Senior Living Sep17

Senior Living

The senior living industry employs close to a million people, and the sector is expected to add nearly 300,000 jobs by 2026. With employee turnover already a worrisome—and costly—issue, companies need to arm themselves to keep up with demand. That means thinking not just about hiring, but also retaining key staff. What does it take to temper employee turnover? It’s not just about more money. If you want to keep employees in this competitive landscape, it’s about engaging staff by creating a truly employee-centric culture. Here’s how: Build an environment of recognition In order to realize the significance of their roles, staff need to feel appreciated by management, their peers and by residents. Sadly, only 21 percent of employees think they’re truly valued in the workplace. The good news? 44 percent say they’d regularly give peer-to-peer recognition if it were easy to do. Develop simple, quick ways to deliver acknowledgement, and make sure that it’s visible across the organization. You might be surprised how much feeling appreciated boosts morale. Promote balance with flexible scheduling Practicing work-life balance in the long-term care industry, where many residents require round-the-clock care, can prove to be more challenging than in other industries. But giving employees some flexibility is possible. Start by setting a quota on number of weekends and holidays worked, then allow staff to set schedules autonomously by working with colleagues to optimize their hours. Talk to standout staff Reach out to the best of the best on your team and ask important questions: What motivates them? Why do they stay? What could you be doing better? Find out what makes them tick, then apply these learnings to the greater organization. There’s no input more valuable than from top performers who are satisfied and come to work...

Asset Tech Upgrades

Until fairly recently, enterprise software platforms for real estate largely focused on accounting, finance and other back office operations. The advanced programming languages, mobile reach and internet capacity that enable automated workflows and remote access available for the back office hadn’t reached the front office. Things are different today—for the better. In an article originally published in Journal of Property Management, Todd Huebsch, Yardi vice president of commercial sales, explains why.   New software applications squarely target the front office, lending new dynamism to leasing, customer services, facility management, development and other operations. What does the evolution of technology dedicated to the front office mean in practical terms? For one, it means that property management technology has reached the point where remote access is both affordable and effective for managers involved in leasing, construction and facilities management. It also means leasing and asset management can work a deal together with a previously unattainable degree of collaboration. Development vice presidents can evaluate risk with instant access to project status, instead of waiting for a weekly report. They can leverage ERP data such as lease comps, revenue trends, contractor and job analysis, to make better decisions. Consider, for example, construction managers working to correct a problem with a building’s foundation. In an earlier era, they would call or email the back office, or even leave the site altogether to calculate the change order and negotiate the amount and cost code. Today, using apps designed specifically for their role, construction managers can enter the work order with just a few taps on a mobile device. The change order automatically flows to the back office and is recorded in the core property management and accounting platform. The adjustment is fully visible to all parties and the construction manager...

Flexible Workspace

Editor’s note: The following interview originally appeared in GCUC UK and is reprinted with permission here. Tony Freeth has seen the evolution of the office space industry firsthand. Co-founder of Phoenix Broadband and creator of Medusa, a product that handles premises infrastructure, Freeth has played a pioneering role in bandwidth management and workspace wifi solutions since the late-1990s. Recently, Medusa was acquired by global real estate technology company Yardi. Freeth, who was at the first Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) in Austin, Texas in 2012, has now taken the role of Director of Coworking Europe at Yardi. With two decades of experience, Freeth provides a unique and valuable perspective on the now-booming workspace industry. We spoke with Freeth about the evolution of the industry, Yardi’s acquisition of Medusa, and how commercial real estate has now adopted coworking as an asset class. Here are the highlights of our conversation. What’s your coworking story, Tony? How were you introduced to what was then a small movement? Tony Freeth: In 2010, I was talking to someone at Steelcase who told me I needed to go to Coworking Europe. While there, I came across a bunch of people who had a very different idea of how people could work in a space, based on collaboration and community. We tried to sell that message to our conventional customers for many years, and for a long time their response was, “No that’s not what we do. Everyone wants a door.” We told them when you put millennials behind doors, it’s like depriving a plant of light—they just wilt. I met [GCUC producer] Liz Elam at Coworking Europe and she invited me to Austin for GCUC. It became clear that U.S. coworking seemed extremely vibrant and extremely well-organized. I imagine your...

