Yardi Atlanta’s New Green Home Sep27

Yardi Atlanta’s New Green Home

Mansell Overlook, the new location for Yardi’s Atlanta offices, received LEED Gold for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance. The Yardi teams have been in their new green home for two months now, adjusting to the office space, getting to know new coworkers, and generally letting the dust settle. Mansell Overlook was built in 1996, before the modern green movement really took off in the southeast’s commercial sector. When owners considered a green renovation over a decade later, they faced challenges common to retrofits. With tireless dedication, the team exceeded expectations. “We earned LEED Gold when others said we could only get Silver for that LEED budget and schedule,” reports Amanda Madrid, LEED Green Associate and General Manager at Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc. In addition to the complex’s Gold certification, the project team included programs for green landscaping, integrated pest management, green cleaning, green TI’s and cooling tower chemical management. Miraculously, the project was completed under budget. Building 500, which holds Yardi’s offices, received an 95/100 Energy Star Score. The site saves 32 percent in water expenses thanks to high-efficiency restroom fixtures. The site also avoids the waste of products used within the office.  65 percent of ongoing consumables (plastic, paper, glass, etc.) are diverted from landfills through the site’s single-stream recycling. 100 percent of office waste, such as furniture and electronics, can also be diverted. Yardi employees reap the benefits of low mercury lighting and improved indoor air quality. Onsite walking trails and gardens provide a beautiful place to relax and unwind during breaks. After hours, Yardi staff can head down to the gym for an invigorating workout before heading home. “We really tried to make the workplace comfortable and enjoyable for our tenants,” says Madrid. The green features did not require Yardi to skimp on space. The additional square footage provides Yardi team members with “breakout rooms,” small meeting areas that are great for impromptu meetings. For larger gatherings, team members drew upon local sports teams to identify their conference rooms. The Falcons, Braves, and Hawks all have designated conference rooms. The largest meetings are held in The Dome, the namesake of Atlanta’s professional football stadium. The new space will also accommodate our growing family. As Yardi’s HOUSINGCafe product takes off, the new support staff will likely join their peers at Mansell Overlook. Employees may take advantage of access to public transit, which is a huge deal in Atlanta where the average commute exceeds an hour each day. Public transit shortens commute times, not to mention that the time could be spent reading, FaceTiming with friends, or anything other than staring at the bumper in front of you. Those who opt to use personal vehicles can take advantage of the property’s six electric vehicle charging stations. Mansell Overlook aims to improve the tenant experience for years to come. “Vendors and tenants participated in the initial certification,” says Madrid. “We will continue to follow best green practices with education and support from property management as well as through tenant satisfaction surveys.” Word on the Street Learn Yardi employees’ favorite features of the new building: “I like the people. It’s a really good group. The security guard is always so friendly and helpful. The facility is beautiful and really well done. The grounds are rather park-like here. It’s not just an office building that you pull up to. There is availability to do a lot of things, like the trails and our public spaces.” —Atlanta Office Administrative Assistant “I like the upgraded office space, the layout of the floor plan, and the combination of our two locations.”– Chastity Cook, HR Generalist/Operator Coordinator “Yardi is a great place to work and this is a great environment. I’ve done the walking trails a few times. I’ve been to the fitness center but I haven’t joined yet! Overall it’s just a nice atmosphere.” —Karen Francis, Utility Auditor My favorite features? Yardi uses...

#YardiLove Feb17

#YardiLove

Compassion takes on a lot of forms. Sometimes it’s the coworker who helps you troubleshoot an issue for a client. Other times, it’s like coworkers coming together to support a peer during their darkest hours. The Yardi Atlanta team recently celebrated a virtual Valentine’s Day that showcased compassion, love and camaraderie in their many forms. #YardiLove in Atlanta Organizers Michelle O’Neal and Carolyn Goldin encouraged employees to share their appreciation for their terrific teammates by visiting the office’s Confluence page. There, they could post Valentines “javascript style.” In the comments section, teammates left kind notes, GIFs and memes to brighten one another’s day. They could also post a picture of themselves with their favorite Yardi employee(s) or Valentine(s). The contest encouraged Yardi employees to celebrate togetherness even while they are apart. O’Neal explains, “I think we all are searching for ways to reconnect with our friends and colleagues.  Because Valentine’s Day is thought of mostly for love relationships, we thought we’d play off the relationship idea and swing it towards the relationships we have here at Yardi. We are a tight-knit culture that enjoys the social aspect.” The photo submissions showcased the creativity of Yardi Atlanta. They shared digital collages, screenshots of Teams meetings with fun backgrounds, wedding photos, as well as group pictures taken in past years. Each collaborative effort confirms that team spirit and Yardi’s corporate culture are alive and well, even in our remote work environment. Some employees opted to also share their images and kind words on social media under #YardiLove. Carolyn Goldin, consulting practices at Yardi said, “We wanted to share the #YardiLove especially because we haven’t connected with officemates who aren’t on our immediate teams in a while.” Participants were eligible to win Tango gift cards in a...

