Tech for Security + Efficiency Jul22

Tech for Security + Efficiency

Do you want to streamline payables and purchasing, expedite approvals and eliminate paper? It’s not too good to be true. You can with a robust cloud-based procurement solution. Your industry peers are already experiencing success, and it’s simpler than you think. The recent Yardi Executive Briefing offered multifamily property specialists an inside look at the power of modern procurement software. Peter Altobelli, VP and general manager, Yardi Canada facilitated the session, “The New Age of Canadian Residential Real Estate” with clients Christine Williams, VP, national operations and administration at QuadReal Property Group and Brian Turpin, CIO of Greenwin Corp. Early tech adaption resulted in efficiency and agility Both QuadReal and Greenwin embraced technology long before the pandemic began. The organizations actively sought solutions that promoted efficiency, accuracy and sustainable growth. Williams laughed, “QuadReal is still fairly young but from the beginning, we embraced the digital workflow and got rid of our paper trail.” Turpin added, “Proptech is exploding with different technology. Everything is paperless and more efficient. I joke that even the light switches are under my domain because everything is connected to the internet.” Technology isn’t decorative. For both organizations, technology is a core part of the business that enables greater efficiency, transparency and collaboration. By embracing technology, their teams were better prepared to shift to remote work environments and online services. When many offices closed or reduced operating hours during the pandemic, QuadReal seamlessly achieved business continuity with Yardi Procure to Pay, automated vendor management, automated procurement (including a comprehensive marketplace), electronic invoice processing and outsourced vendor payments. “Yardi Procure to Pay offers us a better way to keep track of invoices and keep us on time with our payments to vendors,” said Williams. “The Yardi Payscan, community-initiated purchase orders and approval workflows were matched to internal authority levels. Centralized invoice processing teams would receive the digital invoices and match them to the purchase orders with a few added tolerances. They would then be en route for payment approval and vendors could be quickly paid with Yardi Bill Pay.” Greenwin, which had already adopted Procure to Pay, continued operations as usual. The automation of the entire procurement life cycle was driven by benefits seen in streamlining resident transactions. “The key piece is document management,” explained Turpin. “In tech, a lot of things we do don’t have a visible impact. But when you’re tearing down unused filing cabinets and renovating rooms to add desks, it’s a visible way to see how tech benefits the company.” Buy-in and adoption made easier Adoption is around 95% at Greenwin. For buy-in, Turpin and his team positioned technology as an empowerment for success. “Yardi created a custom onboarding video for us that we send to vendors,” he said. “They see that they don’t have to mail anything. We empower our suppliers to upload their invoices to VendorCafe, to see statements and automate their process. It has a trickle-down effect.” Yardi Marketplace, an online procurement platform, was perhaps one of the easiest buy-ins for Greenwin. The intuitive platform already fit into users’ daily lifestyle. “It’s a great example of the consumer world integrating with the enterprise world. Most people shop online and we can leverage that. From a user perspective, there was great adoption because it streamlines, prepopulates fields and automates processes,” explains Turpin. Williams agreed, “Our team shops on Marketplace. The PO goes through its workflow. It’s approved, all the coding is in there and the payment is out of the door. Our team can even create a list of favourites, so their most popular products are easy to find. They’ve learnt to love the simplicity.” Improved security through portal-based transactions Secure online portals help to decrease risk to clients and vendors. In the past, vendors sent invoices via email or the postal service. This resulted in a greater risk of phishing scams, lost postal mail and delays, as well as cheque...

#APTeamsDay Jul14

#APTeamsDay

We are excited to celebrate the second annual Apartment Onsite Teams Day on Wednesday, July 14! This day has been designated by the National Apartment Association to applaud onsite property teams across the country for their daily contributions to resident happiness and industry success. Extending our gratitude Onsite team members keep apartment communities together. In many instances, they have guided, led, and sacrificed for the sake of their teams throughout the pandemic. On this day, we want to express our thanks to onsite team members for all they do for residents, guests and teammates. They have been our first-responders and essential workers during this challenging time, allowing for continued success and safety through it all. On this #APTeamsDay, Yardi wants to recognize the difficult conditions that onsite team members across the country have faced over the past year and thank them for their continuous hard work and dedication. How to celebrate #APTeamsDay Apartment Onsite Teams Day celebrates team members such as leasing agents, maintenance staff, administrative assistants, concierges, landscaping teams and more. One way to express your gratitude is to recognize the work these team members do daily and thank them for being onsite during a global pandemic. Our onsite team members have had to go above and beyond to adapt to new conditions, while risking their own safety to prioritize that of their residents. Honor leasing agents by thanking them for being the face of the property and quickly pivoting to create new, safe customer experiences for renters. Thank your maintenance staff for working tirelessly over the last 16 months while people were home more than ever before. If you have the ability and budget, you might think about treating team members to a coffee or lunch. In one example from last year,...