OHCA Convention Sep09

OHCA Convention

Senior Living is headed to Portland as the Oregon Health Care Association (OHCA) hosts its Annual Convention & Trade Show, the largest long-term care conference in the state, on September 17 and 18. The event, expected to draw 1,200 attendees including owners, regional managers, administrators, nurses, department heads and direct care staff, takes place at the Oregon Convention Center. This year’s theme, “Experience the Music of Life,” is inspired by senior living staff and communities that encourage residents to live rich lives and enjoy each moment. A musical thread will weave its way throughout the conference: participants can observe music therapy best practices during the featured Music & Memory luncheon, which focuses on the use of music as a non-pharmacological remedy for residents facing challenges. Attendees are also invited to join the fun at an 80s themed dinner and karaoke event. The convention is set to close with an awards ceremony sponsored by Yardi. Keynote speaker Eddie Slowikowski, gold medal winner for the USA track and field team, will open the event with an address that encourages attendees be the best version of themselves in order to be stronger leaders. Over forty informative sessions, including many earmarked for continuing education units, are on the convention schedule. View complete session in the conference brochure. While exploring the trade show exhibitors, attendees are invited to discover Yardi’s single connected solution for senior living by visiting Booth...

Argentum Summit Sep01

Argentum Summit

Thought leaders and influential policy makers are headed to the annual Argentum Chief Executive Summit hoping to uncover ways to foster innovation and address the most significant business issues affecting the future of the senior living industry. The event is set to take place Wednesday and Thursday, September 12-13, in Boston, Massachusetts. A benefit of Premier Membership with Argentum, the summit provides networking opportunities as well as informational sessions and a lineup of inspiring guests. Speakers include Congresswoman Katherine Clark, Sociobiologist Rebecca Costa and Senior Economist and Policy Advisor Dr. Christopher Foote, among others. Program highlights include sessions focused on the impact of the economy on senior living workforce trends, midterm policy implications, the changing face of media communications and technology, in the form of a senior living science fair. Participants will also tour the MIT Media Lab, an interdisciplinary research laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and take a private riverboat cruise on the Charles River. Attendees can schedule time to meet with Yardi to learn more about its single connected solution for senior living...

Lynn Topp Aug31

Lynn Topp

Lynn Topp, director of residential client services, has been key to the growth of Yardi Canada — and she started out as a Yardi client. A View from the Client Side While she initially thought it would be “just a temporary thing” before completing her CPA, Lynn’s career in the real estate industry began in property management 27 years ago. Lynn worked for a mid-sized company that managed residential, condo, commercial and non-profit assets. During that time, Lynn used Yardi software as a client, and learned firsthand how the right software can transform daily tasks and also businesswide operations. “When I came to Yardi in 2005, I had 14 years of property management experience, working in financial roles including property accountant and controller. I used Yardi software back then and implemented Yardi Voyager to manage 95 properties,” recalls Lynn. When Lynn joined Yardi’s Toronto office, it was a small group of 50 employees. Now she’s part of a thriving team of 200. “I’ve loved watching small teams at Yardi grow, and seeing clients embrace technology,” Lynn said. Known for her magnetic personality and sense of humor, along with being an awesome advocate for clients, Lynn also knows the importance of innovative technology to improve real estate operations. Game-Changing Tech “It’s really satisfying to see our more conservative clients — and Canadians tend to be a bit more conservative in general — become open to technology, to adopt it and develop their businesses with it and actually really like it,” says Lynn. In her role as director of residential client services, Lynn is dedicated to making sure Yardi’s clients enjoy every advantage that technology has to offer. Embracing the daily challenges that come with an evolving industry, Lynn is an expert on positive technology disruption...

