5 Easy Tips Nov30

5 Easy Tips

Commercial property photos are notoriously unimaginative. Prospects have grown accustomed to mundane shots of empty spaces. But what if you offered something more interesting? Your property will gain the competitive advantage. Below are five tips for better commercial property photography that will help you stand apart from the crowd. Show Interactions, Not Spaces All commercial spaces have a ceiling, walls, and a floor. Skip the boring space photos. Instead, showcase interactions and operations within the space. Here are a few examples: Accentuate the room’s natural light by depicting an employee as she waters thriving, indoor plants near large windows Capture a team effortlessly unloading packages on the spacious and updated loading dock Emphasize your rapid WiFi availability with teams working simultaneously on their laptops and mobile devices Highlight your services by showing a vendor removing a recycling bin from the site Stage Like Sales Depend on It! As you’ve gathered by now, staging a commercial space may require models and supplies. It could be worthwhile to invest in office furniture so that you can stage spaces now and in the future. Otherwise, you can find models, photographers, and props on sites like MuseCube, Model Mayhem, and OneSource Talent. Commercial tenants want to see the potential of the space that you offer. If live staging is cost prohibitive, consider virtual staging. Virtual “renovations” are a great way to show potential uses for the space. Showcase Versatility Think beyond expected uses of the unit. Consider creative approaches for the space, such as coworking and CrossFit. By thinking outside of the box, you may attract a prospect that had not previously considered your site. Location, Location, Location Your property’s neighborhood may be a noteworthy part of your marketing efforts. Are there restaurants nearby that tenants may enjoy...

Supporting the Community Nov30

Supporting the Community

To jumpstart the giving season, Yardi Atlanta Charity Committee recently released an overview of the year’s philanthropic efforts. The grants demonstrate Yardi’s mission to “take care of our communities” in action! The following 15 nonprofits received support from Yardi Atlanta in 2018. March of Dimes March of Dimes programs educate medical professionals to ensure that moms and babies get the best care available. The organization also helps families with newborns who are facing medical challenges. Several Yardi Atlanta team members participated in the annual March for Babies walk, hosted by March of Dimes. Yardi corporate also matched donations made to the organization. Mimosa Elementary School Mimosa Elementary is a Title 1 school of about 800 students. Located within an Economic Opportunity Zone, nearly 95 percent of parents’ incomes fall below the poverty line. Despite its difficulties, the dedicated school staff and Yardi team members work together to help students succeed. Recent initiatives included a backpack drive and courtyard cleanup. This year’s donation focused on improving the reading levels of third graders. Studies suggest that third grade literacy increases high school graduation rates. Camp Twin Lakes Camp Twin Lakes is a nonprofit with locations in Rutledge, Winder, and Warm Springs, GA. Camp excursions and activities provide fun developmental opportunities for children facing serious illnesses and disabilities. Kids can also experience the fun through the Campers to Go program, which takes interactive experiences to children’s hospitals throughout the state. Camp Twin Lakes continues its strong relationship with Yardi Atlanta. Through the Camper Scholarship Program, Yardi empowered 27 kids to attend camp. Make-A-Wish Georgia Never underestimate the power of a dream fulfilled! The national Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes for children facing life-threatening illnesses. Granting a wish brings hope! And a positive attitude can help to battle illness and improve quality of life. Yardi’s donation enabled 406 critically ill children to watch their dreams come true. Atlanta Humane Society The Atlanta Humane Society, a no-kill shelter, serves about 30,000 animals each year. Animals receive medical assistance as well as the opportunity to find a forever home with local families. Yardi’s contribution paid for 5,000 surgeries for rescued animals. Atlanta Community Food Bank In northwest Georgia, 1 in 5 children face food insecurity. Atlanta Community Food Bank aims to end food insecurity for families in need. Yardi’s donation supported mobile units that meet immediate demand for nutritious food in homes and at schools. While on site, staff members help residents complete screenings for longer-term assistance programs. Marcus and Sharon Gunter Foundation (MSG Foundation) Hunger adversely affects health outcomes as well as a person’s quality of life. The MSG Foundation serves families, children and seniors facing hunger in Cumming, Ga. With Yardi’s support, recipients receive aid through a monthly grocery supplementation program. School-aged children are eligible for Bags of Love, which provides sack lunches to kids during school breaks. Atlanta Children’s Shelter Atlanta Children’s Shelter aims to end family homelessness in Georgia. The organization also offers therapeutic programming to facilitate recovery from trauma. Yardi Atlanta’s donation was allotted to the STEAM program, which helps homeless children reach developmental and academic milestones. Foster Care Support Foundation More than 8,000 children rely on foster services in Georgia.  Children can escape abuse and neglect through Foster Care Support Foundation. The organization supplies essential items for foster parents and their families. Yardi’s donation provided 90 children with necessities such as clothing, books and basic care items. The contribution minimizes financial strain for foster families. Yardi’s donation also supports the mentorship program that helps teens in foster care navigate their journey towards adulthood. Lost-n-Found Sexual minority youth compose more than 40 percent of homeless youth in Atlanta. Lost-n-Found Youth strives to end homelessness for young members of the LGBTQ community. The nonprofit offers housing and counseling services to those in need. In addition to financial donations such as Yardi’s, Lost-n-Found Youth provides services through thrift shop revenues. The Drake House...

