Need Efficient Leasing Solutions?

Technology offers several benefits that make it a mainstay in the multifamily leasing process. Today, we will check out solutions that add efficiency and convenience to your daily processes. Automated communication Automation is an essential part of an efficient leasing workflow. Automation means less hands-on time for staff, especially during redundant and menial tasks like responding to general questions. Let’s face it: most people don’t thoroughly read. An online study suggests that fewer than 25% of readers complete an online article. This means that—no matter how many details you put on your website—your staff will receive requests to answer the same questions. Additionally, your staff must remind prospects of upcoming tours, manage cancellations and rescheduling, and follow-up after tours are complete. Those simple tasks are time consuming, but they don’t have to be. Automated email services issue follow-ups and disseminate commonly requested information. Automated correspondences can save your staff time and save you money without sacrificing a high-quality user experience. Chatbots for intelligent automation Automation improves response times, which is important to prospects and residents alike. The 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report reveals that 88% of consumers expect a response within an hour and 33% of that group expects an answer in 15 minutes or less. Delayed or missed responses are bad for business. How do you improve response times while decreasing hands-on time for staff? Chatbots offer real time assistance. They answer questions, book appointments and “learn” to adapt to a company’s unique needs and customer trends. Chatbot are growing in popularity. It is estimated that 85% of human interactions online will be handled by a chatbot by 2025. Users demonstrate such trust in chatbots that 68% of them expect a better experience with a chatbot than a human. Get 3 Critical Tips for Picking the Right Chatbot Virtual and self-guided tours Virtual tours can take many formats. Pre-recorded video tours and live video tours are both popular, agent-led options. These tours give your staff the opportunity to build rapport and pursue the sale during conversation. They also offer the convenience of engagement without face-to-face interaction. But agent-led tours still require a notable time investment from staff. The third tour type, self-guided tours, empowers prospects to schedule their tour online, check in online, and gain access to the unit without the intervention of an agent. Prospects can then enjoy a live tour and follow-up correspondence from an agent. Self-guided tours are in-demand. A survey of 4,974 consumers on RENTCafe.com reveals that 70% of respondents would take a self-guided tour. This convenient tour offering is also effective. Yardi client QuadReal reports that 33% of its self-made appointments converted to leases. Virtual options allow you to schedule more tours and expand touring hours. Both benefits facilitate greater convenience for your team and your prospects. Online rent collection Consumers crave online conveniences. Yardi client Applied Property Management has a leasing process that is entirely online. More than 92% of its market-rate residents also pay rent online and the company expects the number to reach 100% in the near future. Residents at Applied Property Management aren’t unique in their payment habits. Per the NMHC/Kingsley survey, nearly 80% of residents prefer to pay online. Online payments can take several convenient forms for your residents. They can pay online with a credit or debit card, schedule a one-time or reoccurring ACH and even pay by text message. When there are fewer people dropping off rent checks, you reduce office traffic and strain on staff. Online payments also result in zero rent envelopes to open, deliver to the bank and wait for processing. Online maintenance requests and tracking To a resident, every disturbance in their home workflow may feel a rip off and a domestic emergency. They aren’t paying for a broken dishwasher and that leaky pipe is threatening their personal belongings. So until the issues are resolved, you’ll get regularly scheduled calls from...

Tech for the Win

If you’re like many multifamily operators, the technology you thought would be “nice to have” became “must have” when COVID-19 hit. With those must-have contactless services and automated transactions in place, companies are now asking, “what’s next?” to move business forward. To answer that question, we talked to Chad Munitz, vice president of development at Towne Properties, Jennifer Price, director of systems at Walton Communities, and Greg Slang, executive vice president of asset management at KETTLER, about the metrics they’re focusing on in 2021, and how it’s shifted the way they do business. The bottom line: They can still improve net operating income beyond rent increases by reducing expenses, increasing efficiencies and leveraging new technology in their operational processes. Keep reading to hear their stories and get some ideas to incorporate in your business. Virtual tours and online leasing According to Munitz, Towne prides itself on being a high touch management company — and technology has increased its capabilities to offer more to its residents. With the onset of the pandemic, Towne quickly provided more contactless services. “When the pandemic started, one of our initial fears was how do we keep those relationships and touches going with all of our residents. It allowed us to figure out the services we wanted to roll out quicker — including allowing people to pay rent online and sign leases digitally. We really started focusing on a centralized leasing and management process and honed-in on some of our urban properties where we were seeing the most negative impacts of the pandemic in terms of revenue. So, we centralized all our leasing and management at one location and implemented technology to support it. We were as in touch with our residents as we were before, and we increased ways...

