Energy Direction

Matt Eggers, vice president of Yardi Energy, has joined the board of directors for the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), a nonprofit that collaborates with building owners, tenants, governments and others to create research, programs, and policies that promote energy efficiency in buildings. Prior to Yardi, Eggers held management positions with Tesla Motors, Sunrun Inc., Bloom Energy and Genentech. “I’m honored to work with this group of distinguished public and private sector experts,” said Eggers. “I am excited to collaborate with IMT because Yardi shares its goal of helping building owners save money and reduce their impact on the environment. I look forward to working with IMT and its partners to identify and apply smart technology investments that support this mission.” “We are pleased that Matt accepted the Board’s invitation to join our remarkable group of leaders. Matt brings invaluable expertise in identifying private-sector trends and innovations around energy efficiency in real estate. Matt and Yardi have been close partners and advisors to IMT for several years, focusing on landlord and tenant collaborations in making cost-effective and energy-efficient spaces. We look forward to building on that relationship,” said Cliff Majersik, executive director of IMT. Eggers heads the Yardi division responsible for developing innovative software and services for energy management and the Internet of Things (IoT). Yardi offers real estate businesses the Yardi Smart Energy Suite to help manage costs, consumption and efficiency with an energy program that fits each company’s sustainability goals and streamlines processes. The Balance Sheet asked Eggers to elaborate on IMT and his role on the board: Q: Can you talk a bit about IMT, its purpose and how it works? Eggers: IMT understands that Americans spend more than $400 billion annually to heat, cool and power the places where they...

Social Senior Smarts Jul12

Social Senior Smarts

Social programming has long been a component of many senior living establishments. The quality and quantity of activities, however, vary greatly and may be affecting your residents’ health. The social programming at your site can contribute to the wellbeing and satisfaction of your residents, providing you with a competitive upper hand. Socialization Boosts Wellness Psychology Today reports on the health benefits of socializing. A few of the benefits include: Mental Fortitude: Interacting with other living beings has proven to improve memory and cognitive skills while fending off the onset and development of dementia. Mental Wellness: Face-to-face interaction minimizes the risk of depression, improves mood, and contributes to an overall sense of wellbeing. Longevity: Isolation can shorten our lifespans. Staying social helps to extend our lifeline regardless of our physical health history. Immunity: Socializing with others can strengthen seniors’ immune system. There is a complex relationship between our immune system and the regions of our brain that influence social interaction. Fitness: For seniors, interacting with others often includes getting out and doing things that they may not do alone. Social activities encourage seniors to stay physically active. Just How Long Ought We Socialize? How much socializing ought we pursue each day? Researchers suggest that we should aim for about six hours of interaction daily. This time can be spent with people, animals, or any combination of the two. That recommendation may not work for everyone, particularly for seniors who have gone for many years limited interactions. Easing into an a socially active schedule little by little may be a more appropriate approach. Ideas for More Social Seniors Below are a few ideas for the community as well as individuals that can help seniors reach the recommended six hours of social activity. Community Classes: While arts...

Senior Wellness Jul04

Senior Wellness

Socialization is a significant part of senior wellness. By getting the members of the neighborhood involved in activities at your community, you’re offering healthful, value-add services for your seniors that truly make a difference! Below are a few suggestions on how you can improve social opportunities with community support. Animal shelter collaborations are a fun way to expose seniors to the joys of pets without the daily responsibilities of pet ownership. Seniors are able to play with and cuddle their new furry friends, reaping the health benefits of pet interactions. Girl and Boy Scouts projects offer seniors the opportunity to teach and learn from local youth. Contact your local chapters regarding projects such as building raised garden beds, installing rainwater recycling systems, or beautification projects. When seniors have experience in these areas, they are able to feel helpful and knowledgeable. When the experiences are new, senior learners stimulate their brains and feel the invigoration of developing new skills. Student-led tech classes equip seniors with the basic skills needed to stay in touch with the world beyond their senior community. Navigating Zoom and Facetime, for example, allow seniors to stay in touch with loved ones. Computer skills classes make it easier for seniors to take charge of their care curriculum. For today’s students, these skills are second hand and a fun way to get the community service hours they may need for school. Trips to a local ranch for equine therapy come with several advantages: a scenic trip to rural area, the benefits of equine therapy, and the pleasure of artwork and animal interaction. Don’t worry—equine therapy does not mean your seniors must mount the horses! Ask camp leaders if it’s appropriate for seniors to interact with current class members. Serving as a dance recital...

