Buyers Access Solutions
Multifamily Purchasing: Standardization and Compliance Class
by Michelle N. on 7/9/2018 12:49:00 PM
Multifamily Purchasing: Standardization and Compliance Class
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST
Want to better understand how to more effectively spend your allotted budget? This course will teach you how to reduce purchasing and overhead costs so you can stay within your budget!
In this class, you will be able to project savings and learn about:
> Supplier management
> In-house vs group purchasing
> Healthy purchasing
> Spend management and budgeting
> Online ordering and reporting
> Improving purchasing
Click here for flyer
Buyers Access Partners with Pet and Playground Products for the best in Outdoor Amenities
by Michelle N. on 7/3/2018 10:05:00 AM
(DENVER, 7/3/2017) – Buyers Access (BA) announced today a partnership with Pet and Playground Products (PNP), the leading provider for turn-key outdoor amenity solutions in the multifamily industry. BA member companies will now have additional options available for dog parks, playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment, along with pet waste solutions. These amenities can help attract new residents and increase retention rates.
“Adding Pet and Playground Products to our diverse list of supplier partners supplements our service offering with a proven outdoor amenities solution provider” says Jeff Peterson, Vice President of Business Operations, Buyers Access. “Pet and Playground helps property managers and multifamily management firms with their outdoor needs, from inception through installation.”
“We are happy to be working with Buyers Access and to offer our full line of products and services,” says Bob Hansen, National Sales and Marketing Manager of Pet and Playground. “Our turn-key solutions approach helps multifamily properties remain competitive.”
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 www.buyersaccess.com or contact Dan Haefner at 303-991-5577, email@example.com
About Pet and Playground Products
Pet and Playground Products (PNP) is a nationwide provider of outdoor amenities that specializes in the needs of the multifamily community. The company is a full-service provider of outdoor equipment, such as playgrounds, dog park equipment, outdoor fitness equipment, and other amenities providing residents a fun and comfortable place to live. Visit www.petandplayground.com or contact Linzie Atkinson 334-219-4003, firstname.lastname@example.org
7 Takeaways From Apartmentalize
by Michelle N. on 6/20/2018 5:24:00 PM
By Les Shaver
Despite strong operating results during the past decade, apartment managers face no shortage of questions as they peer into the future.
How will they find qualified maintenance workers? How will they incorporate the ongoing big data revolution into their platforms? How will they harness the power of that data and digital technology to market their buildings? And, as these questions linger, the older challenges of customer service persist and are amplified with the proliferation of online review sites.
If the key takeaways from Apartmentlize are any indication, there are no shortage of strategies out there to help savvy operators tackle those challenges.
Here are the key things we learned:
There is movement afoot to find workers for maintenance jobs.
While keynote speaking Mike Rowe is known for his hit show “Dirty Jobs,” he is also CEO of The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, a non-profit charity that rewards people with a passion to get trained for skilled jobs that exist, such as maintenance technicians. While the need for qualified maintenance techs is staggering, Rowe thinks there will be an awakening and people will ultimately realize the importance of taking on these tough jobs. Once they do, they will be rewarded.
“The people I met doing Dirty Jobs were among the happiest people I’ve known,” Rowe says.
Technology Can Make Maintenance More Efficient.
Raymond van Beveren, SVP of Construction and Facilities Services for Pinnacle Property Management Services, has advice for selling maintenance careers.
“You have to emphasize [the technology that they’ll be using] to bring in the young maintenance people,” he says.
These technologies can also help companies become more efficient because regional managers can relocate maintenance technicians to other communities based on the information coming in from their system that shows where they are most needed, van Beveren says.
But before an operator can take full advantage of these maintenance platforms, it needs to train its techs.
“Training must be comprehensive and include the entire [onsite] team,” says Nyla Westlake, Managing Director of Asset Management for Trammell Crow Residential.
Marketing and Pricing Can Work Together.
When companies introduce change, they often have to overcome internal barriers.
If you are thinking about marrying pricing and marketing, the rewards outweigh any potential problems, according to Christie Bennett, Vice President of Operations, Pinnacle Campus Living’s and Daryl Smith, Chief Marketing Officer for Kettler.
As a marketer, Smith has an understanding of the lifestyle preferences of his residents and how he can use that information to help fill apartments. As a pricing specialist, Bennett knows historical pricing patterns and how to use those numbers to make accurate projections.