Optimize Rents

At every step of your journey, there are opportunities to elevate your asset performance. Today’s technology can equip you with the tools and insights needed to make the most of every square foot. Read on to learn how you can maximize rents at every stage of your project. Design for density To maximize net rentability, begin with your design. Dense multifamily housing offers more units and the potential to garner more rents. Data from Hanley Wood explores ways to increase density in multifamily, along with the benefits and disadvantages of each methodology. Explore site plans that truly show the relationships between design options and core development metrics. Of the most favorable options, you might: apply for a variance to decrease the setbacks on the site. This relatively simple adjustment can boost your buildable square footage. increase the net rentable square feet (NRSF) by increasing the depth of your units at the desired square footage. In longer runs, you can increase density and the potential for rents. get creative with amenities. When possible, decrease their size and explore options such as an outsourced gym with Amenify or outsourced communal space. With improved density, you help to increase your NRSF and position yourself for greater net rentability. Maximize rents with the latest data If you’re working with a built structure, there are ample opportunities to maximize rents. Implement a program that optimizes the value of your asset using big data, predictive analytics and prescriptive actions. Overall, this approach helps to keep costs low, increase your revenue and mitigate costly operational risks. Consider a solution that allows you to benchmark your operating income and expenses against your competition. Transparency within your portfolio is crucial as well. A robust system synthesizes data throughout your integrated property management, leasing...

Café Coworking

Before coworking became an industry, we had coffee shops. Any café with free internet became a place where students and professionals would settle in for work. In the age of coworking spaces, coffee shops are still formidable competition—and tech innovations make the competition stronger. Coffee shops are cashing in as flexible workspaces We’ve all witnessed the coffee shop scene: with a beverage nearby, individuals and small groups hammer out ideas on their laptops or in hushed conversations. Sometimes, we’re one of them. Other times, we vie with them for table space. Coffee shops are the original flexible workspace, and more shops are converting available square footage to fill climbing demand. Awake Coffee Company opened in metro Atlanta in 2015. It was a small, tight space that wasn’t conducive to working. I went twice before finding a different spot. In 2019, Awake moved just one block away to a larger location, and now you can’t keep me out of it. It offers formal and informal coworking quarters alongside its cozy coffee operation. Awake isn’t the only shop cashing in on flexible workspaces. An increasing number of cafes seek a bump in revenue by offering coworking plans. Even restaurants in major metros are getting their cut of the pie. The New York Times reported on the shift, and it continues to gain momentum. New industries blossomed from the shift. KettleSpace and WorkEatPlay both specialize in turning food-focused locales into coworking spaces. Their clients’ clientele are people who don’t want to pay several hundred dollar or more per month for a coworking space. Additionally, they crave a relaxed, social atmosphere. These are freelancers, contractors and gig workers who love what they do because it doesn’t require a designated space. Yes, you can hold your own with the...

Canadian RE Insight

We continue our discussion of how to create a supportive technology culture in Canadian real estate organizations with industry leaders Sarah Segal, director of real estate for Informa Connect, and Michael Brooks, CEO of REALPAC. Let’s start with Brooks, who itemizes what he considers the most necessary elements for promoting a tech-friendly culture: “I would say attitude, process and leadership,” he says. “Attitude means being receptive to continuous improvement. Process encompasses the search and selection of the best tech fit for the organization. And leadership refers to affirmation from top management that progress and technology adoption are complementary and self-reinforcing virtues.” And what’s the best way to encourage receptiveness to new technology? For Segal, it’s fairly straightforward: “Don’t make it scary. Keep it simple and focused,” she says, because major changes to working processes take time and resources and have the potential to overwhelm. Once the team gets comfortable and realizes how the products benefit their work and the organization as a whole, “you can grow the offerings and technology stack.” “Technology integration is a journey, not a single product,” Segal continues. “Incremental growth leads to higher returns and better adoption as opposed to big, sudden shifts in how a team works.” It’s a good idea to “anticipate concerns and opportunities that may arise and have solutions ready for them. This will lead to increased user acceptance and satisfaction.” One of the biggest uncertainties surrounding real estate and the rest of the economy over the past year is, of course, COVID-19. Did the pandemic have an impact on tech adoption?  Segal and Brooks agree that the pandemic gave rise to a paradigm shift for many commercial tech companies. In Informa Connect’s case, “what had been a 5-10 year plan became a 5-10 month plan,”...

EHR Care Stream App

For nurses and other care staff in senior living, having an efficient record-keeping system is crucial. And for staff members who work across multiple communities — or remotely — accessing an electronic health record system from a mobile device is largely beneficial.    With the latest release of the Yardi EHR Care Stream app, users can now access the features from a smartphone — an advantageous step forward for senior care staff. This upgrade means the Care Stream app is compatible with both smartphones and tablet devices. In short, the upgrade allows nurses and care staff to perform order resolutions and execute point-of-care charting directly from a smartphone. This helps staff streamline workflows, save time and optimize care responsibilities. And with a user interface reformatted for smartphone use, the new and improved app supports all the same functionality as the tablet version. “With the flexibility to perform order resolutions and related tasks from a smartphone, senior care staff can complete their work more efficiently,” said Ray Elliott, vice president of senior living at Yardi. “The upgrade also helps staff members with limited access to tablet devices. Smartphone functionality allows more communities to utilize the app’s many benefits.” To download the Yardi EHR Care Stream app for smartphones, visit the Google Play Store or the App...

