Doing More Nov15

Doing More

“Do more with less”—a philosophy that some fear is a recipe for exhausting people and systems. But a recent webinar sponsored by the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Assn. (PRSM) showed how the right technology, when properly executed, can benefit workers and businesses—and cut operational costs by tens of millions of dollars. The webinar shared best practices for choosing and implementing technology, as well as improving internal processes to make global management work. Commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE, which manages communications services provider Sprint Nextel’s real estate operations, including its building automation systems, highlighted its energy journey and the implementation of Yardi Pulse Central Control, former Proliphix, in more than 1,200 U.S. retail outlets operated by Sprint. Chris Gardner Cole Schooland Ken Cooper After taking over Sprint’s real estate operations in 2009, CBRE used technology and improved processes to lower Sprint’s operating systems costs by $35 million, generate more than $750,000 in energy savings, reduce energy costs by 14%, and cut the company’s small box retail division’s maintenance costs by 15-20%, Chris Gardner, real estate manager for Sprint Nextel, told the webinar participants. A CBRE audit revealed more than 2 million hours of unnecessary run-time. Dedicated to investing in long-term solutions, CBRE greatly expanded its use of Yardi Pulse Central Control to optimize building lighting and control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with cloud-based remote management software. The solution enables easy scheduling adjustments and safeguards for continuously monitoring temperatures, thermostat settings and potential equipment malfunctions, ensuring each building only uses the energy it needs. But investing in the right solution meant taking the conversation far beyond mere energy savings to address maintenance costs, asset health, employee efficiency and even revenue. According to webinar participant Cole Schoolland, this requires a multifaceted...

5 Tips for Client Retention

Today’s entrepreneurs and remote employees have several workspace options, often including the comfort of their own homes. To attract and maintain clients, transform your coworking space into a unique destination with a welcoming community. Offer Top-Notch Security Clients want their shared workspace to feel safer than their local coffee shop or home office. 7 Tips for Improved Security can help you establish a place where clients, their possessions, and their data are secure. Ensure that your security software is accompanied by human backup. For example, post a phone number that clients can contact if the door access control is ever on the fritz. Such measures will help clients feel supported in an increasingly automated world. Continuing Education Experience-driven spaces are the latest in office design. Continuing education events offer new experiences for clients. The classes also double as a value-added service. You may want to: Host how-to workshops for popular software programs Invite experts to facilitate theme-based seminars, such as marketing and project planning Create member forums where clients can network Seminars on work-life balance techniques and relaxation methods Create Thoughtful Ambiance Thoughtful design pays off. Your design can inspire your clients, enhance the atmosphere, and promote client wellbeing. Each feature defines your space as a desirable and valuable destination. Add indoor plants to help cleanse the air while combatting the sterile office vibe Opt for sustainable office supplies, which are popular with young professionals Mix up your seating with a combination of conference-style tables as well as private nooks Create different work environments with varied lighting in different rooms or regions of the workspace Consider placing white noise machines in conference rooms for privacy   Build Community through Experiences Many clients will opt for a shared workspace because of the potential for social interaction. Fulfill their expectations with community-building tools and activities. Consider: Games, both digital and real-world Indoor rock climbing Yoga classes Live music Mini massages and acupuncture Sports tournaments The right activities for your community depend on how your space is divided. Use your best judgement to establish an engaging yet professional atmosphere. For new workspaces, it may be difficult to gauge your clients’ interests. Consider polling members on what activities they’d like to have on site. Satisfy Bellies In addition to coffee, get creative with your treats! Some clients use snacks as a way to take a break. Others will snack when they can’t take a break for a real meal. Save the day by offering a combination of fun, quick, and nourishing treats. Hot cocoa bars with a variety of toppings Cupcake stations add cheer (and a sugar rush) to any slow afternoon Build-your-own trail mix bars are a simple and healthy way to jazz up the snack scene Quick, customizable lunches (think hotdogs and burgers) are an inexpensive and easy way to show client appreciatio Built-in Marketing These suggestions can transform your coworking space into a unique destination with a welcoming community. They come with an additional bonus: free marketing. Fun features create opportunities for clients to post photos on social media. Be sure to have your social media handles posted throughout the office so that they can tag your...

