Alert Solutions Blog

Increase Tenant Satisfaction at Your Commercial Property – Why and How

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

As a property manager, you consider your tenants to be your clients, right? So like any other business, you understand the importance of tenant satisfaction at your commercial property. Losing tenants is far more costly than keeping them. It can also be time consuming.

Why should property managers increase tenant satisfaction?
According to a recent study by JLL, it can take up to two years to regain lost income if a single tenant is to leave a commercial property.

This is staggering. Not only must a property manager refurbish a vacant unit, but factor in the costs of marketing and lost income as well.

Quite simply, your ability to keep tenants satisfied directly affects tenant retention and revenue.tenantapproved

How can property managers increase tenant satisfaction?
JLL suggests building a “tenant management program”. Understanding your tenants’ business can help shape the environment in which they succeed and flourish. Some questions to ask:

- Does the property match their brand?
- Do the facilities help, not hinder, their operations?
- Are there expansion opportunities when the time is right?

Finally, the foundation of a successful tenant management program consists of effective and consistent tenant communication. Keeping in constant contact with your tenants and their employees will assure that they are in your best interest.

Did you know Alert Solutions offers a communication platform specifically for property managers? It’s true! We help property managers provide personalized communications to tenants instantly via multiple communication channels like email, voice and SMS text messaging.

Download more information about Resident Reach today. Alert Solutions' Resident Reach Download the Brochure!

Topics: property management, tenant retention, tenant communication, tenant notifications, tenant satisfaction

FCC Urges Tech Industry to Reinvent Textbooks for K12 Schools

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

Shortly after its December 2014 decision to raise internet connectivity funding to schools by $1.5 billion, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urged the technology industry to create innovative educational material.

Recently, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel highlighted the FCC’s efforts to encourage the digital disruption within teaching and the textbook industry.

“In the rest of the world, we have an infinite array of digital tools to change our civic and commercial lives. Yet somehow we’ve put up some barriers at the school doors,” Rosenworcel said. “It’s time we started inviting them in and wrestling with them and doing some good things.”

As a market estimated at $17 billion and with price increases in the last decade at 800%, Rosenworcel said the industry’s services burden educators and students alike. For example, the average K12 school district is only able to afford textbook purchases every 7-10 years.digitaltextbooks

As an alternative to traditional textbooks, the FCC would like to see more digital textbooks in the classroom, or the use of sites that not only provide knowledge, but also hold K12 students accountable to demonstrate their education with games, tests and other interactive assignments.

“If we can think about digitization in a way that makes kids not just consumers of educational content but creators, I think we’re going to develop a generation of students who are going to better serve our economy and better serve our world,” Rosenworcel said.

According to a release from the FCC, approximately 41% of rural public schools lack fiber networks that meet modern connectivity targets for digital learning. In urban and suburban public schools, that number is 31%. Additionally, about 40% of K12 school districts report high up-front capital costs of infrastructure that prevent upgrades.

The E-rate program, the nation’s largest supporting education technology, is hoping to drive the FCC’s long-term high-speed internet connectivity goals.

To learn more about the changes made to the E-rate program in 2015, click here.

Topics: e-textbooks, school announcement, educational technology, power announcement, powerschool, education

Patient Engagement at Your Medical Practice: Beyond the EHR

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

Following the release of the HITECH Act’s Meaningful Use objectives, patient engagement has become a topic of much consideration at medical practices throughout the healthcare industry.

The notion that individuals play an active role in their own health, patient engagement is suggested to improve outcomes, increase satisfaction and lower overall costs.

So, can patient engagement be improved? How is it improved? These are questions on the minds of medical providers all across the country.

Meaningful Use objectives shed some light into the answer. Set forth in Stage 2 are requirements focused on the exchange of health information between patient and medical practice.

This is achieved through Electronic Health Records (EHR) which provide patients with secure online access to their patient health information.

But can more be done to improve patient engagement?patientengagement1

Some medical practices are using other practical patient engagement strategies in addition to their EHR:

  • Maintaining an active presence on social media
  • Publishing patient education materials online for 24/7 access
  • Deploying automated communications for appointment reminders
  • Taking the fullest advantage of the Patient Portal
  • Making medical records as transparent as possible

Looking for more information on medical legislation and how it affects your practice? Download Alert Solutions’ Medical Practice Compliance Guide today!

Topics: Medical, patient communication, patient satisfaction, patient engagement

Student Attendance Rates Becomes Driver’s License Requirement in Nevada

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

In Clark County, Nevada, more than 120,000 students were reported truant during the 2013-2014 school year. Now a statewide law will aim to reduce those numbers and improve student attendance rates.

