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Parking still a necessity of foreseeable future, even with self-driving cars

Image result for self driving carsMany people who live in cities are electing to forego car ownership these days. But city dwellers aren’t hitting the brakes on vehicle custody so hard that it will render parking lots obsolete in the foreseeable future, despite claims to the contrary. With the increase in utilization of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and advanced technology ushering in the era of self-driving cars, some apartment developers in the U.S. have been preparing to revamp parking structures into other uses for when car ownership becomes sparse and parking places expendable. Whether it’s a private, shared or self-driving vehicle, it won’t be on the road 100 percent of the time, and parking will still be a necessity.  The International Energy Agency forecasted the number of cars on the roads worldwide would reach 1.7 billion by 2035 – which is doubled from 2012. But a recent LA Times article contends the magnitude at which people are renouncing car ownership is leading to extraneous parking lots that will soon be repurposed. Based on the increasing overall car ownership numbers, can things actually get to the point that parking garages are so unutilized they can be rehabilitated to serve as shops, gyms and movie theaters instead? Yes, some new apartment developments have reduced their parking space to as low as 0.6 spaces per unit in urban areas, but a further decrease doesn’t appear imminent for the foreseeable future. It’s true the world is amidst a transportation revolution. But cars aren’t going away altogether. Why should parking facil......
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Tiny housing making big impact on combating homelessness in America

The fight to end homelessness in this country is a massive undertaking. About 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. Alleviating this problem in a meaningful way will surely require a multi-faceted effort involving federal, state and local governments, non-profits and the private sector. Here's one possible component of the solution to this giant issue: tiny homes. Across the U.S., organizations are using tiny houses and apartment homes, which typically range from 100 square feet to 500 square feet, to provide shelter for the homeless. For instance, the nonprofit American Family Housing recently opened Potter's Lane, a 16-unit community in Midway City, Calif., to house homeless vets. The property features 480-square-foot apartment homes made from energy-efficient shipping containers. Across the country, in Newfield, N.Y., the nonprofit Second Wind Cottages, relying heavily on donated materials and volunteer labor, built a community of 12 tiny homes that house homeless men. Residents pay rent as they are able to help defray the community's operating expenses. Other examples of similar communities include the Tiny House Village in Seattle and the Community First! Village in Austin, Texas. Advocates of these developments note that they are comparatively cheap to build, and constructions costs often are further mitigated through the use of materials and labor supplied for free by area businesses and residents. Can the multifamily industry incorporate tiny apartment homes for the homeless into their communities? It's certainly something to think about. With its ample resources and......
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How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex?

How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex?
How to Fix Bad Cell Phone Coverage for an Apartment Complex? Carrier Grade WiFi Calling for Apartment Buildings is Finally Here. “Can You Hear Me Now?” “Can You Hear Me Now?” It’s happened to everyone. You’re locked in, completely engrossed in conversation. All of a sudden a little static begins on the line. Then a bit more and before you know it, you have missed every other word. Eventually the call drops completely… You look at your phone to find that you have no service, 0 bars. Hopefully, it was just friendly banter and not something vitally important. God forbid that it was an important sales call or a hard-to-reach individual. We’ve all experienced bad cell coverage and while it’s a pain, hopefully it only happens once in a “blue moon”. We may expect it while driving through a rural landscape, but if it happens from home; it’s an entirely different frustration. If you’re an apartment owner with this scenario you can rest assured… your residents will quickly be finding a new place to live, costing you and your brand. Let’s face it, not all apartments have good cell coverage. These days this can be a major problem for apartment owners. Bad cell coverage can drive occupancy, loyalty, satisfaction and retention down fast. Residents do not put up with bad coverage; many will post negative online reviews which could damage your online reputation. Some may try to change cell providers; however, they are not usually happy to do so. WiFi Calling Replaces DAS – “Two Birds, On......
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Choosing Technology Wisely

