Wayne Tuck Jan25

Wayne Tuck

Let’s rendezvous with Wayne Tuck, Senior Director for Yardi’s residential portfolio in Canada. Tuck supports Canadian clients as well as those from the U.S. and Latin America. Meet Wayne Tuck Tuck has worked with Yardi for four years but has been in the industry as a client of Yardi’s since 2004. He is involved primarily in the support of clients and teams that service them. “I always say to employees I work with, ‘You are not working for me; I am working for you; we’re working together.’ It’s my role to guide, support, and direct them to be better for our clients. When I first joined, my message was, ‘I’ll share as much as I know about the multifamily industry in Canada, and you share as much as you know about software, and this will be a great relationship,’” said Tuck. Tuck says Yardi’s corporate motto resonates with him, as do Yardi’s company values: Take care of our clients, take care of our employees, take care of our communities, stay focused and grow. “I have been extremely fortunate to participate on Yardi Toronto’s Charity Committee, helping with the organization’s philanthropic efforts,” shared Tuck. One beneficiary is Canadian client Toronto Community Housing, where Yardi contributes post-secondary scholarships for individuals living in social housing. The funds help provide an opportunity for recipients to pursue their dreams.  “In addition, the Investing in our Diversity scholarships are awarded annually, and I’m extremely proud to represent Yardi in helping deliver them,” shared Tuck. Learning and leadership Tuck’s journey with Yardi has been a chance to gain a perspective on how real estate and tech companies operate around the world. “We always rely on teams outside Canada in support of our clients, and the diverse nature of our organization and its geographical reach offers a unique opportunity to gain a truly global perspective,” he said. What does he enjoy most about working for Yardi? The chance to continually expand his knowledge. “I am inquisitive by nature; I have learned so much here at Yardi, and I continue to learn each and every day. I’m also focused on sharing my learning and experience to benefit our employees and their ongoing development,” Tuck said. Tuck is also a part of the hiring process for Yardi. In interviews with candidates, Tuck said: “I always reinforce integrity as the core value (at Yardi) that resonates most. Going back to the motto, it is not only the attention, dedication, and commitment to our purpose that resonates but also our consistent delivery of products and services that demonstrate how we fulfill it. “Integrity for me is not just about doing the right thing; it’s about having the will to do it right no matter what barrier or perceived barrier is in front of you.” Yardi is hiring globally! Interested prospective employees can explore opportunities on the Careers site. Hockey with heart Tuck is a huge hockey fan and plays regularly. His son and daughter both compete at a high level in two of the premier minor hockey leagues in the world—The Greater Toronto Hockey League and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association. He also volunteers and helps his son’s team as a trainer, which finds himself in the ice-skating rink several times a week during the Fall and Winter seasons. Tuck also enjoys riding his motorcycle, creative writing, and painting abstracts with acrylic when he is not in skates. Check out his LinkedIn bio here. Learn more about the dynamic members of #TeamYardi on the People...

Ana-Raluca Iliescu Jan17

Ana-Raluca Iliescu

Yardi’s growth as a top employer is thanks in part to staff members who assist with recruiting around the globe. Meet Ana-Raluca Iliescu, team leader for recruitment in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Meet Ana-Raluca Iliescu Iliescu has been working for Yardi for nine years. She started with the company as a call center agent and transferred to the Human Resources department after two years. Currently, she coordinates the recruitment team and participates in recruitment processes. “My experience at the call center was one of the most valuable that I have ever had and played an important role in preparing me for the recruiter position. I had already acquired most of the skills needed for the job, so transitioning into the new role went smoothly,” shared Iliescu. Her day-to-day work includes close collaboration with the recruitment team and other departments in the Yardi Romania office. She oversees all processes, stays on top of changes, and proposes and applies solutions to improve practices and candidate experiences. “Having been in a recruiter role at Yardi for over six years, I got the chance to work with almost all our teams, thus getting an excellent grasp of the business needs and processes and gaining much diverse experience as a recruiter,” said Iliescu. Growing business The people at Yardi’s worldwide offices are a big part of the effort to create and foster a distinctly welcoming corporate culture. “One of the things I like most about my job is that what our team does helps the people and the business grow. I also enjoy passing on my experience to help others succeed in this field. At the same time, I like the fact that it’s a challenging role, and you never get the chance to get bored – you can learn new...

