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Company News

Give Pests the Cold Shoulder This Winter

by Michelle N. on 1/5/2018 12:45:00 PM

Ways to make sure your properties don't attract any occupants but humans this season.
By Hope Bowman

As temperatures drop, your residents will be looking to keep their spaces cozy and warm, and they probably aren’t thinking about how to keep pests out of their homes. But a variety of common pests will be looking to escape the cold just like the rest of us, in a process called “overwintering.”

Apartment buildings have an ample supply of food and hiding spots, which makes them the perfect target for overwintering pests. Insects can overwinter at any stage of development, from larva to adults, and their hibernation habits differ by species. Some actively feed and grow during the colder months, some breed, and others just lay low until the temperature rises again in the spring.

In any case, you almost certainly can expect a number of common pests to try to take up residence on your property as the weather changes, but a few important strategies can help you keep the heat in and the intruders out.

Let’s start with a look at a few of the most common cold-weather pests.

Rodents: A Serious Health Threat
Rodents are perhaps the most troubling of the pests that can infiltrate multifamily dwellings. More than just a nuisance, rats and mice are a serious health threat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents can spread more than 35 diseases, some of which can be deadly. It doesn’t take an actual rodent bite for these diseases to spread to humans. Contact with food or surfaces contaminated by rodent feces, urine, or saliva, or simply contact with the pest itself, can be enough to transfer disease.

Beyond being a health concern, rodents also pose a safety hazard. They love to chew and often cause serious structural damage by gnawing on everything from wood and drywall to electrical wiring. The damage often happens completely out of sight, and by the time it’s discovered, the repair work needed can be expensive.

Unfortunately, rats and mice can be tricky to keep out. These nimble pests can compress their skeletons to squeeze through surprisingly small openings: A full-grown rat can fit through a hole the size of a quarter; a mouse, a hole the size of a dime. Once they get in, they can reproduce quickly, leading to an infestation behind walls, in crawlspaces and attic areas, or under the floorboards.

Some signs to look for that could indicate you have a rodent infestation:

1. Droppings: Rodent droppings can be found pretty much anywhere rodents go. Mouse droppings are about the size of a grain of rice; rat droppings, the size of a raisin. Both look like tiny pellets.

2. Urine trails: Rodents leave behind urine trails to communicate with one another. You may notice a distinct odor coming from areas of high rodent traffic.

3. Gnaw marks: Gnaw marks often can be found around corners and along baseboards where rodents travel most frequently. Residents may also find damaged food products.

4. Grease and rub marks: Look for yellow and brown discoloration along baseboards, another sign of rodent activity.

Seasonal Invaders
Depending on where it’s located, your building can be prone to a variety of pests that come and go with the seasons. Some of these, like Asian lady beetles, stink bugs, and cluster flies, don’t necessarily pose the same health and safety threats rodents do, but they’re a nuisance nonetheless. And they certainly will look for a warm place to overwinter as the temperature drops.

Asian lady beetles, commonly known as ladybugs, will gather in large numbers on the outside of light-colored buildings, often looking for the warmth of sunlight. As they gather, they find cracks, crevices, and holes to sneak inside.

Stink bugs also look to bask in the warm sunlight in colder months and can be found on walls of buildings where the sun hits. Stink bugs are not dangerous, but if they feel threatened, they’ll live up to their name.

Likewise, cluster flies can be found on the sunniest sides of a building. Slightly larger and darker than the common housefly, cluster flies can crawl through small openings around screens, doors, vents, and walls in search of an overwintering home in wall voids or enclosed ceiling areas.

Bigger Pest, Bigger Problem

When thinking about pest prevention, we tend to focus on the most common intruders, like insects and mice, but winter pests don’t always come in small packages. As the pest gets bigger, so do the potential problems.

Birds, raccoons, and squirrels can quickly cause a lot of damage in multifamily properties. Birds can carry numerous diseases, and their droppings corrode metal and deface outdoor walls. Squirrels love to seek shelter in roofs or attics, and once inside, they can cause an amazing amount of damage in a short amount of time. Raccoons are quite clever, able to open doors and latches. An uncapped chimney is a welcoming invitation to these nocturnal marauders.

It’s Cold Out There

Now that you know some of the most common pest threats during cold months, here are a few tips to keep them out of your buildings:

1. Mind the gaps. Inspect the interior and exterior of your building for holes or gaps. Inside, look behind furniture and in the corners and cabinets for any potential pest entryways. Seal any openings, gaps, or cracks with caulk or protective sealant to ensure a strong line of defense against pests that may be searching for a comfortable place to overwinter. Install tight-fitting door sweeps and weather stripping on doors and windows to close any gaps large enough for rodents or insects to squeeze through.