Fit4Life Jul03

Fit4Life

Let’s face it: it’s hard to stay active in a corporate setting. Encouraging employees to live a healthy lifestyle while also expecting eight hours of productivity—often in front of a computer—can be a challenging directive. But what if an event was fun, healthful, and allowed employees to bond by overcoming adversity and encouraging one another? That event is the Fit4Life Corporate Challenge Program. Hosted by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Fit4Life is a 10k race that promotes physical fitness and unity amongst teams of at least four participants. Race participants are encouraged to train together, motivate each other, and reach new personal goals by race day. Yardi Pune represented well this year with 291 employees. There were 69 women in the group, a spectacular turnout. Rushabh Mutha, Associate Client Account Executive, CSD at Yardi was one of the proud participants. He recalls, “Race day was very pleasant. In the morning, the weather was a bit chilly. In spite of the cold, I was very excited. Everyone was so full of enthusiasm.” Mutha adds, “The arrangements made by TCS were very nice. There were large, festive markers for the start and finish line. There was also a place where you can take a picture that says, ‘I am a finisher.’ I felt very proud to participate.” Undoubtedly, Mutha’s favorite part of the event was finishing. “The most fun part was completing the race and holding the Yardi trophy!” he smiles. The event was particularly special for Mutha because it was not only his first race, but it is also his first year with the company. Fit4Life encouraged him to meet new coworkers and develop stronger relationships with familiar faces, all while getting fit. “As I just joined the company, it was fun meeting other Yardi employees,...

Risky Business Jun28

Risky Business

A recent Yardi Matrix research bulletin titled “Flood and Fire: The Multifamily Sector’s Response to Natural Disasters,” assesses the state of U.S. multifamily markets in areas hit hard by natural disasters in 2017 including hurricanes and wildfires. Hurricanes alone caused around $110 billion in total reported property damage. The bulletin also covers the impact of these events on the insurance market, and advises that property owners in the private insurance market should be ready for increasing rates and deductibles along with tightening policy terms and conditions. It’s Hurricane Season Again As cited in an April 2018 Multifamily Executive article, the U.S. was hit with 16 severe weather events in 2017. And now that this year’s hurricane season is underway, property owners and managers should ensure that their communities are as safe and sound as possible to prevent against future losses should a major storm hit. One key tip: install critical infrastructure above flood-prone areas. Recommended actions outlined in the article include relocating electrical panels, mechanical equipment, meters and shut-offs to higher ground. Sealing cracks in walls and foundations and installing sump pumps will go a long way to shoring up a property. Using materials that are designed to survive water exposure and resist mold for framing, wallboards, floorboards and ceilings is also a great plan. Mitigating Property Risk When it comes to safeguarding properties, being ready for extreme weather isn’t the only consideration for property owners. To protect against resident-caused damages, a required renters insurance program is a widely accepted industry best practice. For property owners without renters insurance at their communities, now is a great time to consider implementing a program to mitigate risk. A program that includes fast and easy signups for residents and automated compliance monitoring for property managers is ideal....

Cody Costello Jun27

Cody Costello

Every year, Yardi honors outstanding members of the customer service department during the CSD Week Awards ceremony. Cody Costello, consultant, consulting practices, received the VP Award at our most recent event. Tamara J. Berndt, vice president, residential, consulting practices at Yardi, works closely with Costello. She has seen him assist many of the company’s complex clients. During customer service week, the team received an extraordinary kudos from a client stating that “Cody was the best account manager [she has] ever had.” “That is high praise from a client that has been using the Yardi suite of products for more than 15 years,” reflect Berndt. “I never have to worry about Cody’s clients. He just takes care of business. He does it with a calm and professional manner that instills confidence and gets the job done!” Berndt continues, “Cody does a great job taking care of his clients. He is helpful towards his colleagues. Cody embodies the ‘whatever it takes’ attitude of the services department.” We caught up with Costello to learn more about the man behind the VP Award honor. TBS: What does it mean to you to receive the VP award? Costello: I think this means I might actually be kind of good at this job! I think it’s easy to get caught up in the now without looking back to see how far I’ve really come since I first started here. TBS: What do you enjoy most about working at Yardi? Costello: There are so many things I enjoy, from the challenging and diverse work to the wonderful employees. If I absolutely had to pick one thing, I think it would be the freedom that is given on how to best complete my work and accomplish my goals. I’m given all of the tools...

