Returning to the Office Mar01

Returning to the Office...

The past year has been full of challenges from a traditional office perspective. These challenges have come in a series of phases ­­— initially sending employees home for an indefinite amount of time, implementing physical and tech upgrades to safely welcome workers and guests into offices, creating a potential hybrid working model to accommodate distancing in the workspace and now waiting on sufficient vaccine distribution that will encourage more employees to return to the office. As we look at the progress we’ve made toward re-entering physical workspaces, there is still a great deal of uncertainty as to when occupancy will return to pre-COVID levels. On a recent Realcomm webinar, a group of panelists was asked when they thought their offices would return to some sort of normalcy. Their answers varied: “When we hit 50% occupancy could vary, especially in California with its restrictions,” said Stuart Appley, managing director at CBRE. Appley suggested that around September he believes they could reach 30% capacity in office. Susan Gerock, CIO and vice president of IT at Washington REIT, says she’s hopeful to be at 50% occupancy “at some point in the fall, but many companies won’t even try to start bringing people back until September.” Joe Rich, senior vice president at Related Companies, and Ilan Zachar, CTO at Carr Properties, both pushed their timelines out a bit further, with Zachar saying his customers believe the end of 2021 will bring some normalcy, while Rich admitted that a return to 100% occupancy is unlikely to happen at all in his opinion. This is a significant cause for debate among industry leaders, because while there is a chance that 100% occupancy is a thing of the past, there is a wide range of guesses as to what working models...

Industrial Thrives Feb26

Industrial Thrives

Industrial real estate continues to see strong rent growth and high demand, driven by pandemic-prompted online shopping trends. Industrial rents averaged $6.44 per square foot in January, a 5.1% increase over the last 12 months, according to a new CommercialEdge Industrial National Report. Even as vaccinations ramp up and more people return to more normal-looking lives, demand for industrial is expected to stay strong. New leases signed in 2020 often included premium pricing, with the average rental rate for new leases signed in the last 12 months at $7.50 per square foot. The average vacancy rate was 6.0%. Continued demand for industrial space will sustain rent growth and drive vacancy rates lower. “We expect that demand will continue to increase even if e-commerce does not match its blistering 2020 growth rate. E-commerce has a continued role to play, and last year likely signaled a structural shift in consumer preferences more than temporary changes in behavior. Retail as we knew it has changed, and in its place warehousing and distribution have increased in importance,” say analysts. An improving global economy, ramped up trade volume and inventory replenishment for retailers will be additional drivers. Sector investment activity is healthy and growing as well. The fourth quarter of 2020 now has the highest sales volume of any quarter since Yardi Matrix began collecting industrial data, with $11.9 billion of sales completed. Properties fetched an average price per square foot of $100, an 18.2% increase year-over-year. Find more trend and data insights in the latest national industrial report from CommercialEdge. CommercialEdge provides extensive property data that includes transaction, ownership and debt information, offering nationwide coverage across all commercial real estate asset types. Use the platform to uncover vital market data and get insights with the latest lease and...