BI Tech Benefits

What should leaders and investors consider when selecting a business intelligence (BI) solution for senior living? That’s the topic of an upcoming webinar sponsored by Yardi and hosted by McKnight’s Senior Living. The webinar, Differentiators in Business Intelligence Technology, will feature industry experts across senior living. This includes: Trey Allen, Yardi Support Specialist, Dominion Senior LivingMichael Bowles, Project Coordinator, Dial Senior Living Through an informative discussion, attendees will access the tools, tips and insights needed to choose an effective BI solution — and learn how to maximize their use of BI technology. More specifically, attendees will learn:     How business intelligence reduces workloads and helps visualize data Key factors to consider when selecting BI software for senior livingAn analysis of Yardi Senior IQ, a single connected BI solution, plus client testimonials The webinar will take place on June 16 at 1 p.m. EDT. Want to learn more about selecting the right BI solution for senior living? Register for the webinar. Looking for additional resources on business intelligence? Explore Yardi’s ebook, Differentiators in BI...

YASC Global

More than 17,000 participants from 64 countries collectively viewed 60,000 classes about Yardi products and initiatives from May 18-20 during the third virtual Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC) Global event held during the pandemic. Many of the spotlight sessions offered highlighted ways that Yardi technology has helped clients, their employees and customers adapt and thrive with technology during a time when limited contact has been a priority. The event again utilized the Yardi Aspire platform to deliver customized educational content. YASC attendees also enjoyed a virtual fundraising concert by guitarist/songwriter Jason Mraz. Each view of the performance generated a donation from Yardi, raising nearly $100,000 for COVID-19 relief initiatives. Meditation and mindfulness sessions were available for attendees to enjoy during short breaks between classes. Highlights from some of the featured spotlight sessions included: Marketing and automation solutions for residential Optimized marketing, automated chatbots and accessible self-guided tours were among the highlights presented in the residential spotlight session. These fully integrated Yardi solutions are among the ways multifamily clients have continued to see success during the pandemic. “I want to show you what’s possible when you have the right digital marketing strategy in place,” said Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi. “I bet you have a website. But do you have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place that can help you get your properties on page one of search results and get your customers directly to your website so that you can convert them into paying renters, faster?” RENTCafé Reach helps clients attract qualified prospects with advanced search marketing services. The platform is currently optimizing more than 2,000 industry websites for organic search and driving rent-ready leads to managers. “This is the most cost-effective marketing channel,” Bonardi said. “And you can target exactly the traffic you need for the moment or availability you’re in.” Additional features like reputation management, search, and a new marketing analytics tool called Marketing IQ were also presented. “Marketing IQ is a one stop shop for all the data you need to make marketing decisions,” Bonardi said. “It’s really all for the purpose of improving your marketing ROI, which ultimately leads to a stronger NOI.” Once you’ve got a prospect on the line, engaging immediately to answer their questions is of paramount importance. But what if it’s after hours or your leasing office is closed for the weekend? That’s where chatbots come in. “Your prospective residents want and expect answers quickly, whether you’re open or not, or they quickly move on. This is especially true for popular new channels like text and chat,” said Paul Yount, industry principal for RENTCafé. “Bots and multiple touring options can really complement each other when they work together hand in hand.” Yount demonstrated a full conversation with a chatbot that answered questions about a property’s electric vehicle charging stations, pet policy, availability and pricing. He was able to schedule a self-guided tour via text and then showed how further AI automation can continue to answer questions even when the leasing office was closed during the tour. From a property manager’s perspective, the latest multifamily technology from Yardi not only solves for social distancing and accessibility but reduces staff time spent following up on prospect questions or even leading in-person tours. Proptech trends for the commercial sector Rob Teel, senior vice president of global solutions at Yardi, shared that for him, the most overwhelming CRE proptech trend in the last 12 months has been increased technical adoption. “That means paperless and contactless transactions, and online communication. When I think about paperless transactions, one of the best examples of innovation that helps eliminate that last piece of paper in the organization – which we’re all trying to do – is our e-signature capability for leases. You can now publish a lease for signature, there’s no exchange of FedEx documents and no meeting to get a wet signature. Paperless transactions and...