“If we give that information to marketing, we can make better decisions,” Bennett says.
Thoughtful Amenities and Service Matters.
When you’re putting together a community gym, for example, it is easy to add some elliptical machines, treadmills and a few weights and assume you’re done. But Kelley Shannon, Vice President, Consumer Marketing at The Bozzuto Group, says that is the wrong way to think about amenities.
“You have to target common space around what the customer says they are interested in,” she says.
Whether it is developing amenities, making move-in easier or adding services, companies that listen to their residents will have higher retention rates.
“Everyone has a vote, but the customer’s vote is the one that wins,” says Virginia Love, Vice President of Training and Marketing at Waterton Residential.
There is a revolution coming to customer insight.
Understanding the digital path a prospect followed before deciding to lease at your community will pay tremendous dividends and help apartment marketers make better spending decisions.
“The ability to track the customer path can also show marketers what digital platforms should be rewarded, according to Mia Wentworth, Director of Marketing at Monarch Investment and Management Group.
“Over time, you see what sources are more consistent in the customer journey,” she says. “You do not want to lose those.”
Owners want their say.
Owners entrust their managers with very expensive assets and they want to know who is running them. “You want to know the manager and why they are right for your community,” says Robert Murray, Senior Director of Asset Management for TruAmerica Multifamily.
If Greystar is hiring a new community manager, Senior Managing Director Lisa Taylor will encourage the owner’s asset managers to interview her top candidates or at least look at their resumes. “It is important for them to know who this person is and why we selected them,” she says.
If you need help, the U.S. Armed Services are good places to look.
Service members -- who are used to working in teams -- can become great hires. So can their spouses, who are used to moving multiple times, giving them a high level of varied professional experience.
Moving multiple times means these military spouses have often worked in many different organizations. That boosts their resume.
“They bring skills, ability and talents from other companies with them,” Jonathan Nix, Senior Regional Human Resources Manager with Balfour Beatty Companies, says. “This helps the companies that hire them build their strengths.”
That moving experience can be particularly helpful in site-level roles.
“They are supportive,” he says. “They understand what goes into the move-in and move-out process and are able to help residents with that,” Nix says.
Purchasing Doesn't Have To Be Rocket Science! Find Out Why in San Diego, Tomorrow!
by Michelle N. on 6/12/2018 4:22:00 PM
Don't miss out on the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card at the 2018 NAA in San Diego! Stop by the Buyers Access booth #1838, pose for a #notrocketsciencewithbuyersaccess photo and tag @Buyers Access to enter!
To set up a meeting ahead of the show, please contact a Sales Director below.
Kelly Scott - Vice President of Sales
Carol Hand - National Sales Director
Jenny Hidalgo - National Sales Director
Ken Miller - National Sales Director
Location: South Carolina
How the Amenities Multifamily Properties Offer are Evolving with Technology
by Michelle N. on 6/6/2018 1:37:00 PM
Technology that make new connections to equipment that residents already use may be among the next offerings multifamily residents expect.
By Bendix Anderson
Technology companies are rolling out new products that carry a promise of making a real difference for multifamily residents.
“We are probably on the cusp,” says Rick Haughey, vice president for industry and technology initiatives for the National Multifamily Housing Council.
For years, apartments experts have looked forward to new Internet-enabled smart technologies that would enable residents to control aspects of their residences remotely. But aside from a few smart thermostats, some property managers have struggled to find secure Internet of Things hardware that residents would find useful.
That may be changing as companies roll out technology that make new connections to equipment that residents already use—like a telephone or the intercom panel by their property’s front entrance.
Technology opens the door
For example, new technology can allow residents to let guests or delivery people into their apartment community by adding new connectivity to the existing intercom system.
Not every building has a doorman or a leasing office that can receive packages or allow guests onto the property. These apartment communities face a constant challenge as package deliveries arrive. UPS or FedEx drivers often leave with packages undelivered.
Technologies like Doorport can get the delivery person securely through the front door. The technology places a touchscreen panel by the front door of the apartment property, replacing the old panel of doorbell buttons for the existing intercom system. Using the touchscreen, delivery people or guests can follow the prompts on to identify themselves and what apartment they are visiting. A camera records a short video of the visitor and immediately sends a notification to the smartphone of the apartment resident, who can respond to let the visitor into the property. “Your smartphone becomes your building intercom,” says Ben Taylor, founder of Doorport.
