Must-Have 2019 Tech

While the coworking industry continues to expand, its important to keep up with the best new technology. Let’s take a look at some of the most latest critical tech components for coworking spaces. CRM Every coworking space should absolutely have a CRM in place. It is truly one of the most integral components to a modern thriving workspace. Not only does it assist in lead tracking, but a CRM will improve your relationships with your current and prospective members. A CRM will streamline lead entry, customer life cycle tracking, vendor relationship management, and many other operational tasks. It drives efficiency and will enhance productivity, and directly leads to greater profitability. The technology-driven corporate world we live in today demands a CRM. According to a study by Gartner, CRM will be the single largest revenue area of spending in enterprise software by the year 2021. Not only is the CRM going to be a core tool for sales and marketing, but it will also benefit customer service. Since your members are reaching out via social media, phone, chat, email, and any other method they can find, it’s important to consolidate all their interactions in one place. The uses of a robust CRM are virtually limitless for all aspects of a successful coworking space. Automated Billing Whether you operate one space or multiple locations, automated billing is a vital component for success. Consider the time you’re spending balancing and reconciling your books. Consider the outsourced cost if you hire a bookkeeper. With the market becoming more competitive,  shared space supply is increasing, and organized operators can run more efficiently. In many cases, operators streamlining their business with automated billing (among other tech solutions) can offer the same product at a more competitive cost. Standout softwares combine an accounting package with merchant services. Yardi KUBE...

Energy Snapshot Jan17

Energy Snapshot

The Balance Sheet compiled prognostications on some key energy issues: Coal stays stable. After a two-year decline, global demand picked up in 2017 and 2018. China accounts for about half of the world’s consumption, and growing demand in India and Asian countries is offsetting declines in the U.S. and Western Europe. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that the country’s electricity generation share from coal will average 26% in 2019, down from 30% in 2017. Oil retreats. The International Energy Agency and OPEC cut their forecasts for global oil demand growth in 2019, reflecting lower economic growth assumptions. The last time world oil consumption fell was in 2008-09, driven by surging prices and the recession. U.S.’s natural gas role grows.  New liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Louisiana, Texas and Georgia are scheduled to come online, doubling U.S. LNG exporting capability. China is a key driver of demand as the world’s largest gas importer. EIA expects the share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation from natural gas-fired power plants to be 35% in 2019, up from 32% in 2017. Politics play out. Climate politics will ramp up in the U.S. as the 2020 presidential election campaign gears up. In December 2018, leaders in the House of Representatives announced plans to establish a new panel, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. ‘Smart’ gets bigger. Investors and building managers will continue making green practices a core part of their business. “’Smart’ buildings are becoming more common because of new technology, which impacts building operations, and provides both efficiencies and connectivity which is increasingly being sought by tenants,” says the Counselors of Real Estate, an international property professionals organization. The Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit research and education group, adds, “Real estate has been proactive...

5 Voyager Features Jan16

5 Voyager Features

If you’re currently using Yardi Voyager as your property management platform, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the great features designed to make your job easier — and help your organization meet its goals faster. One of Yardi’s own Voyager gurus, Amy Walston, shared some helpful tips about five Voyager features you might not be using, but probably should. To find out what they are and what they can do for you and your business, keep reading.   Amenity-based pricing What it is: An amenity is an included, non-optional feature of a unit that increases or decreases its market value above or below the unit type rent. You can view units according to premiums that increase value such as cabinet upgrades or a desirable location.  An example of an amenity that decreases a unit’s value is a view of a parking lot. Benefits of using it: Pricing rental units only by number of bedrooms and bathrooms doesn’t always deliver the best results since other factors affect desirability. Attracting the right tenant at the right price is key. This tool allows you to control individual unit pricing based on the features of each unit, and lets you easily change unit pricing by updating amenity values. This tool includes user-based security to allow or restrict updates to amenity values and unit pricing.   Leasing specials What it is: Leasing specials are deals or offers that prospects can choose when they apply for units and that residents can select when they renew leases. Specials can be created to occur only once, such as a bonus for renewing a lease early, or they can repeat monthly, such as a rent discount for signing a 14-month lease. Benefits of using it: To improve occupancy by converting more prospects and retaining good residents,...