LeadingAge Recognizes

Yardi is pleased to join LeadingAge in recognizing Older Americans Month (OAM) — a time to celebrate the contributions of seniors across the nation. And given the challenges older adults have faced in the last year, OAM is an exceptional opportunity to highlight their resilience, strength and personal experiences. For LeadingAge — an association that represents more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers — it’s also a time to advocate for support of aging services care infrastructure. The importance of OAM During the month of May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads the nation’s observance to recognize the contributions of older Americans. While LeadingAge supports OAM every year, this year’s observance is particularly important. In light of the difficulties seniors have endured throughout the pandemic, ACL’s theme for 2021 is “Communities of Strength.” In turn, LeadingAge has emphasized the importance of advocating for older Americans during this time — as the country debates the value of supporting national care infrastructure. “Now, as our nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re at a critical time — the most important moment in a generation for our country to renew and revitalize how we support older Americans and their families as millions of us live longer,” wrote LeadingAge. The association also expressed their ongoing effort to combat misperceptions in senior living. Along with advocacy during OAM, LeadingAge continuously aims to showcase the rich and diverse life experiences happening within aging services.   Yardi in senior living For over two decades, the Yardi Senior Living Suite has supported senior living operators, caregivers, residents and families. It eliminates the gap between property management and clinical services by uniting property management, finance, marketing, business intelligence and resident care on a single platform. Yardi joins LeadingAge in recognizing the value of seniors during Older Americans Month, as well as year-round. Read more about LeadingAge’s efforts during...

Senior Living Trends

While the pandemic has shaped senior living as we know it, there’s no shortage of industry experts to provide guidance, tips and insights as we move forward. Sponsored by Yardi and presented by the National Investment Care for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), an upcoming webinar will huddle experts and leaders alike to share their best practices for 2021 — giving senior housing operators the tools to navigate the pandemic’s aftermath. About the webinar In this live leadership huddle, experts will discuss key trends that have shaped senior living in the last year. Through their insights, attendees will learn what trends to watch for — both in the short and long term — and best practices to stay ahead of the curve. We’re pleased to highlight the primary speaker, Fee Stubblefield, a Yardi client and the founder and CEO of The Springs Living. Fee has firsthand experience navigating the ever-changing landscape in senior living. Co-facilitators include: Joe Kiernan, Chief Strategy Officer/SVP, Network Development, Ocean HealthcareMaria Nadelstumph, SVP-Center of Excellence, Brandywine Living About NIC NIC is a nonprofit organization who supports access and choice for America’s seniors by providing data, analytics and connections that bring together investors and providers. Launched as the first of its kind in collaboration with Yardi, the NIC Actual Rates Initiative compiles actual rates and leasing activity submitted by senior living operators. Yardi clients can easily participate by using Voyager Senior Housing to map and extract rent roll data, which can then be exported to NIC and Excel. For more information or to participate, explore the NIC Actual Rates Initiative and complete the online form. To register for the upcoming webinar — Trends That Will Shape Senior Living Post-Pandemic — visit the NIC leadership huddles. The live discussion is set for Wednesday, May 26...

Tech Harmony

We’ve learned that most every company is a tech company: in the past year, companies that prioritized adaptability and tech innovation managed to thrive in the most unprecedented circumstances. At PM Springfest, two real estate industry experts shared their best practices for tech selection, implementation and creating efficient processes that scale. Their analysis offers insights and inspiration to prepare Canadian property managers for a harmonious future with technology. PM Springfest 2021 PM Springfest is a two-day online educational conference for decision makers and influencers of the property management industry. The event gave participants the opportunity to connect, network, learn and share insights on the industry’s most important topics including sustainability, legal and regulatory issues, resiliency and technology. Panelist Sandeep Manak, CFO, Wesgroup Properties, Brian Turpin, CIO, Greenwin and moderator Sam Amin, marketing manager, Yardi Canada led the webinar, “Hello New World: Are You Ready for the Future of Real Estate Tech?” The panel explored how tech facilitates business continuity, strategies for successful adoption and how they leverage data to thrive. Tech is essential for modern, successful business continuity The pandemic served as a catalyst for technology adoption throughout real estate verticals. Manual processes, paper-based filing systems, and face-to-face interactions came to an abrupt halt. Technology empowered companies to press forward and thrive in remote environments. Turpin says, “At Greenwin, we always had this digital mindset of being cloud-first. Our overall strategy has been focused on mobility, digital payments, online leasing, and virtual tours.” As a result, Greenwin was able to shift to remote work environments within a few days. The organization also accelerated disaster response protocols that were already in place. “Something that we specifically did around the pandemic was the deferred payments,” says Turpin. “A vendor like Yardi quickly stepped up and pivoted...