Streamlined Success Aug30

Streamlined Success

With seventeen communities—and more on the way—each submitting 100-200 invoices a month, Linda Adams was shuffling a lot of paper. As the Accounting Manager for Northbridge Companies, a New England-based senior living provider, much of her time used to be spent digging up receipts or tracking down paper records across various decentralized offices. “When I had questions, I had to call another office and ask them. They’d have to find the invoice, scan it, send it to me for review. It was very time consuming on both ends.” But now, solving a discrepancy is “easy, easy, easy,” thanks to Yardi PAYscan. In 2011, Northbridge adopted Yardi’s Procure to Pay vendor management and electronic invoicing platform to streamline invoicing across all properties. The new system allowed the accounting department to access invoices and check whether payments had cleared without having to pick up the phone to call another office. In other words, team members could self-serve, reducing internal dependencies and churn. But time savings wasn’t the only benefit of a new system. PAYscan eliminates copying, mailing, and storing paper—and minimizes touch points that can lead to lost invoices and data entry errors. “There’s no need for us to use up valuable office space with paper invoices anymore when it’s all right there electronically. Once the tax returns are done, we can throw the documents out,” Linda says. “I can go back and look at invoices from 2012, and it’s right there. Plus, I work from home a few days a week, and it really cuts down on all that lugging paper back and forth.” The Northbridge team appreciates PAYscan’s versatility, too. “You can make the approval process as intricate or as easy as you want, which I love,” said Linda. Customizable workflows, flexible payment options...

Louise Steeves Aug24

Louise Steeves

Yardi Canada introduces Louise Steeves, product manager for Canadian development (and the residential modules in the Canadian market).  Louise was Yardi Canada’s first Voyager account manager and has been key to the company’s success — and it all started with an unusual interview. Jumping In Adaptable by nature with a desire to keep learning, Steeves has an intimate understanding of the needs of the social housing market. “In my past role over 16 years ago, I helped implement software for a large social housing provider in Toronto. I quickly became a subject matter expert, which led to a project management role,” says Steeves.   Software, however, was an entirely new realm for Steeves. “When I was working with the social housing provider, I recall one meeting that I had with Peter, where he mentioned that they had just signed a large deal which would mean that they would be implementing 40 clients all at once.”  That exciting news led her to make the impulsive decision to apply for a position at Yardi. Her interview with Peter Altobelli, vice president and general manager for Yardi Canada and Tom Kearns, senior director for global solutions, was not at all what she expected. “When I arrived at Yardi to meet Peter for my interview it was really early in the morning, around 7:00 a.m., and I was the first one there. Peter came rushing in. He had just gotten off a red eye flight. He grabbed some coffee and we sat down to start talking. I hadn’t had an interview in about 17 years at that point, and I thought to myself, I can’t believe I’m doing this,” Steeves recalls with a big laugh. “Peter asked me some accounting questions, which I stumbled through and then he...

Save My Spot Aug22

Save My Spot

Demand for public housing assistance far outweighs the available supply in nearly every community nationwide, but the challenges can be especially great in California. The Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo (HASLO) and the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara (HACSB) are prime examples of public housing agencies challenged with creating housing opportunities for low-income residents. There is never a slow work day for HASLO or HACSB, and the mere opportunity to join a housing assistance waiting list can create a frenzy of activity. “The vitality of every community is dependent on housing that is attainable for all income levels, and public housing agencies add incredible value to the regions they serve. The magnitude of their waiting lists, nationwide, is a great demonstration of the scarcity and value of affordable housing,” said Boone Atkins, vice president of affordable housing and PHA sales for Yardi. A PHA waiting list includes households seeking public housing units, housing choice vouchers and affordable housing. Given the local market conditions, those lists would grow daily if the HASLO and HACSB kept lists open to new names permanently. However, closing waiting lists to new households is just one way to keep the lists under control. Another way to maintain PHA waiting lists is periodically purging the names of households who are no longer seeking assistance. Purging PHA waiting lists has historically been a labor intensive process requiring envelope stuffing and data entry. PHAs also incurred costs for postage and paper to facilitate mailing forms to thousands of waitlisted households. RENTCafé PHA, and its embedded Save My Spot waitlist management feature, can mitigate those costs. Yardi is the only PHA software provider offering a modernized waitlist management solution, bringing relief to a longstanding industry issue. A Primer on RENTCafé...

Less Paper, More Savings Aug21

Less Paper, More Savings...