Yardi KUBE Preview

Ed. Note: WUN KUBE has joined the family of Yardi property management software. KUBE provides a suite of technology products for coworking and shared space management. This piece on the new platform originally appeared on the KUBE Blog. As we approach the much anticipated release of the new Yardi KUBE platform, we conducted a client-exclusive Q&A session to address a variety of topics. The response was overwhelmingly positive and we cannot wait to debut the new KUBE. We will beta launch in January 2019, and full roll-out is set for April. Below, we’re going to summarize some of the main talking points from the recent webinar. What are  the main changes for KUBE? It’s tough to put into words exactly the incredible extent to which Yardi is impacting our platform, but we tried to do so again in the webinar. Dale Hersowitz, our VP of Coworking, explained that Yardi is best known for building software for the real estate industry, from commercial to multiunit to many other facets. They are now fully diving into the Coworking world with the acquisition of WUN last year. The most important change for KUBE is essentially putting together a single stack. What does that mean? Yardi has a full general ledger suite, an accounting package, they’re also a merchant, they offer a vendor procurement solution, they are an e-broker, and KUBE will continue to provide the operational component to power your day to day functions of your space. No more third-party integrations. Yardi will encompass 7 modules in one tightly integrated solution. Everything in a single platform allows for greater efficiency, cost savings, prevents leakage, and enables operators to scale effectively. Enhancements and New Features The attendees asked several questions regarding the enhancements of the new platform. Yardi has a...

Yardi Bill Pay Jan11

Yardi Bill Pay

We recently caught up with Jesse Dowler, Client Services Division manager for residential clients of Yardi Bill Pay. He started his support career as a technical account manager at Yardi in 2009. What is Yardi Bill Pay and what does it do for property managers? Yardi Bill Pay is an optional element of the Yardi Procure to Pay Suite or the Yardi Payment Processing service, which outsources to Yardi the process of paying vendors. The Bill Pay team at Yardi pulls invoices from the client’s Yardi Voyager database, routes them through the client’s approval workflow, and pays the vendor by the client’s preferred method—ACH, electronic funds transfer, credit card or paper check. Why do clients want to adopt Yardi Bill Pay? Processing invoices and going through all the steps to complete payments take a lot of time and labor. Check printers are expensive too. When you’re going through thousands of invoices a month, those expenses add up fast. It’s easier to let Yardi do it all. Not only does Yardi relieve the manual labor, but our check printing is less expensive as well, for clients choosing that option. About 40% of Bill Pay clients prefer checks so that’s still a popular payment method. What point do you and the Bill Pay team emphasize when discussing Bill Pay with clients and prospects? A major proposition for Bill Pay is its integration with Voyager and the workflows established there.  Clients continue to use the Commit Payment and Process Payment screens as they are accustomed to, and once payments are processed in Voyager, Yardi Bill Pay steps in and handles the movement of the actual cash, including check printing and sending ACH instructions to banking institutions. How did Yardi Bill Pay evolve? A small team at Yardi...

Together We Care Jan07

Together We Care

The Ontario Retirement Communities Association and the Ontario Long Term Care Association have teamed up to bring senior care professionals the learning event of the year. The annual Together We Care conference is just around the corner—and you won’t want to miss it! Together We Care is the largest senior living event in Canada. The conference inspires and connects more than 1,200 senior care professionals. Informative + Engaging Sessions The conference will cover the latest industry updates, best operational practices, trends, innovative programs and housing models for senior services. Gain inspiration and insight from renowned keynote speakers Discover interesting ways how data analytics can support decision making Understand the nuances of consent and advanced care planning (ACP) Learn how to update your legal forms and policies to avoid risk Dive into hot topics like medical and recreational cannabis use Discover solutions for advancing leadership and workforce capacity Learn how you can evolve your operations to prepare for the care of tomorrow’s seniors Explore prevalent and emerging quality of care and quality of life issues Improve client care and satisfaction with a multidisciplinary approach to nutrition and dining And much more! Keynote Speakers Three terrific keynote speakers are scheduled to motivate and encourage attendees. Business powerhouse Arlene Dickinson will share her insights on success: where it came from, what shaped it, and what trials were involved. Get tips for overcoming self-doubt to maximize success. Canadian broadcasting personality Michael Landsberg will spark conversations on mental health in the workplace and beyond. He explains how to beat the stigma around mental illness and save lives in the process. Stand-up comedian Jody Urquhart uses humor to address the stresses of the senior care industry. She will leave the audience inspired to navigate challenges with humor, grace, and a...

