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September 17, 2014
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Asset Management Symposium
9/18/2014 - San Francisco, CA

Asset Analysis Track (ASM603, ASM604, ASM605)
9/19/2014 - Fairfax, VA

Ethics for the Real Estate Manager - ETH800
9/19/2014 - Kirkland, WA

Asset Analysis Track (ASM603, ASM604, ASM605)
9/22/2014 - Golden Valley, MN

Investment Real Estate: Financial Tools - FIN402
9/22/2014 - Los Angeles, CA

IREM Sustainability: How to Bid and Procure Energy and Sustainability Projects
9/23/2014 - Webinar

Managing the Physical Asset - MNT402
9/24/2014 - Los Angeles, CA

Industry Partners

Keeping Your Career On Track

Do You Manage a “NORC”, and Don’t Even Know It?
IREM and the City of Houston Collaborate to
Boost Local Whole-Building Sustainability Efforts

IREM ED: Learn New Skills in the Classroom or Online

6 Tips to Help Your Property Prepare for Hurricane Season
How Quickly Viruses Can Contaminate Buildings and How to Stop Them
Irvine Co. Brings Health Clinic Inside Apartment Complex
Hyatt Sets New Environmental ‘Vision’ for 2020
Eastridge Mall Wants to Add Tattoo Business to Shops
What Comes After the Apartment Boom? Rehabs, Seattle Banker Says
Ergonomic Offices Lead to Happier Occupants
Multifamily Developers Offering Green Living Have an Advantage—Now and When the Market Shifts
Dubuque-Area Companies Exercise Wellness Plans
This Deep Dive Into 10 Years of LEED Unearths Surprises
APD Eyes New Policy To Curb Apartment Complex Crime
Nighttime Lights Reset Birds' Internal Clocks, Threatening Dawn's Chorus


Leadership Spotlight

Keeping Your Career On Track

From the “Keeping your Career on Track: Twenty Success Strategies” guidebook (available from IREM in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership)

By comparing successful managers to those who derail, the Center for Creative Leadership has identified specific factors that lead to success and other factors that force once-successful careers off the track. Managers who are aware of those factors and conduct an honest self-assessment of their leadership skills can go a long way toward keeping a career headed in the right direction.

A successful manager has reached at least the general management level and, in the eyes of senior executives, remains a likely candidate for promotion. The most commonly mentioned characteristics indicating success describe leaders who:
  • establish strong relationships
  • hire, build, and successfully lead teams
  • have outstanding track records of performance
  • adapt and develop during transitions.
A derailed manager is one who, having reached the general manager level, is fired, demoted, or reaches a career plateau. In almost every case, a derailed manager exhibits high potential for advancement, holds an impressive track record of results, and holds a solidly established leadership position—until hitting the derailment trap. Five key characteristics have been observed in derailed executives. Leaders who derail:
  1. have problems with interpersonal relationships
  2. fail to hire, build, and lead a team
  3. fail to meet business objectives
  4. are unable or unwilling to change or adapt
  5. lack a broad functional orientation.
Executives who rise from technical to managerial roles can face challenges in any of these five areas. Fortunately, they can also adopt strategies that take their cue from the descriptions of leaders who enjoy long-term career success. They can avoid the derailment track and work toward long-term success by developing, strengthening, and diversifying their skills among these four leadership qualities:
  1. interpersonal skills
  2. team leadership
  3. achieving business objectives
  4. adaptability and openness to change.
None of these success characteristics or fatal flaws is enough to control the outcome of an entire career. Still, most managers who have potentially derailing flaws but the ability to learn and develop can use leadership training, feedback, and developmental assignments to overcome possible career failure and prepare themselves for more senior leadership roles.

To learn more about keeping your career on track, check out the “Keeping your Career on Track: Twenty Success Strategies” guidebook (available from IREM in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership)

Or better yet, also check out IREM’s new Build Your Business: A Leadership Retreat coming to Chicago this November 5-7. It is a new, unique conference and experience for high-level real estate management executives.

