YASC DC 2019 May21

YASC DC 2019

The first Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) of 2019 kicked off this morning in Washington, D.C., where over 2100 attendees are gathered to improve their knowledge of Yardi’s products and services, network with peers, and have a little fun. “What do you say this week we turn Washington, D.C. into our nation’s real estate technology capital?” said Esther Bonardi, Yardi vice president of marketing, as the general session kicked off. The conference is the largest YASC to date. With a focus on sharing information, educating users on how to get the most out of their Yardi platform, learning about new products and features, and connecting with fellow real estate professionals, YASC is also a place where attendees answer important questions. “How do you elevate your company to that next level? You do it by gaining information,” said Bonardi, introducing Anant Yardi, company founder and president, during the general session. Continuous communication Mr. Yardi focused his remarks on the theme of continuous connection and how it can be beneficial for business relationships. “This day and age of continuous connection doesn’t necessarily mean we are communicating all the time. But it does mean that we are available, and we respond.” While displaying an image of a group of people around a dinner table, all intently staring at their smartphones, Mr. Yardi suggested that perhaps the group all had various roles in the real estate industry, as well as the capability to respond to customer and client requests, anytime and anywhere. Yardi’s technology platform already allows real estate professionals to accommodate such requests, but as Mr. Yardi and the executives who presented after him Tuesday morning demonstrated, the company is poised to deliver even more innovation. “Our goal is to provide a connection between the business, the consumer and the property,” said Mr. Yardi, introducing the concept of “business to property” transactions. “As we think about continuous communication, the basic way we do real estate doesn’t change. But the way we transact business may change.” Yardi has positioned its platform to facilitate that change with solutions like Yardi Elevate for improving asset performance and Yardi Kube for coworking management, a potential way for property managers to capitalize on unused space, and the Yardi Pulse platform, which can monitor energy use and automate energy management, leading to waste reduction. Future-focused product development YASC attendees also got a sneak preview of Yardi’s forthcoming smart home technology solution which will allow property managers and residents to easily manage connected services like utilities and door locks, all from an app-based interface. “Using a single app, a resident should be able to make payments, enter service requests, request concierge services, but also make sure that the door is locked,” Mr. Yardi said. Such a hub will also have advantages for property managers, who will be able to manage the utilities and locks of vacant units all from a centralized dashboard. John Pendergast, Yardi senior vice president, multifamily services, went into more details on the convenience, security, comfort and automation that Yardi’s new smart home technology solution will provide. The morning presentation concluded with remarks from Rob Teel, Yardi senior vice president, global solutions, and Akshai Rao, Yardi vice president of energy and procurement. Teel introduced the Yardi Elevate platform, which is powered by big data, market data from Yardi Matrix and uses predictive analytics and prescriptive actions to increase revenue, decrease expenses, increase asset value and reduce risk. “Yardi Elevate will help you answer forward-thinking questions, like how much should I spend on marketing next month. These are not the accounting questions you’d be answering with Yardi Voyager. The goal is to help you make better business decisions,” Teel said. Yardi Elevate provides next-level insight into asset performance, budgeting and forecasting, construction and facility management, and more. Community connections Rao concluded the general session with a look at Yardi’s corporate philanthropy programs, which offer employees in each...

Youth Interactive May21

Youth Interactive

Cecilia Campos is 20 years old and managing a State Street storefront in downtown Santa Barbara, across from the community’s art museum and the Granada Theatre. The Youth Interactive store, which features the work of young artists and businesses formed as part of the art and business non-profit, is a dream come true for the group. And it feels like home to Cecilia, who found her voice as a Youth Interactive participant. “Because of Youth Interactive I really am a different person,” Cecilia said. “This program gave me the chance to be who I can be without succumbing to any of the obstacles that were in my path.” When she joined Youth Interactive at 14, Cecilia describes herself as being paralyzed with shyness and extremely uncomfortable speaking in front of any audience. She knew she had an interest in fashion, design and other creative pursuits, but wasn’t sure how to channel that energy in a constructive fashion. Youth Interactive, she says, provided all of that. It also gave her the chance to participate in an international youth startup business competition at Oxford University in England, an experience that she describes as both intimidating but formative. Six years later she is a confident adult, taking a gap year from SBCC, who looks forward to a promising future in art-based business. “I never expected to be general manager of a store at 20 years old,” she said. “But I’ve always loved leading a team and being a part of something bigger than myself, so this has been a really cool experience that has helped me grow.” Cecilia’s mother, Estrella Campos, also had a life-changing experience as the result of her daughter’s involvement with Youth Interactive. After watching her daughter’s positive experience with the program over the...

