Meet Delicia Miller Jan04

Meet Delicia Miller

Our first Yardi employee profile for 2019 highlights Delicia Miller. Delicia works in the Atlanta area and is a senior technical account manager on the VENDORCafé support team. She’s got a down-to-earth look on life and a lot of history with VENDORCafé. How long have you been at Yardi? I have been with Yardi since January of 2017, but I worked in the apartment management industry for 17 years prior to coming on board. In fact, I was on a client team that went live with VENDORCafé on day one in May of 2014. As an early adopter, I was quick to appreciate the value of VENDORCafé and was thrilled to join such a great team when I got my job with Yardi. What hobbies do you enjoy? I absolutely love reading. I have always gotten lost in books. I just started using a Kindle, which I’m beginning to appreciate. I don’t deny the convenience of digital books, but I admit I sometimes miss the feel of the real book pages. I also enjoy spending any free time with my husband, son and our friends. How long have you been supporting VENDORCafé clients? Since my very first day at Yardi! My first client went live three months after I started, which felt like a nice accomplishment. When I joined Yardi, VENDORCafé was growing quickly. Our team worked very well together both in support of current clients and also in implementing the fast-growing list of new clients. It was an exciting time. What are the biggest vendor management challenges? The top challenges I see are document collection and workflow automation. Property managers are required to collect a lot of documentation from vendors. Centralizing those documents with automated, paperless processes makes vendor onboarding and management infinitely...

That’s a Wrap! Jan03

That’s a Wrap!

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

Sharing the Bounty

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

Spreading Joy

For most young children, toys are an essential highlight for Christmas. The thrill of unwrapping a surprise brings excitement. Playing with the toys, of course, prolongs the fun! But for some children, familial and financial difficulties threaten to hamper their holiday joy. Marine Toys for Tots strives to bring cheer to children in need. Toys for Tots Since 1947, Toys for Tots has provided holiday gifts for disadvantaged kids. The organization collects donations from community members and corporate sponsors. Social welfare offices, churches, and other community agencies help Toys for Tots coordinators identify families in need. On Christmas day, Marines deliver the donated gifts to eligible families. Nearly 40,000 servicemembers participate in the program each year. Their efforts have put 548 million toys into the hands of 251 million children. The United States Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR) unit stationed at Luke Airforce Base proudly serves the Toys for Tots program of Maricopa County. The 9,400 square-mile space is home to more than 3,800,000 people. Nearly 16 percent of that population is living below the poverty level. USMC Toys for Tots helps make the holidays a little brighter for such families. Supporting Local Children Each year, Yardi offices across the nation participate in Toys for Tots programs. In 2018, the Yardi Scottsdale office donated four large shopping carts full of toys to USMCR Toys for Tots. As a result of team members’ generosity, children of all ages enjoyed toys and games for Christmas. “This is at least the eight year we have hosted a toy drive in the holiday season. Every year, it continues to grow as we grow,” said Peter Kolaczynski, Manager, Matrix at Yardi. He believes that the corporate culture at Yardi inspires employees to give back on a personal level. “Yardi as...

Sharing Literacy

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

Empowering Learners

The second annual Santa Barbara Gives! (SB Gives!) is now underway. This holiday fundraiser and competition is a fun way to unite local donors and nonprofits. When their efforts are combined, Santa Barbara thrives. So, What’s This All About? SB Gives! aims to motivate philanthropy by highlighting innovative nonprofits. Readers can explore the nonprofits’ missions on the SB Gives! website. Once inspired, readers are encouraged to donate to their nonprofit(s) of choice. Of course, a little friendly competition keeps things interesting. SB Gives! features a leaderboard to show which nonprofit has raised the most funds to date. Donations are tracked in real time! What’s the Skinny on EqualiTech? Among the noteworthy nonprofits stands EqualiTech, the brain child of math teacher Danny Fitzgibbons. Through his studies and career, he learned of the disparity that occurs between children with early access to technology and those without. Learning gaps are evident as early as kindergarten. Fitzgibbons wanted to create a program that provided access to critical technologies regardless of socioeconomic status. Today, EqualiTech makes technology accessible to residents of Goleta and nearby neighborhoods. The organization aims to improve computer literacy by providing public computer access at Goleta Valley Tech Center. The site is staffed by a bilingual manager and instructor who is available to answer questions and work one on one with patrons who need help. At the center, students learn basic computer skills such as typing, navigating a computer, and creating and managing an email account. Students can also receive help with special projects like website design and resolving hardware issues. Students’ time at EqualiTech is meant to be fun and practical. Naturally, students learn how to keep in touch with loved ones via social media. Of equal importance, they learn tips and tricks on how to...