Doorport is currently being beta tested at two buildings in New York City with a total of 100 apartments. The company is currently in negotiations with several large landlords in New York and New Jersey to apply the technology to thousands of midrise apartments and garden apartment communities.
Doorport plans to create more complicated solutions in the future that will open individual apartment door. But for now, Doorport’s strength is in it simplicity. Doorport’s fits neatly into the buildings existing system – and shouldn’t even require any new wiring to work.
Technology gets to work orders
Another technology allows residents to place work orders with a phone call to a voice-recognition technology similar to Amazon’s “Alexa” service. Technology company TRAVTUS, based in New York City, calls its new digital property manager “Adam.”
Residents that use the service can complete many of the basic interactions with property management. For example, residents who need repairs in their apartments can start the process with Adam, which can route the work order to the people who will carry out the repair and even begin the process of procuring supplies.
“We trying to deal with a day-to-day, so that your property manager is only dealing with the genuine escalations,” says Tripty Arya, founder of TRAVTUS. “The property manager can then focus on the 30 or so that really need attention.”
Fitting technology into the lives of residents
These new technology companies hope to succeed by fitting their ideas into the activities that residents perform every day.
Moderately-sized, class-B apartment properties can probably benefit the most from this latest wave of technology innovations. That’s because many of these services effectively fill in for a doorman, and allow management companies to stretch the limited staffing resources farther.
Property managers are also now thinking about how to coordinate services that require access to an apartment property, like dog walkers, dry cleaners and grocery deliveries. Property managers may soon not only open the door for these services, they may also help arrange them. For example, if an apartment community could arrange a dog walking service, that amenity may be provided more efficiently, and the property could potentially make some money from the transactions.
“Everyone is trying to figure out how to monetize and control these features,” says Haughey.
Source: National Real Estate Investor
Renting is Becoming the New End Game for Many Millennials and Baby Boomers
by Michelle N. on 6/1/2018 2:30:00 PM
Baby boomers are flocking to rentals in town centers, such as Reston Town Center, above, near the communities in which they’ve owned homes for years. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
By Robert Pinnegar
Renting traditionally has been viewed as one rung on the housing ladder: First, you rent an apartment, then move on to purchase a starter home, which is followed by the family home, where most people spend the majority of their years. Renting has always been a step in the process and rarely the endgame.
Based on the growing number of renters in major cities throughout the country, including Washington, it’s clear that attitude is changing. Instead of viewing renting as a short-term phase, an increasing number of residents are choosing rental housing specifically because it offers a more-flexible lifestyle than homeownership.
This is especially true for baby boomers and millennials, two of the fastest-growing groups of renters. Whether just starting out in their career or settling into retirement, both generations are seeking a lifestyle that offers mobility, convenience and community.
“There’s no question that apartment living keeps getting better,” said Stephanie L. Williams, president of Bozzuto Management Company. “We’ve just started to see a slight shift in boomers actually deciding to forgo a mortgage for rent in high-end, highly serviced [properties with lots of amenities,] and do believe that we’ll see more. And they’re not necessarily moving from the suburbs directly into downtown locations. More likely, they’re staying fairly close to home in communities they’ve known for decades and are opting for nearby town center locations. Millennials, on the other hand, are enamored by the eclectic, energetic urban environment and thus love living downtown close to art, culture and entertainment.”
Mobility needed: Regardless of age, mobility is one of the top reasons people decide to rent. For millennials just entering the workforce or in the process of building their careers, the ability to relocate is a major factor. Even if they are in a financial position to purchase a home, millennials may choose to rent to have the flexibility to take advantage of new job opportunities as they arise.
Boomers value mobility, as well — with their children grown and out of the house, many have realized they no longer want or need a large suburban home. Instead, they’re opting to rent in urban environments that offer greater flexibility for travel and the option to leverage the equity in their homes. Many baby boomers also are working longer than their parents did. They still want to be close to their job and are not yet ready to retire to a new locale, but they are empty-nesters who want a vibrant, walkable lifestyle.
