Stronger Together

In Germany, an estimated 51% of men and 43% of women will develop cancer during their lifetime, reports medical research firm Bristol Myers Squibb. While the number of survivors is steadily increasing, so is the number of incidences amongst people of working age.  One non-profit organization helps families cope with cancer diagnoses to develop greater preparedness, resiliency and hope. Clarity, communication and community at Flüsterpost e.V. Flüsterpost e.V. (Whisper Mail in English) supports children whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer. This is done primarily through counseling for parents, which coaches adults on how to handle the diagnosis with their young family members. Pictured from left – Anita Zimmermann (Founder of Flüsterpost), Bärbel Welches (Yardi), Dirk Kolbe (Yardi) Karin Burchardt (Flüsterpost), Kathrin Stahl (Yardi) and Denis Litke (Yardi). The counseling sessions encourage open and honest discussion within the family. Through discussion, families can address or resolve issues and mitigate additional psychological and physical stress for the youth and young adults in the family. Additionally, children get the chance to learn how to deal with crisis situations in a capable and self-efficient way, thus strengthen their resources and resilience.  Family counseling is supplemented with additional research and resources. All services are confidential and free of charge. Clients can access services in person, by phone, email or via social media. Youth also have access to play therapy. At the center, kids can play instruments, explore the arts, participate in equine therapy, and so much more. Each activity is crafted to provide emotional support through self-expression and energetic release.  Flüsterpost e.V.  + Yardi Yardi is a proud sponsor of Flüsterpost e.V. Team members from the Germany office visited the site to learn more about the organization. Yardi team members Bärbel Welches, Dirk Kolbe, Kathrin Stahl and Denis Litke explored rooms that...

Contributing in Canada Sep18

Contributing in Canada

When it comes to teams, families and communities, communication is a key factor for success. In-person and virtual soft skills are steadily growing in importance. Yardi team member Meherzad Bakht is teaching youth how to embrace a healthy lifestyle and improve their virtual communication skills. Simultaneously, he’s honing his own soft skills and furthering his career. Overcoming challenges with tech Bakht is a Yardi Voyager sales representative based in Toronto. He’s celebrating eight years with the company. He began his career with Yardi because it brings together his “passion for real estate, sales and technology into one position.” On a typical day, Bakht learns the needs and tech requirements of prospects and clients. He then aligns them with the best technology solution(s) to help them achieve their goals. Through his work, it’s clear that he cares about helping people overcome challenges. Game On! Bakht expresses that care through community involvement. He volunteers with Greater Toronto Big Brothers, Big Sisters Game-On after school program. This virtual mentoring program is for boys ages 11 – 14. The youth learn the foundations for making healthy choices, such as physical activity, nutrition, and emotional intelligence through discussion. “I knew I wanted to work with kids and give back to the community through mentoring,” says Bakht. “Over the last several months, I have enjoyed sharing my experiences with these kids and just being a resource. This is something I didn’t have when I was growing up and I know how important that could be in someone’s life.” Join Bakht in supporting Big Brothers, Big Sisters by making a donation. Bakht understands that sometimes, youth want to talk to someone who is outside of their immediate group of friends or family. The fresh perspective on past experiences and guidance is impactful at that age. Bakht recalls one of his favorite activities, making stress balls with the kids. The organization sent the supplies to participants. Virtually, Bakht guided the kids in how to make the sensory tool using a water bottle, flour and a balloon. During the activity, they all chatted about what was on their minds. “This was a really fun experience when we are actively working together and it was great to teach them problem solving skills,” says Bakht. He continues, “I actively worked on communication and listening. They really go hand-in-hand. Youth at this age can be easily distracted, especially in a virtual environment. We have to work on keeping them engaged and active. That’s why creating the stress ball with them was such a great experience.” Mentoring offers transferrable skills “My experience with Game On is a great way for me to get additional practice for collaborating with others, internally or externally, in a virtual world,” reflects Bakht. “These are great skills to practice because as a senior account executive, I need to be able to listen to and understand our clients’ needs to communicate how Yardi can best help them.” Over the last two years, the use of property management technology has grown. Many organizations have implemented, disparate systems. Some don’t know that a fully integrated property management, accounting, leasing and marketing solution is available. But Bakht works with clients wherever they are in the tech adaption process. Once he understands the bigger picture, he can help clients reduce touchpoints, gather reliable data and reporting—all via remote access. “Technology can be a true problem solver. And my work with Game On has improved my virtual communication skills so that I can even better serve our clients.” Tips for getting involved Bakht encourages community involvement, and not to be daunted by preparation. “If others are looking to volunteer and give back to the community, I would say don’t overthink it. Do some research, see how much time you have and reach out. These organizations are in need of volunteers, so they will work with you to align your goals, skills and how...

Team Works Jul16

Team Works

When do you know you’ve found the right job? Many employers offer competitive compensation. Stand out companies encourage, support and celebrate the personal and professional development of their team. Add in a company culture that nurtures clients and community relationships and you’ve got the Yardi Breeze sales department. Staying connected The team consists of about 140 members servicing both Breeze and Breeze Premiere. They are responsible for positioning and selling the software to companies that specialize in managing real estate assets within targeted markets. Yardi Breeze sales team members represent at an in-person trade show event. Team members reside throughout the U.S. including Santa Barbara and Oxnard, Calif., Salt Lake City, Dallas, Irving, Texas, Long Island, N.Y., Raleigh, S.C. and Atlanta. Though far apart, team members share common goals and support one another’s progress. What prompts a 14-year career with Yardi? Mark Coverdale, director of Sales, began with Yardi 14 years ago. “I was excited to start a career in software sales. Once I was at Yardi, I knew this was a place I could be for many years.” The collaborative culture appealed to Coverdale. “In addition to collaborating with other departments, our sales teams meet regularly to give each other advice and guidance regarding sales opportunities, how best to take care of clients, and sharing success stories that we can all benefit from.” He was also drawn to the relationships that Yardi fosters with its clients. “In our industry, we cannot ‘sell and run,’ nor do we want to,” says Coverdale. “We take great pride in building partnerships with our clients. Sometimes the sale is just the start as we continue to build and nurture relationships that last for years.” Client feedback prompts product development, which in turn creates better products and happier...