Security Deposit Alternatives May21

Security Deposit Alternatives

Are your security deposit requirements costing you good renters? Sometimes, desirable renters are short on cash. But, do you really want to risk losing a good and potentially long-term resident because they can’t pay a high security deposit before they move in? Imagine you show a unit to a young professional who is relocating to your area. They have a good new job and great credit along with excellent references. They’re the kind of reliable resident you’re looking for — and they’re ready to sign a lease. But, they don’t have enough cash to pay the security deposit you require. Do you have to let them walk away? As it turns out, you don’t. You can let good renters move in for less money up front by allowing them to post surety bonds in place of a traditional cash deposit — and still ensure your properties are protected. Read on to learn more. What is a Surety Bond? Surety bonds are a form of insurance that constitute a contractual promise to meet security deposit requirements while taking less money up front from new renters. Renters simply pay a one-time, non-refundable bond premium that is typically less than 20% of a traditional security deposit, and the surety bond provider acts as a third-party guarantor up to the limits of the bond amount. While relatively rare before the mortgage crisis of 2008-2010 when many families experienced job losses and home foreclosures and needed help getting into rentals, surety bonds have become more popular with landlords in recent years to help renters deal with move-in costs. What are the Benefits? While renters are happy to keep more hard-earned money in their pockets and not worry about getting security deposits refunded, property staff are relieved of managing escrow accounts and processing deposit refunds — which also means saving banking fees and administrative costs. Many property managers also find that offering a deposit alternative gives them an advantage in competitive rental markets. Three Great Reasons to Accept Surety Bonds Gain a competitive advantage and fill vacancies faster: Without the barrier of a big security deposit, surety bonds can help you rent available units faster. Plus, accepting surety bonds as a deposit alternative for qualified renters could help you market your properties, especially in competitive areas. Take the burden off management and mitigate risk: With surety bonds, property owners and managers are removed from the collection process and, in most cases, from litigation should disputes arise over the return of security deposits.  Reduce work for property staff and lower administrative costs: Opening separate trustee or escrow accounts with your bank for new tenants can be a hassle and takes hours of your staff’s time to process, in addition to monthly bank fees that eat away at your deposits over time. Surety bonds don’t require any of that, nor do property staff need to track and pay out interest on security deposits. Ready to give your renters an affordable move-in option that also helps your busy staff and protects your bottom line? Download a free brochure to get...

Team Springs

It’s a well known fact that the senior living industry has struggled to identify and retained talented personnel. Yardi client The Living Springs has found a way to nourish its talented employees through programs that promote personal and professional advancement. Through its efforts, the organization—and the overall industry—can cultivate a stronger support staff and enhance resident care. Creative Problem Solving Three years ago, Lisa Maynard, director of people and process at The Springs Living, noticed a trend. Employees were eager for professional advancement, mostly in the nursing field. Yet they lacked the resources to make their dreams into a reality. Simultaneously, care providers strategized ways to attract and maintain talent, often in vain. Maynard and the team at The Springs Living realized that both issues could be addressed at once: a scholarship that empowered employees to pursue higher education. Through the Team Springs Scholarship fund, the brand could build loyalty with current employees. Those same employees would gain the education needed to provide higher quality care for residents. “Generally, we find employees want to gain more knowledge with the goal to return and help out our residents in a higher-level capacity,” explained Maynard. The scholarship fund is not limited to long-term care or health care, Maynard says. But that isn’t a deterrent. “We do have a mission to change the way people, think, feel and experience working in senior living.  If we can get our younger generations to see the career opportunities, we think they will come back in some form or fashion.  Even if it is just referring us to another talented friend or family member.” The Springs Living also invented the Shine Academy. The in-house program assists with on-boarding, on the job training, and continuing education.  The Shine Academy encourages staff to...

Marketing Insights May18

Marketing Insights

The multifamily marketing industry recently gathered in Huntington Beach, Calif., for the 2019 Apartment Innovation and Marketing (AIM) Conference. The 2019 edition focused on digital marketing best practices and innovative technologies. Keep reading for top insights from the 2019 conference! The ever-expanding Internet of Things A second wave of connected technologies is making its way to multifamily. In fact, according to Terry Jones of tech giants Travelocity, Kayak and Wayblazer, 75 billion smart devices will be connected to the internet of things by 2025. From smart home integration and keyless entry to smart thermostats and high-speed WiFi, AIM sessions focused on the convenience and opportunity afforded by embracing IoT advances. At AIM, Yardi experts also previewed connected technology innovations coming soon to the RENTCafé Suite. “Marketers are going to need to understand technology more to be successful,” shared Ben Burns, vice president of digital strategy at Bozzuto, during a growth-focused question and answer panel. “At the end of the day, we’re providing experiences.” Is your business ready to embrace new technologies and give renters what they want? Attribution, automation and analytics New technologies appear on the market every day. But which ones made the jump from novelty to widespread adoption? The AIM Technology TrendTalk with Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi, explored multifamily technology trends and how smart marketers can use them to improve business outcomes. Meet the speakers: Diana Norbury, Senior Vice President of Operations, Pillar Properties Norbury spoke about utilizing benchmarking and prescriptive analytics to help drive more informed marketing decisions. At AIM, one thing was clear: data is a marketer’s best friend. Prescriptive and predictive analytics can use that data to inform your marketing strategy, improve customer experiences and, ultimately, boost conversions. “Predictive analytics allow our staff to work...