Meeting Challenges Nov29

Meeting Challenges

Frankfurt, Germany-based Kintyre is a full-service real estate manager for investors in the German real estate market, offering property management, bookkeeping, leasing and tenant relations, and strategic asset management, among other services. Kintyre manages a Germany-wide portfolio valued at over €1.4 billion, totalling 800,000 square metres. The retail subsector accounts for three quarter of its assets under management, with office comprising most of the remainder. “We pride ourselves on having a team of experienced local property professionals, who have the ability to understand and deliver on our international investor’s expectations and requirements. We add value for our clients and partners through providing a fully integrated service platform, including all elements of the regular real estate management services, plus the addition of strategic retail concepts and design coordination, a strong leasing team, project management, and acquisitions and sales coordination,” says Adam Pearce, Kintyre’s managing partner. With investment returns within the German real estate market remaining under ongoing pressure, due to the current peak pricing environment, the increased use of technology is one additional tool professional real estate managers are adopting to help ensure maximum efficiency within the management process, flowing through to a value add for investors. Determined to be at the forefront of the digital revolution facing the global real estate sector, Kintyre upgraded its real estate management and accounting platform  to Yardi Voyager. The decision to adopt Yardi Voyager was influenced by  Kintyre’s requirements to have a single software solution that was able to operate across multiple jurisdictions and functions. “Being able to meet client standards and regulatory needs in any jurisdiction added a huge amount of confidence in the services we provide. Yardi’s innovation is global in scope but the company also knows the needs of local markets. Having such a multi-dimensional...

Our Big Kitchen

Earlier this month, Team Yardi Australia headed to Bondi in Sydney. Switching out their laptops and phones for kitchen knives and potato peelers, the team spent the afternoons volunteering at Our Big Kitchen (OBK). OBK is about more than food, it’s a community kitchen with a soul. Created in 2000, its designed to help those in need; whether they’re going through a hard time, need a hand getting started, or are just looking for a place that provides a warm and nurturing environment. It aims not just to provide a community to its volunteers, but to help look after the millions of Australians going hungry every day. Despite being “the lucky country,” 2.2 million people in Australia go without food every year. Of those, tens of thousands come from New South Wales. OBK is on a mission to help those people, working closely with organisations such as SecondBite and Foodbank to minimize food waste and turn fresh produce into a home cooked meal. These meals are then distributed to the homeless and to regional shelters, including refuges for women and children, domestic violence shelters, asylum seekers, and more. Last year, OBK distributed over 80,000 meals to those in need. “The experience  gave all the people involved a sense of reality of how good a lot of us have it in life. Giving a little bit of our time helped 200 people that day. I recommend everyone gives a little to people in need, just like we did. It was a truly uplifting experience,” said Brook Baker, regional director, Australia and New Zealand sales. For the Yardi team, the afternoons represented an opportunity to give back, whilst learning more about the darker side of the city they live in. George Karounis, founder of OBK,  shared...

Resident Stories Nov14

Resident Stories

For many caregivers in senior living communities, residents’ identities are synonymous with their ailments. They begin to embody the treatments and assistance they require each day. While residents are much more than a name on a chart, the rich stories of their former lives often go untold. Moving into a new community can feel like letting go of one’s old self, and if a resident is struggling with dementia or cognitive disorders, the sense of loss is even greater. Recognizing the importance of deep personal understanding, many caregivers and communities have embarked on a mission to uncover residents’ stories. Truly knowing a resident and honoring their individuality has been proven to have medical benefits and improve their quality of care. In the senior living industry, it’s called person-centered care (PCC). The concept itself is not new—it’s been studied since the late 1980s—but, thanks in large part to the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010 which emphasized the need for change from a traditional clinical care approach to a more personal one, the movement has gained momentum. Person-centered care has no official definition, but its supporters generally agree that what distinguishes PCC from the traditional model of care, which views the patient as a passive receiver of treatment, is a commitment to patients actively participating in their own medical plan. Other fundamentals of PCC include viewing treatment as an on-going process, one that nurtures and empowers the person being treated, enabling elders to experience purpose and meaning in their daily lives. At its core, person-centered care compels caregivers to see residents for the people they are—and not let the need for assistance with daily activities diminish one’s personhood. How can senior living operators and caretakers begin to make the shift from a traditional model of treatment...

