Become a Yardi Ambassador Jan03

Become a Yardi Ambassador

If you are a Yardi client with an affinity for the technology that has helped better your business, the new Yardi Client Ambassador Program might be a perfect fit for you. This special opportunity for engaged clients is a great opportunity to share feedback, engage on social media, speak with other clients about your tech experience and much more. It’s easy to participate and requires only the level of engagement that works for you. The Yardi Ambassador Program is a direct-to-client engagement program that identifies and engages some of our most enthusiastic, passionate, experienced and strategic clients. These clients reflect Yardi’s markets, products, services and priorities and help contribute to our reference program, marketing content creation, and speakers for Yardi’s regional and corporate events. Sean Geraghty, manager of the program, explained how it works: “The new Ambassador program evolves how Yardi plans to work with some of our most passionate and enthusiastic clients. By formalizing our customer marketing process, we are making it easier than ever to allow Yardi’s clients to interact with us on social media, participate in the creation of marketing content, and share their leadership and knowledge by speaking at our many events,” said Geraghty. In other words, we know clients love to hear about other clients’ experiences using Yardi products, and this program will help facilitate that. “We are also making it easier for us to express our gratitude and thanks to our customers by providing fun rewards and incentives to those clients who participate,” Geraghty concluded. “We want to dialogue with you. Building on our Yardi history of client relationship prioritization, we hope the Ambassador Program will lead to strong relationships and conversations in the months and years to come.” Highlights of the program for clients include: Any customer can participate, regardless of company size or length of contract. Limited engagement includes simply liking social media channels or completing a software review. More involved engagement includes marketing interviews and sharing your success with Yardi products. If you are interested in speaking at Yardi events as a client panelist, this is your chance! Select your level of involvement on our easy online signup form. Does this sound like a good fit for you? Learn more and sign up here....

Personal Digital Identity...

In a world where online banking, social media, e-commerce and other online services are a constant part of daily life, a verified digital identity is an important validation of one’s official existence. In 2016, an estimated 1.5 billion people globally could not access routine banking services because of the inability to prove their identity with a valid birth certificate, passport, proof of residency or other commonly accepted means. Use of a digital identity is a way of authenticating the “real you” when utilizing digital connections like the internet. Access via biometrics With technology’s sprint into the future, various new ID schemes have been launched or initiated all over the world. Some include biometrics, mainly in the form of fingerprints. The newest form of biometric identification is face recognition. One such example is PopID, which offers a cloud-based platform that enables consumers to authenticate their identity by using facial recognition. PopID’s latest launch is a platform that can unlock workplace doors and enables employees to enter the building using only their face. The system can also provide building and facility managers with alerts about tailgaters following authorized users into a secure location without installing any additional equipment. Unlocking doors has moved from old-fashioned keys to magnetic key cards or mobile devices, and now face recognition looms as the next normal. Tech savvy building managers can replace key card readers with facial readers. If employees don’t want to use biometrics to authenticate, this program also accepts key cards and mobile devices to unlock the doors. Additionally, building managers can designate authorized employees and hours in which you can enter the property. Secure digital identification Digital driver’s licenses are a secure version of your official government ID in your smartphone. There is a new project known as...

Simplify Social Housing...

Social housing providers in Ontario strive to improve efficiencies and remain compliant while providing the best outcomes for residents and their communities. As non-profit organizations, achieving those goals on limited resources can be tough. But with innovative software, achieving success in social housing management is revolutionized.  Yardi Voyager Social Housing leverages tried-and-true best practices to offer secure and powerful software with a single, integrated database. Intuitive workflows, convenient automation, and industry-specific tools make subsidized housing management simpler. Voyager Social Housing empowers providers to save time, save money, and thrive. Empower Staff for Success Staff efficiency is essential to success in social housing. Peter Altobelli, vice president and general manager of Yardi Canada explains, “Yardi understands the demands and changes within this industry. ONPHA serves more than 700 non-profit housing providers over 400,000 people in 163,000 homes within Ontario. It’s important work and they’re doing a great job, but turnover is high and resources are limited for providers.” To make the most of available resources, Voyager Social Housing facilitates optimal operation of Canada’s non-profit housing. In addition to robust accounting tools, Voyager Social Housing helps manage RGI (rent-geared-to-income) reviews, Rent Supplement programs and facilities management. The cloud-based software equips staff members with the fundamental tools needed to work confidently and efficiently in the office and offsite. With the integrated general ledger, staff avoids repetitive data entry and costly errors. Streamlined workflows make it easier to obtain consistency, reduce inaccuracies and coordinate efforts among team members. Staying compliant is also simplified with easy-to-follow workflows. With redundancy and discord minimized, staff is free to focus on more critical tasks. Simplifying Rent Voyager Social Housing offers features that simplify RGI reviews: Provincial requirements can be readily updated in Voyager, making it easier to calculate rents using the most...