Starting Out Smart Jun18

Starting Out Smart

Clearwater Living is new to the senior living real estate market, but the Southern California-based developer and owner/operator of new senior communities aims to set standards for high quality resident and employee experiences in every market it enters. As they  opened their first three communities, and prepare to manage more independent senior communities  Clearwater Living wanted to start off with a strong technology platform. After analyzing the options in the marketplace, the Yardi Senior Living Suite was the right choice. Breck Austin, VP Support Services for Clearwater Living, knew of Yardi’s strong reputation in the real estate technology space from his work at prior employers. Though Austin had never been a Yardi user before, he knew that the reputation of the company’s platforms was tremendous for meeting a myriad of business needs, from resident services to the back office. “As we grow our company and the systems we use, one of the questions we faced was how to best support the next generation of senior living residents coming into our communities with robust technology and systems,” Austin said. “We wanted to be able to easily communicate to residents about our lifestyle programs and engage them into enjoying our restaurant venues. We wanted them to see their statements and pay bills, and provide their families access to those resources. We knew that what would provide the highest resident and associate satisfaction was a fully integrated system, so Yardi was our answer.” The RENTCafé Senior Living resident portal for family and resident provides access to records, statements and care details which was one of the main factors that led Clearwater Living to pick Yardi as its software provider. “To have your medical records, your electronic health care records, all housed in one place with your accounting...

Yardi Boston

Yardi Boston recently participated in a Garden Party project at Somerville Village that will bring therapeutic and educational resources to young women in transitional housing. The project reflects how humble beginnings can be transformed into spectacular endings. About Somerville Village Somerville Village is a collaboration between Focus and The Home for Little Wanderers. The former is a Massachusetts-based non-profit that advocates and supports affordable housing as well as services for its residents. The latter offers programming to strengthen vulnerable families and keep children safe in their communities. Together, the organizations launched Somerville Village, transitional housing and programing to help young women who have aged-out of The Home for Little Wanderers yet need additional assistance to pursue higher education. Somerville Village is a two-story house with 15 bedrooms, five bathrooms, a kitchen and several communal spaces. Residents have easy access to public transportation, allowing them to commute to their post-secondary classes. In addition to housing, Somerville Village also provides access to therapeutic and educational support for residents as they take additional steps towards independence. The Garden Party When Yardi Boston team members arrived at Somerville Village, they found a lovely home with one aesthetic flaw: an underused side yard in serious need of attention. The organization wanted to transform the space into an educational and functional garden. Yardi was there to help. Rick Houpt, Development, The Home for Little Wanderers, explains, “The Yardi team absolutely transformed a dreary, black-padded side-yard into a cheerful educational and therapeutic space: a garden of raised beds for vegetables, herbs, and flowers.” The garden is an educational opportunity because the women of Somerville Village will have the chance to learn about nutrition, gardening, and growing food. The resource can help them take better care of bodies and minds, reaping the...

Sky’s the Limit Jun14

Sky’s the Limit...

“We use our Yardi platform to accomplish everything. It works for us,” said Joenita Turner, senior application support specialist at Silver Sky Assisted Living. Silver Sky Assisted Living and Silver Sky at Deer Springs are Nevada HAND’s two communities for seniors who need some extra help. The communities offer comprehensive services including meals, onsite caregivers, 24-hour nursing and medical support along with a full calendar of activities. To ensure the most efficient operations so that its residents get the best care possible, Silver Sky relies on fully integrated and cloud-hosted software solutions from the Yardi Senior Living Suite including Yardi Voyager Senior Housing, RENTCafé Senior Living, Yardi Senior CRM and Yardi EHR along with Yardi Maintenance and Yardi eLearning. Turner started out as a property manager before switching over to her applications role at Silver Sky. “I know how things work from the front office to back end administration,” she said. The company recently went through a rebrand, which included adding RENTCafé Senior Living to offer a range of convenient online services to its residents and their families. Succeeding with online services RENTCafé Senior Living is built into the Voyager platform and through online portals it allows residents and their families to manage healthcare information, make payments, communicate with staff and submit service requests. “Out of state family members can log in to make payments, view health records and submit maintenance requests — which saves them time so that when they visit, they can focus on being with their loved ones. Our residents have been excited to enroll for online services, and we’re expecting an at least 80% adoption rate,” Turner said. Silver Sky’s staff is also enjoying the benefits of online services and electronic transactions. Turner added, “Our accountants love it, because it...