Choosing Technology Wisely
Choosing Technology Wisely The technology landscape is a crowded one these days, both with innovative new arrivals targeting the industry as well as strong existing options with more longevity.   Choosing the right value-add technologies is a challenging task for multifamily operators.  What are the drivers that elevate one over the others? Take a look at any aspect of operating apartment communities today, and you’ll find no shortage of new technologies designed to help your business improve, streamline, connect, develop, educate, assess, analyze or aggregate – you get the picture.  Most likely, you and your team are contacted by enterprising marketers frequently, all seeking to show you how their solution is the answer. Let’s take a look at one area receiving a lot of attention in recent years:  package delivery. You have technology-plus-hardware solutions from companies like Package Concierge, Parcel Post and LuxerOne; and digital-only solutions like those from Entrata (ParcelAlert) and ReceivingRoom.  Also, customized apps like Mobile Doorman offer an entire resident communication platform including package notification as only one of many communication features. Of course, that’s just one example.  From new lead-delivery apps like HomeMe and Zumper to bite-sized web-based training options like GROW Learning, real-time transportation information displays like Transit Screen, and InfoTycoon’s innovative asset management platform. And I can't write a tech article without mentioning the new Respage AI-powered chatbot (a digital leasing agent), and the innovative market survey platform by BI:Radix. There is so much new technology deployed that the list could go on for days. What to do?  It’s difficult t......
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Delivery Madness: Are you ready for Prime time?

Many who deal with package management on a daily basis breathed a hefty sigh of relief in January. The holiday season had passed, which presumably meant it’d be another 12 months before another rush of that magnitude. Well, hold on a minute; there are a few hidden holidays that impact the number of packages delivered but what about “self-created” holidays? Prime Day is Prime Time One wouldn’t think a self-created holiday would create such mayhem. Well, unless that holiday is all about packages. Introducing the third annual Amazon Prime Day, which absolutely fits that billing.  Delivery carriers and managers are advised to gear up for this one, which begins at 9 p.m. ET on July 10. Amazon hypes the event as a “one-day only global shopping event for Prime members.” It’s essentially an online version of Black Friday, and you better believe it makes an impact. The e-Commerce giant launched its second ever Amazon Prime Day on July 12, 2016, and it resulted in the biggest sales day ever for the online retail giant, according to CNBC. Amazon declined to disclose how many people signed up for Prime to participate in the sale, but U.S. orders rose by more than 50 percent compared to the first Prime Day a year earlier. Now that Prime Day is fairly established, it’s a reasonable expectation that the numbers will continue to rise. Last year, our customers experienced a 30-percent increase of package deliveries two days after Prime Day. Here’s hypothesizing that the increase will be even sharper t......
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Multifamily Has Many Reasons to Lend a Helping Hand to the Homeless

There's no way around it: too many Americans are experiencing homelessness. According to the most recent statistics from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), nearly 550,000 people were homeless in this country on a single night in January 2016, and 22 percent of those were children. That 550,000 figure actually represents a 15 percent decrease from nine years earlier, but the number is still way too large. Over the course of a given year, according to estimates, 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness Without question, the elimination of homelessness is a complex task, and a true resolution will surely entail a multi-pronged effort involving federal, state and local governments, non-profits and the private sector. But with its collection of exceptionally bright, hardworking people and its abundant resources, the multifamily industry should not be shy about stepping up to the plate to help address this critical issue. In fact, from moral considerations to more practical concerns, it has many reasons to do so. Right Thing to Do First of all, helping to alleviate the pain and suffering of our homeless population is simply the right thing to do. It's important to take a step back to look at the all too thin line that separates so many Americans from homelessness. One life-altering event – the loss of a job, a medical or health emergency, a divorce, domestic abuse or the death of a family's primary income earner – can send people to the streets or the local homeless shelter. According to the......
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Corporate Social Responsibility and Multifamily . . . Thoughts from Ryan Perez of CF Real Estate Services