Meeting Challenges Nov29

Meeting Challenges

Frankfurt, Germany-based Kintyre is a full-service real estate manager for investors in the German real estate market, offering property management, bookkeeping, leasing and tenant relations, and strategic asset management, among other services. Kintyre manages a Germany-wide portfolio valued at over €1.4 billion, totalling 800,000 square metres. The retail subsector accounts for three quarter of its assets under management, with office comprising most of the remainder. “We pride ourselves on having a team of experienced local property professionals, who have the ability to understand and deliver on our international investor’s expectations and requirements. We add value for our clients and partners through providing a fully integrated service platform, including all elements of the regular real estate management services, plus the addition of strategic retail concepts and design coordination, a strong leasing team, project management, and acquisitions and sales coordination,” says Adam Pearce, Kintyre’s managing partner. With investment returns within the German real estate market remaining under ongoing pressure, due to the current peak pricing environment, the increased use of technology is one additional tool professional real estate managers are adopting to help ensure maximum efficiency within the management process, flowing through to a value add for investors. Determined to be at the forefront of the digital revolution facing the global real estate sector, Kintyre upgraded its real estate management and accounting platform  to Yardi Voyager. The decision to adopt Yardi Voyager was influenced by  Kintyre’s requirements to have a single software solution that was able to operate across multiple jurisdictions and functions. “Being able to meet client standards and regulatory needs in any jurisdiction added a huge amount of confidence in the services we provide. Yardi’s innovation is global in scope but the company also knows the needs of local markets. Having such a multi-dimensional...

Meals for Kids Nov29

Meals for Kids

Each day, millions of kids rely on the National Breakfast and Lunch Programs. More than 11.6 million free breakfasts and 20 million free lunches help students reach their potential on school days. Such meal assistance is not available to kids in need on weekends. That’s when the Inter-faith Food Shuttle lends a helping hand. Transforming “Waste” Into Meals Inter-faith Food Shutter is an innovative nonprofit based in Raleigh, N.C. The organization disrupts the standard American food cycle, which is rife with waste. More than 40 percent of food that is grown and processed never makes it to families’ tables. Up to 75 percent of produce, for example, is sent to the trash simply because of its appearance. Rather than throwing away more 6 million pounds of local food, Inter-faith Foo d Shutter reroutes the groceries to homes in need. Food is procured from 350 donors including retail donations, volunteer food drives, commercial field gleaning, and the nonprofit’s teaching farm. Yardi Raleigh Preps Meals for Kids Backpack Buddies, an Inter-faith Food Shuttle program, uses rescued food to feed Raleigh’s youth. The program provides 10-12 pounds of food to children from low-income households. The nutritious food is intended to help children through the weekends when free school meals are not available. Each Backpack Buddies bag includes enough food for six meals and two snacks: two proteins, two vegetables, one fruit, two packs of noodles, two milks, one 100% fruit juice and two snacks. Local volunteers help to stuff the backpacks for delivery. Yardi Raleigh rose to the challenge. The Help Desk community service crew turned their team outing into a volunteer opportunity. Volunteers included Ashley Godshalk, Brian Baker, Doug Thompson, Elliott Arnold, Kelly Haygarth, Michelle Gardner, Nick Gennaro, Rashida Lassiter, Utica Cason and Yolanda Eaton. “Team work...