Transportation and accessibility play an important role. With busier-than-ever lifestyles, more and more people are simply refusing to spend hours commuting every day. Especially in cities such as Washington, where the commute between downtown and the outlying suburbs can take hours during peak travel times, rental housing close to work or with easy access to public transit offers residents the opportunity to achieve a higher quality of life, with less time stuck in traffic.
The convenience of living in the middle of things: Similarly, we’re seeing residents choose renting over homeownership for the sake of convenience. For busy boomers who are ready to give up the yard work and other home-maintenance tasks, renting is an attractive alternative. If something breaks or goes wrong, all they have to do is pick up the phone and call the property manager to take care of it. The same goes for young professionals who may lack the time, experience or willingness to address these issues.
We’re also witnessing apartment owners and operators go beyond basics like regular maintenance by offering amenities such as package storage, fitness centers and pools, along with hotel-like concierge services to enhance the resident experience. As communities compete for residents in the Washington market, we can expect the bar to continue to rise in terms of luxury and creativity, further augmenting the rental lifestyle.
Creating a sense of community: In addition to making residents’ lives easier, modern apartment amenities are designed to encourage socialization and create a sense of community. Whether it’s happy hour on the rooftop deck or cooking class in a common kitchen area — both of which we’ve seen local properties host for residents — these are the types of experiences that today’s renters are looking to incorporate into their lifestyles.
This sense of community is important to boomers, who may be leaving a social network behind as they move away from the suburbs; as well as to millennials who are eager to make new connections personally and professionally, especially if they are new to the District. With shared common spaces and experiences, apartment living creates organic opportunities for residents to make these connections and build on them.
In today’s economy, we can rent almost anything we need, including music, movies, clothes and cars. Having all of these options available to us suggests that people’s view of ownership is shifting. It’s natural that this trend extends to our homes, giving people more choice over where and how they live.
Robert Pinnegar, is president and CEO of the National Apartment Association based in Arlington, Va.
Read more here
It's Not Rocket Science with Buyers Access
by Michelle N. on 5/23/2018 4:40:00 PM
Purchasing doesn’t have to be rocket science. Understand how Buyers Access can uncover purchasing inefficiencies that can reduce property workload and increase NOI!
Don't miss out on the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card at the 2018 NAA in San Diego! Stop by the Buyers Access booth #1838, pose for an #notrocketsciencewithbuyersaccess photo and tag @Buyers Access to enter!
See you there!
Come see us today @ the HAA Education Conference and Expo.- Booth 325
by Michelle N. on 5/17/2018 11:40:00 AM
Come see us at booth 325 today for the 2018 HAA Education Conference and Expo! Enter to win a $50 gift card!
Date and Time
5/17/2018 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
NRG Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054
Come see us today @ the Atlanta Apartment Association Trade Show - Booth 855
by Michelle N. on 5/16/2018 3:35:00 PM
See us today at the Atlanta Apartment Association trade show and learn how we can optimize your purchasing performance!
Come by our booth (#855) and be enter to win some great giveaways!
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
1:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Cobb Galleria Centre
Two Galleria Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30339
Reclamation Of R-22 Weakens In 2017, Resulting In Concern
by Michelle N. on 4/17/2018 3:36:00 PM
Recovery efforts may not be enough to meet future needs
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 9 million pounds of R-22 were reported as being reclaimed in 2016. That is up from 2014 and 2015, during which time a little less than 8 million pounds were reclaimed each year, but still significantly below the more
than 10 million pounds of R-22 that were reclaimed in 2008.
While 2016 showed a bump in the amount of R-22 being reclaimed, 2017 showed distinct signs of
softening. As a result, refrigerant reclamation companies are concerned that recovery and reclamation efforts will not be enough to meet the HVACR industry’s needs once the production of R-22 ends in 2019.
Without a doubt, 2016 was a very good year for reclamation, said Carl Grolle, president, Golden Refrigerant, but 2017 was a different story.
“The first half of the year was very robust, but in the second half, R-22 sales declined dramatically,” he said. “I do not have a prediction for 2018, as it hinges on too many factors that we cannot foresee, including weather, pricing and availability of import gases, and government regulatory changes. On the surface, the reduction of new R-22 should tighten the market. Whether the existing surplus will be enough to meet the demand is anybody’s guess.”
According to Taylor Ferranti, vice president, refrigerant, A-GAS, the R-22 market slowed down in 2017 for a variety of reasons, including a lot of product in the respective channels; a cooler season; price increases driving contractors to use more replacement refrigerants; the absence of “dry” R-22 units; and a good economy, which led to more equipment being replaced rather than repaired.