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IREM Headlines

Do You Manage a “NORC”, and Don’t Even Know It?

An excerpt from an article in the September/October edition of JPM (“Aging in Place”), by Brian F. Lozell, CPM.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 42 million Americans, roughly 13 percent of the population, aged 60-plus. They estimate that number to increase to almost 74 million by 2020—an increase of 71 percent. The Center for Disease Control defines aging in place as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.” According to AARP, 90 percent of adults over the age of 65 report they would prefer to stay in their current residence as they age. Approximately 96 percent of Americans over age 65 do live outside of institutional settings (e.g. nursing homes or assisted living facilities).

Based on the statistics that have been presented, you may be managing a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) and not even be aware you are. A NORC can blur the lines between an Assisted Living Facility and a Common Interest Community. AARP estimates that more than a quarter of American seniors currently reside in NORCs. Title IV of the Older Americans Act recognizes NORCs as communities in which at least 40 percent of the heads of households are seniors aged 60 or older.

How did the community become a NORC? There are three ways that this could have happened:
  1. A large number of people moved into a community when they were younger (aged in place)
  2. A large number of seniors move into a community (migration)
  3. Seniors remain in a community as younger residents move out (out-migration)
There are unique challenges we must face as our populations age in place. Of Americans, over 65, 21 percent do not drive and 50 percent do not normally leave home most days.

To find out more about these challenges, and how to handle them, check out the September/October Edition of JPM. You can also find out more by attending the education session “One for the Ages: The Generational Impact on Commercial Real Estate” at IREM’s Executive Edge event in Orlando, Florida, October 16-18, 2014.
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IREM and the City of Houston Collaborate to
Boost Local Whole-Building Sustainability Efforts

IREM and the City of Houston have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining a collaborative relationship to encourage local building owners and managers and individual property tenants to combine efforts in order to step up whole-building sustainability activities. Participating properties and tenant spaces will engage in a sustainability “challenge” comprised of two parts: the Houston Green Office Challenge and the IREM Sustainable Property Challenge. The goal: To improve the resource conservation, performance, and indoor environments of commercial real estate throughout the city.

IREM’s major role will be to promote and administer the IREM Sustainability Property Challenge, launched last year as part of the IREM Sustainability program, which also includes a sustainability platform and the IREM Certified Sustainable Property Certification. The challenge is a friendly, cost-free competition for individual properties. The challenge and other aspects of IREM’s program are driven by the Green Per Square Foot online platform.

Looking both to commercial property managers and office tenants to demonstrate leadership in environmental performance, the City of Houston will focus on promoting and administering the Houston Green Office Challenge, a competition first launched in 2011, that acknowledges property tenants for their achievements in greening their operations through Mayoral and media recognition. The Houston Green Office Challenge also is driven by the Green Per Square Foot online platform.

Locally, the combined challenges will be known as the Houston Green Office Challenge+IREM Sustainable Property Challenge and will call for completion of activities drawn from seven main categories: education and outreach; energy; water conservation; materials and waste; interiors, exteriors and purchasing; transportation, and stakeholder engagement. Completing activities earns points, and points move participants up a leader board, with top performers rewarded with prizes and public recognition.

IREM and the City of Houston will work together to engage participants, facilitate educational events, and provide information on how property managers and tenants can work together to improve whole-building sustainability.

IREM SUSTAINABILITY: is a dedicated website that contains detailed information on all components of the sustainability program, including applying for certification. Challenge participants from any location, including Houston, may enroll properties or spaces through this website.

HOUSTON GREEN OFFICE CHALLENGE: is a dedicated website through which Houston tenants and spaces may enroll in the Houston Green Office Challenge+IREM Sustainable Property Challenge.
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IREM ED: Learn New Skills in the Classroom or Online

IREM education provides tools to give you marketable new abilities – immediately – no matter your career level or your role within the real estate management industry.