Not just hot air Jan01

Not just hot air

Look up and there’s the sun, whose rays can be captured and converted into electricity. Peer down and see fossil fuels, the engine for much of the world’s economy. You need to burrow even further to find another key source of energy, one that’s driven by the molten essence of the Earth. Geothermal energy originates from the heat at the planet’s center. It can be captured as a source of electricity to heat and cool buildings with geothermal heat pumps, which transfer heat to buildings by pumping water or a special fluid through pipes just below the Earth’s surface. Geothermal energy can also generate electricity through geothermal power plants using wells drilled 1 to 2 miles deep into the Earth to pump steam or hot water to the surface. Tapping the Earth’s internal heat dates back thousands of years, with Roman, Chinese and Native American cultures using hot mineral springs for bathing, cooking and eating. The first geothermal plant, built in Italy in 1904, used steam to turn a turbine that powered five light bulbs. Today, more than 20 countries generate geothermal energy, according to National Geographic. Iceland and the Philippines meet nearly one-third of their electricity demand with geothermal energy, while18 power plants at the Geysers Geothermal Complex north of San Francisco comprise the world’s largest geothermal installation. The U.S., the global leader for installed geothermal capacity, provides more than 3.7 gigawatts to the national grid, according to the U.S Department of Energy. Although geothermal offers an environmentally friendly, renewable, reliable and stable energy source with the smallest land footprint of any major power source, it does have its drawbacks. These include the risk of releasing greenhouse gases that tend to congregate near geothermal power plants, power plants’ effect on fragile land stability, high...

Welcome to Mobile 5G

We can all use faster internet! Make daily operations more efficient for your staff with the latest advance in US mobile technology. Beginning spring 2019, AT&T will offer a faster internet speed for mobile devices in 12 cities. 5G, Revamped If you feel like you already read about this early in 2018, you’re sort of right. AT&T introduced a version of 5G earlier in the year. It was 5G TF, which came with a ton of limitations. T-Mobile CEO John Legere was quick to point out those shortcomings on Twitter, “I cannot begin to explain how important 5G is going to be for this country, so I have to say congrats to Verizon on delivering its 5G* Home Service today. It doesn’t use global industry standards or cover whole blocks and will never scale… but hey, it is first, right?!” AT&T’s limited release was offered to residences via the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot in more than 20 cities. Now, the Dallas-based company ups the ante with mobile access on 5G NR, the more commonly accepted application that meets industry standards. The new 5G offers faster speeds and very low latency. That means you will be able to enjoy faster responsiveness from Yardi Voyager property management software: quickly upload receipts, forms, and other files to the cloud for easy access and safe storage. Your team can reach more prospects by live streaming property tours and events on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. With delivery and rideshare services skyrocketing, you’ll have an advantage with 5G. Your communities can offer safer access to driverless vehicles. The applications are endless. Mobility, Faster Without mobile devices that can keep up, mobile 5G would be unexciting. Fortunately, the first 5G-compatible handsets should be available in early 2019. Samsung has promised...

