Thursday, September 27, 2012

Can Conservice Improve Cash Flow at Your Community?


At Conservice, we often talk a lot about our customer service focus. But sometimes we get requests to talk specifically about how Conservice can improve cash flow for a property management company. We recenty put together a piece that explains just that. Here are the main points:

When Conservice provides utility billing services for your community…
 ...you will recover nearly all of your utility expenses as residents are billed for their utility usage. This can increase cash flow by thousands of dollars each month.

When Conservice manages your utility expenses…
 ...payments to the provider can be set up to optimize cash flow. Additionally, you’ll avoid late fees and costly disconnects.

As Conservice detects occupied units consuming utilities under your community’s name…
 ...Conservice will bill those residents for their usage. Additionally, a "vacant service fee" brings additional revenue to the management company, often amounting to hundreds of dollars per month.

When Conservice audits your utility bills for accuracy…
 ...Conservice will detect and resolve utility provider errors, potentially saving your community thousands through refunds and billing corrections. We’ll even audit your sales and use tax to make sure you aren’t over paying on taxes.

With Conservice, we will procure rates for your communities in deregulated markets…
 ...so you will rest easy knowing that you are getting the best price on energy, reducing your overall utility expense each month.

When Conservice is your partner...
 your leasing staff will save countless hours each month. And remember, time is money.

Monday, September 24, 2012

CONSTRUCT: Sub-metering at Conservice

By Elliot Rich

Metering technologies have made substantial advances. Modern metering systems are more accurate and convenient than ever before. Many current systems transmit their readings electronically via radio waves to a centralized unit. This level of automation within a system allows for accurate daily recordings of meter readings.

In 2010, the CONSTRUCT program was developed by Conservice to provide our sub-metered clients with the most detailed daily meter readings possible.  CONSTRUCT is a web-based platform that allows access to individual meter read history across a community or an entire portfolio of communities.  

CONSTRUCT FEATURES
A number of features are available on the CONSTRUCT platform, including the ability to:
  • View property totals for consumption daily for the past 30 days
  • Identify vacant consumption
  • Identify meters with error or problem reads
CONSUMPTION DATA
Find detailed information about each individual meter and view past readings.  By selecting a specific unit a manager can review the last 30 days of individual daily meter reads as well as see a quick and easy-to-read chart comparing usage in that apartment to the community averages.  Information can be grouped by high users, zero users, negative meter reads, or vacant units. This allows property managers to easily detect leaks.

MAINTENANCE DATA
Community managers can view repair proposals and any work that Conservice has done on the meters at a community.  Through this community managers can track which units have new meters and schedules for new work to be done.

EQUIPMENT DATA
Community managers can see the meter equipment information for their community.  This provides information on the brand and type of meter installed, meter read system, and phone number that system uses to report daily meter reads.

REPORTS
Online reporting allows the generation of multiple meter read-based reports. Reports can be generated based on daily, weekly, or monthly consumption and can be specifically set to include only high or only low users, or an entire community.  This report can even be set to display consumption based on floor plan or apartment size.  These reports are easily exported to Excel spreadsheet format so that they may be sorted or included in any property specific reporting.

FEATURES FOR RESIDENTS
Residents at sub-metered CONSTRUCT communities can view their daily meter reads online via www.utilitiesinfo.com. When residents are aware of their usage, they can more easily adjust their habits to conserve.



Monday, September 10, 2012

The Conservice Summer of Biking Recap

The badge of accomplishment for the summer bikers.
by Hayley Anderson

Logan, Utah is a relatively commuter-friendly town. Traffic isn’t too crazy and many roads have plenty of room for bikers. The location of Conservice, which has its headquarters in Logan, is ideal for bikers – it’s in the center of the valley, near the neighboring town of Providence, and easily accessible via multiple bike-friendly roads. The Conservation Team wondered what they could do to encourage more employees to take advantage of biking opportunities. After all, biking is much less expensive than driving, it’s great for the environment, and there are health benefits associated with biking.

In May, the team brainstormed ideas. Realizing everyone likes a little friendly competition, they issued a challenge. Bikers would track their commuter miles each day, with the goal of reaching 5,000 miles by the end of the summer.  Could they do it?

Although some employees were already biking to work on a regular basis, many took the challenge as an opportunity to try it out and give their cars a rest. One employee started biking because he “loved the downhill commute to work on the cool summer mornings.” Though the warmer, uphill ride back home was a challenge, he was still happy Conservice issued the challenge and promoted healthy living.

To keep up the motivation, the Consevation Team not only rewarded team members who had biked the most miles, but they also recognized and rewarded those who may have lived closer to Conservice and therefore logged fewer miles, but were most consistent in their biking efforts. Company-wide recognition, free ice cream, and a general feeling of personal and team accomplishment were the prizes, but would that be motivation enough to meet the 5,000 mile goal?

Well, August 31 came and went, and it was time to tally the numbers. Did the team meet their summer challenge? Yes. In fact, 5,571 miles later, the team exceeded their goal.

What does 5,571 miles represent? The Conservation Team did some math, and 5,571 miles biked instead of driven saved 5,103 pounds of carbon emissions that would have been expended by an average car. The average cost per mile for a car is $0.25, so the team saved $1392 by biking. The benefits of biking also reach our health – burning on average about 40 calories per mile. As a team, the bikers burned 222,840 calories over the course of the summer, which equals 63.67 pounds.

While biking is expected to continue through the fall, we look forward to the next challenge issued by the Conservation Team.