Yardi Client Q&A Mar22

Yardi Client Q&A...

Yardi client Red Sea Markets Company (RSMC) owns Red Sea Mall Jeddah in Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia. Red Sea Mall is an iconic shopping and leisure destination and one of the largest shopping centres at Jeddah City. We interviewed Geji Masilela, the company’s CEO. He shared how the company’s use of Yardi Voyager helps them overcome business challenges. Q: What is your company’s background, heritage and history? A: RSMC has been existence for more than a decade. It was initially formed for the development of Red Sea Mall and other properties. Our aim for the next several years is to grow our assets under management. Q: Can you give a flavour of your company’s business culture and philosophy? A: It’s a happy and informal company culture. While we adhere to corporate norms of running a company, our leaders remain down-to-earth and approachable to our employees, customers and tenants. Q: What is your company’s brand in the current market? A: Red Sea Mall is an iconic shopping and leisure destination and one of the largest shopping centres at Jeddah City. The mall has 242,200 square meters of built area and includes a five-star hotel, a seven-story office building, and external and undercover parking areas. The mall blends international and local brands with a variety of restaurants, cafes, diners and entertainment options. Q: Could you give some understanding of the number or value of the assets involved? A: We’re still in the formative stage in terms of assets. We current have one operating asset and another asset under development. We’re actively looking for growth opportunities. Q: What’s your role? A: I’m primarily responsible for identifying and executing those growth initiatives. Q: What motivates you? A: I have a love of shopping malls, serving mall customers and...

Under the Sun Mar21

Under the Sun

Solar energy technology is becoming more powerful and versatile than ever. That’s a good sign for property owners seeking cost and sustainability benefits. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, enough solar photovoltaic capacity—created when semiconducting materials convert sunlight into electricity—was installed in the U.S. in 2018 to power 12.3 million homes, and total installed capacity is expected to more than double over the next five years. A recent milestone in solar energy development was San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower’s development of the world’s most powerful solar cells for the residential market. They’re capable of delivering 60% more energy than conventional solar panels over 25 years using the same amount of roof space. That might be of particular interest to residents of the manufacturer’s home state, which in 2018 became the first to require that all new homes have solar power. In another significant breakthrough on the residential front, engineers at Belgian university KU Leuven have created a solar panel prototype capable of converting sunlight directly into hydrogen using moisture in the air. This would give households their own greenhouse gas-free source of fuel for cooking, heating and other activities. They wouldn’t have to rely on industrial-scale production of hydrogen gas, which generates greenhouse emissions. The technology remains under development and it’s unclear when it will be brought to market. Other developers are working on harnessing solar energy to melt snow on roads during the day and light them at night, power home window curtains and warm car seats. Additional projects encompass everything from battery storage enhancements to aesthetic matters like customizing cells to blend into a roof’s design. Energy Sage, a service that connects homeowners with solar equipment installers, says, “For those considering solar panels systems, this long list of solar panel technology innovations from...

Enlightened Mar21

Enlightened

Enjoy some nuggets of energy intelligence courtesy of FactRetriever.com, Danish critical global challenges tracker The World Counts, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and energy and home services provider British Gas. Humans began using energy sources other than fire about 5,000 years ago. In 1807 English scientist Thomas Young became the first person to use the word “energy” in the modern sense. The U.S.’s first natural gas well was dug in Fredonia, N.Y., in 1821. The first oil well followed in Pennsylvania in 1859. Thomas Edison built the first commercial central power plant. The Pearl Street Power Station in New York City sent electricity to more than 80 buildings in 1882. It served more than 500 customers within two years. Seventeen percent of U.S. electricity generated in 2017 came from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal power. Biomass and waste fuels accounted for about 1.6% of U.S. electricity in 2017. The U.S. produces the most nuclear-generated electricity, nearly one-third of the world’s total. The second-largest producer is France, which generates more than three-fourths of its electricity in nuclear reactors. Lighting accounts for about 20% of U.S. electricity consumption. Only about 10% of the energy in a fluorescent light bulb creates light. The rest creates heat. Mexico’s Programa Luz Sustentable delivered four energy-efficient light bulbs to almost 6 million households in 2012. American inventor Charles Fritts built a prototype of the first solar cell in 1880. Enough sunlight reaches the Earth’s surface every minute to satisfy the world’s energy demands for a year. The global solar market grew by about 29% in 2017. The cost of solar power has dropped by approximately 60% since 2009. Buildings account for 36% of overall annual energy consumption in the U.S. and 65% of the electricity demand....