Stepping Up in Greater Chicago Mar30

Stepping Up in Greater Chicago

Sometimes the worst of times bring out the best in our efforts to help each other. That’s been the case at Connections for the Homeless, a non-profit organization in Evanston, Ill. that has delivered tremendous results over the last perilous year. “The three ribbons on our logo represent the three parts of our community that we partner with to do this work: our staff, our participants and our community supporters,” said Betty Bogg, Executive Director of Connections since 2015. “We see ourselves as the scaffolding by which community intentions for improvement can be constructed. We are there to help the community solve this problem.” Prior to the pandemic, Connections operated a tightly packed space in an Evanston church basement that sheltered a maximum of 18 male-identifying clients, on any given night. The agency also offered drop-in services to help engage community members experiencing homelessness ­­via – sack lunches, showers, a clothing closet, and nursing care – in an effort  to gradually build trust and rapport with participants who might ultimately be ready for housing assistance. “Even before lockdowns started, we were already discussing how we might respond (to the pandemic),” recalled Bogg, who is the sister of Yardi’s Nancy Bogg. “We knew we needed many more shelter beds. When Illinois’ shelter in place order went into effect, we didn’t know how we would do it or pay for it, but we decided we were going to put people with no place to go, into hotels for shelter.” Funding and finding, a path forward What happened next is a classic “if you build it, they will come” tale. In January 2020, Connections expected that its operating budget would be around $5.5 million, and it would again serve around 1,400 people with the help of 1,200 volunteers as they did in 2019. As for so many industries and non-profits worldwide, the pandemic changed everything. “We began our plan to place people in hotels, still not knowing how we were going to pay for it,” recalled Bogg. “We had about 100 people that we’d gotten off the street and into hotel rooms. And then we experienced a second wave of people in need of support who had been completely off our radar. People began coming to us who had previously been very precariously housed.” They included relatives of nursing home residents, who had been able to bed down on a relative’s couch or cot while helping to provide care. Another group was families who had been packed into shared small apartments with other families and found themselves pushed out due to COVID concerns. And there were those unusual but unforgettable stories like one cancer patient, who spent her entire life between chemo treatments on Chicago-area transit systems. “Her nurse told us that they could not believe the difference they saw in her health, as soon as she began getting three meals a day and sleeping in a bed every night,” recalled Bogg. She saw the experiences of those Connections helped firsthand, as for five months, she chose to live during the week at the same hotel where Connections provided 200 rooms of comprehensive emergency housing. They also provided three meals a day, which were purchased from local restaurants, pushing money back out into the local economy at a time when it was badly needed. Funding for hotel operations was made possible by support from private companies and individuals, including Yardi, who stepped up to help. Additional staffing was also a must, and Connections added 30 people to its team. Ultimately, the non-profit’s 2020 operating budget ended up being $12 million, more than doubling expectations. “Yardi had supported us with small donations in the past, but we were really surprised when suddenly that support increased substaintially right when we didn’t know how we were going to fund all that we were trying to do. The community response was incredibly inspiring,” Bogg said. Private...

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...

Yardi Community Investment...

Yardi is navigating the COVID-19 crisis with the same philosophy that has guided the real estate technology leader for nearly four decades: prioritize take care of clients, employees and communities. The efforts continue a longstanding practice by the company to proactively help during times of unexpected need both nationally and worldwide, such as fires, hurricanes and other natural disasters. At home In March, Yardi announced that the  company would commit $2 million to assist food banks and other non-profits throughout North America during the pandemic. Twenty-two organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada, all based in cities where Yardi has offices, received two rounds of donations. This was augmented with a third round, an additional $2 million, announced in mid-October. Yardi’s hometown of Santa Barbara received funds for its food bank, and Yardi also matched community donations of up to $50,000 when one of the organization’s vehicles was wrecked while working on pandemic relief. Abroad With a global workforce that has grown to around 7,000 employees in more than 12 countries, Yardi’s philanthropy has expanded as well. Among its international efforts is Yardi Vasti Vikas Prakalp (YVVP), a corporate social responsibility project in Pune, India, that supports NGOs and implements direct interventions in urban communities (vastis) of Pune city. YVVP launched a pandemic response plan that included providing dry ration kits to over 2800 households, supplying masks, sanitizer and sanitary pads to those isolated in shelters, supporting sanitation workers who clean community toilet blocks, educating teachers and parents on coping strategies, and providing job retraining those who have lost employment. Assisting the industry In order to help the rental housing industry recover from the hardship caused by the pandemic and its economic fallout, Yardi provided $1 million to create the COVID-19 Rental Housing Support Initiative....