Super Support Nov14

Super Support

Support services can be more effective and valuable to a community when providers work together. By taking a collective approach to serving needy residents, organizations can identify synergies in services and carefully plan which are best fit for specific clients. For example, a supportive housing program may have a vacant unit reserved for disabled veterans, and a veterans’ service office may have a client graduating from a transitional housing program. Coordinating those programs would help to smoothly transfer the veteran to the permanent housing unit. In Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Housing Authority (FWHA) has stepped up to help local organizations work more cooperatively. For its effort, FWHA received an Award of Excellence from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). FWHA assists more than 8,000 individuals in their community at any point in time. Their clients’ needs for assistance go far beyond basic affordable housing subsidies. Some clients are formerly homeless and need assistance furnishing their new permanent homes. Others require access to discounted food and clothing. In fulfilling those types of client requests, FWHA found itself working with many local service providers. There are more than 150 in the Fort Wayne area, each with a set of services available. George Guy, CEO and director of FWHA, saw an opportunity to benefit the community by getting those providers together with a goal of forming a consortium of representatives that could exchange and coordinate services. The result of that coordination effort is what’s become known as Housing Strategies Meetings. FWHA invited 270 individuals to the first session, at which attendees saw more than 35 agencies present a high-level overview of their services. While receiving that program-level information was valuable, personal connections made in the room were also real benefits of the meeting. FWHA...

Walk for Hope

The Yardi Raleigh TKO group recently participated in a notable local event to raise awareness and research funds for mental illness: the 30th annual Thad and Alice Eure Walk for Hope. Team members who walked for the cause were Blair Kramer, Sean Bryant, Pam Davison, Karen Gibson, Jim Hill, Mimi Hill, Trevor Hyde, Chuck Justice, Kimberly Wood, Victoria Parsons, Travis Taliaferro and Rich Stevenson. The group raised $2,583 to contribute to the Walk for Hope Foundation. Founded by a well-known Raleigh family after their son was diagnosed bipolar disorder, The Walk for Hope Foundation has awarded 139 scientific research grants totaling more than $5.7 million. These funds have leveraged an additional $145 million from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) and other federal agencies. The TKO team’s participation in the walk has a personal and professional connection. “We lost a co-worker to suicide and the office was stunned. No one knew there was a mental health issue. Since that time, we have worked hard to support one another and have found that supporting causes like the Walk for Hope and the Foundation of Hope is a great way to support our community and help reduce the stigma that is unfortunately still attached to mental illness,” explained Kimberly Wood, a P2P Consultant on the team. “We reach out to one another when we sense someone is struggling. The Walk for Hope is a fun event, but it is rooted in very strong memories of Tim Owens, who we still miss to this day.” Learn more about the Walk for Hope Foundation and their year round events to fundraise for mental illness research. Yard is Energized for Good! Learn more about the company’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts around the U.S. and the world...

Culture First Nov06

Culture First

Bloom Senior Living has a simple, yet aspirational mission: to help residents flourish. The family-owned and operated company, started in 1963, is dedicated to helping seniors live full, meaningful lives. But just as important as it is to make sure residents feel like family, at Bloom, staff members feel like family too. The leadership team has made creating a nurturing company culture their priority, because they believe if the culture is right, everything else—including delivering on their brand mission—will fall into place. That’s why it’s critically important to Tony Kantor, principal and director of finance, and Brad Dubin, principal, director of acquisition and general counsel, to create an office where employees feel valued and have all the resources they need. With eight communities across five states, Bloom began using Yardi to create a scalable business model that put people first. “We wanted a fully integrated product, one system throughout the entire cycle. It’s more seamless and efficient for our team, who already have to learn lots of different systems. Streamlining is a major benefit,” Dubin explains. It’s that efficiency that’s helped the company’s 40 Yardi users simplify processes and eliminate tasks in order to do what they love most: deliver great customer service to residents. “We use Yardi for everything,” says Dubin, who handles Bloom’s marketing and sales. “As soon as we get a prospect, we enter them in the system and start tracking all their data. All the calls, all the marketing activity. Sales one hundred percent relies on the CRM system. I can’t imagine not having it.” What the team likes most is the structure the software has helped create. Having an automated process takes the guesswork out of the sales cycle and keeps prospects moving through the pipeline. “It’s helped us systemize the...