Building, Fire Smart

For the past 50 years, California has been besieged by an increase in wildfires. More than 1.8 million acres have burned. Yet rebuilding efforts rarely reflect an inclination towards fire safety. Builders and homeowners must explore the affordable innovations available to end this deadly trend. The Underestimated Threat In 2018, the nation witnessed Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in recent history. The fire blazed 135,000 acres and engulfed 14,000 buildings. Camp Fire claimed the lives of 85 people. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that wildfires will contribute to increase in frequency. The land burned by wildfires has increased since the 1980s, and “of the 10 years with the largest acreage burned, nine have occurred since 2000.” Though the frequency of wildfires has spiked, many homeowners are choosing to rebuild their home without additional fire precautions. The problem isn’t isolated to California. In Western Australia, for example, a series of deadly bushfires ravaged four regions in the course of two years. Few homeowners rebuilt their homes with additional fire precautions in place. Fire-Resistant Architecture Some architects specialize in fire-resistant structures, such as Glenn Murcutt. His work in Australia includes black ceramic tiles that reflect radiant heat, rooftops equipped with permanent water features, and powerful sprinkler systems that protect home exteriors. The fire-conscious elements of Murcutt’s designs add only 5 percent to building costs. In the absence of a specialized architect, there are several recommendations for fire resilient rebuilds: Consider wildfire burn patters. Build at least 30 feet away from ridges and cliffs. Wildfires travel fastest uphill. A 20° increase in slope can double wildfire spread. Customize vents for fire safety. Add flame- and ember-resistant vents or metal screening to attic and crawl space access points. Upgrade glass features. Double paned and tempered glass...

Attracting + Retaining Talent

Talent scouting and retention are a hot topic in the senior living industry. Organizations struggle to attract, identify, and retain talent. Without a solution, the industry is poorly equipped to provide quality care. Existing employees are overworked, and residents may wait underserved. The results can be fatal: a European study of 260,000 nurses reveals that increasing a nurse’s workload by one case could increase mortality risk by 7 percent within 30 days of admission. Tactics to improve recruitment and retention are crucial. A Growing Problem According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 53 percent of senior care providers say that “insufficient numbers of quality applicants” is their primary problem. Once talent comes onboard, retention becomes a hurdle. The industry is challenged by a 50 percent turnover rate among direct-care staff. Without drastic changes, the industry will not be able to keep up with growth forecasts. Improved healthcare and living conditions has extended lifespans. There are more Americans living over the age of 65 now than at any other point in history. By 2030, the senior population will increase by 75 percent. The workforce needs to at least double to meet growing demand. Questions to Identify Practical Solutions Reexamining your current protocols for attracting and retaining talent may help you identify problems. The questions below can help you get started: What does your online reputation tell prospects about you? Pretend to be a prospect. Search for your organization online. Consider housing reviews, employer reviews, and social media commentary. What impression do you receive? About 84 percent of organizations use social media to recruit new hires. Are you among them? You may need to revamp your online presence. Begin by addressing the most pressing concerns to arise in the past 30 days. Then work to maintain your online reputation as new content arises. Can qualified talent quickly find your job posting and easily apply? Hone recruitment by focusing on healthcare job listing sites. This approach narrows the pool more quickly than a general online job board. Also consider a referral incentive for current employees. Nurses, for example, have completed specialized training. They may know other qualified graduates in search of work. Do you offer an appealing employee experience? The employee experience is what occurs when employees walk through the door of your community How employees feel about their workplace and management are major factors for retention. Consider: Are employees given clear guidelines for their mission? Do they have a clear career trajectory? Can they easily access a formal and efficient way to voice their concerns and suggestions? Do employees receive tools to help them manage stress, such as free wellness programs and classes? Does the current staff lounge encourage teammates to rest and recharge for the next segment of their shift? Teammates that are balanced, motivated, and supported can provide the best care—and build a respected brand. Does your retention plan realistically address the needs of employees? If you don’t know, ask. You may be surprised by what you find. For example, you may think a hip staff lounge would entice and retain young talent. What you may find is that “56 percent of Millennials said they would take a pay cut to work somewhere that is positively changing the world.” Learn what staff wants before overhauling your retention strategy. Do current teammates feel appreciated? When teammates feel undervalued, they’re likely to take their talents elsewhere. Defeat turnover by creating an employee recognition program. Monthly kudos, annual awards and perks show talent that you appreciate their efforts and value their loyalty. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that healthcare is one of the largest and fastest growing fields in the nation. The numbers are encouraging. As organizations refine their plans to attract, identify, and retain talent, we can turn the tide on the senior care...

Chic. Cozy. Smart. Dec23

Chic. Cozy. Smart.

Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation organization of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has plans for a new neighborhood in Toronto. The 800-acre site, Quayside, will be the first of its kind. The Neighborhood Hip innovation and practicality combine on the streets of Quayside. “Torontonians want more affordable housing, faster ways to get around the city, safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, [and] a cleaner and healthier environment,” said Jesse Shapins, Sidewalk Labs’s director of public realm. “That’s what we are aiming to do by creating this new neighborhood.” To fulfill this vision, the site will be composed of mixed-use developments and 12 mass timber buildings up to 30 stories tall. “If the primary load-bearing structure is made of either solid or engineered wood, it’s a mass-timber building,” says Tsay Jacobs director of the Building Technology Lab at Perkins+Will and a member of the International Code Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings. The recently reimagined building method is a risk, but it bears great promise. Due to innovations in building technologies, the unique construction style is strong enough to support tall structures with timber frames. It is also non-combustible, a necessity for many existing building codes. Canadian builders lead the industry in mass timber construction. The new Toronto neighborhood has several experts on hand. In addition to durability and safety, mass timber construction can also be more sustainable. Sidewalk Labs estimates that construction carbon emissions will be 75 to 85 percent less than conventional construction. Getting around will also be more efficient. Quayside plans to connect to light rail for quick transit throughout the metropolitan area. A flexible streetscape is also in the works. Though the plans are not complete, the streetscape will meet Vision Zero guidelines and be suitable for autonomous vehicles. To boost pedestrian transit and cut traffic, covered walkways called “stoas” will help protect walkers from the elements. A floating walkway will connect Quayside with Promontory Park, an anticipated new greenspace. Pedestrians can also access the new Silo Park, which will be the star of the Parliament Slip inlet attraction. Efficiency has been worked into the power infrastructure as well. Grid energy for the buildings will be supported by photovoltaic panels, battery storage, geothermal wells, and sewer heat recovery. The ambitious combination of alternative energies aims to break tradition with neighborhoods that are dependent upon city utilities. The housing plan breaks barriers, too. Toronto has faced an affordability crisis for years. At least 50 percent of residences will be priced at 40 percent below market rate. Those homes will be evenly split between affordable and middle-income pricing. Sidewalk Labs intends to include senior housing in the mix. In theory, the new neighborhood will take less of a toll on waste management than conventional neighborhoods. In its Urban Consolidation Center, robots will collect waste and transport it through a tunnel system. As a result, neighborhood occupants will experience less noise, pollution, and traffic. Sidewalk Labs estimates that it will also be able to divert about 80 percent of waste from landfills. That’s more than twice the efficiency of traditional apartment communities. Quayside will rest on Toronto’s east waterfront with Quay Street and a spacious public walkway running parallel to the waterfront. It will support about 3,000 new jobs, a wellness center, a daycare, and elementary school. The Civic Data Trust Sidewalk Labs claims that the new project will be “the most measurable community in the world.” A multitude of sensors will capture user data in Quayside. That data will be used for public services and planning. No one—not even Alphabet—will own the data. Naturally, privacy issues have been a public concern. Sidewalk Labs is exploring solutions, such as a data trust and independent third-party oversight. That proposal has raised more questions since there are no established data trusts to serve as models. To date, Quayside is a fascinating concept. The final plan will be reviewed by Waterfront Toronto...

Relocation Incentives...

Locales across the United States are using relocation packages to siphon talent from larger cities. The deals include everything from free rent to cash allowances and home appliances. The trend can mean notable government contracts for co-working spaces, multifamily and single-family housing providers. Each program is different, but many share common threads. Their marketing messages often aim to attract newcomers from cities where significant portions of income are directed towards housing. Several locales appeal to professionals in technology and science-based fields. One program has gained significant attention in recent weeks. Your New Home: Tulsa, Oklahoma The George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) is currently accepting applications for its remote employee relocation program, Tulsa Remote. The Foundation is offering $10,000 cash, a rent-free furnished apartment, and a desk at 36 Degrees North, a local coworking space. In exchange, recipients must live in Tulsa full-time for at least one year. Recipients are also encouraged to participate in community events. Many of these social opportunities are created especially for program participants. Tulsa Remote recipients are invited to exclusive wine tastings, group outings, and neighborhood panel discussions. The hope, says GKFF’s executive director Ken Levitt, is that the transplants will establish a local community and decide to stay beyond the required year. In theory, the remote employees will not only bring cash into Tulsa. They will show local young professionals that they don’t have to leave their small-town home to be successful, suggests Sara Sutton, the CEO of FlexJobs, a remote job search engine. Tulsa Remote and similar programs remove the stigma from telecommuting, which some believe is not a “legitimate thing.” But telecommuting is quite a legitimate thing. A 2017 Gallup poll revealed that 43 percent of employed Americans have worked remotely in some capacity. The figure is...