Access + Support May04

Access + Support

Did you know that more than 51 million Americans experience mental illness? May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Participants are encouraged to end the stigma around mental illness and promote conversations about mental health. Yardi offers an array of resources to support mental health awareness and services. Mental health by the numbers Per the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly one in every five adults live with a mental illness. That’s approximately 51.5 million Americans aged 18 and older that have a diagnosed condition. An estimated 49.5% of adolescents ages 13-18 have a mental disorder. The National Library of Medicine reports that “46% of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, and half of those people will develop conditions by the age of 14.” The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) reflects similar numbers: in any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will experience a mental health problem or illness. By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have experienced a mental illness. With more than 20% of the population living with mental illness, we face a growing need to understand mental health. That understanding comes in the form of formal research and open dialogue with our communities. Mental Health Resource Library To support the wellbeing of its employees, clients and their residents, Yardi has sponsored the COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Library. The investment and property management software provider developed the library to aid those affected the pandemic. The virtual library offers tools to help manage changes in our homes, employment and social conditions. Users can explore practical insights from dozens of videos, articles and other media. Each is presented on a free, user-friendly platform that is accessible on any internet-enabled device. The...

McKnight’s Panel

As optimism in outlasting the COVID-19 crisis continues to grow, senior living providers face a new challenge — navigating the business world in the pandemic’s aftermath. Recognizing the need for expert insight, McKnight’s Senior Living is featuring three industry executives in a digital power panel on May 5, 2021. The session will break down strategies in maneuvering through the coming months and beyond. And set to speak is Yardi’s own Fil Southerland, a seasoned expert in the LTPAC industry. Topics at a glance Sponsored by Yardi, the McKnight’s power panel — Preparing for business after the main COVID-19 storm — will explore a range of topics. With an expert viewpoint and strategies to share, Fil Southerland will cover the following subjects, plus more:   How to improve operations, both post-pandemic and in generalWhy digital workflows are a mustThe industry’s shift toward interoperabilityStrengthening resident and family engagement, digitally and in person   About Fil Southerland Fil Southerland has been involved with the LTPAC industry for over 15 years, and currently serves as Director of Healthcare Solutions at Yardi, where he leads initiatives in electronic healthcare records and interoperability. Prior to his time at Yardi, Fil served as Founder and CTO of ALMSA, Inc., a nationally recognized cloud-based electronic health provider in the Assisted Living industry. With expertise in Health Information Technology, digital privacy and LTPAC policy and interoperability initiatives, Fil is passionate about using technology to improve outcomes for residents and care providers. Don’t miss Fil’s insightful contribution, along with two other expert speakers, on May 5 at 1 p.m. EDT.   Save the date and register...

YASC Makes a Virtual Return

The Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference, which began as two annual events in the U.S. and expanded to encompass six events on four continents, will soon continue its two-decade tradition of helping clients maximize the value of their Yardi software. ”The reason I enjoy YASC is to see new product developments and to understand how other corporations are using the platform,” said Katerina Urquhart of London-based M&G Real Estate, who attended YASC Europe in 2019. “I was able to take classes on the newest products, ask questions on topics I didn’t fully understand and dig into things that interest me,” Marcie Trivette of Fore Property in Las Vegas said last year. “No matter how big or small, every client has a voice with Yardi, and these sessions are great ways to reinforce that,” an executive director with Laramar Communities LLC of Greenwood Village, Colo., noted back in 2010. Last year’s presentations were different, of course. All YASC events were combined into YASC Digital and YASC Global, virtual experiences with a full slate of free on-demand classes, social activities and gala entertainment. YASC Global in October drew more than 20,000 attendees and featured an exclusive performance from internationally acclaimed Icelandic band Of Monsters And Men. With every view triggering a donation from Yardi, the event earned $75,000 for charities. A two-time Grammy Award-winning performer is on tap for the May conference and Yardi again will make a donation for every attendee viewing the show. The next edition of YASC Global happens May 18-20, with 280-plus classes on the latest software innovations for property owners, asset managers, real estate investment managers and others working in commercial, residential, PHA, senior living and other real estate markets. Live chat support will also be available. YASC Global participants can also look forward to social media interaction, daily giveaways, networking opportunities and entertainment. All Yardi clients are automatically enrolled in the conference. “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,” company president and founder Anant Yardi told 2,500 Yardi clients and staff members who gathered in San Diego for YASC in 2019. Two years later, in vastly different circumstances, that remains the purpose of YASC. Learn more about the benefits Yardi’s global client base gains from this...

