Rising Concern Jul20

Rising Concern

Intense climate and weather-related events, such as hurricanes, hail and ice, heat and wind and inland flooding, are occurring around the world with alarming intensity. Three hurricanes in 2017 alone caused a combined $300 billion in damages. About 5 million people in the U.S. are within 4 feet of a local high-tide level. A United Nations report in 2016 noted that climate-related events could place real estate assets valued at $35 trillion at risk by 2070—about half of today’s global assets under management in any industry sector. By one estimate, a sea level rise of six feet would imperil U.S. coastal properties worth about $900 billion. How can real estate asset managers prepare for what could be an inevitable rise in sea levels and other manifestations of climate change? “Asset managers and investors already have access to energy efficiency data from providers like Yardi. Now they need project-level natural hazard data that includes climate change projections. This is something the climate resilience field is working on, with a variety of firm jockeying to be first with the rollout of their proprietary software,” says Joyce Coffee, president of Climate Resilience Consulting and a senior sustainability fellow at Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability. Some cities, such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa, are countering weather damage risk by building flood control systems. Other metros, like Philadelphia, Detroit and Washington, D.C., have increased sewage fees, spurring building owners to consider adopting more stringent water conservation efforts. Many other officials and private citizens, of course, focus their efforts on identifying and mitigating sources of climate change. Real estate investors, for their part, are incorporating climate risk into their analysis and avoiding risky investments. A whitepaper released by BlackRock in 2016 noted, “Investors can no longer ignore climate change....

Better Buildings Jul19

Better Buildings

A recent report presented by Better Buildings®, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy, and Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), an association dedicated to assessing and improving the sustainability performance of real estate assets, offered insight into the impact of sustainability certifications on commercial properties’ business performance in Los Angeles. David Hodgins, executive director of Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge, presented findings showing that Class B buildings in Los Angeles with ENERGY STAR scores of 75+ achieved significantly higher occupancy rates and rent per square foot than non-certified Class A buildings there. Better Buildings’ findings were based on data from 263 ENERGY STAR-certified buildings and 526 LEED Certified buildings that illustrated the impact of ENERGY STAR benchmarking and certification on building occupancy and rental income. Co-presenter Dan Winters, head of Americas at GRESB, indicated the numbers are similar in other cities where studies have been done. Among the other Los Angeles findings: The average occupancy for ENERY STAR-certified buildings is 90%, vs the 84% current overall occupancy rate, which generates substantial gross annual rent increases The gross current asking rent per square foot (PSF) for ENERGY STAR buildings is $2.15, vs the current asking rent of $2 which also generates substantial gross annual rent improvements Los Angeles is benchmarking its most energy-intensive facilities and has pledged to reduce the energy intensity for 30 million square feet of city-owned and private buildings by 20% by 2020. More than 25 owners of large commercial buildings joined the challenge and report their results annually to help others save money and energy. The Los Angeles Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency ordinance (EBEWE) has made energy efficiency a high priority in the city. This focus is paying off in multiple ways. The city ranked No. 1...

No Smoking Units Jul18

No Smoking Units

Transitioning one property to a nonsmoking policy can be a challenge. But 49 properties? That’s no small feat. NALS Apartment Homes recently undertook this task, using the communication tools in RENTCafé to help smooth the process. Keep reading to learn more about NALS’ decision to roll out a nonsmoking policy, the three-phase approached it used and the effect the shift has had on marketing, leasing and retention. Why Transition to a Nonsmoking Portfolio NALS began exploring options to reduce and/or eliminate smoking across its portfolio in 2015. After polling residents and staff, researching local laws and engaging with local chapters of the American Lung Association, it was determined that most properties would adopt a nonsmoking policy. According to the NALS 2017 Annual Report, “While the negative health effects of smoking influenced our decision, we were also motivated to mitigate the increased costs of cleaning a smoking apartment, the increased risk of fire caused by smokers and the disturbance that smoking causes to nonsmoking resident and employees.” Policy Change in Three Parts NALS approached the transition to nonsmoking gradually, to allow time for clear communication and minimize the impact on residents. “RENTCafé was a huge help in making our nonsmoking policy a success,” shared Kayla Campbell, marketing leader at NALS. “We used RENTCafé to send out the initial surveys, and then to streamline what was communicated about the policy in our marketing, online applications and email correspondence. We also used the calendar and announcement functions in the resident portals to ensure the transition date was top-of-mind.” Phase 1 (2015): Surveys NALS sent out surveys to gauge interest at the properties, determine primary resident questions/concerns to address and to see which specific buildings were already effectively nonsmoking. Phase 2 (2016):  Notice of Intentions A notice of...