Lynn Topp Jan10

Lynn Topp

Meet Lynn Topp of Yardi Canada, who plays a critical role in implementing software and hiring top-tier talent from the Yardi Toronto office. She has watched Yardi grow and thrive in Canada during nearly 18 years at the company. Meet Lynn Topp Topp is the Director of Client Services for Residential in the Toronto office. Even approaching 20 years of service, she is in awe at what she has watched Yardi achieve. “I enjoy the variety and the challenges each day brings. Working at Yardi is never boring, and every day brings something new, even after all my years here,” shared Topp. “Over the years, as the company has grown, it has been amazing to see all the changes and maturity in how it has evolved and improved since I was an account manager. I enjoy seeing others progress in their roles and seeing the results of our implementations, when clients benefit and streamline their businesses, and turning unhappy clients around,” she said. Topp worked for a Yardi client before starting at Yardi. In that role, she used Yardi Voyager to manage 95 properties, and was one of the first clients in Canada to adopt Voyager. “I spent 14 years in the property management industry as a controller before joining Yardi and chose Voyager to support our growth. While it was trying at times, it was also a great experience, eventually leading me to Yardi. Understanding the industry has helped me understand our client’s challenges and allows me to be empathetic and advocate for our clients,” Topp shared. Topp’s day-to-day is involved in some large full-service implementations, which absorbs most of her time serving as project manager. “I am involved with multiple teams and clients, and much of my time is spent dealing with escalated issues and...

Megi Cara

Yardi’s global offices make important contributions to property managers and investors worldwide. Meet Megi Cara, who plays a vital role in that process for clients in the UK and Europe. Meet Megi Cara A Solutions Consultant based out of Yardi’s Waterloo office in London, Cara serves prospects and clients across the UK, as well as in Ireland and the European Union. “I am responsible for giving product demonstrations across our residential and coworking solutions,” Cara said. These are two rapidly growing areas of service for Yardi UK. Cara will celebrate her third anniversary at Yardi in February and can hardly believe how fast time has flown by. “I love to learn, and at Yardi I learn something new on a regular basis and the products I demonstrate are accelerating at such a fast pace. It is really exciting to watch them evolve,” she shared. Cara spends her days at Yardi in a role that features much variety. She prepares for demonstrations, including setting up proof-of-concept scenarios, breaking down complex concepts, and making it easier for her audience to understand. She also sets up and tests new functionality within the residential or coworking product stack to ensure it performs as expected and is ready to go live on demonstration environments. “I also work closely with our sales team to deliver webinars or product snapshots to our existing clients, so they get the most out of the solutions they have,” Cara said. She also enjoys attending conferences that feature emerging trends and technologies in real estate and highlight the needs and challenges of regional real estate professionals. “The most recent event I attended was the Student Accommodation conference which touched on some very relevant topics such as the cost-of-living impact on the consumer,” Cara said. Evolving...

Offices Gather Dec26

Offices Gather

For the first time in three years, Yardi teams were able to gather in-person in 2022, both to return to in-office activities, meet with clients at conferences and celebrate the season. Here are highlights from a few of the recent Yardi office gatherings. Our offices in the eastern United States, Waltham, MA, Raleigh, NC & Atlanta, GA, went with a classic holiday party. Yardi Waltham went out to dinner with refreshments and entertainment. Yardi Atlanta had a Hollywood Red Carpet glam theme at a local hotel, a photo booth, a live band, and DJ. And Yardi Raleigh had dinner at the Marriott City Center with a DJ and a 360-degree photo booth. Our Irving, Texas office all got together in the office and played a fun holiday trivia game, had a white elephant gift exchange, and dressed in their best holiday attire. Moving west, our Scottsdale, AZ, and Boise, ID offices put on their competitive shoes. Scottsdale spent the afternoon at TopGolf while Boise rented out Western Proper for a night of dinner, bowling, and arcade games. Globally, in late October Yardi Dubai, UAE celebrated Diwali, the Festival of Lights, a holiday celebrating the triumph of good over evil. Yardi United Kingdom recently celebrated at the London Shuffle Club with shuffleboard games, dinner, and more. And in Singapore, the office got together to watch the end-of-the-year town hall meeting at Happen, then went for dinner at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO site. And at headquarters in Southern California, the Santa Barbara office had a nice, sunny lunch outside. Thanks to all of the offices who shared photos of their festivities, and wishing our global team a productive and happy conclusion to...

