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Company News

Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers with Plastic Handles Due to Failure to Discharge and Nozzle Detachment: One Death Reported

by Michelle N. on 11/10/2017 4:48:00 PM


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Company News

Property Management Tips for Halloween

by Michelle N. on 10/26/2017 1:18:00 PM

While it's a fun day and night, the holiday presents some hazards for property managers.
By MFE Staff

On the cusp Halloween, we caught up with Christina Burch, content marketing specialist at AppFolio, to hear some of her top tips that property managers should keep in mind as they prepare for Tuesday’s festivities to ensure trick-or-treaters’ and tenants’ safety. 

What are some the top property hazards that can occur during Halloween?
Christina Burch: While it’s meant to be a fun holiday, Halloween night is actually full of potential accidents waiting to happen – and property managers need to be aware of them and make their tenants aware of them in order to prevent those hazards. These hazards include everything from fires to people tripping and falling in the dark. They might sound extreme, but both can happen so easily, especially as festivities and all of the environmental stimulation on Halloween night sometimes makes it harder for people to notice their surroundings. Halloween also leaves a little more room for security lapses as people are often leaving front doors unlocked for trick-or-treaters.

How should property managers prepare tenants for Halloween?
CB: A day or so before Halloween, they should send out a bulk email to all tenants with a few tips to help keep everything in check. To prevent break-ins, request that tenants double-check their door locks to make sure they are still working properly. If units have a no candle policy, take the opportunity to remind tenants of that. If you allow candles, perhaps it’s a good idea to suggest to tenants that they use flameless candles to cut down on fire risks – if you provide them for tenants, that’s even better. Another potential fire hazard are radiators. Send a reminder out to tenants with radiators to keep the surrounding areas clear of flammable decorative materials. If the unit is a larger building, be sure to provide tenants with specific trick-or-treating hours to avoid noise disruption in later hours.

What are some top prep tips for property managers to take into account?
CB: Property managers have a responsibility to check all smoke detectors and replace batteries, if needed, to make sure that they are working. You can’t be too safe when it comes to fire. Also be sure to look out for any potential fire hazards outside of tenants’ units – like a jack-o-lantern that sits too close to decorative material.
To ensure no break-ins occur, property managers can also take extra steps to make sure their empty units look like they are occupied, either by adding a piece of decoration to the front or by keeping the unit/building well-lit outside.
Speaking of lighting, property managers also have a responsibility to keep trick-or-treaters safe while they are on their property, not just tenants. They can do so by providing adequate lighting and keeping the paths well-lit. If there isn’t much outdoor lighting, purchase a few flood lamps directed at some of the pathways – an easy fix for darkness. Lighting aside, property managers must also ensure that footpaths are clear of hazardous objects for trick-or-treaters. If needed, ask tenants to remove bikes or cars from areas that will serve for increased foot traffic.

Any additional thoughts?
CB: For larger buildings or complexes, make sure to have someone on site to oversee activities (with a first aid kit), just in the event an accident, minor or large, ever occurred. You can never be too careful, and not doing any prep for Halloween is extremely risky as there are instances in which a property management company could be held liable for a child’s injures on their property.


Resource: MFE

Company News

Buyers Access Strengthens Sales Team

by Michelle N. on 9/29/2017 4:45:00 PM

Denver, Colo., September 29, 2017 – We are pleased to welcome Jenny Hidalgo as the newest member of our sales team. Jenny brings over 18 years of experience in the multifamily industry on both the property management and vendor sides. Prior to joining Buyers Access, Jenny served as Vice President of Sales with AUM, working with executive decision making teams to increase savings on energy, utility costs and lowering usage while increasing productivity within their utility and energy management programs. Previous to her experience with AUM, Jenny worked with consulting and selling online advertising. Jenny also served as Director of Sales and Marketing for Lindy Property Management.

“Jenny is a great addition to the Buyers Access family. She has considerable experience in the multifamily industry and will be a tremendous asset to our team,” said Kelly Scott, Vice President of Sales, Buyers Access.

“I am honored to be part of the Buyers Access team! My unique background in the multifamily industry has taught me that the primary goal for everybody is to improve operations, increase NOI and most of all save money! I look forward to providing the “best of breed” money saving purchasing solutions to Buyers Access current and future customers,” Jenny Hidalgo, National Sales Director, Buyers Access.

Jenny studied Early Childhood Physical Education at Bucks County Community College. She recently successfully completed her Real Estate courses in Pennsylvania.