UAE Update Nov12

UAE Update

The Gulf Cooperation Councill (GCC) has witnessed significant growth in the number of real estate investment trusts (REITs) across the region, with over seven publicly listed REITs established to date. Since 2006, regulations have perm itted REITs in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), but previous market downturns delayed any real progress within this particular sector of real estate. The first REIT in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was established in 2010. More recently in the UAE, ENBD REIT and the Emirates REIT were listed on NASDAQ Dubai with market capitalisations of $261 million and $289 million respectively. In other GCC countries, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, there are now private REITs with total sizes of $80 million and $100 million, respectively. The introduction of REITs in Saudi Arabia by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) in 2016 was part of the National Transformation Program (NTP) and Saudi Vision 2030. This included a regulatory framework with a minimum of 100 million Saudi riyals ($26.67 million) capital for REITs, and borrowing not rising above 50 percent of the fund’s total asset value. The market in Saudi Arabia is divided between two REIT investment strategies, the mixed-asset and the specific-asset class approach, with a tendency towards the specialisation of REITs, along with a focus on asset classes that are common to the region, such as office, retail, education, healthcare and logistics. The making of the REIT The goal of the REIT is to provide investors with access to high-grade, low-risk, income-generating real estate assets. About 45 percent of investment professionals in the region see the GCC’s real estate market as mature enough for REITs to surge. Although tax efficiency has less impact on the REITs in the GCC, it offers liquidity and flexibility for investors and real...

UK Think Tank

The evolution of the flexible office sector has shaken up the real estate industry and has arguably changed it for the better. Yardi recently brought together a panel of experts in the UK to discuss the many segments of flexible offices and what lies in store for the sector. Mary Finnigan, head of transactions, real estate, WeWork Chris Pieroni, operations director, Workspace Group Adrian Goldney, co-founder, Flexible Office Space John Williams, head of marketing, Instant Group Joff Sharpe, head of operations, British Land Tony Freeth, director coworking, Yardi Europe Liz Hamson, editor, Property Week – chair   LH: With all the different definitions out there, what should we be calling the sector? Should there be a standard definition or does it really matter? CP: All the definitions out there are very different – hybrid, coworking, flexible, service – and then you’ve got all sorts of issues around whether they are an operator or a landlord and then you’ve got all sorts of issues about what sort of services are offered; whether they are exclusive or not. And it’s really complicated to pull all the data together and try to get an understanding. I’ve got my own view on where we stand in the flexible office market and we didn’t fit into any of the definitions. We’ve decided to just look at the flexible market.   LH: So what do you define flexible as? CP: So we had three different categories – something under three months, and then we stopped at over 12 months. But actually, I think now as larger corporates want flexibility, you might be saying flexibility for them is three years. So I don’t know, but we stopped at over 12 months. JS: I don’t think the starting point is flexibility; it’s...

Office Update Nov09

Office Update

A strong U.S. economy has given rise to an equally robust office real estate market. Office-using employment and wage gains outpace the national average growth rate, according to a recent report from Jeff Adler and Jack Kern, vice president and director of research, respectively, for Yardi Matrix. Their update, presented in a webinar, focused on the macroeconomic outlook, national office fundamentals and trends, and technology disruptors. Employment, gross domestic product, household formation and income levels are in good shape, supporting growth in the office market segment. More than half of the 115 major markets surveyed by Yardi Matrix are experiencing moderate rent growth. Intellectual capital—companies and workers—are leaving high-cost gateway markets such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles for lower living and business costs. Job growth is highest in emerging tech hub markets such as Reno, Nev., Boise, Idaho, Nashville, Tenn., and Orlando, Fla. An aging population is fueling growth in the medical office sector, especially in Sun Belt locations. “Most markets remain undersupplied because supply isn’t keeping up with demand,” Adler said. High levels of pre-leasing activities indicates continued strong demand and likely swift absorption of new supply, especially in tech hub market hubs such as Austin, Texas, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and Orlando. Other pressures on the office market include a decreasing amount of square footage per employee, which is especially pronounced in central business districts and high-cost metros. In addition, coworking is growing, especially in dense, high-cost gateway markets, diverting 1-3% of office demand from traditional office leases. Coworking could eventually represent 10% of available space, Adler said, with Yardi a leader in providing the infrastructure and technology for coworking and shared space environments. Technology trends likely to change the nature of work and create wealth in office real estate include...