Bright Minds

California faces a dramatic shortfall of college-educated workers. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, by 2030, the state will be more than a million bachelor’s degrees short of what its innovation economy requires to thrive. In other words, if every college and every university in the state of California continues to graduate students at the current rate, the state will still be more than 1 million degrees short of what employers need. California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) is positioned to help meet the needs of the state’s growing economy. The university has committed to addressing that shortfall by serving a largely first generation, underserved student population. CSU Channel Islands’ Solution “CSUCI is about access to education. We believe that we play a pivotal role in equity and social mobility for vulnerable populations with in our region, state, and our nation,” says Nichole Ipach, Vice President for University Advancement. The large majority of the university’s populations come from first generation, underserved, low-income, and underrepresented groups. Such populations are critical to filling the state’s need for college-educated workers. “Serving these populations is at the heart of our mission at CSUCI. In fact, CSUCI was ranked 18th in the nation for social mobility just this year,” says Ipach. The student population at CSUCI is 50 percent Hispanic, where 60 percent are the first generation in their families to go to college. About 80 percent of students are qualified for financial aid, creating tremendous social mobility opportunities for graduates. Student Focus Leads to Statewide Success George Leis, the President of Montecito Bank and Trust and the currently the CSUCI Foundation Board Chair, has been a proud member of the CSUCI Foundation Board for almost 10 years. Over that time, he watched the university change the lives of...

Creating Value

“Yardi Orion is the tool that helps us create value for our clients,” said Jeanette Ruscitti, vice president of operations for The REMM Group. REMM is a third-party fee manager with more than 5,000 multifamily units and 1.5 million square feet of commercial space across Southern California. REMM takes a hands-on approach, working with its executive and onsite teams to go “above and beyond” for its clients — and investing in technology is key to the company’s success. Yardi Orion Business Intelligence is a mobile-enabled platform that combines financial, operational and ancillary services data from Yardi Voyager to deliver holistic portfolio insight. With configurable dashboards and more than 200 key performance indicators, Orion provides flexible reporting that enables REMM and its clients to make fast and informed business decisions. Shawn Conerty, REMM’s chief financial officer, said, “We have used Yardi Voyager software for years and find it is the most advanced property SaaS platform available. Our teams are empowered by the centralized source of data and automated workflows that simplify operations from leasing through move-ins and move-outs, work orders, purchase orders, check writing and more. Yardi’s marketing and leasing tools, including RENTCafé, make life easier for our prospects, residents and staff with online leasing, rent payments and maintenance requests.” Conerty commented that REMM came to the table to analyze Orion with these previous Yardi successes in mind. “Orion draws from all the flows of information that go through those Yardi systems: occupancy, delinquency, exceptions, marketing, financials, etc.,” he added. Built right into its Voyager platform, Orion has proven to be the right choice for REMM to serve its clients and meet business goals, with mobile access that makes it easy for REMM’s executives to utilize the system on the go. Real-time tracking of rental...

Amanda Siegel Jun05

Amanda Siegel

Yardi honors exemplary members of the customer service department during the annual CSD Week Awards ceremony. Amanda Siegel received the Directors Award while she worked with the government services team. Josh Cunningham, Director, Specialty Solutions Group at Yardi, reflects on Siegel’s contributions. “Amanda has a calm presence that allows her to de-escalate difficult situations with ease. She worked with some of our largest government clients on upgrades, custom reporting and data conversions. I chose her for the Director’s Award because she was the top performer in her department.” The Balance Sheet sat down with Siegel to learn more about the woman behind the honor. TBS: What does it mean to you to receive the Director’s Award? Siegel: I was honored to be recognized with this award alongside co-workers that I know to be knowledgeable, hard-working and fantastic examples of leadership and integrity on their teams. The respect I have for the other recipients of this award motivates me to emulate their strengths in my own work. I think, for me personally, this award represented a lot of personal growth in learning to approach new challenges with determination and flexibility. Knowing how to use my resources and having the shared knowledge and support of my team has helped me be successful taking on some difficult tasks and new responsibilities this past year. I’m very grateful to have the additional confidence and new skills that came from these experiences. TBS: What do you enjoy most about working at Yardi? Siegel: I enjoy the company culture the most. Having a symbiotic rather than an adversarial relationship with my teammates makes me feel supported and motivated to not let my group down. I also really appreciate the value this company seems to put on integrity and empathy. I see this both in the attitudes of...