About Buyers Access
Buyers Access is the nation's leading Purchasing and Cost Control specialist for the multifamily housing industry. We take an active role as your business partner, and provide full service solutions to help your business maximize the value of your real estate. Since 1986, Buyers Access has helped thousands of properties reduce their operating costs and become more efficient. Through the use of our operational expertise, these properties have added millions of dollars to their real estate value. For more information, contact Buyers Access at or call 1.800.445.9169

Media Contact:
Michelle Niemeyer
Director of Marketing
Office: 253.517.5540


Company News

Buyers Access® and BluTrend® partner to offer Energy Management Solutions to multifamily property owners

by Michelle N. on 9/7/2017 11:54:00 AM


For Immediate Release
September 7, 2017


Buyers Access® and BluTrend® partner to offer Energy Management Solutions to multifamily property owners

BA’s members can lower their utility processing expenses with creative solutions

Denver – September 7, 2017 – Buyers Access (BA), the country’s largest provider of customized purchasing solutions, and BluTrend a national premier utility management provider, today announced a unique partnership to offer BluTrend’s proprietary utility invoice processing and payment solutions, and other related energy management programs.

“We are pleased to add BluTrend as a supplier partner, and to offer additional services that are in high demand to our members,” said Dan Haefner, President and CEO of Buyers Access. “We are constantly searching for new ways to increase value for our members. BluTrend’s services offer our members the opportunity to improve timeliness and cost of utility invoice processing, to generate significant personnel time savings and to create additional ancillary income, all while improving utility management data visibility – a win on multiple fronts”.

“BluTrend is disrupting the utility invoice processing space through unique automated technologies,” said Michael Anderson, CEO of BluTrend, “Leveraging technologies, allows us to process and pay more utility invoices faster, better and cheaper resulting in greater savings for owners and management companies. Through our Automated Invoice Processing (AIP) system, we can automatically download electricity, gas, water, telecom or trash invoices, audit them for accuracy, and then upload them to client’s accounting package with designated GL codes attached, all within hours of bills becoming available by the utility company. This process is very accurate, easy to implement, and fully automated.”

“Buyers Access decision underscores the value proposition embedded in utilizing the most advanced technologies and automation in our space resulting in more efficient processes, which generate higher NOI and enhanced accuracy,” said Marvin Banks, Chairman of BluTrend.
“We focus on asset performance and the value creation opportunities for our clients,” stated Johnathan Hovanec, Vice President of Account Management of Buyers Access. “We identified timely and accurate resident billings and more efficient utility processing as an untapped source for producing higher revenues and lower operating costs for our members. BluTrend’s technologies are a next step in the industry’s evolution of operational efficiency and we intend to take full advantage of them.”

“BluTrend’s patented CSASecure, unique Automated Invoice Processing (AIP), full integration with Yardi and OneSite, comprehensive resident statement and convergent billing, and widespread experience in both regulated and deregulated utility markets is extremely beneficial to property management companies. We believe through the application of technology solutions, owners and management companies can enhance NOI and generate additional return potential not readily present in the space, “said Jim Kjolhede, a Partner of BluTrend.

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 or contact Dan Haefner at 303-991-5577,

About BluTrend®, LLC

BluTrend®, LLC is a national premier utility management solution provider in the multifamily industry. For more information, visit or contact Michael Anderson at 972-739-9901,

Company News

Tips for Planning the Budget

by Michelle N. on 8/30/2017 4:24:00 PM

As a residential property manager, you’re likely already gearing up for the 2018 budget season. As busy as property managers are with the many hats they wear — marketing and sales, screening prospective residents, assisting with all manner of residents requests, and more — most understand that putting together a solid budget is critical for financial performance all year long.

A budget tells you where you are and where you’re going, and it helps you measure your progress along the way. It provides an organized and easily understood look at money coming in and going out for anyone who might need the information, including your staff, community investors, and financial professionals. It’s also an invaluable tool for you in assessing how your community is performing, identifying any fat to be trimmed, and adapting as situations change.

As you prepare your 2018 budget, take a look at the tips below to help make the process as painless as possible.

Review industry data
Visit the library, use an online database, or search online to review standard income, expenditures, profit margins, and other metrics for your industry. You can find lots of free information simply by searching online for various keywords, and you can also find annual reports from market research firms that give away some information for free and include others for a fee.

Generate methods for increasing revenue
If your community isn’t at full occupancy, create a marketing, sales, and communications plan before working on your budget. Does your website need work? Should you be focusing more on generating and cultivating leads? If marketing isn’t your primary area of expertise, consider working with a local marketing firm or a national company specializing in property management for ideas.

Put together your marketing plan first so you can include funding in the budget to cover any new or existing initiatives. Also, spend time thinking about whether your pricing is on target. Are rents where they should be based on market averages, demand, and supply? Should you consider additional fees for services such as using the fitness center?

Consider cost-cutting measures
What can be trimmed from last year’s budget? Are you overstaffed for your current occupancy? Are there areas in which you know you’re spending too much? Spend time reviewing budgets from the past several years and considering your unique situation to determine if any areas can be cut.