Coworking Security

As the manager of a coworking space, you walk a fine line. Your site must offer security while helping members and guests feel welcome. The following seven tips promote digital and physical security without interrupting ease-of-use. Create a Warm, Automated Welcome Automated attendance trackers deliver convenient yet controlled access to your shared workspace. Combine Kisi and KUBE door access systems to manage member and visitor logs as well as billing details. There is no need to have users register and pay for common use areas in advance. Users pay as they go, minimizing cancellations and billing disputes. As an added convenience, any user with a mobile device can begin working automatically. With access and billing aside, your reception staff can focus on welcoming clients, answering questions, and placemaking. Offer Private Wi-Fi As an alternative to shared wi-fi networks, private networks provide excellent digital security. Each user receives a unique code that doesn’t overlap with fellow users’ access. Consider linking access with membership. A single code issued to all members and guests does not provide the protection you need. Link access codes to users’ unique membership level as an additional layer of security. Have that code expire with the membership or expire after a certain duration of time for guests. Switch Up Guest Access If individualized wi-fi credentials for guests seems tedious, consider a simple guest wi-fi network and password. For added security, update log-ins at least every quarter, if not every month. Encourage Privacy with Filters Install an IP filtering system that can minimize undesirable data sharing and burdensome traffic loads. Not all data theft occurs digitally. Applying privacy screen filters on your in-house computer monitors limits the access of wandering eyes. Benefit from Member Education Education is key to risk mitigation. During new...

5 Tips for Excellence Nov07

5 Tips for Excellence...

Building your property management business can feel like you’re aiming at a moving target. Changing industry expectations and trends may leave you clamoring for solutions. These five, timeless tips for excellence in property management can help you take your organization to the next level. Offer competitive conveniences for renters. Residents and prospects expect flexibility. Whether they prefer to interact with you online or in person, have systems in place to accommodate them. Enhance your website with online leasing, digital payments, and online maintenance requests. For those who embrace person-to-person interaction, build positive relationships with customer relationship management tools. Improve efficiencies with end-to-end property management software. When you operate efficiently, you can offer stellar services at lower costs without decreasing your profit. Begin with a software suite that automates back office tasks like accounting, reporting and compliance. Achieve efficiency with Yardi Breeze for small and mid-sized properties or Yardi Voyager for larger residential and commercial portfolios. Empower employees through education. The best software is powerless without a team that understands how to use it to its fullest potential. Online learning encourages your team members to learn at their own pace. Staff will also be able to access classes and review as needed, without costly and time-consuming training. Optimize revenue opportunities. There are several ways to boost profits without increasing rent. Some methods will require the property owner’s involvement while others you can pursue alone. Once you’ve explored your options, you can use the improved profitability of one property to pursue similar changes at other properties that you manage. Be proactive about your online reputation. Make it easy for tenants and prospects to get in contact with your team to intercept issues before they appear online. When negative feedback arises, address it promptly. Be sure to...

Online Payments Nov06

Online Payments

Online payment processing is quickly becoming the industry standard. If you’re on the fence about making the switch, here are eight excellent reasons for you to upgrade with confidence. 8 Reasons to Upgrade to Online Payments Gain the competitive advantage. Research by the Association for Finance Professionals reveals that nearly 80 percent of organizations are transitioning to electronic payments. If you’re one of the few businesses not making that transition, you may lose clients to your competitors. Eliminate redundant data entry. Using an online payment system cuts back on data entry and subsequent errors. This is especially true when it integrates with your property management accounting software. After a payment is made, user data automatically populates in the system. Offer flexibility to your residents. Nearly 80 percent of residents prefer to pay rent electronically. With online payments, residents can easily submit payments 24/7 from their desktop or mobile device. Enjoy fewer late payments. By increasing convenience, many users have witnessed a decrease in delinquencies. Mariana Estrada, VP of Operations at Roscoe Properties says, “For the month of May, we collected 95% of payments, on time and electronically, thanks to Payment Processing. That’s massive! That’s money in the bank without any staff intervention.” Lower costs for you and the environment when you go paperless. An article in CFO Magazine explains how electronic payments work out to be 10 times cheaper than paper checks. Among the data, analysts note that the total cost of an ACH transfer is between 25 cents and 60 cents. (The range depends on several factors.) A paper check, however, sets businesses back between $1.25 and $3.00. Decrease the need for storage. Paper record storage becomes a costly battle for square footage. With electronic payments, all of your data is securely stored...