Pets & Service Animals Nov28

Pets & Service Animals

Permitting animals on your property can help residents feel comforted, capable, and safe. Managing the quantity and purpose of those animals—pets and working animals–has become a hot topic in property management. These four tips may help to standardize and simplify animal management at your site. Understanding the Laws To best accommodate residents with disabilities and their working animals, achieve a basic understanding of the laws that are in place: The Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) require housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) promotes accessibility in public spaces. Together, the three laws promote inclusion and safety for those living with disabilities. Both FHA and Section 504 use the term “assistance animal” to describe working animals that provide aid for humans. The ADA refers to “service animals” with the same purpose. The three laws require that housing providers and the managers of public spaces welcome working animals and their owners. Other details of the laws that are worth noting include: -It doesn’t matter if a resident refers to an “assistance animal” or a “service animal.” FHA and Section 504 apply to all animals that assist or perform tasks for the wellbeing of a resident with disabilities. -The laws do not limit the number of assistance animals or service animals a person may have. It is lawful for a person to have multiple pets, each to address a different therapeutic function. -None of the laws require a specific certification or training for the working animal. Required Documentation Establish a documentation policy that’s fair for all prospects with service animals. Implement the policy for apparent and invisible disabilities. The prospect may be asked to provide documentation regarding their need for a service animal or assistance animal. HUD entitles leasing staff to request documentation from a reputable third party who is familiar with the applicant’s condition. Applying Designations for Pets and Working Animals When documenting the animals within a unit, it may be helpful to differentiate between working animals and pets. Residents with service animals or assistance animals may require different accommodations than traditional pet owners. For example, some communities have a limit on the number of pets within a home. A resident with disabilities reserves the right to have multiple animals that assist in different ways. May this resident also have a pet (non-working animal)? Establish a policy and apply it consistently. Helpful Software Business management software may help organize residents and their animal companions. Yardi client Bridge Property Management has customized the set-up of Orion Business Intelligence to keep track of animals on the premises. Yardi product specialist Colin Roberson explains, “We have been able to track how many dogs are on each property, which units have pets. [Orion BI] is a nice thing that the property managers can have on their phone. If they are walking the property and seeing a pet in a unit, they can very quickly verify to see if we have a pet on record there.” “It’s such a practical application,” Roberson continues. “I don’t know if others use it that way but I would say we use it in different ways to track things like that and improve...

Single Family Homes Nov27

Single Family Homes

Yardi Voyager Single Family Homes simplifies property management without the need to expand payroll. Its property management, accounting and maintenance features are tailored to each clients’ needs. Manage Wisely Get a quick overview of operations each time that you open the Voyager Single Family Homes dashboard. Skim the latest updates on occupancy and availability, resident charges, receipts, property traffic and maintenance. Drill down into details as needed. Leverage the power of the industry’s most widely adopted accounting system. Generate and export custom reports to paint a clear picture of your financial standing. As your company continues to grow, you maintain control over access to that data. Set up users with read-only access to specified features and reports. Regularly issue reports to individual investors with a convenient report scheduler. Paperless cloud storage facilitates access to data from any location on any mobile device. Streamline financial management with Voyager Single Family Homes. The comprehensive systems meets IFRS and GAAP requirements. Expand Effortlessly Voyager Single Family Homes is more than accounting. The system empowers you to automate resident and home management from guest card to move-out. Store property brochures and quote sheets within the system. When multiple parties are interested in your properties, you can create a waitlist by market. As prospects turn into residents, automatically populate the resident records from the data on their guest card. Ensure that your units are in optimal condition with maintenance and work order tracking. Voyager Single Family Homes seamlessly integrates with other Yardi solutions that help your business operate smoothly. Tools for maintenance and inspections, marketing and leasing, procurement, energy management, resident screening and  renters insurance unite under the Voyager umbrella. RENTCafé Single Family Homes and RENTCafé CRM Single Family Homes incorporates marketing, mobile leasing and customer relationship management and...