Let Pets Pay Off Dec31

Let Pets Pay Off

The future is furry. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 65 percent of Americans have pets. The number of households with pets is growing. Since 2014, the number of people who own pets has increased by 3 percent. Many of these households include your prospects and renters. Another major housing trends report from 2018 reveals that 46 percent of renters live with pets. Multifamily properties that adequately market their pet policies and services can thrive in this environment. What Renters Want About 47 percent of renters list allowing pets as a requirement for their next rental, reports the 2020 NMHC and Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Survey. Simply permitting pets isn’t enough. Nearly 45 percent of respondents expressed interest in on-site pet services. Pet services make caring for an animal in an apartment setting more convenient. In the absence of a personal yard, more than 50 percent of renters expressed interest in a dog park and 44 percent desired a pet-washing station. Those are just a few services that pique renters’ interest in the NMHC report. Other options include dog walking, pet-friendly community events, and animal health and safety activities. When properties offer value-add services for pets, pet owners report a greater sense of satisfaction with the community. That satisfaction can translate directly into conversions and lease renewals. Marketing that Gets Results Establishing your pet policy and an engaging selection of in-demand pet services are the first steps towards success. The next step makes sure that your hard work draws the cash flow that it deserves. Without advanced online marketing, prospects who would value your pet-friendly efforts may not find you. It’s important to intercept prospects at multiple points during their housing search. By reaching prospects are various touchpoints around the web, you can...

Caregivers Cut Off

As technology advances, crime keeps pace. Modern lawbreakers can now hold lives hostage from afar. It’s all because of type of malicious software called ransomware. These programs are designed to lock down computers and data until a monetary demand is paid. When these viruses first cropped up, they generally targeted users indiscriminately by casting a wide net of spam emails and infected links, waiting for an unsuspecting web surfer to bite. Your computer would freeze, or your data would disappear under encryption, and you’d be treated to a pop-up asking you to pay up. But cyber criminals have gotten more sophisticated with their methodology just as the technology itself has evolved. These hackers now increasingly target health care organizations for their vast wealth of confidential medical records, which can be sold on the dark web for up to $1,000 each. At the same time, the attackers can deny access to the health care organization’s systems, including their electronic health records and medical administration solutions. This can have huge consequences for caregiving. Since most health organizations now rely on tablet-based charts, staff are left without medical histories and care plans to ensure proper treatment, putting their patients’ lives at risk. Long-term care under attack Hospitals aren’t the only care facilities affected by ransomware. Criminals have begun targeting businesses who handle the IT service needs for smaller organizations in health care – including senior living providers. This way, hackers can infiltrate hundreds of client businesses from a single breach. It’s what recently happened to Virtual Care Provider Inc, based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On November 17, a criminal group encrypted the data of their entire customer base: 110 skilled nursing and acute care providers in 45 states. Resident records were locked, internet access blocked and medication...

Onward, Ottawa Dec28

Onward, Ottawa

Ottawa used to be a city that thrived under the radar. Now, its growth is catching international attention. The 2019 Ottawa Real Estate Forum explored the rapid growth and evolution of the nation’s capital city. This year’s theme, “Ottawa’s on Track: The Hidden Gem of Canada” presented attendees with economic and social forecasts to inform investment decisions. The evolution of Ottawa In 2018, Ottawa was ranked the second most concentrated tech city in North America. With more than 180 tech companies in Ottawa and growing, a smart growth revolution is necessary to attract and retain talent. Yardi sponsored the session “A Vision for the Evolution of Ottawa” with His Worship Jim Watson the Mayor of Ottawa as keynote speaker. Hugh Gorman, CEO of Colonnade Bridgeport, lead a subsequent interview. Watson and Gorman discussed the need of improved efficiencies for policy approvals and repurposed buildings to help municipalities keep up with economic growth. Ottawa has plenty of space to welcome new industries and support existing businesses. At 2,790 km², it is larger than Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton combined, the Mayor emphasized. Yet the evolution of Ottawa isn’t solely about new spaces and experiences. Watson encourages the reimagining of existing spaces to enhance usability. Ottawa is also making a name for itself as a center for transportation tech innovations. The city is constructing an autonomous vehicle test track. Ottawa’s vast range of weather conditions make it an excellent training ground for un-manned vehicles. When combined with the $2.1 billion new light rail system Ottawa’s status as transportation innovation center grows. Understanding the retail market Canada’s growth is undeniable. The population of 37 million is estimated to reach nearly 40 million by 2025; since 2016, major cities have created the bulk of the nation’s jobs,...