Zeroing In Nov05

Zeroing In

It was a different era in 1997, when Portland, Ore.-based New Buildings Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes energy performance improvements in commercial buildings, was founded. LEED and ENERGY STAR® buildings, Living Buildings, market adoption of renewable energy to any measurable degree—all were yet to come. “Reducing energy use was almost exclusively driven by utility efficiency programs focusing largely on fluorescent lighting upgrades,” NBI reflected recently. Today, At least 50% of customers have the option to purchase renewable electricity directly from their power supplier according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy conservation has become considerably more sophisticated in a report NBI recently released to coincide with the organization’s 20th anniversary. While still small in relation to total buildings and floor space, zero building development in the U.S. is accelerating, according to the report. Zero energy buildings—defined by the U.S. Department of Energy as a property or community where “on a source energy basis, the actual annual delivered energy is less than or equal to the on-site renewable exported energy”—are gaining favor across virtually all property types. The recent NBI report, “Getting to Zero Status Update and List of Zero Energy Projects,” highlights nearly 500 zero energy commercial building projects across the U.S. Projects owned by for-profit companies account for 26% of the list.  Privately held buildings account for 46% of zero energy buildings, with K-12 schools representing 18%. By contrast, NBI’s first Getting to Zero Status Update in 2012 reported just 60 commercial and multifamily buildings or projects that were either verified as zero energy or approaching that level. Zero energy buildings had the potential to grow in popularity, Greg Zimmerman, executive editor of FacilitiesNet, said in 2010, because they are “the embodiment of sustainability because net-zero is a model that is self-contained—no...

Home Shared Home Nov02

Home Shared Home

Home sharing was one of the hottest trends discussed at this year’s Canadian Apartment Investment Conference (CAIC) this fall. While many property owners and managers have been hesitant to allow renters to share their units with short-term guests, the trend keeps gaining momentum. At CAIC, Brookfield Asset Management’s Jonathan Moore, who manages the company’s multifamily investments, revealed details of the company’s $200 million investment in a joint venture with Niido, Airbnb’s multifamily development partner. The funds are being used to buy as many as six apartment complexes in Florida and Nashville and developing them into communities where tenants may rent out their units through Airbnb for almost half the year — and share the profits with the landlord.+ For the industry, this partnership represents a significant commitment to making home sharing work — for both multifamily operators looking to take advantage of a growing trend and leverage its revenue while protecting their bottom lines, and renters looking to offset the cost of their leased units and enjoy a more flexible lifestyle. Airbnb’s Jaja Jackson, director of global multifamily housing partnerships, stated, “We’ve shown how landlords, developers and Airbnb can work together to create value for everyone. We’re excited to continue to work together to make home sharing easier to landlords, tenants and travelers.” Developing Brookfield’s New Communities Since 2010, Brookfield’s investments include around $8 billion in purpose-built apartment acquisitions and another $3 billion in multifamily development. After the sale of more than $4 billion in apartments in the past couple of years, Brookfield has chosen to repurpose that capital in the home sharing market. The choice of Florida and Nashville as the locations to test this venture have been by the fact that the two cities are popular with tourists but light on Airbnb...

Yardi Partners with NIC Nov01

Yardi Partners with NIC

Lack of transparency around pricing in the senior living industry is a known frustration. A simple web search reveals hundreds of articles lamenting how difficult it is to find the answer to a simple question when researching elder care communities: How much does it cost to live there? Would-be residents and their families crave this information. In fact, 68% of residents and 75% of family members and caregivers complain about a lack of pricing transparency within senior living communities. But seniors and their loved ones aren’t the only group grappling with a lack of clarity around costs. Senior living providers themselves struggle to acquire data on actual rates being charged within the industry. This information gap has resulted in operators paying a premium for capital—and passing that expense on to residents. To combat pricing obscurity, the National Investment Center for Seniors and Housing Care (NIC), partnering with Yardi, launched the Seniors Housing Actual Rates Initiative, which reveals actual rates and leasing activity submitted by senior living operators for the very first time. Many communities have already committed to providing monthly data feeds to NIC for the Actual Rates Initiative, covering more than 250,000 senior housing units nationwide. This new pricing data, available within the NIC Map Data service, will provide myriad benefits for senior housing and care sector providers—and some for residents—including: Reduced cost of capital Because senior housing is considered a “non-core” real estate class, operators and developers pay a premium for capital. Disclosing actual rates paid increases parity between senior housing and other traditional property types and could help lower the cost of capital. Reduced cost for consumers A lower cost of capital for investors and operators has a two-fold effect on consumers: First, with lower overhead, residents and families will see downstream cost savings. Additionally, a reduced cost of ownership has the potential to increase the customer base for senior housing, and with increased demand comes lower rents for residents. Benchmarking Through the NIC initiative, operators can anonymously feed their actual rates data, via Yardi software, then compare their pricing versus other communities on a national level. To date, operators use “rate card” pricing, driven by estimates rather than concreate pricing data. Shortened sales cycle NIC aims to gather enough data to report actual leasing rates at the metro level, allowing operators to adjust pricing accordingly and competitively discount rates, potentially converting prospects to residents more rapidly. NIC is the first to collect and report on this data, providing critical information to operators and investors, and Yardi is thrilled to be a partner. Visit nic.org to learn more about the Actual Rates...