Informed Decisions, Better Results

The most successful companies are those that utilize data and analytics as a supporting tool to adapt to rapid market changes, but how can you simplify Big Data to improve daily decision making? How can online services help you stay connected while safely doing business miles apart? There are innovative solutions that offer a combination of tools that boost profitability, efficiency, communication and even security. Read on to discover four ways asset intelligence (AI) technology can help CRE operators understand how to navigate market shifts and emerge with a competitive edge. 1. Use data to enhance asset performance On average, more North American organizations have been using big data for benchmarking and prescriptive analytics over the past few years. In fact, according to KMPG’s 2020 CEO Outlook, 92% of Canadian CEOs fast-tracked their transformation to meet COVID-19 challenges, with 76% believing that investments in tech tools such as automation, artificial intelligence and cloud systems are critical to unlocking long-term growth. As a result of the tech adoption, the CRE industry is seeing AI enable teams to identify patterns and recognize trends by easily visualizing broader pools of data that influence KPIs, all within a customizable dashboard. With the assistance of automation and machine learning, the data becomes more refined over time facilitating more informed decisions on everything from marketing spend to concessions and leasing velocity. Having ongoing access to distilled real-time reporting encourages team collaboration, a data driven culture and empowers departments to stay on track of projects – it can even give individuals the latitude to go beyond their day-to-day responsibilities. During challenging times, this refined data also gives operators better insight into deals and key early wins that can reassure and even excite stakeholders. 2. Forge a clearer pathway to success with cloud-based data management Cloud-based asset management platforms offer key insights into portfolio health including revenues, debt, risk, occupancy and sales. Such data helps asset managers make more strategic decisions and set stakeholder expectations. Benefits also abound at the property level. Today’s asset management software seamlessly integrates with site-specific tools. Integrated, cloud-based technology supports facility and construction managers, leasing agents and property-level users. From online rent payments to digital procurement, users save time, decrease redundancies and improve accuracy within a single integrated system. With site staff connected to a single point of truth, they can efficiently make better day-to-day decisions. Structured dashboards enhance the value and practicality of data. “[Commercial clients] want a solution that’s designed for them and which connects them to the central data system with mobile applications and dashboards. That’s why we created a connected ecosystem for the operations side with Yardi Elevate,” explains Brian Sutherland, vice president, sales commercial at Yardi. He continues, “Expanding data access to the back office is tied to the larger issue of data management. The challenge is dissecting data and making it actionable for informed decisions. That’s the importance of role-based dashboards that remove guesswork for building operations people who need to control costs and work more efficiently.” Modern asset management technology platforms assimilate data at the property and portfolio levels and make it universally available. With a complete set of information, asset managers can evaluate pipelines, connect investors with appropriate deals and create an effective management plan. More strategic deal execution paves the way to increased revenues and overall success. 3. Gain greater efficiency and convenience throughout your organization with online services The cloud offers a unique opportunity to work with live data from anywhere with an internet connection. Executives can review reports, approve expenses and authorize payments when and where it’s convenient for them. Asset managers virtually present live reports to stakeholders with real-time data that is consistent throughout reporting systems. Whether in the office or a remote work environment, leaders across the organization achieve greater accuracy and efficiency with online services. At the property level, online portals make it easy to process rent payments,...