Driving Profits

“The ROI using Voyager has been huge,” said Jason Hoffman, COO and vice president at Alliance Property Systems, about running its business on the mobile Yardi Voyager platform. Led by a father-son team, Alliance provides comprehensive HOA and condominium management services along with commercial real estate management throughout South Florida. A longtime Yardi client, Alliance has always invested in technology and started with DOS-based Yardi Professional in the early 1990s. To meet new challenges in a changing industry and move its business forward, Alliance switched to the cloud-based Voyager platform in 2015. As a result, Alliance has gained automated workflows for tasks that previously required time-consuming manual processing, and accommodates a business model of “roving property management” with integrated online services and mobile tools. Winning in a tight market Alliance has a portfolio of 70 properties and 6,000 units in South Florida and only 13 employees. To succeed and be profitable in a competitive market with tight margins, the company must streamline and optimize internal processes, according to Leigh Hoffman, Alliance’s president and CEO (and father half of the father-son team). A key way Alliance achieves this is by leveraging Yardi’s leading-edge technology across its business. For a true end-to-end solution, Alliance has added products from the Yardi® Condo Suite to its Voyager platform. Integrated online services and simplified workflows for payments, procurement, invoice processing and more increase productivity and reduce costs for the company. When asked if Alliance’s investment in technology sets the company apart, Jason commented that the Voyager platform “100% helps us win business.” And according to Leigh, “We are more competitive and succeed because we’re offering options to our customers to do more things online, including payments.” Empowering a lean team This biggest line item in Alliance’s budget is employee costs....

Yardi Canada May31

Yardi Canada

Collaboration. Community. Social responsibility. These might not be the first words that come to mind when talking about most global businesses, but for the people who work in the offices that comprise Yardi Canada Ltd., they come up often. Now celebrating 20 years in Canada, we talked to leaders in each office and asked them what it means to be “Team Yardi.” Beginning in Toronto “When I first started collaborating with Yardi to help establish the company’s footprint in Canada, our business was a four-person operation,” said Peter Altobelli, general manager and vice president of sales at Yardi Canada Ltd. Based in Toronto, Altobelli set up Yardi’s first office in Canada in 1998 which has grown to a staff of 200. With a vision of working to create a market in Canada through educating the industry about technology, Altobelli worked with Yardi to hit on a winning strategy. Through helping to establish new standards and best practices for real estate management companies, Altobelli is dedicated to helping Yardi clients in Canada prepare for and take advantage of the quantum changes brought on by tech disruption and innovation. And while helping clients grow and thrive is a key focus of Yardi’s mission, supporting staff to grow in their roles with increased knowledge and move forward on their career paths is also vitally important. Altobelli said, “We support our staff with learning opportunities and challenge them to grow into roles and expand their careers.” Synchronized in Saskatchewan The second phase of expanding into the Canadian market was Yardi’s acquisition of Point2 Technologies in 2010. With headquarters in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Point2 developed, marketed and supported web-based marketing software for real estate as well as inventory management, with customers in over 120 countries. About the transition to Yardi,...