Energy Futures Oct31

Energy Futures

The recent World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) 2018 in Charlotte, N.C., addressed factors that impact an organization’s energy performance. we asked Christy Cannon, an account executive for Yardi Energy, about her experience at one of the year’s major energy conferences and technology expositions. Christy, what did you gain from the conference? Cannon: The classes are very beneficial to me because it’s a conference by and for energy managers. This is my wheelhouse! I’ve been doing energy management for almost 20 years and attending this conference for almost a decade. I’m also proud that Yardi has supported the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), presenter of the conference, for years by sending attendees and serving as a corporate sponsor. Q: Why was this year’s WEEC special for Yardi? A: This was the first time Yardi Energy had a booth at WEEC. Also, all nine of our group are certified as energy managers by AEE: Kushal Shah, Rahsan Stewart, Ray Segars, Alex Gonzalez, Arturo Perea, Ankita Gupta, Dan Rice, Dan Cordero and me. When I joined Yardi in 2012 I was the company’s only Certified Energy Manager. The addition of eight CEMs reflects Yardi’s commitment to supporting clients’ energy management and sustainability needs. Q: What were the main takeaways from the conference? A: Presenters outlined three trends to watch for in 2019. One is the evolution of blockchain, whose potential application to the energy industry includes microgrids comprising multiple buildings, each of which having their own generation, that enable peer-to-peer energy trading with no utility involvement. Generation capacity, pricing, and transaction details could be shared with everyone in the microgrid in real time. It also has potential scalability and security advantages. Q: What was the second key trend? A: The role of artificial intelligence (AI) in shaping energy demand management....

Utility Advantages Oct30

Utility Advantages

Along with learning more about property and investment management solutions, clients used the most recent Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) to share experiences and best practices. Representatives from Streetlane Homes, Holland Partner Group and Legacy Partners discussed in a panel session the benefits they have gained from Yardi Utility Expense Management, which receives account information and utility data directly from utility companies serving properties and generates payments to those providers. Streetlane Homes: Got their weekends back Streetlane Homes, a Roofstock company, is a leading provider of property and asset management services for single family rental home portfolios and saved more than $100,000 in overhead costs and reduced late fees by 90% within eight months of implementing Yardi Utility Expense Management in November 2017. “The solution relieved our corporate office of processing 17,000 utility invoices per month. With our previous utility service system, we had to audit every bill. That’s a lot of paperwork and manual labor that Yardi has taken off our hands,” said Teresa Taylor, vice president, finance for Streetlane Homes. “Having Yardi Voyager internal systems already in place made for a seamless transition to Yardi Utility Expense Management.” She added, “We had nine people working Saturdays and Sundays working on utility invoices. Nobody does that now. I was signing 400 checks a day. Now I have all that time back for more important tasks, and only two people are dedicated to accounts payable.” The Yardi Utility Expense Management support team also tracks and resolves service disconnections, keeping Streetlane Homes residents happy. “If there’s a late fee, Yardi calls the provider and gets it reversed,” Taylor said. Holland Partner Group: Proactive customer service Joanne Bush of Vancouver, Wash.-based property owner and manager Holland Partner Group faced workflow and invoice management issues that were...

Pretty + Efficient? Oct26

Pretty + Efficient?