Reimagining Affordable

What does it mean to reimagine affordable housing? Who are the affordable housing property managers and compliance professionals leading the way? How do Yardi solutions fit in? Stay tuned to The Balance Sheet over the coming months to read our new series highlighting the work and successes of who we are calling Affordable Housing Visionaries. Throughout the series, we’ll speak with affordable housing providers and learn how their use of evolving technology has helped them reimagine the future of affordable housing compliance. Guardian achieves measurable outcomes with outsourced compliance First in the series is Guardian, based in Portland, Oregon. Read on to learn how Guardian’s Compliance Quality Assurance Manager, Allison Christensen, is leading the organization’s embrace of outsourced affordable housing compliance expertise to build a stronger team and achieve measurable benefits. Q: Hi Allison! Please introduce us to Guardian. AC: Guardian is a developer, owner and operator of multifamily properties. We provide innovative real estate solutions dedicated to community and housing for all. We are based in the Pacific Northwest, and our customer-focused team is committed to supporting and lifting the communities we serve. Q: Describe an example of compliance technology that Guardian has implemented? AC: In July 2020, we began contracting with Yardi RightSource to review affordable housing applicant and recertification files for completeness and compliance with our funding sources. We’ve found that RightSource has helped Guardian expedite our file processing times, improved our data accuracy and leveraged data integrations for greater efficiency. Q: Tell us more about how data integration is valuable? AC: Yardi Voyager is our core operating platform for managing properties, finance and affordable housing compliance data. And, because RightSource auditors have seamless integration with Voyager, we are assured that our compliance data is always accurate and up to date. Q: How did Guardian adjust its team structure after adding RightSource compliance services? AC: It’s true that our staff assignments changed once we outsourced a portion of our compliance services. However, the process was done with care and consideration of all affected team members. Some of Guardian’s former compliance team members were reassigned within the company, and others even began working at RightSource. Everyone landed in a great space. RightSource was very helpful in ensuring staff assignment changes were handled with care. Q: Please describe Guardian’s compliance reporting processes? AC: One of the benefits of adopting new solutions is the ability to simplify processes which, in the past, may have been particularly stressful on staff resources. We’ve found that adding RightSource simplifies reporting because of how data is shared between auditors and Yardi Voyager. As part of the audit process, RightSource team members ensure compliance data is accurate while connected to the core Voyager database. That reduced chances for errors or misplaced data due to extraneous data transfers. So, when it’s time for Guardian to compile data for compliance reporting, we feel assured our reports are accurate and reflective of everything our properties have achieved. Q: How does training fit in with reimagining affordable housing? AC: The complexities of affordable housing are real, and training has always been a core component of successful strategies. We provide our employees with self-paced instructional content that’s available online. We’ve found this type of training resource is more effective than what the industry had traditionally relied on. RightSource makes the content available and updates it as compliance regulations evolve. It’s a great resource for new and current staff. Q: What is the central benefit Guardian has achieved by adopting new compliance technology? AC: Communication. Embracing outsourced compliance services keeps us well informed with everything happening with our new resident applications and current resident recertifications. We can log in any time to see exactly where all files are in the queue. For example, which applicant files are incomplete, which are pending review, which are coming up for recertification, and on and on. RightSource promises a 24-hour turnaround for file review, and...

Walk for Hope

Team Yardi Raleigh is a longtime supporter of the Foundation of Hope in Raleigh, founded in 1984. The nonprofit works to conquer mental illness by investing in groundbreaking scientific research and mental health initiatives. The Foundation of Hope strives to eliminate suffering from mental illness in the community. On Oct. 9, the Foundation of Hope held the 34th Annual Walk for Hope to fund mental health research at the University of North Carolina’s Department of Psychiatry. This year a total of over $790,000 was raised. Team Yardi TKO, a title sponsor of the event, raised $6,000 this year. TKO stands for Timothy K Owens. He was a manager with Yardi for many years and lost his life by suicide about 11 years ago. In his memory, the Yardi Raleigh office started the Walk for Hope team and has been walking and raising money ever since. “Tim will never leave our hearts,” shared Kimberly Wood, Captain of the Walk for Hope Foundation.   33 Yardi team members joined the walk this year including Kimberly Wood of the PayScan Implementation Team; Greg Smith, Vice President; Pam Davison, Senior Project Manager; David Fabian, Senior Director; Vera Morris, Consultant; Maggie Corgan, Technical Account Manager; and Sheila Johnson, Technical Account Manager. “Mental health research is so very important,” said Wood. “I can’t imagine there are very many people who are not touched by mental health issues for family or friends,” she continues, “Personally, I volunteer throughout the year at the Foundation of Hope office.” “It feels SO good to give back.” The 5K walk was followed by a family-friendly festival including lunch, music, informational booths from mental health care companies, a small petting zoo and so much more. The weather was beautiful and over 3,200 registered and raised money...