Argentum 2019 Mar20

Argentum 2019

There are several worthy conferences vying for the attendance of senior living professionals this year. One should definitely make the cut: Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference & Expo. This unparalleled experience equips you with the resources needed to take your organization to the next level of quality care and success. Argentum 2019 Argentum welcomes you to join more than 2,500 executives from over 750 companies representing about 6,800 communities. Participation continues to grow as attendees pursue excellence in senior living through interactive education, genuine networking, and problem solving. You are invited to explore innovative ideas and strategies presented by Mainstage speakers and session leaders. Find tried-and-true solutions with peers in engaging Hive discussions. Between and after sessions, leverage the expertise of industry vendors at the Expo. Learn about the Yardi Senior Living suite of integrated solutions at expo booth 517! Deep Dive: Women in Leadership This year, Argentum launches Deep Dive: Women in Leadership series. This new initiative celebrates women’s multitudinous contributions to the industry. Three speakers lead the exclusive sessions, offered on Monday, April 15. Shamim Wu, COO, Eclipse Senior Living facilitates “Thriving, Not Just Surviving: Success Stories from the Top.” In this Deep Dive, a panel of women leaders share their path to advancement through difficult times. Gain strength from stories of perseverance, resilience, and determination. Sarah Thomas knows a thing or two about navigating a male-dominated environment. As the NFL’s first female referee, she has broken barriers and forged a trail for other women in unconventional workplaces. In “The Only Woman on the Field: A Fireside Chat with Sarah Thomas, the NFL’s First Female Referee” Thomas empowers you to test barriers, hone inner drive, and never underestimate your personal power. “Lessons from Other Industries on Being an Employer of Choice for Women” explores ways that leading female executives attract, mentor, and retain female talent. This Deep Dive presents opportunities for the senior living industry to enhance the power of its existing workforce and engage new star talent. Discover San Antonio Historic San Antonio serves as the backdrop to this year’s Argentum conference. Enjoy the distinct Spanish architecture, serene parks and festive plazas. You won’t want to miss the city’s exciting foodie culture and fine shopping venues. San Antonio offers an ideal blend of modern amenities and timeless beauty. Register now for the 2019 Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference & Expo April 15-17, 2019 in downtown San Antonio at The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center 900 E. Market Street, San Antonio, Texas,...

Learn Yardi for Free Mar19

Learn Yardi for Free

Yardi users may have noticed a nice surprise when logging into Yardi Client Central recently. As of March 1st, all Yardi training webinars for current clients are FREE to attend. There are dozens of webinar sessions scheduled on Client Central, and new webinars are added frequently. Yardi users can sign up to learn everything from account trees to SQL scripting, and much more. “Webinars are a convenient way for Yardi users to master our software because they don’t require travel or time out of the office. Eliminating registration fees is a great way to strengthen our relationship with our clients by adding a lot of value to our training program at no cost,” said Patty Evans, director of eLearning and corporate training for Yardi. Yardi users can expect a polished, seamless training experience with Yardi webinars. Sessions use online technology to present information to viewers. Presenters teach course material to a select group of attendees in a virtual classroom setting. Webinars listed on Client Central can be filtered by specific property management topics. Examples include online leasing, payment processing, maintenance workflows for mobile devices, procurement of goods, accounting and finance analytics. The Yardi training team will continue to offer in-person courses taught in many Yardi offices around the world. Those courses teach more complex topics that often require multiple days of classroom sessions. “The most tangible benefits of webinars, as opposed to classroom courses, are ease of access and low cost. They are a great way for a Yardi user to learn specific features of Yardi software. Free, unlimited access to this content is a real win for our clients,” said Evans. If you are a current Yardi client, log on to Client Central, see the list of webinars, and get signed up to...