2. Take out the trash. Keep Dumpsters or trash cans as far away from your building as practical. Make sure they have lids, and have them cleaned regularly. Also make sure your community has routine garbage pickup so you avoid overflowing bins, which are an open buffet to many pests.

3. Don’t forget wood and leaf piles. If you keep wood or leaf piles on your property, be sure to maintain at least 20 feet between the piles and any buildings. These piles are warm, moist havens for pests, and the closer to your buildings they sit, the more likely you are to experience a pest problem.

4. Watch out for moisture. Check for leaks, specifically in bathrooms, attics, and basements. Water is as essential to life for pests as it is for humans. Moisture accumulation will attract a variety of pests and can damage property too.

5. Keep it clean. Don’t leave any food out in common areas. It sounds so simple, but it’s one of the most common reasons for pest problems. Crumbs and food stored in non-airtight containers can attract rodents from afar with promises of an easy meal. It’s important to keep common-area refrigerators and dishwashers clean as well. Odors alone can be a signal for pests to come dine.

Look at it from the pest’s point of view—wouldn’t you do anything you could to get inside a nice, warm space when it gets cold outside? You would, and so will they. So, keep these tips in mind and, in general, think like a pest. It’ll help you spot the signs of their presence and determine ways to keep the invaders out. When in doubt, call a pest-control professional for advice.


Resource: MFE 


Company News

Buyers Access Holiday Hours

by Michelle N. on 12/21/2017 4:19:08 PM


Company News

Buyers Access Partners with NPS Rent Assurance to Provide Rent From Payroll Platform

by Michelle N. on 12/5/2017 11:43:00 AM

Published on Tuesday, 05 December 2017 11:19
December 05, 2017 (PRWEB)

Buyers Access® (BA) announced today a partnership with NPS Rent Assurance® (NPS), the leading Rent From Payroll® platform serving the multifamily rental housing industry. BA member companies will now have additional options available to extend lease offers that lead to higher conversion rates, lower delinquency and defaults, and increased retention/lower turnover costs. With this new network purchasing solution, exclusive NPS platform pricing will be provided as a benefit to BA member companies.

“Adding NPS Rent Assurance as a supplier partner supplements our service offering with a proven solution for timely rent delivery through payroll direct deposit,” says Jeff Peterson, Vice President, Buyers Access. “NPS has a long history of working with property owners and operators of all sizes across the U.S. to convert and retain residents who might otherwise have challenges securing a lease, or staying current on their rent payments.”

“We are excited to be working with Buyers Access and to offer enhanced leasing opportunities at member communities,” says Richard A. Levitan, president of Neighborhood Pay Services, parent company to NPS Rent Assurance. “As a better alternative to guarantors or higher security deposits, rent from payroll offers property owners and managers a superior means to convert more approved applicants while improving net operating income, decreasing delinquency, and increasing resident length of stay.”

NPS data shows that lease offers that include a rent from payroll option increase conversion rates by more than 57 percent for conditionally approved applicants, and that after move-in these residents perform on par with their higher credit counterparts, staying an average of 600 days, or twice the industry average. The program also delivers a 77 percent reduction in unexpected move-outs among conditionally approved residents, while providing the only industry tool available that provides real-time insights of resident performance after move-in each month before rent is due.

“We know that Buyers Access members will value the reduction in unexpected skips and evictions that our platform delivers, as well as the opportunity to offer services to existing residents at renewal who have a history of late payments,” Levitan added.

About Buyers Access
Buyers Access (BA) is the country’s leading provider of customized purchasing solutions, serving more than half a million member units in the multifamily space.

About Neighborhood Pay Services
Neighborhood Pay Services (NPS) specializes in programs that mitigate payment risk in a diverse credit environment where traditional payment tools do not adequately address the financial needs of millions of Americans. The company pioneered the concept of NPS Rent Assurance® with NPS Rent From Payroll®, considered the gold standard in risk reduction in the rental housing industry. As a SaaS provider, NPS leads in the payment assurance category through direct deposit from payroll for recurring charges. In 2016, NPS was recognized by NACHA -The Electronic Payment Association® with the Kevin O’Brien ACH Network Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Electronic Payments, and by as a NACHA ACH Innovator in 2016 and 2017.


Company News

Job Opening - Sales Director

by Michelle N. on 11/27/2017 9:47:00 PM

Sales Director
Denver, Colorado • Full-time

About the Job

Buyers Access provides services to optimize Maintenance, Repair & Operations (MRO)​ spend for owners/operators in the Multifamily Housing Industry. As the nation's leading purchasing and cost control specialist in the Multifamily Housing Industry, we take an active role as a business partner, while providing full service solutions to maximize the value of real estate.