Changemakers Series Aug10

Changemakers Series

Ready to meet the next senior living Changemaker — or in this case — Changemakers? Up today is Jim Coughlin and Wendy Nowokunski, a duo of senior living leaders from Northbridge Companies. We recently announced the plan to share four final interviews, but as an added bonus, this particular interview features two industry pioneers. And with Northbridge being a Yardi senior living client, we’re ecstatic to share a snapshot from their conversation with Senior Housing News (SHN). Meet Jim Coughlin and Wendy Nowokunski CEO Jim Coughlin and President Wendy Nowokunski founded Northbridge Companies with one purpose in mind: ensuring their residents, families and associates live well and love life. And that purpose has held true for over 15 years, as they’ve built Northbridge into what it is today. Read more about Northbridge Companies.   In their interview with SHN, Coughlin and Nowokunski speak to the lessons learned over the course of their careers, each explaining how they navigate change. Read on for a highlight from their interview. SHN: Talk about a time when you tried to execute a change and things didn’t go according to plan. How did you pivot and what did you learn as a leader? Coughlin: I tend to be the one who focuses on acquisitions and growth. As we’ve alluded to in the past, we have a very engaged and vocal leadership team. One of the most comical experiences I had was when I went to our senior leadership and I said, “I’ve made progress. I think we’re going to move forward with this acquisition.” The leadership team said, “Absolutely not. We’re not doing that deal.” That was a really good sign … despite that we didn’t get to move forward with the acquisition. It really showed the empowerment of...

Herbie Germain Jun07

Herbie Germain

In eight years at Yardi, Herbie Germain has built a successful career helping the company’s investment management clients and nurturing new talent on his team. The Long Island resident is the Consulting Practices Manager for the Investment Management (IM) suite, a platform that delivers users investment accounting, performance measurement and financial reporting capabilities. Herbie Germain “Yardi’s IM system is extremely capable and presents many opportunities to automate complex processes,” Germain noted. “I love being able to show clients how at the click of a button they can eliminate a huge amount of manual work. Seeing their eyes glow and hearing them say ‘Oh wow. This is great,’ is always a wonderful moment.” Read on to learn more about Germain’s Yardi journey and his favorite parts of his role. A journey of growth and expansion Germain holds a master’s degree in information technology from Capella University and a bachelor’s degree in physics (as well as a minor in mathematics) from Syracuse University. He started his Yardi career in 2014 as a member of the commercial implementation team based in New York. Previously, he worked as an analyst for a small financial services software company. “Yardi is the type of company where you’ll get as far as you want if you’re willing to put in the effort,” Germain noted. “The corporate culture of the company is that we’re all in this together.” Three years after he joined the company, IM expanded its support efforts to an East Coast-based team, which Germain joined as an account manager and then was promoted to consultant. The team continued to evolve, starting as a practice group, and then adding an IM client success team. When founding manager Marina Samothrakis relocated to Yardi’s Toronto office, Germain had the opportunity to step into...

Changemaker Series

“Often I’ve found that change comes at the most unexpected times, but I believe that’s what makes our work so meaningful.” Those words come from LCS President and CEO Joel Nelson, a member of this year’s Changemakers class. The annual Changemakers series recognizes bold, strategic leadership in senior living. With leaders like Nelson interviewed by Senior Housing News (SHN) throughout the series, you get an inside look at how industry pioneers are sparking change. Yardi is proud to sponsor Changemakers for the fourth consecutive year. Introducing Joel Nelson Joel Nelson’s career at LCS — a Yardi client and one of the nation’s largest senior living organizations — has been full of change. From starting the company’s real estate business to now operating over 130 communities in the LCS Family of Companies, Nelson is skilled at navigating challenges and developing solutions. In his SHN interview, Nelson shares how being prepared for change is critical, and discusses which changes he believes are vital for the industry’s future. Keep reading for a highlight. SHN: Thinking back on your career in senior living, what are some of the changes you’re especially proud of leading? Nelson: I’ve had the good fortune to be in the industry for the last 36 years, and there have been many changes in LCS and the senior living industry during that time. The one I’m most proud of is when I was given the opportunity to start our real estate company back in 2010. It was transformational for the company and who we are, and it has driven even more changes as a result. There’s a lot to be proud of in this industry, which is why I stuck around for so long. I’ve been on multiple association boards, and for the last couple...