3 Tips for Scaling

How do you grow from a small team to a multi-branch business? While the path is different for each organization, there are some factors that prove beneficial time and time again—and they all involved technology! These three tips can guide you on how to scale your property management business. Getting Started and Prompting Growth Growing your property management business begins with putting adequate resources in place beginning with a property management solution. Check out these questions to ask when selecting property management software. You may begin with simple property management software for small portfolios. Such a tool will give you the basic features that you need to get started and promote growth: Online leasing with electronic signatures Internet listing services for your property Professional website creation and easy website management tools Email and text communication with prospects and tenants Online rent payments via ACH and credit cards Basic invoice services Online maintenance requests and progress updates Aim for software that offers all those services under a single solution so that you won’t have to invest time and money in additional programs later. Juggling multiple programs often leads to integration issues, lost data, and excessive staff training. When Is It Time to Level Up? As you grow, there will inevitably come a time when your current methods of operation are no longer sufficient. You may find that you don’t have the capacity to accept new prospects or maintain high resident satisfaction ratings. Your staff may report that workflows need a makeover for various reasons. The smoking gun is when you experience low margins because your pricing strategies are no longer adequate. You can’t grow without making changes. Consider advancing to a more robust property management and accounting solution for large, complex portfolios. A single database...

Top Notch Tulsa Dec24

Top Notch Tulsa

When it comes to the typical self-storage customer, renters living in tiny metropolitan apartments come to mind. But Tulsa, Oklahoma breaks the mold. The self-storage market thrives in this spacious rural town. Let’s take a look at why, and what the future may hold for cozy Tulsa. Why is Tulsa a Hot Spot for Self-Storage? Tulsa is a spacious town with large apartments and even larger homes. Why do residents crave extra space? An Amazon distribution center recently opened in the area, boosting employment for locals but also drawing in new residents who may be in need of more space. Amazon isn’t the only new employer. Though trade wars have stalled job growth, several initiatives already in the pipeline make the city’s economic prospects for 2019/2020 quite favorable. Tulsa is also a city for outdoor adventurers. Nestled along the Arkansas River, locals enjoy getting out on the water. Kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards and massive inflatables take up lots of space. The nearby Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area is a popular spot for mountain biking and horseback riding. Rather than filling garages and basements, Tulsans take advantage of affordable self-storage units. (More on unit affordability below.) The affinity with nature bears a dark side. Tulsa is prone to tornados. After devastating storms, families may salvage what is left and place it in storage units until their homes are reconstructed. Tulsa Self-Storage Market, Grown and Growing In Q3 2019, Yardi Matrix data revealed that the year-over-year change in Tulsa storage street rates was positive for most unit types. That’s excellent news, as most major cities in the region experienced a decline. What’s even more impressive is that this growth has happened without price hikes. Tulsa self-storage facilities have some of the lowest rental rates in the nation....

Pet-Friendliest Cities Dec23

Pet-Friendliest Cities...

Some days, you make look at your property lawn and wonder if it’s worth it to permit pets. Operating a pet-friendly community comes with its challenges. Your pet policy and unique services, however, are profitable differentiators when you’re amongst the nation’s most fur-friendly cities. RENTCafé.com recently released its list of the 50 Best Cities for Renting with Pets. To create the list, the ILS analyzed pet-friendly rental listings across the nation. Analysts then factored in monthly pet rent, deposits, additional charges and amenities to determine the most pet-friendly cities for renters. When your city appears on the list, there are distinct benefits that can work in your favor. There are also challenges that, when overcome, give you and your properties even greater opportunities to shine. The Benefits While this list was published with renters in mind, property managers and owners can benefit from it as well. Pet-friendly apartments are in high demand: almost 70 percent of U.S. households own a pet, reports the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey. Of those households, the American Veterinary Association estimates that 50 percent of renters have pets. Of the renters without pets, 35 percent said that they would have pets if allowed by landlords. By offering pet-friendly rentals, you can reach prospects with pets as well as those who want to have pets. That’s more than 80 percent of renters! You then have a healthy pool from which you can identify quality, low-risk renters with resident screening. The Challenges (+ the Work Arounds) If your city is on the list, it’s an indicator that you’ve got a lot of competition. You are in a city where plenty of multifamily communities accept pets. To stand out, you’ve got to outshine the competition. Draw in prospects with your carefully curated amenities. These pet-friendly, value-add services...