Services include:

  • Cost control programs and processes
  • Product consolidation
  • Leveraged vendor relationships and/or vendor consolidation
  • e-Commerce automation
  • Solutions to drive productivity at all levels of the organization
  • Reporting and analytics to simplify decision making

Sales Director Responsibilities:

  • Managing all new lead/pipeline development and selling efforts for Buyers Access cost control solutions in the Western U.S.
  • To substantially increase top line revenue growth.
  • To build, develop and manage a premier sales pipeline through targeted customer development.
  • Reports directly to the Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
  • Frequent travel may be required.

Experience and Requirements for Success:

  • High energy, self-motivated, intelligent and articulate people to represent our company in a most professional manner.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, solutions-based sales techniques
  • Understanding and minimum of 5 years experience selling to (or in) one or more of these industries at the corporate level (Multi-family housing, Lodging, Healthcare Residential, Senior Living)
  • Experience selling business services solutions preferred over tangible products
  • Experience developing long term partnerships, leading to mutually beneficial and profitable programs and processes
  • 4 year degree (preferred) or equivalent like experience


  • Excellent communication skills to “c” level executive decision makers within the multi-family industry.
  • Experienced with Power-Point, Word and Excel.
  • Experienced using Outlook.
  • Experienced using Web-conferencing.
  • Experienced at trade-shows exhibit booths
  • Excellent prospector and “hunter”.
  • A proven execution of “sales process” from prospecting to closing.
  • Experienced with Salesforce or similar sales management tools.

About Buyers Access

The Buyers Access team is dedicated to delivering proven multifamily group purchasing and infrastructures every time through a powerful combination of experience and resources. Our job is to make your business more effective by improving operations, lowering expenses, and increasing the value of your assets.

Apply Now


Company News

Planning to get stuffed on Thanksgiving? Try these expanding pants

by Michelle N. on 11/21/2017 3:52:00 PM

While many debate whether turkey or sides win Thanksgiving, this year, it turns out that we all win the holiday meal — because magically expanding pants are now a thing.

With their over-the-belly waistband, these “stuffin-stretch” pants allow you to stuff yourself with all the turkey and sides your heart desires (well, maybe not your heart), without feeling the pain of buttons and bands digging into your post-celebratory belly.

Part of a cheeky promotion from boxed stuffing-maker Stove Top, these Thanksgiving dinner pants are unisex and they feature stunning stuffing graphics along the stretchy waistband, which can be pulled up all the way under your chest for a true Urkel effect.

By the way, who knew Joey from “Friends” was secretly a genius and way ahead of his time?

If you are confident enough to wear these pants in front of other human beings, you can snag a pair for just $19.98 at The family may laugh, but they’ll surely be jealous when you’re comfortably in full-out food coma — no adjustments needed.

This year, to held feed those in need, Stove Top will be donating $10,000 of all pants proceeds to Feeding America.

And for the rest of us who aren’t quite so bold, expandable stylish jeans actually exist, made from a special yarn invented by a Brazilian physicist.

You’ll just have to determine whether your dignity is worth the higher price tag.


Resource: TODAY 


Company News

Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers with Plastic Handles Due to Failure to Discharge and Nozzle Detachment: One Death Reported

by Michelle N. on 11/10/2017 4:48:00 PM


Click here for high resolution placard

For more information click here


Company News

Property Management Tips for Halloween

by Michelle N. on 10/26/2017 1:18:00 PM

While it's a fun day and night, the holiday presents some hazards for property managers.
By MFE Staff

On the cusp Halloween, we caught up with Christina Burch, content marketing specialist at AppFolio, to hear some of her top tips that property managers should keep in mind as they prepare for Tuesday’s festivities to ensure trick-or-treaters’ and tenants’ safety. 

What are some the top property hazards that can occur during Halloween?
Christina Burch: While it’s meant to be a fun holiday, Halloween night is actually full of potential accidents waiting to happen – and property managers need to be aware of them and make their tenants aware of them in order to prevent those hazards. These hazards include everything from fires to people tripping and falling in the dark. They might sound extreme, but both can happen so easily, especially as festivities and all of the environmental stimulation on Halloween night sometimes makes it harder for people to notice their surroundings. Halloween also leaves a little more room for security lapses as people are often leaving front doors unlocked for trick-or-treaters.

