H.J. Russell & Co. Jul10

H.J. Russell & Co....

Imagine that you’ve enjoyed your home for decades: your kids’ growth charts are on a doorframe in the kitchen, you know your neighbors, and your favorite restaurants all know you by name and order. The neighborhood isn’t what it used to be, but it’s your home. Within a matter of years, a wave of new investments transforms your neighborhood. The cost of living increases and property taxes soar. You can no longer afford the home that you’ve nearly paid off, and you face eviction. That is the reality for many long-term residents of metro Atlanta neighborhoods. Neighborhood ascent, or gentrification, is the process of renovating communities that have experienced disinvestment. Through the process, crime rates drop, property values increase, infrastructure and services often improve. Gentrification, however, comes with grave disadvantages for existing residents including higher rents, higher property taxes, exclusion and discrimination. Yardi client H.J. Russell & Co. is an Atlanta-based firm that conducts construction, program management, and property management. It is aligned with sister real estate development firm Russell New Urban Development L.L.C. Together, they fight gentrification and nurture diverse neighborhoods through strategic projects and partnerships. Atlanta gentrification: an ongoing battle for “home” Atlanta is one of the nation’s largest cities for African Americans with 51.85% of the population identifying as Black or African American. It is also among the top 5 fastest gentrifying cities in the U.S. Several benefits come when investors support a brighter vision for a community. Unfortunately, that vision rarely implements practices that reduce out-migration and encourage long-term affordability. Longstanding residents are often excluded from the vision and priced-out of their homes. Neighborhood ascent does not necessitate segregation or displacement. With strategic planning and real estate firms such as H.J. Russell, neighborhoods can benefit from investment without ousting existing...

Changemakers Series Jul09

Changemakers Series

Due to COVID, some older adults and their families are hesitant on the idea of assisted living. But in many cases, and especially so for seniors with cognitive impairment, the level of care required for safe aging is only available in a community setting with skilled caregivers. “At this particular time of coronavirus, we’re working in a very fearful environment, and that’s where a trusting team benefits by the speed of trust,” said Loren Shook, founder and CEO of Silverado. “A lot of unknowns are being faced by people operating communities like ours and across the country.” Renowned for their standalone memory care communities, Silverado has pioneered research into programs that drive cognitive improvements for residents in early stages of dementia. The organization is often the top pick for referral partners, and the team is willing to take the most difficult cases. Silverado’s commitment to care, no matter the challenge, is helping them overcome COVID. And Shook’s willingness to try new things and continually adapt is why he’s been recognized as a Changemaker by Senior Housing News this year. Read on for excerpts from Shook’s interview with SHN where he discusses the perception challenges posed by COVID, interoperability opportunities with referral partners and the steps Silverado is taking to move forward. Do you see COVID-19 changing memory care specifically or senior living more broadly in more long-lasting ways? I think it’s really heightened the awareness of the buyer of services from us, as to asking, what are our systems for infection control and cleanliness? What are our capabilities for understanding changes in clinical condition for people? Then what do we do, if that’s the case? For some people, they’ll be asking, in a situation like COVID, if there is another pandemic or situation like...

Changemakers Series Jun30

Changemakers Series

The current rate of change in senior living is unprecedented. Even before the coronavirus outbreak spurred extra safety measures, providers were quickly adopting novel models and methods as the boomer generation has grown closer to becoming the core market. Mary Leary, president and CEO of Mather, has driven many such changes herself. A leader with decades of experience on both the for-profit and not-for-profit sides of senior living, Leary is unafraid to forgo tradition in pursuit of something better and bigger. It’s a core reason why Mather, under Leary’s stewardship, has grown from serving 5,400 older adults to nearly 60,000 in the 18 years she’s been at the helm. And it’s also why Leary has earned the title of Changemaker from Senior Housing News. The Changemakers is a Yardi-sponsored series that profiles senior living leaders who’ve helped redefine their industry. Leary’s interview with SHN goes into depth on how Mather has successfully transformed its operations during the coronavirus and what senior living might look like after things return to “normal.” Check out this excerpt from the interview: Obviously, this is something that’s shaping the industry. Is it changing how you are currently thinking about senior living in general? I think COVID-19 will absolutely lead to changes in senior living, and I think that it will speed up the pace of change in a way that is unprecedented. Everything that I do and think about right now is colored by the dramatic changes in our country and communities. I think part of innovating is forgetting, unlearning, dismantling and undoing what one does currently, and that is exactly what is occurring in senior living and our country right now. With virtually everything, the increased velocity and adoption of technology is already impacting everything we’re doing. It’s...