A Mission in Action

When a company’s mission statement is pulled from the page and implemented in daily life, it can transform the world. Grubb Properties’ vision statement encourages “working together to enhance life and community.” To fulfill that mission, Grubb Properties has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity. Together, they enhance life and community by building homes for those in need. In 2018, the North Carolina-based property manager and developer committed to build one Habitat home per year for ten years. Each home is built in cities where Grubb Properties has a presence. Grubb Properties, Yardi + Habitat for Humanity unite The 2018 build took place in Winston-Salem, NC followed by a 2019 build in Greenville, SC. Shawn Cardner, executive vice president, multifamily operations and information technology at Grubb Properties participated in the Greenville build. He was joined by Yardi team members Paul Yount, industry principal, sales and Jim Hill, director of consulting practices. “Paul and Jim were instrumental in garnering support from Yardi. We are incredibly thankful for Yardi’s financial contribution. To be honest, though, even more impactful was the commitment of time, energy, and travel that Yardi team members made to participate,” says Cardner. Habitat schedules several build days for a given house project. Each day requires at least 20 volunteers for framing, roofing, finishes, landscaping and more. To assist Grubb Properties volunteers, several Yardi employees made the three-to-four-hour drive from Raleigh to Greenville. In addition to Hill and Yount, Yardi volunteers included Zach Smith, Edward McNamee, Terry Judd, and Lucas Bader. “On top of the long drive, they then spent seven hours on the jobsite with temperatures near 100 degrees. It’s one thing to write a check and then tell people how charitable you are. It’s a much more impactful statement when you contribute your time, energy, blood and sweat for something. We’re thankful that Yardi contributed in both ways!” says Cardner. The heart of giving “We all felt a sense of accomplishment at the end. We started from an empty concrete slab and ended the day with all of the interior and exterior walls built and external sheathing attached as well,” reflects Hill. “We enjoyed spending the day with the Grubb team, the Habitat sponsor family and Habitat volunteers.  We all worked as a team. Seeing the finished job was pretty amazing.” Cardner adds, “As a member of our executive team, I’m just thrilled at the way all our employees, communities, and partners come together to work on a shared project. Grubb employees volunteered 368 hours on that build. Our employees also donated $7,055 to it which is just over 10% of the total amount raised through partner sponsorships. I’m incredibly proud to work with such incredibly generous and thoughtful people.” Grubb + Yardi, beyond the software The relationship between Grubb Properties and Yardi began as any B2B relationship would. Yardi provided a service and Grubb paid for it. But over the years, the relationship developed into a mutually supportive partnership. “Folks like Jim, Paul and Stephen Witek have worked tirelessly to develop the partnership that we have today. I don’t use the word partnership lightly. I know Yardi believes that the best way for it to succeed is to help companies like us succeed.” Hill adds, “At Yardi, nurturing client relationships is paramount. Additionally, Yardi is blessed to have the encouragement of Anant Yardi to support local philanthropic projects in the communities where we live. The local impact in our neighborhoods adds a level of personal pride at working at Yardi and in helping our clients and communities at the same time.” Continuing the good work “In the end, the best way to describe Grubb Properties’ stance on philanthropy is just to say it’s who we are,” explains Cardner. “It’s what our leadership believes in. It’s what our employees believe in. It’s even a characteristic of the residents we try to attract to our properties. We want to...

Making History

Dorothy Day Place, owned and operated by Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has made history. With 370 permanent supportive homes and 356 emergency and medical respite beds, it’s one of the largest affordable housing projects in the state. The project is also the largest public-private partnership involving housing in Minnesota history. Dorothy Day Place was made possible in part by a philanthropic collaboration between Catholic Charities and Yardi client, Dominium. New Phase, New Chapter in History Dorothy Day Place wasn’t planned as a record-breaking collaboration. With the first phase complete, Catholic Charities turned its attention to phase two in 2017. Leadership recognized that the ambitious second phase would benefit from the insight and expertise of an experienced developer. Catholic Charities contacted Dominium, one of the country’s largest affordable housing developers and a fellow Minnesota-based organization. The response of Paul Sween, managing partner of Dominium, took Catholic Charities by surprise. Sween offered to develop the second phase of Dorothy Day Place free of charge. Perhaps to Sween’s surprise, the initial request came from the bank. “We instinctively said ‘yes’ to helping with the project when our partner U.S. Bank asked us to do so simply because we knew how important it was to them,” Sween explained in an interview with Housing Finance. “We know the great work of Catholic Charities and how critical the transformation of the property would be to their mission.” Dorothy Day Place broadens the scope of Dominium’s work. Historically, the firm develops and manages affordable housing for people who earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income. The Dorothy Day Place project serves residents with incomes below 30 percent of the area median income. Jeff Huggett, vice president and project partner at Dominium explains, “Every unit...

Paint the Town Pink

The AVE motto is live better, and the team there is truly committed to delivering the best living experience possible for their residents. Apartment floor plans are designed for comfort, amenities and services are programmed for convenience and wellness, and events and initiatives are offered for community engagement. Their latest campaign “AVE Goes Pink” partners up with Susan G. Komen Philadelphia® to support its mission to reduce the number of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses in the Philadelphia Area while continuing to provide education, resources, and access to services to those who are battling the disease. AVE Goes Pink “AVE Goes Pink” (link to www.aveliving.com/pink) launched October 1st to support Susan G. Komen Philadelphia®, a respected voice in breast cancer education. “We turned all our logos on our social media channels pink to raise awareness for the cause and to let those who are currently fighting breast cancer know our thoughts are with them,” says Lea Anne Welsh, COO of Korman Communities and president of its AVE brand. “Our teams at the properties will also be wearing pink throughout the month.” “Typically, we wear black or dark grey. When a resident sees me in pink, they ask and it starts up a conversation about breast cancer awareness,” says Lauren Brauer, Leasing Manager, AVE King of Prussia. She continues, “Breast cancer awareness really hits home for me. Having had family members and friends go through the struggles of breast cancer, I want to do all I can to support them, as well as all others who have gone through it and are currently battling it.” Lights for the Fight Much of the Philadelphia skyline is getting involved. Susan G. Komen Philadelphia® and CBS 3 manage “Lights for the Fight.” The duo coordinates with city landmarks to...