Our Big Kitchen

Earlier this month, Team Yardi Australia headed to Bondi in Sydney. Switching out their laptops and phones for kitchen knives and potato peelers, the team spent the afternoons volunteering at Our Big Kitchen (OBK). OBK is about more than food, it’s a community kitchen with a soul. Created in 2000, its designed to help those in need; whether they’re going through a hard time, need a hand getting started, or are just looking for a place that provides a warm and nurturing environment. It aims not just to provide a community to its volunteers, but to help look after the millions of Australians going hungry every day. Despite being “the lucky country,” 2.2 million people in Australia go without food every year. Of those, tens of thousands come from New South Wales. OBK is on a mission to help those people, working closely with organisations such as SecondBite and Foodbank to minimize food waste and turn fresh produce into a home cooked meal. These meals are then distributed to the homeless and to regional shelters, including refuges for women and children, domestic violence shelters, asylum seekers, and more. Last year, OBK distributed over 80,000 meals to those in need. “The experience  gave all the people involved a sense of reality of how good a lot of us have it in life. Giving a little bit of our time helped 200 people that day. I recommend everyone gives a little to people in need, just like we did. It was a truly uplifting experience,” said Brook Baker, regional director, Australia and New Zealand sales. For the Yardi team, the afternoons represented an opportunity to give back, whilst learning more about the darker side of the city they live in. George Karounis, founder of OBK,  shared...

Let’s Save the World Nov26

Let’s Save the World...

The recently released UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report shocked everyone who was paying attention. In short, attempting to mitigate temperature rises to 1.5 percent by 2050 (which already seemed impossible to most) is too little too late. The globe is on a trajectory to see temperatures rise more than 3 percent by that time. The resulting flooding, droughts and superstorms will be catastrophic. A drastic shift in energy sourcing and usage is necessary to limit economic and humanitarian costs. Fortunately, drastic doesn’t mean impossible. Microgrids and carbon dioxide recycling are two available solutions that can make substantial impact. Microgrids Microgrids enable centralized power generation, storage and delivery. They offer more efficient power transmission, reduce costs for consumers, and decrease the duration of blackouts which can save lives and protect economies. A microgrid can “cut air pollution from the electric utility sector as much as 30 percent by 2030, saving 34,000 deaths a year,” states Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative. The systems offer more immediate benefits as well. Hurricanes Florence and Michael, for example, resulted in nearly $100 billion in property damages. After factoring in electricity outages and stalled commerce, Accenture estimates that such storms can cost economies $150 billion per year. The implementation of microgrids would reduce the economic impact of natural disasters by quickly restoring power. Microgrids also facilitate the integration of renewable energy sources with flexible scalability. Local organizations do not need to wait on utility companies or governments to implement more sustainable practices. Solar panels, roof-mounted wind turbines, and other sustainable energy devices can be used as the primary energy source on individual projects. Several power companies are exploring the power, efficiency and reliability of microgrids. Edison International, Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Duke Energy, San Diego Gas & Electric are just...

Powered by Bacteria

The energy industry is reinventing itself in combined efforts to limit as much as possible the effects of climate change. Evermore photovoltaic farms emerge around the world, evermore wind projects spring up onshore, offshore near shore, and even air borne—the industry is still in perfecting mode, new ideas turning into new ways to harvest green energy. There’s one more breakthrough in the solar energy world, coming from the scientists at the University of British Columbia. The Canadian researchers managed to develop a bacteria-powered solar cell that can convert light to energy, regardless of the weather, working as efficiently in dim and bright light, which could be a step forward in places like British Columbia and parts of northern Europe where overcast skies are common. Called biogenic cells, these solar cells made of living organism, are intriguing. This new cell generated a current stronger than any previously recorded from such a device. This is the first time when researchers connected nine biological-solar (bio-solar) cells into a bio-solar panel, in an attempt to replicate photosynthesis—the natural way to convert light energy into chemical energy that is later released to fuel the organism’s activities. Previous endeavors were centered around extracting light-sensitive dye from genetically modified bacteria, but the process proved to be quite costly, complex and also not quite safe as during the extraction process, the dye was often damaged by the solvents used. The Canadian team tried something different—they used E.coli genetically engineered to produce ample amounts of lycopene—the molecule that gives tomatoes their orange-red tint. Now, some of you might startle at the sight of E.coli, but this bacteria was chosen for cloning due to its low mutation and recombination rates. Lycopene is considered an excellent natural dye and is fantastic at harvesting sunlight. Their...

