Timberland Partners is a real estate investment, management and development firm committed to providing exceptional service to its residents, opportunities to its team members and long-term relationships with its investors.
Standardizing practices and problem-solving workflows
It’s common for property management companies to have teams separated geographically, whether its across town or in another state. No matter the distance, physical separation creates challenges for a company, and training is a great example.
Traditionally, training has relied on methods that have become dated or ineffective, for example prerecorded videos, classroom sessions and basic on-the-job instruction. Over the years, Timberland discovered that new training resources were necessary to ensure consistency in learning across all its properties and to give team members the best tools necessary to perform their jobs.
Yardi Aspire is a complete learning management platform fit for all sizes and types of property management companies. Aspire users empower their team members with skills and knowledge to excel on the job and leverage opportunities for personal growth. Yardi Aspire is the only training solution on the market that enables clients to automatically distribute role-based learning plans that cover multiple competency areas, including Yardi software skills, required compliance, company policies, safety, leasing, procedures and professional skills.
Taking training beyond online coursework
Angie Gatzke is Timberland’s Director of Learning and Development, a role which makes her responsible for making sure the team is equipped with the skills and resources to perform their best across all company rolls. She’s found Aspire to be a great platform to help her achieve her training goals for the company.
As of late 2021, Timberland’s Aspire data shows that 98% of its approximately 500 team members are active users, and that more than 10,000 courses have been completed.
Empowering the team
Aspire’s feature set goes far above online access to preloaded classes. One of the most effective of those features for Timberland is the way Aspire centralizes information to connect each team member with a central resource repository of knowledge.
“Resource containers have become a one-stop-shop for team members to solve problems independently,” says Gatzke. Timberland uses the resource container feature to organize internal policies, procedures and Yardi software best practices. Team members at any of Timberland’s sites can log on to resource containers in Aspire and see information that is always up to date and consistent.
“In the past, when we’d have a problem or question for Yardi, we’d enter a support ticket and wait for a response. Aspire empowers us with the knowledge and resources to find answers to questions on our own. That type of problem solving is faster and instills a greater sense of self-confidence,” says Gatzke.
Tracking staff development
Aspire is key to streamlining how Timberland onboards new team members by ensuring training is consistent in methodology and content across the organization.
“Yardi Aspire is a game changer when it comes to onboarding new team members. We know exactly what they’ll be learning throughout the process. That level of consistency is quite valuable to staff development as well as creating a sense of connectiveness for our teams,” says Gatzke.
Standardizing initial training with Aspire’s self-paced online coursework helps Timberland with quickly getting basic workflows and techniques taught to new team members. Covering that content with Aspire makes it easier for Timberland to cover deeper topics through live webinars or one-on-one in person.
“It’s so helpful that our new team members can learn Yardi software through easy to consume micro-sessions. Getting through those basics gives us more time to work on the bigger picture aspects of working for Timberland,” says Gatzke.
Creating custom content
By default, Yardi Aspire includes full site branding tools that help turn the virtual learning space into a company-specific hub of information. However, there are many more ways to use customization tools to create a true company university that fits each organization’s specific needs.
Advanced customization options are available to fine-tune the customization beyond the site layout and color scheme. Visibility controls available on all site objects enable administrators to create custom views for their learners by restricting or making content available on the catalog and in resource containers so learners can find applicable options with minimal clicks.
Timberland’s Aspire site administrators use the embedded authoring tools to create new coursework as well as to add company-specific content and insights to preloaded Yardi courses. “Aspire comes with course templates, themes, authoring tools and more. I’m quite impressed with what our training team has done creatively with Aspire,” says Gatzke.