YASC Global

More than 17,000 participants from 64 countries collectively viewed 60,000 classes about Yardi products and initiatives from May 18-20 during the third virtual Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) Global event held during the pandemic. Many of the spotlight sessions offered highlighted ways that Yardi technology has helped clients, their employees and customers adapt and thrive with technology during a time when limited contact has been a priority. The event again utilized the Yardi Aspire platform to deliver customized educational content. YASC attendees also enjoyed a virtual fundraising concert by guitarist/songwriter Jason Mraz. Each view of the performance generated a donation from Yardi, raising nearly $100,000 for COVID-19 relief initiatives. Meditation and mindfulness sessions were available for attendees to enjoy during short breaks between classes. Highlights from some of the featured spotlight sessions included: Marketing and automation solutions for residential Optimized marketing, automated chatbots and accessible self-guided tours were among the highlights presented in the residential spotlight session. These fully integrated Yardi solutions are among the ways multifamily clients have continued to see success during the pandemic. “I want to show you what’s possible when you have the right digital marketing strategy in place,” said Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. “I bet you have a website. But do you have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place that can help you get your properties on page one of search results and get your customers directly to your website so that you can convert them into paying renters, faster?” RENTCafé Reach helps clients attract qualified prospects with advanced search marketing services. The platform is currently optimizing more than 2,000 industry websites for organic search and driving rent-ready leads to managers. “This is the most cost-effective marketing channel,” Bonardi said. “And you can target exactly the traffic you need for the moment or availability you’re in.” Additional features like reputation management, search, and a new marketing analytics tool called Marketing IQ were also presented. “Marketing IQ is a one stop shop for all the data you need to make marketing decisions,” Bonardi said. “It’s really all for the purpose of improving your marketing ROI, which ultimately leads to a stronger NOI.” Once you’ve got a prospect on the line, engaging immediately to answer their questions is of paramount importance. But what if it’s after hours or your leasing office is closed for the weekend? That’s where chatbots come in. “Your prospective residents want and expect answers quickly, whether you’re open or not, or they quickly move on. This is especially true for popular new channels like text and chat,” said Paul Yount, industry principal for RENTCafé. “Bots and multiple touring options can really complement each other when they work together hand in hand.” Yount demonstrated a full conversation with a chatbot that answered questions about a property’s electric vehicle charging stations, pet policy, availability and pricing. He was able to schedule a self-guided tour via text and then showed how further AI automation can continue to answer questions even when the leasing office was closed during the tour. From a property manager’s perspective, the latest multifamily technology from Yardi not only solves for social distancing and accessibility but reduces staff time spent following up on prospect questions or even leading in-person tours. Proptech trends for the commercial sector Rob Teel, senior vice president of global solutions at Yardi, shared that for him, the most overwhelming CRE proptech trend in the last 12 months has been increased technical adoption. “That means paperless and contactless transactions, and online communication. When I think about paperless transactions, one of the best examples of innovation that helps eliminate that last piece of paper in the organization – which we’re all trying to do – is our e-signature capability for leases. You can now publish a lease for signature, there’s no exchange of FedEx documents and no meeting to get a wet signature. Paperless transactions and...

Tech Harmony

We’ve learned that most every company is a tech company: in the past year, companies that prioritized adaptability and tech innovation managed to thrive in the most unprecedented circumstances. At PM Springfest, two real estate industry experts shared their best practices for tech selection, implementation and creating efficient processes that scale. Their analysis offers insights and inspiration to prepare Canadian property managers for a harmonious future with technology. PM Springfest 2021 PM Springfest is a two-day online educational conference for decision makers and influencers of the property management industry. The event gave participants the opportunity to connect, network, learn and share insights on the industry’s most important topics including sustainability, legal and regulatory issues, resiliency and technology. Panelist Sandeep Manak, CFO, Wesgroup Properties, Brian Turpin, CIO, Greenwin and moderator Sam Amin, marketing manager, Yardi Canada led the webinar, “Hello New World: Are You Ready for the Future of Real Estate Tech?” The panel explored how tech facilitates business continuity, strategies for successful adoption and how they leverage data to thrive. Tech is essential for modern, successful business continuity The pandemic served as a catalyst for technology adoption throughout real estate verticals. Manual processes, paper-based filing systems, and face-to-face interactions came to an abrupt halt. Technology empowered companies to press forward and thrive in remote environments. Turpin says, “At Greenwin, we always had this digital mindset of being cloud-first. Our overall strategy has been focused on mobility, digital payments, online leasing, and virtual tours.” As a result, Greenwin was able to shift to remote work environments within a few days. The organization also accelerated disaster response protocols that were already in place. “Something that we specifically did around the pandemic was the deferred payments,” says Turpin. “A vendor like Yardi quickly stepped up and pivoted...

Future of Procurement in Canada

In the last year, we’ve witnessed accelerated implementation of web-based property management software, automated services and paperless transactions. We now know technology is here to stay and more businesses will continue to leverage technology to help improve efficiency and continuity throughout the organization. In the Canadian real estate industry, this uptake in tech is particularly true in procurement and payment processing. If you are looking for a solution to take your organization to the next level of efficiency, an end-to-end procurement to payment software should be on your vendor list. Unlock potential value Christine Williams, vice president of national operations and administration for QuadReal Property Group, is one of many Yardi clients that are leveraging paperless solutions. “Our internal initiative is to always stay current with technology and processes. We want to empower our staff to get the job done in the fastest, most efficient and the most accurate way.” Getting invoices on the desk and scanning them is a new safety concern, as well as an inconvenient task that takes many hours from staff schedules. Rather than handling high-quality tasks, your staff is stuck sifting through stacks of paper. This is when you need a solution like a third party digital invoice services to take the burden from your team to off-site specialists who can scan and key your invoices. By outsourcing this work you free up time for your team while leadership maintains control of all invoice approvals. Cheque writing is another drain on your staff’s time and in-office hours. Paper cheques require printing, signing, postage fees and can cause potential delays. Implementing an electronic payment platform permits efficient vendor payments and data. Offering a truly paperless invoice process is key for ensuring successful business continuity.  Williams says, “Historically, manual management processes have proven to be inefficient. We are big on automating workflows at QuadReal. Wherever we can put a user access control in place from a system perspective, we would rather have someone push an approve button than a piece of paper.” Simplify vendor management Maintaining open lines of communication with your vendors is important but staff can find themselves fielding dozens of calls and emails each day. A  self-service online portal for vendors enables vendors to submit invoices, check payment statuses, manage POs and work orders when they are off or onsite. When vendors can manage their own accounts, there is less downstream burden for your staff. Williams continues, “If there is a vendor that is going to integrate ordering to purchase orders to invoice submissions and payments, they understand the market’s needs. Having that functionality takes multiple steps out of our process, making it easier for all stakeholders.” Gain control of MRO spend With the recent increase in tech adoption, some businesses are seeing a disparate supplier base across their organization leading to errors, inconsistencies and cost variables. Without a streamlined approach to your procurement spend, your team is constantly adjusting to moving targets. To take the guess work out of procurement management consider what online catalogues can offer and how your organization can benefit from tracking and centralizing all procurement decisions in a single database. Two other major wins of streamlining your processes is that your operations team feels empowered to make better decisions and it helps create consistent policies throughout your communities. Williams explains, “Minimizing manual steps makes our processes easier for our properties, staff and vendors, and we embrace tech innovation. From a site user perspective, all our team needs to do is log onto Marketplace, place their order, the system will generate a purchase order, that follows our predefined workflow to get all of the necessary approvals. From a management standpoint, we have access to the analytics, from which we gain greater visibility into our working capital and budget.” Go beyond business continuity As organizations prepare for our post-pandemic reality, integrated technology remains a key determinate in the ability to...