Maintaining Corporate Culture Feb02

Maintaining Corporate Culture

Remote work environments offer conveniences such as custom workspaces for employees and fewer overhead costs. Employers are learning, however, that employees may struggle to preserve corporate culture from a distance. This can be especially clear while hiring and onboarding new employees. A few practices can help you preserve and promote corporate culture within your organization whether employees are near or far. Use technology to invest in employee growth Working from home can feel monotonous or repetitive. Employees want to know that leadership continues to support their growth and development. Use e-learning software for continuing education opportunities. If feasible, allot a few hours per quarter that employees can dedicate to their growth through online courses. It’s a relatively simply way to show employees that they are supported and corporate culture facilitates personal and professional growth. Host virtual acknowledgements and awards ceremonies An encouraging smile goes a long way. On the toughest days, a nod or gesture from leadership can help employees feel seen, empathized with and supported. Unfortunately, virtual communication doesn’t lend itself well to such small gestures. Ensure that your employees don’t feel lost among countless emails and instant messages. To show that they are not overlooked or underappreciated, host virtual ceremonies via video conference. Make time to give kudos for a job well done or awards for more significant accomplishments. Rainmaker research reports that, “mutual respect, gratitude, and recognition between coworkers and leadership” was essential to employee satisfaction. Acknowledgement boosts employee morale and reinforces a culture of teamwork and camaraderie. Maintain your commitment to corporate social responsibility Social distancing has halted many volunteerism initiatives. Fortunately, technology makes a way to maintain your commitment to philanthropy while promoting employee safety. Each year, Yardi offices assemble committees that organize volunteer efforts and nonprofit grants. Of course, 2020 forced committees to get creative—and boy, did they rise to the occasion! Many offices transitioned to virtual fundraising committees. The Yardi Oxnard office took it a step farther. Oxnard invited candidates to submit video presentations summarizing their organization, its needs and goals. These videos replaced in-person fairs and still helped employees get a personal feel for each worthy cause. After viewing the videos, employees remotely cast their votes. The top-ranking candidates received grant funds for the year. Yardi CSD replaced their annual in-person 3k walk with a virtual walk to support Angela’s House. The group connected via Microsoft Teams and then chatted while walking their neighborhoods. It was a fantastic way to raise funds for the organization while participating in team building. Yardi is Energized for Good! Learn more about Yardi’s remote corporate philanthropy efforts on our Giving page. Host virtual clubs for employees If your organization didn’t have a social committee before, now is the time to develop one. These powerful, employee-driven groups get a feel for what interests their peers. They then create engaging activities and events. Virtual clubs are opportunities for employees to “hang out” after hours while enjoying a shared interest. Consider fitness clubs where team members log on simultaneously for yoga, dance or Tabata classes. Painting, cooking, crafting and gaming are all fun way ways for employees to casually connect and build a culture of camaraderie. Keep holiday traditions alive It’s important to continue holiday celebrations whenever you can. While group meals and dancing may not be in the immediate future, you can still make merry using technology. For Yardi Atlanta, Halloween is a big deal. Each year, employees decorated their departments, their desks and their bodies in hope of winning bragging rights and prizes. Last year, the Yardi Atlanta social committee came up with creative workarounds for a virtual celebration. A pumpkin carving  and selfie contest, throwback Halloween photo contest and virtual mixology class were among a few of the fun activities employees enjoyed together. Of course, there were costume contests! Teams made collages for group costumes and decorated their home offices. All submissions, voting and awards...

Spirited Celebration Nov01

Spirited Celebration

The Yardi Atlanta office recently completed a successful Halloween Week! Going virtual was no easy feat, but the events committee tapped into the office’s love of competition to make a fun and memorable event. Hype years in the making Over the years, the social committees at Yardi Atlanta have helped to develop its office culture. The office is known as a place that fuels its hard work with camaraderie and fun. Annual Halloween celebrations brought team members together in pursuit of glory —until this year. With most of Yardi Atlanta working remotely, the office would not come together to celebrate Halloween. What would normally be a week of in-office costume parties and cubical decorations faced a great challenge in 2020. How could Yardi Atlanta take the festivities into a remote work environment? Would it still be fun and engaging? Undaunted by the task, the social committee launched a series of virtual events that encouraged creativity and competition. Each weekday featured a new challenge or activity to engage team members in the holiday spirit. Monday kicked off with a Pumpkin Selfie contest. Employees showed off their carving skills along with their smiles. The Best Pumpkin Selfie award went to Camilo Perez! After clocking out for the evening, a virtual call taught team members how to be Absinthe mixologists. Tuesday’s Throwback Halloween Costume Pictures conjured fringe haircuts, teased bangs and other horrors better left in their graves. There were real gems and great conversation starters among the submissions. Wendy Caffery received the Best Throwback Costume award. Working from home offers even more creative freedom to decorate! Wednesday’s competition received submissions of Halloween Home Décor, from fun and festive to ghoulish and frightening. Amber Brown earned the Best Decorations award. The workday then ended with Ghost Stories...

Stepping Up Jun01

Stepping Up

(Part three of a three-part series highlighting the efforts of food banks during COVID-19. Read about food bank efforts in Santa Barbara and Raleigh.) Always a supporter of the communities in which its offices are located, during the last three months Yardi has committed funds for hunger relief services across North America. This week, the real estate software leader announced a second round of donations for the food banks it supported in March. (Read previous blogs on the Santa Barbara County and Raleigh food banks.) An example of one outreach was a grant to the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB). “I know what a big difference this will make in so many lives locally,” says Don Rogers, general manager for Yardi Atlanta. Ben Burgess, ACFB corporate relations manager, received the donation from Yardi. “I’m speechless. This is the kind of overwhelming generosity that makes me love what I do and working with companies like yours,” Burgess said. From bad to better beyond expectations In early March, ACFB relocated to a new office. When COVID-19 business closures hit, the organization was still trying to acclimate to its new environment. “Most of us were still figuring out where all the light switches were and which printers were ours when this hit,” says Burgess. “We immediately lost our biggest fundraiser, the annual Hunger Walk/Run 5K and our annual Golf Tournament.” As consumers stocked up on supplies to shelter in place, retail stores became overwhelmed. Empty shelves left little to donate to the food bank. “Retail store donations represent round 1/3 of our food inventory which was just .. gone. We were bracing for the worst,” says Burgess. But in the midst of that anxiety came unexpected support for ACFB from the local community. “People stepped up to support us from all over the place. Businesses, non-profits, individuals, everyone. We know for certain that at least 30 people have donated the entirety of their stimulus check to help those who need it right now,” Burgess said. Volunteers, a crucial component of most food banks’ operations, couldn’t come in due to social distancing requirements. But an alternative source of help stepped in. “We typically host over 125,000 volunteer hours per year – but the state gave us 50 National Guard service members to help fill that role five days a week. It’s been an overwhelming thing to see,” Burgess said. We are in this together As a result of the community outpouring, ACFB has been able to meet the demand for emergency aid in the community. The organization has distributed over 7 million pounds of food in the last 30 days, including 4.1 million in the last two weeks. Every donation is needed. “In demand, we estimate an increase of more than 30% in the last 30 days which puts us at more than 1 million people who are food insecure in the metro Atlanta area right now,” reports Burgess. “We are humbled. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your support!” says Burgess. Learn more about emergency relief efforts at ACFB: Join Yardi in donating to the Atlanta Community Food Bank....