Choosing Software

Choosing the right property management software determines the efficiency and productivity of your organization. Jumpstart your selection process with these eight simple questions. Is the software installed at the premises or cloud-based?This is a matter of preference. Some organizations prefer installed software because data access does not depend upon an internet connection. The industry, however, shifts towards cloud-based platforms. Such web-based software permits users to access the data in the office, in the field and anywhere in between. Cloud-based solutions often include updates for the latest improvements and changes in compliance. Staff is free to focus on their roles, not the nuances of software.   What security and backup procedures are available? Cloud security services combine convenience with safety. Ensure that your cloud-based software offers data recovery, encryption and around-the-clock server operation monitoring.   Is the pricing model determined by the number of users or units? Software may be priced per licensed user or per unit. Licensing by user may be convenient for organizations with few employees and limited plans for growth. Pricing by unit allows the greatest flexibility and scalability. Staff growth and software usage are not hampered by paid licenses.   Is the product out-of-the-box or customizable? Turnkey solutions offer the ability the hit the ground running. Customizable systems will suite your portfolio more precisely and grow with you as your needs change.   Does the software integrate with other services necessary for your business? A fully integrated platform makes daily operations easier. The suite keeps data consistent between services such as accounting, leasing, resident screening, marketing, maintenance, and utility billing.   When is technical support available? Emergencies don’t wait for convenient office hours. Check support service hours to ensure that you can receive assistance on weekdays as well as weekends. Read...

The Excel Exodus

When it comes to Excel, there are two kinds of users: those who love it, and those who love to hate it. Regardless of which camp you’re in, there’s no denying the ubiquitous tracking tool has earned its role as a mainstay in offices in every industry across he world. But as the complexities of business have grown, so has the need for flexible tracking tools—a fact that’s increasingly obvious in senior living. With many different levels of care, various floor plans, myriad amenities and portfolios of communities, new time-saving tools can have a huge impact. In this post, we’ll examine common budgeting and tracking challenges faced by senior living operators and a solution that makes all the difference. The challenges: Antiquated systems are inefficient Since most companies purchase office software packages, it seems most cost efficient to use the spreadsheet that’s included to record and analyze the organization’s budgets. And while that strategy is an effective way to save money on paper, creating a scalable document to track all business operations from a blank tab in Excel is incredibly painstaking and time consuming—and once it’s been created, maintaining the document is no easy feat. If you recall the concept of opportunity costs from freshman economics, you’ll begin to understand that there is no efficiency in sapping countless man hours to make a tool not created for your business actually work for your business. Versions get outdated quickly—and aren’t easily shared Have you ever wasted time updating a spreadsheet only to find that you weren’t looking at the latest version? One of the most common frustrations with using static spreadsheets, rather than live solutions which are updated in real time, is the data becomes stale quickly, especially when multiple teams are making edits. On...

YMF New Orleans Nov19

YMF New Orleans

The Yardi Marketing Forum took New Orleans by storm earlier this month. This sold-out event drew top multifamily property marketers from across the country to The Big Easy for three days of fun, education and networking. View the photo album for a behind-the-scenes look. Attendees enjoyed focused attention from Yardi team members and exclusive guest speaker presentations. Google’s session on “The Age of Assistance” gave the audience three tips for winning in today’s competitive search environment: be there, be quick and be useful. Keep reading to see how you can apply these marketing takeaways from the forum to your property management business today. Be There You can’t win clicks if your customers can’t find you. Ben Waltzer from Google Fiber shared that today’s consumers are “more curious, more demanding and more impatient than ever before.” In fact, 15% of Google searches today are ones they’ve never seen before. Co-presenter Jeff Kirschenmann asserted that searchers “expect us to deliver relevant results at the right time.” Do you have a plan in place convert prospects by connecting during moments of intent? A successful marketing strategy includes being present at every stage of the customer journey. This might include SEO for long tail searches, paid ads for different demographics and nudge marketing that spurs website wafflers into action, as well as a healthy presence on review sites and social media platforms. If that sounds like a lot and you just don’t have the time or staff to handle it all, you might want to consider the advanced property marketing services of RENTCafé Reach. Be Quick Filmmaker Gavin Garrison’s talk focused on the emotional impact of storytelling – not just for video but for all forms of marketing. He spoke about using the power of relatable emotion to...

