An Ounce of Prevention

By | October 1, 2014

Today’s post is authored by BOMA Vice President Lisa M. Prats, CAE. chart-discussion-Large-resized-600

Benjamin Franklin is famous for saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  That sentiment certainly rings true today when it comes to commercial buildings and the importance of preventive maintenance.  According to BOMA International’s Experience Exchange Report, an annual benchmarking report of office building income and expenses, overall repair and maintenance expenses increased a whopping 5.9 percent last year, with HVAC leading the way with a 6.5 percent increase.  Isn’t it time you took a serious look at your O&M expenses and dusted off your preventive maintenance plan to make sure you are maximizing efficiencies, time and money?  Why, you ask?  Because a properly implemented maintenance program increases property values, tenant satisfaction and building safety and security.  How, you ask?  First let’s look at the cost of a preventive maintenance program.  The following is an actual case study from BOMA International’s Preventive Maintenance Guidebook: Best Practices to Maintain Efficient and Sustainable Buildings.

A property manager compared the relative cost of performing or not performing preventive maintenance at properties with different types of HVAC systems—central plants, individual units/VAV systems and properties where only non-leasable areas are maintained.  In all but the last example, the relative cost per square foot of performing preventive maintenance was significantly less than not performing maintenance.  But, even in the case where it was more expense to perform maintenance on only the non-leasable areas, the savings in other areas such as energy and capital replacements offset the additional expense.

Still not convinced?  What about this fact—well-maintained properties are more marketable, command higher prices and achieve higher tenant satisfaction and retention rates.  Just think of buying an existing office building the way you buy a used car.  If the car is clean, well-maintained and has a well-documented repair and service record, then the ownership risk is lowered, the investment is more secure, lending and insurance costs are lower and the market price is higher.  According to BOMA International’s What Office Tenants Want office tenant survey results, maintenance/engineering is one of the top five factors in overall tenant satisfaction.  And, we all know that tenant satisfaction drives tenant retention!

Finally, a well-executed preventive maintenance program impacts building safety, security and sustainability.  It reduces the risk of fire; electrical explosions; leaks of water, refrigerant and sewage; injury and other losses.  It also minimizes any negative impact on the environment through optimal performance of the building’s systems.

Benjamin Franklin is also famous for saying, “A little neglect may breed great mischief…for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost.”  I wonder if old Ben was a building engineer in a previous life.

Last Chance To Save On IUC!

By | September 30, 2014

Have you reserved your spot for the MRI Software 2014 International Users Conference? Our final early-bird special ends tonight at midnight CST! This year’s eXperience will be packed with new product enhancements, educational sessions, and some fun on Bourbon Street. Here are just a few things you can look forward to as a conference attendee:


  • Sunday night Networking Reception:  This reception is always a great start to the conference. You will be able to network with MRI, our sponsors, and your peers.
  • Monday night MRI Extravaganza: Great food, great drinks, a traditional New Orleans style band, a photobooth, and many new surprises for attendees!
  • Solutions Room: Visit for all things MRI! Our sponsors will be in the solutions room ready to speak with you. Additionally, the Marketing table will have plenty of MRI “swag” and the chance to win an iPad.
  • New Orleans: This city is the birthplace of jazz and home to Bourbon Street. New Orleans offers amazing food and entertainment and will be the perfect place to have some fun after an educational day.

Make sure you signup in time to receive our last early-bird special and check out some quick travel tips. We can’t wait to eXperience New Orleans with you!

“I’m So Glad I Live In A World Where There Are Octobers.”

By | September 26, 2014

Okay, all literary quotes aside – fall is officially here, which means property managers everywhere should be readying for colder weather! Are you prepared for the snow and freezing temperatures that will be here all too soon? There are several things to address while you enjoy your Pumpkin Spice Latte this season: shutterstock_217623901

Gutters and Downspouts – Clean gutters and downspouts frequently throughout fall to prevent buildup of leaves and other debris. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations, not to mention ruined gutters. Additionally, make sure that water is draining properly and doesn’t pool; this can cause damage to foundations, driveways, and walkways.