A truancy reduction bill sponsored by Senator Aaron Ford became law on January 1st, and could keep kids from getting in the driver seat. Under this new law, teenage students who continually skip school will face delay or suspension of their driver’s license.

When applying for a driver’s license, a student between 14-18 years old must submit a letter from school NevadaLIcenseofficials confirming they have met the attendance requirements.

At present, a student who misses school three or more times during a school year is labeled a habitual truant.

A student declared a “habitual truant” will have their license suspended for 30 days to six months. If a student has yet to obtain a license and has numerous unexcused absences, they will not be able to get one until the situation is resolved.

Senator Ford called this new law a “great motivator” since most students want to get a driver’s license. And the school districts supported his bill.

Other school districts around the country have been working hard to reduce chronic truancy. Here are a few examples:

Detroit Public Schools
Detroit Public Schools (DPS) in Michigan is one example of a school district strengthening efforts to reduce truancy through school policy. At the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, DPS implemented the 3-6-9 policy.  The new attendance policy is a district-wide formalization of past practices, which calls for intervention after a student accrues 3 unexcused absences.

Anchorage School District
Anchorage School District in Alaska is trying an approach that is considered controversial.  The school district now offers prizes to students who have perfect or outstanding attendanceEd Graff, Superintendent of Anchorage School District, finds prizes helpful in improving student attendance, despite the fact some people see offering prizes as bribing the students.

What is your school district doing to reduce chronic truancy this year? Share your thoughts on our blog!

Topics: attendance, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, school programs, truancy

Improve Email Deliverability in the New Year – 3 Tips to Follow

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 @ 11:01 AM

We discuss email deliverability a lot on our blog. That’s because it’s one of the most important factors in determining your email marketing ROI. After all, the better chance your email reaches the inbox, the better chance for a conversion!

Did you know that, according to Return Path, as much as 13% of email marketing messages sent in the US fail to be delivered? It’s likely some of your email marketing campaigns suffer the same fate.

Tried-and-true email deliverability tactics, such as regular list scrubbing and clear unsubscribe methods, are probably in place already at your organization.

But for businesses looking to get more out of their email deliverability rates in 2015, consider the following email_deliverability1unique tips:

1. Make Sure Your Email Marketing Campaigns are Authenticated
In short, email service providers increasingly rely on email authentication technology such as SPF and SenderID to verify incoming messages. Allow your emails to be authenticated by completing changes to your DNS settings. For more info: check this blog post or contact our email marketing experts.

2. Implement Unsubscribe Surveys
What better way to analyze your unsubscribes than to know the root cause? Implement unsubscribe surveys or feedback loops as a proactive approach to improve email deliverability down the road.

3. Launch Reactivation Email Marketing Campaigns
Inactive subscribers can hurt your email deliverability rates. But before removing these emails from your list, try launching a reactivation campaign to spur any residual interest.

Looking for more email deliverability tips and tricks? Read more articles under our email deliverability tag and download Alert Solutions’ Email Deliverability Guide today!

Download Now!

Topics: email deliverability, email marketing, email marketing best practices

School-Wide Handwashing Initiatives Cut Germs, Student Absenteeism

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 @ 11:01 AM

As a child, your parents always reinforced the importance of handwashing. Wash your hands when you get off the school bus, wash your hands before dinner, and wash your hands after using the restroom.handwashing

Your parents had a point. Check out these statistics:

- Nearly 22 million K-12 school days are lost each year due to the common cold.
- 52.2 million cases of the common cold affect children under 17 years of age.
- Children have about 6-10 colds each year.
- Some viruses and bacteria can live from 20 minutes to 2 hours or more on surfaces.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that addressing the spread of germs in K-12 schools is essential to the health of students.

Many studies document the positive impact handwashing has on reducing student absenteeism in K-12 schools:

Study 1: A study of 305 Detroit children found that students who washed their hands four times a day had 51% fewer sick days due to an stomach upset.

Study 2: A study of 290 students in 5 schools across the country revealed handwashing education and the use of hand sanitizer reduced student absenteeism by 51%.

So what are you doing in your school to promote student handwashing? Here are a few suggestions:

Handwashing Programs and Resources

1. The Scrub Club
2. Healthy Hands, Healthy Kids3. Teaching Hand Hygiene

For more information on other ways to reduce chronic absenteeism at your school, download our best practice guide!

Download Now!

Topics: student health, attendance, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, school programs

Retain Tenants in 2015 – Use Communication Technology to Your Advantage

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 08, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

It doesn’t matter if your property is residential, commercial, or both. Effective communication helps to retain tenants.