If a commercial or residential building is a sustainability engineer’s dream, is it OK that it looks like a shoebox?  Is it worth living in a five-star palace if its carbon footprint is bigger than Godzilla’s? Is it possible to strike a balance so a property can look beautiful from the outside with an equally gorgeous ENERGY STAR score inside? Many industry leaders think so. “There has been a real increase and a focus on creating projects that are sustainable, from the way they look at the site and systems, to design materials that are used in the projects,”  Bob Tiscareno, founder and principal of Seattle architecture and urban design firm Tiscareno Associates, said in December 2017. Those design materials include timber (lighter than steel and concrete while soaking up carbon), recycled materials and a concrete under development that would use bacteria to repair cracks. Buildings that successfully intertwine beauty and sustainability include The Commons, an apartment building near Melbourne, Australia. Described by one writer as “a beacon of green and thoughtful design,” The Commons has earned multiple accolades since opening in 2013, including awards for residential architecture and sustainable architecture from the Australian Institute of Architects. Its features include thermal efficiency and simple ceiling fans superseding air conditioning, glue-free recycled bricks and shared clotheslines in lieu of dryers. In 2017, projects cited by the American Institute of Architects as exemplifying the integration of “great design, great performance and sustainable design excellence” included a science building in Fall River, Mass., that’s “not only elegant and inviting, but also a model of sustainability”; a university campus near Pittsburgh that generates more energy than it uses; and a sanitation vehicle garage in New York City that integrates “innovative architectural design with sustainability and a sensitivity to...

Identifying Alzheimer’s Oct24

Identifying Alzheimer’s

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used to solve complex issues in the medical field—from precisely determining medication dosages to helping doctors identify and treat cancers—for years. As the benefits of artificial intelligence used in science continue to be explored, researchers have announced a breakthrough discovery. On the heels of an alarming CDC study showing the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease is expected to double to 14 million by 2060, scientists revealed this month that AI may be able to predict cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s up to five years before the disease is diagnosed. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, characterized by memory failure leading to loss of independence. According to the CDC study, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death among adults aged 65 and older. Alzheimer’s and memory care are predicted to be the biggest area of growth in senior living, according to a recent survey. With limited diagnosis and treatment, early detection and prevention of the condition are the most effective methods of thwarting Alzheimer’s. Knowing early detection is key, a team of Canadian scientists led by Mallar Chakravarty, computation neuroscientist and McGill University assistant professor, created an algorithm designed to learn the signatures of dementia onset. Researchers trained the algorithm using MRI imaging, genetics and clinical data from 800 patients, ranging from normal healthy seniors to persons experiencing mild cognitive impairment to patients suffering with fully-developed Alzheimer’s disease. While the team responsible for this scientific leap has replicated their study results on other independent patient sample groups, they hope to fine-tune the algorithm even more. “We are currently working on testing the accuracy of predictions using new data,” says Dr. Chakravarty. “It will help us to refine predictions and determine if we can predict even further into the future.” The more data the scientists collect, the better doctors will be able to identify people at greatest risk for cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s. In the senior living industry, this development will help clinical staff recognize patterns which otherwise might be easily missed. Spotting the first symptoms could guide seniors at risk for Alzheimer’s to the right path for treatment and initiate lifestyle changes that may delay the beginning stages of the disease or even prevent it...

It’s My Pleasure Oct23

It’s My Pleasure

Leading executives will head to Washington D.C. this November to attend one of the senior living industry’s preeminent annual events, the Argentum Fall Symposium. The conference is set to take place November 8-10 at the Courtyard Washington Downtown Convention Center. The event program features three areas of focus for attendees to choose from: sales and occupancy, quality and operational efficiency, and workforce development. Sessions will focus on generating powerful business ideas to improve operations, including the importance of developing an organizational culture that will attract and retain top talent. Yardi is the sponsor of the conference keynote presentation given by Dee Ann Turner, vice president of sustainability for Chick-fil-A and corporate talent expert. Turner brings more than thirty years of experience hiring and developing talent and transforming organizational culture. She works with companies around the globe, helping transform businesses with an “It’s my pleasure” service model. According to Turner, two of the most important differentiators of a business are its talent and its culture. She believes businesses are built by growing relationships with customers and culture is created by the stories those relationships tell. When companies recognize the value of individuals, they succeed not only ethically, but financially as well. “We’re not in the chicken business, we’re in the people business,” says Turner of Chick-fil-A, which was named the number one fast food restaurant in America. “For us, in our quest to impact lives, selling chicken is only a means to an end.” She learned all the wisdom she shares from Chick-fil-A’s founder, Truett Cathy, who was known for recruiting top-tier talent and cultivating and nurturing a culture rooted in integrity, loyalty, generosity and excellence. “A company’s culture is its soul. It will define the way employees interact with one another and guests and has the potential to reach...