Stellar Remote Work Apr17

Stellar Remote Work

Shelter in place practices have driven most organizations to explore remote work environments in greater depths. This new terrain presents unique challenges and opportunities. A common challenge is promoting unity and engagement amongst employees during an undetermined period of isolation. Below are six tips to drive employee engagement and productivity among remote workforces during COVID-19. Connect with tech There are numerous tools that make remote communication an effortless part of any workflow. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack are popular options for keeping employees connected. Each offers chat, voice, and video services suitable for duos and small groups. Yardi uses Microsoft Teams and GoToMeeting to promote engagement for groups of all sizes. When employees must share documents, graphics and other media, Robohead facilitates team and inter-departmental project planning. Reach out regularly Encourage consistent connection between team members and leadership. While managers and executive staff may not attend every meeting, weekly or bi-weekly meetings with leadership can help employees feel better connected to the health and vision of the company. Since taking 80% of its employees remote, Yardi has shifted from annual executive meetings to weekly “Global Town Hall” meetings. Some of these virtual gatherings are live, and others are pre-recorded. Each offers employees an opportunity to learn from leadership, explore the company’s response to COVID-19, understand client feedback, and connect with other teams. Find time for fun Attempt to replicate the ambiance of the “water cooler” or staff lounge. This is a space where employees share non-work-related news, participate in fun team-building activities, and relieve stress. Yardi client Lincoln Property Company features several remote work tips on its blog. A recent post on long distance activities to enjoy at home offers suggestions on ways to promote employee camaraderie at a distance. For example, consider hosting...

Baked Goodness

You ever get a warm, fuzzy feeling when you do something good for someone else? It’s not that dissimilar to the first bite of your favorite dessert made by a loved one. Both are rich with compassion, joy, and the warmth of the holidays. Yardi Atlanta introduced its first annual Bake Off, a baking competition that honors the spirit of holiday giving. It has set the tone to be a favorite for years to come. Creating The Bake Off Yardi Atlanta’s first annual Bake Off was bittersweet. In the past, the office hosted a potluck for Thanksgiving. Yardi corporate provided the ham and turkey and all additional sides and desserts were made by employees. It was a fun and much anticipated event. Yet as the Yardi Atlanta team grew, volunteer coordination of the potluck became less feasible. A fantastic local caterer saved the day. Yet devoted bakers—as well as devoted eaters of homemade goodies—sought a creative way to continue the tradition. “The Bake Off now serves three purposes,” explains volunteer coordinator Kelsey Aslani, technical account manager, consulting practices at Yardi. “The Bake Off was formed because so many of the employees here really enjoy making food to share. This helps maintain the sense of community that Thanksgiving at Yardi has always garnered. Secondly, we were able to maintain a focus on corporate social responsibility by supporting local nonprofits.” With a smile, she adds, “Lastly, everyone loves a good competition.” Baking for Good: North Fulton Community Charities Proceeds from The Bake Off benefit North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC) and Atlanta Food Bank. Yardi contributes ongoing support to NFCC , a local nonprofit that serves more than 4,000 people. Families turn to NFCC for emergency aid and enrichment programs. Through the organization, they access resources to promote...

Season of Warmth Nov03

Season of Warmth

The year’s end brings lower temperatures and cloudier skies. It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up under blankets or enjoy the warmth of a crackling fire. Not all families are so fortunate. Yet through acts of compassion, residents of north Metro Atlanta who are facing dire straits can stay warm this season. NFCC Coat Drive To support neighbors in need, Yardi Atlanta embarked on a mission to contribute new and gently used outerwear to North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC). For one month, employees shopped and Marie-Kondo’d their homes in search of warm gear. They brought their findings to work with them. Collection boxes throughout the office steadily filled with attire. Volunteers Lyndsay Griffin, Shela Johnson, Kayla Roth, and Marilyn Duffield helped to keep things organized. This week, organizers announced that the 2019 Yardi Atlanta Coat Drive was a success! Team members were able to deliver 120 coats to NFCC in addition to jackets, scarves, and gloves. Last year, NFCC was privileged to distribute approximately 1,400 winter coats, making Yardi’s donation about 10 percent of the nonprofit’s annual contribution. “These coats are hand delivered to the homeless and to our most in-need community members,” reports Marilyn Duffield, Residential Project Manager, Residential Client Services at Yardi. “We made a difference, and it was not trivial! I love this company!” Emergency Aid in North Fulton Each year, NFCC serves more than 4,000 families amongst North Fulton’s growing population of economically marginalized families. The nonprofit operates in cities north of Atlanta proper including Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, and Roswell. In these cities, the average wage needed to pay for a two-bedroom apartment is more than $21 per hour. The minimum wage is only $7.25. Through emergency aid and enrichment programs, NFCC builds self-sufficiency and prevents...

The Drive to Succeed Sep25

The Drive to Succeed

Strong communities stick together to ensure that each member can thrive. Yardi Atlanta has forged an ongoing relationship with Mimosa Elementary School to help even the littlest community members become their best selves. Beating the Odds Mimosa Elementary School is a Title 1 school with about 800 students. As a school within an Economic Opportunity Zone, participating families often have incomes below the poverty line. As a result, approximately 95 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch rates. Economic difficulty has not stopped the community’s passion for quality education. The academic growth of Mimosa’s students is higher than 74 percent of schools in the state and higher than its district. About 34 percent of its third grade students read at or above the grade level target, an important milestone for youth. Mimosa Elementary School is Beating the Odds, meaning that it performs better than similar Title 1 schools. Yardi Atlanta Loves Friendly Competition The Roswell, Georgia community bands together to help Mimosa students prepare for class. Each year, Yardi team members collect the supplies that local kids need for confidence and success in school. Christie Daniel, Keiya Huguley, Shawn Walker, and Terence Walker of the Yardi Atlanta School Supply Drive Committee organized this year’s event. To tap into employees’ sense of friendly competition, organizers turn the supply drive into a game. Teams were challenged to be: the first to collect all the items on the school’s wish list. Winners received lunch on the house! the team that gathered more donations than all other teams. Winners receive an ice cream party! The first team to collect all items on the school supply list was the Classic and Genesis 2 team. The team to collect the most items was the Affordable Programming team. Congratulations to both hardworking and...