YASC DC 2019 May17

YASC DC 2019

The Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference returns to the East Coast next week, offering in-depth training, networking and fun for Yardi clients. The annual user conference, also known as YASC, will be hosted at the Washington Hilton from May 21 – 23. We’re excited to see our clients and staff in Washington, D.C.! As one past YASC attendee shared, “I always enjoy YASC because you get to hear how others use the software. Can’t wait to learn more!” Get a glimpse of YASC Washington, D.C.: Yardi Events App Get connected at YASC with the Yardi Events app! Attendees can access all conference information, venue maps, class materials, social networking, in-app messaging and more on the Yardi Events app. Customize your daily schedule with classes, demos, panels and roundtables, and set up one-on-one meetings with Yardi staff. The Yardi Events app is available for download in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. A browser-based version, synced to the mobile app, will also be available, so attendees can access the app features from their desktop. User log-in details have been emailed to all registered YASC attendees. Questions? Email our team at yasc@yardi.com. Knowledge Central Knowledge Central is the place to be if you want to learn more about new products and upgrades, or if you have questions about your current software. We’ve gathered the experts in one place, so you’ll know where to go to get all your questions answered. Bonus: attend a 15-minute product preview in Knowledge Central and be entered in a daily iPad giveaway! Expand Your Network How many industry connections can you make in three days? There will be over 1,500 attendees representing nearly every segment of the real estate sector at YASC. The conference will offer several opportunities to connect with peers in your industry, including scheduled breaks and networking...

Ash Kicking Continues May17

Ash Kicking Continues

Editor’s note: With the mobile command unit on site at Yardi corporate headquarters today, we wanted to share this blog from August 2018 with our audience, which details the history of the command center project and Yardi’s contributions to emergency response in the Santa Barbara area. August, 2018 – Yardi was recognized for its contributions this week as the lead corporate sponsor for the Kick ASH Bash, which raised $1.3 million for distribution to local first responder agencies. Among the purchases with those funds are three new mobile command units to be used during onsite response to events like fires, floods and other public safety crises. The first MCU has been received by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department and was on display at a press conference this week. According to Eric Peterson, Fire Chief for the Department, the unit has already been put to good use. “The trailer had its maiden voyage during the recent Holiday Fire.  It provided a perfect place for the team to work, and allowed a level of collaboration that we have not had before. Having a place to work and discuss tactics and planning immediately during an incident makes a huge difference,” Peterson said. The Kick ASH Bash was the largest local philanthropic event held in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire last December and deadly Montecito mudslides that followed the fire in January. In addition to financial support, many Yardi employees served as volunteers at the event, held in February at the Nesbitt Bella Vista Estate in Summerland. Yardi and Executive Vice President Gordon Morrell were singled out for their efforts in supporting the fundraising efforts. “(Yardi) jumped up big time from day one. We really appreciate their support,” said Eric Phillips, co-chair of the event. Funds are being distributed through the non-profit Santa Barbara County Firefighters Alliance, an organization that raises money for public safety equipment that is outside of departmental budgets. “Our goal is to protect the firefighters’ safety, just as they protect our safety every day,” said Susan Petrovich, president of the Alliance. “We want to ensure that they have safe, start-of-the-art, high tech equipment so that they can do their jobs.” Petrovich said that it had been the goal of the Alliance to provide a mobile command unit for some time, but wasn’t sure where the funds would come from. “This is amazing for us. We are so grateful for this event and for the proceeds.” “These units will benefit every single resident in Santa Barbara County. Wherever there is an emergency, this will help our first responders collaborate and communicate more effectively,” said Richard Weston-Smith, an executive board member of ONE 805, the organizing force behind the fundraiser. “Our first responders don’t just need support occasionally. They need it year in and year out.” Learn more about ONE 805 and their efforts to help Santa Barbara County first responders here. Learn more about Yardi’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts...