Making Paper Vanish Jul17

Making Paper Vanish

Accounts payable and accounts receivable are traditional hotbeds of activity for property managers, especially for large organizations with many properties and units under management. Boyd Management Inc. (BMI), has streamlined AR and AP by replacing thousands of paper invoices and check payments each month with electronic files that can be processed by staff with the convenience and efficiency of mobile devices. BMI began as a property developer and construction company in the late 1970s. The company built its first property in South Carolina financed under the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development (RD) program. BMI still operates that property today, 40 years later. “We developed a lot of properties in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. As tax incentive housing programs reformed during that period, we got a lot of calls from other RD property owners to buy them out. We grew significantly and are now the largest owners of USDA-financed properties in the country,” says Babbie Jaco, vice president and partner at BMI. Today, BMI oversees more than 350 residential properties in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. The regional portfolio adds to the challenge of a centralized accounting team that serves multiple properties, many in rural areas. Subsidies under management include everything from USDA and HUD 50059 to Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Through its affiliate, WWJ, LLC, BMI has also rehabilitated large portfolios of properties with creative financing and partnerships. “In 2008, we teamed up with Greystone Affordable Initiatives, CAHCEC, multiple state Housing Finance Agencies and other groups. Collectively, we developed our trademark housing preservation program, and the results have been phenomenal,” says Jaco. Through tax-exempt bonds and various affordable housing financing tools, the cooperative has preserved and renovated more than 6,000 units, with more than $170 million in...

Build to Rent Jul16

Build to Rent

Just a few years ago build-to-rent (BTR) was a rarely used phrase in the UK. Now it is one of the hottest real estate sectors around. A think tank of leading experts convened by Yardi and Property Week discuss the extent to which BTR has matured, the challenges it still faces and where the sector will go from here. The Think Tank Panelists: Andrew Cook – investment manager, M&G Real Estate (AC) Lora Salomidou – product owner, The Collective (LS) Rebecca Taylor – investment director, Long Harbour (RT) Katherine Rose – director of data & advisory services, Prsim (KR) John Dunkerley – chief executive and co-founder, Apache Capital (JD) Russell Markou – head of PRS operations,Tipi (RM) James Pargeter – projects director, Greystar Europe (JP) Chair: David Parsley – contributing editor, Property Week (DP) DP: How far along is BTR to becoming a mature market and is it now considered an institutional-grade investment? JD: There’s a big difference in people’s perception of where they think it is and where it actually is. There are 110,000 BTR units under construction or in planning. I don’t think we’re really scratching the surface yet. I don’t think it’s as advanced as people think it is. LS: The Collective has come from a slightly different angle to BTR and is focusing more on the consumer. The main reason we have got to where we are with BTR is because there has been a fundamental change in the expectations of consumers. The investors’ point of view is slightly different, but if we compare the return on investment from BTR to build-to-sell it is very different, because investors don’t have to manage the property – companies like us do it. JP: It’s certainly not yet mature in terms of finished...

Energy Direction

Matt Eggers, vice president of Yardi Energy, has joined the board of directors for the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), a nonprofit that collaborates with building owners, tenants, governments and others to create research, programs, and policies that promote energy efficiency in buildings. Prior to Yardi, Eggers held management positions with Tesla Motors, Sunrun Inc., Bloom Energy and Genentech. “I’m honored to work with this group of distinguished public and private sector experts,” said Eggers. “I am excited to collaborate with IMT because Yardi shares its goal of helping building owners save money and reduce their impact on the environment. I look forward to working with IMT and its partners to identify and apply smart technology investments that support this mission.” “We are pleased that Matt accepted the Board’s invitation to join our remarkable group of leaders. Matt brings invaluable expertise in identifying private-sector trends and innovations around energy efficiency in real estate. Matt and Yardi have been close partners and advisors to IMT for several years, focusing on landlord and tenant collaborations in making cost-effective and energy-efficient spaces. We look forward to building on that relationship,” said Cliff Majersik, executive director of IMT. Eggers heads the Yardi division responsible for developing innovative software and services for energy management and the Internet of Things (IoT). Yardi offers real estate businesses the Yardi Smart Energy Suite to help manage costs, consumption and efficiency with an energy program that fits each company’s sustainability goals and streamlines processes. The Balance Sheet asked Eggers to elaborate on IMT and his role on the board: Q: Can you talk a bit about IMT, its purpose and how it works? Eggers: IMT understands that Americans spend more than $400 billion annually to heat, cool and power the places where they...