Investment Management Trends

One of the major challenges in investment management is providing visibility to investors. Driving transparency between owners and investors leads to increased investor confidence, reduced risk and a healthier relationship for all parties involved. Communicating with investors and allowing them access to reports and data is critical when it has become evident that in-person meetings will be less and less common.  Technology platforms streamline day-to-day tasks and provide greater efficiency to reduce the risk for human error. Chris Barbier, Yardi industry principal, explained this premise on a recent REF Club podcast. For example, you could simply enter a number wrong into a formula. An employee who operates the spreadsheet could leave the business, and interpreting data could become a strenuous task. Numbers have to be auditable. There has to be integrity to the data as it rolls up the ownership structure, as Barbier explained. “As an investor, you get the confidence of knowing there is a platform behind a number and that it’s not just being calculated manually in a spreadsheet,” he said. Transparency is also vital for members of the organization beyond the accounting department. “Folks in investor relations, portfolio management, asset management, fund management, they may be the consumers of the accounting information but may not have direct access to the accounting system,” Barbier said. These roles speak directly with investors. Internal departments’ visibility can help them pull up data faster, answer questions, provide details, and broaden the overall transparency between the company and its investors. The pandemic highlighted communication as a value proposition with stakeholders even further. Tech solutions have improved collaboration and communication between teams internally, making remote work more successful than most organizations anticipated. But these tech platforms have also allowed for business continuity in which investors still felt connected to the organization. They were still receiving distribution checks or payments in a timely fashion and never lost visibility into the financial status of a company during a very uncertain year. Investors justifiably had more fear or concern about their portfolio over the past year. Yardi addresses those questions with their investment management solutions. Investors are often asking, “do I have that in my portfolio?” as Barbier explained. “Is that impacting my return? How is that impacting my investment?” Barbier said these were the common questions from investors. “We’ve done a lot in the investor communication side in the past year because we’ve seen clients want to adopt the technologies. COVID accelerated that, but some clients were already going in that direction,” he added. Tech platforms such as Yardi’s investment solutions are a driver for growth and operational performance. Organizations can scale, build value and gain investors without adding staff or additional costs for multiple solutions due to the added efficiency of a single connected platform. Additionally, as Barbier explained, tech provides a new level of asset oversight and risk management, with better access to asset-operational data. “New tools provide that visibility, so [you have] more proactive discussions and less reactive. That starts to gain some efficiencies over time in terms of getting ahead of things that come up at the operational level,” he said. Allowing clients to find ways to squeeze additional value and return yield from the assets. Investors want to have the ability to answer their questions and find the data they’re looking for when they want it. “They’re checking in, at least monthly, to see their positions, their information and where they are with their investments,” Barbier said. But the key is that investors are more involved and more knowledgeable about their standing now than when clients were passively sending information out to investors via email or other avenues. Tech platforms provide that window for self-service that investors seek.  “We’ve seen a trend for a few years now in the U.S. where many investment managers are moving from best of breed to a single integrated solution,” Barbier said. Owning the...

Streaming Efficiency

Working in multiple locations need not hinder efficient record-keeping by nurses and other senior living community care staff thanks to the Yardi EHR Care Stream App. Yardi EHR Care Stream app lets care staff execute point-of-care charting and related administrative tasks on mobile devices. Previously users had to log in to Yardi EHR, a full service electronic health record solution for senior living, to perform order resolutions before charting orders in the Yardi EHR Care Stream app. “This faster, more efficient process for order resolution helps all senior care nurses and especially those who work in multiple communities or remotely. They can spend less time on record-keeping and direct more of their energies to their pressing care responsibilities,” said Ray Elliott, vice president of senior living for Yardi. See how Yardi EHR combines with the rest of the Yardi Senior Living Suite to create a comprehensive technology platform for senior living...

