Great point, Brent! That's also where AFPOE can be helpful. Responses which come off like "because...
Wendy Dorchester
Hire for culture, train for skill! Love this. Jared, you have always emulated great culture in every...
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Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Multifamily construction and rehabilitation sometimes involve the use of various chemicals and other elements that are hazardous to the environment. These chemicals not only affect the indoor air quality and immediate occupants of the building, the fumes can travel through the vents of air conditioning system to affect the surroundings of the building under renovation. Whether the rehabilitation is for interior or exterior of the multifamily housing project, it is imperative for the rehabilitation contractor to exercise control strategies to reduce the effect of harmful toxins in the environment. Read this post to learn about four of those strategies.1. Substitute the ContaminantThe rehabilitation contractor needs to identify the source of contamination and try to find a less harmful substitute. You may, for instance, replace oil based paint with latex, solvent-based adhesives with water-based adhesives, and choose low formaldehyde emitting fabrics, and continuous filament carpet.2. Encapsulate the Source of FumesCreating a barrier around the source of fumes could help in isolating them to a certain unused area of the building. Another factor you need to ensure is that there is no recirculation of air from the encapsulated area into occupied spaces. Contractors can physically isolate a section of the building with polyethylene sheeting and other barriers or restrict the fumes to enter the general ventilation system by blocking return air grilles. 3. Provide Proper VentilationContractors can combine encapsulation techniques with ventilation dilution techniques to increase the amount of outside air passing through an area, and dilute and flush out low levels of...

Posted by on in Property Management
E-commerce has significantly impacted the American retail experience. According to Mintel’s Online Shopping U.S. 2015 report, 69 percent of U.S. adults shop online at least on a monthly basis, and 48 percent of online shoppers occasionally increase their purchases to receive free shipping. This transition from brick-and-mortar shopping to at-home deliveries has led to shifts in the multi-family housing industry. As more consumers have packages shipped from online retailers, the influx of deliveries has strained property managers and staff who are responsible for accepting and holding deliveries. Without a process in place, this can drain resources, cause congestion at concierge desks and make residents frustrated if packages are misplaced or lost.   To mitigate these headaches, a smart solution used by an increasing number of properties are package lockers, storage areas where delivers can be dropped off and housed until residents are able to pick up their mail when it’s convenient for them. Package lockers allow property managers to focus their attention elsewhere, while still providing secure, convenient storage solutions – property managers can easily grant or revoke access as needed for residents as they move in and out.   If facilities have an access control system with an open architecture platform, property managers can easily integrate the package locker credentials into the system. This makes it easy on residents, as they can use a single smart credential to access the building and other common areas like the package locker.    Overall, investing in building package lockers is an asset for properties...

Posted by on in Property Management
With the advent of WELL Building Certification, sustainable building practices in multifamily are about to get whole lot healthier for tenants. The WELL Building Standard combines green building concepts with living standards that promote a healthy and holistic lifestyle approach for residents. Its standards are: Air Quality: Remove all contaminants, prevent air-quality issues, and purify the air tenants breathe. Water Quality: Strategic placement for optimal efficiency, onsite filtration and treatment. Nourishment: Access to healthy eating options and behavioral education. Light: Window and lighting systems that support natural circadian rhythm. Fitness: Accommodate movement and exercise integrated into daily routines. Comfort: Acoustic and environmental controls that reduce excess noise, and even smells. Mind: Programs that support mental health and education. The standards require things like specific air and water filtration systems, dual sinks with swiveling faucets to minimize food contamination, close-proximity farmers’ markets (or transportation to them), blackout shades, timed lighting that simulates sunrise, and even acoustical panels that reduce excess noise. Developed by the International Well Building Institute, the WELL Building Standards outlined for multifamily development are a collaborate effort with the Green Building Certification Institute. The pilot program was first launched in 2014 to address worker health inside commercial office buildings, but expanded this year to include the pilot program for multifamily. The lessons learned during the initial certification phase of 54 properties could be used to upgrade residential building standards, across the board....