Corporate Social Responsibility and Multifamily . . . Thoughts from Ryan Perez of CF Real Estate Services
Corporate social responsibility . . . there’s been a great deal of buzz about this in our industry lately. What does it mean, how do companies go about achieving it, and to what degree? Definitions vary, but Multifamily’s own ManagInc describes it this way: “Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR (also known as the Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet, and Profit), is simply to focus on the needs of stakeholders who make your success possible: employees, suppliers, residents, and the communities in which you do business.” The leadership team at CF Real Estate Services has fully embraced the concept of CSR both externally and internally. For example, the company has made significant changes over the last 18 months to support philanthropic efforts both nationally and in the local communities they serve. “Last fall, we kicked off our National Week of Service campaign which allows our associates to serve, donate to, and volunteer with nonprofits that feed the hungry, help children, rescue pets, provide quality housing and more,” says Ryan Perez, VP of Marketing. “Our associates love this and we’re blown away by the participation! CF received such an overwhelming response to the announcement of the National Week of Service that we’ve expanded it and are offering this opportunity twice a year, in the spring and fall. The spring Week of Service will reach at least 40 nonprofits in 25 cities and 10 states. To help enable this effort, CF provides all associates 4 hours of paid service per month to volunteer at a charity of t......
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Opportunities for Corporate Social Responsibility in Multifamily

The multifamily industry has made some meaningful progress when it comes to practicing corporate social responsibility (CSR). But there are still many areas for improvement. That was the consensus of a session examining the state of CSR in the apartment industry at the recent Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) Conference in Huntington Beach, Calif. The session began with a look at what CSR really is. To be sure, practicing genuine CSR means much more than a company making periodic donations to local charities, although such donations are certainly laudable. Instead, an apartment company engages in true CSR when it has in place an ongoing, all-encompassing effort to care for, connect with and positively impact employees, residents and surrounding neighborhoods. The result of such a program should be more engaged workers, happier residents and increased profitability. A number of studies have demonstrated the importance of having a strong CSR program in place. According to the 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study, 91 percent of millennials would switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause, given similar price and quality. Additionally, 63 percent of millennial women and 45 percent of millennial men say their decisions about job offers are impacted by the employer's CSR work, according to the Six-Month Research Update to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, a study conducted by Achieve. So where are multifamily companies currently succeeding when it comes to CSR? "In terms of providing opportunities for career advancement, professional growth and time off we’re doing a pretty g......
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8 Things NAA Attendees May Not Know About Atlanta

8 Things NAA Attendees May Not Know About Atlanta
The NAA Education Conference is right around the corner and we're excited to meet with industry leaders and multifamily professionals in the bustling city of Atlanta. As locals, the InfoTycoon team is well versed with the area and ready to show visitors what the hype is with the capital of the Peach State. Here we share a few little-known facts about the city we call home. It’s home to the world’s largest drive-in fast food restaurant, The Varsity. Founded in 1928 by a former Georgia Tech student, this fast food restaurant is known for its speedy service, all-American menu, and famous catchphrase “What’ll ya have?”. This Atlanta landmark has gained attention over the years for its fast pace and colorful lingo when ordering. Customers can be heard asking for a heavy weight and a varsity orange (hot dog with extra chili and an orange soda) or a walk a dog (hot dog to go) if they’re coming to the drive-in. You haven’t truly experienced Atlanta until you’ve tried The Varsity. Check out the menu (and the slang to know) here.  It was originally named Terminus. Before being named Atlanta, the city in a forest had two other names: Terminus and Marthasville. Founded as an endpoint for both the Atlantic and Western railroad lines, Atlanta was named “Terminus” after being settled by John Thrasher in 1839. In 1842, citizens voted to change the name to Lumpkin but Governor Wilson Lumpkin decided to change the name to Marthasville after his daughter Martha. Just a few years later, the ch......
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Market Momentum - A survey of industry decision-makers about business plans, expectations and trends in the apartment housing industry

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A survey of industry decision-makers about business plans, expectations and trends in the apartment housing industry provided by the National Apartment Association.

 

 

 

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