Highest-Ranking Office Sales Feb24

Highest-Ranking Office Sales

Since 2000, the U.S. office market has witnessed a good share of trophy deals, which is usually a sign of strong market conditions. Using CommercialEdge data, the following is a review of the top 50 office deals of the last 20 years. Specifically, the report looked at office buildings of at least 50,000 square feet in size and mixed-use properties that have more than 50% office space (for further details, read our methodology). Additionally, the report highlights major deals in the Northeast, Midwest, South and West, as well as best-selling Class B office spaces and properties less than 250,000 square feet in size. #1 Office Deal of the Last 2 Decades: $2.8 Billion Sale of GM Building New York City occupies the first 12 spots within the list of top office deals of the last two decades – an unsurprisingly dominant presence in the ranking. As for office deals outside of New York City, only 11 transactions made the cut — with more than half of those being portfolio deals. The highest-ranking office deal from outside New York City was the $1.64 billion Century Plaza portfolio in Los Angeles. Sold by General Motors in 2014, the three-building portfolio totaling 3.3 million square feet placed 13th. Boston features four entries on the list, led by 500 Boylston and 222 Berkeley in 23rd place. EQ Office sold the 1.3 million-square-foot Boston office space to a joint venture between Oxford Properties Group and JP Morgan Chase in 2015 for $1.3 billion. Notably, several buildings were sold twice since 2000, fetching top prices each time. One such property is the General Motors Building in Midtown Manhattan, which also ranks as #1 office sale since 2000. Boston Properties paid $2.8 billion for the office tower located at 767 5th Ave. in 2008. The office tower had previously been sold in 2003 for $1.4 billion — landing it in 18th place for a second entry on the top 50 list. Another property with double entries in the list is the News Corporation Building, anchored by media giant Fox News. Located at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, its $1.52 billion sale in 2006 was the first sale to land it a spot on the list — in 15th place. Then, in 2013, Montreal-based Ivanhoe Cambridge acquired a 51% stake in the property for $855 million, enough to hand it the 50th position on the list. Highest-Ranking Office Deal of 2020 Falls Short of $1 Billion Mark for First Time Since 2012 In 2020, the $900 million sale of 330 Madison Ave. landed in first position, followed by the $810 million transaction of the former Master Printers Building — both in New York — and the $729 million sale of 245 Summer St. in Boston. It’s worth noting that the last time the leading office sale of the year was less than the $1 billion threshold was in 2012. At that time, Singaporean wealth investment fund GIC Real Estate paid $851 million for the 48-story 101 California in San Francisco. Likewise, the highest-ranking office deal in the West last year was the $664 million deal for the Transamerica Center in San Francisco, which was closed by a joint venture between SHVO and Deutsche Finance. In addition to the iconic Transamerica Pyramid, the transaction also included the 185,000-square-foot office building at 505 Sansome St. and the 52,000-square-foot property at 545 Sansome St. By comparison, Apex Capital Investments closed a $187 million deal last December for the 352,000-square-foot Grand 2 at Papago Park Center in Tempe — the priciest sale of a Phoenix office space for rent in 2020. Two other transactions of Tempe office buildings close out the ranking, trading for less than half of that amount: Discovery Business Campus – Northern Trust III for $65 million, and the Park Bridge and Park Garden at Fountainhead Corporate Park for $62 million. To the west, there was a much tighter race for the first...

Kern County Feb22

Kern County

The Housing Authority of the County of Kern, headquartered in Bakersfield, Calif., will implement Yardi’s Rent Relief cloud-based software to support its Emergency Rental Assistance program. As an administrator of federal stimulus funds directed towards helping households and landlords recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Kern expects to disburse millions in funds over the coming months. The emergency rental assistance program is designed to prevent loss of housing by supplementing rent payment for households impacted by the pandemic and by helping landlords keep current with mortgage payments. Kern County weighed the merits of several software providers before selecting Yardi. “Centralizing emergency rental assistance onto an end-to-end, single platform that tracks everything from initial application to executing payments will make us more efficient and enable us to operate with complete transparency. Yardi has a documented history of processing millions of monthly financial transactions as well as creating cloud-based interfaces for end users and housing staff. I expect Rent Relief will leverage that experience for the benefit of our community and staff,” said Stephen Pelz, executive director of the Kern County Housing Authority. Rent Relief powered by Yardi is a new solution that leverages decades of technology development and client support. Rent Relief offers portals for households to submit applications for assistance including easy upload of supporting documentation. Kern County housing staff will be able to log on to view and process applications, disburse funds to renters and landlords and easily produce the data for state and federal oversight offices. “Yardi is committed to help agencies keep renters housed as we endure the pandemic. We have nearly four decades of experience developing this type of full-service technology,” said Chris Voss, vice president of affordable housing at Yardi. Learn more by visiting RentRelief.com or attend an upcoming webinar. State and local...

Yardi Gras Feb16

Yardi Gras

Who knew that the 2019 “Yardi Gras” celebration at YASC DC would be a prescient window to the future? This year, instead of typical Fat Tuesday revelry, the citizen of New Orleans are celebrating in a very different way: at home, due to the ongoing pandemic. It’s a theme we’re all familiar with at this point, after nearly a year of working, living life and celebrating milestones – all from home. Our yards may be very familiar at this point, but they are also a creative space for expression and fun. Nowhere is that more true than in New Orleans today. Historic Tradition, Reimagined “Since 1857, Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans have been called off only 14 times, because of war, mob violence, or labor disputes,” reports Bloomberg News. “This year will be the 15th. Much as the city came together after the devastation of Hurricane Katina, turning Carnival into a celebration of hope amid the mourning, Crescent City citizens are still letting the good times roll and supporting each other while they’re at it.” Originally, Yardi Gras, as city officials are calling it, began as a fundraiser. The Krewe of Red Beans was looking for a way to help the artists who create the city’s typically over-the-top parade floats. With no parades, no income was coming in. After the fundraiser as publicized, the idea gained grassroots traction – often on actual grass. As a result, this year there are more than 3,000 “house floats” at individual homes around New Orleans and beyond. A Spirit of Celebration “It’s a spirit of celebration just like that we had in Washington D.C. at YASC two years ago,” said Tim Hoover, creative director for Yardi. “We brought in Sierra Green and the Soul Machine to entertain...