Chenetta Watson May18

Chenetta Watson

“My journey with Yardi has been exceptional – it exceeds the experiences I have had with other corporations I have worked with in the past. The difference here is that I have really felt nurtured by my work, the journey, the company, and the people,” says Chenetta Watson, technical account manager on Yardi Atlanta’s Affordable Client Success GA 1 Team.  Chenetta Watson Chenetta is an expert in epic journeys and has made international travel a top priority in her life. She recently visited Argentina and Antarctica, a bucket list trip that proved that bravery pays off. Read on to hear more about the trip and see some of her amazing photos. A Yardi journey Chenetta joined Yardi in 2018 after completing her Master of International Business from Georgia State University shortly after earning her Bachelor of Communication from Purdue University – West Lafayette. “Before joining Yardi, I did not know how much the technology industry had to offer nor was it something I thought I could do. With prior experience working as an end user of Voyager while working in Student Housing, Yardi turned out to be a perfect fit,” she recalled. She started her Yardi journey on PHA’s RENTCafe PHA Implementation team, then transitioned to PHA Voyager Implementations. “On PHA, I learned a solid set of foundational skills that have allowed me to find new ways to tackle tough problems, to be led by great leaders, and opportunities to transfer knowledge to my peers.” Currently, she is on the Affordable Client Success GA 1 team where she has been provided with the ability to transition from a role that was process oriented to a role where you must meet the problem where it is within the software. On the Affordable team, she has expanded her knowledge base by working more closely with Voyager accounting cases, strengthened her knowledge of federal housing compliance types that exist within Voyager such as HUD 50059, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, and many others. “What is very special about Yardi is the depth of leadership, opportunities to learn and grow with others, and a wealth of women who make intentional efforts to learn with you, encourage you to think beyond what you are and more of what you could be. In business, it is not often that you have a reservoir of women to tap into for learning and development in the business and technology arena, but also women who have served the company for over 20 years. This is a sign of a true and genuine workplace and has helped me to see myself working here long term,” Chenetta observed. Chenetta described herself as someone who loves a good mission, strong culture, and challenges that will take her professional growth to the next level. Since day one, the Yardi motto “Take care of our clients, take care of our employees, take care of our communities, stay focused and grow” has been a mantra she works by. Her membership on Yardi Atlanta’s non-profit committee drives the mission home. “With the changing global, national, and local landscapes constantly changing around us –and not always in a positive way, it helps to know that my company cares and I play an active role in contributing to the betterment of the world around and beyond me. As meaningful as it is to receive equitable pay and working in a positive work environment, it is as important to me that I work with a sense of purpose for a company who is morally fit.” A global journey While studying at Purdue University, she developed a love for traveling and has so far visited Antarctica, Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, and the United Kingdom – more countries than the average person gets to visit in a lifetime. She considers this to be a great privilege and takes the lessons learned from each culture and tries to implement...

Changemakers Series

Now in its fourth consecutive year, the Changemakers series showcases forward-thinking leadership in senior living. But not just any leaders earn the honor. The Changemakers title is reserved for those who drive positive change across the industry — and who pursue innovative strategies along the way.  It’s empowering to see how each honoree is transforming the industry as we know it. That’s made possible through in-depth interviews conducted by Senior Housing News (SHN) and sponsored by Yardi. And lucky for you, the first batch of interviews is live. That includes one from Tana Gall, president of Merrill Gardens, a family-owned company and Yardi client. Her story is one you don’t want to miss. Meet Tana Gall From decades of experience in senior living, Changemaker Tana Gall is skilled at problem solving. That comes from her initiative to take risks and forge new paths, which Gall has done throughout her career. Now as president of Merrill Gardens, she has an important perspective on what it takes to spearhead change. In her interview, Gall tells SHN about her bold but calculated risk-taking approach, plus she shares lessons learned from her 27 years in the industry. Keep reading for a highlight.   SHN: Thinking back on your career in senior living, what are some of the changes you’re especially proud of leading? Gall: In the early 2000s, I was able to work with a group on changing our industry messaging. For my first few years in the industry, a lot of the same words were used to describe what we did — respect, integrity, independence. They were generic and didn’t capture what the industry represented, so we took a leap. During my time at Leisure Care, I worked with a very creative group of people to roll...