Excellence Starts Here Oct29

Excellence Starts Here

Every year, the Atlanta Senior Committee, a team of senior account managers, facilitates Customer Service Week for the regional Yardi office. This year, activities included outrageous games and fun educational sessions that demonstrated the theme “Excellence Starts Here.” The Balance Sheet sat down with three committee members to celebrate the week’s victories. Unity, Learning, Fun Each October, Yardi joins numerous organizations throughout the nation in observance of Customer Service Week. Stephanie Mayes, senior technical account manager for Consulting Practices, explains, “Customer Service Week is an opportunity to improve a company’s teamwork and customer service skills sets.” Team lead Johnathan Atkins adds, “At Yardi, it’s a week of fun. It’s all about putting people in uncomfortable situations and watching them grow. They become more comfortable with concepts and one another with every activity. They’re ready for whatever the work day throws at them.” Customer Service Week events activities included continuing education and team building games. Learning Through Play at All Ages While the eLearning classes were a success (and can be accessed by employees via eLearning) the games proved to be the department’s favorite. For games, the Senior Committee randomly split employees into 20 teams of about 12 people. Atkins smiles, “If we let them pick their teams, they’d stick with their friends. This was a good chance for them to branch out, meet others that work around them and build rapport.” The teams were immediately put to the test. They created unique team names and identified three things that everyone in the group had in common. Atkins says, “It’s surprisingly hard to find three things that 12 or 13 people have in common. It gives the new teams something to discuss and find common ground.” For the rest of the week, people who barely knew one another were encouraged to collaborate through a series of challenges including Head’s Up trivia, The Spaghetti Build Off, and Golf Ball Pass. Teams loved the Spaghetti Build Off. “Teams received marshmallows, uncooked spaghetti noodles, and tape,” says Tia Wingster, senior technical account manager. “The challenge was to build the tallest structure they could in 30 minutes. The winning team had a building over 65 inches tall.” With a laugh Mayes recalls: “It’s funny but, for all of them, the best work occurred in the last minute. They didn’t have time to overthink. It was brilliant.” Atkins says, “It was a game that brought everyone forward. Quiet people may not speak up during trivia but then they shined during the building activity. There were creative structures with strong bases and cool features.” Wingster observed a pregnant woman who couldn’t stand, hover, and stoop with team members working on the vertical build. Rather than sitting out, she took a seat and contributed to the construction of the base. “That really stood out to me. It was great to see everyone participating.” The winners of each game faced off in a final competition: the Golf Ball Pass. Passing a golf ball between 12 people using only a spoon proved to be a daunting feat—especially with 200 people watching. Atkins grins, “It was so much harder than everyone thought. It required so much patience and a steady hand. The Dynamic Dozen won, receiving $30 gift cards and Yardi merchandise.” Necessary Playtime “Customer Service Week is important for employees because it’s a week of camaraderie. We are growing fast and this is a good opportunity to grow as a unit,” says Mayes. “Customer Service Week contributes to Yardi’s company culture as a whole,” Wingster says, “I’ve had past jobs that didn’t focus on morale and rapport or establishing a community between departments and leadership. What I love about Yardi is that we’re a big family in customer service. We all craft different ideas to build up to excellence. It gives a sense of connectiveness that you may not find...

Yardi Canada Oct26

Yardi Canada

Continuing our focus on the leaders of Yardi Canada, meet Dana Samargiu, senior software development engineer, and Kwok-Kin Wong, senior technical project leader. Both are part of the Yardi Canada programming team and joined the company with the acquisition of Newstar in 2003. Since becoming part of the Yardi Canada team 15 years ago, both have worked on a variety of Yardi products. And both have fully embraced the collaborative nature of the Yardi culture, with a focus on supporting clients, employees, and striving to grow. Dana Samargiu “Yardi Canada is my second/extended family,” said Samargiu (pictured, left). “My favorite part about working here is the spirit of camaraderie, the way everybody pitches in to help in need or to have fun together. It makes working here a real treat.” An immigrant to Canada from Romania along with her husband, the family came to North America in 2001 as part of the Skilled Worker Immigration Program in hopes of increased professional opportunities and a better future for their son. Samargiu had a degree in computer science and engineering and had been a developer and software consultant back in Romania, where she and her husband owned their own small firm. But when she arrived in North America, the dot com bubble had burst and opportunities were slim. She took a client support role when she was hired at Newstar, but hoped for more. “My skills were recognized at Yardi. I moved from a customer support position to a tech analyst role, and then to a development position the next year,” she recalled. “Today, my favorite part of my job each day is when I manage to help a client, QA or CSD with any technical issues they have, or when I manage to find solutions...

