Buyers Access Blog
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Company News

Win a Fitbit at the Student Housing Conference and Tradeshow, Booth 500

by Michelle N. on 2/17/2015 4:15:35 PM




Company News

12 Simple Steps to Opening Your Pool for the Season

by Michelle N. on 2/5/2015 5:11:23 AM

 

Warmer days are around the corner so make sure you are ready to prepare your pool for the summer. Test your equipment, check safety features, and have sparkling clean water ready for the first splash of the summer season. Before opening the pool for swimming, follow these 12 simple steps below:

1) Remove, clean, and store the pool cover
 

2) Thoroughly clean and vacuum the pool
 

3) Add water to the desired height at the prescribed rate of 1” (25mm) per hour
 

4) Test water balance, pH, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid, and total alkalinity levels
 

5) Inspect electrical service, filters, skimmers, drains, ladders, diving boards, plugs, gauges, and other important components of the system
 

6) Lubricate fittings, valves, o-rings, and plugs
 

7) Inspect tile and grout installations
 

8) Clean and inspect pool deck
 

9) Skim pool water surface and vacuum pool bottom
 

10) Backwash filter, if necessary
 

11) Shock pool water to breakpoint levels
 

12) Add algaecide, as required

 

 




Company News

Buyers Access Annual Conference in San Juan in 5 Days!

by Michelle N. on 2/4/2015 2:05:14 PM

 

11th Annual Buyers Access Business Education Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is just 5 days away!




Company News

Energy Efficiency Lingo

by Michelle N. on 1/22/2015 8:31:52 AM

With all this talk about HVAC Energy Efficiency Standards, sometimes it is difficult to remember or even know what the abbreviations really stand for. So, below is a quick reference key to understanding Energy Efficiency lingo.

SEER = Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating

EER = Energy Efficiency Rating

HSPF = Heating Seasonal Performance Factor

AFUE = Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency

 

HVAC Questions?

Ask us about new 2015 condensing unit legislation or any other HVAC questions you have. Our supplier, HD Supply, has over 100 years of combined HVAC experience.

Click here to learn more.



 




Company News

Buyers Access 2015 Event Calendar

by Michelle N. on 1/20/2015 4:22:27 AM

Buyers Access will be attending, exhibiting and hosting many events in 2015. Here is the most recent 2015 Event Calendar for reference. We look forward to connecting with you this year. Cheers! 


Buyers Access 2015 Business Education Conference - February 9 -12
Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort Rio Grande | San Juan, Puerto Rico

  

NAA 2015 Student Housing Conference & Exposition - February 17-18
Aria Resort | Las Vegas, NV

  

TAA 2015 Education Conference & Lone Star Expo - April 22-25
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center | San Antonio, TX

 

NAA 2015 Education Conference & Exposition - June 24-27
Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center | Las Vegas, NV


 




Company News

Attainable Steps to Optimize Your Purchasing Program in 2015

by Michelle N. on 1/7/2015 11:51:28 AM

The beginning of January is the time for New Year's resolutions, so what are you going to do in 2015 to improve NOI? What can you do to implement a cost-effective purchasing program for your Management company? Oftentimes, we fail to chart the specific and attainable steps necessary to successfully achieve our goals. Buyers Access suggest the following to help optimize your purchasing program in 2015:

Review & Analyze – Perform a complete review of MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Operations) spend for 2013. Evaluate each property’s expenses and number of vendors used.

Consolidate & Standardize – A reduction in the number of suppliers, and different product brands/styles = standardization. This results in a reduction of invoice processing, inefficient inventory, and time. Time = Money

Utilize e-Commerce Technology – By implementing a configurable, electronic purchasing platform, you can gain spend control, standardize, and reduce processing costs per invoice. The average process cost per paper invoice is $18. The average cost per electronic invoice is $3*. Savings of $15 per invoice.

Negotiate Pricing & Value Added Services – Review your current vendor pricing and discounts. Does that vendor offer value added services (free shipping, rebates, training & reliable customer service)? Schedule meetings with your preferred vendors to review your current purchasing programs.

Implement Your Revised Purchasing Program – Rollout your new purchasing program and procedures to each property. Include initial, and on going training to all property personnel, schedule quarterly updates, and performance reports.

Be Realistic & Honest - Do you and/or anyone in your organization have the time to review, develop & implement these necessary steps? Consider the real value of a reputable Purchasing/Spend Management Consultant, like Buyers Access. Our average member realizes a NOI of over $50 per unit per year.