YASC Turns 20 Oct16

YASC Turns 20

A special anniversary Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) kicked off this morning in beautiful San Diego, with 2,500 Yardi clients and staff members in attendance for the 20th edition of the event. Yardi president and founder Anant Yardi reflected on the early years of the conference in his opening remarks. “About 200 people attended the first YASC, and we were thinking, how will we cope with 200 guests?” Mr. Yardi reminisced. “Those 200 people would only fill the first two rows of seats here today.” Mr. Yardi then invited two clients who have been to almost every YASC event, Alex Ruiz of Picerne and Carol Kelly Ball of Sierra Properties, to join him on the stage. Yardi employees Nancy Bogg and Anna Markmann, who have worked on the production of every YASC conference, were also honored. YASC is now a global event, with six conferences annually around the world. In addition to the two U.S. based events, there are conferences in the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Singapore and England. Meanwhile, Yardi has grown to a company size of almost 7,000 employees at 45 offices around the world. Two decades on, Yardi’s corporate focus and mission statement remains the same: focused on client and employee success, stellar customer service, innovating new products and platforms and assisting local communities with philanthropy and volunteerism. At the heart of each of those items is the importance of relationships. One of the most valuable aspects of the YASC events is the chance for Yardi to receive feedback and suggestions from clients, and for clients to learn about new products and solve business challenges. In his remarks, Mr. Yardi offered a compelling history of technological innovation over the last 20 years, summarizing the transition from the early days of dot com, to the mobile and social media revolution, to today’s era of big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things. “This is the era of continuous connection. But in the world of business, continuous connection hasn’t fully come to fruition. Our goal is to make that happen and provide the tools and technologies that you need,” Mr. Yardi said. Yardi clients look forward to hearing about forthcoming advances in products and innovation at YASC, and Wednesday’s general session offered a breadth of such insight. Following Mr. Yardi’s presentation, Rob Teel, senior vice president, and Kevin Yardi, vice president, consulting practices, offered a detailed look at the Yardi Elevate suite for operational performance, Yardi Energy Suite for energy management, and Yardi Kube for coworking management. “We’re not just chasing dreams,” Mr. Teel said. “Most of the things that Anant mentioned, there are solutions at the end of it that will help your business.” Attendees at YASC will explore those solutions over the next two and a half days and also have a little fun. A special #YASCTurns20 party is planned for Thursday night on the U.S.S. Midway, near the conference venue on the San Diego waterfront. Find a full lineup of YASC highlights and information. To follow along with the event, use the hashtag #YASCTurns20 and follow Yardi on your favorite social media channel:...

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...

Justice for All Sep10

Justice for All

When Jennifer Smith began working as a staff attorney with Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County (LAFSBC), it was a natural step. As the daughter of a social worker and an attorney, she always wanted to be involved with nonprofits and community service. Fast forward seven years, and Smith is now the executive director of the organization. She and her team work to correct local myths about legal aid while providing services to the community. Battling the Myths “There is a certain perception here,” Jennifer begins tentatively. “Yes, some residents are very wealthy. But Santa Barbara County has the second highest rate of poverty in the state when factoring in the cost of living. Because of that, it makes it difficult for individuals to get the help that they need when facing a legal situation.” “If you’re dealing with child custody matters with an abuser, or in need of a restraining order, there is no guaranteed right to an attorney in those processes. While the situations are critical, legal representation isn’t guaranteed. That’s why we step in and help. There is a huge justice gap. People can’t afford an attorney that is $500 per hour,” she explains. LAFSBC also offers a consumer protection program. If there is a financial scam of $10,000 or less, law enforcement often does not have the resources to get involved. For many Santa Barbara County residents, a $10,000 loss is the difference between safe housing and food security – or going without. “Our legal system presumes that both parties will be represented by an advocate. Legal issues are complicated for everyone. If you can’t get representation, you can imagine just how much more difficult it would be,” says Smith. LAFSBC also partners with the Santa Barbara Superior Court...

Trimming Turnover Aug19

Trimming Turnover

The turnover struggle is real. Multifamily leasing offices face a turnover rate from a conservative 21 percent to a jaw-dropping 54 percent. Why might promising talent abandon ship? To decrease your turnover rate, you’ve got to identify what’s ailing your staff. End inadequate training Job training can be costly and time consuming. Filling a job posting cost about 6-9 months’ salary per the Society for Human Resource Management. That’s thousands of dollars and dozens of hours to identify, interview, and train a new hire. It’s tempting to put another body in the seat, give them a quick training and hope for the best—half expecting they won’t last long, anyway. Unfortunately, inadequate training contributes to the turnover issue. To be successful, employees need a firm grasp of their responsibilities and how to fulfill them. An online learning platform makes staff training more efficient, cost effective and consistent. You can customize classes to reflect your brand and role-based responsibilities. Staff can then learn at their own pace and, unlike live trainings, staff can review materials as needed. Assessments give leadership insight into areas where staff need additional guidance. Reward excellence, nurture opportunities When you track the performance of your sales team, you can learn a lot: which team members are pulling their weight, which aren’t, and where in the sales cycle prospects fall off. Use the first data set to reward high performers. The latter two points can help you reexamine training procedures and ineffective workflows. Make team building fun Interpersonal tension contributes unnecessary stress to workplace dynamics. Team building promotes better communication, creativity, and trusting relationships. Engage in corporate philanthropy to help team members work together on creative projects and reach goals together. Simultaneously, you’re making your community an even better place to live and...