Standard of Excellence May16

Standard of Excellence

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s designation of Yardi as a 2019 ENERGY STAR® Award recipient in the service and product provider category was previously announced in this space. The award recognizes the company’s outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. More than 180 organizations across a broad swath of industries joined Yardi in receiving ENERGY STAR awards in April. Some of their achievements that ENERGY STAR documented are summarized below. Along with saving more than 5.6 million kilowatt-hours from LED retrofit and solar programs, Chicago apartment community developer and manager AMLI Residential engaged its leasing staff to educate residents and prospective residents on the benefits of living in an ENERGY STAR-certified community. Boston Properties incorporated cost recovery for ENERGY STAR certification, sub-metering of high-intensity tenant equipment and tenant energy disclosure through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® into its master lease form. The self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust also achieved ENERGY STAR certification for 77 properties in 2018. Bozzuto Management Company of Greenbelt, Md., pursued 100% benchmarking in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for all managed assets and achieved energy reductions of more than 3% and 2% in site and source energy usage, respectively, across its portfolio in 2017, which equates to a calculated energy cost savings of more than $4 million. The manager of more than 255 multifamily communities also communicates sustainability and ENERGY STAR issues through its internal Bozzuto in the Know program. CommonWealth Partners, a Los Angeles private real estate investment, development, management and operating company, developed an internal Battle of the Buildings Bootcamp competition that focused on empowering properties to reduce energy, water and waste over three months. The effort saved more than 12,000 megawatt-hours of energy, 16,000 kilogallons of water and more than 3,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Fairfax (Va.) County Public Schools, which serves more than 190,000 students, has saved more than $23 million since 2014 through a comprehensive energy program. The 10th largest school division in the U.S. also enacted student-conducted home energy audits, a Battle of the Buildings competition and extensive promotion of ENERGY STAR and energy efficiency through social media. Hudson Pacific Properties, a vertically integrated real estate company in Los Angeles, implemented an engagement and recognition program that recognized properties that achieved the largest ENERGY STAR score improvement, hosted the best tenant engagement event and demonstrated the largest reductions in energy, water and waste usage. Los Angeles-based Kilroy Realty Corporation received ENERGY STAR Charter Tenant recognition for one of its offices and promoted ENERGY STAR in an innovative TEDx talk. It also joined the BOMA W2 challenge, an initiative built with the support of a grant from Yardi, across 84 buildings. LBA Realty LLC achieved ENERGY STAR certification for 21 properties in 2018. The Irvine, Calif. office and industrial property manager and investor also increased its average ENERGY STAR score portfolio-wide from 78 to 81 and reduced its average weather-normalized source energy use intensity by over 5% from 2017-18. Memorial Hermann Health System of Houston saved more than 14 million kilowatt hours by retrofitting light fixtures. It also became the first healthcare system in Texas to utilize new ventilation rate standards that reduce energy use while still meeting air change rates set by the department of health. Principal Real Estate Investors LLC of Des Moines, Iowa, achieved more than 3% reduction in average weather-normalized source energy use intensity from 2017-18. The company has achieved more than $52 million in cumulative avoided energy costs and more than $137 million in potential increased asset value since 2008. Defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions provider Raytheon Company designed and built an energy-efficient onsite data center that can be replicated at other sites, earning a top project award from its manufacturing peers. The Waltham, Mass.-based company also completed onsite battery storage projects at two facilities that help offset power consumption from the grid during peak periods. SL Green...

Michael Joiner May15

Michael Joiner

You never know where life will take you. Many of us find ourselves in jobs which may be unexpected. Fate, it could be argued, has as much influence on our professional path as our our conscious decision making. That type of fateful, unexpected turn is what Michael Joiner, manager of Yardi eLearning Client Services, seems to have experienced five years ago. While finishing up a PhD in Musicology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Michael began to teach writing courses. That step in his professional career came with a new appreciation for learning, as well as new options for the future. “Towards the end of my dissertation, I began to weigh options such as becoming a music history professor, a writing instructor or to work in the nonprofit industry with a focus on higher education,” said Michael. Teaching and learning is a common theme to each of those pursuits, so it was natural for Michael to become intrigued when he was referred to apply for a position on the Yardi eLearning team. “I realized I could use my passion for teaching and education in a new way with Yardi. It was also a chance to build on my experience in video and audio multimedia development,” said Michael. The rest, as they say, is history. Michael now manages of team of staff supporting Yardi eLearning, and is heavily involved in product development, creating new courses, implementing new clients and anything else that comes his way. “Working with clients is something that gets me going—I get pumped to create more courses or help them find creative ways to train their staff to help them use Yardi products as best as possible, and to be amazing property management professionals in general,” said Michael. Away from work,...