Review your tax situation
Prior to working on the budget, sit down with your tax professional for an update on any changes in the local, state, and federal tax codes that may affect you. Plan accordingly for any additional expenses that may result.

Plan for capital expenditures
Sit down with your maintenance staff — and maybe even a hand-picked panel of residents — to plan for needed capital expenditures. There will always be something that can be fixed or upgraded, so you’ll need to prioritize. What has to be done in 2016 and what can be put off for future years’ budgets? Consider your community’s overall financial situation, but also consider the marketing impact and curb appeal of certain upgrades over others.

No property manager looks forward to creating a budget. However, most also understand that taking time to put together an effective budget is critical to the ongoing financial and operational performance of a community. Spending some time planning by reviewing industry information, thinking about how to increase revenue, reviewing spending and taxes, and negotiating with vendors can help make the task a little less daunting.

by Amanda Cupp: One Call Now

Company News

Much of Hurricane Harvey Damage May Not Be Covered by Insurance

by Michelle N. on 8/29/2017 1:45:00 PM

According to data provider CoreLogic, 52% of the residential and commercial properties in Houston that are at high or moderate risk of flooding from Hurricane Harvey are not in federally designated flood zones. This could mean that many of the homes and businesses that have been damaged in the hurricane are not insured for flooding.

The Wall Street Journal’s Nicole Friedman notes that many property owners outside these flood zones aren’t required to buy flood protection and often forgo it.

Most residential flood insurance is provided by the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program, which also insures some businesses. Federal flood maps are generally used to determine which property owners need to buy flood insurance. Homeowners in flood zones, for example, are required to maintain the coverage by their mortgage companies.

Credit: MFE

Read more >

Company News

Prince Is Getting His Very Own Pantone Color Purple

by Michelle N. on 8/15/2017 2:56:00 PM

The Pantone Color Institute announced that they have created a special hue in honor of the late artist.

Prince’s association with the color purple is now getting the official Pantone treatment. The company behind the Color of the Year releases partnered with Prince’s estate to create a custom purple called Love Symbol #2, a.k.a. the unpronounceable symbol he adopted as his name in 1993. The specific hue was taken from the custom purple Yamaha piano he was set to take with him on tour before he passed in April 2016. Troy Carter, entertainment adviser to Prince’s Estate, said in a statement, “The color purple was synonymous with who Prince was and will always be. This is an incredible way for his legacy to live on forever.”

Courtesy of Pantone Color Institute.

Purple has been irrevocably associated with Prince at least since 1984 when he released the film Purple Rain, winning the Oscar for “Best Original Song Score” for his song of the same name. He spent his remaining decades with a tight grip on the color, wearing purple clothes and strumming on purple guitars. When he passed suddenly of an accidental overdose at the age of 57, the world quite literally lit up with purple tributes.

“We are honored to have worked on the development of Love Symbol #2, a distinctive new purple shade created in memory of Prince, ‘the purple one,’” said Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. “A musical icon known for his artistic brilliance, Love Symbol #2 is emblematic of Prince’s distinctive style. Long associated with the purple family, Love Symbol #2 enables Prince’s unique purple shade to be consistently replicated and maintain the same iconic status as the man himself.”

Company News

Preparation & Wall Repair Tips for Multi-Family Properties

by Michelle N. on 8/3/2017 11:09:00 AM

Approximately 90% of painting failures result from insufficient surface preparation. Follow these basic rules when preparing to paint your property.


Contact Buyers Access today to learn more about Sherwin-Williams paint.

Company News

How Apartment Renovations Can Improve ROI

by Michelle N. on 7/27/2017 5:06:51 PM

Rehab market has changed, but opportunities for creating good ROI through apartment renovations still exist

by Tim Blackwell

As rents become more competitive and apartment inventory approaches its peak this year, the case for rehabilitating older properties in some markets may be strengthening.

Done right, a modest upgrade of a 20- or 30-year-old multifamily community can offer renters a lower price point than new construction. At the same time, the investment is lower and turnaround time to market much quicker.

An updated older property may not look as flashy as a brand new mid-rise, but it will be close enough to satisfy the appetite of renters who seek modern conveniences and the latest amenities.

“There is plenty of demand in most of the markets that we’re in,” says Portico Property Management President Darren Williams. “Even if there is new product down the road, they’ve only got 300 units. Once those are gone, you’ve got to live somewhere.”

Apartment rehabs still make sense in the right markets
While opportunities are far fewer in the urban core than when the latest apartment cycle began about seven years ago, rehabs still make sense in the right markets. Actually, renovating older properties got its legs early on as apartment demand began shifting in high gear. The market was filled with products built in the 70s and 80s that were ripe for upgrading.

