Leaders’ Vision Apr11

Leaders’ Vision

Senior Housing News polled several industry leaders for their thoughts on what’s ahead for their organizations and the industry in 2021. Excerpts follow. Solera’s Kaplan: Vaccination tops the list Adam Kaplan, CEO of Solera Senior Living, ranks successful vaccine planning and implementation as the Denver-area community owner and operator’s No. 1 priority. “I’m excited for a day in which close to 100% of our residents, family members and team members have been vaccinated, and thus the risk of a [COVID] outbreak is reduced to the degree in which almost all of the restrictions are lifted and thus the focus/energy can be re-weighted to other priorities,” Kaplan says. Developing talent and implementing innovative technologies and services round out Kaplan’s list of immediate priorities. Aegis Living’s Clark: Boom time for demand “I think there’s this backlog of people that’s going to pump up occupancies,” says Dwayne Clark, founder and CEO of Bellevue, Wash.-based Aegis Living, a leading provider of assisted living and memory care. “So, you’re going to see this dip where demand keeps going up, but product is not available. That’s really going to impact demand in the short-term and probably the mid-term,” which, looking ahead several years, is “very good news for the industry.” Clark also foresees a new emphasis on nurses and doctors on the front lines of assisted living facilities as part of a “more wellness-oriented” trend that encompasses “everything from the way [care providers] design air filtration systems to foods.” In fact, he reports, Aegis Living is “looking at foods that help pump up the immune systems of residents and have hired our own registered dietitian.” Sequoia Living’s McVey: Going forward, not back Current events constitute nothing less than “history … being made in our industry,” and Sequoia Living President and...

Assisted Evolution

Assisted living facilities, which fill a need for seniors who don’t need nursing homes but can’t live independently, are a mainstay of senior care. The American Health Care Assn./National Center for Assisted Living counts nearly 1 million licensed beds in about 28,900 communities in the U.S. But even as assisted living holds stature as the fastest growing residential housing for older Americans, it may surprise some to learn that this model didn’t assume its present-day form until the 1980s. The roots of assisted living in America can be traced at least as far back as 1713 with the founding of an organization designed to care for seniors in Philadelphia. Foster homes and group homes became the norm later in the century when family members couldn’t care for a senior loved one. By the mid-1800s, religious and fraternal groups opened nonprofit homes for seniors, the genesis of the modern care system. Hundreds of nonprofit old-age homes were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with many adding hospitals, staff homes and other structures as their populations grew. Urbanization and tuberculosis epidemics helped spur state and local governments to develop institutions that provided chronic care. Nursing care in homes also became popular, with the number of visiting nurse agencies more than doubling from 1909 to 1924. By the middle of the 20th century, advances in medicines such as penicillin, the expansion of various assistance payments, and the exodus of men and women from the home during World War II were among the factors that prompted the further development of care facilities, including boarding homes for seniors. The private nursing home industry debuted in 1950, serving 270,000 people by 1954. That year, Congress provided funds to nonprofit organizations for the construction of skilled nursing facilities that met certain...