Meals that Heal Aug11

Meals that Heal

It all started with football. In the early 70s, Philadelphia Eagles player Fred Hill spent many days in hospitals with his daughter as she underwent treatment for leukemia. The merciless straight-back chairs, lack of beds, limited and unhealthy food options were trivial problems compared to the cost of care and accommodations during treatment. It was a formidable challenge even for an NFL salary. Hill realized that something needed to be done to help families. The concept for Ronald McDonald House (RMH) soon took form. How McDonalds Got Into Health Services How the fast food mega chain, McDonalds, developed its health services nonprofit is an unlikely story. The Eagles raised money for the first house on their own, passing a bucket at a home game. They gathered more than $10,000 in donations at a single game! Team representatives then approached McDonalds. They asked if $0.25 of profits from The Original Shamrock Shake promotion could be donated to buy a property. McDonalds decided to dedicate all proceeds from the shakes to the property fund in exchange for naming the house after the company. The first Ronald McDonald House was purchased with $100,000 in donations from sports fans and milkshake lovers. Yardi Atlanta Volunteers with Ronald McDonald House, Peachtree-Dunwoody Ronald McDonald Houses rely on volunteers to make the houses into homes. Volunteers regularly offer support, entertain kids, and provide meals for families. Yardi Atlanta stepped up to the plate to pitch in. Volunteers included Shawn Walker, Jay Troxel, Craig Giattino, Amanda Leake, Keiya Huguley, Janese Walker, Tonika Law, Erica Rascon, Thomas Barker, and Stephen Malone. The volunteer event began with a tour of the facility lead by Scott Mills, evening manager. Yardi employees learned the history of RMH Atlanta and explore the building which included resident rooms,...

Small Box, Big Impact...

The United Way of Greater Atlanta Shoebox Project is a creative way to provide more than 30,000 homeless people in greater metro Atlanta with daily necessities. Each year, Yardi Atlanta lends its creativity, time, and resources to help United Way fulfill its mission. This year was another success! The Shoebox Project United Way of Greater Atlanta is a nonprofit organization serving 13 counties in Georgia. These counties are home to nearly half a million children who live in communities with low or very low child well-being scores. Many of these children and their families may struggle with homelessness. In 2006, United Way of Greater Atlanta launched the Shoebox Project as a campaign to collect essential items for homeless populations. The organization reached out to individuals, families, and businesses to fill shoeboxes with toiletries for men, women and children. More than 13 years later, the Shoebox Project has been adopted by United Ways throughout the nation. Shoebox items include toiletries as well as first aid and enrichment items. Last year, the organization collected more than 35,200 shoeboxes with a value of more than $704,080.  Yardi + United Way Yardi’s preparation for the Shoebox Project is a year-round endeavor. Employees donate supplies such as undergarments, toiletries, hygiene products, first aid kits, and portable activities for children. Employees are encouraged to explore cost effective options by donating time or free items, such as complimentary goods from businesses. Near the end of spring, Yardi volunteers sort items, allocate them to shoeboxes, and then cover the boxes in gift wrap. This year, Yardi packed and wrapped over 75 boxes! The United Way collects its donations from volunteers throughout the metro Atlanta area. It then distributes the shoeboxes to local nonprofit agencies that serve homeless and low-income men, women and children....

Earth Week for All

Yardi Atlanta’s Earth Week celebration proved to be a fun way to promote workplace camaraderie and environmental consciousness. The new approach to Earth Week serves as a successful model for other corporate environments. The Best Earth Week—Ever The week was packed with informative and interactive events for Yardi Atlanta employees. To promote sustainable transportation, a representative from the Georgia Power Electronic Vehicle Program facilitated a session on EV car chargers and rebates. Employees also enjoyed a car show featuring Tesla, Porche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Nissan, and BMW vehicles. Dealership representatives talked about their lineup’s latest green advancements. Employees couldn’t stop talking about the eye-catching Porsche E Tron. It demonstrated a luxurious approach to sustainable transportation. A sleek design, spacious interior, and user-friendly dashboard helped employees reimagine the electronic driving experience. The following day, Georgia Power returned to offer a presentation on energy efficiency at home. Employees learned practical tips to lower their energy bills.  Fulton County Water Department also made an appearance during Earth Week, leading a presentation on water conservation. Attendees learned multiple ways to make their homes more efficient. They also discovered rebates and programs that can decrease monthly utility costs. Rubicon Global’s trash audit offered many interesting findings. Yardi Atlanta learned that 70 percent of its trash was compostable and could be diverted from the waste stream! Additionally, the office learned that its recycling practices were clean with minimal contamination. The news encouraged employees to pursue zero contamination. For the full week of events, check out our last blog post. Keys to Success Yardi Atlanta Earth Week was a huge success thanks to teamwork, local collaboration, and relentless marketing. Sustainability Within Atlanta Yardi (SWAY) brainstormed and organized the Earth Week events. The volunteer-based group is led by employees Ethan Arbiser, energy benchmarking analyst, CSD and Evan Hearn, energy management analyst, CSD. The group received support from Don Rogers, general manager, G&A. SWAY reached out to local businesses to garner support. Yardi client and property management company, Cushman & Wakefield, agreed to transform Yardi’s Atlanta office into a multidisciplinary learning environment. Local utilities, dealerships, and grocery stores also contributed to Earth Week events. Earth Week would not have been a success without the attendance of curious and supportive Yardi Atlanta employees. To attract the masses, SWAY shared the week’s itinerary via blog, press release, and several daily social media posts. Looking Forward SWAY’s Earth Week celebration can be replicated at other Yardi offices! Yardi offices are encouraged to create local volunteer groups, like SWAY, to organize Earth Week events at their sites in 2020. The volunteer group may also choose to work with its local Yardi office manager to pursue green solutions for the site year-round. Together, the manager and volunteer group may explore eco-friendly trash audits, recycling services, even vendors that supply sustainable office and kitchen supplies. Collaborating with other local organizations, such as utility providers, adds depth and diversity of knowledge to Yardi-sponsored events. Have questions about starting an Earth Week campaign in your Yardi office next year? Contact Ethan...