NMHC Top Managers May22

NMHC Top Managers

Online reputation management matters. How masterfully a company handles feedback can give it a huge advantage over the competition as prospects shop around for a new rental. ORA Power Ranking shifted through the online reputations of 75,000 rental properties. The following list represents the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) top 10 best-ranked managers by online reputation. The companies below received the highest ORA scores. For perspective, the national average is 60.39. Each of the companies below ranked 71.58 or higher, earning top marks for online reputation. Yardi client The Bozzuto Group once again took home the first place title. The Bozzuto Group has ranked number one in online ratings for four years. To maintain its ranking, Bozzuto increased its score by 2 percent from last year, improving from an ORA rating of 79.13 to 80.76. That 2 percent was needed to stay ahead of second place performer AvalonBay Communities, another Yardi client. With an ORA score of 80.17, it was a close call for the top two positions. In third place comes Gables Residential. This Yardi client received an ORA score of 76.98. This is a noteworthy, 4 percent improvement for the Atlanta-based company. MAA nips at the heels of Gables Residential with a score of 76.44. Its 3 percent improvement in the ORA score kept the organization in the top five. Rounding out the top five with a stellar performance comes Cortland Partners, a Yardi client. This underdog improved its ORA rating by a whopping 10 percent, reaching 75.20 this year. The following companies complete the top 10 rankings. 6. Camden Property Trust 7. RAM Partners (Yardi client) 8. Pegasus Residential (Yardi cient) 9. Aimco 10. Greystar (Yardi client) Congratulations to all of the NMHC Top 10 Managers, especially our valued Yardi...

Providence Place May14

Providence Place

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” says Gino Gentile, VP of sales and customer service for senior living provider Providence Place of Pennsylvania. Providence Place needed integrated software to handle lead management at its five senior living properties. It became clear to Gentile that streamlining Providence Place’s operations on a centralized platform would help the company further enhance its marketing and sales performance. The solution was Yardi Senior CRM, part of the Yardi Senior Living Suite. Yardi Senior CRM enables senior living providers to increase occupancy and boost resident retention with mobile-friendly sales and marketing tools specially designed for senior living. With Yardi Senior CRM, senior living providers can enhance lead management and improve the marketing and sales process with customized dashboards and comprehensive reporting. Integration with the entire Yardi Senior Living Suite ensures data accuracy and lead tracking from initial point of contact through resident activity. According to Gentile, Providence Place has achieved substantial occupancy gains while using Yardi Senior CRM at all five of its senior living communities. Gentile elaborated that the addition of Yardi Senior CRM to the company’s Yardi Voyager platform has been a breakthrough, helping to increase sales. In addition to higher tour to close ratios and faster lead conversion, Gentile points to the software’s reminder features, customized dashboards and comprehensive reporting as essential to the company’s invigorated performance. Gentile said Yardi Senior CRM has helped the company achieve impressive occupancy gains — that have exceeded its goals — along with phenomenal sales growth. “Occupancy is up at all our communities.” Gentile added that the company’s improved resident retention is supported by the tools and solutions provided by its entire Yardi platform. Providence Place also received great implementation support from Yardi and was up and running quickly which...

Better Homes May03

Better Homes

Better Homes LLC in the United Arab Emirates takes pride in seeing things just a little sooner than almost everybody else. Linda Mahoney formed the company in 1986 after noticing the lack of professional real estate companies in Dubai, the country’s largest city.  Since then, she and her team have dedicated themselves to understanding their markets inside out, eventually growing Better Homes into the UAE’s leading real estate company.  Better Homes’ services include residential sales and leasing, commercial sales and leasing, property management, and holiday homes.  The company has offices in Oman, Jordan and Qatar in addition to branch offices across the UAE. Launched as a rental agency, Better Homes opened a sales division in 2002 that has served tens of thousands of buyers and sellers.  Another division created in 2015 organizes and promotes off-plan projects—properties without structures—in Dubai. Better Homes expanded from one woman working from a desk in a dining room to almost 500 employees staffing offices across the UAE.  It preceded the Burj Khafila, the Burj Al Arab, the Marina, and other landmarks of Dubai’s stunning real estate development.  This expansion arose from a business model that emphasized reliability, convenience, and visibility supported by a website that welcomes 24,000 page visits per day. “Every day, we look for ways to bring new and better services to our clients and maintain our market position,” says Ryan Mahoney, CEO at Better Homes.  “The key for us has always been finding places for people to live.  Our business is really quite simple: people and their homes.  We do much more than that, of course, but people and their homes will always be at the heart of what we do.” Using the latest and most advanced property management technology is one way Better Homes executes its business with the desired level of personal service.  Client service and internal efficiency were the principal factors that led Better Homes to adopt Yardi Voyager as its property management platform in 2014. “With our company growing across multiple verticals in the UAE, we needed a way to get an overview of the portfolio at one glance,” says Zubin Firozi, Director of Operations at Better Homes. “By housing financial and operational data in one place, Voyager gives us a full-business platform that covers all aspects of lease administration for every market we serve.  Voyager delivers simple and understandable reports, electronic receipts and service that’s customized to each client’s unique requirements.  Our staff spends less time on data entry and administrative tasks and more time managing our properties effectively—and finding homes for people.  From an internal standpoint, Voyager makes data easily accessible to employees and saves money by reducing our reliance on paper.” Firozi applies more than 12 years of experience, five of them with Better Homes, to helping clients buy, rent or sell property.  In his earlier role as head of property management, he oversaw an 80-member team that managed residential and commercial properties.  Previous positions in business development and leasing management provided additional skills that help him back up founder Mahoney’s assertion that Better Homes is “the Middle East’s most trustworthy and dependable property agency.” “Real estate is all about the human connection.  We constantly look for ways to offer new and better services to our clients.  As a key collaborator and one of the world’s Top 100 private cloud companies as ranked by Forbes, Yardi helps us do that,” Firozi says. Learn more about Better Homes. This article previously appeared in Arabian...

