Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hit by Sandy? Here are updates you may want to pass along to your residents

Do you have properties that have been affected by Superstorm Sandy? In addition to widespread power outages, there's a good chance your residents' telecommunications services have been impacted, as well.

Multichannel News has a full rundown on what the cable operators and telephone companies are doing to restore service.

Here's what a few service providers are doing to deal with the effects of the storm:

Cablevision Systems said it was experiencing “widespread service interruptions, primarily related to the loss of power.” The company is providing updates for customers at

Time Warner Cable was not reporting any “significant impact,” although anyone without power obviously doesn't have cable service, either. TWC is providing more info to their customers at

Verizon said its switching centers in Manhattan were “severely affected,” and they've also reported that central offices in Queens and Long Island have flooded. Customers served by those COs have lost all services including FiOS, high-speed Internet and phone services. Verizon customers can get updates at

Like Time Warner, Comcast reported that most customer issues for customers are "directly related to commercial power outages, and for the majority of people, their Comcast service should be restored as power comes back on to their homes." At least temporarily, Comcast is also opening its Wi-Fi hotspots along the East Coast for anyone to use for no additional charge.

If you have residents in the affected areas, you may want to pass this info along to them.

What else are you seeing? Are the service providers effectively communicating with you and your residents to let you know when services will be restored?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Connected Lighting Solution

Nowadays almost everything is controlled remotely. With GreenWave Reality's Smart Home Platform, high-quality, connected LED bulbs can be controlled via a wifi-enabled device such as the provided hand-held controller or a smart phone. The LED bulbs use 80% less energy than your average incandescent bulb and deliver a pleasing, warm light rated at 2700°K that is directly comparable to the incandescent bulb.

Smart Home Platform Benefits
• Energy Star Connected bulbs are eligible for utility rebates
• Handheld remote allows for control of lighting without Cloud-services
• Adding the Gateway provides powerful Smart Controls and remote access
• Consumers can set lights to automatically come on at dusk and go off at dawn
• NXP’s JenNet-IP technology eliminates any delays in controlling the bulbs and can support up to 500 bulbs in a single network

How does it work?
Each light bulb includes a wireless antenna that allows for high-quality, reliable communication between the bulbs via a wireless network, even in narrow spaces such as a recessed lighting can. Simply screwing in the pre-configured LED bulbs, consumers can immediately begin to control their lights.

Why would you consider it?
The combination of high-quality, energy efficient, low-cost hardware devices and intuitive user interfaces provide users with a system that is easy to set-up, simple to configure, and effortless to manage. Additionally, this highly affordable solution empowers users to control their in-home lighting to improve their lifestyle, reduce lighting and energy costs, and make a positive impact on the environment and future generations.

Green Wave Reality

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Get Ready for Ultra HD

According to Nielsen, over 75% of U.S. households have a high definition TV. You probably already know that a lot of your residents are included in that number.

The "next" thing was supposed to be 3D TVs, but those have been received with mixed reviews. (Who wants to wear those special glasses?) But don't look now ... there's an entirely new option right around the corner, and it's something you should keep an eye on: Ultra HD TV.

UltraHD TVs look amazing. A typical HD television has a resolution of 720-1,080 rows of pixels on the screen; Ultra HD promises at least 4 times that resolution. There's a whole set of standards that has already been developed, and the first models could start hitting store shelves as early as this holiday season.

What does it mean for multifamily?

Use it as a Leasing Tool. First, it might be worth upgrading in your leasing offices and amenity spaces. If you have high-res videos or photos of your property, there's no better way to showcase them than on a beautiful display. If you don't have high-res photos and videos of your property, get some ... it's worth it.

Do a Network Double-Check. For your residents, it will be more important than ever to have a solid video network for your property. Video providers will be moving to provide content for these ultra-high resolutions, and it's not going to look very good if the resident can't get a decent signal to their living room. Talk to your service provider, or have a low voltage consultant review your site infrastructure (and any agreements you have in place with your providers).

Customer (Electronics) Support. Also, UltraHD TVs are huge ... sometimes 84 inches and bigger. Can your walls handle that if a resident tries to mount a 80+" TV on the wall? It might make sense to review your outlet plan in the apartments to make sure the layouts still work. In many cases, we're seeing our clients and other multifamily developers add extra outlets (and reinforced walls to support the weight of the TV) at the height where the resident would typically mount the display.

As the holiday season approaches (and the Consumer Electronics Show in January), keep an eye on these devices. Look for the empty boxes out by the dumpsters. Hopefully there isn't too much you need to do to prepare your property, but keep these points in mind if you start to see an increase in complaints about the TV service in the months ahead.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Behringer Harvard Acquires Land for Luxury Multifamily Development in Houston

Landmark Breaks Ground in State College, PA

Landmark Properties breaks ground on project in State College, PA.

Capstone Begins Work, Cottages of Boone

Work begins on Capstone Collegiate Communities Cottages of Boone on Poplar Grove Road off Highway 105.