Social Senior Smarts Jul12

Social Senior Smarts

Social programming has long been a component of many senior living establishments. The quality and quantity of activities, however, vary greatly and may be affecting your residents’ health. The social programming at your site can contribute to the wellbeing and satisfaction of your residents, providing you with a competitive upper hand. Socialization Boosts Wellness Psychology Today reports on the health benefits of socializing. A few of the benefits include: Mental Fortitude: Interacting with other living beings has proven to improve memory and cognitive skills while fending off the onset and development of dementia. Mental Wellness: Face-to-face interaction minimizes the risk of depression, improves mood, and contributes to an overall sense of wellbeing. Longevity: Isolation can shorten our lifespans. Staying social helps to extend our lifeline regardless of our physical health history. Immunity: Socializing with others can strengthen seniors’ immune system. There is a complex relationship between our immune system and the regions of our brain that influence social interaction. Fitness: For seniors, interacting with others often includes getting out and doing things that they may not do alone. Social activities encourage seniors to stay physically active. Just How Long Ought We Socialize? How much socializing ought we pursue each day? Researchers suggest that we should aim for about six hours of interaction daily. This time can be spent with people, animals, or any combination of the two. That recommendation may not work for everyone, particularly for seniors who have gone for many years limited interactions. Easing into an a socially active schedule little by little may be a more appropriate approach. Ideas for More Social Seniors Below are a few ideas for the community as well as individuals that can help seniors reach the recommended six hours of social activity. Community Classes: While arts...

Smog Strategy Jul11

Smog Strategy

The issue of air pollution in China has been worsening in recent years, with the country forced to issue a red alert warning in January 2017 regarding toxic smog. A wide array of illnesses has been associated with air pollution, including dementia, Alzheimer’s and death. Studies reveal that by 2050, around 6.6 million people will die each year due to this problem. Thus, the development of air purifying technologies has become a critical need. The country has taken various measures to address the problem—only last year, China shut down 40 percent of its factories that failed to meet emissions standards, and announced the intention to ban non-electric cars. A year prior, in October 2016, Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde installed a 23-foot (seven meters) high tower in a creative park in Beijing that took in polluted air and released it without the dust particles. The installation produces about 282.5 cubic feet (eight cubic meters) per second and was entirely powered by electricity generated by coal-power plants in China. Still, the amount of power needed to run was very little. This particular project inspired the Chinese officials to look further into the tower solution. A year after Roosegaarde’s tower worked its magic in Beijing, a larger one was erected in the Shaanxi province in central China. South China Morning Post reports that the tower is 328 feet (100 meters) tall, and reports show it has a positive impact on the air quality in surrounding areas. However, researchers at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese continue testing the tower’s efficacy—it appears that the tower improved air quality over an area of 3.9 square miles (10 square kilometers) in the nearby city of Xi’an, and produced 353 million cubic feet (10 million cubic meters) of clean...

Hurricane Readiness Jul10

Hurricane Readiness

Hurricane season is here! Even if you have a previously existing plan, it’s worth updating it with new resources for staff and residents. Check out these suggestions for thorough hurricane preparedness for senior living communities. Post evacuation plans in large print Ensure that building evacuation plans are clearly posted, in large print and with large graphics, on each floor of each building. It may also be helpful to email residents and their loved ones a copy of the city evacuation routes. Though they may not read it immediately, they will have it as a references when the time approaches. Prepare the property Make sure that gutters and downspouts are cleared for the best water management possible. Trim back trees and shrubs, particularly branches that are already weak or worrisome, to minimize property damage and projectiles. If residents are not required to completely vacate the property, ensure that there is an adequate store of plywood, nails, and other materials that can help maintenance fortify windows leading to units and public spaces. Honor staff efforts Create a way to honor staff that excel during times of crisis. Let them know that their efforts are appreciated by residents and leadership within the company. The Argentum Hero Award, for example, was given to Lisa Thomas for her work during Hurricane Harvey. Thomas is a life enrichment coordinator at Sabine Place, an Enlivant community in Orange, Texas. When the storm forced an evacuation of her community and several relocations as a result, Thomas made the most of the situation and left a lasting legacy at many of Enlivant’s sister communities during temporary stays. Residents: Create personal support networks The American Red Cross recommends that seniors create a personal support network. This network consists of multiple people who will check...