Said Haider May15

Said Haider

Said Haider, regional director of Middle East sales for Yardi, spoke to us from his office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an update on the region’s rapidly growing real estate market. Q: Said, what are your principal responsibilities and how Yardi is performing in the Middle East? A: I manage our sales and business development efforts in the region. When we started our operations back in 2012, we had handful of clients; now we work with more than 80 clients in the Middle East and North Africa regions, mainly in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Without a doubt, it’s one of our fastest growing markets. Most of our clients have varied real estate portfolios and almost 90% of retail space in the UAE is managed with Yardi software. Q: When did Yardi enter the market and what was the impact? A: We launched Yardi Voyager there in 2012 and almost immediately saw high demand across multiple vertical markets. We were able to replace customized solutions with a Software as a Service platform that fulfills virtually all business operations requirements out of the box. This allowed companies to focus more on their business and worry less about the tools. As we continue to grow, we are introducing the Yardi Elevate Suite, the most comprehensive set of commercial asset management solutions available on the market. Q: What are some key trends in the region? A: The commercial, retail and residential sectors are growing fast. The real estate investment trust and shared office space concepts are also gaining footholds. Q: What’s our approach to the Middle East and Saudi Arabia in particular? A: Customer experience is the key to competing in this market and that’s how Yardi made its mark. We offer a single integrated solution...

Multifamily Market May14

Multifamily Market

While the U.S. multifamily sector basks in a period of extraordinary growth and vibrancy, owners, investors and residents alike should remain on guard against potential headwinds. This was a key message in a recent state of the industry webinar presentation by Jeff Adler, vice president of Yardi Matrix, with assistance from Jack Kern, director of research and publications. Adler repeated many of the macroeconomic themes in his and Kern’s recent U.S. office industry update: The economy is in good shape, the labor market is tight, wages are rising, the Treasury yield curve remains flat and high American oil production is taming inflation. In addition, demographic and lifestyle factors such as divorces that produce new renters, young people marrying later in life and an older population living longer, healthier lives, are fueling a demand for multifamily housing that could exceed 425,000 units annually. Job formation and in-migration to favorable markets will continue fueling this demand for the foreseeable future. While this environment is favorable for absorbing current supply, housing production isn’t likely to keep up with future demand, especially in locations with anti-growth and rent control policies. A worrisome potential outcome is “pain on the affordability side that becomes a danger to the industry,” Adler said. Although homeownership costs are rising faster than renting, the median asking rent has exceeded the inflation rate since 2012. The cumulative weight of those increases is now bearing down on median-income residents in urban locations. Moreover, metros such as San Francisco, Portland, Ore. and New York City drive rents up by constricting new supply, then apply rent control to shield residents from the impact. This approach backfires, making housing even more scarce and unaffordable and prompting outmigration, Adler said. These factors and high taxes have resulted in New York...

Utility Expenses May14

Utility Expenses

Want to make your property more appealing to prospects? Keep their bills low. Senior living clients love to save money. Even more so, they love knowing that their housing provider is taking additional lengths to make saving money easier. By focusing on utility expenses, you’re creating value and enticing customers with cost savings. Cost savings on utilities aren’t traditionally sexy in advertising. It’s hard to make submeter installation look exciting. But money saved has proved to be appealing to seniors, especially when the savings are complemented with improved efficiency and high-quality services. Sustainability Matters Baby Boomers value sustainability. A 2018 High Tide Technologies survey of 2,000 adults discovered that Baby Boomers are more frugal than younger generations. Boomers consume less water and electricity. They’re also more likely to recycle, compost, and be food waste conscious. A separate study lead by Pew Research suggests that 36 percent of Boomers have molded lifestyles that protect the environment “at all times.” Only 12 percent of Gen Xers and Millennials report similar sentiments. The two bodies of research indicate that seniors are looking for more than fancy meal plans. They are seeking housing providers that are concerned about the welfare of their finances and the environment. So how do businesses deliver savings to residents? We sat down with Akshai Rao, vice president of energy and procurement at Yardi, to learn more. The Need for New Strategies While lowering overhead costs benefits businesses, that savings can be passed on to residents. Satisfied residents improve the bottom line, offering a win on two fronts for business owners. “Focusing on reducing consumption doesn’t just affect the bottom line, it may make you more desirable to potential residents,” says Rao. But a recent Argentum survey reveals that 49 percent of executives viewed...