Senior Care Strengthened

Senior living community operators use portfolio-wide information compiled by Yardi Senior IQ to improve revenue, expenses, care and efficiency. The business intelligence solution contributes even more to fast, smart decision-making with the recent addition of Staffing Analysis. Staffing Analysis helps ensure that every work shift has the optimal number of care staff with the right amount of caregiving, nursing and other skills needed to meet care requirements. It does so by automatically drawing resident care information from Yardi EHR, an electronic health record system, then presenting the care staff, task time allotments and skillsets for each shift on a dashboard. If Staffing Analysis shows a shift is overstaffed or understaffed by care staff or skillsets, managers can transfer tasks or staff with drag-and-drop functionality. And when care plans change in Yardi EHR, the Staffing Analysis dashboard automatically resets task time allocations. As a streamlined staff efficiency tool, Staffing Analysis enables executive directors, lead nurses and others to leverage existing care records without interfaces and eliminates the inconvenience of compiling multiple reports, preparing spreadsheets or rekeying data. “Staffing Analysis combines the clinical aspects of senior care with finance and marketing to make Yardi Senior IQ a complete and fully integrated business intelligence solution for community operators,” said Ray Elliott, vice president of senior living for Yardi. Learn how Yardi Senior IQ and the rest of the Yardi Senior Living Suite create a comprehensive technology platform for senior living...

Emergency Rental Assistance Software

State and local housing agencies across the country are tasked with implementing emergency rental assistance programs for households and landlords in a secure, equitable and expedient manner. Funded by federal stimulus dollars, emergency rental assistance programs will help keep people housed as the U.S. recovers from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance program was $25 billion, which must be used promptly to support households struggling to pay rent and landlords who may have missed mortgage payments due to renter delinquency. Additional funding is also expected to be allocated by Congress. To disburse funds to eligible households, housing agencies must qualify applicants, track housing status (including offering support services) and complete the rental assistance deployment. Getting assistance funds to the right accounts with complete transparency and as efficiently as possible is a nationwide effort, and one that trusted real estate technology provider Yardi, a 40-year contributor to industry innovation, has the expertise to support. Yardi has released a new end-to-end software solution designed specifically for emergency rental assistance management called Rent Relief. This cloud-based service and software platform has online portals for applicants and tenants, automated workflows to qualify applicants for assistance, and secure technology to compete financial transactions. Rent Relief powered by Yardi provides an online portal for households in need to apply for rental assistance. The portal guides the user through the process of answering eligibility questions and uploading required documentation. Housing agency staff can then log in to Rent Relief to complete the steps of verifying eligibility for assistance. Staff can communicate online with applicants to advise of case status updates, missing information, determinations of eligibility and more. Steps required to qualify vary by state and are configurable within Rent Relief. Rent Relief is also the way approved households will receive funds in their bank account. The transactions are transparent and secure, leveraging Yardi’s industry-leading experience which includes managing more than 12 million U.S. residential units and processing monthly rent payments for more than 8 million apartments. To learn more about the platform, get more details and sign up for a personal demo at rentrelief.com. “Yardi is committed to do our part to help agencies keep renters housed as we endure the pandemic. We have nearly four decades of experience developing this type of full-service technology,” said Chris Voss, vice president of affordable housing and PHA at Yardi. Yardi has consistently stepped up in crisis situations to offer funds, resources and expertise. In 2016, Yardi worked with the Provincial Government of Alberta to develop a searchable, easy-to-use housing registry after 2,000 homes were lost in the devastating Fort McMurray wildfire. In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey devastated southern Texas, Yardi created a regional housing site and hotline for displaced residents and also donated $1 million in disaster relief. That response was repeated after Hurricane Irma later the same year. Last year, Yardi donated $1 million in support of rental support resources for the newly launched COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative, a collaboration of The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), National Apartment Association (NAA), National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). If your organization has begun to implement an emergency rental assistance program and is in need of simple software dedicated to supporting the entire process, call Yardi at (800) 866-1144 or visit...

COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative Feb11

COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative

Supporting the rental housing sector through the pandemic and beyond is a priority for the industry’s preeminent technology provider. Yardi is proud to be a primary sponsor of the newly launched COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative. The project is a collaboration of The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), National Apartment Association (NAA), National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). In mid-2020, Yardi committed $1 million to supporting COVID-19 Rental Housing Support and the programs developed by this initiative. “With nearly 40 million Americans living in apartments, the rental housing industry plays a critical role in housing them safely and securely. We are delighted that the four major associations who serve the rental housing industry – NAA, NMHC, IREM, NARPM – will share knowledge, develop industry benchmarks, research new ways of operating and provide forward-thinking solutions for the benefit of residents, owners and the rental housing industry,” said Anant Yardi, president and founder of Yardi. The support includes mental health resources and fact-based information on renting, legislative support for the industry, liability information and other tools. A variety of ongoing support resources will be released in early 2021. Those materials can be found online at covidinitiative.rentalhousingindustry.org. Examples of the content provided include: Mental health resources: The first installment of mental health resources focuses on isolation and will be followed with additional content, released over the next few weeks, on resiliency, anxiety and financial stress. These mental health assets can be beneficial for anyone. Update: Mental health videos and other resources became available on February 11. “The COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative is excited to unveil the next resource included within the Mental Health Toolkit. The resiliency library is available now for firms to share with their residents and employees,” shared NMHC in a tweet. Find content on coping with isolation and cultivating resiliency. Pieces on managing anxiety and financial stress are still to come. Legislative support: Data and information will be provided by videos and other formats so decision-makers can understand the importance of creating emergency assistance programs and understanding the impact of the eviction moratorium. A link to legislative resources will be available soon. Liability information: Property owners and operators must keep up with new guidelines and ongoing legislation. A comprehensive ebook provided by the initiative will help them do so. Attorney information will also be available in a liability-focused online resource library. Media support: The “Rental Housing Industry Myth Quiz” is just one way to engage with the public and provide information about the situation for rental housing industry owners and operators. The quiz provides information about the impact of the pandemic on their businesses. Other content will reinforce themes like the value of renting. Take the Myth Quiz yourself at https://covidinitiative.rentalhousingindustry.org/myths “Yardi is committed to supporting the multifamily industry for the duration of the pandemic,” said Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. “Our company mission is dedicated to supporting our clients and communities, and in this case the entire rental housing realm is part of that community.” Resources will roll out over the next weeks, concluding in early March. Visit to covidinitiative.rentalhousingindustry.org for ongoing updates, or check back to this blog post, which will be updated whenever new assets are...

Screening Strategies Feb09

Screening Strategies

Along with changing the way we do almost everything, 2020 caused multifamily operators to re-think their marketing and leasing strategies — including applicant screening. While most businesses have pivoted to online services and are seeing benefits including reduced operational costs, online resident screening requires some attention to ensure quality renters are selected and risk is minimized. The latest webcast of The Executive Brief series, Emerging Trends & Strategies in Resident Screening, tackles this very issue. In this session Patrick Hennessey, Yardi’s vice president overseeing ScreeningWorks Pro, talks to Sarah Ogelsby-Battle, president of residential at Beztak and Jennifer Hayward, vice president of transition management at Pennrose, about how they’ve adjusted their resident screening strategies during the pandemic and for the future. From national trends in apartment application data to fraud prevention, these industry pros share insights to help guide multifamily screening practices in 2021 and beyond. National Rental Application Trends While screening volumes were at a historic low from mid-March to mid-May in 2020, after reaching normal volumes by the end of May, the industry saw a spike with higher-than-ever volumes in July, August and September. According to Hennessey, “Not only did most of the people who weren’t in the rental market in March and April re-enter, but we also saw additional people entering the market.” Hennessey pointed out a few other interesting trends in rental applications including how and when they’re being submitted. “One of the interesting things we observed as things went virtual and people were doing self-guided tours and applying online, is we’ve been seeing fewer and fewer screenings on weekends and into Mondays, and a spike in screening and leasing activity on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.” He added that some clients have restructured their on-site team schedules as a result. With...

Office Outlook Feb04

Office Outlook

Office markets across the country faced a harsh year in 2020, and the outlook is still unclear, at least for the near-term. Vacancy rates ticked up 40 basis points to 14.2% and full-service-equivalent listing rates fell 1% nationally to $37.76 in the last 12 months, according to the January CommercialEdge National Office Report. Meanwhile, employment in office-using sectors has also largely been tracking the office space sector overall. Following a slight rebound in the summer and into early fall, employment is now falling again as the third wave of the virus drags on. Nationally, office-using employment fell 3.4% y-o-y in December. In fact, only 16 of the 120 markets covered in the report saw an increase in office-using employment, but most of them were under 2%. However, Austin’s office-using employment actually rose 6.4% in the last year, signaling a rosier outlook for Austin office space. Despite the overall downturn, new office construction still continued. Even though some projects were halted temporarily, 67.6 million square feet of office space was delivered nationwide in 2020. Currently, Charlotte and Austin stand out as both have the most square footage under construction — 11.5% and 10.8%, respectively, of their overall stock. “They both have high levels of domestic in-migration, and they have benefited from financial firm relocations. While New York City is still the financial capital of the world, financial jobs have been leaving for markets like Charlotte and Austin for years,” analysts noted in the report. “Much of the growth is driven by the financial activities sector, even though tech relocations capture most of the attention.” One aspect of the office’s uncertain future is related to how we’ll get back to normal. The vaccine rollout isn’t going as fast as many hoped, so a return to normalcy...