Win at Branding

Want to amplify your marketing returns and build a loyal customer base? Developing a strong brand identity can help you do both. Whether you’re an established midsized business or a burgeoning small company, it’s never too late to strengthen your brand identity. We attended the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations conference with Sam Amin, marketing manager at Yardi, to learn more about creating a brand. What is a Brand Identity? Brand identity is more than your logo and color templates. Those are important, but your brand extends beyond what you can see and touch. At its foundation, a brand is a distinguishing mark, such a logo and other design choices. It tells us the source (company) behind a product (multifamily community). But as the “father of marketing” David Ogilvy explained it, the brand is “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.”  That means that your brand is also a set of associations connected to your business based on facts, emotions, and customers’ aspirations. How to Create Your Brand There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Amin recommends choosing from several branding formulas online to help you get started. Most formulas will require you to carefully articulate who you are and identify your customers and competitors. You’ll need to determine the type of community that you want to provide for your renters, physically and socially. As you work through each piece of the formula, be specific and authentic. Select messaging that feels natural even if (and especially if) it’s an unexplored angle for real estate. Your Brand—Everywhere, All the Time For the greatest impact, keep your brand in front of audience’s eyes. Be consistent with your messaging and steady with fresh marketing efforts that convey your messaging. “Use all your marketing tools including SEO,...

Doing Good Jun07

Doing Good

Giving back to local and global communities is a central tenant of Yardi’s mission. At the recent AIM Conference, Yardi invited attendees to join our team in supporting two local Southern California charities. In the second part to our AIM Conference coverage, we spotlight our charitable partners, Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAPOC) and the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OCSPCA). Keep reading to learn more about Yardi’s selfless selfies donation drive and the work of these two inspiring nonprofits! Selfies for Charity AIM Conference attendees were invited to snap and post selfies at the RentCafe kiosk with cuddly OCSPCA therapy dogs and fun props from CAPOC’s Orange County Food Bank. For every post shared to social media with the conference hashtag #AIMConf, Yardi donated one dollar to the day’s featured nonprofit. In total, AIM attendees helped raise $500 for each nonprofit with their selfless selfies. In addition to the social media donation drive, both nonprofits educated AIM attendees on their programs and volunteer opportunities. Community Action Partnership of Orange County The CAPOC has provided support services to address hunger and poverty in Orange County since 1965. Each year, CAPOC helps more than half a million people in need through its comprehensive program offerings. This includes the OC Food Bank, emergency utility assistance, financial empowerment education, family counseling services, and transitional housing. The goal of these programs is to empower healthy living, stabilize families and prevent the causes and effects of poverty. “Our goal is to ensure that the people we help have the tools and resources they need to not just survive, but also thrive! We meet people where they are at and help them achieve their personal goals so that they are safe, comfortable and living a life of well-being,” explained LaShanda Maze, Vice President of Philanthropy at CAPOC. Funds raised at AIM will support CAPOC’s Food Bank, which offers food and nutritional education for low-income children, families, seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Each year, the OC Food Bank distributes 19.5 million pounds of food to nearly 1 million at-risk residents, including one in five kids living in Orange County. Through its network of nearly 400 partner charities, the OC Food Bank provides 26,000 boxes of food each month to seniors at 70 sites throughout Orange County, and areas of Los Angeles County. According to Maze, “Whether it’s helping a family for the long holiday weekend who may need food from our OC Food Bank or seeing how our weatherization program can make a home safe and warm for a senior, we are impacting lives every day.” Get involved with the CAPOC at capoc.org. Find out more about CAPOC’s Hope for the Holidays Kick-Off Dinner, a unique culinary experience and fundraiser, on Sunday, October 13 at The Playground DTSA. You can learn more by visiting capoc.org/h4h. Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Since its founding in 1984, the OCSPCA has been a leading animal welfare organization in Orange County. With a mission to save the lives of animals in the region, the nonprofit focuses on programs to strengthen the human-pet bond through proactive education, emergency resources, and networking. “What I enjoy the most about my job is receiving feedback from those who we have been able to assist when no one else would step in to help,” said Kevin Marlin, Executive Director at the OCSPCA. “Pets play such a vital companionship role in the lives of so many, and we are so glad to be able to promote that human-animal bond and to enable residents with the resources to keep their pets in their loving families.” As an ally to animals of all kinds, OCSPCA made a huge impact in 2018. The nonprofit delivered 63,250 pounds of pet food to families in need, funded life-saving medical services to 350 animals and assisted more than 6,000 Orange County residents and...

Project HOME May26

Project HOME

If you’ve ever heard of rocker Jon Bon Jovi’s philanthropy on behalf of a Philadelphia non-profit that creates permanent housing and support resources for the city’s homeless population, that was Project HOME. The HOME stands for Housing, Opportunities, Medical and Education. It makes sense that Housing is first in the list, because many homeless advocates consider stable housing to be the most pivotal initial step to getting homeless Americans back on their feet. The organization’s mission statement: “The mission of the Project HOME community is to empower adults, children, and families to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, to alleviate the underlying causes of poverty, and to enable all of us to attain our fullest potential as individuals and as members of the broader society. We strive to create a safe and respectful environment where we support each other in our struggles for self-esteem, recovery, and the confidence to move toward self-actualization.” It may sound ambitious, but it’s working. Project HOME just celebrated its 30th year and is on track to provide 1,000 units of affordable housing in Philadelphia within a few years. The organization is also a longtime Yardi client. We recently caught up with Patrick Farrell, Project HOME’s business/financial analyst, who is a passionate advocate for the non-profit’s use of the Yardi affordable housing platform. Farrell has worked on Project HOME’s Yardi platform for the last six years – the organization has used the software for about twice that duration. “Yardi is the workhorse application for us at Project HOME,” said Farrell, whose job supports the property, accounting and human resources departments of the non-profit. “It is the foundation of all of the other applications that we use throughout our business.” As the organization’s mainstay database, Yardi Voyager data powers all...