Tech Culture Shift Apr24

Tech Culture Shift

Los Angeles-based Lowe is a leading national real estate investment, development and management firm in the commercial, hospitality and residential property investment sectors. In its 46 years the company has developed, acquired or managed real estate assets across the U.S. valued at more than $28 billion. Lowe manages commercial properties for institutional clients and joint venture partners. Challenges in managing portfolio growth and demands from clients for efficient service and profitability prompted the company to adopt Yardi Voyager in March 2013 The Balance Sheet asked Cindy Pearl, Lowe’s vice president/property operations controller, for a status report. Q: How has Voyager impacted your business? Pearl: I’ll offer just a few examples of how Voyager saves time on transactional items: Cutting an entire step by reversing charges and having the zero-cash receipt automatically apply itself. Saving a day of work for my cash receipts person by doing automatic application of pre-paids. Automatically sending A/R reports to our property management teams three times a month. The ability to enter multiple charges to one tenant on one screen is brilliant. We don’t have to apply pre-paid rents to the next month because they’re auto-applied.  And we don’t have to do a zero-receipt batch for reversed charges. I love the flexibility, the analytics and how far you can drill down. Q: What aspect of Voyager stands out the most in your mind? Pearl: Its value to us goes far beyond numbers. Its effects aren’t measured just in time savings but in improved work attitudes and morale that come from eliminating multiple repetitive tasks. Voyager has produced a cultural shift by empowering our property management teams to collect receivables information and act on it on their own without help from corporate Q: You’ve been with Lowe more than 30 years.  What would you like people to know about the company? Pearl: Lowe has a strong, values-based culture that encourages people—like me—to build our careers here. Beyond that, the thing about Lowe that has always amazed me is that we’ve survived all the business down cycles. We always come out of them. I think that says something about our tenacity, our management philosophy and our adaptability. Q: Back to Voyager—what else does it do for you? Pearl: It’s an amazing amount of information that people can turn into financial sense. I can run a transaction register for one tenant on one rent charge, or a tenancy report that shows everybody in a building with a renewal clause, all in one place. We can give appraisers, lenders or brokers a snapshot rent roll, custom rent roll, abstracts and tenancy schedules without having to pull out 140-page leases. We’re no longer spending hours figuring out a renewal.  It’s like window-shopping: you can decide what you want, click a few buttons and get the report. Sometimes you almost don’t have to think for yourself anymore.  It’s almost like breathing; it just happens.  I almost can’t remember a time without Voyager. Learn more about Lowe....