IoT in Student Housing

The Internet of Things (IoT) has achieved great popularity in the last decade as it increases the comfort and quality of life. A growing number of homes and commercial properties have smart systems controlled by smartphones and microcontrollers through wireless communication techniques. The trend applies to student housing too. A smart strategy can help universities and property managers improve facility management, lower operational costs and enhance student experiences. Millions of students will head to class this fall with tablets and smartphones in tow. All those students are expecting lightning fast Wi-Fi to get the job done on campus and in student housing. IoT is reshaping not only the way students learn, but the way they live. According to Securedge Networks, by 2020 more than $1 trillion will be spent on IoT devices for college campuses across the country. Many universities have implemented smart technology in dorms. For example, Saint Louis University and Arizona State University have installed Amazon Echo Dot devices to help students get information on campus activities. University of Chicago, New York University and University of California, Davis also partnered with Telkonet to help students control the thermostats via a mobile app. According to Telkonet, colleges and universities spend roughly $14 billion on energy expenditures every year. A lot of energy is potentially wasted. Dorm rooms are vacant approximately 70 percent on an average day. IoT as a Service on in Student Housing Most colleges are skeptical when it comes to investing in non-essential technology due to limited budgets. Partnerships can lower project costs. The latest innovation in student housing tech comes from a partnership between Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions and IOTAS (which stands for IoT-as-a-Service). The developer and operator of infrastructure projects for colleges and universities united with the premier smart apartment technology innovator to deliver an integrated smart home experience for students. The partnership targets energy savings, security improvement in residence halls, and marketing to tech-savvy prospects. A few states away, Aspire at Discovery Park offers students the possibility to fully operate and customize their living units via a mobile app. The units feature various smart features including smart lighting, thermostats, outlets, sensors and locks, as well as a full integration of Amazon Echo and Google Assistant. Located in the Discovery Park district of West Lafayette, Indiana, the community ranks as the region’s  first property to include a fully-integrated smart home system installed during construction. The system operates in all 835 units. Currently found in multifamily communities across 40 U.S. markets, the IOTAS system connects residents’ and property managers’ authorized devices to smart home features such as: smart switches, outlets, door locks and thermostats door, humidity and motion sensors leak detection ceilings fans window coverings garage door control A Broader Reach with IoT Students use IoT devices to access homework assignments or to access classes remotely via video conferencing. On the other hand, alerts can be sent for those students skipping classes, which benefits school officials to help those who may be struggling academically. Colleges and universities are also trying to reduce traffic congestions, increase road safety—both for drivers and pedestrians—and lower carbon emissions by jumping into the autonomous vehicle cause. These days, the quality of a student housing community is determined by its tech offerings. Families consider Wi-Fi strength, coverage range, and other tech factors when making a decision on student...