Shifting Perspective Oct19

Shifting Perspective

The California Assisted Living Association (CALA) 2018 Fall Conference and Trade show is set for November 5-7 at the Renaissance Palm Springs & Palm Springs Convention Center. The event theme is “Elevate,” inspired by senior living professionals continually seeking to improve clinical care while enhancing residents’ quality of life. The three-day conference focuses on several important issues facing the senior living industry, including: dementia care best practices, legal and regulatory awareness, sales and marketing strategies and leadership and staff culture. Yardi will sponsor the conference luncheon featuring Jennifer Powers, coach, mentor, trainer and author of best-selling book “Oh, Shift!,” which illustrates how making small changes can be life changing. Powers is a leading expert in helping professionals improve their confidence and competence, so they can live and work at their full potential. “What I have found is executives and leaders are the most siloed. They’re the people that have the fewest outlets for sharing their fears, their concerns, their limiting beliefs. They have to put on the face that people need to see in a leader. And what happens is that it perpetuates a low level of confidence, more fear, and something called impostor’s syndrome. It’s the condition that a person finds him or herself in where they don’t believe they’ve really earned the position they have. They feel like they’re a farce that’s soon going to be found out. That any day now, they’re going to be discovered as incompetent. And they just don’t feel like they deserve to be where they are. It’s truly an epidemic,” Powers explains. The coaching she offers provides concrete tools to make positive changes that improve effectiveness in the workplace. “What I do in the world of self-development is really have a strategic conversation built around inquiry. It helps...

Admissions Automation Oct16

Admissions Automation

With senior housing occupancy at its lowest level since 2010, attracting new residents to your community can be challenging. Staff must work harder than ever to get prospects into the pipeline—but getting seniors in the door is just the first step for your sales team. They call it the sales process for good reason. Moving senior living prospects through the funnel and closing the deal requires, on average, 25 contacts—calls, emails, appointments, tours—over the course of two years. Conversion is a marathon, not a sprint. And as many salespeople will tell you: a lot can happen during those weeks and months leading up to a signed lease. Prospects can change their minds, become frustrated or disinterested, or find another community or course of care, among other things. How can sales teams mitigate prospect fallout and increase conversion? Shorten and simplify the sales cycle. One way to do that is using automation to reduce paperwork and streamline the closing process. Because when so much effort goes into the pipeline, dealing with fall through in the final stages is not only heartbreaking, but also costly to the business. That’s why 68% of best-in-class sales teams have made the switch to electronic signatures to improve the customer experience and close deals faster. In fact, companies who use automation tools like e-signatures during the admissions process are 18% more likely to shorten their sales cycles. According to an IDC white paper on bridging the document disconnect in sales, there are plenty of opportunities for companies to impact their sales process by going paperless. Here are a few ways automation in the sales process can benefit your business: Increase staff efficiency Salespeople spend more than 36% of their time on administrative tasks—and less than two thirds of their time on their core job function: completing the sale. If that’s not concerning enough, consider that 43% of office staff say they need to use several disconnected systems and often have to copy and paste or rekey information, an error-prone and time-consuming process. Employing automation, like templatized electronic leases and e-signatures, during the sales cycle not only takes the guesswork out of document generation, it eliminates the frustrating use of disparate systems that draws out the closing process. Build prospect rapport The typical senior living community receives 31 new inquiries per month. That’s a lot of prospects to keep track of week-over-week, all year long. Fostering a positive relationship with a would-be resident is critical to winning their business. Automating the capture of information as a step in the sales cycle not only ensures that personal details are collected, it guarantees they’re retained and visible to the entire sales team. Reduce errors We love office supplies as much as the next person, but those little “sign here” sticky arrows aren’t doing your community any favors. Consider that 36% of sales leaders say agreements are missing signatures or dates—or have been signed by the wrong person altogether—and another 51% say that documents are often misfiled or lost. Systematized residency agreements and e-signatures, like those found in Yardi Senior CRM, eliminate paperwork and reduce the disorganization and disarray that come along with paper records, curtailing costly mistakes and missed opportunities. Optimize customer experience 40% of front office staff say the documents they send to prospects don’t always display or print correctly, and 38% say recipients sometimes can’t even open them. Imagine a lengthy sales process involving emails and call follow-up, meetings and tours, family visits and stacks of paperwork—and all that’s left between you and closing the deal is a required signature on the lease. You’ve completed the document, crossed all the t’s and dotted the i’s, and sent it to the prospect to print and sign, only to find out that the images won’t render, and the lease cannot be inked. A deal that was all but done is now in limbo, and you’ve left your prospective resident with...

