Nearly half of Americans may have had their information stolen in the massive Equifax data breach revealed last week. Equifax collects, aggregates and distributes information on over 800 million individual consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, including many multifamily companies. Entrata uses Experian for all resident screening and verification processes and does not interface with Equifax for any of their services.
However, in the event you do receive inquiries from your residents on the data breach, we have compiled a list of recommended next steps they can take to protect themselves:
1. Find out if your information was exposed. Call Equifax at 866-447-7559 or visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the “Potential Impact” tab and enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. Your Social Security number is sensitive information, so make sure you’re on a secure computer and an encrypted network connection any time you enter it. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by this breach.
2. Visit Identitytheft.gov/databreach to learn more about protecting yourself after a data breach.
3. Get a copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com and mark your calendar to get another one in about three months.
4. Be on the lookout: Watch your mail for anything suspicious. Check your bank accounts at least weekly for signs of fraud. Listen closely when applying for a loan or a government benefit for signs that someone else might be using your Social Security number. Get your annual Social Security benefits statement online and look for anything unusual.
5. Consider putting a security freeze on all your accounts — the most serious but most proactive step you can take. But take this step with great care. If you plan to shop for a car loan or a home loan any time soon, you probably shouldn’t do this, because security freezes lock credit report files so no one — not even you — can open a new credit account in your name.
An ancient philosopher once said something mysterious and wise about the impossibility of stepping into the same river twice. We’d like to add, along those lines, that no one can ever climb the same summit twice. Especially with regard to the sold-out Entrata Summit in Park City next month.
If you’re lucky enough to be returning to the Summit you will recognize a lot of familiar elements – but look a little closer; things have changed. continue
For decades, homeowners have been reaping benefits from smart home technology. As many as 30% of Americans have already installed smart home technology, and studies show these early adopters are saving an average of $1000 a year and as much as 30 minutes each day. However, the smart home industry’s early focus on homeowners has kept renters in the blind spot of these innovations. In many cases, homeowners’ deeper pockets and stronger desire to invest in their homes have made them the ideal market for a nascent industry, but times are changing. continue
Multifamily properties generate a lot of documents, but the days of rows of file cabinets filling up the leasing office are (or should be) over. Storing documents digitally can free up a lot of space for your properties, but may introduce new challenges like problems with searchability, accessibility, and security. In order to address these challenges, simple document storage technologies won’t do. What is needed is document management. continue
Our COO, Chase Harrington, will be a participant in two sessions at the National Apartment Association Education Conference in Atlanta on Thursday, June 22.
Whether you realize it or not, your technology sends a message to your prospects, residents, and even employees, about your business. About a year and a half ago Jason Larson, Chief Strategy Officer at IDM went looking for a technology partner that could grow with his business. After spending a little time with the Entrata team at NMHC OpTech, he knew he’d found the kind of partner that would represent his vision to audiences both inside and outside the company.
Traditionally, multifamily technology systems have been segregated between “front end” and “back office” tasks. This creates a false dilemma as many industry professionals perpetuate the idea that either accounting or marketing functions must be sacrificed when choosing a technology system. Today’s executive needs a 360 degree view of their business which provides actionable data on a variety of processes without losing sight of the guest experience.
Since introducing our Core property management software in 2012, Entrata has worked to continually develop the tools and functionality a diverse client base requires. In our industry, portfolios are not homogenous. One-size-fits-all software solutions only lead to inefficient (and unnecessarily costly) workflows, as users are left to invent patches and design work-arounds just to do their job.
We’ve had great success with Entrata StudentTM, addressing the unique needs of student housing operators, and today Entrata is used more than any other property management software for student properties. But we’re not finished. If your portfolio includes commercial, military, or affordable properties, there are products in the works just for you. Here’s a quick status update:
Commercial Property Management:
Our commercial product is built for office, retail, and mixed-use developments and is currently in a controlled beta period. Designed to be equally effective for both small and large commercial properties, we are hearing encouraging responses from beta participants on the automations Entrata Commercial introduces by simplifying rent charges and fees and making it easier to manage CAM pools. Tools for CAM reconciliation (including Excel export) and a TenantPortal will be available soon. Limited positions for beta testing may still be available, contact your Customer Success Manager if you’d like to participate.
Entrata is working closely with industry partners to build a robust platform for military housing operators and expects to begin beta testing in the next few months. Entrata Military will offer specialised military leasing workflows and reporting (Schedule G, PAM, etc.) as well as MAC workflows and waitlists with waterfall capability. For military customers that often feel the pain of transitioning information through multiple technology products, Entrata’s platform allows all processes to move through a single, efficient workflow.
Entrata Affordable for HUD and Tax Credit properties is on track for initial release and beta testing in just a few weeks. With tools for determining household eligibility, calculating rent, processing certifications, generating HAP requests, processing special claims, and submitting TRACS files, we’re building a system that monitors and reports on all the factors that keep you in compliance with government regulations. Entrata’s all-in-one platform helps simplify complicated workflows with “what’s next” prompts, as well as alerts to staff if a step is missed. HUD waitlist capabilities are also in the works.
Everything Entrata builds is native to our comprehensive platform, which not only saves time and effort for your staff by streamlining workflows, it makes tracking data more efficient and accurate. If you have properties that would be interested in participating in any of the upcoming beta opportunities, please let your CSM know. While we won’t be able to accommodate everyone, we will do our best to work with as many properties as we can. Beta participants will be able to work closely with our product teams to build the industry’s best property management software tools for commercial, military, and affordable properties.
Red Vans at the Googleplex? You betcha! Entrata’s SEO Services team has earned the designation of Google Partner with Premier status, which translates to periodic invitations to Google’s Mountain View HQ and, more importantly, a strategic advantage for Entrata’s SEO and PPC clients. continue
It’s about as close to a universal experience as you can find (although if you’re an only-child you may not relate): hand-me-downs. How many of us, in the name of economy, have found ourselves in the ill-fitting discarded fashion of our older siblings? Sometimes it works, more often than not it doesn’t. No surprise, it was made for someone else.
For years, student housing operators have been dealing with the technology equivalent of hand-me-downs; using systems that were built for conventional properties to try to meet the unique challenges of a student community. With enough work-arounds and manual processes, they could make do. But the solution was about as ideal as wearing your big brothers’ suit to the school dance. Sub-optimal. continue
When you’re trying to get an important message across, how and when you communicate can matter just as much as the message itself. It’s true with friends, colleagues, strangers, and it’s true with your residents. We’ve discovered that you can make your resident communications more effective using technology tools to make sure the messages you send are getting to them how and when they’re most receptive. continue