Posted by on in Social Media and Technology
b2ap3_thumbnail_Google-home2.pngA lot has been written about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and voice-activated search devices such as Alexa or Google Home. Yes, apartment property management is beginning to take steps to bring this remarkable technology onboard.   I recently spoke to dozens of industry professionals about how AI plays into their operations. Below are the 12 most provocative comments. Visit the full story in the April issue of units Magazine and see who said what.   1. “Real estate is a top industry that could benefit from AI, but it’s way too early to say devices such as Alexa are making an impact. Even the leading, break-through industries are not using AI regularly yet. So, real estate is not ‘behind’ when it comes to implementing AI.”   2. Asked if the company is working toward implementing AI in day-to-day operations, one apartment REIT with a long-standing, strong reputation for experimenting with cutting-edge technology, says, “Not now. But check back with us in the third quarter.”   3. “For AI to truly be a better and enduring solution from the resident experience point of view, it has to deliver answers, information and convenience that is greater than or at least equal to other options, including what a person could deliver through conversation or what they would need to look up themselves via a web or resident portal search.”   4. “When it came to using chatbot for customer service, owner/investors’ responses were mixed. Some would say, ‘I think that’s great’; and others would say, ‘I...

Posted by on in Construction and Development
At this point, property managers know the drill when it comes to millennials: they rent more than any other generation and high-tech amenities play a significant role in their decision of where to live during their apartment search.   While it is undeniably true that the younger generation of renters desires cutting-edge electronic features in their apartments, it is important that multifamily managers and developers avoid neglecting other important millennial lifestyle trends which have an impact on non-technological aspects of apartment design. At Trimark Properties, we specialize in selling Gainesville apartments to millennial student renters attending the University of Florida and have familiarity with the younger generation’s preferred choices of apartment design and amenities. Below are 4 recent movements in millennial living that have impacted features other than technological amenities in apartments. 1.) Millennials’ healthier lifestyles and participation in eco-friendly movements have led to more outdoor amenities. Millennials have been leaders of the pro-health, environmentally-friendly campaign, which has ultimately directed property developers to add more exterior amenities than in previous years. Millennials are increasingly valuing outdoor amenity space, spending 5% more of their time outdoors today than in 2015. They are also now frequently choosing to bike, walk, and ride the bus instead of driving cars. The average millennial drove 23% less in 2009 than in 2001, the biggest drop for any age group. Property developers targeting this audience have taken note of this trend, and they are now beginning to build properties close to central locations such as universities and major business...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
We all know about how the winter holidays always lead to a profound uptick in the number of packages your residents are receiving. But as ecommerce continues to rise exponentially, there are so many other times throughout the year when package delivery may surge at your properties. Check out our list of “Top 10 Hidden Holidays” you need to be prepared for: Super Bowl Sunday. Once your team is out, you frantically buy gear for your de facto team of choice (let’s just say my son now owns a Falcons sweatshirt). Besides, how else are you going to get all football themes napkins, bowls, plates, etc. the Super Bowl Party?! 100th Day of School. Yes, this is a thing and not something we made up. It’s mostly celebrated by younger students sometime in February, as schools have fun with the number 100. Many Pinterest-loving mothers are known to order craft items at this time, which can lead to a sneaky increase of packages in some circles. Valentine’s Day. That oversized Vermont Teddy Bear isn’t going to drive itself to your significant other’s home. And neither is that sparkling necklace or whatever else you’ve ordered to make sure you’re not the goat on the international day of love. Memorial Day. Everyone wants to get away for Memorial Day. But it’s even better to leave town with that new tent, new fishing supplies, new tarps and other camping accessories. Late May always leads to a package boom. Independence Day. Yes, it’s illegal to ship fireworks by mail, so we’re...