Fresh Upgrades

Yardi regularly works to foster product enhancements, develop new features and improve usability in the Senior Living Suite. From gaining client feedback to testing new ideas throughout the year, upgrades are crafted to make our software more valuable for senior living providers. These upgrades are then compiled into an accessible guide for clients. We’re pleased to announce that Yardi Voyager Senior Housing 7.14 is now available to explore. Here’s an overview of the upgrades included.       Yardi Voyager Voyager welcomes an array of exciting updates and new functionality. Namely, the enhancement of several reports such as the Portfolio Census, Resident Days and Resident Ledger. Other Voyager updates include: New trust fund accounting functionalityA Copy Resident tool for seamless community-to-community transfers Watch the overview video Read the Voyager new features guide RENTCafé Senior CRM RENTCafé Senior CRM provides complete visibility into your marketing and sales activities — and 7.14 is packed with upgrades to help. Included is an improved user interface. Equipped with redesigns of prospect profiles and activity list screens, the enhanced interface allows for a smoother navigation of prospect history. Additional upgrades consist of:    Ability to select checkboxes during digital lease signingCentralized pet information tableRevamped calendar integrationDisplay of time spent with leadsNew lead staging workflow with capability to create sales guides and action items Watch the overview video Read the RENTCafé Senior CRM new features guide Yardi EHR EHR is full of new features, along with enhancements to several modules. Among these is a brand-new dashboard for infection surveillance and immunization monitoring, designed to help care managers track assessments related to vaccinations and infectious diseases — including COVID-19. Check out the rest, at a glance:  Function to copy resident records from one community to anotherTime-saving tools for incident reportingEnhanced Kno2 interfaceAbility to...

Lease Accounting Software

Implementing IFRS 16 lease accounting standards is a daunting task as it requires adhering to new policies, adopting new measures, and changing existing processes. As per the new lease accounting standards, assets and liabilities need to be recognized by lessees in the balance sheet. The aim is to make reporting more transparent and allow companies to ascertain the nature of lease transactions. Transitioning to lease accounting software will help your business achieve compliance without hassle. A lease accounting software is a great tool to do calculations, produce journal entries and automate reporting compliant with the new IFRS 16 standards.  The selection and implementation process for a software can be a time-consuming endeavor. There are, however, certain criteria businesses can investigate to determine the best lease accounting software for their needs. You should be clear on the software’s data gathering and reporting capabilities, its cost-effectiveness, and the different benefits you will enjoy after the successful implementation of the software.  Here are some of the features you should look for when reviewing lease accounting software providers. Compliance with IFRS disclosure requirements There are many software solutions on the market promising different sets of features to ease IFRS 16 implementation. However, you must choose a software that helps in meeting all disclosure requirements.  The new standards demand more disclosures in the form of right-of-use assets, interest expenses, and information regarding the outflow of leases. A good lease accounting software should develop all disclosure reports as and when the company needs them.  Look for maximum accuracy and flexibility of the software solution IFRS 16 standards are very complex. A manual fixing of such complexities would take a lot of time, resources and may lead to errors. To prevent this, software solutions should have configurations that support data features that make the process easy.  A company generally has a large lease portfolio. To maintain accuracy after every change operated by different stakeholders, internal control needs support. An advanced lease accounting software solution will help with the data entry validation mechanism and provide role-based access for optimal results. A centralized data repository for easy collaboration A large amount of lease data is one of the most difficult things to handle by account managers. A lease management software solution with a centralized data repository will not only save time but money, as well. It makes it easy for employees of different departments to access the information on the platform.  Additionally, access should be granted to only those who need it, with complex data security protocols and security standards. Notifications and alerts are key As mentioned before, the lease portfolios of some companies are large. Thus, manually managing each facet of the contracts is a tedious task. It may include payment dates, renewals, events, etc. With lease software solutions, you can send automated notifications and get alerts for every important date or event in your lease contracts. Making the transition to new standards takes time and effort. But it can be done at ease with a powerful lease accounting software solution and the right support. COROM Lease Management from Yardi is a great lease accounting software solution that can help you implement IFRS 16 standards. Visit www.yardicorom.com for more...