Practical skills that employers and clients demand – available in the convenience of an online course or in a robust, dynamic classroom setting. Set your own pace and schedule while learning from the convenience of your home or office, or share ideas with others and gain new network contacts in the classroom.
  • Learn leading-edge marketing and leasing strategies for competitive advantage and generating higher returns for your client
  • Excel at maintenance processes that deliver optimum and sustainable performance
  • Gain financial acumen to create, maximize and sustain value
  • Hone leadership skills to get the most out of your career and your team
IREM ED is the knowledge advantage and the competitive advantage you need in an ever-evolving field.

Good management matters. Our students directly impact the places where we all live, work and shop, so IREM courses not only boost your career but also make our environment better.

Check out IREM’s Education Courses
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Industry Headlines

6 Tips to Help Your Property Prepare for Hurricane Season
Property Management Insider (09/10/14) Wolff, Ed

Meteorologists and climatologists are reporting that the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season is shaping up to once again be below-normal, which is welcome news for apartment owners and operators along U.S. coast lines. Activity has been mild so far, with only a handful of storms that have not made much of an impact inland or along shores. Still, with September being National Preparedness Month, this is the ideal time for apartment communities potentially in the paths of hurricanes to prepare for the 2014 season or for any other potential natural disaster. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready campaign offers several suggested hurricane preparedness tips. One, be sure to create an emergency preparedness kit for the front office with such essential supplies as a flashlight, blanket, fire extinguisher, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, whistle, first-aid kit, and basic tools like a hammer and screwdriver. One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days of drinking and sanitation is also smart. Two, be aware of the surroundings. In this regard, management and operations staffers should learn the elevation level of the property and whether it is prone to flooding. The area's levees and dams should also be identified, as should hurricane evacuation routes.

Three, establish a communications plan that includes social media options, cell phones, walkie-talkies, and two-way radios. Tip four is to secure the property in order to minimize damage. Allow plenty of time for this step, in fact. Five, prepare the exterior of the property, making sure that trees and shrubs are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant. In addition, clear all loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts and bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, and anything else that is not tied down. Finally, take steps to get your residents ready. Again, social media and apartment community web pages are a great way to bring hurricane awareness to residents, along with printed newsletters and flyers.
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How Quickly Viruses Can Contaminate Buildings and How to Stop Them
Infection Control Today (09/09/14)

Using tracer viruses, researchers have determined that contamination of just a single doorknob or tabletop results in the spread of viruses throughout office buildings and other facilities. According to research presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), the virus could be detected on 40 percent to 60 percent of workers and visitors in the facilities and commonly touched objects within two to four hours. There is a simple solution, states Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona, Tucson, who presented the study. He stated, "Using disinfecting wipes containing quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATS) registered by the EPA as effective against viruses like norovirus and flu, along with hand hygiene, reduced virus spread by 80 percent to 99 percent." Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis nationwide, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On an annual basis, it causes between 19 million and 21 million illnesses, contributes to 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations, and 570 to 800 deaths. Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus, then putting your fingers in your mouth is a common source of infection.

For their results, Gerba and his colleagues used bacteriophage MS-2 as a surrogate for the human norovirus due to the fact that it is similar in shape, size, and resistance to disinfectants. The phage was placed on one to two commonly touched surfaces (door knobs or table tops) at the beginning of the day in office buildings, conference rooms, and one health-care facility. After various periods of time -- two to eight hours -- the research team sampled 60 to 100 fomites, surfaces capable of carrying infectious organisms (such as light switches, push buttons, coffee pots handles, sink tap handles, phones, and computer equipment) for the phages. "Within two to four hours between 40 percent to 60 percent of the fomites sampled were contaminated with virus," confirmed Gerba.
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Cold and Flu Season Checklist

The cold and flu season is upon us. Check out IREM’s ”Winning the Fight: Cold & Flu Season” checklist and resource page.

Irvine Co. Brings Health Clinic Inside Apartment Complex
Insurance News Net (09/12/14) Wolfson, Bernard J.