Multifamily Update Nov19

Multifamily Update

Jeff Adler, vice president of Yardi Matrix, assisted by Jack Kern, director of research and publications, recently delivered a webinar on the state of the multifamily industry. Excerpts follow. Q: How is the U.S. economy overall? A: It’s in good shape. Gross domestic product and employment are steady, wages are rising and the labor market is tight. Inflation is rising but under control. Q: And the multifamily market? A: It’s good too, although there are a few crosswinds. Jobs and population growth are strong but shifting to lower-cost cities, and homeownership is gradually rising. Multifamily capital is abundant, and new supply deliveries are weighing down on several markets, with the level of new supply flattening but not declining. Q: Has multifamily supply leveled out, and why? A: Construction delays and financing are a factor. Construction is just catching up to household formation, and builders are focusing on higher-price single family homes. Q: What are some policy changes addressing affordability? A: There are some proposed and implemented government mandates. Other market-oriented changes include a community in Kissimmee, Fla., that encourages residents to cover some of their rent by sharing their apartment on Airbnb; “rent by bedroom” communities that combine private bedrooms with shared kitchen and living areas. The coworking trend offers a model for coliving. Societal infrastructure, especially education, is the power of local economy, which drives multifamily investment. Q: What job growth trends are affecting multifamily? A: Companies are relocating and expanding in lower-cost markets—places like Phoenix, Orlando, Fla., Houston, Las Vegas and Raleigh, N.C. Tech hubs are emerging both in formerly non-tech metros and traditionally overlooked cities, such as Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Q: What are some of the other factors in play? A: The 2017 tax reform that caps the deduction for...

Self Storage Update Nov16

Self Storage Update

The self storage industry has been strong over the last several years, with economic growth creating new households and driving demand. Can this pace continue or will the recent supply surge outpace demand? That question formed the basis of a recent web presentation by Jeff Adler and David Dent, vice president and senior real estate market analyst, respectively, for Yardi Matrix. Their discussion focused on four areas: Macroeconomic Outlook The U.S. economy is in very good shape, Adler and Dent reported, with gross domestic product growing, inflation under control, and a tight labor market “pulling people off the sidelines,” although trade and immigration policies could brake the growth. Their research reveals that millennials and Baby Boomers are leaving big cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami in favor of smaller, lower-cost cities with concentrations of intellectual capital work, which in turn drives storage demand. Destination metros include Dallas-Fort Worth, Tampa, Fla., Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., along with retirement favorites such as Las Vegas and smaller mountain metros in the Appalachians and the Rockies. However, rental market fundamentals are faltering, with only 12 of 133 markets studied by Yardi Matrix showing year-over-year rent increases in September 2018, versus as many as 41 in previous years. Profile of Current Supply and Demand Domestic migration patterns have made Las Vegas, Tampa, Phoenix, Orlando. Fla., and Columbus, Ohio, the most attractive metros for self storage providers, Adler and Dent reported. The national average of self storage projects under construction and planned as a percent of existing inventory is 9.5%. Portland, Ore., Nashville, Tenn., Orlando, Boston and Seattle have the highest percentages. Approximately half of storage customers are in the process of moving while the other half are long-term users. Adler and Dent noted that approximately...

Doing More Nov15

Doing More

“Do more with less”—a philosophy that some fear is a recipe for exhausting people and systems. But a recent webinar sponsored by the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Assn. (PRSM) showed how the right technology, when properly executed, can benefit workers and businesses—and cut operational costs by tens of millions of dollars. The webinar shared best practices for choosing and implementing technology, as well as improving internal processes to make global management work. Commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE, which manages communications services provider Sprint Nextel’s real estate operations, including its building automation systems, highlighted its energy journey and the implementation of Yardi Pulse Central Control, former Proliphix, in more than 1,200 U.S. retail outlets operated by Sprint. Chris Gardner Cole Schooland Ken Cooper After taking over Sprint’s real estate operations in 2009, CBRE used technology and improved processes to lower Sprint’s operating systems costs by $35 million, generate more than $750,000 in energy savings, reduce energy costs by 14%, and cut the company’s small box retail division’s maintenance costs by 15-20%, Chris Gardner, real estate manager for Sprint Nextel, told the webinar participants. A CBRE audit revealed more than 2 million hours of unnecessary run-time. Dedicated to investing in long-term solutions, CBRE greatly expanded its use of Yardi Pulse Central Control to optimize building lighting and control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with cloud-based remote management software. The solution enables easy scheduling adjustments and safeguards for continuously monitoring temperatures, thermostat settings and potential equipment malfunctions, ensuring each building only uses the energy it needs. But investing in the right solution meant taking the conversation far beyond mere energy savings to address maintenance costs, asset health, employee efficiency and even revenue. According to webinar participant Cole Schoolland, this requires a multifaceted...