Retain Top Talent Apr21

Retain Top Talent

A resourceful administrative assistant is worth their weight in gold (or palladium for that matter). Admins are the backbone of the company: from facilitating events to communicating between departments and clients, they keep day-to-day affairs running smoothly. April 21 is Administrative Professionals Day, but the celebration doesn’t have to end today. In fact, it’s important that the celebration continues if you aim to retain your top talent. Below are a few practical tips to help you get started. Schedule ways to show that you care. One of the best ways to celebrate administrative professionals is to extend the celebration beyond one day. Sure, flowers and a certificate of appreciation are nice. But when you want to improve employee satisfaction and promote company loyalty, the day-to-day actions are what matter most. Consider putting a reminder on your calendar at least once per quarter. Schedule a simple way to let your admin know that you appreciate their efforts. It could be a grand gesture like a spa retreat, of course, but smaller gestures are also valuable. Consider a collectible item that you know they like or an extended lunch break. The key is to consistently show that you appreciate them. Ask. Listen. Respond. Find time outside of their performance review to check in. Sometimes, it’s as simple as asking “How are you?” if you don’t already do so. You can begin with a check-in template. You may also consider asking any of the following questions, personalizing them as you see fit: What would make your work here more rewarding? What could we do to support you and your work? What do I do as a manager that’s currently a roadblock? If the last question felt like a punch to the stomach, don’t be afraid. Craig Cincotta,...

Safe Spring Fun Apr14

Safe Spring Fun

Spring has sprung! Your residents are itching to enjoy the warmer, longer days together. They will likely begin to invite more family and friends. The tips below can help you create warm weather fun that prioritizes total wellbeing. Check local health mandates before creating your event. Each state has different rules regarding group gatherings, social distancing and mask requirements. Check coronavirus restrictions and mask mandates for your state as well as local governments. Practice vaccination safety. As vaccine availability increases, many residents may have questions about vaccines and their implications for group gatherings. The CDC offers guidelines on what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccination. Per the CDC, it takes approximately two weeks for the body to build protection after both single and double-dose vaccines. Your team may take this into consideration when hosting in-person events. Consider these easy gathering hacks. For most properties, outdoor events may be the easiest way to encourage safe practices during gatherings. You can enjoy the indoors together as well. Below are a few considerations. Films on the Green – outdoor movie viewings are an easy way to promote community while practicing social distancing. Consider asking residents to bring their own drinks and snacks. Pool Party – The pool is always a warm weather favorite. Fortunately, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can survive in chlorinated pools, hot tubs and spas. While those water features may be safe zones, the entertainment spaces around them will require regular care. Explore reopening strategies for multifamily amenities. Gaming Parties – Find the kids and teens in their natural habitats—parked in front of their gaming consoles! By organizing gaming parties, you can help young, new residents meet other kids while practicing social distancing. Continue to guide residents towards helpful resources. Last but certainly...

NAA Digital Studio

Do you want to emerge from 2021 with a more efficient, agile and profitable organization? Discover insights to help you reach your goals during the National Apartment Association (NAA) Digital Studio Series! Stronger NOI in 2021 The April NAA Digital Studio, presented by Yardi, is a half-day event including deep dive and interactive sessions, industry panels, networking and more. This month’s theme is “Stronger NOI in 2021: Where do we grow from here?” Experts from leading multifamily companies across the country will discuss the many ways in which COVID-19 has impacted the real estate industry and, more specifically, apartment management. Each session features unique programming that tackles common industry challenges. Through the sessions, you can: Explore market changes and projected financial impacts to help you plan smarter in 2021 and beyond. Gain insights from multifamily leaders who will share new performance metrics they’re using to change the way they do business. Discover ways to improve net operating income beyond rent increases. Featured speakers include guests from Luma Residential, Bell Partners, BH Management Services, Cirrus and more. Industry professionals focused on operations, marketing, technology and related roles will walk away with practical, actionable items to strengthen your organization. Work + play The event kicks off with keynote speaker Jeff Adler, vice president of Yardi Matrix, offering an engaging look at the latest multifamily data. Examine changes in rent growth, occupancy, retention and renter preferences over the last 12 months. Learn how new demographic patterns have affected top and bottom markets. Attendees will also see rent and occupancy forecasts for a variety of property groups. Then, stick around for additional sessions that connect the market update to real-life experiences and plans to protect NOI going forward. End the day with a relaxing musical interlude. Leslie and...

