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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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Shipping and Returns: A New Consideration for Package Management

One in three.  That’s right: 30 percent of every online purchase is returned.    We already know that ecommerce is bigger than ever with people spending more than a $200 billion annually – a steadily rising number. It is estimated that online shopping has grown more than 17 percent over the last decade. And as more and more brick-and-mortar stores close their doors ecommerce is projected to further skyrocket.  While online shopping offers a greater convenience with the ability to shop 24/7 and from various devices, it still lacks the sensory appeal that comes with shopping at a brick-and-mortar retailer. As such, 60 percent of returned packages are due to either damaged goods, the product looks different than what was online or it was simply the wrong item. A report released by Sanford C. Bernstein indicates that Amazon ships an average of 608 million packages each year, or 1.66 million daily. According to UPS, they deliver approximately 18 million packages daily during typical non-peak shipping periods while FedEx boasts 13 millions daily packages. While these figures don’t take into account the massive upswing in package deliveries during the holiday season (think double the volume), we are looking at roughly 9 million packages returned every single day. So the question becomes how does your property manage shipping and returns? By offering Shipping and Returns services, apartment owners and operators can:  •       Provide even greater convenience for your residents by allowing them to returns items they are unhappy with, as well as ship pack......
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The Sharing Economy is Thriving: Just Look at WeWork

The Sharing Economy is Thriving: Just Look at WeWork
  The sharing economy is so much more than Airbnb. The sharing economy continues to progress on a daily basis and shows no sign of dissipating any time soon. The recent success of WeWork is ample proof of that. New York-based WeWork, which provides shared workspaces, recently received a $300 million investment from Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank, which catapults the company’s value to more than $17 billion. Not too shabby for a sharing-economy business founded seven short years ago. Perhaps it’s more of a surprise that the post-millennium concept took so long to be discovered in the first place. Rooted in convenience and cost-savings for consumers, and ancillary income opportunities for businesses, the sharing economy is the perfect blend of modernism and common sense. Airbnb was the first of this breed to truly take hold on a global scale, facilitating part-time rentals for houses, apartments and other living spaces. This essentially bypasses the need for hotels for many consumers while providing a more intimate experience at their destination. Since Airbnb was founded in San Francisco in 2008, numerous other examples of sharing economy have sprouted up, particularly in recent years. Most metropolitan areas now offer a bicycle-sharing service, in which individuals can rent a bike on a short-term basis at Point A and return it at Point B. RelayRides facilitates the use of neighbors’ cars, enabling individuals to rent cars by the day or the even by the hour. DogVacay serves as an alternative to the kennel, allowing dog owners to utili......
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Gigabit Fiber For Apartment Complexes -- An Easy 8% Increase In Rental Income Is Just The Beginning.

Gigabit Fiber For Apartment Complexes -- An Easy 8% Increase In Rental Income Is Just The Beginning.
“Gigabit Fiber” or “Fiber to the Unit” (FTTU) is now an easy, affordable and revenue-generating way to provide Internet access to most apartment complexes. When the service is done right, the benefits include profits, resident attraction, brand recognition, loyalty, retention, and new marketing capabilities. Often missed are the cost savings found in the overall construction outlays; redacting the antiquated wiring expenses from the buildout are now possible. Properties can go ALL FIBER for their telecommunications needs. Additionally, Gigabit Fiber creates an infrastructure which is “future ready” and allows for a whole new realm of ancillary add-ons.  This concept is often thought of as the Internet of Things (IoT). Allowing apartments to bridge the gap between a temporary living environment and the long term comforts of a futuristic home intrinsically can shift the residents overall satisfaction. Millennial and remote work populations are on the rise; just the mere mention that your apartment has fiber is enough to have residents and prospective residents clamoring. Why Gigabit Fiber? If you are the end user (resident) this question is rather easy to answer. You want the fastest, most reliable speeds available.  Fiber provides this. Further, you are sick and tired of antiquated DSL and cable Internet options. If you are an apartment owner it boils down to 4 things: 1) Profits (Recurring and Intrinsic) Fiber and other high-end Internet services like Fiber Backed WiFi,offer the real possibility of monthly recurring profits that can be entered into your balance sheet as “Internet Income.” Selling quality Internet services to you......
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I-85 Bridge Collapse Could Impact Package Delivery Scene in Atlanta