Resident Stories Nov14

Resident Stories

For many caregivers in senior living communities, residents’ identities are synonymous with their ailments. They begin to embody the treatments and assistance they require each day. While residents are much more than a name on a chart, the rich stories of their former lives often go untold. Moving into a new community can feel like letting go of one’s old self, and if a resident is struggling with dementia or cognitive disorders, the sense of loss is even greater. Recognizing the importance of deep personal understanding, many caregivers and communities have embarked on a mission to uncover residents’ stories. Truly knowing a resident and honoring their individuality has been proven to have medical benefits and improve their quality of care. In the senior living industry, it’s called person-centered care (PCC). The concept itself is not new—it’s been studied since the late 1980s—but, thanks in large part to the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010 which emphasized the need for change from a traditional clinical care approach to a more personal one, the movement has gained momentum. Person-centered care has no official definition, but its supporters generally agree that what distinguishes PCC from the traditional model of care, which views the patient as a passive receiver of treatment, is a commitment to patients actively participating in their own medical plan. Other fundamentals of PCC include viewing treatment as an on-going process, one that nurtures and empowers the person being treated, enabling elders to experience purpose and meaning in their daily lives. At its core, person-centered care compels caregivers to see residents for the people they are—and not let the need for assistance with daily activities diminish one’s personhood. How can senior living operators and caretakers begin to make the shift from a traditional model of treatment...

Super Support Nov14

Super Support

Support services can be more effective and valuable to a community when providers work together. By taking a collective approach to serving needy residents, organizations can identify synergies in services and carefully plan which are best fit for specific clients. For example, a supportive housing program may have a vacant unit reserved for disabled veterans, and a veterans’ service office may have a client graduating from a transitional housing program. Coordinating those programs would help to smoothly transfer the veteran to the permanent housing unit. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Housing Authority (FWHA) has stepped up to help local organizations work more cooperatively. For its effort, FWHA received an Award of Excellence from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). FWHA assists more than 8,000 individuals in their community at any point in time. Their clients’ needs for assistance go far beyond basic affordable housing subsidies. Some clients are formerly homeless and need assistance furnishing their new permanent homes. Others require access to discounted food and clothing. In fulfilling those types of client requests, FWHA found itself working with many local service providers. There are more than 150 in the Fort Wayne area, each with a set of services available. George Guy, CEO and director of FWHA, saw an opportunity to benefit the community by getting those providers together with a goal of forming a consortium of representatives that could exchange and coordinate services. The result of that coordination effort is what’s become known as Housing Strategies Meetings. FWHA invited 270 individuals to the first session, at which attendees saw more than 35 agencies present a high-level overview of their services. While receiving that program-level information was valuable, personal connections made in the room were also real benefits of the meeting. FWHA...