At one point, Georgia-based apartment community developer and manager Walton Communities’ mission to provide exceptional residential, affordable and active adult housing at a great value in a friendly neighborhood environment was awash in paperwork. Staff members from 20 Atlanta-area properties had to transport from 25 to 60 invoices each to the corporate office in Marietta every week. “Along with the money spent on paper, gas and car wear-and-tear, this obligation took our staff members away from leasing and resident service,” said Jennifer Price, IT systems trainer for Walton Communities. “As we moved to grow our portfolio by 50%, we knew the process would become even more cumbersome. We quickly realized that we needed a more efficient invoice processing system.” That was Yardi PAYscan Full Service, with which Walton Communities’ vendors send their invoices to a secure, centralized email or physical lockbox monitored by Yardi. The Yardi team scans and enters the account data, and the invoices show in the client’s Yardi Voyager platform as invoice registers, ready for review, approval and processing as payables. All the client’s site teams have to do is review, add details and approve—without driving anywhere. With invoice processing off their hands, Walton Communities’ staff members can focus on their core business of leasing, resident service and property maintenance. Yardi PAYscan Full Service adds even more convenience by automatically attaching purchase orders, a major time-saver for maintenance and procurement teams. Yardi PAYscan Full Service extends the benefits Walton Communities gains from the Yardi Procure to Pay Suite, an end-to-end procurement, vendor management, invoice processing and payments solution. “Leasing and customer service are the core of our business. Yardi PAYscan Full Service lets our staff concentrate on these activities, rather than dealing with invoicing and billing,” Price said. “The process of...

Luxury Senior Living Aug20

Luxury Senior Living

Any preconceived notions of what a senior living community might look like went out the window when we walked into Clearwater at Riverpark last month for a client site visit. The state-of-the-art independent living community, completed in April 2018, markets a fine living experience for independent seniors, but after our tour, we would argue that’s an understatement. Upon entering the lobby, reminiscent of a high-end hotel with a glittering chandelier and living wall, Clearwater staff members greeted the Yardi Senior Living team. The crew of account reps, engineers and marketers who support Yardi’s Senior Living Suite and the clients who use it came prepared for a tour—and a glimpse of what life is like inside a resort-like adult community. Senior living has evolved, offering unique and varied options to a new generation of seniors. Clearwater at Riverpark represents a turning point, led by a contingent of baby boomers that refuses to resign themselves to assumptions of what life looks like post retirement. This upscale set demands not only the best care as they age, but top-shelf lifestyle amenities as well. “We call it a cruise ship on land, ” said Breck Austin, vice president of support services of Clearwater Senior Living, as he kicked off the tour poolside. “You should see this place on the weekends.” Every Saturday and Sunday, residents’ families, grandchildren in tow, pack the patio, splashing in the water and playing bocce ball. The next stop was the movie theater, with rows of leather recliners, blackout windows, and a snack bar. Each Friday, this is where residents gather for dinner and a movie night. Residents vote on what film will play every week and enjoy the show as staff take entree orders. From there, the Yardi team got to observe a morning cooking class. Residents revved up high-powered blenders for smoothies and took turns making new breakfast treats like overnight oats and chia seed pudding. The tour continued: art studio on the right, by the salon, gym to the left, next to the yoga room. We stopped by the library, the game room, and the media area, where TED Talks play on a large flat screen and residents learn new languages or play gin rummy, before heading back downstairs for lunch. Small cards, detailing a three-course seasonal menu, sat atop crisp white napkins in the dining room. “That long table over there, that’s our chef’s table,” Breck pointed. “Residents can set up a dinner with their friends and invite guests, and the chef will come out and walk them through each dish. It’s really fun.” With bellies full, the Yardi team sat and listened as staff shared about the happiness of the residents. It’s not just about lavish comforts and daily activities, but the sense of vitality and community those things foster here. If not for residents roaming the grounds, Clearwater at Riverpark could easily be mistaken for an all-inclusive resort, not a senior living community. But then again, isn’t that the...