“Even with these market challenges, we had a strong year of growth in 2017,” he said. “We expect 2018 to be even better, given that we have expanded our mixed gas separation capacity and incoming reclaim gas stream.”
Jay Kestenbaum, senior vice president of sales and purchasing, Aspen Refrigerants Inc., feels that the total amount of recovery and reclamation business over the past few years should have been greater, and the industry, as a whole, should be recovering much more than it has been.
“The market has not yet reached the level of overall recovery, reclamation, and reuse of refrigerants that will be necessary to service existing equipment following the 2019 end of production of R-22, based upon EPA’s estimates of continuing needs after that date,” he said.
The reason for that, according to Kestenbaum, may be linked to past EPA actions, through which production allowance caps were often restricted and then expanded.
“This may have given many a false sense of security in believing that there would be ample supply to cover future years,” he said. “The only true source for the long-term continuing supply of R-22 is recovery and reclamation, which needs to increase drastically.”
There is no question that the overall growth in reclamation of R-22 for the industry has been weak, said Kevin Zugibe, chief executive officer, Hudson Technologies Inc.
“Based upon EPA’s supply and demand estimates for R-22, it is evident that the reclamation market will need to grow significantly to fill the impending void,” he said. Zugibe expects greater growth in 2018, as the impending shortage of R-22 becomes more evident.
“We feel confident that the best refrigerant for existing R-22 systems is reclaimed R-22 and that the reclamation industry can provide the necessary R-22 supply for the future, as it has done for CFC [chlorofluorocarbons] needs for over two decades,” he said.
Zugibe added that he has concerns over some R-22 substitutes, which he believes are not necessarily better than R-22 from a global warming potential (GWP) perspective and can lead to system failures if the change-out is not performed properly.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Kestenbaum also predicts stronger growth in 2018, thanks to the expanded and new regulations, the anticipated future phasedown of HFCs following the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and rising prices due to some industry anti-dumping actions.
“These should result in increased recovery and reclamation of many more products in greater quantities in 2018,” he said. “While the reclamation of R-22 continues to be a primary component of our industry, the reclamation of HFCs presents a longer term opportunity, particularly in light of the anticipated phasedown of HFCs.”
There will, of course, be challenges, said Kestenbaum, including the continued higher rates of mixed refrigerants coming back to reclamation facilities.
“The expanded array of refrigerant products, and the unfortunate continued trade practice by some to top off systems without using the same refrigerant, has resulted in higher mixed return rates, and will likely lead to premature failure of systems,” he continued. “Mixed refrigerant returns require extra cost in reclamation and obviously inflate the cost of future supply.”
Zugibe agreed, noting the use of many drop-in substitute blends has resulted in more crosscontamination every year.
“Although Hudson is a leader in fractional distillation, poor practices in the use of these substitutes result in more energy and cost to reclaim these refrigerants,” he said. “However, we are optimistic that with the ultimate phaseout of R-22 less than two years away, we are now entering a time in which the supply shortage will be obvious to the industry, which should energize the growth in reclamation.”
Grolle is also optimistic about 2018 and said his company is focused on gaining market share this year. Still, he noted that reclaimers have a very limited ability to select which refrigerants they receive in their collection programs, and that makes it difficult to adapt to changing market prices. “We also face fixed costs associated with the reclamation and packaging of refrigerants,” he said.
“When prices drop, it usually ends up as losses to the reclaimer; conversely, when prices rise, it can result in a better bottom line for the company.”
Looking ahead, Grolle expects the reclamation business to become even more technical, requiring sophisticated equipment and procedures to collect and process the newer blended refrigerants.
“The HFOs [hydrofluroolefins], along with R-32, are mildly flammable gases, which will require another round of investment in order to safely process and handle them,” he said.
This continuing evolution of refrigerants — and their accompanying regulations — means there will always be a need for reclaimers.
“Old habits die hard, but venting of refrigerants is illegal,” said Ferranti. “And reuse of refrigerants is only allowed if the product remains with the existing owner. As a result, we are optimistic that contractors and wholesalers want to do the right thing for the environment and will continue to utilize companies, such as ourselves, and increase their reclamation activities.”
Resource: BNP Media