Most of those have been gobbled up in the big metros, but Portico is seeking rehab projects in tertiary markets and farther afield. The timing for apartment renovations is just as good as any, even as inventory levels are nearing their peak. New inventory – most of it is in the urban core these days – is taking longer to build and costs more as materials continue to rise.

New opportunities are out there as the migration to the suburbs by younger renters continues. At a recent National Multifamily Housing Council Research Forum in Plano, Texas, RCLCO Managing Director Adam Ducker said 71 percent of households under age 35 in the top 50 metros live in the suburbs. The figure is slightly higher in Sunbelt metros.

Portico, which operates 6,500 units mostly in Texas, has a track record of rehabbing properties of all classes in Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. As renters flocked to the urban core, some of the more obvious opportunities were updating older downtown properties.

However, as the rehab market in the urban core tightened, the company, whose portfolio extends to six other states, was forced to get choosier about where it looks for opportunities. The suburban market holds promise but not all are the same.

“Much of it urban core has been picked clean,” Williams said. “It’s forced us to get somewhat creative.”

Property age and demographics are drivers of a successful rehab
Age of property and demographics are key drivers that determine whether or not an older property is a good investment, especially in the suburban market. The idea is to spend a few thousand per unit without pricing rents out of the demographic.

A 20-year-old product with nine-foot ceilings, washer and dryer connections and need of a little updating is a good bet to compete with newer construction, Williams says. Units may require $5,000-$6,000 each in modest upgrades of appliances, flooring, lighting, paint and some hardware. Because the work only takes the unit off the rent roll for a couple of weeks, the amount of lost rent is minimal.

Williams said that type of investment usually will yield $100-$125 more in monthly rent – a favorable return – and elevate the property closer, but just under, the price for a newer development in today’s market. It’s what he calls his “draft-behind” strategy, which has proved successful in several markets.

“If you put it right next to a brand new product, same bones, same suburban style, we can make that product look just as good as we can,” he said. “We give it a new paint job, new siding, new appliances, countertops and back splashes, to the untrained eye, we could bring someone in and they won’t know the difference. That’s a really good opportunity.”

Apartment renovations for older properties take extra consideration
The older the property, however, the more the window closes on opportunity to bring it up to today’s standards. Greater investment of money and time − like installing cabinets and countertops and rerouting plumbing to create washer/dryer connections − can get dicey. The expense and downtime resulting from remodeling can reach a point of no or little return. Even lower ceilings can be a turnoff.

“If I put a 1979-built property with eight-foot ceilings and no washer/dryer connections in next to that newer property, I can’t make it the same,” Williams said. “It’s cost prohibitive.”

Also, the average income of the people living in the community or in surrounding areas must be considered, especially when considering a project that already is well-occupied. Too much enhancement could price existing renters out of the market. However, if the property can draw from prospects in surrounding areas who have the income to support the increased rent, the investment may make sense.

Three keys to a successful apartment community rehab
Williams says the key to a successful rehab revolves around what the market demands, knowing demographics and testing the product before it is launched. Also, having a good designer in your toolbox doesn’t hurt.

When a rehab is being considered at an existing property, Portico puts wood on concrete to see how the market reacts. A unit is renovated and residents are invited for a tour, where the upgrades are featured and the new rent price disclosed.

“We get immediate feedback,” Williams said. “They’ll tell us if we’re crazy to ask that much or if they definitely want it. The secret to success is don’t commit until we can test it. The market is going to tell us.”

Williams says Portico doesn’t pretend to know all the answers about what trends are hot and cold. The company retains designers to make those calls.

And just because a national trend may sound inviting, it doesn’t mean that renters within a certain demographic are on board.

In recent years, Portico has focused on updating apartments with newer technology, like plug-ins compatible with USB 2.0 ports. A property in Frisco, Texas, is undergoing installation of smart thermostats, a fairly inexpensive upgrade that more renters are demanding.

But not every upgrade has to be très chic. Portico recently asked residents at one Texas property what upgrade they’d most like to have.

“The No. 1 answer was ceiling fans,” Williams said. “That’s about as low-tech as you can get. We were thinking about all this fancy stuff and our residents want ceiling fans. We can swing that for sure.”


Company News

Buyers Access Job Opening - Director of Sales

by Michelle N. on 7/17/2017 4:54:00 PM

Buyers Access Job Opening – Director of Sales

Buyers Access is currently seeking an energetic and highly motivated Director of Sales for our sales team! This position is for a candidate located in the Georgia/Florida market and would work remotely from this region. Responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to finding new opportunities for Buyers Access and increasing revenue within an assigned territory. Must have business development or mid-level sales experience and be willing to travel.

Resume and Contact email:
For more details, please send your resume to Kelly Scott, VP of Sales at

Thank you for your interest in Buyers Access!

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