Self Storage Update Mar18

Self Storage Update

The U.S. self storage industry mirrors the conditions in the larger economy, thriving for the most part amid some potential headwinds, according to a recent update presented by Jeff Adler and David Dent. They are vice president and senior real estate market analyst, respectively, for Yardi Matrix. Employment numbers and the overall economy are strong, with gains concentrated in lower cost locations like Nevada, Arizona and Florida. As a result, new self storage supply is strongest in these domestic migration destinations. Millennial favorites like Portland, Ore., Nashville, Tenn., Orlando, Fla., and Seattle, are similarly enjoying healthy demand for self storage facilities, as are underpenetrated metros such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. Forces that could impact the self storage industry adversely include the possibility of an inverted yield curve—when long-term debt instruments yield less than short-term debt instruments—and international trade uncertainties. But “sharpshooters” willing to research deeply can still prosper, Adler and Dent said. Opportunities could arise from facilities left vacant by retail bankruptcies; local supply, demand penetration factors; continued penetration in gateway markets; and underserved pockets of high in-migration secondary markets. Storage facility owners might gain opportunities to raise rents in markets with low storage-to-apartment-cost ratios such as Austin, Texas, and California’s Inland Empire. In addition, the self storage industry is broadening its service suite with automation and technology. Available or proposed enhancements include fully automated leasing, enhanced gate systems and other security, co-warehousing that uses vacant storage space for small industrial purposes, and climate controlled storage for wine collections and other temperature-sensitive possessions. As the overall economy approaches a soft landing in the downside of the current cycle, the self storage sector “is still attractive in the long term if you have the financial wherewithal to ride through” potential adverse...

Employee Appreciation Mar15

Employee Appreciation

In honor of Employee Appreciation Day, Yardi Atlanta set up Appreciation Stations throughout the office. Employees were encouraged to take a few moments to think about someone they’d like to acknowledge for doing a great job or helping their team. “The person you acknowledge could be someone on your team, someone you went through training with that made it just a little bit easier, or even someone who may have given you a few words of encouragement over a cup of coffee,” Catrina Ishman, human resources generalist at Yardi Atlanta wrote in an office-wide email explaining the event. “Whoever it might be, please stop by one of the Appreciation Stations and write a few kind words letting them know why you appreciate them.” Employees were given one week to plan, write, and drop off their letters at the Appreciation Stations. There were no limits on how many appreciation letters employees could create. Since it was the first year for such an activity, the planning committee was not sure how it would turn out. They were pleasantly surprised to distribute over 300 appreciation letters at the end of the week! After the planning committee distributed the appreciation letters, Yardi team members excitedly read their letters. Many posted the cards of gratitude and encouragement in their cubicles. Some team members were gracious enough to share their letters: “I would like to express my gratitude for those employees that take action when there is work to be done. Whether it’s emptying the dishwasher, volunteering for a Yardi event, or calling a client, it’s easy to overlook the importance of those that ‘keep the trains running on time.’ But your commitment to excellence has not gone unnoticed. Thank you, Yardi Employees!” – Adam “Chris, Thank you so much for always helping me with all of my questions and never making me feel like a burden. You were one of the first ones to make me feel like I was a part of this crazy PHA family. Thanks for being a great co-worker and awesome friend. You da best.” -Alyssa  “Marilyn, Thank you for always having the answers 😊 You are a fountain of knowledge, and not just about all things Yardi. I hope you know how much you’re appreciated!” – Jill  “Dear Kim, Thank you for all the help and guidance that you constantly provide me with. As a fledgling sparrow in the vast skies of Yardi, you have helped me learn to fly.”—Zeen 😊 At the end of the week, Yardi Atlanta celebrated all of its hardworking employees. As a thank you for ensuring that things run smoothly in the office, leadership purchased Tropical Café Smoothies for the group. It was a sweet way to end Employee Appreciation Day in Atlanta! Christine Kelly and Johnathan Atkins create appreciation cards A small portion of the 300 appreciation cards sent among peers Laura Perez, Chenetta Watson and Rakin Ahmed celebrate Staff Appreciation Day with smoothies Keisha Flen and Christi Duffey enjoy smoothies provided by Tropical Smoothie...