Energy Engagement Jul08

Energy Engagement

A recent National Apartment Association study about apartment residents’ familiarity with and attitudes toward energy efficiency was the focus of an energy management panel at the recent Apartmentalize Powered by NAA conference in San Diego. The “Get Residents and Keep Them with Energy Efficiency Engagement” panel featured Martin Levkus, regional director for the Yardi Smart Energy Suite; Lexie Goldberg, senior associate for sustainability at Greystar; and Mary Nitschke, director of ancillary services for Prometheus Real Estate Group. Jenifer Paneral, senior vice president of operations at DayRise Residential LLC, served as the moderator. Last fall, NAA commissioned the Shelton Group to conduct a survey of 1,000 renters to understand the role of energy efficiency in choosing and staying in an apartment. The results were shared in Units magazine in June 2018 and presented to session attendees at Apartmentalize. The study revealed that property managers and owners can maximize resident engagement with energy efficiency. The study also found that mentioning energy efficiency at the first touchpoint is an opportunity to “get residents.”  Twenty-five percent of residents participating in the survey said that knowing an apartment’s energy efficiency impacts their rental decision. According to Levkus, property managers can promote sustainability by making it convenient—and the key to convenience is technology. “Providing a portal that allows residents to easily view their consumption and pay their bills online empowers them to make changes that save money and make the property more sustainable,” he said. “Renters also like smart devices such as thermostats that increase their comfort but also reduce consumption and save money. The thermostats power down heaters and air conditioners when the unit is unoccupied.” Goldberg spoke of the importance of making energy and sustainability prominent on a property website. She described a Greystar community’s home page that...

Realcomm Recap

Yardi’s Rob Teel, senior vice president of global solutions, and Todd Huebsch, vice president of commercial sales, discussed key trends in the commercial real estate industry in interviews at the recent Realcomm and IBCon conferences. Excerpts follow. Q: What are some key shifts that you’re seeing in commercial property management? Huebsch: From an enterprise platform standpoint, software products historically have been developed for people in back office operations such as accounting and property management. Now we see the emphasis rapidly changing to the front office—people in the field who are managing leases, construction projects and facilities. Enabling that move is a series of mobile apps and role-based tools that simplify tasks and help front office people do their jobs faster, easier and more efficiently while seamlessly connecting to the back office. These new capabilities speak to reducing risk and increasing asset value Q: What is Yardi’s primary focus area at present? Teel: There are three. One is Yardi Elevate, which, in contrast to the traditional chief financial officer focus of property management software, is tailored to a chief operating officer whose direct reports might include the leaders of leasing, asset management, construction and facilities management. Another key focus is energy management, which addresses the needs of COOs and chief engineers who are looking to reduce consumption and expenditures and boost sustainability. Yardi has made five acquisitions in three years in this area and it’s one of our leading long-term strategic visions. And coworking has gone through a revolution in the last two years. Today about 1% of commercial offices in the U.S. are tagged as coworking space but we think it might go to 5-10% in the U.S. and globally within a few years. We made two acquisitions that brought us the Yardi KUBE...