Earth Week Apr19

Earth Week

Since 1970, Earth Day has served as a reminder to honor our beautiful, fragile, and generous planet. What started as a single day is now a week-long observance! Below, you will find ideas for Earth Day programming that build loyalty and community among your staff. Yardi Atlanta even offers a full week of fun, informative activities that you can adapt to your site.    Build loyalty Employees favor eco-friendly workplaces over traditional models. Millennials in particular desire workplaces that “improve society.” When working for an earth conscious employer, employees report a heightened sense of well being and purpose. Sustainability measures are popular tools to attract and maintain talent. Use Earth Week to highlight your existing green efforts or jumpstart new programs at your organization. In the process, you will build loyalty amongst employees and position your brand well with prospective new hires. Explore an office-wide celebration If a week of earth-friendly activities seems overwhelming, take heart. You don’t have to go in alone. Yardi Atlanta, for example, collaborates with local businesses to get employees involved in Earth Week. Its programming piques employee interest in sustainability while encouraging workplace satisfaction. Starting April 22, Yardi Atlanta will host fun and informative daily activities. Sustainability Within Atlanta Yardi (SWAY) teamed up with Yardi client and property management company, Cushman & Wakefield, to host these events: On Monday, Yardi corporate sponsors a healthy breakfast for staff. Selected foods will emphasize the role sustainable farming practices play in overall environmental health. Tuesday emphasizes sustainable transportation. A representative from the Georgia Power Electronic Vehicle Program will facilitate a session on EV car chargers and rebates. Guests are also invited to a car show with contributions by local dealers. Tesla, Porche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Nissan, and BMW will have cars and...

Employee Appreciation Mar15

Employee Appreciation

In honor of Employee Appreciation Day, Yardi Atlanta set up Appreciation Stations throughout the office. Employees were encouraged to take a few moments to think about someone they’d like to acknowledge for doing a great job or helping their team. “The person you acknowledge could be someone on your team, someone you went through training with that made it just a little bit easier, or even someone who may have given you a few words of encouragement over a cup of coffee,” Catrina Ishman, human resources generalist at Yardi Atlanta wrote in an office-wide email explaining the event. “Whoever it might be, please stop by one of the Appreciation Stations and write a few kind words letting them know why you appreciate them.” Employees were given one week to plan, write, and drop off their letters at the Appreciation Stations. There were no limits on how many appreciation letters employees could create. Since it was the first year for such an activity, the planning committee was not sure how it would turn out. They were pleasantly surprised to distribute over 300 appreciation letters at the end of the week! After the planning committee distributed the appreciation letters, Yardi team members excitedly read their letters. Many posted the cards of gratitude and encouragement in their cubicles. Some team members were gracious enough to share their letters: “I would like to express my gratitude for those employees that take action when there is work to be done. Whether it’s emptying the dishwasher, volunteering for a Yardi event, or calling a client, it’s easy to overlook the importance of those that ‘keep the trains running on time.’ But your commitment to excellence has not gone unnoticed. Thank you, Yardi Employees!” – Adam “Chris, Thank you so much for always helping me with all of my questions and never making me feel like a burden. You were one of the first ones to make me feel like I was a part of this crazy PHA family. Thanks for being a great co-worker and awesome friend. You da best.” -Alyssa  “Marilyn, Thank you for always having the answers 😊 You are a fountain of knowledge, and not just about all things Yardi. I hope you know how much you’re appreciated!” – Jill  “Dear Kim, Thank you for all the help and guidance that you constantly provide me with. As a fledgling sparrow in the vast skies of Yardi, you have helped me learn to fly.”—Zeen 😊 At the end of the week, Yardi Atlanta celebrated all of its hardworking employees. As a thank you for ensuring that things run smoothly in the office, leadership purchased Tropical Café Smoothies for the group. It was a sweet way to end Employee Appreciation Day in Atlanta! Christine Kelly and Johnathan Atkins create appreciation cards A small portion of the 300 appreciation cards sent among peers Laura Perez, Chenetta Watson and Rakin Ahmed celebrate Staff Appreciation Day with smoothies Keisha Flen and Christi Duffey enjoy smoothies provided by Tropical Smoothie...

That’s a Wrap! Jan03

That’s a Wrap!

Getting an email from the human resources often means forms to fill out or documents to sign. The creative minds in Yardi Atlanta HR decided to spice things up. It has become their tradition to encourage holiday cheer by hosting a fun and engaging activity for the office. This year, they sent out an email initiating the first ever Yardi Wrap Battle. No, it wasn’t a present wrapping contest. This battle challenged teams to create a holiday-inspired rap song. Catrina Ishman, human resources generalist with Yardi, shared the inspiration behind the event. “One of our employees writes a daily positive message on her white board,” said Ishman. “As I was reading Monday’s message, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if we could do a poetry contest but with a twist?’ and the wheels started turning from there. We decided on a Wrap Battle that’s a play on wrapping gifts and wrapping up the year 2018.” For the Wrap Battle, teammates collaborated to write, perform, and record a 60-second rap. They were challenged to include the words: wrap, jingle, bells, snow, and Yardi. A committee of peers judged the submissions and announced the winners based on overall creativity. The winners of the 2018 Wrap Battle represent RENTCafé Affordable team! The grand prize is a catered lunch of their choice. In the spirit of the holidays, HR decided to create a snack basket for other participating teams. In addition to showing the friendly side of HR, the annual holiday events support Yardi corporate culture. “Some of the characteristics that make up Yardi’s unique culture are fun, collaboration and team work,” said Ishman. “I think activities like these allow employees to showcase their creative sides while still embodying who we are as a company. Our culture is...