Let’s chat

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

Renters’ Changing Preferences Apr08

Renters’ Changing Preferences

More than a year has passed since we first issued a survey to understand renters’ responses to the pandemic. A new survey reveals surprising ways that renters’ preferences have changed, and which preferences remain the same. What renters wanted The March 2020 renter survey issued by RENTCafe.com gave analysts an understanding of renters’ expectations and concerns at the beginning quarantine in the U.S. About 45% of respondents had no concerns in particular. About 18% of renters were concerned if it was safe to move during that time, and 13% were concerned that they would not be able to pay rent in the near future. Concerns aside, 56% of renters were intent to move as scheduled. (About 18% had a lease that expired, and they needed to move.) Only 8% were postponing their move because of the pandemic and putting the selection process on hold. Of renters who were actively searching, 28% sought a unit that was cheaper than their current home. About 5% wanted a floorplan that facilitated roommates so that they could save money. What renters want now More than 10,600 people participated in the March 2021 survey. Survey questions aimed to reveal: how renters’ preferences had changed after a year of shelter-in-place practices their biggest concerns regarding their upcoming move how the pandemic impacted their rental selection More than 50% of renters listed the pandemic as a trigger in their decision to move.  Many renters relocated to create a better financial outlook: the top reason for relocation was to save money. Nearly 30% of participants who are in the process of moving sought a better deal. A quarter of participants needed a change of scenery after several months in quarantine, but they didn’t seek a massive change. About 48% of renters preferred to remain in the same city. A noteworthy 90% of respondents sought long-term rentals, which could mean that even those seeking a change in scenery wanted a sense of stability. Others may simply want to lock in a lower rate for longer. Lifestyle improvements ranked third and fourth on renters’ lists. More than 20% of renters searched for open-air amenities and 20% desired more space. Safety less of a priority across the board, yet solo living is on the rise? Have renters relinquished their safety concerns? Concerns still linger, though they’re nearly half as prevalent as before. In 2020, 18% of renters were concerned about whether it was safe to move during a pandemic. Exactly 9% are currently concerned about safety. Last year, about 15% of renters were concerned about the hygiene standards of their community. This year, only about 9% listed hygiene as a concern. Interestingly, 4% of respondents were so concerned for health and safety that they sought to live alone in 2020. Fast-forward one year and that number has risen to 8%. So while trends suggest that health and safety are not as important to renters as they were last year, the amount of renters seeking solitude for safety has increased. Does the pandemic still influence renter relocation? Recent survey participants stated that the pandemic had little influence on whether they move now or later. About 67% of renters currently seeking an apartment are committed to relocating now. As before, necessity motivates most moves today. For 32% of respondents, one of their biggest concerns was if they would be able to pay their rent. Even more renters (34%) are seeking a cheaper unit now that their previous lease has ended. In short, more renters are relocating due to the effects of the virus rather than the virus itself. In 2020, a considerable amount of people relocated to avoid exposure. The 2021 survey suggests that an even larger chunk of people relocated due to lease expirations and the desire for greater financial savings during uncertain times. Learn more about what renters want on the RENTCafe.com...

GREEN on the Go

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

More than Fashion Apr06

More than Fashion

Do you have an article of clothing that helps you feel good? Maybe it’s a pair of power pumps that sound just right on a marble floor. Maybe it’s the hoodie from your dad’s alma mater that feels like a warm hug when you wear. Clothing has transformative power. For better or for worse, clothing can influence our confidence and our success. Dress for Success Boston taps into the power of fashion. The nonprofit organization uses clothing as a stepping stone to improved self-confidence, success and financial independence for women. Meet Kim Todd, a woman empowering women Kim Todd is the executive director of Dress for Success Boston. She has served with the organization for 15 years because of its simple yet transformative mission: strive for a world where all women are financially independent, are treated with dignity and respect and are directly impacting their lives and those of their families. “We aspire to a world that fully harnesses the power of women and recognizes their role in economic sustainability,” quotes Todd. “The mission is so easy to relate to, and although it seems to be a simple idea, the results of this work are life-changing. I feel very strongly that women should support each other. Everyone needs help at some time in their lives.” She continues, “We are there for women at a time when they need support to take that next step. It breaks my heart that many women do not have any support system, and they are navigating tremendously difficult situations alone.  No woman should be alone, especially if she is struggling to make ends meet to support her family. Dress for Success Boston provides a network of support for women so that they are not alone.” Fashion can help break the poverty cycle? Todd believes that fashion,...

Tenant Experience Apr05

Tenant Experience

“Buildings are the next computing platform.” That’s how Chase Garbarino, CEO of HqO, describes the importance of software and building intelligence as companies seek a safe return to the workplace. Just as books shifted to tablets, music switched from CDs to Pandora and Spotify and taxi service switched to Uber, buildings have transformed from manual and analog to newly digital ecosystems. Without a doubt, the pandemic has accelerated the investment into digital infrastructure for companies of all sizes. On a recent CREtech webinar, “State of Tenant Experience: 2021,” host Michael Beckerman, CEO of CREtech, cited an Ernst & Young report that found businesses could save 11% on per-employee costs by switching to a hybrid work model. This is important for the flexible workspace industry, which has been ravaged by the effects of COVID-19 on workers entering offices. As Garbarino stated, coworking put downward pressure on lease length for years, so the traditional office industry had to focus on customer experience and happiness, partly to counter the growth of coworking. That shift to the value of tenant experience now becomes even more noticeable, as there need to be tangible benefits to returning to an office when a vast majority of employees have not lost productivity working at home. On a recent Realcomm webinar, the panel discussed tech advancements to help workers feel more confident returning to the office. Touchless elevators, apps showing office occupancy and desk availability, as well as air quality sensors that can remove pathogens, are just some of the new ways in which employers are trying to safely welcome employees back. But these advances, as reliable and effective as they are, don’t overcome the fact that only 1% of workers are renting a space outside of their homes while working remotely. Based...