RENTCafé Reach Jul06

RENTCafé Reach

We’re excited to announce that the advanced marketing services of RENTCafé Reach are now available to our senior living clients. What is RENTCafé Reach? RENTCafé Reach is a set of advanced marketing services designed to help you attract more prospects to your communities. Our team of property marketing experts is available to help you with search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC) and enhanced online listings. As a certified Google Partner, we’re ready to optimize your search and lead generation efforts. Because RENTCafé Reach integrates with RENTCafé and Yardi Voyager, you get accurate reporting and complete transparency into your data. SEO & PPC Services for the Real Estate Industry The RENTCafé Reach digital marketing team is comprised of Google certified experts in both Google AdWords for paid traffic and Google Analytics for organic traffic. This allows us to use Google as resource to answer questions and identify future opportunities. Our SEO services include: Optimized on-page content, page titles and meta descriptions Off-page optimization, including business citation and brand management Location data management through our partnership with Yext Regular website health audits and maintenance Monthly reporting, service calls and a dedicated account manager Comprehensive reporting to track results Our PPC services include: Strategic PPC advertising tailored to your goals Campaign management by Google AdWords Certified Specialists Ad targeting based on demographics, location, timing and mobility Ad extensions and landing pages to increase conversions Retargeting campaigns that follow engaged prospects We use white hat strategies, helping our clients improve website performance while actively protecting them against black hat techniques that get flagged by search engines. Stay Ahead of the Competition We understand how daunting it is to launch or manage a digital marketing program. And the challenges of working alone without experienced guidance. What is a...

Great Expectations Jul05

Great Expectations

LONDON – The evolution of the retail store in the face of growing online sales has been much written about, but shopping centres also can’t afford to be left behind in the age of ecommerce and changing technologies. This Retail Week report – produced in association with Yardi – explores how retailers view shopping centres and ways that centres can create an environment in which retail doors not only remain open, but thrive in a digital era. Based on interviews with 50 retail directors responsible for store portfolios – each representing a company with a turnover of between £50m and £10bn – the report finds strong similarities in what retailers want from shopping centres, and reflects changing shopper habits. Key themes are explored around how shopping centres can better support retailers, including expectations about infrastructure for technology and data, as well as how they can attract new entrants. The right mix between retail, leisure and dining is a fundamental attraction, while providing wi-fi is a prerequisite for retailers setting up shop in malls, which has both customer-facing and operational benefits. The future opportunities for shopping centres to enhance their performance, while diverse, are all underpinned by robust data. Decisions are increasingly data-led, and while current platforms – typically management software and spreadsheets – for data sharing have been well-received by retailers, there’s a strong feeling centre owners could provide more information. In particular, they want detail about footfall, dwell time and average spend, to better understand the local catchment and to adapt store space accordingly. Common themes for shopping centre investment over the next 12 months, according to our surveyed retailers, include keeping up with new technology, integrating ecommerce and opening new stores – all of which are elements that new entrants such as...

Smart Future Jul05

Smart Future

What is artificial intelligence (AI)? According to Wikipedia, it is “The artificially created ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” While this definition of AI sounds like something from a sci-fi movie script, it actually describes technology currently poised to transform multifamily real estate management. Yardi’s Dharmendra Sawh, industry principal of Yardi Elevate, led a panel of experts at NAA Apartmentalize on June 14 in San Diego for “The Age of AI: Business Intelligence Today and Tomorrow.” Apartmentalize is NAA’s annual educational conference and is the premier resource for educating rental housing industry professionals. Along with Michael Barry, vice president of data analytics at Bozzuto Management Company, Tim Reardon, chief operating officer of Bridge Property Management and Dawn Wise, national financial analyst at Berkshire Communities, Sawh discussed best practices for business intelligence (BI) today and the looming impact of AI on multifamily business technologies. “BI tools deliver analytics to provide foresight, improve business decisions and increase your competitive edge. But soon, your software could be making those decisions for you. Tracking the right measures can help future-proof your analytics in anticipation of AI,” said Sawh. The presentation covered which performance measures are most important, how technology can track that data and how to analyze and act on that information to create a successful business strategy. The session wrapped with a preview of what’s coming for multifamily owners and managers with advancements in AI. Beyond BI The panel discussed predictive and prescriptive analytics for real estate management, and the role machines will play as interpreters of data. Machine learning is a component of AI that uses historical information and correlates multiple data points to make predictions about the future — and as a result, becomes more...