Supporting the Community Nov30

Supporting the Community

To jumpstart the giving season, Yardi Atlanta Charity Committee recently released an overview of the year’s philanthropic efforts. The grants demonstrate Yardi’s mission to “take care of our communities” in action! The following 15 nonprofits received support from Yardi Atlanta in 2018. March of Dimes March of Dimes programs educate medical professionals to ensure that moms and babies get the best care available. The organization also helps families with newborns who are facing medical challenges. Several Yardi Atlanta team members participated in the annual March for Babies walk, hosted by March of Dimes. Yardi corporate also matched donations made to the organization. Mimosa Elementary School Mimosa Elementary is a Title 1 school of about 800 students. Located within an Economic Opportunity Zone, nearly 95 percent of parents’ incomes fall below the poverty line. Despite its difficulties, the dedicated school staff and Yardi team members work together to help students succeed. Recent initiatives included a backpack drive and courtyard cleanup. This year’s donation focused on improving the reading levels of third graders. Studies suggest that third grade literacy increases high school graduation rates. Camp Twin Lakes Camp Twin Lakes is a nonprofit with locations in Rutledge, Winder, and Warm Springs, GA. Camp excursions and activities provide fun developmental opportunities for children facing serious illnesses and disabilities. Kids can also experience the fun through the Campers to Go program, which takes interactive experiences to children’s hospitals throughout the state. Camp Twin Lakes continues its strong relationship with Yardi Atlanta. Through the Camper Scholarship Program, Yardi empowered 27 kids to attend camp. Make-A-Wish Georgia Never underestimate the power of a dream fulfilled! The national Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes for children facing life-threatening illnesses. Granting a wish brings hope! And a positive attitude can help to battle illness and improve quality of life. Yardi’s donation enabled 406 critically ill children to watch their dreams come true. Atlanta Humane Society The Atlanta Humane Society, a no-kill shelter, serves about 30,000 animals each year. Animals receive medical assistance as well as the opportunity to find a forever home with local families. Yardi’s contribution paid for 5,000 surgeries for rescued animals. Atlanta Community Food Bank In northwest Georgia, 1 in 5 children face food insecurity. Atlanta Community Food Bank aims to end food insecurity for families in need. Yardi’s donation supported mobile units that meet immediate demand for nutritious food in homes and at schools. While on site, staff members help residents complete screenings for longer-term assistance programs. Marcus and Sharon Gunter Foundation (MSG Foundation) Hunger adversely affects health outcomes as well as a person’s quality of life. The MSG Foundation serves families, children and seniors facing hunger in Cumming, Ga. With Yardi’s support, recipients receive aid through a monthly grocery supplementation program. School-aged children are eligible for Bags of Love, which provides sack lunches to kids during school breaks. Atlanta Children’s Shelter Atlanta Children’s Shelter aims to end family homelessness in Georgia. The organization also offers therapeutic programming to facilitate recovery from trauma. Yardi Atlanta’s donation was allotted to the STEAM program, which helps homeless children reach developmental and academic milestones. Foster Care Support Foundation More than 8,000 children rely on foster services in Georgia.  Children can escape abuse and neglect through Foster Care Support Foundation. The organization supplies essential items for foster parents and their families. Yardi’s donation provided 90 children with necessities such as clothing, books and basic care items. The contribution minimizes financial strain for foster families. Yardi’s donation also supports the mentorship program that helps teens in foster care navigate their journey towards adulthood. Lost-n-Found Sexual minority youth compose more than 40 percent of homeless youth in Atlanta. Lost-n-Found Youth strives to end homelessness for young members of the LGBTQ community. The nonprofit offers housing and counseling services to those in need. In addition to financial donations such as Yardi’s, Lost-n-Found Youth provides services through thrift shop revenues. The Drake House...

United Way Shoebox May18

United Way Shoebox

Before you discard an empty shoebox or a duplicate Happy Meal toy, think again. Those seemingly small items can go a long way toward promoting health and happiness for women and children in need. The Shoebox Project is a program hosted by the United Way. A few weeks before Mother’s Day each year, United Way delivers shoeboxes filled with essential items to women in homeless shelters, often mothers. The shoeboxes are filled and wrapped by volunteers. Yardi Atlanta has participated in the Shoebox Project for as long as anyone in the office can remember. It’s a year-long process. Employees contribute a variety of supplies such as toiletries, feminine hygiene products, first aid supplies, small toys, crayons, ponchos and socks. Then at the end of April, the supplies culminate into one large donation. Marilyn Duffield, Residential Project Manager, Client Services at Yardi explains the process once the items are collected: “We setup a conference room for people to stop by at their convenience—on lunch, between calls, at the end of the day—to wrap a shoebox or two, fill it with items from our stock-pile, and place a rubber band around it. We also collect monetary donations to use for wrapping paper or to buy more of an item that we need,” says Duffield. The versatility of the shoebox project allows all employees to get involved. Volunteers donate time, money, or items. Employees are encouraged to get creative with low- or no-cost options by bringing in extra hotel soaps or free toothbrushes from the dentist. When the 2018 project ended, Yardi delivered 115 boxes to the United Way. The donations completely filled Duffield’s car. “It is a feel-good project that reaches women and children all over Metro Atlanta,” smiles Duffield. “It’s such a great way to...

March for Babies Apr23

March for Babies

Yardi Atlanta recently reached and exceeded its fundraising goal for the March of Dimes walk. The office planned to raise $500 yet ended the day with $682! The fundraiser was a terrific way to boost morale and raise awareness for the upcoming March of Dimes March for Babies on April 28, 2018. The Organization March of Dimes understands that no one anticipates a baby born prematurely or very sick. Yet for hundreds of thousands of parents in the United States, that is the frightening reality. Each year, more than half a million babies are born premature or with birth defects. March of Dimes supports the efforts of parents and newborn intensive care unit (NICU) staff to save the lives of babies. Without the Affordable Care Act and March of Dimes support, most families would not be able to afford NICU services. Yet care doesn’t start in the NICU. March of Dimes also funds vital services for mothers. With early care, mothers and specialists can identify and minimize risks of preterm birth and birth defects. Yardi Atlanta + March of Dimes Last year, the Atlanta office supported March of Dimes for the first time as a group. Several families that had experienced premature childbirth, as well as those who have been affected, rallied together. Support for the cause grew into an office-wide effort this year. Stacy Harmon, Senior Quality Assurance Specialist Programming at Yardi, will be participating in the walk. “My son RJ (pictured at right and left) was six weeks premature,” says Harmon. “As scared as we were, we really had no need to worry. He was well taken care of while in the NICU for the 10 days after he was born. He was tested, fed, changed and even dressed while they watched...