Energy Updates Mar14

Energy Updates

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects, analyzes and disseminates energy information. The following items are drawn from recent postings on EIA’s Today in Energy news site.               Consumption Rates Slow The EIA’s energy outlook report for 2019 projects that residential and commercial purchased electricity consumption will grow more slowly than the number of households or total commercial floor space. As a result, electricity intensity—the amount of electricity consumed per household or square foot of commercial floor space—will decrease by an average of 0.3% per year and 0.4% per year through 2050 in the residential and commercial sectors, respectively. The number of households will grow an annual average of 0.7% and total commercial floor space by 1% per year during that period. The projected rates are much lower than what occurred from 1990 through 2018, when electricity sales grew at average annual rates of 1.7% in the residential sector and 1.8% in the commercial sector. The growth slowdown stems in part from improvements in technology and federal energy efficiency standards for space heating, cooling and water heating equipment, appliances and items such as light bulbs. Electricity’s New Generation An EIA short-term energy outlook released in January forecasted that wind, solar and other non-hydroelectric renewable energy resources will be the fastest-growing sources of U.S. electricity generation for at least the next two years, Wind generation will grow by 12% and 14% in 2019 and 2020 and utility-scale solar generating units by 10% and 17% over that period. About 23.7 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity will enter the U.S. electric power sector in 2019 alone. Wind accounts for 46% of those utility-scale additions, followed by natural gas (34%) and solar photovoltaics (18%), with the remaining 2% consisting primarily of other renewables and battery storage capacity. New...

Real Estate Questions Answered Mar13

Real Estate Questions Answered

Yardi has launched a dynamic new content series and website, Real Estate Questions Answered, where real estate professionals can find answers to a number of industry challenges. “Our clients are using technology to solve problems and create new opportunities every day. We’re excited to share their knowledge, expertise and experience with the industry at large,” said Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. “We began by interviewing several top industry professionals to gather the insights shared on RealEstateQuestionsAnswered.com and we will continue to feature more client experts and deliver more answers.” Real Estate Questions Answered showcases content focused on a variety of asset classes, including multifamily, affordable housing, commercial, investment management and senior living. The content resource library will continue to expand, with new clients and market segments featured and new videos, success stories, ebooks, white papers and more to be added regularly. Here is a small sample of the questions asked and answered on the new site: How do you optimize asset performance? Answer: Diana Norbury, SVP of Multifamily Operations, Pillar Properties. How do you increase investor confidence? Answer: Joe Anfuso, CFO, MG Properties Group. How do you increase lead conversion? Answer: Arun Das, Head of Marketing and Technology, Pangea Properties. How do you close deals faster? Answer: Richard Hickson, EVP, Operations, Cousins Properties. These insights are accessible at any time. Check back regularly to see what’s new on the Real Estate Questions Answered...

Green Growth Mar12

Green Growth

A green groundswell grips the multifamily industry, influencing everything from building materials to construction standards and certification systems. Green financing is no small part of this trend. As sustainability becomes further embedded in the multifamily sector’s fabric, so are the capital sources available for environmentally responsible upgrades. Both investment and commercial banks are increasingly entering the space, for a variety of reasons. “We’re definitely seeing that banks have shareholders who are driving investment into this space,” observes Jason Haber, a broker with New York City-based Warburg Realty. “And it’s not just for concessionary gains. What’s proven out is by being green, your returns can now be commensurate with the market—or even outperform the market.” Studies indicate that improving energy and water efficiency can generate economic savings of 28-38%, clip energy costs as much as 31% and spur 40% in utility cost reductions for residents, according to Peter Giles, president of production and sales at Freddie Mac, which, along with its fellow government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) Fannie Mae, offer the multifamily sector’s most comprehensive green financing opportunities Cutting utility costs can also help increase the availability of affordable housing. According to a 2015 Freddie Mac analysis, a 10% cut in utility costs can increase affordable rentals by at least 10%, Giles notes. Fannie, Freddie Go Green Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sponsor loan programs for construction and renovation projects that include lower interest rates, higher leverage and energy audits. Those features are designed to promote energy consumption reductions of 20% or more, noted Ray Sturm, CEO of AlphaFlow, an online real estate investment management firm. Lower interest rates and larger proceeds can help offset the cost of green building materials and labor and cut utility bills, resulting in improved overall cash flow. The GSEs have no...