YASC DC 2019 May21

YASC DC 2019

The first Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) of 2019 kicked off this morning in Washington, D.C., where over 2100 attendees are gathered to improve their knowledge of Yardi’s products and services, network with peers, and have a little fun. “What do you say this week we turn Washington, D.C. into our nation’s real estate technology capital?” said Esther Bonardi, Yardi vice president of marketing, as the general session kicked off. The conference is the largest YASC to date. With a focus on sharing information, educating users on how to get the most out of their Yardi platform, learning about new products and features, and connecting with fellow real estate professionals, YASC is also a place where attendees answer important questions. “How do you elevate your company to that next level? You do it by gaining information,” said Bonardi, introducing Anant Yardi, company founder and president, during the general session. Continuous communication Mr. Yardi focused his remarks on the theme of continuous connection and how it can be beneficial for business relationships. “This day and age of continuous connection doesn’t necessarily mean we are communicating all the time. But it does mean that we are available, and we respond.” While displaying an image of a group of people around a dinner table, all intently staring at their smartphones, Mr. Yardi suggested that perhaps the group all had various roles in the real estate industry, as well as the capability to respond to customer and client requests, anytime and anywhere. Yardi’s technology platform already allows real estate professionals to accommodate such requests, but as Mr. Yardi and the executives who presented after him Tuesday morning demonstrated, the company is poised to deliver even more innovation. “Our goal is to provide a connection between the business, the consumer and the property,” said Mr. Yardi, introducing the concept of “business to property” transactions. “As we think about continuous communication, the basic way we do real estate doesn’t change. But the way we transact business may change.” Yardi has positioned its platform to facilitate that change with solutions like Yardi Elevate for improving asset performance and Yardi Kube for coworking management, a potential way for property managers to capitalize on unused space, and the Yardi Pulse platform, which can monitor energy use and automate energy management, leading to waste reduction. Future-focused product development YASC attendees also got a sneak preview of Yardi’s forthcoming smart home technology solution which will allow property managers and residents to easily manage connected services like utilities and door locks, all from an app-based interface. “Using a single app, a resident should be able to make payments, enter service requests, request concierge services, but also make sure that the door is locked,” Mr. Yardi said. Such a hub will also have advantages for property managers, who will be able to manage the utilities and locks of vacant units all from a centralized dashboard. John Pendergast, Yardi senior vice president, multifamily services, went into more details on the convenience, security, comfort and automation that Yardi’s new smart home technology solution will provide. The morning presentation concluded with remarks from Rob Teel, Yardi senior vice president, global solutions, and Akshai Rao, Yardi vice president of energy and procurement. Teel introduced the Yardi Elevate platform, which is powered by big data, market data from Yardi Matrix and uses predictive analytics and prescriptive actions to increase revenue, decrease expenses, increase asset value and reduce risk. “Yardi Elevate will help you answer forward-thinking questions, like how much should I spend on marketing next month. These are not the accounting questions you’d be answering with Yardi Voyager. The goal is to help you make better business decisions,” Teel said. Yardi Elevate provides next-level insight into asset performance, budgeting and forecasting, construction and facility management, and more. Community connections Rao concluded the general session with a look at Yardi’s corporate philanthropy programs, which offer employees in each...

Leading by Example

Meet Medha Deshpande, a director of CSD in Yardi’s Pune office. Her team of 450 employees assists Yardi Energy, P2P, Matrix, Utility Billing, Utility Expense Management, and Invoice Processing clients. Deshpande’s department covers a lot of ground. She manages the broad range of responsibilities by focusing on strategic team building rather than tasks. “My role is to mainly ensure that I have the right people at the right place doing the right job,” smiles Deshpande. As her teams develop, maintaining clear, unified objectives keeps the department operating coherently. “I like our company’s vision, growth, culture, values, and philanthropy. It is very important for all of us to maintain this culture and inculcate the same value system within our new employees as we continue to grow at a good speed,” said Deshpande. She is also mindful to maintain her personal growth. During her 14-year career with the company, Deshpande has encountered and overcome numerous challenges. Each posed an opportunity for her to hone her skills and emerge as a stronger leader. Deshpande reflects, “I have learnt and can say I am still learning to have patience. I tell myself that things may not move always the way you want and at the speed you may be expecting.” She continues, “Always be optimistic, demanding, and have perseverance for sustainable growth.” Pursuing Excellence in the Community  When she isn’t working at Yardi, Deshpande and her husband operate a weekend school for about 50 disadvantaged youth in grades three through 10. The school allows her to help kids pursue excellence. “We run the school at our farmhouse which is about 15 miles from Pune. We teach the children mathematics, English and value education,” says Deshpande. “This school runs throughout the year with no vacation. Children enjoy the school since our focus is not just education but also personal development through some activities which kids love. There is a library arranged for them with some very good books and educational toys.” The support of Yardi teammates and loved ones has helped the weekend school flourish. “Many friends and colleagues not only from India but from the United States donated books, school stationary, toys and other resources,” she explains. “Our family members and friends also support us on some weekends as visiting teachers. One of our Yardi employees, Chandrakant Manekar, has been a dedicated teacher for about one year, which has been a big help.” “We have been fortunate as we get immense satisfaction and pleasure from spending time with these kids. It has been like a booster to our life!” says Deshpande. To learn more about Yardi’s outstanding team members, visit the People page. Director Medha Deshpande Deshpande with school children Guest teachers with school children Local school children Roll call at school Study session with teachers Students of the weekend school Students welcome guests to school...