Windows and Doors - Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames – these are much easier to fix in mild fall weather versus a blizzard! Moreover, make sure to install weather stripping or caulking around any common area windows and doors to prevent drafts and to lower heating bills.

 Heating Systems - Replace old filters in your furnaces – this will cut down on your heating bill significantly. Also, thoroughly clean your ducts to improve your heating system’s efficiency and to reduce household dust.

Plumbing – To prevent pipes freezing and bursting when the temperature drops, ensure that the pipes are well insulated. Also it doesn’t hurt to ensure your staff  knows how to turn off the water on the off-chance your pipes do freeze!

Landscape and Yardwork - Although it may seem that grass stops growing in the fall, the roots are plunging deeper into the soil to to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn. Another thing to note –  take some time to trim any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house. Heavy snow and ice can be detrimental to heavy branches.

This may seem like a lot of tasks, but having a well maintained property is essential to attracting and maintaining clients. Fortunately, there are several property management software solutions that can help you maintain your rental spaces, such as MRI Workspeed Property Operations. Workspeed includes Preventive Maintenance, a powerful tool that leverages commercial real estate best practices and standards to ensure effective maintenance programs that extend asset lifespans. So what are you waiting for? Learn more today!

The Benefits of Using Internet Listing Services

By | September 23, 2014

Do you use any Internet Listing Services?

In the last year there, have been several enhancements to the VaultWare Apartment Marketing and Reservations Solution, including a noteworthy expansion of the VaultWare Apartment Content Syndication Network. This network is a collection of best-of-breed companies and the most frequented Internet Listing Services (ILSs) within the industry. By giving clients the ability to enhance their advertisements on more than 20 high-quality online advertising sources, VaultWare empowers clients to streamline their marketing process while increasing their exposure to apartment hunters. z--graphics-stock photos-technology-shutterstock_94228783-resized-600

Advertising apartments online is often a large undertaking for property managers, and many are turning to a property management software that can manage and expand their presence online. Some of the benefits for using VaultWare include:

  1. Consistency –  Users’ ads are all the same and have the correct information.
  2. Saving Time - Updates are automatically, eliminating the manual process of updating each website one login at a time.
  3. Credibility – Having a listing on these trusted sites lets visitors know your a reputable property management company.

By establishing partnerships with industry-leading ILSs, VaultWare maintains a constant flow of up to date information that is shown to prospective residents. Moreover, with  ten new ILS partners (ABODO, AIM Listing Service, Apartment List, Lovely, RadPad, Rental Beast, Rentals Gone Wild, RentHop, Rent Jungle, and RentLinx), there is no need to fall behind your competitors!

How do you market your properties? Share your comments below!

Are You Utilizing Your Resources?

By | September 19, 2014

MRI software is constantly working on improving our products and growing to meet your business needs.  With new enhancements and products always coming out, how do you keep up?  One of the best ways to stay in the loop with what is going on at MRI, is by checking out our Webinar schedule.  Attending these complementary webinars will give you the chance to learn about new products, or to learn about enhanced functionality within products you are already using! shutterstock_70562827-resized-600

Most webinars last about one hour long, and contain a product overview, product demonstration, and a question and answer session.  Some of our upcoming webinars include:

Bostonpost Affordable Housing: TRACS 202D Update & Product Overview

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – 2:00PM EDT

Both existing and potential clients are invited to experience the compliance management power of Bostonpost Affordable Housing. This webinar will first provide an in depth review of the recent TRACS 202D updates as well as a brief overview of the Bostonpost system itself.

Workspeed Tips & Tricks

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 – 3:00PM EDT

This webinar is intended for current Workspeed users and it is designed to demonstrate tips and tricks that will help maximize the potential of your Workspeed system. We will highlight new enhancements, opportunities for efficiency gains, and other helpful hints to ensure you are leveraging the system to its fullest potential.

MRI Commercial Management

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 – 2:00PM EDT

The objective of the session is to provide users with an overview of the MRI Commercial Management suite while demonstrating some of the many benefits the MRI system can bring to their organization

Staying up to date with what is happening here at MRI can give you the stepping stones you need to make sure you are making the most out of your property management software!  Have you attended an MRI webinar?

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