Creating Comunidad Jun28

Creating Comunidad

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Antonio Marquez’ Comunidad Partners’ properties in Sunbelt markets throughout the U.S. were standouts in the affordable housing sector. Not only did they offer safe and affordable residences for families, but residents of the portfolio’s approximately 10,000 units could take advantage of after school programs, health and wellness classes, financial literacy and tax help courses, and more. Featured at a 2018 Fannie Mae conference hosted by The Atlantic and profiled in this exceptional video posted by Affordable Housing Finance, it’s easy to grasp the sense of community that Comunidad Partners created from its start in 2007 – when Marquez founded the company to invest in underserved workforce and affordable housing communities. Asked often about his “why” for such deep community involvement, Marquez says he was motivated by his family background. As immigrants and entrepreneurs, his parents Juan Antonio and Pamela instilled a strong sense of community responsibility in Antonio Jr. His father began his working life as a vineyard worker, but ultimately started one of the nation’s largest distribution networks of Hispanic foods from his garage. His son learned that with a good idea, and a lot of hard work, amazing outcomes could be achieved. After finishing his undergraduate degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California, he began exploring the multifamily industry. “I wanted to provide more than just shelter. These are living, breathing souls and families,” Marquez said. “I really boiled down my ‘why?’ to what I took for granted growing up. My parents made sacrifices and were phenomenal in terms of supporting us and providing a quality roof over our head, food on the table, a good education even though we were a low income family. My ‘Why?’ was to provide these same impactful things to...

Work Life Balance Jun24

Work Life Balance

You know that coworker who always wants to show you pictures of their grandkids? Every successful company has one—and with good reason. Compassionate people draw joy and strength from the success of others! Harding Easley is one such grandfather. His work-life balance and zeal for his granddaughter’s career has helped her latest project become the #1 film in America. Finding balance with Yardi When Easley joined the Yardi team five years ago, he was drawn to the company’s demonstrated prioritization of work-life balance. Today, Easley is an account executive with the Yardi Matrix sales team. He demonstrates how data can empower prospects and clients with the information needed to make better business decisions. From multifamily to commercial properties, he helps clients discover how to assess prospective sights, benchmark performance and target the right market using data and reporting. Learn how Matrix helps you target the right market with the right data. Breaking box office records against the odds Easley’s ability to target the right market carries over to his work outside of the office. The account executive plays a leading role in his granddaughter’s marketing team. Granddaughter Ja’Layah Washington is a professional model and actress. Since the age of six, Easley has helped the starlet establish a presence in the industry. He happily created and manages her website. His skills have helped to successfully catch the attention of the right casting directors at the right time. “I used to be an actor, and I often joke that I gave Ja’Layah my acting skills gene,” laughs Easley. “Her mom was a model as well, so between the two of us Ja’Layah has always had that ‘Disney’ star power from a young age.” The proud grandfather is the biggest marketer and advocate for the film The...

Aspiring to New Heights...

This is an exciting time for the team behind Yardi’s learning management software platform. Formerly known as Yardi eLearning, the product is now called Yardi Aspire, a name which showcases the software’s potentially exceptional benefits for users. At the same time, the features of Yardi Aspire have increased in demand as clients find creative uses for the software to solve 2020’s unique challenges At the helm of the Yardi Aspire team is Patty Evans, director of Yardi Aspire content and support and Yardi corporate training, as well as Yves Hajjar, director of Yardi Aspire product development. Read on to learn more about Evans’ outlook on the recent product changes. Q: Tell us about the change to Yardi Aspire? Evans: Yardi Aspire has evolved over the past several years. It was time for the product’s name to truly reflect the scope of the solution, including all the forward-thinking features designed specifically for the property management industry’s leading learning and content management system. Q: Describe the recent developments that led to the rebrand? Evans: The Yardi Aspire catalog inspires a higher level of engagement than simple “training” videos. We feel that videos can be helpful in quickly transferring information to a student who is already familiar with a concept or for basic topics. I think many would agree when I say that video-based training is a learning style that may not work for everyone. Additionally, the Yardi Aspire catalog contains much more than Yardi software product training content. Approximately 25% of the 1,200+ course library is not about Yardi software at all. We offer nearly 400 courses on compliance, human resources, professional development, safety, leadership, leasing, personal development topics and more. Q: What other features may be important for new users? Evans: We’ve spent time carefully...

Making Dreams Possible...

Many of us have done it. In conversation with a small child, we casually ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But how often do we make sure that child has what they need to succeed? When Samuel J. Ashe II looked around his community, he saw a deficit in educational resources specifically in the areas of math, fine arts and the sciences. As an active mentor, he wanted to support the big dreams of the neighborhood kids, but he couldn’t do it alone. Fortunately, his family and the community stepped in to help. Bringing people to the forefront of business After graduating with his MBA, Ashe joined Yardi as a marketing specialist with the RENTCafe Reach Team. “I have clients all over the country. I manage their digital marketing needs including but not limited to SEO, PPC, and social media management,” he says. Ashe joined Yardi because its corporate culture didn’t feel corporate at all. “Yardi is very people-focused and collaborative,” he says. “We have so many departments, yet I still feel like one big team as we all collaborate to provide superior customer services.” “From day one, I noticed this was a nurturing environment,” adds Ashe. “There was a great deal of energy put into the development of employees, as many of my first days were spent training online in Aspire. That was a breath of fresh air compared to a past of ‘figure it out’ job trainings. Over time, there have been more opportunities to improve upon my already solidified strengths and certifications coursework.” The Ashe Arts & STEM Academy: Representation matters Yardi’s focus on employee development resonated with Ashe, who is the Executive Director of The Ashe Arts & STEM Academy. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit supports the...