Empowering Nurses Oct12

Empowering Nurses

Dennis McCarthy, chief information officer at Florida’s SRI Management, knows that nurses are critical to providing quality care for residents. Keeping clinical staff happy means making sure they’ve got the tools they need to do their jobs as easily and efficiently as possible. That starts with ensuring they have access to the most accurate, up-to-date patient health records. “Satisfying nurses is the number one thing. You don’t want them on a separate system; once you have people on two systems you have all sorts of issues—nurses are trying to figure out which record is current and things like that. Integration to the core software is critical,” McCarthy explained. That’s why SRI, already successfully using several modules in the Yardi Senior Living Suite, adopted Yardi EHR and eMAR last July. “We just had nurses watch it in action,” said McCarthy. Once the staff got their first look, they were hooked. The team began using EHR right away to record resident incidents. Documentation was simple and everything that was logged was immediately appended to residents’ files in the database and kept as part of their permanent record. But the best part was that all the information was readily available after the fact, said Casey Polk, chief nurse and director of resident services. She finds that feature indispensable. “At my fingertips in the Yardi platform, I have easy access to what nurses wrote and charted about each incident and how it was handled. I can quickly pull up the chart and read the notes and have all the information on hand. And I love that the software also has reports on resident activity, new orders and missed medications. It allows me to follow up with my staff based on what has or hasn’t been charted that week,”...

High Energy Gathering Oct11

High Energy Gathering

The recent International Facility Management Assn. World Workplace 2018 (IFMA WW18) attracted about 4,000 real estate professionals to Charlotte, N.C., to learn about managing properties more efficiently and improving building occupants’ experience. World Workplace is the world’s largest series of facility management conferences and expositions. Yardi was a sponsor, exhibitor, and session leader at World Workplace this year. Regional director of Yardi Energy, Annette Durnack delivered a presentation titled, “The Future Is Now: Increase Your Contribution by Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Buildings and Beyond,” which focused on AI’s ability to optimize building operations for maximum efficiency and comfort. The presentation sparked a lively Q&A exchange with the full-house audience, with many audience members seeking details on uniting multiple building automation systems to decrease maintenance and repair costs. Educational sessions at IFMA WW2018 covered topics such as sustainability, emergency preparedness, building occupant engagement, and more. “A principal theme among those at the conference was the realization that, now more than ever, knowledge is power. I was pleased to demonstrate that solutions such as Yardi Pulse provide an unprecedented degree of intelligence for facilities management,” said IFMA WW18 attendee Christy Cannon, an account executive for Yardi Energy. Brennan McReynolds of CBRE, a Yardi client, presented the firm’s new mobile app, called “360,” that combines features that employees use in their personal lives and the workplace. The app features interactive floor maps, location tracking within buildings, food ordering, meeting room reservations, and more.  The 360 app expands the wide adoption of GPS services, automated reminders, mobile food delivery, and smart scheduling tools used in personal lives to the workplace, with a few helpful additions. Another speaker, Dr. Gabor Nagy of Haworth, which specializes in optimizing the efficiency of a building’s occupants, continued the focus on building occupants. Nagy discussed the evolution of workplace collaboration, noting that companies are becoming increasingly focused on bolstering group collaboration. Some employers have reduced the physical boundaries between employees to foster collaborative work. According to Nagy, individual participation can be further encouraged by providing calm spaces away from the workstation where employees can engage in “focus work.” Reducing the physical barriers between employees is one step in creating a collaborative environment, Nagy said, but it is equally important to focus on the elements that make individuals want to share their ideas in the first place. Read about Yardi’s views of AI and its increasing role in the property management industry as discussed at the recent IREM Global Summit 2018. Learn how the Yardi Smart Energy Suite can help property managers reduce energy consumption, improve occupant comfort and meet sustainability...