Viridian Management, Inc. manages 120 properties with more than 3,570 affordable units spread throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho. It specializes in developing and managing tax credit properties. Viridian has experience with USDA Rural Development, HOME, HUD Multifamily Housing, as well as state and local sources of funds.
Creating a Curriculum for Affordable Housing
Late in 2018, the leadership team at Viridian sought online training content that could train staff to use Yardi Voyager and its built-in components for property management, accounting and affordable housing compliance. The scope of work proved daunting due to factors such as project timeline constraints, the expansive subjects Viridian desired to cover in the training program and the diversity of its affordable housing subsidies.
In order to train their team for success, Viridian looked to Yardi’s learning management system. Yardi Aspire is an online training program that empowers staff with the information they need to be successful in their job, including training on Yardi software, human resources, corporate communications and beyond. Multiple package options allow users to build the learning program that best meets their business needs.
Training Staff the Viridian Way
Training is particularly complex for Viridian because it participates in a variety of different affordable housing subsidies. Once Yardi Aspire was live, Viridian set up an employee university with specific learning tracks. Viridian can assign staff to those tracks based on the properties they work with. “When we saw the courses included with Yardi Aspire, we discovered that about 70% of everything we wanted to teach was already available and ready to use,” says Patrick Patterson, president of Viridian.
Viridian is on pace to grow its portfolio managed by more than 27% in 2019. With that growth comes the need to onboard new employees and teach them new skills. Training is central to those efforts.
“The problem with traditional training methods is that once the trainer leaves, a lot of the knowledge leaves with them. Simply put, a lot of training doesn’t stick the first time a user receives it,” says Patterson. That scenario caused Viridian staff to often require follow-up training sessions, which came with additional travel expenses and time expenditures.
The Benefits of Learning Management
In addition to decreasing road trips for trainers, Yardi Aspire has increased training consistency for Viridian. Patterson says the difference is night and day compared with former training processes.
“In-person training varies quite a bit. Not only is it dependent on teaching style, but there are also variables such as training materials, interpretations of policies, the potential for important steps to be skipped – the list goes on and on. Yardi Aspire takes all of those variables out of our training program.”
Viridian has also instilled greater self-sufficiency in its staff with Yardi Aspire. Instead of immediately calling for help, users can search in Aspire for a function and quickly find courses on the topic they are looking to master. And if an employee can’t find the right course on their own, it’s easy for a trainer to get online with them and point them to the right resource. “That’s much more efficient than sending a trainer to our properties over and over,” says Patterson.
Going Beyond Training
Staff training is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Viridian’s employee university. Company announcements, conference registrations, employee surveys, digital signatures and many other functions are all centralized within their Yardi Aspire platform.
Our stats show we have more than 40,000 pages viewed, more than a thousand courses completed and a huge amount of hours spent learning in just a few months,” says Patterson.