A Seat at the Table Jan28

A Seat at the Table

Food is essential. For children, it can make the difference between growing strong and capable or struggling much of their lives. TABLE is a nonprofit organization that provides healthy emergency food aid each week to children in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, NC. Their work changes lives, and Yardi is proud to help. Addressing the Problem Food insecurity hits hard in North Carolina. It is ranked among the top eight states that have statistically higher food insecurity rates than the US national average. In the state, 80 percent of households with kids that are receiving food assistance don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Families make tough choices to survive. About 35 percent of families in need must choose between paying for food and housing costs. More than 40 percent must decide between buying food and heating their homes. Children are among the most vulnerable populations. In North Carolina, 30 percent of people receiving emergency food aid are under the age of 18. Nearly 25 percent of those kids are under the age of five. It’s a lot of data to swallow. The repercussions on hunger linger under the data. As children repeatedly lack access to nutritious food, their physical and mental well-being suffer. The consequences of hunger include an inability to focus, low academic performance, and chronic headaches and belly aches. TABLE steps in to fill the voids. Thoughtful and effective programming helps kids feel their best and fulfill their potential. Education at Work Providing nourishment is only a part of TABLE programming. The organization offers educational classes and activities to help kids sustain a healthy lifestyle. The Weekend Meal Backpack and Summer TABLE programs provide food for kids when they are not in school to receive free or reduced meals. Kids...

Cold Work, Warm Hearts Jan10

Cold Work, Warm Hearts...

Have you ever wondered how food banks get fresh produce and meats to people in need? Such perishable items require special care and the work of dedicated volunteers. Yardi Raleigh employees endured the winter temperatures to provide nutritious meals for the hungry. A Lasting Relationship Yardi Raleigh has been a proud sponsor of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (CENC) for several years. Its simple yet vital mission to feed the hungry has spoken to the hearts of Yardi team members. They have dedicated their time, energy, and resources the cause. Their work is needed now more than ever. The nonprofit services about 600,000 people across 34 counties in the state. Through its care, children, seniors, and other vulnerable groups receive nutritious food, clean water, and the educational resources needed for self-sufficiency. In emergencies, such as recent natural disasters, Food Bank CENC acts as a first responder. As soon a safe pathways are cleared, the Food Bank opens its branches and satellite locations to provide food to those displaced by flooding, hurricanes, and other acts of nature. Yardi continues to support Food Bank CENC with a recent volunteer initiative in rather frosty conditions. Yep. That’s Cold. In the past, Yardi Raleigh team members have made financial contributions, sorted goods, and packed boxes for Food Bank CENC. The most recent visit the food pantry proved to be a bone chilling yet heart warming experience! Rather than packing non-perishable goods, Yardi Raleigh got a taste of the meat freezer. Volunteers Rose Hiebert, David Minehart, Steve Sharpe and Mike Harrison were responsible for packing 230 boxes of perishable items such as frozen poultry, beef and pork. That’s nearly 7,400 pounds of meat! The proteins will be a part of 6,100 balanced meals to feed...

Sharing the Bounty

Food strengthens the body and propels the mind. Yet one in six residents of Ventura County struggle with food insecurity. Seniors are among the vulnerable population. The local food bank and volunteers work together to end hunger, helping seniors thrive in their golden years. Ventura County Food Insecurity An inability to access healthy food impacts multiple areas of a person’s life. Hardworking people must make daily sacrifices that affect their health and wellbeing.  Of the food insecure in Ventura County, 69 percent must choose between food and utilities. More than 65 percent must choose between food and medical care Among the food insecure that must make those tough calls, roughly 46,650 are seniors. Ventura County’s Agency on Aging reports that “approximately 39 percent of all elders aged 65 and older do not have enough income to meet their most basic needs.” The inaccessibility of fresh, nutritious food leads to a reliance on more affordable but less healthy options. As a result of this and other factors, 58 percent of households have a member with high blood pressure with 77 percent occurring in senior homes. About 33 percent of households in the county have a member with diabetes with 47 percent in senior households. Volunteering with Food Share Food Share of Ventura County aims to improve seniors’ quality of life. Each year, Food Share stores and distributes nearly 11 million pounds of food to those in need. The Food Share program serves nutritious meals to 74,500 people every month, about 3,100 of which are seniors. Senior programming prepares boxes of food including items such as canned fruits, vegetables, salmon, cereal, milk, peanut butter, fruit juice, and spaghetti. The nonprofit organization relies on the help of 190 pantry partners as well as volunteers. Ten Yardi Santa...

From Despair to Hope Dec22

From Despair to Hope

More than 85 million people worldwide have been made homeless by natural disaster and conflict. That’s more than every resident of California, Texas, South Carolina and North Carolina combined. ShelterBox offers survival tools for displaced families in their time of need. ShelterBox: Transforming Despair into Hope ShelterBox specializes in mobile shelters and supplies for emergency relief efforts. The UK-based organization has provided vital aid in 21 countries. In 2017, more than 162,000 people received ShelterBox assistance. Each aid experience is customized for the needs of the recipients. Emergency packages may include tents, building supplies, fresh water, solar lights, mosquito nets, and blankets. School kits help to mend the learning gap caused when access to education is interrupted. ShelterBox supplies empower recipients in a variety of ways: • 82% of surveyed beneficiaries said that they felt safer in the shelter they repaired or rebuilt using aid provided by ShelterBox. • 85% of surveyed beneficiaries agreed that receiving aid from ShelterBox meant they were warmer at night. • 88% of surveyed beneficiaries said that they had more privacy for themselves and their family after they had received aid from ShelterBox. Yardi + ShelterBox ShelterBox USA recently hosted a Lunch & Learn session with corporate sponsor, Yardi. The Yardi Santa Barbara office broke the Lunch & Learn attendance record with 45 attendees. Lunch and Learn featured a presentation by ShelterBox President Kerri Murray. Attendees received an overview of one of the organization’s popular innovations, The Standard Relief Tent. This waterproof tent protects its inhabitants from UV rays, winds up to 100kmh, and heavy rainfall. Inhabitants stay dry, even when exterior standing water levels reach up to six inches. While keeping the elements out, the tent maintains comfortable conditions inside. A unique ventilation system creates a 10-degree temperature...