Blake Cole May11

Blake Cole

Meet Blake Cole, a team lead for RightSource auditors in Yardi’s Minneapolis office. Blake started at Yardi in November 2020 as an auditor and was promoted to team lead within six months. Blake Cole Recently, he had the opportunity to be part of longtime Yardi affordable housing client ALCO’s very first internal podcast. We caught up with Blake to learn more about how he proactively tackles client challenges. Read on to learn more. TBS: How do you spend your work hours? BC: As Team Lead, I oversee the compliance and review of certifications for numerous affordable housing programs (e.g. HUD, LIHTC, HOME) across 11 states. My work hours are spent developing and cultivating strong relationships with our clients, responding to compliance questions and inquiries, supporting auditors in their review of complex certifications, as well as problem solving and troubleshooting software issues that may arise. I began my career in affordable housing 14 years ago as a Leasing Consultant for a 175-unit elderly property in Atlantic City, NJ where I utilized Yardi Affordable software daily to process rental payments and complete certifications on site. This experience of overcoming the day-to-day challenges of compliance in affordable housing ironically are some of the same challenges that my clients presently endure. Having walked in their shoes for more than a decade of my career has unquestionably positioned me to better meet their needs today. TBS: What do you most enjoy about your work at Yardi? BC: I enjoy being able to pursue my passion of problem solving and providing exceptional customer service all while working remotely. I enjoy having easy access to continued education and online training. I believe Yardi attracts the best of the best; and doing so gives me the opportunity to learn from professionals who...

Changemakers Series

Remember Changemakers — the annual series recognizing pioneers in senior living? It’s a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the innovation, drive and commitment circling the industry, and honor the leaders behind it all. We’re pleased to announce the 2022 series has officially begun. Proudly sponsored by Yardi for the fourth year in a row, the Senior Housing News (SHN) Changemakers series will showcase some of the most dynamic leadership senior living has to offer. Released in batches over the next several months, this year’s interviews will feature never-before-seen insights from visionaries across the industry. In that spirit, meet our first Changemaker: Tom Grape. About Tom Grape As founder, chairman and CEO of Benchmark Senior Living, a dedicated Yardi client, Grape is well versed in spearheading change. Having founded the company in 1997, he embodies what it means to shape senior living as we know it. In his interview with SHN, Grape details how he’s led Benchmark through change to attract a more complex consumer, his mission to increase diversity at the leadership level and more. Here’s a snapshot: SHN: What changes have you driven at Benchmark or in the industry that you’re especially proud of? Grape: I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I’m proud of having been, at least in the assisted living side, there from the ground up. I was one of the founding members of, then ALFA, now Argentum, and was a chair many years ago. I founded the Massachusetts chapter, helping write legislation in Massachusetts and as a founder of the Connecticut chapter, I take pride in being one of the early folks. Benchmark was an early champion of promoting positive culture, and we are still defined by that characteristic today. The Boston Globe has named us in their “Top Places to Work” list each of the 14 years they’ve had it. We’re the only company to accomplish that in their large company category, and I’m so proud of that. We’re continuing to be a strong proponent of culture. Care, in general, is something on which we’ve worked hard to differentiate ourselves from others. And we’ve become a pioneer in capital over time. We were the first one to bring opportunity fund capital and international capital to the sector, and we were one of the first RIDEA deals. SHN: How do you think about timing so that a company like Benchmark can innovate without getting so far ahead that a new idea is just too new? Grape: The best way to drive change is to do it in increments. We’ll start with a pilot, depending on what kind of change it is, to test it, tinker with it and work out some of the kinks. If it’s not being well-received but you think the execution is OK, then maybe you’re doing it too soon. I would try to avoid too many broad-scale changes at once without having done some form of test or early introduction. SHN: If you could change one thing about the senior living industry, what would it be? Grape: I’d love the senior living industry to find a way to have our product/service received in a more universally positive fashion. Our product is a real gift to the people we serve and yet, it is not always received as such. It’s not always delivered as such. If we can have it delivered, received and portrayed more consistently it would be a great advance for the industry. Read Tom Grape’s entire interview To read the rest of Tom Grape’s conversation with SHN, check out the full interview. To learn how Yardi solutions help providers like Benchmark drive positive change, explore our Senior Living Suite infographic or product...