Lease Renewals Mar11

Lease Renewals

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if your residents signed lease renewals months in advance? Wouldn’t it be even better if they signed a multi-year lease? When you know that good residents are staying in place, you can save time and money. Cut costs on searching for new tenants and turning units. Save time on tours, interviews, and paperwork. Business becomes easier with more renewals, and these five practical tips can secure them. Start Renewal Campaigns Early Don’t waiting until a month before the lease ends to ask residents about renewal. You’re placing yourself at a disadvantage. First, you’ve given residents plenty of time to think about leaving and shopping around. Worst, you’ve only given yourself a month to find a new resident if needed. If you can’t quickly fill the vacancy, one month’s loss of tenancy can deplete nearly a year’s worth of revenue. Consider contacting residents about renewals midway through their lease. You’re getting their attention long before they think about shopping around. You’re also giving yourself ample time to secure a new resident before the current lease ends. Make it Easy to Renew Don’t make your residents take time off work to trudge down to the leasing office and sign their renewal. They will postpone signing until the last possible moment. Encourage early signing with online lease renewals through a convenient resident portal. Residents can renew their lease via a responsive website or a mobile app. This means that renters can submit renewals 24/7, even when your leasing office is closed. Be Transparent Rent hikes, fee changes, and other surprises give residents an opportunity to pause. “Do we really want to sign this? Are other communities charging this much?” With the terms of your renewal in hand, they may begin to shop around....

Australia Explores Coworking Mar07

Australia Explores Coworking

As coworking continues to gain traction in office markets around Australia, Neal Gemassmer, Yardi vice president of international, looks at the top three tech trends helping landlords stay ahead of the curve. This post is reprinted with permission and originally appeared in Property Australia. More coworking space in Australia was leased in 2018 than in the previous three years combined, finds recent research from JLL. Sydney and Melbourne accounted for nearly two-thirds (60%) of all coworking space – or 95,700 sqm – leased since 2015, JLL has found. But Australia’s other capitals are also jumping on board the coworking juggernaut. Meanwhile, Colliers has recorded a 46.9 per cent increase in flexible workspace in Sydney’s CBD last year. Although, with this representing just 2.44 per cent of the market, coworking is still in its early days. Gemassmer says Australia’s large office landlords are well placed to stay ahead of the curve if they embrace the right technology. He says three tech trends are at the heart of any successful coworking strategy.   Know your customer with a CRM Every coworking space should have a customer relationship management system, or CRM in place, Gemassmer says. “A CRM will streamline lead entry, customer lifecycle tracking, vendor relationship management and a host of operational tasks – driving efficiency, enhancing productivity and ultimately leading to greater profitability.”   Streamline systems with automated billing Whether you operate one space or multiple locations, automated billing is one of the most vital tech components to success, Gemassmer says. “Manual entry, regardless of how meticulously done, can create leakage – and this problem is worse when you’re a multi-space operator. “Operators who streamline their business with automated billing – particularly when done so alongside other tech-driven solutions – can offer the same product, but at a higher margin and lower cost.” There are software options which combine an accounting package with merchant services, such as the Yardi KUBE, which has a full general ledger suite and accounting package, Gemassmer explains.   Let’s get connected “Not all coworking enablers are tech-driven,” Gemassmer observes. “Hosting after-hours events, creating sports teams or designing spaces to encourage incidental interaction are among the many ways to build a coworking community. “But ultimately, most coworking members spend their day sitting behind a screen, and this means tech plays a central role in building and enhancing that sense of community. “Yardi’s member portal helps members book meeting space, connect with an online marketplace, access special deals and pay invoices in just a few clicks. People may be attracted to coworking for its collaborative potential, but it will be the seamless technology experience that keeps them.” The new Yardi KUBE platform allows operators to seamlessly manage their coworking space operations and financials in a fully-integrated platform while providing a phenomenal member experience. Learn...