Society of Women Engineers Apr09

Society of Women Engineers

Engineers are the brain and muscle behind the Yardi technology that makes property management (and property managers’ lives) easier. When Marisa Ceppi proposed the idea of presenting at the Society of Women Engineers 2018 National Conference (We’18), it was met with unbounded support from her teammates. The SWE We ’18 Conference Ceppi, Yardi Energy Account Executive, has been a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) for more than a decade. She sees it as a way to encourage other young women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career paths. “The amount of women engineers hasn’t really changed since I was an undergrad,” Ceppi observed. “It’s still a male-dominated career so one of our missions is to provide members with a network of women who are on the same path, facing similar challenges.” The annual conference hosts 14,000 attendees from across the United States. Participants receive networking and educational opportunities through events and carefully curated sessions. Conference sessions address challenges in the industry, new technology developments, as well as topics like leadership, strategic planning and work-life balance. “There is also a tremendous amount of best practice sharing between members and across the SWE organization. How can we improve? How can we make more of an impact in the communities that we live and work in?” said Ceppi. When approved, Ceppi, Annette Durnack, Christy Cannon, and Ankita Gupta, all part of the Yardi Energy Commercial Team, will lead a presentation entitled Not Your Mothers’ Air Conditioner:  IoT and the Evolving Energy Industry. “We want to bring an educational component to the conference, sharing information on how Yardi is making an impact in the artificial intelligence environment. We will discuss how AI is changing our world, not just the energy industry but other industries as well,” said Ceppi. The presentation will include details on energy’s changing landscape, real world examples from Yardi customers, and how those customers benefit from Yardi energy management tools. “Also, we will talk about how the Yardi Energy Suite uses data in different ways and different levels of complexity. We will explore how the IoT is impacting the software industry. We’re also promoting career paths within the energy industry. This is a very exciting time in the energy field! We are tackling challenging problems and we need diverse brainpower to solve these challenges.” A Decade of Service The conference is one of many ways that Ceppi engages with SWE throughout the year. She participates in the Girls Exploring Science, Technology, and Math (GESTEM) event in Denver, CO. Now in its 15th year, the event hosts 40 hands-on workshops for more than 1,000 Denver area middle school-aged girls. “SWE outreach events works with girls of all ages but targets middle school age, since that is when girls start determining what they’re good at, classes that they want to take in high school, and potential career paths,” explained Ceppi. The free GESTEM event allows attendees to participate in three workshops per day, each requiring hands-on interaction and teamwork. “We want to show these girls that STEM careers involve working with people and helping people solve problems, it’s not just about math,” said Ceppi. “The workshops cover a broad spectrum of career options like technology, building bridges, aerospace, and designing circuit boards,” Ceppi said. “We want to expose girls to STEM who might not be exposed to such career paths at home. They may not have a parent who can take them to science museums or they can’t afford it.” GESTEM is a completely volunteer-driven event. More than 15 volunteers serve on the planning committee and 400 volunteers support the day of the event. The Rocky Mountain Section of SWE not only plans and hosts the event, but also raises funds from corporate donors to cover its costs. Ceppi also serves as a judge at the FIRST Robotics competition. “I interface with kids in fourth through eighth...

Informed Investments Apr06

Informed Investments

In 14 years as a Yardi client, Fogelman Properties has adopted a variety of solutions that comprise a single connected platform for running its real estate property and investment management business. For example, automating resident insurance enrollment at its rental properties produced 100% insurance compliance.  Another solution for tracking and managing leads gave rise to more cost-effective marketing and improved employee training. Fogelman also automated its property management, accounting, resident screening and online payment processing operations. More recently, Fogelman sought to bring new clarity to its property management and real estate investment strategies. That decision prompted the company’s adoption of Yardi Matrix. Yardi Matrix compiles market and property-level research for underwriting real estate loans and investments. “We will use Yardi Matrix data about supply, demand, sales, loans, leases and other factors to identify markets we might consider investing in,” said Mark Fogelman, president of Fogelman Properties. “It will also provide data on comparable properties to help us benchmark the performance of properties we currently own against the competition. Yardi Matrix will be a major contributor to profitable investments and informed property management.” “We are proud to deliver the full capabilities of Yardi Matrix and excited to participate in another chapter of Fogelman’s 55-year history as one of the property management industry’s top companies,” said Jeff Adler, vice president of Yardi Matrix. Fogelman, founded in 1963 and based in Memphis, Tenn., is one of the largest and most experienced privately-owned multifamily investment and property management companies in the U.S. It specializes in multifamily acquisitions, property management, construction management and asset management. Fogelman presently operates 80 multifamily communities totaling 28,000 apartment homes in 10 states. Schedule a demo to learn more about how Yardi Matrix helps leading real estate investors make better decisions on property prospecting, underwriting and asset...