Sarah Wieman

Property marketing has always been an art, but these days, there’s more science involved than ever before. Sure, you need art to tell the story of your community and inspire prospective renters to take the next step. But you need science to prove that your campaigns are working or, if they’re not working, help redirect your strategy. That’s where marketing data and analytics come in. Sarah Wieman, senior manager of branding and marketing at PRG Real Estate, is no stranger to this concept. Taking advantage of the increasing accessibility to marketing data, she compiled her own case study to see which strategies and sources bring in the most renters. What she found has had a significant impact on PRG’s marketing mix — and will continue to do so as new data becomes available. Here, Sarah shares her discoveries in her own words. Why is marketing data so important to you? Sarah: I was told in grad school that the hardest thing about being a marketer is proving your worth. People like to joke that marketing just asks for and spends budget, but it’s important to me to show that my team’s strategies are working. That we’re actually bringing money in. Can you share an example of a time you used data to prove results? Sarah: In response to the pandemic, PRG Real Estate took the initiative to reevaluate how we market our properties and where we spend our ad dollars. We branded our properties and refocused our budget. After we did that, I decided to do a case study for our executives and also for our regional directors and managers to prove that the adaptations to our strategy are working and paying off in terms of ROI. It was an exercise to secure their trust. What did the case study find? Sarah: I looked at applications-by-source and cost-per-lease for five of our top sources: Google Ads, website SEO and three different ILSs. Looking at applications-by-source in 2020, we received the most from Google Ads. A total of 2,080 applications in fact. And we also onboarded with our new SEO provider which happens to be REACH by RentCafe. Our sites began to pick up more traffic as we optimized them more effectively, and they became our second top source, bringing in a total of 1,952 applications last year. With the ILSs, there was one that stood out with a higher number, 677 applications, but they represented the smaller chunk overall. The, when I reviewed the data for the first half of 2021, I found that model was still holding true. PRG Real Estate applications-by-source in 2020 Google Ads: 2,080SEO: 1,952ILS 1: 677ILS 2: 511ILS 3: 286 What did your cost-per-lease data reveal? Sarah: I made the decision to look at leases instead of leads because that’s where the actual money comes in. In 2020, average cost-per-lease across our portfolio was $265.91. Again, looking at our top five sources, we found that Google Ads had the lowest cost-per-lease, followed by website SEO and then the ILSs. We realize that the PPC rates we’ve experienced are amazing. I’m happy to report that our 2021 data showed much the same thing. Google Ads cost-per-lease has gone up slightly and SEO cost-per-lease has decreased as site optimization continues to improve our reach, but PPC is still our top source for leads that convert. PRG Real Estate cost-per-lease by source in 2020 Google Ads: $32.77SEO: $65.96ILS 1: $524.29ILS 2: $1,362.37ILS 3: $349 What was the big takeaway for you? Sarah: When I started this case study — and I’m going to continue to do them — I wanted to create a holistic view that unites all my vendor and partner data. For us, the biggest takeaway was that, at our portfolio, PPC yields the most approved applications, and it has the lowest price tag. One of my properties has a $15 PPC cost-per-lease. SEO is...

Eva’s Initiatives

Nearly 10,000 youth in Toronto struggle with housing instability each year. On any given night, about 2,000 of them call the streets home. Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth strives to prevent homelessness while facilitating a brighter future for homeless young people. Andrea Gunraj serves as the Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications at Eva’s. She bears testimony to the dire situations that drive people out of their homes. Many misunderstand the catalysts for homelessness. “They assume young people are not following the rules or they’re getting into things that they shouldn’t. It can be a blame approach,” reflects Gunraj. She continues, “I think one of the things that people often misunderstand is why young people become homeless in the first place. In Toronto, there is a high number of people who experience issues at home like abuse. With 70 percent of young people, they identify that as one of the reasons for leaving home. And it’s not easy to leave by any means when you don’t have money or support. Often, there are really dire situations that push people to leave.” There is also a misconception that mainly youth from economically disadvantaged families are at high risk of homelessness. About 50 percent of homeless young people come from middle- and upper-income families. Eva’s provides services for young people and their families to keep the household healthy and intact if possible. Two shelters and a transitional housing facility, plus education and job training services, are available to help them make the transition to independence. Yardi supports Eva’s Satellite, Eva’s Phoenix, and Eva’s Place. The three facilities are home to 123 homeless youth aged 16-24 every night. Residents receive basic necessities such as food, clothing, and hygiene items. Staff members assess the young persons’ mental, physical, and...