CRE in Cincinnati Mar07

CRE in Cincinnati

The office real estate sector shows strong fundamentals as it appears to be near a peak, shares Yardi client Adam Rath, founder & owner of Rath Equity. The company started operating in the Cincinnati area since last year and is now focused on growing its base of industrial and office clients. In a wide-ranging conversation, he touched on the trends, challenges and opportunities in the metro’s commercial real estate market. What is your general view of the office sector? What are the main trends? Rath: The major factor contributing to a strong office and industrial market in Cincinnati is a strong local economy and revitalized downtown that has aided in the ability to retain educated workers and have accelerated a strong economic growth. The unemployment rate has compressed to under 4 percent. The Cincinnati office sector is currently strong and healthy. In the last few years, we have seen rising rents and vacancies going down. Also, sales are strong but appear to be reaching a peak at both cap rates and price per square foot. Tell us about the challenges you see in today’s market. Rath: The major challenge we are faced with today is economic uncertainty in the next one to three years. We have seen record growth/investment over the last few years and debt limits starting to reach pre-recession levels. Most people in the industry are starting to feel a pullback. The majority of the investors I speak to feel a pullback is needed to bring pricing within limits to deploy capital. This economic uncertainty should provide an opportunity for investment. What are the trickiest aspects of being a medium-sized company? Rath: Rath Equity was created to be a boutique investor-friendly brokerage and built to be able to adapt and pivot as...

Resident Retention Mar06

Resident Retention

Resident retention plays a major role in easy lease renewals and favorable reviews. Maintaining existing leases also cuts costs: no turning units, new marketing campaigns or strategies to covert new prospects. Doesn’t that sound awesome? The following seven strategies for resident retention can help you make the most of existing relationships. Begin at move-in. A positive move-in experience is a key factor in renter retention. Welcome packages are an easy way to help residents feel at home. Depending on your brand, you may choose to spoil your residents with wine, decadent treats, and certificates to fine local restaurants. Perhaps you go for thoughtful and practical like light bulbs, toilet paper, and instant coffee. Either way, the gestures leave a positive impression with residents. Be proactive! A survey by J Turner research reveals that maintenance issues top residents’ lists of complaints. Staying on top of maintenance requests promotes resident satisfaction. Preventative measures, such as regular spring cleaning and winter maintenance, also keep dissatisfaction at a minimum. Respond quickly and professionally to negative feedback. Negative reviews and feedback are inevitable. Your staff must respond quickly and professionally to resident feedback to keep bad situations from getting worst. With the right perspective, even negative feedback can be transformed into an opportunity to shine! Encourage resident engagement with the property and staff. Create opportunities for residents to have positive interactions with staff members and the property itself. Is your property’s demonstration kitchen collecting dust? Is your community garden suffocating under weeds? Highlight the site’s marketable features through events and activities. Remind residents why they moved in! Don’t forget to leverage staff creativity. Encourage your social media person to offer smartphone photography classes. Got a craft beer snob working in your office? Let them coordinate a bar hop for...

The Power of Data Mar04

The Power of Data

Editor’s note: Richard Gerritsen is regional director for Yardi’s sales team, based in Amsterdam. The following piece appeared in Property Week and is reprinted here with permission. The tech giants of the world – the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon – are putting all their efforts into gathering, analysing and monetising data about our everyday lives. I find it fascinating that so much of the data they use is generated inside a property, whether it Is the residential property where I live, the office where I work or the shopping centre where I shop. And yet we in the real estate industry are happy to sit back and observe these companies make money from that data, without questioning how we ourselves can better use it. We focus far too much attention on wondering whether data is relevant. This, I believe, is the wrong way of thinking. We need to capture as much data as possible in our properties – because providing we can learn to properly analyse that data, it will allow us to make infinitely better decisions about our portfolios. I understand why property companies are reluctant to embrace the power of data. After all, the essence of traditional real estate is based on the scarcity of information. If you’re a UK investor wanting to invest in Amsterdam, for example, you look for a local expert. If I’m that local expert, and I know something you don’t, you must pay me for it. I’m making money, and if I give you the right advice, you’re making money too. Everyone is happy and the model works. But when innovators come in and disrupt that model, and recognise my local knowledge is just data that could be in a database, we risk being overtaken....