5 Tips for Client Retention

Today’s entrepreneurs and remote employees have several workspace options, often including the comfort of their own homes. To attract and maintain clients, transform your coworking space into a unique destination with a welcoming community. Offer Top-Notch Security Clients want their shared workspace to feel safer than their local coffee shop or home office. 7 Tips for Improved Security can help you establish a place where clients, their possessions, and their data are secure. Ensure that your security software is accompanied by human backup. For example, post a phone number that clients can contact if the door access control is ever on the fritz. Such measures will help clients feel supported in an increasingly automated world. Continuing Education Experience-driven spaces are the latest in office design. Continuing education events offer new experiences for clients. The classes also double as a value-added service. You may want to: Host how-to workshops for popular software programs Invite experts to facilitate theme-based seminars, such as marketing and project planning Create member forums where clients can network Seminars on work-life balance techniques and relaxation methods Create Thoughtful Ambiance Thoughtful design pays off. Your design can inspire your clients, enhance the atmosphere, and promote client wellbeing. Each feature defines your space as a desirable and valuable destination. Add indoor plants to help cleanse the air while combatting the sterile office vibe Opt for sustainable office supplies, which are popular with young professionals Mix up your seating with a combination of conference-style tables as well as private nooks Create different work environments with varied lighting in different rooms or regions of the workspace Consider placing white noise machines in conference rooms for privacy   Build Community through Experiences Many clients will opt for a shared workspace because of the potential for social interaction. Fulfill their expectations with community-building tools and activities. Consider: Games, both digital and real-world Indoor rock climbing Yoga classes Live music Mini massages and acupuncture Sports tournaments The right activities for your community depend on how your space is divided. Use your best judgement to establish an engaging yet professional atmosphere. For new workspaces, it may be difficult to gauge your clients’ interests. Consider polling members on what activities they’d like to have on site. Satisfy Bellies In addition to coffee, get creative with your treats! Some clients use snacks as a way to take a break. Others will snack when they can’t take a break for a real meal. Save the day by offering a combination of fun, quick, and nourishing treats. Hot cocoa bars with a variety of toppings Cupcake stations add cheer (and a sugar rush) to any slow afternoon Build-your-own trail mix bars are a simple and healthy way to jazz up the snack scene Quick, customizable lunches (think hotdogs and burgers) are an inexpensive and easy way to show client appreciatio Built-in Marketing These suggestions can transform your coworking space into a unique destination with a welcoming community. They come with an additional bonus: free marketing. Fun features create opportunities for clients to post photos on social media. Be sure to have your social media handles posted throughout the office so that they can tag your...

UAE Update Nov12

UAE Update

The Gulf Cooperation Councill (GCC) has witnessed significant growth in the number of real estate investment trusts (REITs) across the region, with over seven publicly listed REITs established to date. Since 2006, regulations have perm itted REITs in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), but previous market downturns delayed any real progress within this particular sector of real estate. The first REIT in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was established in 2010. More recently in the UAE, ENBD REIT and the Emirates REIT were listed on NASDAQ Dubai with market capitalisations of $261 million and $289 million respectively. In other GCC countries, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, there are now private REITs with total sizes of $80 million and $100 million, respectively. The introduction of REITs in Saudi Arabia by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) in 2016 was part of the National Transformation Program (NTP) and Saudi Vision 2030. This included a regulatory framework with a minimum of 100 million Saudi riyals ($26.67 million) capital for REITs, and borrowing not rising above 50 percent of the fund’s total asset value. The market in Saudi Arabia is divided between two REIT investment strategies, the mixed-asset and the specific-asset class approach, with a tendency towards the specialisation of REITs, along with a focus on asset classes that are common to the region, such as office, retail, education, healthcare and logistics. The making of the REIT The goal of the REIT is to provide investors with access to high-grade, low-risk, income-generating real estate assets. About 45 percent of investment professionals in the region see the GCC’s real estate market as mature enough for REITs to surge. Although tax efficiency has less impact on the REITs in the GCC, it offers liquidity and flexibility for investors and real...

UK Think Tank

The evolution of the flexible office sector has shaken up the real estate industry and has arguably changed it for the better. Yardi recently brought together a panel of experts in the UK to discuss the many segments of flexible offices and what lies in store for the sector. Mary Finnigan, head of transactions, real estate, WeWork Chris Pieroni, operations director, Workspace Group Adrian Goldney, co-founder, Flexible Office Space John Williams, head of marketing, Instant Group Joff Sharpe, head of operations, British Land Tony Freeth, director coworking, Yardi Europe Liz Hamson, editor, Property Week – chair   LH: With all the different definitions out there, what should we be calling the sector? Should there be a standard definition or does it really matter? CP: All the definitions out there are very different – hybrid, coworking, flexible, service – and then you’ve got all sorts of issues around whether they are an operator or a landlord and then you’ve got all sorts of issues about what sort of services are offered; whether they are exclusive or not. And it’s really complicated to pull all the data together and try to get an understanding. I’ve got my own view on where we stand in the flexible office market and we didn’t fit into any of the definitions. We’ve decided to just look at the flexible market.   LH: So what do you define flexible as? CP: So we had three different categories – something under three months, and then we stopped at over 12 months. But actually, I think now as larger corporates want flexibility, you might be saying flexibility for them is three years. So I don’t know, but we stopped at over 12 months. JS: I don’t think the starting point is flexibility; it’s...