Pet-Friendly Work

Much ink has been spilled on the topic of Millennials and their influence on the modern workplace. This tech-savvy generation is willing to change tracks towards a more satisfying career path, and able to ride the rough waves of the gig economy. Millennials’ demand for a lively urban life is driving the revival of downtowns across the nation, and the development and expansion of a new office design plan: the coworking office. To go with this new office concept, employers are further trying to entice workers with a series of office perks that address the preferences and values of this generation. Office listings platform COMMERCIALCafé looked at one of the most recent additions to the growing range of work benefits―the option of bringing your pet to work―and compiled a list of the 50+ most pet-friendly coworking hubs in the U.S. Peruse the list below and read on for more details about the pros and cons of bringing pets to the office. The list is by no means comprehensive and remains open to suggestions. Among the venues that caught our attention is the whimsically named CO+HOOTS in Phoenix―recently acclaimed one of the most innovative coworking spaces in the U.S.―which invites visitors to meet the office dogs. Strongbox West in Atlanta―the city’s oldest coworking space―is not only a self-declared dog-friendly office, but a veritable ‘doggy daycare operation.’ The Box Jelly in Honolulu holds different events for owners and their pets, and they don’t shy away from welcoming unconventional companions. If you’re considering adopting a pet-friendly policy in your office, it’s good to weigh both pros and cons. There are several benefits of spending your workday with your beloved furry friend. For one, you can stop worrying about its safety and hurrying out the door as soon...

Risky Business Jun28

Risky Business

A recent Yardi Matrix research bulletin titled “Flood and Fire: The Multifamily Sector’s Response to Natural Disasters,” assesses the state of U.S. multifamily markets in areas hit hard by natural disasters in 2017 including hurricanes and wildfires. Hurricanes alone caused around $110 billion in total reported property damage. The bulletin also covers the impact of these events on the insurance market, and advises that property owners in the private insurance market should be ready for increasing rates and deductibles along with tightening policy terms and conditions. It’s Hurricane Season Again As cited in an April 2018 Multifamily Executive article, the U.S. was hit with 16 severe weather events in 2017. And now that this year’s hurricane season is underway, property owners and managers should ensure that their communities are as safe and sound as possible to prevent against future losses should a major storm hit. One key tip: install critical infrastructure above flood-prone areas. Recommended actions outlined in the article include relocating electrical panels, mechanical equipment, meters and shut-offs to higher ground. Sealing cracks in walls and foundations and installing sump pumps will go a long way to shoring up a property. Using materials that are designed to survive water exposure and resist mold for framing, wallboards, floorboards and ceilings is also a great plan. Mitigating Property Risk When it comes to safeguarding properties, being ready for extreme weather isn’t the only consideration for property owners. To protect against resident-caused damages, a required renters insurance program is a widely accepted industry best practice. For property owners without renters insurance at their communities, now is a great time to consider implementing a program to mitigate risk. A program that includes fast and easy signups for residents and automated compliance monitoring for property managers is ideal....

Myth or Reality? Jun27

Myth or Reality?

Conflicting research has many housing professionals—and house hunters—wondering if the nation has reached an affordability crisis or not. There are a few factors that influence why reputable sources are coming up with such different perspectives. Is there an affordability crisis? First American Financial Corp says no. A recent research summary posits that while home prices and mortgage rates have been increasing, the nation isn’t near crisis mode. CoreLogic’s Home Price Index reports that home prices increased 7 percent year-over-year. The Primary Mortgage Market Survey issued by Freddie Mac shows the recent mortgage rate has increase to its highest since 2013. First American Financial Corp suggests that the nation is not in crisis mode because while home prices and mortgages rates have increased, incomes have also increased. Most states have reached income levels that exceed their 2007 peak. Many incomes are higher than they’ve been in more than a decade. The organization’s conclusion: there is no crisis, just a casual decrease in affordability. Additional factors It’s not just home prices, mortgage rates, and incomes we must consider. Non-housing cost of living increases play a practical role in housing affordability for households. These costs have been rising for most of the nation, with six cities experiencing the steepest increases. GOBankingRates lists Atlanta; Denver; Eugene, Ore.; Nashville; Portland; and Seattle as cities with the highest spikes in non-housing cost of living. Healthcare, groceries, transportation and utilities are among the expenses that consume residents resources and contribute to the inability to afford housing. While incomes have increased over the years, housing costs have increased faster. The rising cost of non-housing expenses make affordability more challenging. An earner spends 29.1 percent of their income on a median-priced home. The established recommendation for affordability is 30 percent of income, which brings the average wage earner...