Positive Signs Feb03

Positive Signs

COVID-19 generated widespread disruption in senior housing, as it did to almost every other real estate sector. Senior housing community occupancies dropped after move-in moratoriums were declared and new safety protocols drove up operating costs. Some observers, however, are finding reasons for optimism. For one thing, “unlike many other real estate sectors, senior housing operators are collecting rents,” says senior living and health care consultant Jim Moore, writing in news and analysis source McKnight’s Senior Living. And a research report issued by JLL in the spring, citing stabilizing occupancy and rent collections, noted, “Eight weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, the seniors housing sector is showing signs of rejuvenation, once again proving its resiliency despite some early concerns.” Weighing in on the perspective of residents and their families, Boston-based Hebrew Senior Life, a nonprofit provider of senior health care and living communities, offers several reasons why this is a good time to move into a senior living community: Necessities of life. Many communities offer safe delivery systems for food, medicine and other essentials, along with in-house maintenance, IT, housekeeping and security. Health care/wellness services. Some senior living communities provide onsite clinics for primary care, medication management, prescription refills and even physical therapy. There might also be dedicated fitness centers and outdoor spaces. Infection controls. This includes sanitation of lobbies, hallways and other common areas, along with staff training and screening. Stringent socializing. “The strongest senior living communities offer safer socialization than anywhere else,” Hebrew Senior Life says, including small group dining and virtual presentations of educational programs, hobby gatherings, spiritual activities and more. Simpler finances. Residents no longer have to deal with the financial aspects of home management or worry about fluctuating home values. The short-term challenges to senior living are undeniable, “but, properly designed,...

Maintaining Corporate Culture Feb02

Maintaining Corporate Culture

Remote work environments offer conveniences such as custom workspaces for employees and fewer overhead costs. Employers are learning, however, that employees may struggle to preserve corporate culture from a distance. This can be especially clear while hiring and onboarding new employees. A few practices can help you preserve and promote corporate culture within your organization whether employees are near or far. Use technology to invest in employee growth Working from home can feel monotonous or repetitive. Employees want to know that leadership continues to support their growth and development. Use e-learning software for continuing education opportunities. If feasible, allot a few hours per quarter that employees can dedicate to their growth through online courses. It’s a relatively simply way to show employees that they are supported and corporate culture facilitates personal and professional growth. Host virtual acknowledgements and awards ceremonies An encouraging smile goes a long way. On the toughest days, a nod or gesture from leadership can help employees feel seen, empathized with and supported. Unfortunately, virtual communication doesn’t lend itself well to such small gestures. Ensure that your employees don’t feel lost among countless emails and instant messages. To show that they are not overlooked or underappreciated, host virtual ceremonies via video conference. Make time to give kudos for a job well done or awards for more significant accomplishments. Rainmaker research reports that, “mutual respect, gratitude, and recognition between coworkers and leadership” was essential to employee satisfaction. Acknowledgement boosts employee morale and reinforces a culture of teamwork and camaraderie. Maintain your commitment to corporate social responsibility Social distancing has halted many volunteerism initiatives. Fortunately, technology makes a way to maintain your commitment to philanthropy while promoting employee safety. Each year, Yardi offices assemble committees that organize volunteer efforts and nonprofit grants. Of course, 2020 forced committees to get creative—and boy, did they rise to the occasion! Many offices transitioned to virtual fundraising committees. The Yardi Oxnard office took it a step farther. Oxnard invited candidates to submit video presentations summarizing their organization, its needs and goals. These videos replaced in-person fairs and still helped employees get a personal feel for each worthy cause. After viewing the videos, employees remotely cast their votes. The top-ranking candidates received grant funds for the year. Yardi CSD replaced their annual in-person 3k walk with a virtual walk to support Angela’s House. The group connected via Microsoft Teams and then chatted while walking their neighborhoods. It was a fantastic way to raise funds for the organization while participating in team building. Yardi is Energized for Good! Learn more about Yardi’s remote corporate philanthropy efforts on our Giving page. Host virtual clubs for employees If your organization didn’t have a social committee before, now is the time to develop one. These powerful, employee-driven groups get a feel for what interests their peers. They then create engaging activities and events. Virtual clubs are opportunities for employees to “hang out” after hours while enjoying a shared interest. Consider fitness clubs where team members log on simultaneously for yoga, dance or Tabata classes. Painting, cooking, crafting and gaming are all fun way ways for employees to casually connect and build a culture of camaraderie. Keep holiday traditions alive It’s important to continue holiday celebrations whenever you can. While group meals and dancing may not be in the immediate future, you can still make merry using technology. For Yardi Atlanta, Halloween is a big deal. Each year, employees decorated their departments, their desks and their bodies in hope of winning bragging rights and prizes. Last year, the Yardi Atlanta social committee came up with creative workarounds for a virtual celebration. A pumpkin carving  and selfie contest, throwback Halloween photo contest and virtual mixology class were among a few of the fun activities employees enjoyed together. Of course, there were costume contests! Teams made collages for group costumes and decorated their home offices. All submissions, voting and awards...