To learn more about other cost/time reducing strategies and services that Buyers Access can offer, contact us. We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you healthy and prosperous New Year.

*Purchasing Today –Volume 10, Number 4, Page 18




Company News

NAA's Top Operations Tips from 2014

by Michelle N. on 12/18/2014 6:37:18 AM

Check out NAA's top 8 multifamily operations insights from 2014!


As onsite staff in multifamily housing, we know you're asked to wear multiple hats, often at the same time. Because of this, Operations Insights has strived to bring you new information and helpful hints relevant to all of the hats you wear.

In case you missed it the first time around, here are eight of the most interesting insights into multifamily operations of the year:


1. When repositioning a community, it’s imperative to get the local police onboard.

“Because the property stigmatizes with the tenant base and the surrounding community, it also stigmatizes with the Police Department. When you go in and pick up such a property, your first thought really has to be the police. They need to know who you are. Often, they’re a bit fatigued dealing with the property…We ask them to help us. They need to know that if they call us because there is a problem that we’re going to act on it. We’re not going to sweep it under the rug or let it go.”

Read more about how Kathy Dennison Adrianse, owner of Lighthouse Property Management in Wyoming, Mich. transformed a previously crime-ridden apartment community into safe, thriving and family oriented housing.


2. Reduce invoice processing to boost your bottom line.

Processing of supplier invoices for both approval and payment is one of the most overlooked areas where hidden costs lie. Research has shown that it costs anywhere from $45 to $75 to process one invoice. Processing (soft) costs include employees’ time, usually multiple employees, postage and paper costs. Find more cost cutting measures in 3 Hidden Bottom-Line Boosters.
 

3. Use the screening process to help you say, “You’re Hired” with confidence.

“The screening process is definitely where you need to ask the right questions. Some of the most important ones are situational questions—how did they react in certain situations. I also think that circling back and asking the same question, just in a different way, to see if there is a slightly different variation is useful.”


4. You can improve a unit and get returns without doing a full renovation.

Gables Residentials’ Cris Sullivan, Executive Vice President, explained the Gables “Super-Punch.”

“The way we describe a Super-Punch is if there are some additional things we can do when we turn a unit that would really allow for some additional rent growth above the current market rent growth. The easiest way to explain is a full renovation is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $15,000 a unit or more. Our average Super-Punch unit is probably more around $2,500 a unit. We come in and we identify just a few key things that we can do without going into a full renovation. It could be a new backsplash or changing the knobs on the kitchen cabinets. We’ve gotten big returns on minimal dollars.”

Read more about renovations, and find out which decorative trend has made a huge impact on units from the late ‘80s/early ‘90s.
 

5. In an emergency, candor is essential for successful crisis communications.

Why? Because effective crisis communications is straight and to the point. Don’t try to hide facts or paint a picture differently from reality. Stick to the facts and to your messaging. Read more about staying calm and collected in a crisis.
 

6. Listen closely to automated calls—or you could find yourself in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

It may sound like a robo-call but a deaf prospective or current resident may be trying to reach you! Deaf persons use telecommunications relay services to place and receive telephone calls Several forms of relay services are available for use by a deaf person, and onsite staff should be trained to recognize the different technologies available. Learn more about requests from deaf residents and applicants.
 

7. If you’d like to start using benchmarking as a tool, start by asking yourself who your competitors are.

“Take the time to prepare and identify your comps. How do you know how you are performing if you don’t compare or analyze your performance against a budget or market? You could be leaving money on the table, and nobody wants that.” Read more about benchmarking basics.
 

8. List, then fix, for a smooth make-ready.

According to Paul Rhodes, National Maintenance and Safety Instructor for the National Apartment Association Education Institute, you should use that first trip around the apartment to focus on what needs to be done instead of doing it. Make a complete list of parts and tasks that are needed to get the apartment ready. This will cut down on the amount of trips to the shop for parts. See his other tips for a smooth make-ready.


References: See more at: naahq.org




Company News

Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips

by Michelle N. on 12/15/2014 12:37:46 PM

Christmas Tree Fire Only Takes Seconds

• How long does it take a dry Scotch Pine Christmas Tree to become fully engulfed in flames once ignited? Three seconds!

• How long does it take for the flames from the burning tree to increase to the point where they will reach across a ceiling? Five Seconds!

• How long does it take for the contents in an average living room to be heated to a point of spontaneous ignition from the heat of a burning Christmas tree? Forty Seconds!