Invoice Processing Oct25

Invoice Processing

Omar Khan is a team leader for client support in Yardi’s Customer Service Department, focusing on Yardi PAYscan. He recently offered his insight into Yardi’s full service invoice processing offering. Q: Is Yardi PAYscan Full Service invoice processing something new? Khan: No, it has been an element of the Yardi Procure to Pay suite for some time, but our developers have made it more robust over time with continuous improvements and new features. Q: Just how does it work? Khan: Vendors of clients that opt for the service send their invoices to a secure, centralized location by email or regular mail. Our team scans and enters the data, and the invoices show in the client’s Yardi Voyager platform as invoice registers, ready for review, approval and processing as payables. Q: Is this service available for clients across all of the real estate verticals that Yardi serves—multifamily, commercial and so on? Khan: Yes. Q: What benefits of Yardi PAYscan Full Service do you emphasize when discussing the solution with property management companies? Khan: Our clients’ AP teams have plenty of other tasks besides dealing with invoices. We can relieve them of that labor-intensive paper handling task with dedicated teams that process invoices day in and day out. We have equipment that assists with opening envelopes, batching and scanning invoices, and teams that spend all their time data entering a very diverse array of invoices. Considering the money they can save by not having to hire more AP staff, and time saved by not having to divert existing resources from value-add tasks, we have a very competitive offering. Q: What kind of volume do our full service PAYscan teams handle? Khan: In 2017, our data processing centers in California, Texas, New York state, Canada and India...

Admissions Automation Oct16

Admissions Automation

With senior housing occupancy at its lowest level since 2010, attracting new residents to your community can be challenging. Staff must work harder than ever to get prospects into the pipeline—but getting seniors in the door is just the first step for your sales team. They call it the sales process for good reason. Moving senior living prospects through the funnel and closing the deal requires, on average, 25 contacts—calls, emails, appointments, tours—over the course of two years. Conversion is a marathon, not a sprint. And as many salespeople will tell you: a lot can happen during those weeks and months leading up to a signed lease. Prospects can change their minds, become frustrated or disinterested, or find another community or course of care, among other things. How can sales teams mitigate prospect fallout and increase conversion? Shorten and simplify the sales cycle. One way to do that is using automation to reduce paperwork and streamline the closing process. Because when so much effort goes into the pipeline, dealing with fall through in the final stages is not only heartbreaking, but also costly to the business. That’s why 68% of best-in-class sales teams have made the switch to electronic signatures to improve the customer experience and close deals faster. In fact, companies who use automation tools like e-signatures during the admissions process are 18% more likely to shorten their sales cycles. According to an IDC white paper on bridging the document disconnect in sales, there are plenty of opportunities for companies to impact their sales process by going paperless. Here are a few ways automation in the sales process can benefit your business: Increase staff efficiency Salespeople spend more than 36% of their time on administrative tasks—and less than two thirds of their time on their core job function: completing the sale. If that’s not concerning enough, consider that 43% of office staff say they need to use several disconnected systems and often have to copy and paste or rekey information, an error-prone and time-consuming process. Employing automation, like templatized electronic leases and e-signatures, during the sales cycle not only takes the guesswork out of document generation, it eliminates the frustrating use of disparate systems that draws out the closing process. Build prospect rapport The typical senior living community receives 31 new inquiries per month. That’s a lot of prospects to keep track of week-over-week, all year long. Fostering a positive relationship with a would-be resident is critical to winning their business. Automating the capture of information as a step in the sales cycle not only ensures that personal details are collected, it guarantees they’re retained and visible to the entire sales team. Reduce errors We love office supplies as much as the next person, but those little “sign here” sticky arrows aren’t doing your community any favors. Consider that 36% of sales leaders say agreements are missing signatures or dates—or have been signed by the wrong person altogether—and another 51% say that documents are often misfiled or lost. Systematized residency agreements and e-signatures, like those found in Yardi Senior CRM, eliminate paperwork and reduce the disorganization and disarray that come along with paper records, curtailing costly mistakes and missed opportunities. Optimize customer experience 40% of front office staff say the documents they send to prospects don’t always display or print correctly, and 38% say recipients sometimes can’t even open them. Imagine a lengthy sales process involving emails and call follow-up, meetings and tours, family visits and stacks of paperwork—and all that’s left between you and closing the deal is a required signature on the lease. You’ve completed the document, crossed all the t’s and dotted the i’s, and sent it to the prospect to print and sign, only to find out that the images won’t render, and the lease cannot be inked. A deal that was all but done is now in limbo, and you’ve left your prospective resident with...