Industrial Outlook Jan28

Industrial Outlook

It’s a rosy outlook for the newest real estate sector to be featured in a CommercialEdge monthly report. In 2020, the industrial sector was considered the top performer of all major real estate sectors. Industrial rents averaged $6.38 per square foot in December 2020, a 4.8% increase over the last 12 months, according to the first-ever CommercialEdge Industrial Monthly. All of the top 20 markets covered in the report saw at least some measure of growth in average rent over the last year. The ongoing industrial report will cover data on rents, occupancy, supply and transactions, as well as key economic indicators. “Rent growth across the board bucks the trend of other commercial real estate asset classes. Both multifamily and office have a substantial share of markets with falling rents and increasing vacancies, something not seen among the top 20 industrial markets,” note the analysts. Demand for e-commerce infrastructure and a huge boost in online sales during the pandemic have been a boon for industrial assets. Today, e-commerce accounts for nearly one-fifth of core retail sales. In 2020, a record 228.4 million square feet of industrial space was delivered, the most new space completed this century. That milestone is a further indicator of the health of industrial real estate. These projects were well underway before COVID-19 induced a demand surge for industrial space, signifying that the industry was already on the upswing before 2020 put things into overdrive. Find the full CommercialEdge Industrial Monthly for...

Tracking Vaccinations Jan25

Tracking Vaccinations

Helping residents receive COVID-19 vaccinations has become a critical task for senior living community operators. Fortunately, the Yardi EHR electronic health record system makes it easier to manage records associated with that effort. A recently added feature of Yardi EHR is an infection surveillance and immunization dashboard that allows health care staff to document that a resident has received, declined or missed appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations. A newly added assessment allows clients to record any side effects exhibited by vaccine recipients. The assessments incorporate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for administering COVID-19 vaccines. The third element of the dashboard allows facilities to identify residents who present symptoms consistent with COVID-19. The Symptom Tracker assessment sends an alert to the dashboard when such symptoms are documented. Staff can add indicators for other infectious diseases such as influenza, pneumonia and hepatitis, which will also populate the dashboard. “These built-in assessments are much easier to navigate than custom tables and other manual methods,” said Ray Elliott, vice president of senior living for Yardi. “Yardi EHR clients will be able to generate comprehensive vaccination reports for a single resident or an entire community with equal ease.” Yardi has dedicated special resources to help clients, communities and employees during the COVID-19...

Dial Senior Living Jan19

Dial Senior Living

Dial Senior Living, manager of more than 2,100 independent living, assisted living and memory care units in seven U.S. states, embraces a philosophy of continuously improving its offerings. Along with providing caring, comfortable communities, “we’re also committed to investing more than our competitors in staffing, entertainment, technology, ambiance, quality goods and services, and overall lifestyle,” says Ted Lowndes, president of the Omaha, Neb.-based company. As part of their ongoing technology and quality initiatives, Dial leaders recently evaluated the programs they used to manage marketing, care and other operations. They found that the separate and uncoordinated systems in place duplicated information gathering and limited reporting capabilities. Perhaps worst of all, according to Michael Bowles, project coordinator for Dial, “our executives couldn’t generate reports. They had to put in a ticket, which made them and our investors wait. We wanted a more efficient reporting workflow and more responsive investor service.” These findings prompted Dial to seek out Yardi Senior IQ, a business intelligence solution that compiles operational and financial data from the Yardi Voyager Senior Housing technology platform. Reports generated by Yardi Senior IQ delivers in-depth insight into Dial’s occupancy, finances and other performance metrics. The solution also automatically compiles custom reports requested by the company’s investors. “Yardi Senior IQ is fantastic because it establishes orderly workflows and creates new reports from existing ones, complete with custom dashboards. Investors can get very specific information on demand without having to wait for us to send it,” Bowles says. “Our marketing, care and finance teams work as one team now because nobody is duplicating somebody else’s data compilation. That has drastically cut down manual tasks and helped us maintain operations with fewer people onsite, an important consideration in the COVID-19 era.” By replacing spreadsheets with a single connected...