Monarch School May13

Monarch School

The safety of home provides children with a foundation for personal, academic, and professional success. When youth face housing insecurity, the odds are stacked against them. Monarch School provides young minds with the stability and resources needed to thrive against all odds. About Monarch School More than 30 years ago, Monarch School began as a one-room education center in San Diego. Today, it has expanded into a K-12 comprehensive school designed to educate homeless youth. The need is great. San Diego County has an estimated 23,000 students facing housing insecurity. Homelessness is a predecessor to many challenges, including but not limited to psychological problems and academic struggles. Roughly 75 percent of homeless students never earn a high school diploma. As a result, homeless youth face barriers to professional and personal success. They are also more likely to face housing insecurity as adults. Monarch School equips students with the skills and tools needed to beat those odds. “Monarch School provides stability and a quality education during the most difficult time of their family’s life: homelessness,” explains Tyler Dalsted, technical account manager, consulting practices at Yardi. “One student said, in the evening when they faced gangs, violence, and uncertainty, they were able to find stability and confidence in their education from breakfast through dinner at Monarch School. Yardi made a difference in supporting this wonderful cause.” Raise Up for Monarch Dalsted, along with fellow Yardi employee Kevin Yim, attended Raise Up for Monarch. The annual event raises funds for school programming. Raise Up for Monarch begins with a self-guided tour of classrooms where guests can view student projects, artwork, and other curricula. Guest can then tour the Butterfly Boutique, a store environment where the students are given vouchers to acquire new and gently used clothes, shoes...

Global Partnership May12

Global Partnership

Yardi has long supported the mission of Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), an Amsterdam-based limited private company, to improve real estate sustainability performance with environmental, social and governance benchmarking. The property management technology provider recently elevated its commitment by becoming one of just nine sustainability consultants and solution providers in GRESB’s Global Partner program. In this role, Yardi helps GRESB participants complete sustainability assessments, manage ESG data and advance ESG performance. The company will also collaborate with the organization’s industry, media and research partners to share sustainability best practices across the property management industry. GRESB works with the industry to define the global standard for sustainability performance in real assets, providing standardized and validated ESG data to the capital markets. More than 80 institutional investors, collectively representing more than $18 trillion in institutional capital, use GRESB data and analytical tools. In 2018 GRESB assessed 903 real estate funds and property companies, 75 infrastructure funds, 280 infrastructure assets and 25 debt portfolios. “GRESB members can use Yardi’s energy solutions to drive actionable environmental, financial and operational insights into their real estate portfolios and engage more closely with the investor community. These capabilities benefit our clients around the world, and we are pleased to extend them to an even broader community of real estate portfolio managers,” said Akshai Rao, vice president of energy and procurement for Yardi. A GRESB evaluation measures sustainability performance indicators including energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and waste. A multi-layer validation process produces high-quality data that investors and participants can use in their investment and decision-making processes. “Real estate companies that establish and track a full range of ESG metrics achieve multiple tangible business outcomes for shareholders,” GRESB says on its website. In one recent project, S&P Dow Jones...

HUD Holidays May10

HUD Holidays

Who doesn’t enjoy back-to-back holidays, even if they are unknown outside of those who work on affordable housing? The Yardi PHA and Affordable Housing teams in Santa Barbara are furthering the trend of personalized holidays this week. The subject of their celebration? HUD forms 50058 and 50059. Forms 50058 and 50059 are often abbreviated to 58 and 59, which makes May 8th and 9th the appropriate calendar days to celebrate. But what are these forms anyway? In a nutshell, 50058 and 50059 are forms used by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses to certify eligibility for housing assistance. And, since HUD is involved, they are quite complicated. So why celebrate them? “Our 5/8 and 5/9 days are a chance to recognize the great work of our PHA and Affordable Housing teams. Sure, numbers from the form are a bit strange to celebrate. Nonetheless, it is a perfect chance to take a couple of days to have some fun,” said Gabrielle Van Horn, director of PHA support for Yardi. Will 5/8 and 5/9 become reoccurring holidays? Check back next year to find out. In the meantime, take a moment to appreciate the resources created by PHAs and affordable housing providers in your community. What better way to celebrate?...