Eric Michaels

Eric Michaels joined Yardi as an account executive for the Yardi Energy team in the spring of 2018. He recently discussed his position and background from his office in New York City. TBS: Eric, what types of businesses do you serve with the Yardi Smart Energy Suite, and what makes up your territory? Michaels: My focus is on commercial property ownership groups, management companies and investment firms. My clients are primarily in larger metropolitan areas such as New York City but my territory also encompasses New York state, New Jersey, Connecticut and other New England locales. Any commercial real estate business, from industrial to retail and high-rises to strip malls can benefit from the Yardi Smart Energy Suite. We have solutions that also work for new construction projects or owners that have been using Yardi Voyager and other products for a long time. Q: Where were you before joining Yardi? A: I spent 11 years in energy-related positions with utility providers and commercial building operators in New York. I worked in project management, sales and implementation, so I got experience in everything from boiler rooms in a building’s basement to chillers on the roof from multiple perspectives as a vendor and client. Q: And before that? A: I was a school psychologist in the New York public school system. Q: Why did you leave that position? A: I was ready for a new and fulfilling challenge. Energy efficiency was just beginning to take off, and utility companies were offering incentive and rebate programs for properties that upgraded to energy-efficient lighting solutions. I received an offer to manage the Long Island Power Authority’s residential energy conservation program for an energy service company. Q: How did you learn about Yardi? A: When I joined the world...

Rob Podlesnik Aug08

Rob Podlesnik

Yardi Canada celebrates 20 years with a spotlight on leaders who have helped the company grow. Today, we introduce Rob Podlesnik, director of Global Solutions  and PSG for Yardi Canada. Podlesnik has been integral to the development of Yardi Canada—and it all started over a cardboard box. Humble Beginnings Podlesnik, a York University graduate, began his career in property management. He joined Yardi Canada in 1998. At that time, Yardi Canada consisted of eight people in a brand new office space with absolutely no furniture. “When I went in for the interview, it was literally an empty office with a cardboard box for a desk,” recalls Podlesnik with a laugh. “They positioned it well, like ‘Yardi Canada is expanding. This is going to be the first office.’ I decided to give it a year. It sounded very entrepreneurial and the atmosphere was completely foreign to me but I loved the startup culture.” He contributed to that culture, helping to form a tight-knit group that operated as a family. Everyone wore multiple hats, helped one another, and maintained close relationships. They worked together to fulfill a grand vision, one where Yardi led the Canadian property management software industry. Podlesnik began as an implementation specialist, where he worked on training and consulting, which suited him since he once considered becoming a teacher. The opportunity to visit clients, share his knowledge, and learn ways to improve the products through client feedback excited Podlesnik. But it wasn’t always easy. As a young road warrior, Podlesnik found it difficult to maintain personal relationships but his passion for the work he did and the growth kept him going. He soon assumed a role on the client services team, which allowed him to put down roots personally and professionally. He was...

Lending a Hand

The YMCA had a positive impact on Michael Berton’s life when he was growing up, as a place where he attended both day care and summer camp. As an adult, the Yardi proposal writer has found multiple ways to give back to the community nonprofit. As a part time development specialist for the organization, Berton has raised more than $150,000 in grant funding for the Lompoc branch of the YMCA. Most recently, he arranged for Yardi’s corporate headquarters to contribute several used computers for a new Teen Study Hall. For families without computers or Wi-Fi in their homes, options for access are limited to the school library on campus at Lompoc High or the local public library, which closes at 7pm. “The YMCA identified a need when teens asked for a safe place to complete their homework and to study,” Berton explained. “Teens will use the computers to access research sites for term papers and reports, complete homework assignments, and apply for grants, scholarships, FASFA, colleges, and jobs. The branch is located right next to the high school and will provide teens with a safe place to study that is close to their homes.” Yardi was pleased to be able to donate several gently used computers for the new Study Hall. In his capacity as a grant writer for the organization, Berton helps facilitate access to programs and membership services by securing funds through grants from foundations and businesses. “The Lompoc YMCA is in a unique situation, lacking support from major corporations, foundations, and individuals with large philanthropic means. Therefore, raising funds for the Y’s mission through foundations and grant writing is key to raising funds for the branch, which has 40% of their members on scholarships,” he explained. At Yardi, Berton has worked...