And although tenant communication strategies remain the same, the methods in which we relay information has evolved with technology. The fact is a significant part of effective tenant communication today is technology.

Here are some tips on using it to your advantage in tenant retention:propertymanagement-1

1. Let your tenants know what their communication options are
Some tenants may be glued to their email in the same way that others are always on their smartphones. The point is, automated tenant communication systems, such as Alert Solutions’ Resident Reach, allow tenants to choose which communication channels work best for them. Make these options known.

2. Monitor reporting to see where your messages are, or aren’t, going
Review delivery statistics and reports to see which messages are delivered and which are denied. Keeping your tenant contact list updated is critical in keeping everyone at your property in-the-know.

3. Open up two-way communication
The beauty of today’s communication technology is that it can open up a two-way dialogue. Whether email, voice, SMS or social media, discussing these expectations with your tenants helps keep an open line for everyone.

4. Prepare for the unexpected
Create message templates in advance to reduce stress and anxiety during unexpected events. With this extra step, use mass notification to its fullest advantage when every second counts.

Effective tenant increases tenant satisfaction and in turn, tenant retention. Evaluate your communication technology for high tenant retention in 2015.

To learn more about Alert Solutions’ Resident Reach, download our brochure today!

Check Out More Blog Posts!

Topics: property management, tenant retention, tenant communication, tenant notifications, tenant satisfaction

Snow Days Turn Digital at More K-12 Schools with E-Learning

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Jan 06, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

Several forecasts, including the consistently reliable Farmer’s Almanac, predict a cold and snowy winter for much of the United States.

Do you remember wishing for a snow day so you could stay home from school and go sleigh riding with your friends? For many K12 students across the country, having a school-free day may no longer be an option thanks to e-learning!

An increasing number of school districts are using e-learning to keep class in session during inclimate SchoolClosingNotificationweather. There are many benefits to using e-learning for school administrators, teachers and students, including:

  1. Administrators Avoid Adding Makeup Days to School Calendars
  2. Teachers Can Continue with Lesson Plans as Scheduled
  3. Students Ask Questions More Freely in Online Settings

“Your curriculum continues without that time off and you’re not just putting days at the end of the year and trying to fill those days,” says Superintendent Sandra Weaver of the rural Metropolitan School District of Wabash County in Indiana, which used three e-learning snow days last school year.

For snow days, K-12 students can bring home the iPads they use at school. On those e-learning days, students log into the Learning Management System (LMS) to find their assignments, and teachers are at their home computers to answer questions via email, Weaver says.

In addition to this Indiana school district, school districts in Ohio, Illinois and West Virginia are also using e-learning on snow days.

Is your school looking to use e-learning to avoid unexpected school closures? Share your thoughts on our blog!

Topics: school announcement, mobile learning, educational technology, power announcement, powerschool, education, school programs

Happy New Year from All of Us at Alert Solutions!

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jan 01, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

Alert Solutions would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015! We appreciaNYEte all of your continued support.

Did you know that the New Year is celebrated in many different ways throughout the world? Click here to read about some of the traditions.

Happy New Year!

Topics: holiday, school announcement, Medical, power announcement, powerschool, education

School Communication Survey – What Parents Really Want

Posted by Nina Caliri on Tue, Dec 30, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

The National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) recently surveyed community members from 50 districts in 22 states to learn the school communication preferences of parents. The survey was very informative as to how, and what, school districts should communicate with parents.

How Parents Want K12 School News
The NSPRA survey asked parents to share their preferred method of school communication for school news. Electronic communication was the clear winner. Here are the top 5 answers:

As NSPRA President Ron Koehler points out, "Consumer needs are changing. The backpack folder is no longer the primary source of information for parents. They want and prefer instant electronic information.

What School News Parents Wantparentstexting-1
The NSPRA survey divided parent responses into “elementary” and “secondary” categories. But it turns out when you are talking about what information parents want from teachers, parent communication priorities are the same: When Parents Want School Communication
47 percent of parents would like school district updates as often as decisions are made. 36 percent of parents preferred monthly updates from school administrators. Less than 1 percent of parents preferred school communication to be less than quarterly.

What Does This Mean?
Each school district should develop a parent communication strategy that meets the needs of their individual school community. Learning more about the communication habits of parents in your community will help school administrators send parents the right information, at the right time, using the communication channels they prefer.

Looking for a fast and reliable parent notification system? Check out Alert Solutions’ Suite of School Notification Systems!

Topics: school notifications, school announcement, power announcement, powerschool, education, parent engagement, parent communication

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