Changes in the Clouds

Cloud services have changed the roles of executives. CIOs implement fewer on-premises applications. Their technical infrastructure needs have evolved within the Internet of Things. CFOs now mold their capital expenditures pitches to address operations. In the center of those changes floats the cloud, and with it, the continually evolving roles of executives. The Balance Sheet caught up with Shawn Cardner, executive VP, multifamily operations and IT, Grubb Properties, to discuss the evolution on leadership. “The real estate industry, which arguably was slower to adopt technology, now can’t escape its influence,” explains Cardner. “Almost all multi-family marketing is digital, and big data now plays a role in many firms’ daily decision-making and long-term asset strategies. Firms that wish to remain competitive must integrate the CIO role into their overarching business strategy in order to reduce costs and increase revenue.” Benefits of the cloud for CIOs and CFOs The cloud offers several benefits for CIOs and CFOs, specifically. Scalable Solutions Through the cloud, CIOs can capitalize on features and services for small and medium-sized companies that were previously available to large companies. “Being able to play in the same sandbox as the largest of our peers allows us to be competitive in spaces where we might not otherwise be able,” says Cardner. Faster Implementations Finance teams are not dependent upon IT for support. As a result, implementations are rolled out with less friction during office hours and more work can be accomplished, faster. Specialized Software Support When using Yardi Cloud Services and Yardi Voyager to manage the general ledger, for example, the IT team does not invest resources in maintaining the accounting software. Updates and security are managed off-site by Yardi. Finance owns the application but supports the business processes in a more specialized manner. Cardner adds, “It’s worth noting that different challenges exist. There are fewer technical skills required of my team with a full-service solution like Yardi.  There are, however, more nuanced soft skills and relationship skills required of us, which are sometimes difficult to find within technology circles.” Shorter Queues for IT With Cloud-based applications, there is less demand for IT to manage hardware or software. This often results in lower on-premises infrastructure costs. CFOs and their departments experience improved time to value, greater autonomy, and maintain ownership of software without being hampered by implementation or management during office hours. CIOs and their teams reduce hardware and software support, may decrease total cost of ownership, and can focus on specialized tasks. Addressing the risks Conversations about the cloud inevitably include risk management, security, and compliance. CIOs, CFOs, and COOs must collaborate proactively mitigate risks. “There is a tendency to recoil from the cloud when news of breaches occurs because of the bad press and notoriety.  I’m reminded, however, of an IT saying, ‘The cloud is just someone else’s computer.’ An open port on a firewall turns an entire network into an unwanted cloud service, so diligence and thoroughness are necessary, regardless,” explains Cardner. He continues, “Modern security technology is quite robust, whether on-premise or in the cloud.  The weak link of security in today’s age is people. Malware, ransomware, phishing and much of all data theft and loss are a result of improper employee conduct or inadequate employee training.  When vetting a new cloud provider, that’s where my focus lies.” The future of leadership The value of infrastructure continues to be an integral part of CIO responsibilities. Even with available outsourced and cloud-based solutions, CIO’s still need to consider infrastructure and its strategy fundamental to the job. Yet now more than ever before, CIOs are becoming strategists. The emphasis shifts to discerning which services an organization needs to thrive rather than focusing on infrastructure. “Traditionally, CIO’s were strictly service providers and, in many organizations, didn’t sit at the table where strategy decisions were made.  However, the proliferation of digital technology across and within organizations now mandates a level...

Office Market Update Dec18

Office Market Update

Here are some key findings in the most recent U.S. office property report from Yardi® Matrix. All figures are as of October 2019 unless otherwise noted. Demand for office space remains strong, with office-using sectors adding 545,000 jobs over the past 12 months. One of every three jobs added in the 12 months ending in September were in office-using sectors. The average U.S. office asking rate increased 2% year-over-year. Per-square-foot prices for central business district buildings are 24.6% higher than in 2018. Prices for buildings with A+ and A ratings have increased 12.1% this year. Markets with the highest year-over-year listing rate growth were San Francisco, Tampa, Fla., the San Francisco Bay Area and Manhattan. N.Y. The national vacancy rate increased 40 basis points from the previous month, to 13.7%. Lower interest rates have helped accelerate transaction activity since the summer, with investment volume totaling $74 billion. Office space delivered nationally totaled 59.2 million square feet. 1 million square feet of space is under construction. Get all the details in the Yardi Matrix national office report for November...

Pet Therapy Pros Dec17

Pet Therapy Pros

One of the best forms of therapy for older adults is also the furriest. Turns out, a friendly dog or two can do a lot to lift the mood and health of those who live in senior living communities. Pet therapy (or animal-assisted therapy in non-layman’s terms) is a service where animals – usually dogs – are brought in for short visits. Residents get the opportunity to interact with the animals by holding and petting them or simply sitting alongside and watching. Either way, the experiences often bring smiles to faces and wags to tails, and science has shown there are many more benefits besides. What benefits does pet therapy provide? Mental: Caregivers often report higher levels of happiness in residents after an animal visit, but the changes can be seen in the brain chemistry too. Studies reveal that the act of petting a dog can cause the brain to release serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin, “feel-good” hormones that help regulate and elevate your mood. At the same time, a visit by a dog can drop your level of epinephrine, a hormone produced by the body under stress. Physical: Pets can do one’s heart good – literally. Weekly visits with therapy dogs can lower blood pressure for older adults, while pet owners have been shown to have a 33% lower risk of death following a hospitalization for a heart attack. Pet therapy can even decrease use of antidepressants and medical services. Social: Animals provide unconditional companionship, which can help people feel less lonely. In one study, senior living residents who received 30-minute pet therapy sessions weekly for over a month scored significantly lower on loneliness scales than those who did not. Therapy animals also motivate residents to communicate more, even those with memory conditions like...