Leadership Spotlight Aug01

Leadership Spotlight

Peter Altobelli is the Vice President of Sales and General Manager at Yardi Canada Ltd., a passionate mentor for many employees, as well as a husband and father. Arriving at this point in his career has entailed 30 years of dedication, innovation and focus on the company’s clients. He began his career in the 1980s with a background in software development in the healthcare sector. “You all have it so easy these days,” chuckles Altobelli. “Back then everything was in DOS. Shortcut keys were a major breakthrough for users. These days, people don’t think that that could even be a feature worth mentioning given that everything is done with a mouse, even intuitive touch screen or by voice activation.” In the 1990s, Altobelli became an entrepreneur, developing software products for the home building, property management and real estate brokerage industries. Through software design, development, sales and implementation, the company created a strong presence in the market and was instrumental in promoting technology to support new ways of doing business. It was during this period that Yardi began collaborating with Altobelli and his company to establish a footprint in Canada. By 2000, Altobelli became an integral part of the staff at Yardi. His thorough understanding of the Canadian market and industry standards have been crucial elements for the growth of Yardi Canada as it offers comprehensive support, implementation, sales and marketing for real estate businesses. Innovation + Growth with Yardi Altobelli was responsible for establishing the first Yardi office in Canada and has grown Yardi’s market penetration to be the leading software supplier in the country. “I was excited to work with Yardi because it’s such an innovative company,” says Altobelli. “I also appreciate that the culture is very inclusive. There is diversity of experience...

Energy Direction

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

Social Senior Smarts Jul12

Social Senior Smarts

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

Senior Wellness Jul04

Senior Wellness

Socialization is a significant part of senior wellness. By getting the members of the neighborhood involved in activities at your community, you’re offering healthful, value-add services for your seniors that truly make a difference! Below are a few suggestions on how you can improve social opportunities with community support. Animal shelter collaborations are a fun way to expose seniors to the joys of pets without the daily responsibilities of pet ownership. Seniors are able to play with and cuddle their new furry friends, reaping the health benefits of pet interactions. Girl and Boy Scouts projects offer seniors the opportunity to teach and learn from local youth. Contact your local chapters regarding projects such as building raised garden beds, installing rainwater recycling systems, or beautification projects. When seniors have experience in these areas, they are able to feel helpful and knowledgeable. When the experiences are new, senior learners stimulate their brains and feel the invigoration of developing new skills. Student-led tech classes equip seniors with the basic skills needed to stay in touch with the world beyond their senior community. Navigating Zoom and Facetime, for example, allow seniors to stay in touch with loved ones. Computer skills classes make it easier for seniors to take charge of their care curriculum. For today’s students, these skills are second hand and a fun way to get the community service hours they may need for school. Trips to a local ranch for equine therapy come with several advantages: a scenic trip to rural area, the benefits of equine therapy, and the pleasure of artwork and animal interaction. Don’t worry—equine therapy does not mean your seniors must mount the horses! Ask camp leaders if it’s appropriate for seniors to interact with current class members. Serving as a dance recital...

Fit4Life Jul03

Fit4Life

Let’s face it: it’s hard to stay active in a corporate setting. Encouraging employees to live a healthy lifestyle while also expecting eight hours of productivity—often in front of a computer—can be a challenging directive. But what if an event was fun, healthful, and allowed employees to bond by overcoming adversity and encouraging one another? That event is the Fit4Life Corporate Challenge Program. Hosted by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Fit4Life is a 10k race that promotes physical fitness and unity amongst teams of at least four participants. Race participants are encouraged to train together, motivate each other, and reach new personal goals by race day. Yardi Pune represented well this year with 291 employees. There were 69 women in the group, a spectacular turnout. Rushabh Mutha, Associate Client Account Executive, CSD at Yardi was one of the proud participants. He recalls, “Race day was very pleasant. In the morning, the weather was a bit chilly. In spite of the cold, I was very excited. Everyone was so full of enthusiasm.” Mutha adds, “The arrangements made by TCS were very nice. There were large, festive markers for the start and finish line. There was also a place where you can take a picture that says, ‘I am a finisher.’ I felt very proud to participate.” Undoubtedly, Mutha’s favorite part of the event was finishing. “The most fun part was completing the race and holding the Yardi trophy!” he smiles. The event was particularly special for Mutha because it was not only his first race, but it is also his first year with the company. Fit4Life encouraged him to meet new coworkers and develop stronger relationships with familiar faces, all while getting fit. “As I just joined the company, it was fun meeting other Yardi employees,...

Risky Business Jun28

Risky Business

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