Yardi Gras Feb16

Yardi Gras

Who knew that the 2019 “Yardi Gras” celebration at YASC DC would be a prescient window to the future? This year, instead of typical Fat Tuesday revelry, the citizen of New Orleans are celebrating in a very different way: at home, due to the ongoing pandemic. It’s a theme we’re all familiar with at this point, after nearly a year of working, living life and celebrating milestones – all from home. Our yards may be very familiar at this point, but they are also a creative space for expression and fun. Nowhere is that more true than in New Orleans today. Historic Tradition, Reimagined “Since 1857, Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans have been called off only 14 times, because of war, mob violence, or labor disputes,” reports Bloomberg News. “This year will be the 15th. Much as the city came together after the devastation of Hurricane Katina, turning Carnival into a celebration of hope amid the mourning, Crescent City citizens are still letting the good times roll and supporting each other while they’re at it.” Originally, Yardi Gras, as city officials are calling it, began as a fundraiser. The Krewe of Red Beans was looking for a way to help the artists who create the city’s typically over-the-top parade floats. With no parades, no income was coming in. After the fundraiser as publicized, the idea gained grassroots traction – often on actual grass. As a result, this year there are more than 3,000 “house floats” at individual homes around New Orleans and beyond. A Spirit of Celebration “It’s a spirit of celebration just like that we had in Washington D.C. at YASC two years ago,” said Tim Hoover, creative director for Yardi. “We brought in Sierra Green and the Soul Machine to entertain...

IMN Annual Forum Dec28

IMN Annual Forum

As part of the 2020 IMN Real Estate Private Equity Funds Virtual Forum, Yardi had the unique opportunity to participate in several panel discussions and share thoughts on trends in technology and investment management. In one session, “Meeting the Challenges of Fund Administration, Investor Reporting & Transparency,” Scott Tavolacci, Yardi regional director of global solutions, moderated the conversation. As Tavolacci noted, it seems that roughly 10 years ago the hedge fund space and the private equity space expanded into fund administrators and real estate may have been a bit behind. However, recently the real estate sector has picked up speed in this sense, and as Jeff Bush said, over the last five years, he’s seen a lot of real estate managers and firms thinking about and questioning fund raising and outsourcing practices every time they find a deal. Bush, president of Standish Real Estate Services Group, believes that the real estate industry is often taking the approach of seeing what works best in other sectors, mitigating risk or mistakes potentially along the way. Technology has played a major role in all aspects of fund administration as it does for just about all walks of business. Usage has only increased with the mass exodus away from the traditional office during the pandemic. The ability to use portals to access information in real time and make transactions on the go is vital, for anyone from investors to fund administrators. Beyond that, it’s important to have a connected solution that brings together all office functionality from accounting in the back office to investor relations with front office management. Real estate traditionally lagged behind in terms of tech usage, but the pandemic has expedited tech adoption while still keeping the focus on the value of data. Platforms are providing more secure and reliable ways to access and relay data between entities without any time-consuming or error-prone manual effort to aggregate data from disparate sources. In “Using Technology to Improve Efficiency & Returns,” Chris Barbier, Yardi industry principal for investment management, explained that while advanced tech has become a prominent focus for the industry, it was the more basic requirements that were in high demand earlier during the pandemic. “Starting with payables, people were going into the office, picking up the check printer and bringing it home with them. You would think some of these payables processes would be pretty basic, but as the workforce went remote, we saw this was an area of need to adopt some technologies,” Barbier said. Departments such as accounts receivables also saw a major uptick in tech usage. A large part of this was due to the volume of people who need visibility to data and reports, from accountants to property managers to CFOs to portfolio managers. Without basic data sharing and connectivity between departments, remote work would not have been nearly as successful as it has been this year. There was initially a significant level of uncertainty surrounding workforces transitioning to work from home environments, as both panel discussions touched on. Several panelists noted, however, that fears of lack of productivity hardly materialized, as companies adopted tech at higher rates than ever before and employees proved that remote work is feasible long term. On the investor side, the importance of communication has been highlighted throughout the year. “Investors want to know quickly what is going on with their portfolio and investments, so we’re seeing an uptick in tech adoption for better communication with investors to provide them information they’re looking for,” Barbier added. “It’s really interesting to see how investors are doing due diligence virtually, where a lot of that really wasn’t happening before,” said Barbara Rea, founder of Rea Advisory Group. Traditionally, investors expected to come in and meet in person, build some trust and forge a stronger relationship. With that being taken away this year, lenders and investors are relying on technology such as virtual meetings, a rare...

IM Insights Dec21

IM Insights

Yardi’s November Executive Briefing brought together a collection of industry leaders to discuss current trends and solutions to mitigate a year of unique challenges. As part of the session, Yardi senior vice president of global solutions, Rob Teel, provided an update on some of Yardi’s current initiatives and what trends are driving Yardi’s efforts moving forward. The company is underwriting a major tenant survey with BOMA which received over 3,000 responses. The survey responses will be revealed in the coming weeks and there will be upcoming webinars with BOMA to review and analyze the findings, such as the likelihood for commercial tenants to renew, factors driving their renewal decisions and factors driving office occupancy levels. Teel noted that some of the prevalent industry trends this year are topics he’s rarely had to deal with, such as concern over rent deferrals and concessions. Yardi’s response was to create a new product called Lease Manager, which helps landlords better manage tenant risk and overall portfolio health. In addition, with a focus on removing touchpoints, Yardi felt it was key to help clients eliminate paper from their day-to-day operations. To do so, there was a corporate initiative to promote products such as VendorCafe and CommercialCafe, which make it easy to electronically submit payments, vendor invoices, tenant invoices and any other documents which normally would have required mailing or submitting paperwork. The industrial, retail and office sectors have all been affected differently by the global pandemic. Industrial has become the “shining area of commercial,” Teel noted, thanks to a large spike in e-commerce growth and demand staying steady along with occupancy and rent. On the flip side, retail has naturally seen more challenges with less foot traffic, shutdowns varying by jurisdiction and higher vacancy rates. This has led...