How should property managers prepare tenants for Halloween?
CB: A day or so before Halloween, they should send out a bulk email to all tenants with a few tips to help keep everything in check. To prevent break-ins, request that tenants double-check their door locks to make sure they are still working properly. If units have a no candle policy, take the opportunity to remind tenants of that. If you allow candles, perhaps it’s a good idea to suggest to tenants that they use flameless candles to cut down on fire risks – if you provide them for tenants, that’s even better. Another potential fire hazard are radiators. Send a reminder out to tenants with radiators to keep the surrounding areas clear of flammable decorative materials. If the unit is a larger building, be sure to provide tenants with specific trick-or-treating hours to avoid noise disruption in later hours.

What are some top prep tips for property managers to take into account?
CB: Property managers have a responsibility to check all smoke detectors and replace batteries, if needed, to make sure that they are working. You can’t be too safe when it comes to fire. Also be sure to look out for any potential fire hazards outside of tenants’ units – like a jack-o-lantern that sits too close to decorative material.
To ensure no break-ins occur, property managers can also take extra steps to make sure their empty units look like they are occupied, either by adding a piece of decoration to the front or by keeping the unit/building well-lit outside.
Speaking of lighting, property managers also have a responsibility to keep trick-or-treaters safe while they are on their property, not just tenants. They can do so by providing adequate lighting and keeping the paths well-lit. If there isn’t much outdoor lighting, purchase a few flood lamps directed at some of the pathways – an easy fix for darkness. Lighting aside, property managers must also ensure that footpaths are clear of hazardous objects for trick-or-treaters. If needed, ask tenants to remove bikes or cars from areas that will serve for increased foot traffic.

Any additional thoughts?
CB: For larger buildings or complexes, make sure to have someone on site to oversee activities (with a first aid kit), just in the event an accident, minor or large, ever occurred. You can never be too careful, and not doing any prep for Halloween is extremely risky as there are instances in which a property management company could be held liable for a child’s injures on their property.


Resource: MFE

Company News

Buyers Access Strengthens Sales Team

by Michelle N. on 9/29/2017 4:45:00 PM

Denver, Colo., September 29, 2017 – We are pleased to welcome Jenny Hidalgo as the newest member of our sales team. Jenny brings over 18 years of experience in the multifamily industry on both the property management and vendor sides. Prior to joining Buyers Access, Jenny served as Vice President of Sales with AUM, working with executive decision making teams to increase savings on energy, utility costs and lowering usage while increasing productivity within their utility and energy management programs. Previous to her experience with AUM, Jenny worked with consulting and selling online advertising. Jenny also served as Director of Sales and Marketing for Lindy Property Management.

“Jenny is a great addition to the Buyers Access family. She has considerable experience in the multifamily industry and will be a tremendous asset to our team,” said Kelly Scott, Vice President of Sales, Buyers Access.

“I am honored to be part of the Buyers Access team! My unique background in the multifamily industry has taught me that the primary goal for everybody is to improve operations, increase NOI and most of all save money! I look forward to providing the “best of breed” money saving purchasing solutions to Buyers Access current and future customers,” Jenny Hidalgo, National Sales Director, Buyers Access.

Jenny studied Early Childhood Physical Education at Bucks County Community College. She recently successfully completed her Real Estate courses in Pennsylvania.

About Buyers Access
Buyers Access is the nation's leading Purchasing and Cost Control specialist for the multifamily housing industry. We take an active role as your business partner, and provide full service solutions to help your business maximize the value of your real estate. Since 1986, Buyers Access has helped thousands of properties reduce their operating costs and become more efficient. Through the use of our operational expertise, these properties have added millions of dollars to their real estate value. For more information, contact Buyers Access at or call 1.800.445.9169

Media Contact:
Michelle Niemeyer
Director of Marketing
Office: 253.517.5540


Company News

Buyers Access® and BluTrend® partner to offer Energy Management Solutions to multifamily property owners

by Michelle N. on 9/7/2017 11:54:00 AM


For Immediate Release
September 7, 2017


Buyers Access® and BluTrend® partner to offer Energy Management Solutions to multifamily property owners

BA’s members can lower their utility processing expenses with creative solutions

Denver – September 7, 2017 – Buyers Access (BA), the country’s largest provider of customized purchasing solutions, and BluTrend a national premier utility management provider, today announced a unique partnership to offer BluTrend’s proprietary utility invoice processing and payment solutions, and other related energy management programs.

“We are pleased to add BluTrend as a supplier partner, and to offer additional services that are in high demand to our members,” said Dan Haefner, President and CEO of Buyers Access. “We are constantly searching for new ways to increase value for our members. BluTrend’s services offer our members the opportunity to improve timeliness and cost of utility invoice processing, to generate significant personnel time savings and to create additional ancillary income, all while improving utility management data visibility – a win on multiple fronts”.