Changemakers Series Jun05

Changemakers Series

Nowadays, keeping an entire senior living community healthy requires stringent protocols, adequate PPE and, crucially, a dedicated team willing to take every step necessary. As part of their Changemakers series, Senior Housing News has been interviewing influential leaders in senior living, discussing innovation and asking for their insights on the industry’s challenges — including COVID-19. It’s a showcase of thought leaders, risk-takers and trend-setters, sponsored by Yardi. But, as our newest honoree makes clear, success in preventing an outbreak doesn’t rest solely on a leader’s shoulders. The second member of the Changemakers 2020 class is Dwayne Clark, founder and CEO of Aegis Living. Clark has over three decades’ experience in senior living. He rose through the ranks at Leisure Care and Sunrise Senior Living before starting Aegis 20 years ago in Seattle, looking to offer a combination of novel designs, disruptive operational concepts and exceptional care. Since then, Aegis has become a nationally known, award-winning provider. Despite his own accomplishments, Clark attributes a large part of Aegis’s success to his team and culture. “From the very beginning, we stood apart to be a very different kind of company, starting with the kind of people we hire. I think over 90% of our people come from the hospitality industry,” he said. “The bridge to get to your customers is your staff, especially your line staff. You’ve got to make those people delighted in their job every day. That is the whole point, and this [distinction] has been incredibly important to us.” And that commitment hasn’t wavered during the coronavirus outbreak. In this excerpt from the SHN interview, Clark expands on Aegis’s COVID-19 response, sharing how they’ve supported staff so residents continue to receive great care. How have you been able to attract that talent? What...

Dubai Asset Management Jun04

Dubai Asset Management

More than 100,000 Dubai residents rely on 10 housing communities, ranging from studio apartments to luxury villas, owned by Dubai Asset Management (a subsidiary of Dubai Holding). The subsidiary of Dubai Holding developed its portfolio of 20 million square feet of leasable assets by providing the best customer experience in terms of product, pricing and location, and resident services. Maintaining outstanding customer service as communities, headcount and staffing grow larger isn’t easy. Company leaders realized that retaining stature as Dubai’s premier provider of residential property required better technology and increased staff efficiency in the form of real-time property availability, online leasing, rent payments and resident self services, along with 24/7 online and mobile access to account data. Achieving this goal required a technology platform capable of managing the entire residential lifecycle. In 2015 Dubai Asset Management adopted Yardi Voyager as its property management and accounting platform. Yardi Voyager centralised Dubai Asset Management’s operational, financial, maintenance management and compliance data on a single connected solution. With information easily available online and via remote devices, Dubai Asset Management can show prospective residents real-time apartment unit inventory, including floor plans, which helps the company close leases faster and achieve occupancy targets. The easy access to information also helps the company make and implement better-informed decisions. The full integration of Yardi Voyager with RENTCafé and Yardi Maintenance further enhances Dubai Asset Management’s resident service and staff efficiency. Units available for lease are displayed online as soon as they become available, enabling faster unit turnover. Residents have the convenience of making rent payments online, and the company’s maintenance staff can manage work orders in the field without returning to the office. Leasing agents can close deals as easily in the field as in the office. The portfolio-wide data transparency enabled by Yardi Voyager also enhanced reporting efficiency by reducing the time staff members spend manually compiling data. “Yardi Voyager reduces the friction of moving in, moving out, contacting maintenance and paying rent. These benefits make our communities more convenient and satisfying for our residents and solidifies our reputation as a leading residential services provider in Dubai,” said Mohamed Roushdy, head of technology for Dubai Asset Management. Learn more about Dubai Asset Management at dubaiam.ae/. Learn how Yardi serves property management companies across the Middle East at...

