Churchill Residential (Churchill) was founded in 2002. It prides itself on developing and operating high-quality, 100% affordable housing communities, most of which are for seniors. Churchill has leveraged Low Income Housing Tax Credit funds to build 17 communities and more than 2,700 units across the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Doing More with Technology
Customer service is at the forefront of Churchill’s mission. Its guiding principles focus on enhancing the lives of residents, onsite staff and office employees. Churchill’s previous software platform was functional, though lacked in certain features, notably full integration between department roles and databases. Those missing pieces had a negative effect on Churchill’s experience with technology.
Yardi Affordable Housing Suite
Yardi Voyager Affordable Housing centralizes operations, finance, maintenance management and compliance in a single connected solution. Adding products from the Yardi Affordable Housing Suite extends the platform with online applicant certifications, payment processing, resident screening and more.
Benefiting from an Integrated Software Environment
Implementing products from the Yardi Voyager Affordable Housing Suite has helped Churchill gain improvements in staff efficiency and resident service capabilities. As a single integrated platform, the Yardi Voyager Affordable Housing Suite improves staff performance by simplifying many processes and providing data transparency across the organization.
Those benefits translate from staff to residents. “Time savings for our onsite staff definitely benefits our residents, as staff now has more time for personal interactions every day,” says Michelle Bless, director of accounting for Churchill.
Bless cites electronic payment processing as a nice perk for residents because they can log in at any time to check their up-to-date ledger. She reports that they couldn’t offer residents that type of real-time information prior to adopting the Yardi integrated software platform.
Solving the Problem of Money Orders and Cash Payments
With Yardi’s Walk-In Payment System (WIPS), Churchill’s residents can make payments for rent and other charges at their choice of participating retail locations. They can use any form of payment at those locations, and payments post automatically to their ledger in the Yardi database. Churchill property managers no longer accept payments in cash or money orders
“Money orders not only have a potential for fraud, but also tend to slow down accounting processes because they don’t scan very well. When a scan fails, our staff must make a trip to the bank for manual deposit. WIPS solves those issues and eliminates a lot of work for our onsite managers,” says Bless.
Streamlining Accounts Payable
Churchill adopted Yardi PAYscan as their new automated invoice processing system. Yardi PAYscan saves Churchill as much as two hours per week because of its integration with Yardi Voyager Affordable Housing. Churchill receives scanned images of payable invoices delivered to Voyager for review, approval and payment. “Not having to log in to a separate system really expedites processes for our AP accountants,” says Bless.
Benefits of Working in the Cloud
Having a single, integrated platform hosted in the Yardi Cloud is also beneficial for Churchill. “The Yardi Cloud is a big plus for us. A portion of our past software was cloud-based, but unfortunately, the accounting data was not, which meant separate logins and waiting for data to transfer. Also, Yardi’s browser-based interface drastically reduced calls to our IT staff for assistance,” says Bless.