Model of Adjustment Dec13

Model of Adjustment

While the industrial sector shows strong occupancy and rent performances, office and retail face a host of challenges including deferrals, concessions, spiraling vacancy rates and, of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. How can commercial real estate companies not just adjust, but thrive in today’s environment? A recent Executive Briefing hosted by Yardi, invited Tom Sheraden, chief technology officer for the QuadReal Property Group, one of Canada’s largest asset managers, to describe how his team used advanced property management software to successfully adapt to the rapidly changing environment. A major advantage for QuadReal was a company culture that embraces not just accepting change but owning it. “Our workforce embodies a deep personal drive to make things work better and to own change, not just accept it,” Sheraden said. A versatile technology platform capable of handling the breadth of QuadReal’s real estate activities also helped make the global real estate investor, operator and developer fully equipped to press ahead with major projects. Through Yardi Elevate, QuadReal can manage the deal pipeline, visualize portfolio health, easily view space availability, analyze risk, complete accurate budgeting and manage construction projects from a single connected solution. “A lot of companies would have taken their foot off the gas. But thanks to our culture of accepting changing technology, we were able to spend our time on forward-looking opportunities versus just surviving,” noted Sheraden, who also paid tribute to staff members whose duties required them to remain onsite throughout the pandemic. Prior to adopting its asset management system, for example, obtaining full operational and financial data typically required a separate business intelligence platform. But Yardi helped QuadReal shift that responsibility to the people with the deepest knowledge of the business. “Our strategy is to empower those analysts with great data, great tools...

Realcomm | IBcon Dec08

Realcomm | IBcon

Due to unique challenges this year, the 2020 Realcomm | IBcon Conference changed to a new hybrid format with two days of virtual sessions followed by a day of in-person sessions. As part of the virtual event, Yardi president and founder Anant Yardi participated in the opening session panel, as well as a thought leadership discussion with other industry software providers. Mr. Yardi’s vision for the future of the commercial real estate industry was optimistic, while stating the importance of businesses adapting to a new normal. In the opening session, “#COVID.RE.Economy.Technology.NewNormal,” he reflected on the difference between gathering 2,500 people in one venue at the last Realcomm conference in June 2019, versus a virtual environment over two full days of content in October 2020. “I yearn for those times when we were able to be face to face,” he stated. “But we understand change, we recalibrate and navigate that change.” Property owners and managers are likely to have some concern over whether tenants will need their space at the end of the lease, but enterprise corporations such as Microsoft and Exxon are leading the way on hybrid work models, which may be the new normal. Workers could access the office at some points during the week for team collaboration and then continue to function normally from remote environments, be it at home or a shared coworking location. For those companies seeking more space, often satellite offices, Mr. Yardi sees a trend where clients search available sublease space or sections of coworking offices to bring workers back into a collaborative environment. A significant challenge for the future of the office sector is occupancy levels. While a majority of tenants have managed to successfully pay rent and offices are slowly beginning to reopen, capacity restrictions and...