Grow Investor Confidence – And Your Business

The investment world historically has been an industry filled with spreadsheet reports and snail mail paper checks. Errors can arise when entering data in multiple spreadsheets and relying on disparate systems is inefficient , especially when sharing information between investment, investor and accounting system. Thankfully, technology is transforming investment management for real estate. Investors now expect on-demand service and self-service access to key metrics, capital transactions, important documents and reports. Having the right technology creates better value for investors, which leads to increased investor confidence. Investment management technology can improve communication, increase visibility and provide easy access to performance metrics. Top systems are mobile-friendly and available wherever, whenever access is required. Improve communication Managing the relationships with existing and prospective investors is a key part of growing any investment business and raising capital. Yardi Investment Manager provides a platform that makes communicating with investors more efficient, easier and error-free. Cohen Asset Management’s investor relations staff can log into Yardi Investment Manager and see the online tools their investors are using, deals they are involved in, contact information, returns, distributions and other information. Scott McGinness, principal and chief financial officer, shared: “By being able to deliver information when it’s needed, we don’t have to follow up with the investor later, which is easier on both parties, “ Organizations benefit from a single connected tool that helps: Centralize communications with existing and prospective investorsManage capital call and distribution notices with investorsEasily send out correspondence, track activities and follow up tasks quicklyEnable better collaboration with new investment opportunities Increase transparency and accuracy Yardi Investment Manager is a single source of the truth for investor and investment information. Provide access to portfolio and property metrics directly to investors. Automate the subscription agreement process for new investment opportunities with existing or prospective investors.. With an integrated solution, there is no need for disparate systems and manual transfer of data.  This allows you to provide timely access to information to your investors. By easily compiling and communicating accurate information, Yardi Investment Manager strengthens Cohen Asset Management’s investor relationships with superior service and allows the company to maintain a lean organization. Access information easily In addition to investment and property metrics, Yardi Investment Manager makes it easy to publish reports, tax documents, subscription agreements and more to investors through an online branded portal. This allows your investors access to information anytime, anywhere. And since the portal can take on your company’s personalized branding, it will offer offer a customized , highly professional experience for investors. Manage portfolios on the go Yardi Investment Manager provides access to investor and investment information on any device. It makes it easy to find and review every piece of information you need, from anywhere, so you can have informed discussions with your team and your investors on: Portfolio and investor dataRisk monitoringFundraisingCapital transactionsInvestor communications Yardi Investment Manager is a single connected solution that brings investing partners together and instills investor confidence. Provide access to reports and detailed documentation so your investors feel an increased sense of connection and value with their partnership. Yardi Investment Manager is part of the investment suite of products, a fully-integrated platform available with Yardi Voyager, Investment Accounting or as a standalone solution. Overall, you’ll improve efficiency and boost visibility into investor activity and investment metrics, making portfolio oversight simpler than ever. Join an Investment Manager webinar to learn...

Shine On

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have honored ENERGY STAR® partners from 39 states for outstanding leadership in reducing energy bills and tackling climate change. This year, Yardi has received the highest honor — the 2021 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award. For the third consecutive year, Yardi has excelled as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year in its ongoing commitment to help educate and support its clients through energy management software with a built-in dashboard for ENERGY STAR scores and benchmarking using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®. Ongoing Excellence “ENERGY STAR award-winning partners are showing the world that delivering real climate solutions makes good business sense and promotes job growth,” said Michael S. Regan, EPA administrator. “Many of them have been doing it for years, inspiring all of us who are committed to tackling the climate crisis and leading the way to a clean energy economy.” The 2021 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award acknowledges Yardi’s technology solutions and ongoing philanthropic efforts across a variety of real estate sectors including: Helping more than 140 clients benchmark energy in over 3,500 buildings Benchmarking water in over 3,000 buildings Promoting the importance of ENERGY STAR scores to clients through education, training and visibility Including ENERGY STAR in Yardi’s energy management software dashboard Publishing more than 32 articles on the benefits of benchmarking, energy management and other conservation topics Providing digital courses for over 36,000 attendees from more than 58 countries during its virtual user conferences Again earning ENERGY STAR certification for its Southern California corporate headquarters Akshai Rao, vice president at Yardi, sees the award as a reflection of the company’s clients and their impressive achievements in energy management and conservation. “We’re proud of our clients’ achievements using ENERGY STAR resources to meet their business and sustainability goals. Our benchmarking increased by more than 50% over last year. This is due in part to rapid adoption of ENERGY STAR benchmarking to better understand remote work environment impacts on building energy use during the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to helping our clients and the industry gain even more ENERGY STAR benefits moving forward,” said Rao. Your Turn to Shine For a complete list of 2021 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit energystar.gov/awardwinners. To learn more about getting support for your company’s energy management and sustainability goals, join a free energy management...

Let’s chat

Property management chatbots have been a hot topic lately, especially for multifamily rentals. A chatbot can meet renters’ increasing demands for digital communication and capture more leasing opportunities, but only if it’s used wisely. First, we’ll talk about why you should consider “hiring” a chatbot if you don’t have one on staff already. Then, we’ll show you three things your chatbot should be able to do. Finally, watch a short video to get chatbot tips from expert marketer Drew Davis, who spent months talking to chatbots in different industries to see what works and what doesn’t. Why a chatbot? Employing a chatbot as part of your customer experience team can ensure you never miss an incoming leasing opportunity, day or night, and it frees up onsite staff to focus on assisting applicants and residents. If you don’t have a chatbot yet, you’re probably losing leases to competitors that do. That’s because customers expect instant and accurate answers to their questions. They hate waiting. In fact, in a survey on response times that included more than 3,000 customers, 88% of respondents expected a response within an hour, with 33% of them saying they expect an answer in 15 minutes or less. Is that realistic for your agents, especially when you factor in after-hours contacts? Probably not. That’s where a chatbot comes in handy. But do people really want to talk to a bot? Recent data says they do. The 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report found that 48% of renters say they would use a chatbot in their next rental search. That number is anticipated to grow as chatbot adoption becomes increasingly common across multiple industries. A 2019 report by Chatbots Life predicts that chatbots will handle 85% of human interactions online within the next...