Working Together, Separately May29

Working Together, Separately

An organization’s ability to remain focused and cohesive during social distancing is essential for its success. To do so, Newcastle Limited chose to harness the power of software that fills gaps created by social distancing, offering tools for collaboration, communication, and productivity.  Pre-pandemic business as usual Newcastle Limited is a Chicago-based real estate investment firm specializing in commercial and residential properties. Its localized portfolio consists of 42 residential properties totaling 2,875 units and 55 retail properties with 140 tenants. To support those clients, Newcastle Limited employs 150 staff members, 54 of which operate from the corporate office. Mike Haney, Newcastle Limited CEO, consistently prioritizes the professional development of his team. Prior to the pandemic, the organization implemented Newcastle University via Yardi eLearning for onboarding, training, continuing education and professional development. Once restructured as Yardi Aspire, the additional features within the software  gave new life to Haney’s initiative. Newcastle Limited implemented Aspire at the end of February, and timing couldn’t have been better. The organization had the opportunity to familiarize itself with the revised University before the pandemic encouraged social distancing nationwide. Through Aspire, Newcastle Limited has been able to maintain its focus on professional development in the face of unprecedented change. Aspire: working together, separately In response to social distancing, Newcastle Limited shifted most of its workforce to a remote environment. The real estate investment firm relied on Yardi Aspire to keep the team connected and in sync. Its online learning environment includes communication tools, collaboration opportunities and training event management. Aspire has proven to be a single solution for Newcastle’s remote work needs. Get 6 Pro Tips for Stellar Remote Work Aspire is the only training solution on the market that enables clients to automatically distribute role-based learning plans that cover multiple competency areas including property management software skills, mandatory compliance, company policies, safety, leasing and procedures. At Newcastle Limited, Aspire has helped management better understand the needs, strengths, and opportunities of its employees as they work and learn outside of the office. “We are using the platform for compliance-related initiatives such as policy and procedure updates. This way, we can track who has taken and acknowledged policies,” says Jennifer Smetana, director of learning and development at Newcastle Limited. Scoring measures within the software also provide managers with insights into areas that may need review and further clarification. Additional features have improved the way that Newcastle Limited stays organized and connected with remote employees. “The learning plans and our dynamic ownership for grouping and reporting purposes have had a major impact,” says Smetana. “We also started using the resource containers to house quick guides, article of the week, and the additional links to pages we use often. Everything is quickly accessible in one place so that we stay efficient and organized.” Teamwork, virtual watercoolers and camaraderie During social distancing, the communication and collaboration tools within Aspire demonstrated their value to Newcastle Limited. “We have taken an employee engagement approach to the platform,” she says.  “We launched engagement events such as virtual coffee breaks, contests, games and Wednesdays by the Watercooler to keep our team members connected.” Wednesdays by the Watercooler is a casual event where employees are encouraged to log on together and share in a virtual break. “We connect, tell jokes and do silly activities to stay united,” smiles Smetana. “I feel that Aspire has helped our organization move forward and continue growing. The platform is the foundation for staying connected and has aided in keeping our team members working while being remote,” says Smetana. Join a webinar to discover how Aspire, formerly eLearning, can support your organization during social distancing and beyond....

Approaching New Horizons May27

Approaching New Horizons

As recently as 2012, the proptech industry in Dubai and surrounding markets was limited at best. “Before I joined Yardi back in 2012, there was no local real estate software providers in the market,” explains Said Haider, regional director, Middle East Sales at Yardi. “Customizing legacy platforms was the only available option, which was awful to real estate firms at a certain level.” Finding the tools for intelligent growth During a period of rapid growth, a lack of sophisticated software options hindered efficiency for real estate companies in the region. The rapid success of real estate, especially in Dubai, left owners with growing portfolios and a lack of transparency. Management teams strived to drive revenue without comprehensive metrics on the performance of their properties or competitors. The thriving region needed an accounting and property management software solution that offered scalability, customization, and efficiency. Undoubtedly, it was an excellent time for Yardi to enter the market. Once acquainted with Yardi, Haider knew that he wanted to forge a career with the proptech leader. “I wanted to be part of a driven and professional organization striving to become the best innovative proptech provider. I believed that Yardi can make a big difference in the market and I was ready for the challenge.” Growing with clients in mind It would take eight years for Yardi to gain a solid foothold in the market. The Middle East market required developers to revisit the Voyager platform, creating a more localized solution to support region-specific requirements. With a robust product now on the market, development continues as clients provide feedback. The process encourages a mutually beneficial relationship between software provider and client. Referrals from satisfied clients helped Yardi gain traction in the region. Now, the movement has gained momentum. “Today, more than 100 real estate companies have implemented Yardi solutions across the Middle East. We are expecting this count to double in the next two years,” say Haider. “More than 50% of the retail space in the region is managed on Yardi. We are still growing in the residential market, especially after a successful project implementation with one of the largest fee managers in the Abu Dhabi with more than 60,000 units.” Haider is optimistic about Yardi’s presence in Dubai and what it means for efficient real estate growth in the region. “I am always excited about what I am doing as there is always something new to learn, whether on a professional or personal level.  Management is inspiring!” Beyond the comfort zone Outside of Yardi, Haider is constantly taking on new challenges. He is an avid traveler, swimmer, and marksman. Yet his greatest new challenge is navigating the joys and responsibilities of parenting. “I am a new father, so I have been enjoying fatherhood lately,” he smiles brightly. “My work with Yardi has taught me to be more patient, which was really helpful in parenthood. Yardi is also a great environment that truly supports its employees, so my work-life balance is excellent.” Haider marked the arrival of his child by taking on a new adventure. While enjoying a babymoon with his wife in Kemer, Turkey, they traveled to Tahtali Mountain. Towering at more than 7,759 feet, the mountain offers stunning views of the sea below. The couple captured stunning photos of the Turkish Mediterranean Coast–then Haider became inspired. “It was a bit cloudy that day and I always wanted to fly like birds and feel the clouds since I was a kid. I saw some people paragliding and just felt that I have do to it! The jump is a world-record high of more than 7,700 feet. We go through the clouds and land at the beach. It was a wonderful, 40 minutes in the sky. Well, I like to be adventurous and push my comfort zone, whether at work or in my personal life. This keeps me excited and happy.” Learn more about Yardi career opportunities...