New Energy Regulations Dec16

New Energy Regulations

Yardi recently hosted a series of webinars for property owners in the U.S. and Canada facing the prospect of complying with a raft of energy, water and waste benchmarking requirements. A new statewide ordinance in California, measures in a host of municipalities and the Energy & Water Reporting and Benchmarking Regulations (EWRB) in Ontario, Canada, require measurement and public disclosure of whole building energy and/or water efficiency. All told, 49 mandatory policies to leverage ENERY STAR® plus a like number of voluntary policies requiring commercial and multifamily property owners to gather, assimilate and submit data will be on the books next year. Energy experts Randy Moss, Kimmy Seago, Ashley Nelson, Carson Spraker and Ethan Arbiser used the webinar series to illustrate the process and benefits of ENERGY STAR, the industry benchmarking standard that shows how efficiently a building performs compared to other similar buildings. Challenges often associated with benchmarking include managing multiple vendors and data request processes, compiling multiple street addresses into a whole building, obtaining owner and tenant authorizations, ensuring data quality, and properly setting up data and reporting through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®. As an ENERGY STAR partner that has benchmarked 320 million square feet within Portfolio Manager, Yardi has energy management software and certified experts that make collecting, assimilating and reporting required information much easier for building owners. Benchmarking steps include setting up properties in Portfolio Manager, requesting whole building utility data from providers, and verifying and submitting the data. The Yardi team also tracks regulation updates and properties’ compliance status. The webinar presenters pointed out that property managers can use information loaded into ENERGY STAR for purposes beyond compliance. These include earning certifications that exempt properties from audits and recommissioning and gaining access to low-cost green financing. Benchmarking can also help attract investors, many of whom factor ENERGY STAR scores into their investment decisions. Data gathered from benchmarking also helps property managers plan and evaluate future energy conservation measures and compete in internal and external energy-saving competitions. Learn what’s ahead in American and Canadian energy regulations and learn how Yardi, which actively manages ENERGY STAR compliance for more than 2,000 commercial and multifamily properties in many jurisdictions, can help you get...

Seasonal Savings Dec15

Seasonal Savings

If sustainability is a part of your branding, the holidays are your time to shine. Did you know that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, Americans toss about one million extra tons of trash each week? The additional waste is mostly holiday packaging, wrapping, and shipping supplies. Americans are particularly wasteful with energy during the holidays, too. Households in the US consume more energy during the holidays that some countries do in a year. Multifamily properties can set new precedents for the holidays. Below are six tips to make your property more environmentally friendly and cost efficient. By implementing conservation techniques and rewarding resident participation, we can break the tradition of holiday waste. Sustainable Switches, Great and Small Do you have a healthy budget for sustainable upgrades, or are you’re advocating for Mother Earth with your bare hands? Below are a few tips for budgets of any size. Make the Switch to LEDs If you haven’t already made the switch to LED lights, do so. This includes your holiday lighting. According to Eartheasy, the average business can save about $3,700 per year, per 25 bulbs. Each LED bulb last up to 200,000 hours, meaning that you replace bulbs and strings of lights less often. Step Up Recycling After the holidays, host recycling hauls for residents. For example, invite residents to bring their outdated electronics down to a truck near the leasing office. It’s then a single trip to recycle tablets and smart phones for the entire community. (Many electronics store offer recycling services.) You can also invite a tree specialist to the property to clear Christmas trees. Some companies will bring a mulching truck and recycle trees on the spot! Improve Utility Billing Some residents decorate like there is no tomorrow. Others leave town or skip the décor...