I-85 Bridge Collapse Could Impact Package Delivery Scene in Atlanta
After our initial shock when we saw the unprecedented traffic jam and bridge collapse on Atlanta’s major thoroughfare Interstate 85, the first thing we thought was: How is that going to affect package delivery? When you’re in this business, those are the connections you make. Atlanta features notoriously heavy traffic to begin with – the fourth-worst in the nation, according to INRIX – and the bizarre I-85 incident clearly won’t help. The bridge collapse on March 30 reportedly was due to a homeless man starting an accidental fire beneath an overpass. If that wasn’t enough to compound things, a portion of Interstate 20 buckled on April 17 due to an underground gas leak, which sent a biker airborne. We’re not here to criticize traffic situations in particular towns, and we’re eager to see the vibrant city for the Atlanta Apartment Association’s 2017 Trade Show. But this spurred thoughts as to how much package delivery could increase in Atlanta, considering two of its major vessels have endured significant setbacks. Will the city’s residents be less eager to commute to brick-and-mortar stores when they can simply order items online? Will lunch-break shopping trips decline as residents are foregoing the traffic challenges and opting to work from home? According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, freight traffic traveling through the city is now being directed to I-285 to bypass the city until the projected June 15 reopening of the bridge on I-85. As more vehicles use the alternate route, times will slow for commuters and logistics firms alike. Toby Jorgensen, a senior analyst at CBRE research told the n......
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Looking Beyond the Bend – the Future of Apartments

As most renters and apartment owners will testify, good apartments are harder to find and today’s rents are well above levels of just a few years ago. Lots of reasons for this – both increased demand and limited supply. On the demand side, former homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure or damaged their credit during the downturn are now renting. Millennials who desire mobility, have high student loan balances or don’t have sufficient down payments are also competing for apartments. Supply is tight because very few apartments were built from 2007-2012 and the cranes in the sky in hip and cool cities nationwide today are basically catching up to the shortfall created during that five-year period. Limited availability of well-located land, entitlement challenges, NIMBYism, shortages of construction labor, escalating lumber and material prices also pinch supply. As a result, practically the only apartments being built are class-A, luxury properties – and many folks can’t afford those. So what’s a tenant and an apartment investor to do – and what does it bode for the future of apartments? Think ATT – affordability, transportation and technology. As people on a limited budget know, when the money runs out near the end of the month, tuna fish, peanut butter and mac & cheese may be on the menu for days on end. For penny-pinching apartment dwellers, affordability might mean a longer commute, a smaller pad or doubling up with a roommate. Apartment developers know that trees don’t grow to the sky and 3-7% annual rent growt......
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Multifamily Renovation Construction Trends to look for in 2017

Multifamily Renovation Construction Trends to look for in 2017
Today, multifamily housing investors look for renovation ideas that offer them optimal utilization of available space within their budget. Whether you own a property in Scottsdale or nearby counties, a professional renovation contractor can help you augment the exteriors and interiors of your home aligned with your business objectives. As every year multifamily industry witnesses change in home remodeling and designing trends, 2017 is no different. Continuing the discussion further, we take a look at some popular multifamily renovation trends to watch for in 2017.Wide-open SpacesWe all need our personal space, so why not have some space for your occupants? Multifamily property owners undertaking renovation or remodelling projects are providing spacious rooms or wide-open spaces such as balcony in every apartment. Hiring a professional remodeling and design company can help you ensure maximum utilization of your property while ensuring enough space for free movement within the unit.Granite DecorationsContemporary renters look for affordable multifamily housing unit that offer them luxury without breaking the bank. This is why decorating multifamily rental units can never be out of trend. It can only evolve. Granite has always been a popular choice for flooring, but today it has slowly cropped its way to countertops, table tops, and even clocks. When undertaking a renovation project, multifamily property owners should look at granite more than just a flooring option.Bold and Unique ColorsMultifamily property owners are now getting more experimental than ever. They are experimenting with bold and unique color combinations to make their property stand away from the......
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HUD Outlook Under New Administration

The confirmation of Dr. Ben Carson for the role of Secretary of HUD has created quite a stir both in real estate finance circles as well as the general public. Though we are still taking a "wait and see" approach to the new administration and HUD's FY 2018 budget, we are optimistic about the future of HUD's loan insurance programs for market-rate and affordable multifamily housing, healthcare and hospitals. Here are a few reasons why: In a pointed question from Senator Bob Menendez about the part that FHA plays in providing affordable rental housing, Dr. Carson called the agency's role "very important." Specifically, he cited the 221(d)(4) program, which insures loans taken out to build or rehabilitate apartment projects, as one of the "best resources we have in this space." He furthered this point in discussing how the program, in combination with low-income housing tax credits, is "creating affordable units across America"  Dr. Carson is keenly aware that much can be done to make his agency more effective, recognizing that developers need more predictability from the agency, along with better customer service  A recently leaked draft of proposed changes to HUD's FY 2018 budget caused a frenzy; however, that preliminary version will undergo significant changes before it's ready for the public. Even its current form, the proposed budget will not negatively impact Love Funding's ability to provide FHA-insured financing While the preliminary budget does propose a 5% reduction in salaries and administration at HUD, the Multifamily group is well positioned to......
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