All can occur in less than a minute and it should be noted that at fifty seconds the environment in the simulated living room above becomes unsurvivable.

This video done by the NIST shows a VERY DRY Christmas tree on fire in a room. It takes a little over 30 seconds for the room to flashover.


Christmas Tree Safety Tips

Ensure That You Are Purchasing a Fresh Christmas Tree
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

Caring for Your Tree
Never let a fresh cut Christmas tree's water reservoir go dry. The average Christmas tree will absorb over a gallon of water in the first hour after being cut and will absorb a quart or more water per day after that.

Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Ensure that you use a sturdy tree stand and keep it filled with water at all times.

Electrical Lighting
Only use Christmas lights which are in excellent working condition. Inspect light strings for any signs of damage to the plugs, wiring, or bulbs. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer's recommendations regarding the use of lights and remember not to overload the wiring by connect to many strings in a row. Take care that light strings are secured away from the tree's water reservoir.

Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. Dry Christmas tree branches can ignite and burn at a rate similar to that of an explosion. When trees becomes dry, discard them promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.

Artificial Christmas Trees
It is best not to assume that your artificial tree is fire resistant. Ensure that your tree contains documentation regarding it's fire safety and fire resistance. And remember, no artificial Christmas tree is fire proof!
 

References:
http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/focus/holiday.shtm
http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/research/dsn/dry_tree.shtm

Get more information on Christmas tree safety here.

 




Company News

Leonardo247 Wins the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) 2014 Launch Pad Competition

by Michelle N. on 12/5/2014 9:26:06 AM

Congratulations to our property management systems supplier, Leonardo247 on winning the 2014 NMHC Launch Pad competition! We are very proud of your big win!


 

The cloud-based property operations software company, Leonardo247 won the National Multifamily Housing Council’s (NMHC) 2014 Launch Pad competition. The award recognizes the apartment industry’s top technology start-up, with four finalists pitching their products to a team of top industry executives at the NMHC OpTech Conference & Exposition. The winner receives a $5,000 cash prize and a one-year, complimentary membership to NMHC.

“With so many fantastic companies in the competition, we’re thrilled to just be a finalist, let alone winning NMHC Launch Pad,” said Leonardo247 Founder Daniel Cunningham. “Consistent application of best practices in property operations and risk management is typically a struggle across all sizes of portfolios. It’s exciting to see the recognition for our solution in the industry.”

Leonardo247 edged out other finalists Package Concierge, remotely and SlopeJet – selected from a record number of applicants. As a testament to the effect of winning Launch Pad, last year’s winner, InfoTycoon, is now working with five of the top ten apartment firms.

“Whether it’s managing multimillion dollar buildings or multibillion dollar portfolios, technology plays such an important role for the apartment industry across all levels of operations and management,” said Rick Haughey, NMHC Vice President of Industry Technology Initiatives. “NMHC Launch Pad is part of the Council’s efforts to help companies like Leonardo247 bring new technologies and innovations into the marketplace.”

Leonardo247’s proprietary database of real estate best practices and methodologies allows multifamily firms to develop and digitally distribute operations policies and procedures, as well as create customizable task lists for on-site staffers. This ensures that key actions involving risk management, preventative maintenance or basic day-to-day operations aren’t ignored or forgotten. Through Leonardo247’s software, apartment firms can maintain consistent standards in their operations while increasing support and accountability for on-site staff. In addition, property owners and managers gain visibility into progress at the community level.

The 2014 Launch Pad judges were Rick Graf, President and CEO of Pinnacle; Alexandra Jackiw, President of Milhaus Management, LLC; Greg Lozinak, Executive Vice President and COO of Waterton Residential; Greg O'Berry, Chief Operating Officer of JVM Realty Corporation; and Lori Reeves, Vice President, Strategic Business Services of Forest City Residential Management, Inc.

Read about all of the finalists here.

Read the NMHC release

Read the Leonardo247 release

See list of Buyers Access suppliers

 

 

 




Company News

Happy Thanksgiving Members and Suppliers!

by Michelle N. on 11/25/2014 7:35:45 AM

This week, many will reflect on how grateful they are for family, friends, and other blessings this Thanksgiving. We wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone involved in making Buyers Access a success and to all those who work with us to provide Smart Purchasing Solutions to the multifamily industry. Our members, partners, and employees have all played an important role helping us finish the year strong. We are poised for a successful 2015 and looking forward to all that we will accomplish together.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!





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