Mobile World Congress 2019

Barcelona was again the epicenter of mobile tech last week when some 100,000 visitors attended the 2019 Mobile World Congress at the Fira Barcelona exhibition center. Foldable phones and 5G capability grabbed the spotlight, flanked by new multimedia applications and car updates. 5G foldable phones Two major smartphone brands presented headline devices: Huawei and Samsung. The Chinese manufacturer showcased the Huawei Mate X, a 6.6-inch device when used as a phone that expands in to an 8-inch tablet-like device. Despite its popularity, it comes with a sky-high price and will retail for $2,600 when it launches later this year. Mate X feeds off the company’s Kirin 980 processor and is 5G-compatible thanks to its multi-mode modem Balong 5000, marketed as the first chipset that supports Vehicle to Everything communications, providing low-latency and highly reliable solutions for connected vehicles. Additionally, the Mate X has backwards compatibility with 4G and 3G networks.  The internal storage provides 512GB, expandable by up to 256GB through the card slot. Mate X is equipped with a massive 4,500mAh battery, which will get the phone charged up to 85 percent in just 30 minutes. Considering that 5G will consume more power than 4G, the boost in power will be more important than an upgrade. The device will include a three-camera array for the rear camera with 40, 16 and 8 megapixels, and one for the front camera. The foldable display is made of plastic, which brings some novelty to photographers. The setup means subjects will get a live preview of photos as they are being taken. A potential issue is the fact that Mate X wears its large screen on the exterior of the device, unprotected. Even though Huawei claims the hinge and the screen are durable, and that a special protector will keep scratches off the screen, skeptics will need convincing. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is wrapped in mystery (and kept inside a glass case). The $2,000 device was introduced in London during the company’s Unpacked event, where nobody was allowed to touch it. Tech fans hoped that the MWC environment will enable them to get closer to it and maybe get their hands on the shiny device. But Samsung’s protectiveness remained the same, which led critics to project that perhaps Samsung rushed the launch of this revolutionary concept. Samsung’s foldable smartphone has a 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED display which turns it into a 7.3-inch tablet. It is powered by a 4,380mAh battery—needed for the 5G network—also with fast charging capability. Galaxy Fold packs 12GB of RAM and a Qualcomm 855 processor and internal storage of 512GB, which cannot be expanded. Galaxy Fold sports six cameras—three on the rear, one with 16 megapixels and two with 12 megapixels, a 10-megapixel selfie camera on the front and two above the 7.3-inch display inside the fold with 10 and 8 megapixels. When folded, the device looks chunky,  perhaps a better fit for a shoulder bag than a pocket. This leads to one big question: do these foldable phones really give us the best of both worlds? Are these devices innovative enough to make people want to spend thousands for a convertible phone? Or will consumers continue to purchase two devices for communicating and in-depth reading and browsing? Mobility, AR, AI Tech giant Hewlett Packard and automotive supplier Continental have partnered in the development of a new platform for sharing vehicle data. Built with blockchain technology to attest data security and transparency, the application will help OEMs and other automotive players trade better and monetize their data, in addition to differentiating their brands. HERE Technologies and Volvo have also partnered. HERE will provide map data for off-board cloud services that provides the location of cars and other geographical info. Volvo is developing these services in its own cloud environment and plans to deploy them to enhance the driver experience. Microsoft released Hololens 2, a gadget designed for commercial clients...

Energy Boom Mar01

Energy Boom

Christy Cannon, a Yardi Energy account executive and holder of the Certified Energy Manager designation from the Association of Energy Engineers, discusses how integrated systems are streamlining building operations. The exchange below includes excerpts from an interview published in Commercial Property Executive. Q: How do building managers perceive the network of physical objects that can sense, communicate and interact with the external environment, otherwise known as the Internet of Things (IoT)? A: The principal appeal is the opportunity to reduce operating costs, increase NOI and ultimately increase property value for the building owner. Our retail clients also face pressure to provide space that helps their tenants cultivate an image of environmental stewardship. I see people who do the heavy lifting every day being excited about IoT. It’s like giving them a superhero cape. IoT devices help facility managers perform predictive maintenance and optimize heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), which not only reduces the number of comfort calls they have to deal with but also lowers repair and maintenance costs and extends the life of expensive equipment. Energy managers can view utility consumption in real time. They can manage peak electric demand and save 20% or more off their unregulated utility bills, or immediately identify a water leak. Q: What’s the relationship between the IoT and artificial intelligence (AI)?  A: The IoT architecture looks something like a wheel with hundreds or thousands of spokes, with each spoke representing an IoT device. Multiple network structures enable IoT devices to get their data to software that can use it. AI takes all the big data buildings collect from IoT devices, building automation systems and submeters, and learns how to predict future outcomes or make decisions based on the best available options. Consider all the factors that contribute to a building’s...