Changemakers Series May26

Changemakers Series

Changemakers is back for 2020 with a whole new class of senior living leaders! Published by Senior Housing News (SHN) and sponsored by Yardi, the series spotlights industry pioneers who’ve taken unique approaches towards shaping the future of senior living. And this time around, these are also leaders who’ve shown what it takes to safely navigate their communities through the current health care crisis. For the first inductee, meet Michael Schonbrun, founder and CEO of Balfour Senior Living. Schonbrun got his start in senior living while researching communities for his mother to live in. He decided he wanted to build one that she herself would love. So in 1997, he founded Balfour in Colorado, and the company has grown steadily since. They now have nine locations, with three more under construction. Prior to senior living, Schonbrun had spent a decade in charge of National Jewish Health, a leading respiratory clinical and health care research center. That experience has helped position Balfour well for the pandemic. From the first signs of trouble, Schonbrun and his team have taken the coronavirus seriously. In this excerpt from the SHN interview, see how Schonbrun’s unique background and proactive measures have kept Balfour’s residents and staff safe. How has COVID-19 impacted Balfour and influenced your thinking — and the industry’s? Do you think people are going to see more value in having on-site health care? The answer to that last question is yes. My first 10 years after getting out of law school I spent in the public health and health care regulatory environment. I think one of the benefits of COVID-19 — if you want to call it that — is that there’s going to be a willingness to invest in public health and to appreciate that, as...

School of Life May20

School of Life

There is a common saying that every lesson you need in life, you learn in kindergarten. A few fortunate people, like Gretchen Walker, get to learn those lessons again through the eyes of a professional adult. As a team leader with Yardi RENTCafé Reach services and an active member of a Montessori community, Walker regularly takes her lessons from the classroom to the conference room. The far-reaching benefits of work-life balance The RENTCafé Reach team is a digital marketing agency for Yardi clients using RENTCafé websites. Clients can take advantage of add-on features such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), social posting and reputation management. Walker enjoys her work with the team and the company for three major reasons. “Corporate culture at Yardi is collaborative, transparent and family-oriented,” reflects Walker. “It’s collaborative because everyone is willing to help, no matter what! I’m consistently impressed with the ease at finding answers by asking around. It’s transparent because Yardi’s open-door policy allows for anyone and everyone to know what’s going on with the company from the top down.” “Lastly, and importantly, I believe Yardi is family oriented.  The work-life balance here allows for employees to excel in both areas. I can be an engaged team member and parent without pressure to choose.” South Coast Montessori: lessons for life Yardi’s work-life balance has made space for Walker to serve as a founding board member of South Coast Montessori School. The school stands on the grounds of a previous Montessori school. For the last three years, Walker and her peers have worked hard to revive, redefine and remarket the new entity. In addition to her role as a board member, Walker serves on the fundraising committee and volunteers regularly as a class mom. It’s a lot...

Rising to Challenges May20

Rising to Challenges

It’s common for career paths to resemble the gradual assembly of a puzzle rather than the setting down of a yardstick. We begin with all the pieces, but it may take an external influence to help us see the whole picture. Queenette Chappell found herself sitting across from a career counselor with a slew of talents, a strong work ethic, and uncertainty of what to do next. Chappell wanted a career that merged her calculative mindset with her soft skills. “I wasn’t sure whether that existed,” she recalls. “I went to the UCSB career center looking for advice. They told me that an account manager job at a company named Yardi would be the perfect fit for me.”   Rising to the Challenge She began as an account manager and accelerated to become the manager of the Santa Barbara Investment Management Practice Group in fewer than five years. Now, she fortifies valuable relationships with clients by ensuring that her team provides exceptional support. “I focus on investing in our team’s development: conducting deep trainings, having frequent conversations about their careers, organizing team events, and introducing them to the greater Yardi community in monthly ‘Donut Fridays’ with other teams,” she shares. That is a modest overview of her responsibilities, of course. The intricacies of daily operations highlight why investment management roles are both challenging and rewarding. “Our clients structure their investment deals specifically to their business processes and requirements,” she explains. “Each client uses Yardi software differently, and our account managers and consultants need to give customized support to each client. To support these varied structures, we have robust products that give our clients the ability to exercise flexibility and customization.” Such complex software requires account managers and consultants with a fine eye for detail and a...