Demand Information Jun26

Demand Information

A new report by Yardi Matrix indicates that multifamily deliveries might outpace demand in some key U.S. housing markets. Matrix conducted a study to determine which areas might be at risk of oversupply or undersupply over the next five years. The research revealed that deliveries in 2016 and 2017 helped compensate for the construction shortage in the wake of the Great Recession. “Most of the metros that are at short-term risk of oversupply have strong economies and healthy multifamily demand, so units coming online should be absorbed by growing populations,” the report concludes. Markets and submarkets with outsize development activity, however, “can expect volatility” that will give rise to higher vacancy rates and stagnant rent growth. Achieving market equilibrium going forward will require developers to “intelligently calibrate the amount and location of new projects” to accommodate finite demand. Yardi Matrix identified Denver, Seattle, Dallas, Phoenix, Miami and Charlotte, N.C., as key markets at risk of oversupply over the next five years. Demand is projected to exceed supply in Los Angeles, California’s Inland Empire, Houston, New York, San Diego and Sacramento, Calif. Read “U.S. Multifamily Supply and Demand Forecasts by Metro” to learn more about homeownership, population shifts, social trends and other factors affecting the multifamily...

NAA 2018 Jun25

NAA 2018

The multifamily industry converged in San Diego last week for Apartmentalize Powered by National Apartment Association. Formerly known as the NAA Education Conference and Exposition, the annual event is the largest educational conference for apartment industry professionals. We highlight five of our favorite lessons from this year’s event. 5 Lessons from Apartmentalize 2018: Own the Age of AI On Thursday, industry experts discussed the impact of artificial intelligence in multifamily. Panelists included Dawn Wise from Berkshire Communities, Michael Barry from Bozzuto, Tim Reardon from Bridge Property Management, and Yardi’s Dhar Sawh. Artificial intelligence has just recently emerged in the rental housing industry. “This is so new for our industry, so the sky’s the limit,” explained Reardon. The session explored the benefits of artificial intelligence, big data, and business intelligence tools. How can you get energized for the Age of AI? Top tips from panelists: learn more about AI, and make a data strategy plan. Today’s Renters Have a Multi-Touch Journey Over the last two decades, we’ve gone from tracking walk-ins and phone calls to embracing comprehensive CRM systems. On a panel moderated by Yardi’s Esther Bonardi, Holli Beckman from WC Smith, Israel Carunungan from Greystar, and Mia Wentworth from CWS Apartment Homes discussed multi-touch lead attribution, a model for tracking and weighing touchpoints in the lead-to-lease cycle. How can smart marketers improve lead tracking? “Dig into it, study it, and it can open a whole new world,” advised Bonardi. Learn more about multi-touch lead attribution and download our free eBook. Sustainability Wins At Friday’s Apartmentalize session, panelists including Yardi’s Martin Levkus explored resident engagement through energy efficiency. In a recent National Apartment Association survey, windows were the top sustainability item residents cared about. For one panelist, energy efficient windows resulted in a $75 per month...

Handling Hoarders Jun19

Handling Hoarders

Spring is a time for cleaning house and fresh beginnings! Unfortunately, spring cleaning isn’t intuitive or easy for some residents. Your intervention may be needed to keep residents and your property safe. Hoarding disorder is the excessive collection of possessions. It is closely linked with obsessive compulsive disorder, a mental illness that affects nearly 3 million people nationwide. As a mental illness, residents that hoard are protected under the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Disabilities Act. They must be cared for accordingly. When It’s More than Just a Mess When do you need to get involved? Some residents have different standards of tidiness, or they are avid collectors of certain items. Not all collectors are hoarders. A few key risks identify hoarding behavior: A living environment that is dangerous to the hoarder, neighboring tenants, and the property Blocked access to emergency exits, hallways, and windows Blocked pathways to ventilation that may result in mold, mildew, and poor air quality for the inhabitants of the unit as well as neighboring units Improperly stored food items that attract and harbor pests If a resident displays one or more of the aforementioned risky behaviors, an intervention may be necessary. Staff Training  To address hoarding properly, early detection is key. Regularly scheduled inspections for health code compliance, fire safety compliance, and smoke detector maintenance provide staff with reasonable access to units. When risky behaviors are identified, promptly get assistance. On-site staff members do not have to be experts in the illness to help renters in need.  More than 100 task forces are available to assist you through the International OCD Foundation. Such organizations can help property managers assist residents with hoarding issues—without compromising health and safety for other residents. Avoiding Catastrophe Hoarding disorder is a mental illness...