Cooking Up Dreams May09

Cooking Up Dreams

The annual Cooking Up Dreams fundraiser was a sweet success! Participants enjoyed a night of dining, dancing, and fun prizes. Most importantly, Family Service Agency (FSA) received the support needed to continue serving at-risk children, families and seniors. Each year, Cooking Up Dreams invites guests and celebrity judges to sample dishes prepared by Santa Barbara’s hottest chefs and restaurants. After the tastings, the best dishes are awarded People’s Choice or Judges’ Choice awards. Geneva Ives, manager of marketing content for Yardi, served as a guest judge. Ives regularly writes about the local food and wine scene to support restaurateurs and food producers. She freelances for USA Today’s “10 Best” column and recently published the book, “Eats and Eateries of Santa Barbara.” Ives recalled what she looked for in noteworthy bites. “When I’m eating, I look for food that satisfies but also intrigues. A perfect bite is like a perfect glass of wine. You’re looking for aromas, flavors and textures that are distinct but blend together perfectly.” She added, “There were quite a few tasty bites at Cooking Up Dreams, but the two that stand out in my memory are the Dungeness crab-topped Kennebec potato chip from Finch & Fork and the ponzu scallops on the half shell from Bluewater Grill.” Peter Cham of Finch & Fork ultimately took home the The Judges’ Choice Award for crustacean dip. People’s Choice Winner was Damien Giliberti of The Outpost at the Goodland. Attendants raved over his Pork Belly Bao Buns. “I always love participating in events that celebrate and explore Santa Barbara’s thriving food culture. The fact that this event was hosted by the FSA to help children, families and seniors in need made it even more worthwhile,” said Ives. While flavors danced on their taste buds,...

Easing Applications May08

Easing Applications

Use of Yardi’s RENTCafé Affordable Housing platform is skyrocketing. With more than 250,000 units covered nationwide, affordable housing providers, residents and applicants are reaping the benefits of online applications. Historically, affordable housing applications could be characterized as a big homework assignment. Interested households would leave a leasing office with an envelope full of papers to fill out and a checklist of things to find. Later, they’d be tracking down a photocopier for their bank statements, paycheck stubs and other paperwork. RENTCafé Affordable Housing replaces that process with a self-service, online app. Applicants can work on their application when they want, and where they want. Instead of a stack of papers, applicants submit PDF’s and digital files. Files are safely stored electronically, not stuffed into a file cabinet. Rather than calling the affordable housing office, applicants can go to online FAQ’s and explainer videos to get their questions answered. Simply put: online applications are a big change and they’re creating a lot of benefits. Just how successful is RENTCafé Affordable Housing in revolutionizing the process? Let’s look at the most up to date usage data from actual RENTCafé Affordable Housing clients. By the numbers 683: the number of affordable housing applications created online every day, as of April 1, 2019. That’s 683 stacks of paper that don’t exist. That’s 683 (at least) applicant intake meetings that didn’t happen. That’s a lot of savings, and it’s happening 683 times every day. 78 percent: the rate of affordable housing applications that are abandoned before submission. This is a scenario where a high rate of abandonment is a good thing. By putting eligibility requirements and application forms online, applicants can self-screen themselves from the process. This statistic proves that nearly 8 in 10 do. Self-screening is a unique...

Nevada HAND May07

Nevada HAND

Robert Colbert, VP of Assisted Living with Nevada HAND, has seen his fair share of clinical software. About 14 years ago, he started by making rounds as a registered nurse. Today, he is an executive of Nevada’s largest affordable housing provider. He has experienced software as a daily user in the field as well as a leader with his eye on the bottom line. Colbert trusts Yardi to support the next chapter of growth for Nevada HAND. “Everything from operations to marketing to nursing, I believe that we have almost every one of your products,” he said. Achieving Excellence As Nevada’s largest nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to the development, construction, management and preservation of affordable housing, Nevada HAND has assisted many thousands of Southern Nevada residents to have a place to call home.  Currently, Nevada HAND provides affordable apartment homes to over 7,200 adults, children, and seniors.  Nevada HAND owns and/or manages 34 properties with over 4,200 apartment homes.  Nevada HAND also has the only two affordable assisted living communities in the State of Nevada. The leadership for the assisted living division has strong relationships with The Board of Examiners for Long Term Care Administrators and provides their communities as a precepting site for future licensed administrators and also sit on the Assisted Living Advisory Council to provide a voice for changing the senior living industry through policy and regulations.  Nevada HAND works with fellow industry leaders to develop best practices for senior care facilities throughout the State of Nevada. In the field, their Westcliff Pines property received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Award, the highest recognition level for environmental design and construction. The organization also received a US Green Building Council “Excellence in Operation” award.  Nevada HAND’s two assisted living...

