Cousins Properties is a fully-integrated, self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1958 by Tom Cousins, the company has expertise in development, acquisition, leasing and property management of Class A office towers. Cousins currently manages a 21.8-million square foot trophy office portfolio in the high-growth Sun Belt markets of Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Tampa and Phoenix. Cousins is committed to creating exceptional value for all its stakeholders by executing attractive investment opportunities, understanding the business strategies of its customers and providing exceptional customer service.
Data management was a significant and time-consuming process for Cousins as it developed their Class A office portfolio. The development team needed a more user-friendly interface from previous solutions they had tried, and they wanted to use a single platform for analysis and reporting at the most detailed levels, especially for the volume of jobs they manage simultaneously.
Yardi Construction Manager
Yardi Construction Manager, part of the Elevate suite of products, gives portfolio-wide visibility necessary to track job progress in real-time. It is critical to have accurate, real-time data when managing multiple projects, connecting users and managing vendors. Project managers can compare and contrast jobs based on numerous metrics, enter their own risk assessments and drill down to detailed analytical components.
Greater Visibility, More Detailed Reporting
Yardi’s Construction Manager solution has helped Cousins Properties manage an entire portfolio across six markets in one user-friendly platform. Cousins uses the flexibility of Construction Manager to track a wide variety of tasks, from the smaller volume “tenant improvement-type” jobs, as CIO Brandon Van Orden referred to them, to vast vertical buildouts up to 1M square feet.
Cousins previously struggled to gain visibility on projects across the entire team, as well as to analyze individual construction builds within a portfolio. Construction Manager has solved these challenges, especially at the senior management level.
The Cousins team’s previous positive experience with Yardi Voyager and Deal Manager led them to successfully implement Construction Manager as well. As Van Orden explained, John S. McColl, Cousins’ executive vice president – development, was instrumental in guiding the company toward implementing more of the Yardi suite of products. “What [John] was missing was the ability to easily see the status of each job. Where is the portfolio for development and projects from a milestone standpoint?”
The level of detail in Construction Manager gives Cousins the ability to drill down from jobs at market level to portfolio level, then into individual buildings, and within buildings even into specific jobs within job groups.
One of the major breakthroughs for the company was the progress they made moving from manual processes and weekly or bi-weekly meetings to the instant ability to ask questions and get answers. “It provides real-time reporting, but also real-time decision making. Management can now see [data] in real-time and ask questions then, which is extremely beneficial for us,” Van Orden explained.