Spreading Compassion Dec21

Spreading Compassion

Yardi Scottsdale Charity Committee recently hosted a ceremony honoring the recipients of its 2018 charitable grants. The contributions demonstrate Yardi’s mission to “take care of our communities” in action. Each recipient is a nonprofit nominated and approved by Yardi Scottsdale employees. Arizona Burn Foundation The Arizona Burn Foundation mission is to “improve the quality of life of burn survivors and their families while promoting burn prevention education in Arizona.”  The organization provides child burn survivors with physical, psychological, emotional and social support. Services include reconstructive treatment, family assistance, survivor and family camps, counseling, and prevention and education programs in the community. Upon nominating the Arizona Burn Foundation, a Scottsdale employee wrote, “My step son is a burn victim. He suffered third degree burns over his entire body when he was just 1 year old. The Arizona Burn Foundation has been a part of our lives for many years. My family volunteers and provides support for other families that are just starting the recovery process.” Eve’s Place Eve’s Place specializes in “supporting any victim of domestic, sexual and teen dating abuse by increasing access to services through mobile advocacy.” The organization has helped victims to restart their lives outside of the circle of abuse. Participants receive assistance with safety planning, goal setting, and obtaining shelter.  Personal advocates and support groups help victims of abuse to rebuild their esteem and sense of purpose. To help victims attain justice, Eve’s Place also offers support and information on various legal topics within the civil and criminal justice systems. Heart Encouragement Heart Encouragement assists individuals suffering from cancer and provides support and encouragement for them and their loved ones during their cancer journey. The broad spectrum of care services empowers cancer patients and their families in a variety of...

Sharing Literacy

Students third grade academic performance can foreshadow setbacks that they may face in adulthood. Students who cannot proficiently read by the third grade are more likely to struggle in class, drop out of school and face incarceration. TutorMate, an Innovations for Learning program, helps to prepare students for success in school and in adulthood. The program uses technology to pair students with volunteers for remote tutoring sessions. During each 30-minute session, they read stories and play games together that build comprehension and fluency. The program has achieved replicable results, such as an 18-point reading score improvement in Chicago and 14-point reading score gain in Washington, DC. Volunteers from 27 cities representing more than 200 corporations, universities and governmental agencies participate in the program. Nearly 10,000 students benefit from their volunteerism. Amy Thomas, a customer service representative in Yardi’s Colorado Springs office, introduced the program to her colleagues in the summer of 2018. Ten volunteers were needed to kick off the effort – within a day, she had filled the signup roster. The team is working with a school in the Denver area. From their desks, Yardi employees give a half hour of their time once a week to connect with their students. “Reading is essential for success in the future, so this really makes a difference,” said Thomas, who became familiar with the program at a previous job. “Knowing that we’re making a difference in our community, and seeing the progress with your students each week – that’s great for both the employee and the student.” Connections with the first graders are easy and natural, she said. Stephanie Eide, associate technical account manager in Colorado Springs, is among the volunteers. “I have a daughter who is also learning to read so I wanted to help,” said Eide. “I loved reading as a kid, so I love that I can help other kids love it as well. Some kids need more practice and I love that I can offer that to them.” Eide knew that she was paired with the right student when she found out that they shared Halloween birthdays. “I don’t meet very many people that share my birthday. So you also get to be somewhat of a mentor to them as well!” During a typical session, Eide and her student buddy begin with flashcards. They then read a few short stories and complete comprehension questions. “There are also games we play,” said Eide. “Her favorite is tic tac toe. If you can read the word in the box you get an X or O. She usually beats me. It is so much fun. She is very smart and is gets better at reading every week!” Thomas is hoping to introduce other Yardi offices around the country to the nationwide program. For more information about how to participate, you can email her at [email protected] Yardi is Energized for Good – and you can join in! TutorMate is accepting new volunteers. Groups can register to participate in upcoming...

On the Go Giving Dec08

On the Go Giving

Looking for a way to get more involved with the local community? Move for Hunger is a nonprofit that connects you, your residents, and your local food bank. Move for Hunger partners with the American Moving and Storage Association to get nonperishable food into the hands of those in need. Before relocating, residents coordinate with their moving company to deliver unwanted goods to local food banks. To date, the organization has transported more than 11,479, 245 pounds of food to food banks. The donations created 9,566,038 meals for people facing food insecurity. You and your residents can get in on the giving! Arranging a Move for Hunger Donation Setting up a Move for Hunger donation is incredibly simple. First, residents must find a participating professional mover. There are more than 1,000 to choose from across the United States. (And since residents are relocating, anyway, this step is super practical.) The residents and the mover will set up their moving date. While the residents are packing their belongings, they set aside the nonperishable items that they’d like to donate. On the day of the move, the mover will transport the nonperishable food to the nearest local food bank. Benefits for Residents Residents are looking for a way to quickly and easily clean out their unit. Move for Hunger helps them do just that. • All the food that they can’t eat before the move is relocated, rather than tossed in the trash. Donating the unwanted food requires no additional legwork for residents. • The food pick-up may potentially minimize the cost of the move! By donating items in the fridge, pantry, and cabinets there will be fewer boxes to move while residents are being charged. Benefits for You! By promoting Move for Hunger, you’re doing...