EHR Interfaces

Yardi has a long history of providing interface solutions that enable its clients to exchange information with third-party vendors of solutions for applicant screening, online billing payments, renters insurance, service requests and many other business requests. That interoperability extends to senior housing community operators who wish to connect with ancillary operations solution providers. Interfaces allow third-party partners and Yardi EHR users to exchange information seamlessly and securely. Operators can utilize standard interfaces to connect senior living integration partners. Also, operators can optimize care transitions and enable the secure flow of information to and from EHR. Among Yardi’s interface partners for senior living is eMenuCHOICE, a St. Paul, Minn.-based dining management and point of sale application for senior living communities. Other providers that Yardi has welcomed as senior living interface collaborators include abxtracker, which specializes in antibiotic and infection tracking control solutions; Healthconnex, a leading provider of software used for infection prevention and control; and Kno2, which creates centralized accounts that enable efficient and HIPAA-compliant exchanges of resident documents. The list of Yardi senior living interfaces continues to grow. Created in some cases as a result of client requests, the added partnerships will enhance interoperability in such operations as vital signs and weight monitoring, nurse calls and...

Future-proofing Flex Spaces Apr01

Future-proofing Flex Spaces...

Better to act than take on the risks of inaction. This was the theme of a recent GWA webinar, in which panelists discussed ways to minimize risk and future-proof a coworking or flexible workspace operation. “The biggest risk is the risk of not doing anything, of not reacting to the market,” said Dan Zakai, co-founder and CEO of Mindspace, a coworking space with locations in Europe and the U.S. By now, we see that the office experience as we knew it is being reimagined. Landlords need to pivot to a hospitality experience in order to safely and effectively welcome tenants and workers back. They need to provide amenities that workers don’t have at home, or offices will see low occupancy given that productivity levels did not drop from the couch, kitchen table or home office. According to Zakai, landlords will raise occupancy levels with coworking faster than with traditional long-term leases. One of the biggest challenges is whether to spend the initial cost on coworking, whether that is building out a new coworking space or transitioning a vacancy. Since landlords typically won’t operate the space, it makes choosing the right partner critical. Giovanni Palavicini, principal at Avison Young, believes one of the keys to success for operators is finding a niche. Much like hotels have seen the growth of boutique offerings, the coworking industry should head in the same direction. This was already a growing trend prior to the pandemic and could accelerate now. Picking the wrong operator with a business model unsuited for your location, or a poor deal structure could create significant risk. “I don’t like RFPs because an RFP allows anyone in the door,” Palavicini said. “Because at the end of the day, we want to figure out who we want...

Commercial Space Management Mar31

Commercial Space Management...

The first annual CoreNet Corporate Real Estate Week was a success! The virtual international conference aims to “commemorate, educate, inform, and connect the world to all that our often under-recognized profession does to advance the economy.” More than 40 sessions offered insights and networking to commercial professionals globally. Three sessions educated attendees on the benefits of flexible workspaces and the tools available to manage them. The benefits of hybrid workspaces The “Hybrid Working and the Ubiquity of Space” session offered attendants the opportunity to explore best practices in hybrid work models. Panelists presented practical ways that landlords and employers can optimize hybrid work models by adopting flexible workplaces and customized software. Switzerland-based IWG CEO Fatima Koning and Gareth Haver, CEO for the Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Northern, Central and Eastern Europe regions shared what’s working for them: “The office is not in one place any longer—it is everywhere,” said Koning. She observed that flexibility and mobility rank high on tenant demands. Traditional office space is not obsolete, but employees want (and often need) the ability to work from different settings. This includes but is not limited to their homes. “Traditional models will no longer accommodate the workplace and workers of the future. The new standard of hybrid work promotes efficiency and connectivity, and technology is a big part of that. More advanced and empowered technology can enhance not only occupancy planning but also the overall work experience,” said Koning. While the pandemic expedited the adoption of remote work policies for many commercial companies, the trend towards remote work has been on the rise for years. Employees gain a better work-life balance, shorter commutes, and designated time for collaboration. Haver adds that employees aren’t the only ones to benefit from hybrid models. Employers gain: lower costs...