SEE International

For 44 years, Santa Barbara-based Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International has been providing restorative eyesight care around the globe. The non-profit organization, founded by local ophthalmologists in 1974, relies on volunteers, grants and donors to make its important work of reducing preventable blindness possible. And as it heads toward 50 years, SEE is endeavoring to treat more patients than ever before. “There are 36 million people in the world who are blind, up to 75 percent of those are blind from preventable conditions,” said Matt Wheeler, vice president of communications for SEE. “One of the major problems is that 80 percent of these people are living in areas of the world where access to care is not available.” Cataracts, one of the leading causes of blindness, can often easily be treated – but patients must have access to qualified ophthalmologists who can perform a simple surgery. Partnering with local ophthalmologists in every region where they work, SEE volunteers made 250 trips to over 40 countries this year, and performed 40,000 sight restoring surgeries. Volunteer doctors pay for all of their own travel and housing expenses and receive no pay for their work. By 2020, SEE aims to perform 100,000 surgeries a year. In the course of the organization’s existence, volunteers have conducted 4 million eye exams and performed a half million surgeries. Other work includes training regional doctors on cataract surgery techniques, providing supplies for clinics that don’t have access to proper materials, and conducting preventative eye exams in impoverished areas. In assessing the support it has received from corporate sponsors over the years, SEE staff realized that one Santa Barbara-based company was unique in terms of longevity and generosity of support – and happened to be a close neighbor, too. “Our leadership was...

Congress in Session Oct08

Congress in Session

In September, Yardi reaffirmed its longstanding commitment to Australia’s property industry by supporting—for the tenth year—the highly successful Property Congress in Darwin, Australia. As Principal Sponsor, Yardi was proud to join the Property Council of Australia in hosting nearly 800 delegates from across the property industry. The attendees discussed the latest challenges, trends and opportunities facing the industry—and the future for Australia that the delegates are helping to build. The event began with celebrations. On the conference’s eve, Yardi hosted a party at Darwin’s bustling Mindil Market that featured a spectacular sunset, sumptuous food, a fire dancer, a didgeridoo player (for those who might not know, that’s a wind instrument developed by indigenous Australians) and lots of good fellowship. With the party successfully wrapped up and new connections established, it was time for the main event. This year, The Property Congress was focused on major issues driving property development and investment in Australia and globally. With established and emerging leaders in the commercial, residential, retail, industrial, development, retirement living and investment sectors in attendance, it was a unique chance to hear from a wealth of thought leaders about the fundamental issues affecting our industry now and in the future. While all guest speakers from the two-day lineup were remarkable in their own right, highlights included: Headline keynote speaker Sir John Key, a former New Zealand prime minister, who touched on a range of current topics including leadership qualities, American tax and trade policy and housing issues. Noting the high growth rate of Australian urban developments, he urged a thoughtful planning process that integrates communities and connects them with transport. He also didn’t miss the opportunity to discuss the constantly-changing Australian political landscape, commenting that by the end of his political tenure he would ask...

Reimagining Investment Oct05

Reimagining Investment...