Saving Retail Jan15

Saving Retail

Do you remember when online shopping first began to disrupt brick and mortar stores? Shops struggled before the pandemic and now they face additional hurdles. Fortunately, small business owners are creative and resilient. We interviewed several small business owners and marketers to learn how they’re staying in business and keeping customers engaged during the pandemic. Re-creating the in-store experience Consultations, semi-private + private shopping Exclusive, in-store shopping experiences were once reserved for the rich and famous. Big-name customers could arrange to shop outside of operating hours or arrange have the shop vacant during their visit. While this is still the case, there are new players on the field. Tiny shops lifted a page from the celebrity handbook. These small stores limit the number of people permitted in the building to create a more private shopping experience. The added benefit is that customers gain more one-on-one attention and support from clerks. “This is a terrific way to permit in-person shopping while building customer loyalty and encouraging good online reviews,” says Edith Peele, owner of Simple Threads clothing boutique near Covington, GA. “We’re limiting the number of shoppers for safety, but it feels more like an exclusive, fancy shopping experience.” Interactive shopping A second opinion can be an incredibly valuable thing. You’ve likely been there: you have two (or more) products that you like. You need to narrow down your options but can’t seem to make a decision on your own. You reach for a second opinion. That second opinion can now be a store clerk on FaceTime or in a chat window. It’s a relatively simple way to encourage safe interaction and a value-add service not found in larger online-only retailers. Make gift preparation a breeze By preparing online purchases as gifts, retailers take three...

Benefits of Pets Jan14

Benefits of Pets

Did you know that pets offer several health benefits for seniors? Furry, feathered and scale- friends have long received respect as dear companions. Pet ownership also offers direct physical and mental health benefits that are essential during quarantine. Companionship comforts Quarantine exacerbates feelings of loneliness and isolation that seniors may already experience. Pets, with their unique personalities, preferences and interests, offer seniors a companion when friends and family are unable to visit. Pets ease feelings of loneliness and distress. Dr. Helen Louise Brooks and her team at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom screened more than 8,000 articles and reviewed 17 papers on the subject. She reports,“Pets provided acceptance without judgment, giving unconditional support, which [participants] were often not receiving from other family or social relationships,” says Dr. Brooks. Improve mental health Pets should be included in patient care plans, particularly when diagnosed or self-reported mental illness is a factor. Dr. Kelly Rushton co-authored a study published in the journal BMC Psychiatry. She discovered that pet ownership resulted in several positive outcomes for patients’ mental health. Participants living with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder reported improvement in symptoms. Study participants report that pets provide a sense of unconditional love while helping them manage their emotions. Patients who were subject to violent outburst experienced better self-regulation and fewer acts of aggression. Patients who used to fixate on the symptoms of their mental health found a positive distraction in their pet. “We feel that pet ownership has a valuable contribution to mental health, so should be incorporated into individual care plans of patients,” says Rushton. Improved mood + outlook Caring for and interacting with a pet produces serotonin, the chemical hormone that promotes positivity and happiness. Serotonin is essential for mood stabilization and...