In the latest move toward providing medical care outside of traditional settings, approximately 5,000 apartment residents in the Village and Park apartment communities at the Irvine Spectrum Center in California will soon be able to walk out their doors to a clinic located within the community. The Irvine Co., owner of the two apartment communities, is partnering with St. Joseph Hoag Health -- one of Orange County's biggest health care systems -- to run the so-called "wellness corner." The facility is located on the main street of the Village. It will not only offer basic medical services, but also a broad array of health and fitness programs. They will include stress reduction, sleep improvement, nutritional counseling, and even triathlon training. The center will be open to all residents of the two apartment communities in addition to employees of the retail businesses located inside of them. It will be run by employees of St. Joseph Hoag Health.

The two companies are teaming to open a similar service later this year for the employees of businesses located at the Jamboree Center, an office building also owned by the Irvine Co. Longer term, the idea could spread to more Irvine Co. apartment and commercial properties. "We are having discussions about how these opportunities look throughout our portfolio," reports Marisa Hanke, chief marketing officer for the Irvine Co.'s apartment group. The venture makes good business sense for both sides. St. Joseph Hoag gains a pool of potential future patients for its doctors and hospitals, while The Irvine Co. gets an attractive new feature that could help draw in future residents.
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Hyatt Sets New Environmental ‘Vision’ for 2020
Triple Pundit (09/08/14) Cheeseman, Gina-Marie

Hyatt Hotels recently announced a new set of environmental goals in its "Hyatt 2020 Vision" corporate social responsibility report. In 2015, Hyatt will require all new construction and renovation projects of its hotels to achieve LEED or equivalent certification. Water, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions in each of Hyatt's three regions must be reduced by 25 percent per square meter. In water-stressed regions, water use must be reduced by 30 percent. Managed hotels also must divert at least 40 percent of their waste from landfills. In addition, the hotel chain has partnered with World Wildlife Fund to develop responsible seafood sourcing goals and plans to source more than 50 percent of its seafood purchases from responsible sources. Hyatt also is upgrading lighting, HVAC systems, kitchen, and laundry equipment to reduce energy use. Water conservation efforts include using less water, recycling water, and encouraging colleagues and partners to develop innovative water efficiency solutions. Hyatt has increased it reuse and recycling programs, donating food, toiletries, furniture, and electronics to local shelters and charities. Fourteen Hyatt properties currently are LEED-certified, including it headquarters.
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Eastridge Mall Wants to Add Tattoo Business to Shops
Gaston Gazette (NC) (09/14/14) Barrett, Michael

Tattoo enthusiasts have typically not found their fix in the nation's shopping malls. Tattoo parlors aren't even permitted at Eastridge Mall in Gaston County, N.C., under current zoning laws. But the country's changing buying habits and the shopping center's need to compete and remain viable are prompting a rethinking of that longtime exclusion. Officials at Eastridge Mall have petitioned Gastonia city officials to loosen their restrictions on where tattoo parlors can set up shop. Their request came after a potential tenant asked about expanding in the center, but realized the business would not be welcome at the two-story retail complex. The party in question currently operates a tattoo business in Valley Hills Mall in nearby Hickory and is looking to expand. Eastridge Mall currently has a C-3 commercial zoning designation. Tattoo parlors are only permitted in Gastonia within more restricted retail and industrial areas. Eastridge Mall leasing manager Stephen Stout observes, "I think your classic mall from 30 years ago has changed. Instead of being a pure retail center, you have a much different tenant mixture, with retail, service-based businesses, and even offices. We're having to be more open-minded and diversified, as every mall is."
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What Comes After the Apartment Boom? Rehabs, Seattle Banker Says
Puget Sound Business Journal (09/09/14) Stiles, Marc

