or ROI yet, so test it out.” In absence of such resources, Lambrinos suggested aligning with an agnostic consultant. Lennan emphasized the importance of team collaboration and transparency between senior management, IT, and OT. Each entity must be aware of implementation timelines and risks at both local and corporate levels. Altobelli also asked the panel to address the challenges faced in their endeavors and what valuable lessons they’ve learned in the process of working through them. Raffi advised, “We get inundated with people who have ‘the best tech.’ Filter through it. If it sounds too good to...

Office Update Apr24

Office Update

What’s new in the U.S. office market? Lots, according to a new report from Yardi Matrix. In summarizing the sector’s performance in the first quarter of 2019, the report notes that: Robust supply absorption produced a 1% increase in asking rents. Nearly 9 million square feet of office space came online through February, 7.9 million square feet of which was Class A. The national vacancy rate remained at 13.7%. San Francisco and parts of New York City led the asking rent increases, with changes in most metros being fairly minor. Only $13.3 billion dollars’ worth of deals were closed in the quarter, the lowest quarterly total since 2013. Seasonality, a carryover from fourth quarter capital market volatility and the federal government shutdown all contributed to the sales slowdown. About 174.3 million square feet of office space was under construction as of March, with Manhattan, N.Y., and San Francisco having the most with 23 million square feet and 11 million square feet, respectively. There’s much more insight in the full Yardi Matrix national office...

Earth Week Apr19

Earth Week

Since 1970, Earth Day has served as a reminder to honor our beautiful, fragile, and generous planet. What started as a single day is now a week-long observance! Below, you will find ideas for Earth Day programming that build loyalty and community among your staff. Yardi Atlanta even offers a full week of fun, informative activities that you can adapt to your site.    Build loyalty Employees favor eco-friendly workplaces over traditional models. Millennials in particular desire workplaces that “improve society.” When working for an earth conscious employer, employees report a heightened sense of well being and purpose. Sustainability measures are popular tools to attract and maintain talent. Use Earth Week to highlight your existing green efforts or jumpstart new programs at your organization. In the process, you will build loyalty amongst employees and position your brand well with prospective new hires. Explore an office-wide celebration If a week of earth-friendly activities seems overwhelming, take heart. You don’t have to go in alone. Yardi Atlanta, for example, collaborates with local businesses to get employees involved in Earth Week. Its programming piques employee interest in sustainability while encouraging workplace satisfaction. Starting April 22, Yardi Atlanta will host fun and informative daily activities. Sustainability Within Atlanta Yardi (SWAY) teamed up with Yardi client and property management company, Cushman & Wakefield, to host these events: On Monday, Yardi corporate sponsors a healthy breakfast for staff. Selected foods will emphasize the role sustainable farming practices play in overall environmental health. Tuesday emphasizes sustainable transportation. A representative from the Georgia Power Electronic Vehicle Program will facilitate a session on EV car chargers and rebates. Guests are also invited to a car show with contributions by local dealers. Tesla, Porche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Nissan, and BMW will have cars and...