Stepping Up in Greater Chicago Mar30

Stepping Up in Greater Chicago

Sometimes the worst of times bring out the best in our efforts to help each other. That’s been the case at Connections for the Homeless, a non-profit organization in Evanston, Ill. that has delivered tremendous results over the last perilous year. “The three ribbons on our logo represent the three parts of our community that we partner with to do this work: our staff, our participants and our community supporters,” said Betty Bogg, Executive Director of Connections since 2015. “We see ourselves as the scaffolding by which community intentions for improvement can be constructed. We are there to help the community solve this problem.” Prior to the pandemic, Connections operated a tightly packed space in an Evanston church basement that sheltered a maximum of 18 male-identifying clients, on any given night. The agency also offered drop-in services to help engage community members experiencing homelessness ­­via – sack lunches, showers, a clothing closet, and nursing care – in an effort  to gradually build trust and rapport with participants who might ultimately be ready for housing assistance. “Even before lockdowns started, we were already discussing how we might respond (to the pandemic),” recalled Bogg, who is the sister of Yardi’s Nancy Bogg. “We knew we needed many more shelter beds. When Illinois’ shelter in place order went into effect, we didn’t know how we would do it or pay for it, but we decided we were going to put people with no place to go, into hotels for shelter.” Funding and finding, a path forward What happened next is a classic “if you build it, they will come” tale. In January 2020, Connections expected that its operating budget would be around $5.5 million, and it would again serve around 1,400 people with the help of 1,200 volunteers as they did in 2019. As for so many industries and non-profits worldwide, the pandemic changed everything. “We began our plan to place people in hotels, still not knowing how we were going to pay for it,” recalled Bogg. “We had about 100 people that we’d gotten off the street and into hotel rooms. And then we experienced a second wave of people in need of support who had been completely off our radar. People began coming to us who had previously been very precariously housed.” They included relatives of nursing home residents, who had been able to bed down on a relative’s couch or cot while helping to provide care. Another group was families who had been packed into shared small apartments with other families and found themselves pushed out due to COVID concerns. And there were those unusual but unforgettable stories like one cancer patient, who spent her entire life between chemo treatments on Chicago-area transit systems. “Her nurse told us that they could not believe the difference they saw in her health, as soon as she began getting three meals a day and sleeping in a bed every night,” recalled Bogg. She saw the experiences of those Connections helped firsthand, as for five months, she chose to live during the week at the same hotel where Connections provided 200 rooms of comprehensive emergency housing. They also provided three meals a day, which were purchased from local restaurants, pushing money back out into the local economy at a time when it was badly needed. Funding for hotel operations was made possible by support from private companies and individuals, including Yardi, who stepped up to help. Additional staffing was also a must, and Connections added 30 people to its team. Ultimately, the non-profit’s 2020 operating budget ended up being $12 million, more than doubling expectations. “Yardi had supported us with small donations in the past, but we were really surprised when suddenly that support increased substaintially right when we didn’t know how we were going to fund all that we were trying to do. The community response was incredibly inspiring,” Bogg said. Private...