As apartment construction peaks in the Seattle metro area and elsewhere, Randy Daniels, executive vice president and Commercial Real Estate Lending director for HomeStreet Bank, expects rehabbing of old buildings will be the next big trend. He calls acquiring and upgrading older apartment communities in close-to-downtown locations "the next logical step," adding that "not every building is a tear-down for a fancy new place, and additionally land is rare and costs are high for purchasing and starting ground-up. So, this is a great option to many buyers in our area." One such recent deal was Seattle-based Security Properties paying $74 million for a World's Fair-era tower on First Hill in Seattle. The company expects to spend as much as $15 million upgrading the site and its apartments. Rehabbing old buildings isn't just a good thing for developers. According to Daniels, the concept aligns with the Puget Sound region's penchant for green, environmentally friendly construction because it uses far fewer resources than building new rental units from the ground up. Daniels and his colleagues are seeing more investors on the West Coast purchase and rehab apartments. Some, like HomeStreet, are providing bridge loans -- a type of short-term loan taken out pending the arrange of longer-term financing -- for rehabs.
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Ergonomic Offices Lead to Happier Occupants
Buildings (09/11/14)

Office employees are spending more and more time at their desks, which means the risk of discomfort and loss of productivity is on the rise in many American workplaces. Research has shown that while ergonomic designs can help improve occupant productivity and reduce work-related pain, most programs are put into place only after complaints have been lodged. A new report shows that proactive ergonomic design not only increases occupant productivity, it also improves everything from job satisfaction to and talent recruitment. The research paper "Proactive Office Ergonomics Really Works" studied more than 200 employees at a company that was relocating from a facility without ergonomic design to a new one boasting such features as ergonomic workstations and one-on-one consultations. After the move, the study's authors found that occupants reported substantially higher levels of job satisfaction. Participants also speculated that the new ergonomics program could help improve staff retention. Alan Hedge, professor at Cornell University and co-author of the study, states, "[Ergonomics] is a highly cost-effective way to improve performance, health and well-being, and happiness. We can expect even better results for companies that fully commit to the ergonomic redesign of their workplaces and the establishment of a proactive ergonomics system." When all else fails, a simple and cost-effective way to improve occupant happiness and productivity is adding office plants.
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Multifamily Developers Offering Green Living Have an Advantage—Now and When the Market Shifts
RealEstateJournal (09/11/14) Rafter, Dan

High efficiency windows are quickly becoming a must-have in modern apartment buildings, according to Andersen Window's Jay Sandgren. Developers that do not include high-efficiency windows in their apartment buildings risk falling behind the competition, he warns. Many developers are building apartments with condo-level amenities in an anticipation of an eventual market shift from renting to owning. Buildings with amenities such as energy-efficient windows are more likely to be converted to condominiums in a successful manner, Sandgren says. In the meantime, green building standards are seeing more multifamily housing developers using higher-quality windows such as Anderson 100 Series Windows made with reclaimed sawdust and recycled glass. Due to this increased demand, Andersen plans to spend $18 million to expand its Bayport, Minn., production facilities. Currently, 54 percent of multifamily development firms expect to build at least 15 percent of their new projects to green standards in the years to come, according to a recent National Association of Home Builders survey.
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Dubuque-Area Companies Exercise Wellness Plans
Associated Press (09/14/14) Montgomery, Jeff

More companies in Dubuque, Iowa, and elsewhere are adopting new strategies to cut medical costs and improve employee health. One example is Medline Industries, which relocated to its current headquarters site in Dubuque partially because of the nearby recreational paths that staffers can walk during workday breaks. Senior director Renee Poppe recalls, "I wanted to have a beautiful building, but I also wanted to give our employees an opportunity to get out, get fresh air and exercise during the day." Poppe went one step further to include an indoor walking path in Medline's building plans. The track is now a defining feature of Medline's facility, enabling employees to step away from their desks and break a sweat even during the cold months. Meanwhile, Mercy Medical Center Dubuque has a program in place to help area employers get new wellness programs off the ground. Barb Barton, the hospital's wellness coordinator, concludes, "Something that can be a big challenge [for companies] is creating a new line item in the budget, but we are encouraging them to get these programs started and sometimes they can do this on a very limited budget."
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This Deep Dive Into 10 Years of LEED Unearths Surprises (09/10/14) Burt, Lane Wesley

