19 Feb

If a Bus, a Hamburger and a Plane Can, Why Can’t We?

Surf and Ride

Peoria Charter Service Bushttp://managerlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Surf-and-Ride-300x225.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px" />

Peoria Charter Service Bus

I am at a roadside rest area and I do a double take. Did I just read what I think I read on the side of that huge Greyhound Bus? What does that giant skin on that bus say? Now I see the bus driver coming towards me, and as my reporter instinct tells me, grab him and find out!! I did just that.  He was so proud to tell me that, yes, his riders can surf the web while they drive down the highway!! Wow, now that is really innovation. The Peoria Charter Bus company travels between a university town, Champaign, Illinois to Chicago, several times per day. The owner of the bus company said, why not give the passengers wifi. And so they did.

McDonalds Free Wifi

McDonalds has Wifi

McDonalds has Wifi

My husband and I frequent McDonalds and it is not for the hamburgers! We go to McDonalds for the coffee, yogurt parfaits and wifi. We have been doing this for years. The wifi was never free, until now! Yes, at every McDonalds you can go in with your laptop and get awesome high speed internet access.

Virgin America plans Wi-Fi launch party in the sky

Virgin Airlines has wifihttp://managerlabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/virgin_270x269-150x150.jpg 150w" sizes="(max-width: 270px) 100vw, 270px" />

Virgin Airlines has wifi

Just a few months ago I saw a headline about Virgin America Airlines.Virgin America Airlines (yes flying) is now offering wifi on its planes and flights. I did not know they had wifi at all. So when you are flying to a destination you can use your laptop. How convenient is that!

My point is that we as PM / FM professionals have to see that internet access is no longer optional. If you cannot bring wifi areas to your property, what is the speed bump? Now, I am not saying this has to be the fully functional network for the occupants to conduct business, not yet at least, but at least have some lounges or lobbies with some wifi.  Make it super easy, at their own risk and see what kind of deal you can find from your local ISP.  Maybe exchange it for a plug or advertising signage, so it is FREE for the lounge or lunch area, or vending area. I say, if there is a will there is a way.  A router costs nothing, so try to get FREE service if you can. Ask the vending machine operator to sponsor it, or anybody with a vested interest in your occupants.  But for heaven’s sake, do not ignore it. Wifi is here and it is not a fad, it is a basic utility. It is our job to make it happen!

07 Feb

IREM has a new Income/Expense Submission Website!

I received an exciting email from IREM in February 2010.

Why does this get me excited? Because there has been very little effort put forth in our industry to make things easy or to put anything online. It is my hope that this is a trend and we do not look back. I just spoke to a legal professional who happens to live in a large multi-family apartment community, managed by one of the larger multi-family management companies. This person told me that the apartment community has gone back to paper checks. Reason: cannot afford to pay the fees associated with online or electronic rent collection!! When I heard this I was so very disappointed that our industry continues to shoot itself in the foot.

With this email from IREM, I have a glimmer of renewed hope that our industry can and will forge ahead, despite our incompetence and inability to engineer a solution. If you are an IREM member this is great news. If you are not an IREM member, maybe you should be. The following is the email sent to me which outlines the new tools available as they relate to the painful submission of your Income/Expense data from your managed properties.

Click here to learn more: Did you know they have updated the Income/Expense process?

Email from IREM:
Don’t throw away $420 – Submit Your Data by April 1, 2010 and get:
FREE Income/Expense Analysis book (a $420 value)
FREE Individual Building Report, (now downloadable)
All new Submission Web site – Data submission is simple!
Forget everything you know about data submission. The new Income/Expense Analysis Web site is streamlined and easier than ever to use. Check out the new features, below:

– New Additions to the Site!
We’ve added new items to make your data more viable: a new green survey, concessions line items for apartments, and tenant Improvements for shopping centers, just to name a few things!

Are you a new user?
1. Step-by-Step Guidance
Are you a new user? You’ll be guided through each step of the submittal process by pop-up help boxes so you never have to guess what to do next.

2. Terms and Definitions as You Go
Don’t waste time searching the site to find out what to put in a specific field. Definitions of terms are viewable.

Have you submitted before?
1. Year-to-Year Data Comparisons
Submitted before? Automatically verify your data with your previous year’s data. The system will flag data inconsistencies.

2. Find Your Property More Quickly and Easily
Use the new search, sort, and filter capabilities to assist in finding your property.

Hurry – submission deadline is April 1, 2010! Click here: http://iedev.irem.org/contributor/