Reasons to Celebrate Mar29

Reasons to Celebrate

It’s been one year since most Yardi employees transitioned to remote work environments. One year since we anxiously attended virtual town hall meetings to learn the next steps. One year of navigating the blurred lines of our professional and personal lives before settling into a new normal. A lot has changed since then. Haphazard workspaces now have a more customized and personal feel. We’re reaching productivity goals and we’re all experts on Teams and Zoom. Our pets are accustomed to seeing more of us, and the novelty of sleeping on the keyboard has (mostly) worn off. Much has changed beyond office work as well. Many employees used their time in quarantine to set goals and embark on new personal journeys. Yardi Atlanta team members used Confluence to celebrate their one-year work from home journeys together. Quarantine journeys Employees posted images and shared stories depicting “How it started and how it’s going.” A few fun quarantine accomplishments include: hiking new trails growing a beard developing baking skills raised bed and container gardening sewing stuffed animals candle making woodworking and reupholstering heirloom furniture adopting pets, including sugar gliders pulling home design projects out of “DIY purgatory” Some stories were real heart warmers that demonstrate the power of family. “My Yardi family helped me purchase my first car!” announced MeaResea Homer, technical account manager. Homer (pictured, right) told colleagues that she was searching for a new car. It would be her first purchase, and she was stoked. “Amanda Carlisle recommended the salesman that she purchased her vehicle from. She got me in contact with him and I scheduled the appointment in late November. To help me out even more, our colleague Jody Borgemenke picked me up, took me to the dealership and supported me through the process. Pedro...

Smooth Sailing for Self Storage Mar26

Smooth Sailing for Self Storage

As Americans continue to move about the country in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re often downsizing, temporarily relocating, or electing not to take all of their possessions along with them. The exodus of renters from high priced gateway cities has been beneficial for the self storage market, and Yardi Matrix vice president Jeff Adler is carefully confident that strong demand for storage units will continue for the next 18 to 24 months. “I’m cautiously optimistic, but wouldn’t say wildly optimistic, about the sector near term,” Adler said during a Self Storage National Outlook webinar presented on March 24. The webinar also included an overview of the national economy, potential for inflation, employment trends and other factors. It’s available to view online. For the next few months, renters may be moving back to cities that they left a year ago to resume in-office employment or making final decisions about whether to stay in a new city they tried out while escaping an urban lifestyle in 2020. Those moves will likely impact storage positively. Self storage demand could be further bolstered if there is a second wave of moves out of higher-cost real estate markets, Adler shared. Such moves will be contingent on employment trends as the country recovers from the year-long pandemic. So far, migration is flowing from California to states like Colorado, Texas and Arizona, and out of New York to states like Florida and North Carolina. Utah and Idaho are also experiencing a high volume of new residents. “As long as there is movement of people, storage tends to do quite well. Continuing moves would keep the demand for storage high,” Adler said. But at some point, pandemic-influenced demand is expected to subside. National street rates for 10×10 non-climate-controlled (NON-CC) units increased by 2.6% compared to February 2020, and rates for 10×10 climate-controlled (CC) units grew by 3.1% over last year. While street rates nationwide saw substantial growth year-over-year, rates for both unit types remained flat month-over-month. Along with the industrial sector, self storage is a bright spot for real estate investors. Focused on short-term returns, however, they are mainly electing to purchase existing properties rather than sink time into ground-up development. Deal velocity picked up at the end of 2020 and 2021 is expected to be a record year for self storage transactions. “Relative to industrial, which is very pricey, and other asset classes, self storage as an investment class is very attractive and that’s driving a lot of institutional investor interest,” Adler said. Consistent street rate performance and ease of management are both positives for investors. The only downside for some markets is large supply pipelines, which could push down prices as they come online. Nationwide, Yardi Matrix tracks a total of 2,237 self storage properties in various stages of development: 597 under construction, 1,201 planned and 439 prospective properties. The national new-supply pipeline as a percent of existing stock increased 0.1% month-over-month in February, and the share of existing projects in planning or under construction stages accounted for 8.4% of existing inventory. Matrix also maintains operational profiles for 26,534 completed self storage facilities across the United States, bringing the total data set to...

COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative Mar25

COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative

Supporting the rental housing sector through the pandemic and beyond is a priority for the industry’s preeminent technology provider. Yardi is the primary sponsor of the COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative. The project is a collaboration of The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), National Apartment Association (NAA), National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). The project continues to release new resources in the areas of mental health, legislative support, liability information and media. A summary of those now available (as of March 25) follows: Mental health resources: Mental health resources can help housing providers and renters alike. Find videos and other content on coping with isolation, cultivating resiliency, managing anxiety and handling financial stress. Legislative support: Accurate data and information is important for decision-makers as they facilitate ongoing emergency assistance programs. These resources help leaders understand the size and impact of the rental housing sector. Legislative educational resources are now available. Liability information: Property owners and operators must keep up with the latest laws and federal guidelines as they pertain to housing. The project liability resources help ensure compliance with changing legislation. Media support: The engaging “Rental Housing Industry Myth Quiz” is a way to educate the public and provide details about the pandemic impact for rental housing industry owners and operators. In mid-2020, Yardi committed $1 million to supporting COVID-19 Rental Housing Support and the programs developed by this initiative. “With nearly 40 million Americans living in apartments, the rental housing industry plays a critical role in housing them safely and securely. We are delighted that the four major associations who serve the rental housing industry – NAA, NMHC, IREM, NARPM – will share knowledge, develop industry benchmarks, research new ways of operating and provide forward-thinking solutions for the benefit of residents, owners and the rental housing industry,” said Anant Yardi, president and founder of Yardi. “Yardi is committed to supporting the multifamily industry for the duration of the pandemic,” said Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. “Our company mission is dedicated to supporting our clients and communities, and in this case the entire rental housing realm is part of that community.” Explore all of the support resources online at covidinitiative.rentalhousingindustry.org....

AJC Top Workplaces Mar25

AJC Top Workplaces

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) heralds Yardi among Top Workplaces in Metro Atlanta. Yardi ranked 45th out of 3,268 nominated employers. It is described as “a large global software corporation with an unwavering focus on quality software and customer satisfaction.” To celebrate the achievement, Yardi Atlanta hosted a virtual watch party. Employees tuned in to watch the awards ceremony while enjoying their favorite snacks and beverages. Attendees also explored a virtual photobooth. They posted their pictures and testimonials to the Yardi Atlanta Confluence page. Learn more about Yardi as one of Atlanta’s Top Workplaces. Get to know Yardi Atlanta The Yardi Atlanta office is located in the suburb of Roswell, about 22 miles north of the city. The town offers an appealing mix of progressive eateries, historic buildings, parks and cultural events. RENTCafe.com ranks Roswell among one of the most affluent neighborhoods for renters in metro Atlanta. The Atlanta office serves as home base for more than 370 of the company’s nearly 3,600 U.S. employees. Though most employees now work in remote environments, the office has managed to maintain a sense of camaraderie through virtual events. #YardiLove Valentine’s Day party, Halloween Week, and continued charitable outreach helps employees feel united while working apart. Corporate culture is just one of the reasons why Yardi Atlanta made the list as one of the top places to work in metro Atlanta. How AJC chooses top workplaces The 11th annual Top Workplaces list is a collaboration between The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and employment research and consulting firm Energage. To form the list, employees nominated 3,268 of their employers. Philadelphia-based Energage then narrowed the list to 244 companies, each of which agreed to participate in a no-cost program and survey. The short list of companies represents 56,160 workers in the metro Atlanta...

Bryan McCaleb Mar24

Bryan McCaleb

Bryan McCaleb, president of Sagora Senior Living, a Fort Worth, Texas-based Yardi client and operator of more than 30 properties, discusses how his company has handled two major challenges – the pandemic and severe weather – in excerpts from an interview originally published in Multi-Housing News. How would you describe 2020 from the perspective of a senior housing operator? McCaleb: The pandemic led us to introduce new safety protocols and change what our day-to-day routines looked like. Our teams came together to implement changes for the best protection of our residents and associates, and I feel like our organization is stronger than ever before. How has technology helped you during COVID-19? McCaleb: At all of our communities, we have communication stations set up and equipped with iPads where residents have the ability to schedule virtual visits with their loved ones. More seniors have taken to social media to keep up with their families, which has broadened their reach with grandchildren and out-of-state loved ones. How did you keep your residents safe during the recent severe weather conditions in Texas? McCaleb: Some communities experienced power outages, water outages, water leaks and/or boil-water orders. For these challenges, we relied on onsite generators for heat and power, bottled water for our residents, and constant communication with our residents and their family members. Our associates stayed at our communities when needed to ensure that our residents were safe, comfortable and cared for. Although communities in Texas and Oklahoma had damage, we are thankful that all of our residents and associates weathered the storm safely. What was the most difficult thing for you in the past 12 months? The most satisfying? McCaleb: The most difficult thing was seeing how COVID-19 affects people—even beyond health complications, such as emotional and financial...