Key Features

As an operator of a coworking space, you’ll have many choices when selecting a management platform to power your shared workspace. Compare pros and cons and check what features each choice provide, but make sure these five features are included in your software. Robust Accounting Accounting is a vital component to the operation of your space. You may choose a software that integrates with third party applications such as Quickbooks, FreshBooks, or others. That is a significant step up from manual labor. In a perfect world however, your management platform would have all accounting solutions built in. This will eliminate third party apps for accounts payable, payment processing, merchant services, and reconciliation, among other functions. ILS There are numerous benefits to having an ILS (internet listing service) built into your coworking management software. List your space and eliminate marketing time and dollars. Potential members can check out your space at a glance, and improve the quality of your leads. In addition, you will greatly benefit from the ability to sell your services online in real time. Offer spaces, services, and just about anything else you can list. Keep track of sales and revenue live. Real-time Reporting Real-time reporting goes beyond just statistics. Being able to track data and results live will help you track sales, revenue, space usage, and many more driving factors of the success of your space. At the end of the day, the goal is to increase your revenue and provide better service to your members and guests. Real time reporting is at the core of all those goals, as you’ll have visibility to change membership plans, designs, and service based on tracking data over periods of time. Learn more about the benefits of CRM and automated booking in your coworking management software on the...

Student Housing Feb27

Student Housing

The student housing sector is not the industry’s Sleeping Beauty anymore. The number of students attending universities is growing and this is due mostly to the ease of obtaining loans. As a consequence, the demand for this type of accommodation is surging, which makes the segment appealing to investors. Sales volume almost quadrupled in the last six years, according to Rick Graf, president & CEO of Pinnacle, a Yardi client. According to Yardi Matrix data, Pinnacle Living owns and manages more than 150,000 units of which roughly 18,000 beds at 34 universities across the country, from San Diego to Syracuse, N.Y. In an interview with Multi-Housing News, Graf shares his view on the student housing industry, but also touches on what it takes for a property management company to stay ahead of the game in 2019. Tell us about your view of the multifamily market in general and the student housing sector in particular. What are the main trends? Graf: In general, the multifamily market remains robust. Demand has not lessened due to very strong job growth in nearly every market. With respect to the student housing sector, we continue to see institutional acceptance and desire to expand holdings into this niche subset of multifamily real estate. Transaction volume in student housing topped $11 billion in 2018, up from $3 billion just six years ago. It is important to note that student housing is significantly more management intensive and multifamily investors should be cautious to partner with operators with specific expertise in the nuances needed for success. Could you single out one trend that is gaining popularity in the student housing property management sector? Graf: A sea change has come to student development. While student housing properties rival high-end multifamily properties, the arms race of amenities has turned from wave...

Brook Baker Feb26

Brook Baker

Brook Baker serves as Yardi’s regional director of sales for Australia and New Zealand. He joined Yardi in 2018. We caught up with Baker in a recent interview and learned about how Yardi is becoming the technology solution of choice for property owners and managers in Australia and New Zealand. Tell us a bit about yourself. A: I’m an Aussie boy, born and bred. I started a construction company at age 16, and my love of all things property has been going strong ever since. Twenty-five years later, my roofing days are behind me but my affinity for real estate isn’t. My focus now is the engine room: the software that supports assets and helps the people behind them work efficiently. It’s great being part of a company that continues to be at the forefront of new developments in real estate, software and new areas of innovation. Q: What are your principal responsibilities? A: My team and I support new and existing clients across Australia and New Zealand. My role is focused on helping them achieve their business goals, identifying the right products for their needs and making sure they’re looked after throughout their journey. It’s always interesting to see how our clients want to develop their business and finding ways to help them. Q: When did Yardi enter this market, and are we growing? A: Yardi opened its first office in Australia in Sydney around 13 years ago in a Regus-serviced office. With a team of more than 55 people based in Sydney, we’ve long outgrown that initial space and are now in a tower overlooking the Barangaroo complex. Our clients include the largest owners and operators of real estate in Australia and New Zealand, from be publicly listed REITs to an owner...