Leading with Action May17

Leading with Action

“Adversity does not build character. It reveals it.” Those words from James Lane Allen have resonated with readers for years. As we face challenges, our true nature is exposed. Yardi is proud to share the stories of several clients that have supported residents, built community and exercised leadership during this difficult time. Employee and resident support The Bridge Employee Emergency Support Initiative to Aid Employees Amidst COVID-19 details support services for team members. Bridge has offered to pay employees’ regular salary or hourly pay during their absence from work due to COVID-19 illness, self-quarantine, or to care for COVID-19-infected family members. The aid supports employees who can work remotely as well as those who cannot. This Initiative exceeds the requirements stated in The Families First Coronavirus Response Act for companies with less than 500 employees. It supplements current Bridge protocols regarding teleworking and enhances the organization’s protective measures for employees and residents. Bridge Investment Group multifamily residents are eligible for the COVID-19 Financial Hardship Assistance Program. Residents can contact property staff to negotiate a rent payment plan suitable for their financial condition. The plans may include deferrals, lease extensions, and renewal opportunities. Bridge will not pursue any evictions for the non-payment of rent during the crisis. “We do not want any resident to be concerned that they will be without a home during this pandemic,” states a recent Bridge press release. Hope through health and fitness To help residents cope with shelter in place practices, Bozzuto has introduced #BozzutoStaysHome, a virtual event series committed to bringing a sense of sanctuary to residents. “Sanctuary means many different things, but at the heart of it is a place where you feel at peace, where you can be yourself,” says Nicole J. Wells, content marketing manager, digital marketing and strategy with Bozzuto. “Prior to scheduling any activities, we first surveyed our residents to learn what topics were of true interest. Wellness and fitness were among the top areas. It’s natural that the place where you are at peace, where you can be your full self, would incorporate movement. Whether through dance, fitness or yoga, you are free to express and be,” says Wells. The #BozzutoStaysHome series emphasizes the importance of physical movement and fitness as a tool to release stress and maintain health. Sessions include yoga, functional movement, and dance resources. The multifamily housing provider also created the Flamingo 21-Day Virtual Wellness Challenge. Residents are encouraged to participate in home workouts. They can then post photos and encourage their fellow renters. Participants earn points that will be used to calculate rewards which include a party thrown by Flamingo—once shelter in place mandates are lifted– and year of free housekeeping services or personal training. In May, Bozzuto encourages residents to join A Wider Circle’s Virtual Race to End Poverty on May 16. Residents can sign up to exercise at a specific time to raise funds and awareness for A Wider Circle. The nonprofit focuses on emergency and long-term solutions for housing and food insecurity. Finding normalcy while sheltering in place Lincoln Property Company (LPC) has kept the atmosphere light by providing ways that residents can make sheltering in place feel more natural. Via social media, LPC shares content from their blog and sites such as Apartment Therapy to give residents tips on sheltering in place. Such resources include a guide to working from home, a list of the most versatile workout apps, bonding activities to do over teleconferencing apps, and quick meals for days when residents feel overloaded. The housing provider is also hosting the #LPCHomeTogether contest. Residents can submit pictures of how they’re making the most of their extended time at home. Submission ideas include pictures of DIY projects, workouts, and family games. Each week, LPC choses a winner who will receive a $50 Amazon gift card. LPC resident relief efforts include options for payment plans and other policies to lessen financial...

A Nurse’s Insights May13

A Nurse’s Insights...

For the latest installment in Voices, a Yardi-sponsored interview series, Senior Housing News spoke with Lisa Conrad, manager of the clinical and compliance team at Yardi. The series features different leaders’ views on trends, topics and issues in the senior living industry. In this case, Lisa’s experience gives her a unique perspective on not only technology changes but the COVID-19 crisis as well. Lisa’s background is actually in health care, not software. She’s a registered nurse who has worked in several different practice areas, from oncology to sports medicine to long-term care. Before Yardi, She was a director of nursing at a facility that had adopted electronic medical records very early on, which spurred her interest in the technology side of care. That role directly led to her position today at Yardi. Keep reading to see what Lisa had to share in her interview with SHN: Generally, how do you apply that clinical background to the technology in your day-to-day work at Yardi? My role is on the clinical compliance team, which focuses on supporting our implementation and customer service teams. We interact in the background with the various departments, whether it be assisting with a sales demo or working with an account manager on client workflows. We develop and do the quality assurance check on all the clinical software to make sure that it meets federal and state regulations. We keep up with federal and state requirements to make sure the software is always compliant. The team itself is composed of health care professionals from different specialties. It’s a really unique group in that we have team members from a variety of backgrounds who bring their own specialized skill sets to the projects we work on. What are the challenges and solutions that...