An in-depth study of 10 years of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) design and development reveals the evolution of the best practices in architecture, engineering, and construction, as well as industry idiosyncrasies. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Ember Strategies' research delves into LEED's New Construction rating system for building design and construction, specifically looking at certain energy efficiency-related credits. The study reveals that as the number of LEED-certified buildings grew, relative efficiency achievement by certification level remained remarkably consistent at nearly 30 percent better than buildings built to base building codes. It also showed that design efficiency over the life of the rating system at all certification levels has remained very consistent over the years. It is difficult to ascertain the extent to which LEED buildings have become more efficient over time when compared to buildings built to code, as those codes are also continually updated. Despite this difficulty, each version of LEED consistently beat code by at least 20 percent over the past decade. Researchers conclude that adding measurement and verification credits to LEED criteria will help LEED buildings realize their design potential, as will enhanced commissioning. LEED credit achievement data helps motivate building professionals design and build more efficient structures. USGBC officials are sharing this information through the Green Building Information Gateway.
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APD Eyes New Policy To Curb Apartment Complex Crime
WABE (09/11/14) Eloy, Michell

The Atlanta Police Department is now looking at a new policy to help address crime in affordable apartment communities. Dubbed the Crime-Free Multi-Housing Program, this national program dates back to 1992 and is already in place in 48 different states. The general idea behind the initiative is to curb illegal activity in apartment communities by helping owners and managers better screen potential residents and engage with current ones. Lt. John Quigley, a commander in the APD's community-oriented policing unit, said he and his officers went to a training seminar this past summer in Kansas City and are now working with various area apartment managers to get the program off the ground in Atlanta.

The program, which is voluntary, includes three phases. First, police officers train apartment owners on how to screen potential residents while still following the laws set forth in the U.S. Fair Housing Act. Local police than certify the apartment community, ensuring that it meets safety standards. Once that is complete, the community holds a resident crime prevention meeting, then must hold at least one every year after in order to be recertified. A yearly re-inspection is also required. In return, the apartment community gets recognized by the APD as part of the Crime-Free Multi-Housing program and issued signs to display on site. Owners and managers can also use the certification in advertisements. Quigley notes, "In the long term, it helps the apartment complexes not to turn over people and have a more stable community because then they’re not spending as much money getting apartments ready." Several other counties in the metro area have already adopted the policy, most notably DeKalb and Gwinnett.
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Nighttime Lights Reset Birds' Internal Clocks, Threatening Dawn's Chorus
National Geographic News (09/05/14) Kay, Jane

Streetlights and the lights from shopping centers, office buildings, stadiums, and housing communities are contributing to a "loss of night" that is shifting the internal clocks of birds around the globe. Scientists are now conducting research to understand how artificial lights are affecting birds' songs, mating, and reproduction. These researchers are gathering mounting evidence that city and building lights are not only altering the basic physiology of urban birds, but are suppressing their estrogen and testosterone and changing their singing, mating, and feeding habits. One experiment showed that male blackbirds failed to develop reproductive organs when they were exposed to lights at night for two years. Vincent Cassone, whose University of Kentucky laboratory studies the hormones and nervous systems of birds and mammals, remarks, "Birds are particularly sensitive to light and different chemical interventions. If you see these deleterious effects in the birds, you're likely to see them in humans in short order. The smart thing to do is to pay attention to avian life." Millions of birds are dying from collisions with brightly lit communication towers. More and more migratory flocks, meanwhile, are getting confused by signals gone awry. To be sure, some birds appear to benefit from night light. Studies have shown that male blue tits exposed to streetlights on the edge of a forest awaken earlier and are twice as successful in attracting females than are birds in the inner forest. Additionally, shorebirds can increase their foraging time under urban illumination.
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