Connecting with the power of data
Data is everywhere. Everything we do with any consistency can be broken down into specific data points, then trended and analyzed. We see it every day. From our phones telling us how long it takes to get to work without our asking, to suggested Amazon purchases in our Facebook feeds, to cold calls and […]
What qualifies as noteworthy?
Affordability and benchmarking in affordable housing
As a recent addition to the affordable housing realm, I’ve had to adjust my approach to the areas of opportunity an ancillary revenue and utility management person would generally operate in. Utility management specifically has taken on a new focus. I’m used to categorizing properties by building type, […]
What is benchmarking anyway?
The term “benchmark” was originally used to describe a point related to elevation. We now use it to describe the measurement and comparison of all sorts of data.
In the apartment business, utility benchmarking is a hot topic. But, what does it mean? Is it a code word for something else? Is it just a […]
The color of portfolio performance
As U.S. apartment REITs play sweetheart to the investment world, sustainability has officially joined the party with its own benchmarking for apartment portfolios. The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB, now a sister organization with the entity that certifies LEED buildings1) is now used by institutional investors to assess sustainability policies of real estate portfolios. […]
What’s all the flap about?
We have a leak. A big one.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that America loses a trillion gallons of water every year to leaks. Malfunctioning sprinkler heads, drippy faucets and especially faulty toilets are just some of the culprits. It’s what some refer to as deferred maintenance and neither lenders nor potential property buyers look […]
Compare and contrast: adding context to utility consumption
I am a sleuth, spending much of my time uncovering water and energy pigs at my properties. As such, the best advice I can give to apartment managers is this: a simple year-over-year review of utility expense is not enough. Compare properties against one another to truly understand performance.
Mine is a tale of three […]
LED and induction lights are the longest lasting and best light for the dollar. It stands to reason that they are the two most common retrofit choices for multifamily applications where it’s inconvenient to change bulbs. So now which?
Getting their start from Nikola Tesla in the 1890s, induction lamps are basically fluorescent lights without […]
Just do something… the next step
In the previous issue, I suggested targeting communities in your portfolio that use the most electricity, natural gas, and water, on a per-unit basis.
Following this strategy, you might now be looking at a short list of target properties, and wondering what to do with them. The answers may not be as easy as you would think. Sometimes, findings are quick […]
Just do something…to start
I’ve been to a few multifamily events this year dealing with utility management and conservation. It is great to see our industry embrace the efforts to be more environmentally friendly.
With regard to conservation, the theme of “just do something” seemed to resonate from the sessions I attended. As I thought about that concept, […]