2021 Outlook Jan12

2021 Outlook

For more than 40 years, PwC and the Urban Land Institute have produced a trends and forecast publication. The 2021 edition of Emerging Trends in Real Estate summarizes views gathered in interviews and surveys of more than 2,950 property owners, investors, fund managers, brokers and others in the U.S. and Canada. COVID-19 dominates virtually every examination of real estate, and Emerging Trends is no exception. Yardi Matrix reported, for example, that multifamily property sales through the third quarter were down more than 41% from the same period the previous year. Meanwhile, 33% of office-space decision-makers participating in a study sponsored by BOMA International, Yardi and Brightline Strategies reported experiencing at least a 25% revenue decline since the pandemic’s onset. Here are some highlights from the 111-page PwC/Urban Land Institute report: “COVID-19 has kicked real estate certainty to the ground,” the publication says, with confidence in future demand for many property types having dropped precipitously in 2020. But technology has eased adaptation to the drastic measures prompted by the pandemic. Millions of office workers successfully transferred to remote environments, for example. The report notes, “The WFH experiment has gone better than most managers and employees had expected, since new teleconference tools and advanced information technology systems have allowed for effective communication and collaboration.” Many who contributed to the report predict that measures adopted during the pandemic will continue when workers return to the office, including flexible hours, reduced shared spaces, ongoing enhancement of building environmental systems, and physical barriers. The report also speculates that some companies might consider abandoning the consolidated model of leasing and using office space in favor of a hub-and-spoke system with satellite offices. And, the report notes, “Significant opportunities to operate and manage buildings more efficiently are ahead as well,” as property management technology providers deliver solutions that “gather, organize, and use data to reduce costs, identify risks, and more proactively operate buildings; identify appropriate investment strategies; and better serve tenants.” Property owners are also likely to continue making investments in technologies that strengthen cybersecurity, ensure business continuity and assess a building’s compliance with heightened health standards. With companies increasingly focused on controlling costs, those investment will most likely target immediate critical necessities. Tech is also driving profound changes in the multifamily sector. The report quotes an unidentified major apartment landlord: “The pandemic changed how people lease apartments. Online tours and processes are now preferable, and while some reversion to in-person tours may occur, we believe that online interaction will be acceptable in most cases. Reluctance to adopt technology is a key challenge, and COVID has been an opportunity to change that.” Demand for smart-home technology such as touchless controls on sinks, motion sensor lights and voice commands also figures to increase, the report says. Yardi continues to dedicate special resources to help clients, employees and communities weather the COVID-19...

Senior Living Industry Jan11

Senior Living Industry...

“Heading into 2020,” Senior Housing News reported last January, “many senior living providers are focused on making investments to upgrade the resident experience, to stand out in a competitive landscape and appeal to future consumers.” Those investments are happening, albeit in different circumstances than could have been anticipated. Even before the pandemic, Barron’s noted, “The senior-living industry was already in a state of flux—adjusting to longer life spans, more-active retirements, a labor shortage, and changing desires for care.” A task force convened by the International Council on Active Aging identified six principal areas that will define the “next normal,” including community designs that optimize social distancing and technology that increases connections and efficiency. The imperative to maintain resident and family engagement in the senior living environment makes digital programming and other technology a top priority for senior living operators, says Detroit-based integrated design firm SmithGroup: “We must design to enable quality of care and flexibility in facilities … while balancing design solutions that protect and promote the social and mental wellness of residents and staff.” To enhance social connections, for example, some communities have implemented videoconference technology that lets residents engage in fitness classes, medical appointments, spiritual services, community activities and more from computers or mobile devices. Other likely developments on the horizon include the establishment of multiple ecosystems within a community, upgrades to HVAC and other building systems, enhanced infection prevention measures, continuing staff and resident testing, visitor screening and additional protective equipment. Yardi software solutions help senior living community operators work more efficiently by automating processes associated with marketing, leasing, record-keeping, resident care and more. Learn...

Asset Performance Jan06

Asset Performance

Industry leaders from Grubb Properties and MG Properties Group recently shared insights on big data, benchmarking and forecasting with Yardi’s Paul Yount. “You won’t be successful in any market if you don’t have the right tools. You need the data. You have to be ready and prepared,” said Joe Anfuso, chief financial officer at MG Properties Group. Nothing could have been truer for real estate companies in 2020. With unanticipated challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, real estate operators had to act fast to protect their bottom lines and keep staff and residents safe. For most companies, that meant adopting technology to transform their businesses. Read on to learn how Grubb Properties and MG Properties Group have been using Asset IQ, part of the Yardi Elevate suite of multifamily solutions, to guide decisions and improve performance with better data. Pivoting to online services With the growing demand for contactless leasing and transactions, many operators have made the pivot to doing business online. And it’s likely that contactless leasing — including self-guided tours — will be around long after the pandemic. Additionally, asset intelligence driven by big data has been guiding real estate operators through challenging times and will continue to lead the way. “2020 budget numbers were very different from what we projected in 2019. We didn’t see the normal seasonal changes, and budgets were pretty much out the window which has made competitor and peer data very important to accurately measure performance. We need to know how we’re measuring up to our competitors, what concessions and lease terms we’re offering and if we’re keeping the back door closed to avoid being in a vulnerable position,” said Shawn Cardner, executive vice president of Grubb Properties. According to Joe Anfuso, you need to start with...