Cleaner Trucks Initiative Dec19

Cleaner Trucks Initiative...

A recent proposal to tighten nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions aims to improve air quality. As a side effect, the changes will undoubtedly impact businesses. Can businesses expect to see shipping prices increase as fleet overhead rises? NOx is a type of air pollution formed during the combustion process in motor vehicles. The particulates have an adverse reaction on the environment and human health. By 2025, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that more than 33 percent of NOx emissions will spew from heavy-duty trucks. To decrease those projected emissions, the EPA is drafting a new set of NOx emission regulations. The EPA recently initiated the Cleaner Trucks Initiative. The legislation updates federal NOx regulations, which have not been revised since 2001. Additionally, the proposal creates a single federal rule for an incongruent batch of federal and state guidelines. Several air agencies have petitioned the EPA for clearer guidelines and tighter standards for the trucking industry. The new plan will help to streamline compliance standards while promoting transport efficiency. The resulting changes will result in less particular matter and cleaner air. “The Cleaner Trucks Initiative will help modernize heavy-duty truck engines, improving their efficiency, and providing cleaner air for all Americans,” said Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said during a press conference. The initiative builds upon the success of previous legislation. Between 2007 and 2017, NOx emissions declined by 40 percent. The new challenge is to continue NOx emission decline without hindering economic growth.  John Mies, manager of corporate communications for Volvo Group North, has been a vocal supporter of the proposal. Past legislation has been “challenging but practical” he said. He added, “This is a great opportunity to update and streamline the certification and compliance processes, ensuring a focus on real-world emissions control with minimal impediment...

Sustainable Slopes Dec18

Sustainable Slopes

While offering mountains of fun in a winter wonderland, ski resorts also take sustainability seriously. Almost 200 resorts, more than 75% of the U.S. total, have endorsed “Sustainable Slopes,” the National Ski Areas Assn.’s (NSAA’s) Environmental Charter that incorporates principles for ski area planning, operations and outreach. As climate change concerns and consumers’ environmental awareness grow, NSAA and other ski resort stakeholders are devising strategies to “help ski resorts transfer the concept of sustainability from one involving a few disparate energy and efficiency projects to a comprehensive a holistic way of doing business, and one that will seriously enhance the long-term prospects of the areas that adopt them,” as described by the ski magazine Powder. The latest annual report from NSAA, a trade association for alpine resorts, summarizes progress in water conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction and recycling made by more than 300 ski areas that responded to a survey. One destination highlighted in the NSAA annual report, Boreal Mountain Resort & Soda Springs in California, has pledged to reduce its 2011 emissions levels by 25% by 2020. Resort managers retired less efficient vehicles, retrofitted night lighting infrastructure and installed solar panels that will generate 325,000 KwH annually. Another resort, Montana’s Bridger Bowl, offers free electric bus service on weekends as an alternative to single-occupant vehicles. And Copper Mountain Ski Resort in Frisco, Colo., installed electric vehicle charging stations, commingled recycling, composting and scrap steel recycling, and completed a building lighting retrofit. Opportunities for sustainability extend to a ski resort’s sine qua non: snow. An NSAA fact sheet notes that while snowmaking isn’t considered a consumptive act—most of the water diverted from streams for snowmaking returns to the watershed—opportunities abound to execute the process more efficiently: employing efficient snow-guns to increase the...