Posted by on in Affordable Housing
Secretary Ben Carson spoke Monday morning, March 27, at the annual DC conference of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). He focused his remarks on the need to reduce burdensome regulation. He also discussed the idea of a more holistic approach to community development and bridging across traditional subject matter areas in order to address community needs on a comprehensive basis. Is it possible that such an approach could find broader support in the Trump Administration?Secretary Carson identified reducing regulatory burden within existing housing programs as a key area of focus. He encouraged the audience of housing professionals to consider new and innovative approaches to service delivery. He disparaged the bureaucratic approach as one more concerned about rules than about outcomes, and encouraged his audience to renew their focus on achieving outcomes through outside-the-box thinking. It will be interesting to observe how this perspective will be applied during the Secretary’s tenure, and which regulations take center stage in the Administration’s effort to reduce their impact.Secretary Carson also encouraged the NAHRO attendees to consider new ways to break down traditional barriers between subject matter areas and to address community development on a more holistic basis. “How do we develop the entire community?” he asked. “How do we ensure there are adequate schools and education?” Beyond education, he also identified the issues of health and working with the Department to Health and Human Services; workforce development and working with the Department of Labor; and the criminal justice system, particularly skills...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
Sheri Killingsworth, Vice President of Marketing and Communications with Lincoln, was kind enough to share her thoughts recently on how this industry giant goes about creating a sense of community with residents. A 17-year veteran of the company, Sheri began on site, working her way through the ranks into the corporate office.     According to Sheri, to talk about anything Lincoln you have to start where they do when it comes to residents: ‘Where comfort meets convenience you find home.’   “Here at Lincoln, we talk about the three key places; work, home, and the third place. That’s the place that isn’t home or work, a place where you feel welcome and at ease. It’s a place where you can have a change of environment to get some work done, hang out with friends, or be around other people…and not be so alone,” says Killingsworth. “We want our residents to be able to activate our amenity areas and program it as if it’s their own space.”  As you might expect, Lincoln also engages residents in a robust calendar of events “customized to each community and based on who the residents are.” From Stroller Saturdays for new moms, to Wine-down Wednesdays for those needing a mid-week break, getting residents to come together and connect is part of the Lincoln way.  It’s obvious that culture plays an enormous role both within Lincoln and with their residents. “Our culture truly follows our tagline, we are a company for people and about people,” Killingsworth offered, “Everything...

Posted by on in Apartment Marketing
I was against emojis at first. After all, I am a writer and editor. I know the power of the written word and grammar. (In fact, a missing Oxford comma could end up costing a company $10 million. Seriously. Grammar is important.) Also, I am not a 12-year-old girl anymore, thank god. Anyway. Why write with pictures when you could use actual words? OK, sometimes you need to show you’re joking, so a colon and parenthesis works as a smiley face. Right? Read on for the whole blog. ...

Posted by on in Multifamily Industry News and Trends
b2ap3_thumbnail_cfaa.pngYesterday afternoon, Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled his long-awaited second budget. CFAA is relieved to report that, despite rumblings about an increase in the capital gains inclusion rate, there were no changes to how capital gains are treated.   Taxes – No increase in the capital gains inclusion rate Despite the rumours that have been swirling around in business circles, Budget 2017 did not make any changes to the capital gains inclusion rate (CGIR). That rate is extremely important for rental investors of all sizes. The CGIR is currently 50%. Of a capital gain on the sale of a rental property of $100,000, $50,000 is taken into income and taxed at a person’s tax rates. During 2016, the government reviewed various tax credits and tax expenditures, especially those which disproportionately benefit the highest income earners, that is, those with annual incomes above $200,000. While the review took place in great secrecy, CFAA communicated to key people in government that an increase in the capital gains inclusion rate would be disastrous for rental housing supply, for the economy, and for tenants. In large part, an increased capital gains inclusion rate on rental housing would be an increased tax on the poor, exactly contrary to the government’s goal of making housing more affordable. (As usual, the main way to success is to address issues that the government cares about, rather than the pain which landlords and other asset owners would suffer.) CFAA’s submission is posted at www.CFAA-FCAPI.org/submissions.php.  Other tax planning issues Budget 2017 promised a paper in the coming months on several tax planning strategies, including: Sprinkling...