Industry Perspective May09

Industry Perspective

As multifamily real estate continues to adapt to new standards of social distancing and uncertain economic times, a longtime asset management executive sees signs of positive momentum for the industry. Greg Slang is executive vice president of asset management at KETTLER, a national recognized developer/owner/operator of multifamily assets in the Washington D.C. region as well as Florida and the Carolinas. With a portfolio that includes apartments in all asset classes from affordable to A+, Slang is positioned to observe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across property types and resident experiences. He recently sat down for an interview with Dhar Sawh, industry principal at Yardi, to speak about multifamily’s adaption to the changing times and KETTLER’s particularly swift response. You can listen to the full commentary here. Having worked through 9/11 and the Great Recession of 2007-2008, Slang provided an insightful look at the state of the multifamily industry from an asset management perspective. Among the topics covered in his interview: remote work, resident considerations during COVID-19, and what to look out for next. “This all happened very quickly,” said Slang. “It has been very difficult from a shock perspective. I liken it to 9/11, where one day all seems to be fine, and the next day, the whole world seems to be thrown into disarray.” Multifamily has reacted quickly to the social distancing circumstances required by COVID-19, incorporating the use of virtual tours, online leasing and other proactive measures. The only things that truly can’t be resolved remotely are major maintenance concerns. Slang said that the KETTLER team has reacted well to working remotely and is continuing to serve their residents effectively from a safe distance. That may be the norm in the months to come, he noted. “We were very surprised at...

Canada Cares May01

Canada Cares

This period of unexpected hardship has also sparked unprecedented acts of support and compassion. Several Yardi clients in Canada have stepped up to support their residents and communities through financial assistance and emotional support. Shiplake Properties: help during hard times In the throes of COVID-19, Shiplake Properties has launched several initiatives to support residents, essential workers, and the community. Residents of Toronto-based Shiplake Properties Ltd may qualify for credits toward rent increases and $250,000 in gift cards. If experiencing extreme hardship, the firm encourages residents to discuss their situations with property management using a designated email address. Additionally, the property management and development firm has offered $100 in UberEats gift cards or grocery gift cards to support residents and local businesses. For the community, Shiplake Properties founders allotted $250,000 to support University Health Network emergency staff. The funds help cover accommodation costs to support frontline workers who are staying in hotels to be closer to work and minimize exposure to families. The real estate firm also plans to support both Sinai and Sunnybrook Hospitals and The Daily Bread Foodbank in coming weeks. Greenrock Properties offers relief from duress Greenrock Property Management announced a $500K COVID-19 Relief Fund for residents and staff facing financial duress during COVID-19. The property manager has deferred all rent increases for residents. They are also offering flexibility on rent payments, such as allowing residents to use March rent deposits as credits towards April rent payments. For help beyond housing, residents will receive a $100 grocery card. Greenrock Property Management outreach extends into the neighborhoods in which they operate. The real estate firm has donated $300,000 to local nonprofits that aid families affected by COVID-19. “COVID-19 has created unique and extreme challenges for our city and communities. GREA through its Greenrock Charitable Trust has pledged $300,000 towards local charitable organizations to address concerns surrounding food security, mental health, domestic abuse, and senior care during this crisis,” states a press release. Northview uses creativity to spark hope Emotional support can also help residents thrive. To encourage social distancing while nourishing mental wellness, Northview Apartment REIT hosts Social Distancing Balcony Parties. Residents are encouraged to get outside, get creative and create a much noise as possible in support of frontline workers. The first events took place on April 5th and 15th. Residents decorated their balconies and honored frontline workers with noise makers. Whistles, pots, pans, cheering and more could be heard resounding throughout the community. Residents submitted images and videos of their parties for a chance to win $500 rent discounts. Northview matches the discounts with $500 donations to the local food bank. Northview plans to host similar events each week. Additionally, Northview has encouraged residents to paint rocks with uplifting and encouraging messages. Residents have created messages for health, happiness, and support of frontline workers. Creativity contests with CLV Group Ottawa-based CLV Group invites residents to think out of the box and show their creativity on social media. Residents are challenged to create and document visible rainbows throughout the property. To date, residents submitted rainbows using yarn, chalk, balloons, prisms, construction paper, Leggos and more! Participants vote on their favorite submissions and the winners receive grocery store gift cards. CLV Group is also publicly acknowledging their essential workers each week with the Home Heroes series on social media. CLV photographs employees executing their essential tasks throughout the property, accompanied by a brief bio. The comments are filled with messages of gratitude and encouragement. To support prospects, CLV offers rent discounts, lease concessions and free move-ins offers. Prospects can take advantage of a contactless leasing process that promotes health, efficiency, and convenience. Explore more corporate social responsibility initiatives by Yardi...