Sharing Disruption

Coworking isn’t new, but its recent growth and prominence in the U.S. office market space is. A new special report from Yardi Matrix, titled “Shared Space: Disrupting the Traditional Office,” outlines the dramatic increase in shared spaces over the past year, driven by a growing “gig economy” and employers’ desire to deploy more workers remotely, attract talent and gain more flexibility for their space. In researching 20 metros, Yardi Matrix found that 43.5 million square feet of office space was being rented as of the fourth quarter of 2018. This represented a 62% increase in shared space over the previous year and 1.7% of the total inventory. The business model for shared space is evolving to match the practice’s growth, with landlords and brokerage firms offering more amenities and flexible lease arrangements. Coworking has gained footholds in both urban markets (2.2% of stock) and suburban submarkets (1.2%). The practice is “growing as a percentage of office stock in all areas, but it is a more natural fit in urban settings due to the proximity to a greater number of workers, easier commute to urban locations and greater availability of small rental spaces in suburban areas,” the report says. “The sector is in a nascent phase, so the pace of growth is likely to pick up in coming years.” Manhattan, N.Y., ranked first in both overall amount of shared space with 13.7 million square feet, with Los Angeles second with 4.7 million square feet. The borough also had the most shared space as a percentage of total stock, 3%, with Portland, Ore., Miami, San Francisco and Austin, Texas, totaling 2.5%, 2.4%, 2.3% and 2.2%, respectively. Read the full Yardi Matrix special...

Charged Up Dec10

Charged Up

ENERGY STAR® certifications have gone mobile. Originally geared toward properties and consumer products, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) efficiency program now includes a scoring system for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. In December 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its inaugural ENERGY STAR specification for electric vehicle chargers. An ENERGY STAR-certified charging station is defined as using 40% less energy than an uncertified one. As EV technology increases its foothold in the marketplace, its capabilities and ENERGY STAR endorsement offer substantial cost, convenience and sustainability benefits. Moving toward EV-compatibility EV sales are expected to top 1 million by 2020, up from about 200,000 in 2017. Some observers predict EVs will be the dominant mode of propulsion for cars by 2030, making charging an increasingly significant value consideration for multifamily and commercial property owners. Driving EVs and using ENERGY STAR-certified chargers can produce: Savings—EVs cost about half as much to drive per mile than standard gasoline-powered vehicles, according to this calculator. Property owners hosting charging stations for tenants and customers can control costs by anticipating the need for new EV equipment, upgrading electrical service to accommodate it, taking operations and maintenance costs into account, and researching incentives that make installations easier and less expensive Efficiency—EVs convert about 59–62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels, whereas conventional gasoline vehicles convert about 17%–21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels Convenience—Most EV charging happens at home or work, giving property managers who offer this capability a competitive advantage. But what if those places aren’t available? Locate the nearest public charger location in the U.S. here Smart technology—Some ENERGY STAR-certified EV charger models use Wi-Fi technology for remote power monitoring and control of the charging state...

Storage Switch Up Dec09

Storage Switch Up

Second Closet, a start-up based in Toronto, is revolutionizing the storage industry. The company was created on an operating model where users only pay for what they store, not a fixed storage locker price. With prices starting as low as $3/month, customers can have a virtual second closet to store seasonal, personal and unused items. The company picks up items for storage and delivers them back when clients need them again. With the rising population and demand for space in Toronto, people are struggling to find extra storage. These services are transforming the storage industry and addressing prominent issues of the moving pains associated with city living. This year, Second Closet raised $2 million from investment company MIG Group, helping to fully launch the business and make the entire storage process convenient and efficient.We spoke to founder and CEO, Mark Ang for more details. He cofounded the company with his brother, David. Why is now the time for your company to exist? Ang: There’s going to be 10B people in the world by 2050. They aren’t going to be flooding the suburbs, they’ll gravitate to urban areas provided there’s housing available. At the same time, we’re not seeing condominium developments slow down. For cities like Toronto, it’s easy to look at a city like New York to get a glimpse of what life could and likely will be like when things get more densely populated. Since housing prices outpace personal income, condo developers are simply building smaller units so that they still achieve the optimal price per square foot but the nominal price of the unit as a whole is within financial reach. That basically creates a whole lot of shoe boxes in big urban cities. I think we’re position well to help people...