Introducing Yardi Kube

Yardi Kube™, a single platform solution for coworking and shared workspace operators, is now available. Introduced this week at the GCUC conference in Denver, Yardi Kube is designed to help coworking operators successfully grow their businesses, eliminate third party integrations, save time and offer competitive member services. With the powerful Yardi Voyager property management platform as its foundation, Yardi Kube combines accounts payable, general ledger, merchant services and more in one easy-to-use technology suite. Yardi Kube includes comprehensive accounting, online marketing integration and powerful reporting capabilities. Users will be able to easily report to owners and investors and market to new clients, all from within the platform. The member portal gives coworking members the ability to manage their profile, connect with other members, pay bills, purchase services and book space with one click. Yardi Kube can also handle management of Wi-Fi and VOIP systems. “We chose Yardi Kube because of its robust capabilities to manage our businesses. The fact that Yardi was behind the development gave us confidence in its reliability and development path,” said Willie Gutierrez, COO and CFO of Premier Workspaces, a nationwide shared workspace provider. “Yardi Kube is the long-awaited technology solution that will allow shared workspaces to scale and grow with ease,” said Dale Hersowitz, vice president of coworking at Yardi. “It maximizes efficiency, eliminates leakage and allows for real-time reporting, all in a single platform.” GCUC, which concludes tomorrow, is the world’s largest coworking event, with conferences held in five continents. About 300 attendees convened in Colorado for the event. At GCUC, the Yardi Kube team has been conducting demos of the new platform and sharing the product’s exciting features, including the accounting platform, internet listing service and prospect lifecycle tracking. “We look forward to showing the extent of Yardi’s commitment to coworking, what the future looks like for Yardi Kube, and how the platform separates itself from the competition,” said Dale Hersowitz, vice president of coworking at Yardi. GCUC attendees are invited to come by the Yardi Kube booth, #10-11, to see Yardi Kube in action. Visit yardikube.com to learn more about the benefits of an all-in-one coworking management solution for shared...

LeadingAge Texas Apr16

LeadingAge Texas

What if there was a conference that offered answers to some of your most pressing property management problems? What if you could connect with other industry members and brainstorm solutions to emerging issues? You can do both at LeadingAge Texas in Austin, set for May 19-22. LeadingAge Texas annual conference guides not-for-profit members in their efforts to better serve seniors through advocacy, networking, services and education. This year promises to be better than ever! LeadingAge celebrates its 60th anniversary with a four-day conference packed with more than 45 sessions. Join 400 aging services professionals as you acquire the latest best practices and get real solutions to challenges that you face. Learn from your peers as well as session leaders. The agenda offers a variety of insightful courses and activities. Session topics include clinical excellence, operational success, policy, regulations and finance, ethics and leadership. You will also discover a myriad of ways to create thriving communities and strong workforces. This year’s theme is “What If.” It will be explored through conference sessions as well as an awards ceremony, fundraiser and an attendant-driven community service project. There will be an opportunity for you to get involved! Details will be revealed at the conference. Keep the learning going in the fun atmosphere of the Expo. Enjoy food, music, drinks and entertainment while you tour the booths. There will be nearly 100 exhibitors showcasing the latest in services, products, and technology. Be sure to visit Yardi at the Expo! Stop by booth #79 to learn how software and services can improve your bottom line and quality of service. Be sure to let us know you’d like to meet...

UAE Award Apr12

UAE Award

Yardi was recently named Property Software Company of the Year award. Hosted by Arabian Business, a weekly business magazine published in Dubai, the awards recognize the most accomplished companies and senior executives from around the region. The awards ceremony took place at the Ritz Carlton, Dubai and celebrated top technology performers in the UAE. Drawn from a select group of over 600 companies and individuals, 21 awards were presented. Arabian Business covers all aspects of Middle East commerce and investment, as well as lifestyle and real estate news. Last year, Yardi was recognized by Arabian Business as the UAE’s top real estate technology provider. This second consecutive year of recognition for software excellence demonstrates how the company is expanding its role in the region’s real estate business. “Yardi has a proven track record across the Middle East for providing long-term, customer focused solutions that represent innovative use of technology across real estate sectors,” said Said Haider, Yardi’s Regional Director for Middle East, who accepted the award on the company’s behalf. “We are honoured to receive this recognition from Arabian Business.” The company also recently announced that it is helping its clients participate in the DubaiNow platform, which provides digital access to multiple government services. DubaiNow is the first unified Dubai government services app, and currently offers over 55 services from 24 government entities. The DubaiNow platform makes city services more seamless and efficient. Examples of tasks that can be accomplished via the app include utility bill pay, visa tracking, trade license renewal, car registration and much more. Yardi worked closely with its Dubai-based clients in the development and testing of the new interface. For real estate and relocation, users can perform transactions associated with moving to a new residence using the DubaiNow app. This...