Senior Living Q&A Apr28

Senior Living Q&A...

How can technology help senior living providers overcome their biggest challenges? To get the answer, Senior Housing News (SHN) recently interviewed our own Ray Elliott, vice president of senior living at Yardi, as part of their Voices series. The content program, which we’re a sponsor of, asks executive leaders for their insights on trends, topics and issues that are shaping the industry. With almost two decades at Yardi, Ray has extensive experience working on software solutions for property management, initially supporting Yardi’s public housing product before taking charge of senior living. He’s seen how technology has grown in both sectors, transforming business as usual in powerful ways. Read on for an excerpt from Ray’s interview with SHN: What do you see as the most impactful way a property management platform such as Yardi can move the needle for senior living providers? Yardi goes beyond just being a property management platform. If you look at our history, that was where the company started, but today we do much more than that. We provide an end-to-end solution that our clients can use from the first engagement with a prospect all the way up through the care of residents. With the Yardi Senior Living Suite, everything is automated. If you’re using our CRM (customer relationship management), and you enter prospect data, details about that individual will make it through the sales cycle. When they end up in your community, you’re able to see everything in our EHR (electronic health record) product, down to their hobbies and interests. All that information flows automatically. Nobody has to transcribe it. Nobody has to enter it again. There isn’t a risk of that information being lost. It’s that sort of value-add that helps move the needle for providers. It helps them...

A Mission in Action

When a company’s mission statement is pulled from the page and implemented in daily life, it can transform the world. Grubb Properties’ vision statement encourages “working together to enhance life and community.” To fulfill that mission, Grubb Properties has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity. Together, they enhance life and community by building homes for those in need. In 2018, the North Carolina-based property manager and developer committed to build one Habitat home per year for ten years. Each home is built in cities where Grubb Properties has a presence. Grubb Properties, Yardi + Habitat for Humanity unite The 2018 build took place in Winston-Salem, NC followed by a 2019 build in Greenville, SC. Shawn Cardner, executive vice president, multifamily operations and information technology at Grubb Properties participated in the Greenville build. He was joined by Yardi team members Paul Yount, industry principal, sales and Jim Hill, director of consulting practices. “Paul and Jim were instrumental in garnering support from Yardi. We are incredibly thankful for Yardi’s financial contribution. To be honest, though, even more impactful was the commitment of time, energy, and travel that Yardi team members made to participate,” says Cardner. Habitat schedules several build days for a given house project. Each day requires at least 20 volunteers for framing, roofing, finishes, landscaping and more. To assist Grubb Properties volunteers, several Yardi employees made the three-to-four-hour drive from Raleigh to Greenville. In addition to Hill and Yount, Yardi volunteers included Zach Smith, Edward McNamee, Terry Judd, and Lucas Bader. “On top of the long drive, they then spent seven hours on the jobsite with temperatures near 100 degrees. It’s one thing to write a check and then tell people how charitable you are. It’s a much more impactful statement when you contribute your time, energy, blood and sweat for something. We’re thankful that Yardi contributed in both ways!” says Cardner. The heart of giving “We all felt a sense of accomplishment at the end. We started from an empty concrete slab and ended the day with all of the interior and exterior walls built and external sheathing attached as well,” reflects Hill. “We enjoyed spending the day with the Grubb team, the Habitat sponsor family and Habitat volunteers.  We all worked as a team. Seeing the finished job was pretty amazing.” Cardner adds, “As a member of our executive team, I’m just thrilled at the way all our employees, communities, and partners come together to work on a shared project. Grubb employees volunteered 368 hours on that build. Our employees also donated $7,055 to it which is just over 10% of the total amount raised through partner sponsorships. I’m incredibly proud to work with such incredibly generous and thoughtful people.” Grubb + Yardi, beyond the software The relationship between Grubb Properties and Yardi began as any B2B relationship would. Yardi provided a service and Grubb paid for it. But over the years, the relationship developed into a mutually supportive partnership. “Folks like Jim, Paul and Stephen Witek have worked tirelessly to develop the partnership that we have today. I don’t use the word partnership lightly. I know Yardi believes that the best way for it to succeed is to help companies like us succeed.” Hill adds, “At Yardi, nurturing client relationships is paramount. Additionally, Yardi is blessed to have the encouragement of Anant Yardi to support local philanthropic projects in the communities where we live. The local impact in our neighborhoods adds a level of personal pride at working at Yardi and in helping our clients and communities at the same time.” Continuing the good work “In the end, the best way to describe Grubb Properties’ stance on philanthropy is just to say it’s who we are,” explains Cardner. “It’s what our leadership believes in. It’s what our employees believe in. It’s even a characteristic of the residents we try to attract to our properties. We want to...