Editor’s note: The following post was written for real estate and investment professionals in Asia by Bernie Devine, Regional Director (Asia) for Yardi. With 30+ years’ experience dedicated to real estate and technology, Bernie is a leader in digital transformation in real estate and using data to create a more competitive and collaborative environment. He supports real estate clients with Retail, Commercial, Industrial, Residential and Mixed Use assets, helping them to grow their operations, create efficiencies, and gain better insight into their business. His expertise includes asset and investment management, private equity, operations improvement, program and project management, finance, technology implementation and compliance. Currently responsible for the growth of Yardi Systems in Asia, Bernie lives in Hong Kong and is a qualified accountant and economist. He has published over 60 articles and has extensive public speaking experience. I’ve recently seen a lot of discussion around the tokenisation of real estate investments. Some has been sensible, but some has missed a few key points. Two key challenges of the real estate market for the last 400 years when compared to other investment asset classes are the slow pace of transactions (it takes a long time for ownership to be transferred) and liquidity (the purchase price is so large that only a limited market of buyers exists). There have been many innovations over the years (Such as private equity funds and REITS) that have sought to address these issues, but the proptech community now thinks it may have a better solution. Tokenisation of real estate investments is about changing the way ownership of an asset is represented. It’s proposed that this change in ownership model will open up how the purchase of the asset is funded and how ownership is transferred. Basically, if ownership can be...

Artificial Intelligence Gets Real

Artificial intelligence and machine learning for multifamily property owners and managers has arrived. Yardi recently launched Yardi Elevate for multifamily, a suite of asset management solutions that dives deep into operational data and goes beyond presentation with predictive insights and prescriptive recommendations designed to elevate portfolio performance by lowering costs, balancing risk and increasing revenue. Seattle-based Pillar Properties is an early adopter already discovering the benefits. Pillar is an award-winning developer, owner and manager of apartment residences in the Puget Sound area, and a developer of senior living communities through sister company Merrill Gardens. The company has always believed in taking advantage of the best available technology to improve business processes. Before Pillar started using Asset Intelligence, part of Yardi Elevate, relying on various tools including spreadsheets to aggregate and analyze portfolio data was a challenge. “With Asset Intelligence, we finally have a tool that incorporates all of our property and leasing data with historical traffic and RENTmaximizer pricing data. The system marries all that information together beautifully,” says Diana Norbury, senior vice president of multifamily operations at Pillar. The Lowdown on Elevate Comprised of Asset Intelligence, RENTmaximizer, Forecast Manager and Yardi Matrix and designed specifically for CEOs, COOs, asset managers and other operational executives, Yardi Elevate delivers unprecedented portfolio visibility and helps companies maintain data integrity to make better decisions faster to elevate asset performance. And, Yardi Elevate keeps getting smarter. All of the products within the suite work together and also leverage data from other Yardi solutions including Yardi Voyager for unit and lease-level data and the RENTCafé suite, which enables just-in-time marketing recommendations. With broader, cleaner and more accessible data sets, the system learns over time while connecting information and enabling decision-making across disciplines. Driving Performance with Better Data Asset Intelligence includes tools that help Pillar’s executives benchmark operating income and expenses against the competition, as well as reduce costs with prescriptive recommendations and just-in-time marketing. Billy Pettit, president of Pillar Properties, said that being able to see detailed information and metrics for the company’s entire portfolio in one location is exactly what he had been waiting for. The one-click filters in Asset Intelligence give Pettit the information he wants faster, and he doesn’t need to run as many reports as he used to. Asset Intelligence also pulls in and factors revenue management and rental pricing data from RENTmaximizer so Pillar can quickly review pricing and leasing and audit issues to identify trends and make better decisions for its properties. For marketing needs, Norbury can view leasing activity and goals for each property on the Asset Intelligence dashboard to guide her on the best course of action. Getting Ahead with Analytics With predictive performance insights across its portfolio and machine learning recommended actions, Pillar can be confident about unit pricing that increases revenue without sacrificing occupancy. “Asset Intelligence pulls in all the data that we used to hunt for manually between systems. Now all the portfolio and property performance information is in one place and I quickly get a clear picture. The Yardi Elevate suite enables us to make decisions much faster, speak on issues with confidence and identify problems with more ease,” says Norbury. Access to deep market data from Yardi Matrix through Asset Intelligence, including comps along with current and imminent market conditions, has sharpened Pillar’s competitive edge. Pillar recently used benchmarking data from Asset Intelligence to paint a picture, in Norbury’s words, for one of its investors regarding suggested rent drops to gain occupancy growth. “We were still ahead of the market and Elevate provided the data to demonstrate trends over the last two years along with what was presently occurring,” explains Norbury. Not only is Pillar’s executive team aided by Yardi Elevate to ask the right questions and gain insights to drive decision-making, but on-site team members also get valuable information that helps improve community performance. Tools for Moving Forward The marketing...