A Match Made in Heaven Dec12

A Match Made in Heaven

The 2020 NMHC & Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Survey reports that 71 percent of rural renters and 70 percent of suburban renters ranked “additional storage outside apartment” as a top interest. Many multifamily properties, however, are not equipped with storage units for renters. Self-storage facility managers can fill the gap and benefit from a steady stream of clientele—if you make the right connections. Make an offer they can’t refuse Before the turn of the millennium, additional storage wasn’t as in-demand then as it is now. As a result, many older properties weren’t constructed with storage units for renters. Even some newer properties with storage options don’t have enough to meet demand. Such properties may prove to be your valuable partners.  Renters who need storage may find the additional space they need at self storage facilities in the neighborhood. The challenge is to make sure that your storage facility tops their list. You could amplify your online marketing strategy, but that could be costly and time consuming. A captive audience, through a partnership with local apartment communities, could be a much surer path to success. Think about negotiating an incentive or deal for residents in nearby apartment communities. You’re interested in predictable, long-term clients. Multifamily agents want to meet prospects’ and renters’ demands for storage space outside of the unit. There is room for both parties to benefit. “Consider approaching the apartment community with a win-win proposal without a formal monetary reward if there is not another competing storage property within proximity. Pitch your storage property as a neighborhood amenity that the community manager can promote.  Only offer a referral bonus if competition forces you to do so,” advises Mark Smith, Director of Marketing with Yardi. He continues, “Storage operators should consider (and continually re-evaluate) their new customer acquisition costs. Make sure that your referral bonus agreement with an apartment community is in line with your normal acquisition costs.” Benefit from verified clients Most multifamily properties vet their residents before allowing them to sign a lease. A verification of employment history, good credit standing, and background checks are quite common. In contrast, very few self-storage facilities require an in-depth approval process. When you create a relationship with an apartment community, you can benefit from their verification process. Multifamily renters go through additional steps that could in turn reduce your exposure to missed payments and other risks. You will still benefit, though, from your own due diligence. “Track all tenants that rented via referral programs and evaluate for ROI,” says Smith. “Are they tenants that have paid their bills and stayed long enough to provide a positive revenue stream, or are you better off terminating the agreement with the apartment community?” Put your best foot forward To secure your position as their preferred vendor, clearly detail what differentiates you from the competition. You then have a platform to confidently state your price because you have demonstrated the value that you can offer to their renters. There are a few key features that renters want in off-site storage. If you offer such features, be sure to highlight them in your proposal: Security In an ideal world, renters would safely store their belongings in their apartment. But with limited space, that isn’t an option. They rely on you to provide additional space that is also secure. Keyless access via a smartphone app or personalized keycodes are popular with renters. (Some use similar technology to access their apartments.) By implementing such tech, you can offer a secure way to access units without the burdens and risks of physical keys. Most renters expect security cameras and gated entry. Offering 24/7 staff availability (or at least extended office hours) adds an appealing layer of security and reassurance during emergencies or other issues. Ease of Use While renters want secure self-storage, they want to access it on demand. This is another place where keyless entry places you...

Yardi Named a Best Place to Work Dec11

Yardi Named a Best Place to Work

Yardi has again been honored with a major award from Glassdoor as one of the top places to work in the U.S. The 2020 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award relies solely on employee feedback from Glassdoor, a popular job rating and review site. The site enables employees to voluntarily and anonymously share information about their jobs, work environments and companies. Yardi ranks No. 53 on the list of Top 100 U.S. Large Companies list. Below are just a few words employees shared on Glassdoor that contributed toward the award and make us feel incredibly honored: “Yardi is a great company to work for, the company culture is really great and a big factor in my 5-star rating. Yardi genuinely cares about their employees, and employee growth and retention. Though the company is established and stable, the company is still very innovative and is looking at the big, long-term picture.” – Client Services Department employee review. “The management is responsive to employees’ needs professionally and personally. I have been given opportunity to grow in my role and can talk to my boss candidly. My path for growth has been outlined and my manager helps me achieve my goals.” – Accounting Department employee review. “Great place to work. I get to meet new people every day. I love working with clients to see what Yardi software products can make their life better. I look forward to many years at Yardi Systems.” – Sales Team employee review. Glassdoor’s 2020 Best Places to Work list was determined using company reviews shared by U.S.-based employees between October 23, 2018, and October 21, 2019. To be considered for the U.S. large company category, a company must have had at least 1,000 or more employees and have received at least 75 ratings across each of the eight workplace attributes from U.S.-based employees during the period of eligibility. The final list is compiled using Glassdoor’s proprietary algorithm and takes into account quantity, quality and consistency of reviews. “Taking care of team members and offering opportunities to contribute to our clients’ success are guiding principles,” said Anant Yardi, the company’s president and founder. “We are honored to receive this prestigious award from Glassdoor, and we are grateful for the supportive culture that has been fostered at all levels within our organization.” On Glassdoor, current and former employees of companies worldwide can share insights and opinions about their work environments by sharing a company review, designed to capture an authentic inside look at what it’s like to work at particular jobs and companies. “This year marks the shift to a culture-first decade in the workplace, and Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards winners are employers that are prioritizing culture, mission and employees at the heart of everything they do. By doing so, their employees have spoken and are recognizing them truly as the Best Places to Work in 2020,” said Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor president, chief operating officer and incoming chief executive officer. “In addition to putting culture and mission at the core of how they operate, this year’s winners stand out for promoting transparency with employees, offering career growth opportunities and providing work driven by impact and purpose.” This year isn’t the first time Yardi has been recognized among the top U.S. companies by Glassdoor. In June 2019, President and Founder Anant Yardi was named for the third time to Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEO list. That honor was also based on feedback submitted by current and former employees. Of 100 CEOs recognized nationally, Anant Yardi ranked No. 33. Interested in joining our winning team? We are hiring! Find out about current employment opportunities worldwide on the Yardi careers...