Earth Works

Each year, Yardi Vancouver participates in a spring Earth Day event at Maplewood Flats, a popular bird watching park along Burrard Inlet. Located in North Vancouver, there are more than 200 hundred unique bird species have been spotted in the park. Yardi Vancouver is a founding member of EarthWork Day (EWD), an annual collaboration with three other environmentally-minded companies. Each group takes on unique projects each year. This year’s efforts included a stream restoration project, free bike tuning for bike commuters, refilling and repairing social housing planters, and helping out at a non-profit grocery store reducing food waste. The EWD participants gather at the end of the day to share the results of their efforts and network. “Being part of a bigger group really helps with expanding the impact we can have as a small office,” said Edward Glen, general manager of the Yardi Vancouver office. Every year as part of their EWD efforts, the Yardi team participates in a different project that assists with habitat restoration and conservation at Maplewood Flats. “We work on removing invasive species, replacing them with native plants that support the local wildlife, and spreading mulch to help keep the invaders at bay,” Glen said.  “The primary removal target is the Himalayan Blackberry, delicious berries but with tenacious root bulbs and vigorously spreading roots that must be completely removed to eradicate. We started counting how many we were removing, but gave up after getting to 50 root bulbs in the first 15 minutes.” Because the team has been going to Maplewood Flats consistently for so long (read a previous blog post about their 2017 efforts here, it’s possible to see the progress that has been made over time. “I was excited to review some of the areas we’ve worked on over the last four years I’ve participating in these efforts. Most of the plants from last year are thriving though some didn’t make it through the dry summer,” Glen said. “One of the patches of cow parsnip we worked on three years ago, which supports the Anise Swallowtail butterfly, is doing spectacularly well and spreading on its own now. We weren’t able to access our work site from two years ago due to not wishing to disturb the off trail areas, but from a distance it looked to be doing okay.” The benefits of the work extend beyond habitat restoration. “It’s great to connect with each other outside of the office but even more it’s great to talk with the community. From the volunteers that run the society to the visitors of the conservation area, most will stop to thank us for the work we’re doing and have a little chat,” Glen said. “It’s fantastic to see all the visitors (human and otherwise) to the area while we work and know that we’re having a direct impact. Another nice connection for the Vancouver office is that a number of the staff in Vancouver work on Yardi’s energy offering, Yardi Pulse, whose goal of energy use reduction pairs well with the associated environmental benefits.” Yardi employees are Energized for Good! Learn more on the Giving...

Earth Week for All

Yardi Atlanta’s Earth Week celebration proved to be a fun way to promote workplace camaraderie and environmental consciousness. The new approach to Earth Week serves as a successful model for other corporate environments. The Best Earth Week—Ever The week was packed with informative and interactive events for Yardi Atlanta employees. To promote sustainable transportation, a representative from the Georgia Power Electronic Vehicle Program facilitated a session on EV car chargers and rebates. Employees also enjoyed a car show featuring Tesla, Porche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Nissan, and BMW vehicles. Dealership representatives talked about their lineup’s latest green advancements. Employees couldn’t stop talking about the eye-catching Porsche E Tron. It demonstrated a luxurious approach to sustainable transportation. A sleek design, spacious interior, and user-friendly dashboard helped employees reimagine the electronic driving experience. The following day, Georgia Power returned to offer a presentation on energy efficiency at home. Employees learned practical tips to lower their energy bills.  Fulton County Water Department also made an appearance during Earth Week, leading a presentation on water conservation. Attendees learned multiple ways to make their homes more efficient. They also discovered rebates and programs that can decrease monthly utility costs. Rubicon Global’s trash audit offered many interesting findings. Yardi Atlanta learned that 70 percent of its trash was compostable and could be diverted from the waste stream! Additionally, the office learned that its recycling practices were clean with minimal contamination. The news encouraged employees to pursue zero contamination. For the full week of events, check out our last blog post. Keys to Success Yardi Atlanta Earth Week was a huge success thanks to teamwork, local collaboration, and relentless marketing. Sustainability Within Atlanta Yardi (SWAY) brainstormed and organized the Earth Week events. The volunteer-based group is led by employees Ethan Arbiser, energy benchmarking analyst, CSD and Evan Hearn, energy management analyst, CSD. The group received support from Don Rogers, general manager, G&A. SWAY reached out to local businesses to garner support. Yardi client and property management company, Cushman & Wakefield, agreed to transform Yardi’s Atlanta office into a multidisciplinary learning environment. Local utilities, dealerships, and grocery stores also contributed to Earth Week events. Earth Week would not have been a success without the attendance of curious and supportive Yardi Atlanta employees. To attract the masses, SWAY shared the week’s itinerary via blog, press release, and several daily social media posts. Looking Forward SWAY’s Earth Week celebration can be replicated at other Yardi offices! Yardi offices are encouraged to create local volunteer groups, like SWAY, to organize Earth Week events at their sites in 2020. The volunteer group may also choose to work with its local Yardi office manager to pursue green solutions for the site year-round. Together, the manager and volunteer group may explore eco-friendly trash audits, recycling services, even vendors that supply sustainable office and kitchen supplies. Collaborating with other local organizations, such as utility providers, adds depth and diversity of knowledge to Yardi-sponsored events. Have questions about starting an Earth Week campaign in your Yardi office next year? Contact Ethan...