GREEN on the Go

GREEN Real Estate is in the process of building a best in class organization that supports the entrepreneurship, growth and development of the company. One of the pillars of such an organization is continuous insight in data availability of business information. In this context creating more seamless leasing processes was a goal for GREEN Real Estate, a real estate investor and developer with numerous projects in urban areas of the Netherlands. Being able to access current transaction activity, company communication and approval workflows from an electrical car outside the property? Well, that’s just a cool bonus. We recently caught up with Steven van Ginkel, Manager of Finance and Control for GREEN Real Estate, who says that use of mobile-friendly Yardi solutions for the company has been a game changer. The GREEN team works continuously to improve the combination of living, working, mobility and shopping in the Netherlands. They have used the Yardi platform since April 2015. Yardi was selected to improve data accuracy and transparency, simplify workflows, provide executive oversight and access to information from any online device. Earning and approving new deals Yardi Deal Manager, the most dynamic leasing solution on the market, enables asset managers and their internal and external brokers to reduce unit turnover, improve communication, work with prospects and provide managers and executives with all the real-time insight they need. It also makes it very easy to submit available lease options to potential new tenants. “Proposals to prospective tenants are literally one mouse click. This creates time to improve quality to the offer and communication between leads and the asset managers,” van Ginkel said. Changes are also faster when made within the system. We save between 30 to 60 minutes each time we make any contractual change when using Deal...

Experts Unlock

What’s the formula for promoting a tech-friendly culture in an organization? We asked four leaders in Canadian real estate for their insights as part of the Yardi Canada “Canadian Trailblazers” series. Olivier Rocheleau, corporate controller for Groupe Petra, identifies showcasing upper management’s willingness to innovate, recruiting support within the company and instilling strong change management skills as the principal elements. “Everything starts with upper management understanding the need and benefits of technology, not just its cost. Business will see a decline in profitability and lose valued employees who are tired of working with outdated tools, if changes are not made during these times,” he says. At the same time, he notes, employees are usually the best sources of insight into the shortcomings of the current tech situation and processes. Sandeep Manak, CFO for Wesgroup Properties, concurs. “Get the president or chairman to use new tech” as the first adopters and to lead by example, he advises. Sarah Segal, director of real estate for Informa Connect, manager of the Canadian Real Estate Forums, considers formulating a strong vision for the future, nurturing cultural evolution and displaying a willingness to go the extra mile as the principal ingredients of successful tech adoption. “A team that sees potential in a pivot, expansion or improvement will dig in to see it happen,” she says. Creativity is another key attribute, she adds, with ingraining out-of-the-box thinkers in the company culture and openness to new ideas being among the top elements necessary to forge an environment that encourages constructive change to thrive. Michael Brooks, CEO of REALPAC, notes that the pandemic accelerated the adoption of technology, from new and pre-existing in the market. This includes videoconferencing platforms, messaging apps, digital contracts, paperless banking, shared creation and management of documents and...

Payment Processing

At Yardi, we are constantly exploring ways to help you and your team operate more efficiently. With additional conveniences and functionalities, our payment processing solutions have become even more robust. ACH Account Validation reduces fraud Skip the high cost of fraud. With the new ACH Account Validation feature, you can reduce fraudulent payments. It’s also a convenient way to decrease data entry errors that result in returns. Before initiating a payment, ACH Account Validation authenticates a resident’s bank account using a micro deposit. The resident must verify the deposit details before completing a payment. Residents initiate the process, eliminating the chance of staff keying errors. ACH Account Validation is in compliance with the WEB Debit Account Validation Rule which takes effect March 19, 2021. PayNearMe makes walk-in payments even easier Yardi has partnered with PayNearMe to take our walk-in payment system (WIPS) to the next level of convenience. The PayNearMe partnership allows residents make payments at more than 27,000 retail locations across the nation. These locations are as convenient as the local CVS or 7-Eleven. To improve ease and accuracy, residents can download a unique barcode to their phone which then allows them to easily connect to the RENTCafé Resident app. Make payments and earn credit You know the satisfaction that comes with earning points on your credit card? Our new Bill Pay payment method is even better. When you pay vendors with a Yardi virtual credit card, you earn an annual credit. You can also dodge the per-transaction fees you used to pay with check and ACH transactions. The new Yardi virtual credit card makes vendor payments completely automated, seamless and contactless. Fee-free upgrades on Payment Processing Want the latest features in the Payment Processing platform? Upgrade now at no cost! Get the newest...