PM EXPO Highlights Dec07

PM EXPO Highlights

Yardi returned as a proud sponsor of The Buildings Week PM EXPO 2020. Nearly 6,000 design, construction and real estate experts attended the virtual event which offered engaging content and targeted networking opportunities. One of the conference’s hottest sessions focused on using technology to overcome hurdles posed by COVID-19. In “Pandemic Proofing Canadian Real Estate through Technology and Innovation,” three industry leaders conveyed how technology helped them weather seasons of unprecedented change. Heather Brady, national director of sales at Yardi Canada Ltd. moderated a panel consisting of Maria Aiello, global head of private markets and real estate technology, MVP at Manulife Financial; Moe Ladha, finance transformation lead at The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited and Todd Nishimura, senior director of marketing, leasing and communications at GWL Realty Advisors Inc. To remain nimble and responsive, each panelist acknowledged the importance of leadership, digital communication and accessibility to data. Tech for leading with purpose Aiello proposes that during tough times, leadership must set the tone for adaptability, receptivity and a meaningful change. She says, “Manulife has been nothing but impressive with focusing on humanity by showing we are here to help. Our values and culture have extended to a different tier, and initially it was in response to the mental health of our employees and customers.” The three organizations found creative ways to virtually demonstrate empathy. Dynamic resident portals and websites were a critical resource for staff and residents. Sites focused on best practices for mental and physical health. Nishimura explains, “Mental health has become a real focus and part of the stakeholder approach. We created a COVID repository with trusted resources. The site was successful because we promoted it via email and building signage.” Digital tools for communication and transparency Virtual leasing plays a leading role in remote communication with prospects. Live virtual tours and 3D floor plans offer convenient and safe options for prospects: “The consumer has expectations of immediate gratification and ease of use. The real estate industry is catching up and maybe one day we will be on the leading edge of technology,” says Nishimura. Cloud computing keeps communication and data accessible to relevant parties. Ladha noted the importance of cloud computing in remote work environments, “Tech became critical to access data and to collaborate remotely,” he says. “Our finance teams said remote work would have been more difficult if we had not transitioned to the cloud six months ago.” He adds, “Don’t underestimate the importance and the value of a strong structure of change training and education for those involved in this digitization journey. Yes, the tech should be intuitive and easy to use but the education and support for tech competency is important for all your teams.” Additionally, cloud computing empowers organizations to accelerate decision-making processes by having its data centralized and available between platforms. Teams communicate using a single source of truth. From leasing to procurement and asset management, users can make informed decisions with consistent, accurate and real-time data. Discover more tools to help your organization navigate changing tides with efficiency and...

Navigating + Embracing Change

Two catalysts prompted drastic changes in the real estate industry in 2020: COVID-19 and remote work environments. During REALPAC 2020, Anant Yardi, president and founder of Yardi, was joined by Robert Courteau, CEO Altus Group for the session “Emerging and Relevant Proptech in a new COVID-19 World Future of the Canadian and Global Economy.” The leaders dove into the impacts of the pandemic and remote work to explore the latest trends, lessons learn, and projections for the future. Digital services, accelerated In the past eight months, proptech has entered a point of inflection. These occur when new technology enters and permanently alters an industry. Proptech leaders such as Yardi are exploring the applications of AI, big data and IoT in real estate. From building automation to chatbots, those three components pressed the industry forward through the pandemic and the transition to remote work. “Of the hundreds of tech companies that have been started in real estate, their success or demise will be accelerated by the pandemic,” said Mr. Yardi. “It’s a very exciting period to study these technologies and bring them to the market for the benefit of the industry.” The research and innovation needed to bring technologies to market are moving at a faster clip. Panel participants observed that the industry has changed from a push model to a pull model. Real estate owners now approach proptech innovators in search of tools and solutions. Owners are seeking and investing in technology rather than waiting to be convinced of its value. Trending tools are showing permanence Since the onset of the pandemic, owners are implementing technologies that convert transactions and communication to paperless and automated systems. Touchless, client-facing solutions have also experienced a surge in interest and implementation. In the US and soon in Canada, Yardi Chat IQ offers 24/7 chatbot services with natural language processing. Prospects can learn more about the property and receive details on available units. Once interested, prospects can schedule a self-guided tour via the automated system. Smart home tools permit self-guided tours with enhanced security features. Once a prospect schedules a tour online, they can arrive at the unit and complete a tour on their own: the system verifies their ID and receives driver’s license information. It can validate their identity using a “selfie” image. The system then issues a unique digital key that permits the prospect to enter. Sensors verify that the tour is complete and lock the door once the prospect has left the unit. Leasing agents have access to all tour data through their dashboards. They can see when the door was unlocked, by whom, and when the person exited. That data connects to CRM functions so leasing agents can follow-up after the tour. “These tech advances are so fascinating,” said Mr. Yardi. “The capacity to work with the industry, this very vibrant industry, is very promising.” Digital technology that was once viewed as a luxury is now seen as essential for safe and efficient properties, observed the panel. Mindful adoption of technology Not all tech tools are equal in value to real estate professionals. Discerning which tools to adopt and which to forego is a delicate balance. “Proptech is a vision and a spirit. The spirit of proptech is to understand new technologies and how best to apply them in real life problems. In that spirit, there are new opportunities that will surface,” said Mr. Yardi. “The vision of proptech is about how best to run real estate operations, taking into account tech transformations,” he continued. “My counsel to industrial practitioners is to keep an eye on proptech but everything they do has to be based on a clear value proposition and that has to be influenced by any of the following key elements: increase revenues, reduce cost, increase customer satisfaction and reduce risk.” He added, “These drivers don’t change. These driving principles are key in the world of business....