“BluTrend is disrupting the utility invoice processing space through unique automated technologies,” said Michael Anderson, CEO of BluTrend, “Leveraging technologies, allows us to process and pay more utility invoices faster, better and cheaper resulting in greater savings for owners and management companies. Through our Automated Invoice Processing (AIP) system, we can automatically download electricity, gas, water, telecom or trash invoices, audit them for accuracy, and then upload them to client’s accounting package with designated GL codes attached, all within hours of bills becoming available by the utility company. This process is very accurate, easy to implement, and fully automated.”

“Buyers Access decision underscores the value proposition embedded in utilizing the most advanced technologies and automation in our space resulting in more efficient processes, which generate higher NOI and enhanced accuracy,” said Marvin Banks, Chairman of BluTrend.
“We focus on asset performance and the value creation opportunities for our clients,” stated Johnathan Hovanec, Vice President of Account Management of Buyers Access. “We identified timely and accurate resident billings and more efficient utility processing as an untapped source for producing higher revenues and lower operating costs for our members. BluTrend’s technologies are a next step in the industry’s evolution of operational efficiency and we intend to take full advantage of them.”

“BluTrend’s patented CSASecure, unique Automated Invoice Processing (AIP), full integration with Yardi and OneSite, comprehensive resident statement and convergent billing, and widespread experience in both regulated and deregulated utility markets is extremely beneficial to property management companies. We believe through the application of technology solutions, owners and management companies can enhance NOI and generate additional return potential not readily present in the space, “said Jim Kjolhede, a Partner of BluTrend.

About Buyers Access

Buyers Access (BA) is the country’s leading provider of customized purchasing solutions, serving more than half a million member units in the multifamily space. For more information, visit or contact Dan Haefner at 303-991-5577,

About BluTrend®, LLC

BluTrend®, LLC is a national premier utility management solution provider in the multifamily industry. For more information, visit or contact Michael Anderson at 972-739-9901,

Company News

Tips for Planning the Budget

by Michelle N. on 8/30/2017 4:24:00 PM

As a residential property manager, you’re likely already gearing up for the 2018 budget season. As busy as property managers are with the many hats they wear — marketing and sales, screening prospective residents, assisting with all manner of residents requests, and more — most understand that putting together a solid budget is critical for financial performance all year long.

A budget tells you where you are and where you’re going, and it helps you measure your progress along the way. It provides an organized and easily understood look at money coming in and going out for anyone who might need the information, including your staff, community investors, and financial professionals. It’s also an invaluable tool for you in assessing how your community is performing, identifying any fat to be trimmed, and adapting as situations change.

As you prepare your 2018 budget, take a look at the tips below to help make the process as painless as possible.

Review industry data
Visit the library, use an online database, or search online to review standard income, expenditures, profit margins, and other metrics for your industry. You can find lots of free information simply by searching online for various keywords, and you can also find annual reports from market research firms that give away some information for free and include others for a fee.

Generate methods for increasing revenue
If your community isn’t at full occupancy, create a marketing, sales, and communications plan before working on your budget. Does your website need work? Should you be focusing more on generating and cultivating leads? If marketing isn’t your primary area of expertise, consider working with a local marketing firm or a national company specializing in property management for ideas.

Put together your marketing plan first so you can include funding in the budget to cover any new or existing initiatives. Also, spend time thinking about whether your pricing is on target. Are rents where they should be based on market averages, demand, and supply? Should you consider additional fees for services such as using the fitness center?

Consider cost-cutting measures
What can be trimmed from last year’s budget? Are you overstaffed for your current occupancy? Are there areas in which you know you’re spending too much? Spend time reviewing budgets from the past several years and considering your unique situation to determine if any areas can be cut.

Review your tax situation
Prior to working on the budget, sit down with your tax professional for an update on any changes in the local, state, and federal tax codes that may affect you. Plan accordingly for any additional expenses that may result.

Plan for capital expenditures
Sit down with your maintenance staff — and maybe even a hand-picked panel of residents — to plan for needed capital expenditures. There will always be something that can be fixed or upgraded, so you’ll need to prioritize. What has to be done in 2016 and what can be put off for future years’ budgets? Consider your community’s overall financial situation, but also consider the marketing impact and curb appeal of certain upgrades over others.

No property manager looks forward to creating a budget. However, most also understand that taking time to put together an effective budget is critical to the ongoing financial and operational performance of a community. Spending some time planning by reviewing industry information, thinking about how to increase revenue, reviewing spending and taxes, and negotiating with vendors can help make the task a little less daunting.

by Amanda Cupp: One Call Now

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