Yardi ATL Prom Drive

Yardi Atlanta recently celebrated the most successful Yardi Prom Drive, supporting Foster Care Support Foundation (FCSF) in nearby Roswell, GA. About Foster Care Support Foundation Each year, approximately 8,000 children in Georgia are in need of foster care. Placement in a good home is only part of the battle. Many foster parents and relatives struggle to provide enrichment materials and experiences for the children in their care. For 17 years, FCSF had provided free clothing, infant care equipment, and developmental learning tools to thousands of foster and relative care families. The organization accepts gently used materials to offset its annual operational costs of $700,000. To date, the organization has served more than 50,000 children through its services. Yardi Atlanta + FCSF Yardi formed a relationship with FCSF through the local grant committee. Committee members Shana Winbush and Marilyn Duffield proposed the idea of supporting foster families. The timeliness of FCSF Prom Drive was a perfect fit. Yardi hosted this year’s Prom Drive Boutique in honor of FCSF. Committee member Keiya Huguley helped to coordinate the event. “Many foster families don’t have $200-$500 to pay for the tux, suit, dress, shoes, accessories, make-up, hair, nails, and everything that goes into attending a prom. Prom Drives give foster children a better chance of living a life close as possible to ‘normal,’ despite circumstances. These types of drives are helping families financially and impacting them emotionally,” observes Huguley. To raise awareness for the clothing drive, the committee started a prom photo contest that selected daily winners for a week. Employees submitted their prom photos to enter the daily drawing. Daily winners received entry into the final drawing where they were eligible to become Yardi Prom King and Queen. But before announcing the winners, the team created a...

Pitching In

Nearly three dozen Yardi Atlanta team members and their loved ones recently volunteered for the Mimosa Elementary School Courtyard Cleanup. Their efforts transformed a neglected square into a welcoming space for students and faculty. A growing body of research confirms the importance of green space in communities. They foster physical and mental health, bolster energy, and even reduce crime rates. The myriad of benefits associated with green spaces highlights the significance of the elementary school courtyard. Winding walkways, a spacious deck, and raised garden beds made the courtyard a beautiful place for learning. School counselor Flynn Pustilnik explained, “Teachers can facilitate their reading or writing time outdoors and incorporate science curriculum into that time. Some teachers have incorporated project-based learning with our outdoor space and made habitats for the turtles out there. As the counselor, I like to use the outdoor space to eat lunch with students.” In recent years, however, weeds filled the garden beds and shrubs peaked near the gutters. In Georgia, school budgets do not include funds for landscaping other than grass mowing. A gardening club invested personal funds and time to maintain the space for years but the club eventually dissolved. The courtyard became a less inviting place. The two turtles—one of which is more than 14 years old—were the only ones who liked to linger in the courtyard. It was time for an overhaul. Yardi Atlanta stepped up to help the local school. The courtyard cleanup is one of many outreach collaborations between Yardi and Mimosa Elementary School, including a recent school supply drive. The morning of the event, rain drizzled as the volunteers arrived to the parking lot, unloading the gardening tools and cleaning supplies that they brought from home. Other volunteers arrived with supplies from Home Depot, purchased with gift...

ATL March of Dimes

Atlanta summers are known for their sweltering heat and ruthless humidity. Those conditions were no match for Yardi Atlanta. The team of eight braved the heat to show their support for babies during the March of Dimes March for Babies. Supported by donations from fellow team members, their efforts helped to give hope and support to babies and their families. March of Dimes was born as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, a response to President Franklin Roosevelt’s personal struggle with polio and his desire to see the disease eradicated. The organization fought and achieved its mission to end polio in the United States before turning its attention to broader services. The nonprofit now supports March of Dimes Prematurity Research Center in its fight for healthy babies. The center leads in groundbreaking research on the genetic causes of birth defects, screening methods, as well as pregnancy education for medical professionals and the general public. March of Dimes and the Prematurity Research Center have experienced major breakthroughs. The teams created and improved surfactant therapy to treat respiratory distress. The new Folic Acid Campaign successfully reduces incidences of neural tube defects and birth defects of the brain and spine. The organizations also founded a system of regional neonatal intensive care centers for premature and sick babies. To continue the good work, March of Dimes relies on March for Babies as its primary fundraiser. There are thousands of marches across the United States each year, each one uniting teams of family members, coworkers, and friends on a journey towards a future for healthy babies. Yardi Atlanta team members Heather Humrich, Monique Benson, Ken Romero, Kami Reid, Wendy Caffrey, Shana Winbush, Charity Williams, and Elizabeth Daniels participated in the march. They represented Yardi on the walk of the...

Back to School

Back-to-school season can be a stressful time. New schedules, new responsibilities, and seemingly endless errands can be overwhelming for families. For some, obtaining school supplies is a major stressor. Yardi Atlanta made back-to-school preparations a bit brighter for several local families. Yardi Atlanta adopted Mimosa Elementary School, a Title 1 school with about 800 students. The school lies within an Economic Opportunity Zone, an area where many families have lower incomes. Nearly 95 percent of students at the school qualify for free or reduced lunch rates, meaning that their parents’ income falls below the poverty line. The Atlanta team leads several projects to assist the school and its hardworking families. Heather Humrich, Administrative Assistant, G&A, works closely with school counselor Flynn Pustilnik. Together, they find ways to get essential resources to the kids who need them most. “I love being a school counselor,” says Pustilnik. “I enjoy helping students resolve problems that may arise and overcome barriers to learning so that they can achieve academic success.” In early August, the Atlanta team completed a School Supply Drive. Yardi employees purchased brand new school supplies and left their donations in decorative boxes throughout the office. Some employees bought paper, pencils, markers, backpacks, and similar supplies for the elementary school students. Their donations filled three large boxes. Other employees donated money for the purchase of school materials, totaling $147. Those funds contributed to four over-stuffed backpacks full of school necessities for students. Pustilnik estimates that Yardi’s donation will serve about 100 students. “The donated goods help our students start the year school prepared and ready for learning.  They can focus more on academics knowing that their basic needs have been met and that they have the materials that they will need to be successful in the classroom,”...