Beat the Cold Dec11

Beat the Cold

Those summer tees and shorts are but a memory. With fall here and winter on deck, how do you stay comfortable at home without spiking your utility bills? Here’s a compilation of tips from the U.S. Department of Energy and other sources. Study up. Conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save and invest for long-term energy savings. Don’t miss sunshine. Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. Close them at night. End the draft. According to energy services marketplace Choose Energy, up to 30% of a home’s heat can escape through low-efficiency windows. Cold air can lead into a home through cracks and gaps in windows and doorways. Covering windows and sliding doors with clear plastic film can cut about 14% from your heating bill. Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that still feel drafty. Seal any gaps with caulk or weather-stripping. Check the equipment. Have your heating system serviced. Replace furnace and heater filters as needed. Air filters should be replaced monthly. Clean the flue vents on wood- and pellet-burning heaters. Reset the temp. When you’re home and awake, set your thermostat as low as possible to remain comfortable. Turn it back 10° to 15° at nighttime and when you’re gone. A smart or programmable thermostat makes this easy. Get a smart ’stat. Almost half of monthly energy costs are controlled by your thermostat, according to Efficiency Vermont, and Choose Energy says a programmable thermostat can cut heating costs by up to 12%. Cut your losses. Close your fireplace damper when not in use to keep warm air from escaping up the chimney. Install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system for the fireplace. Add caulking around the fireplace...

Senior Living Leaders...

New regulations. Rising acuity. Huge demographic shifts. There’s no doubt that senior living as an industry is changing. And it’s changing faster than many providers are ready for. But there are a few who are facing these challenges head on, ready to adapt with novel practices and new technologies. Earlier this year, Senior Housing News spoke with nine such leaders in senior living as part of a series they call the Changemakers, sponsored by Yardi. They published the interviews individually over the past few months (and we chronicled a few here on The Balance Sheet), but they’ve now compiled the highlights – along with the leaders’ accomplishments, tips and insights – in a complete ebook for your reading pleasure. Download the ebook to learn how these senior living innovators are pushing the industry forward. There’s a wealth of experience and learnings shared throughout the pages, so you don’t want to miss it. Not convinced? Here are a few great excerpts:   “[Our] program has been studied by Vanderbilt University. What we’ve learned is that, one, residents who experience mild cognitive impairment can thrive within assisted living, and also that it’s possible, as I said, to change the trajectory of the disease process. That’s a mind-bending accomplishment, particularly for a disease process that still has no medicinal cure.” – Patricia Will, Co-Founder & CEO of Belmont Village Senior Living       “We have people who have lived long lives, who have gained life experience and, hopefully, some wisdom. Now, there’s that opportunity not just to sit on the front porch in a rocking chair, but to become engaged with the world around you and to share that wisdom, to share that life experience out into the world, and to make a difference. To cement...

Must-Have Tech Dec09

Must-Have Tech

Toronto recently hosted its very first Yardi Executive Briefing exclusively for multifamily clients. Participants explored the latest innovations in RENTCafé and smart home technology. Below, we’ve highlighted the latest and greatest multifamily technology that you’ve got to have. Re-imaging Real Estate through Innovation Seven technologies are changing the future of multifamily housing: Untethered Connectivity: Voice-activated digital assistants handle everything from rent payments, maintenance requests, and adjusting the thermostat in a unit. Renters love the convenience, which adds to a unit’s perceived value. Smart Home Accessibility: Artificial intelligence and wireless connection unite to make smart home technology accessible to renters on the go. Via machine learning, apps within a smart car can determine when users are heading home. They can adjust the thermostat and fulfill other user preferences. Broadband Rules: Broadband connectivity is replacing cable as users complain of high cable prices and obnoxious bundled services. Begin negotiation with local broadband providers to offer services to your renters. Virtual Fitness: Don’t scrap your rarely used fitness center. Instead, give it a makeover by adding virtual fitness services. Renters value the option to have a virtual coach help them through workouts. Sleek + Chic: Renters appreciate smart home technology but don’t want bulky hardware interrupting their interior design. Technology needs to work on demand while blending functionality with interior design. Welcome the Robots: Drones for package delivery are a hot trend in metropolitan areas. If you haven’t already, plan and implement a concierge service to handle package deliveries. While you’re at it, designated parking spots and charging stations for autonomous vehicles may soon be a necessity. Modular Building is Cool Again: Unlike the first wave of prefab buildings in the 1930s, today’s modular homes are durable and highly customizable. Units can easily convert based on current...