CA Benchmarking Dec08

CA Benchmarking

A California energy benchmarking law going into effect next June requires multifamily property owners to complete a potentially daunting array of information gathering and reporting requirements. Yardi’s energy management software and experts stand ready to make the process easy and painless. Under the mandate, known as AB 802, owners of multifamily buildings with more than 17 units, or gross floor area of 50,000 square feet, must report information on energy use from all energy meters using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®. Reports to the California Energy Commission for 2018 are due to the California Energy Commission on June 1, 2019, and annually thereafter. Similar requirements for commercial buildings went to effect in June 2018.  Actions the commission recommends to meet the June 1 deadline begin by Feb. 1, 2019. Each building’s energy efficiency will be disclosed on a yet-to-be-established state website. “Publicly disclosing the performance of buildings will allow building owners and tenants to make better informed purchasing and leasing decisions, and the general public to better understand the buildings in which they live and work,” according to the California Energy Commission. Yardi is an ENERGY STAR Partner and is helping California users of the Yardi Smart Energy Suite get ready for AB 802. All owners of more than 330 California properties that rely on Yardi for ENERGY STAR benchmarking have retained the company in preparing for AB 802. Yardi Utility Expense Management, an element of the Yardi Pulse Suite, centralizes utility cost and consumption data and sends it directly into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Portfolio Manager is an online tool for tracking energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It also allows comparisons of a building’s energy performance against similar-type buildings. Elements of AB 802 compliance include setting up multiple measurement criteria for...

Building AI Dec07

Building AI

How can artificial intelligence (AI) benefit building operators? Matt Eggers, a Yardi consultant (and former vice president of Yardi Energy) and Yardi vice president Akshai Rao offered insights during a recent webinar hosted by Paul Rosta, executive editor of Commercial Property Executive. “Software is eating the world” and reshaping how people work and live; the various aspects of operating a building are no exception, Eggers noted. Many webinar participants and CPE readers say they plan to increase technology expenditures next year, but by 25% or less, which means building owners have to be smart about their investments. That’s where AI—the ability of machines and computers to perform cognitive functions normally associated with humans—comes in. Eggers Rao Rosta Optimizing building performance AI “learns as it goes,” detecting patterns in conditions affecting energy consumption without being requested, then prescribing recommendations. Outside of buildings, AI’s well-documented feats include beating chess grandmasters, winning at “Jeopardy!” and creating an image of a human face from scratch by learning from thousands of other photos. The expansion of digital data availability (“AI’s food and oxygen,” as Eggers described it), computing power and software enhancements, and cheap storage have made AI viable for the corporate world. And businesses have reacted in force: About 80% of webinar participants said they’re using AI or plan to within three years. Examples of how AI systems make a building more efficient include optimizing the setpoint (the target temperature) every 30 seconds to ensure comfort without using more energy than necessary; and learning from their past performance to react to changes in occupancy, weather and other factors. AI systems’ ability to perform continuous and small adjustments into HVAC settings translates into better performance through lower utility and equipment maintenance costs; increased tenant comfort that reduces service calls...

Market Sharing Dec04

Market Sharing

They say that sharing is caring. Turns out, sharing is also a great selling point for your student housing community. By integrating the share culture into your student property, you can reap the benefits of this growing economic sector. The sharing economy flourishes worldwide. Its convenience and innovation has won over millions of users. According to PWC research,  83 percent of respondents say the sharing economy is more convenient and efficient than conventional methods of shopping, transportation, and completing tasks. Share practices are already active in your student housing community. Why not capitalize on their success? No- and Low-Cost Solutions You don’t have to spend a lot of money to bring collaborative consumption to your student property. These low-cost solutions are a great place to start: By 2025, the rideshare economy will have an estimated cumulative worth of over $335 billion. Show that you are adapting to the times. Designate an area in your community for rideshare pick-up and drop-off. Mark this area with signage using the rideshare service provider logos, such as Lyft and Uber. If your property has a security gate, place the designated area outside of the gate. This results in fewer guests with gate access codes and shorter lines at the callbox. Make rideshare services easy to access from your property website. True, most users will hail a ride using their smartphone app. The link on your property site, however, shows prospects and residents that you are responsive to their needs and interests. Market the desirability of your location by highlighting food delivery services available in your community. Doordash, Uber Eats, and GrubHub delivery services are popular with young adults. A community share forum creates a sense of cohesion and support within your student housing property. The forum can serve as...