Senior Living Ebook

Online searches have become the favored route for seniors seeking a residential community. That’s why senior living community operators increasingly turn to search engine optimization (SEO) to help prospective residents find their properties. A powerful tool supporting that effort is RENTCafé Reach Senior Living, an advanced online marketing services solution that enables execution of SEO plus pay-per-click advertising, social media posting and reputation management from a single platform. Yardi is spreading the word about this platform and the online marketing experts who support it with a new ebook, titled “4 Ways to Get Found Online.” The publication illustrates how RENTCafé Reach Senior Living: Creates an exceptional online presence that fills vacancies. Increases traffic with optimized content that positions communities for maximum search visibility. Drives leads with impactful ad campaigns, managed by AdWords specialists. Keeps pace with Google’s algorithm changes. Formulates and executes a full marketing plan tailored to a community’s goals. Engages prospects with curated social media local content and boosted posts. Strengthens reputation control by monitoring and responding to online reviews. As the ebook says, “The right digital marketing strategy makes all the difference, but building out a plan – and sticking to it – takes dedicated resources, consistent research and lots of elbow grease.” Read it to discover how RENTCafé Reach Senior Living makes the process much easier and...

Experts Unlock

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

Tips for Thriving

The senior housing industry is taking steps to transitioning from the COVID-19 era with policies that emphasize safety and resident service. Nicole Moberg, COO of Atlanta-based Thrive Senior Living, offers insight into successfully marketing senior communities during and after the pandemic. Below are excerpts from her recent interview with Multi-Housing News. How has the outbreak impacted Thrive Senior Living communities? Moberg: From early on, we were one of the first senior living communities to prioritize testing—backing our belief that every resident and team member should be tested as often as possible for the safety of the residents as well as our community. We also developed the “Take Off to Thrive” marketing concept, with a 30-day new resident communication checklist. This served to minimize resident isolation and loneliness and even included an adapted red carpet “landing day/move-in” experience. We view our communities as the safest place to be [with our] proper training and education, personal protective equipment, disinfection procedures and aggressive COVID-19 testing programs. How have your marketing strategies changed? Moberg: We pivoted by creating COVID-19 sales strategies including altering our messaging to focus more on care and safety and how we can help people during challenging times. Digitally, we worked to bring on a chief storyteller who showed a behind-the-scenes look at Thrive culture, created a YouTube channel to share online content to increase awareness when families could not visit and increased online presence as we allocated more toward digital spend to drive more traffic to our website. We saw increased sales throughout the pandemic with safely executed event activity. What role does technology play in your marketing? Moberg: We sourced a new video app that allows us to send videos to prospects as a follow-up; a platform to enhance virtual tours; a “thank you”...

Pennrose Prevails Mar18

Pennrose Prevails

The demolition of a decrepit public housing project in Annapolis, Md., is making way for new memories and a brighter future for families. The project is six years in the making and will boost the quality and quantity of affordable housing in the city. New growth in Annapolis Yardi client Pennrose recently broke ground on the Newtowne 20 project. The redevelopment site will be home to 78 much-anticipated affordable housing units. Families can choose between one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans. Most units will surround a central garden while others stack the perimeter. A 3,500-square-foot community center, basketball court and playground accentuate the property. “Through persistence and determination, we have reached a great milestone in the rebuilding of this great community,” said Melissa Maddox-Evans, Executive Director/CEO of the Housing Authority of The City of Annapolis during the virtual groundbreaking ceremony. “We thank all of our partners for their hard work and support as we move forward with the construction phase. We are glad our residents will be able to have this opportunity for a new start for themselves and their families.” Patrick Stewart, Regional Vice President at Pennrose said, “We’re excited to continue our partnership with HACA as we transform outdated public housing into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with high-quality affordable housing, community amenities and open green space.” He continued, “Today’s milestone brings us one step closer to completing this full-scale revitalization and welcoming residents back into their new, modern homes.” Neighborhood revitalization offers new opportunities to existing residents The site of Newtowne 20 is the former home of 810 Brooke Court, a public housing project constructed in 1971. After more than 50 years, the site is receiving a new lease on life with high-quality, energy efficient units. Existing residents of the neighborhood will benefit from...