Yardi Year in Review: Part Two Dec27

Yardi Year in Review: Part Two

Welcome back. Over the course of 2013, we featured many exciting milestones for Yardi here on The Balance Sheet. It was a year of strong growth for many of our clients, and Yardi’s products evolved to help support their goals and plans in the world of real estate. Here’s a look at some of the stories we featured that you might not want to miss. Find the highlights from January to June, published yesterday, right here. July Realcomm announced the winners of the 2013 Commercial Real Estate Digital Innovation Awards (AKA the “Digies”), including an award for Best Real Estate Technology Innovation, which was won by Yardi’s Commercial Leasing Pad. Yardi acquired Pierce-Eislen, a real estate research and reporting firm focusing on the multi-family industry. Teams from Yardi’s Pune, India office, selected a local non-profit organization to benefit from their  collaborative volunteer efforts. Dennis Shelly retired from Yardi after serving as a shipping assistant in the Santa Barbara office for eight years. In his free time he mentored at-risk kids. REALTORS® and Multiple Listing Services expressed concern about the practice of “scraping” exercised by some listing aggregators. Point2 took a stand. August Additional options for credit screening, including a new solution being offered by Yardi Resident Screening, help address the issue of potential renters who lack credit scores. September Yardi Atlanta moved to a new, “greener” home. Mansell Overlook, the new location, received LEED Gold for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance. When Saul Klein realized the incredible potential that the Internet held to change the business of real estate, he was way out ahead of a forthcoming revolution. Today, he’s a widely renowned industry expert and part of the Yardi team. Top-rated teachers from our bi-annual YASC conference offered their advice about which classes to take at the event. Their timeless insight is valuable for any future YASC attendee. October We released a new version of our flagship product that is browser and device agnostic, generating great excitement from clients and prospects industry-wide. Yardi Voyager 7S is here. Kicking off Fall YASC 2013, Yardi Systems founder and CEO Anant Yardi addressed to 1,450 Yardi clients about the future of technology and the habits of the multifamily industry’s newest renters. For more than a decade, Yardi has provided the software platform that powers the New York State’s Metropolitan Transit Authority Real Estate Department’s  financial record-keeping and reporting services. The Walk-in Payment System (WIPS™), available as part of Yardi Payment Processing™, was introduced as a solution alternative to accepting cash and money orders. Yardi and WhiteFence integrated their platforms so that renters have an easier renting and moving experience than ever before. November Did you know that Yardi’s flagship system, Yardi Voyager®, is also the software of choice for a ground-breaking shopping center in Abu Dhabi, Dubai? Yardi COO Gordon Morrell was featured on a UC Santa Barbara blog for his exemplary accomplishments as an alumni of the university. Using Yardi’s RENTCafe end-to-end marketing and leasing solution, Tarragon has been able to offer online leasing, responsive marketing websites, marketer and children’s book illustrator Jane Griffith told us. Yardi Voyager is used by companies and agencies around the world. But a training session for Yardi’s flagship product had probably never been delivered in American Sign Language (ASL) until 2013. Natural disasters both abroad and at home were devastating for the Philippines – where Typhoon Haiyan killed nearly 6,000 people – and in Illinois, where tornadoes destroyed more than 400 homes. Yardi has a long track record of providing financial assistance to disaster victims, and that tradition continued. December Each year, Yardi’s customer support team – better known as CSD – celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of its many associates with help from clients. We recognized them, too. Yardi eLearning™ is the gateway to hundreds of company-sponsored online training classes for two clients that are already using the new product to streamline their training...

On the Run Oct04

On the Run

Some folks go to the gym or take an extra walk around the block when they are trying to stay fit and healthy. David Hull and Alex Lewis, employees in Yardi’s Raleigh office, decided they’d rather try to outrun some zombies. On a quest for improved physical fitness, the friends – who started their Yardi careers together back in January 2012, David as an associate applications specialist and Alex as a commercial account manager – decided to try a unique fun run trend that’s been sweeping the nation. Why just run when you can run with a zombie trying to chase you? Other obstacle-style events include even more dangerous challenges – the Spartan Beast, for example, features a fire pit jump, barbed wire crawl and electric fence. Participants must sign a waiver releasing liability in case of death to be able to race. Motivated in part by the popularity of the TV series The Walking Dead, zombie-themed events have sprung up all over the south, especially in and around Atlanta, where the dynamic drama is set and filmed. Involving obstacle courses, mud, and live zombies/volunteers, flag belt-wearing participants attempt to make it through the course, typically a journey of several miles, without getting “killed.” Make it back with at least one of your flags (out of three) and you’ve survived. Alex and David decided to take on the Raleigh Zombie Escape at Panic Point without doing much running at all. They’d been training for several months on the Insanity workout, a rigorous high-intensity interval training plan that stresses the whole body. It involved intense cardio but not much distance running. Nevertheless, David and Alex decided to go for it and recruited a few other Yardi Atlanta employees to join them. They also agreed to...

YASC DC Day Two May23

YASC DC Day Two

We’re back for another great day of learning and insight at YASC DC 2012. Everyone seems very excited for another full day of training and opportunities to meet with Yardi experts and fellow real property professionals. Miss any of our Day One highlights? Check out the full Tuesday recap. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to break away from the busy conference schedule to check out some of the beautiful Washington D.C. neighborhoods right outside the Hilton. I took a quick run around Dupont Circle and over to Georgetown early this morning, and happened upon the Old Stone House, which was built in 1766 and is the only surviving pre-Revolutionary War building in the capital. The house, which was built by Christopher Layman, sits on one of the first 80 lots that were surveyed in the Port of Georgetown in 1751. 260 years later, it’s down the block from an American Apparel. This simple two story home, with a beautiful garden in the back, is a great example of how real estate is one of those universal points of interest, no matter what industry vertical you represent or where you may travel. What’s the most interesting building you’ve seen in D.C. so far? The blocks around Dupont Circle are comprised of beautiful older homes with stately architecture. They’re interspersed with embassies representing countries from around the world. *** 8:30 a.m. – Heading into our first round of sessions this morning, there’s a very diverse selection of offerings to choose from, many focusing on solving particular technical challenges relevant to your vertical. In the “Evaluating Your Business Processes,” Yardi Atlanta GM Don Rogers is leading an open flow discussion that aims to brainstorm solutions to participants’ unique business problems. So far the conversation has centered around...