Never Miss a Beat Jan19

Never Miss a Beat

Sometimes it takes a challenge to jumpstart simplicity. It’s a lesson that the Senior Living Consulting Practices and Implementations team relearns each day. Ellen Lins is the senior team lead. She and her team help Yardi Electronic Health Record (EHR) clients optimize software usage to facilitate easier day-to-day operations at their sites. Training when every second counts The senior living industry poses unique challenges. Elevated security is necessary to guard residents’ protected health information. Additionally, the industry’s 24/7/365 business model necessitates constant access to and frequent changes of said data. No one can miss a beat. “Clinical staff are administering medications and providing care at all hours of the day and night. Outages and performance issues can have a critical impact, and impact their regulatory compliance, even if it occurs in the middle of the night,” explains Lins. Factor in the industry’s high turnover rates and the team is constantly engaged in client training. “To overcome those challenges, Yardi offers a free EHR Lite version of Yardi Aspire, an online learning management tool,” says Lins. “EHR Lite is a crucial part of the program that allows our team members to provide up-to-date training to multiple clients and their extensive user groups.” The team also offers 24/7 support through Senior Frontline. An EHR specialist is always available to provide training and emergency support when necessary. For the Consulting Practices and Implementations team, it’s always all hands on deck. But the benefits of their hard work are clients who can provide quality care for their customers. Improved understanding of EHR contributes into a higher standard of care of seniors throughout the nation. Offering results that improve lives With high stakes and responsibilities come great rewards. Technical account managers Mason Marshall and Rhonda Wenzel, along with senior...

Small Acts of Kindness Dec21

Small Acts of Kindness

When we all commit acts of kindness, we can make the world a more compassionate and fun place. While massive feats of philanthropy are always welcome, sometimes it’s the small actions that can touch someone’s heart and improve their day. Candice Spencer is a Yardi employee who has gained a reputation for being a team motivator through thoughtful acts of kindness. Meet Candice Spencer is a Yardi Matrix product specialist, CSD in Scottsdale. She educates clients on the functionalities of Matrix, drafts Matrix Agreements and supports the sales team. “It’s a role with a lot of challenges and rewards,” she says. “We are constantly innovating to better serve our clients. Keeping abreast of our new feature enhancements can be challenging. But it’s worth it when a client is happy with the service we provide.” Spencer is much appreciated around the office. In her nomination, a team member wrote, “In the mornings, Candice starts our Microsoft Teams chats with a good morning gif that makes us each smile. She keeps an ongoing list of movies and series to binge so that we all have something to talk about. She tells everyone goodnight along with cheering every sale that we process.” Those small acts create a supportive vibe amongst team members. “A supportive environment helps us all thrive,” Spencer explains. “It’s a powerful feeling. Even in something so small as a quick shout out for each sale helps to boost morale. That could help brighten their day and motivate them. In this virtual setting, team camaraderie is so important to our excellence and well-being.” In addition to being a supportive workplace, Spencer describes Yardi as a place of fun and integrity. Those characteristics are what led her to continue on with Yardi after the acquisition of Pierce-Eislen in 2013. “It was a big shift, but I’m happy that I became a part of the Yardi family,” she says. “It truly does feel like a family now. We learn and grow together.” Growing one step at a time Outside of the office, Spencer balances her list of shows to binge-watch withreading, hiking and the occasional wine tasting. Hiking is a relatively new interest that has offered life lessons with every step. “I think my recent hiking hobby has taught me endurance, patience and enjoying the beauty all around us in nature. All three have been critical in my role. Taking the extra care and time to pay attention to each detail has ensured accuracy and timeliness in my delivery,” she says. Yardi has thousands of team members worldwide who are unique, talented and engaging. Learn more about Yardi team members on our People...

The Purr-fect Remedy Dec03

The Purr-fect Remedy

Do you ever get tired of kittens making headlines? Neither do we. Yardi client Pacifica Senior Living transforms the lives of residents one purr at a time. Its property, the Meridian at Anaheim Hills, is warming hearts and improving outcomes for residents with weekly Kitten Therapy Day! 1051922 The program offers benefits for residents and felines. Kitten Therapy Day: the start of something wonderful Meridian business manager Lori Irby first brought kittens to the office back in 2019. She is an ASPCA foster caregiver . When newborn kittens were abandoned at the Orange County animal shelter, she took them into her home and into her office where she could feed them every few hours. Shortly after setting up a playpen for the kittens in her office, residents took interest. Irby received an influx of guests. She noticed how quickly the kittens made their impact on the residents: disinterest transformed into engagement and smiles graced faces that had been chronically tense or sad. Irby decided to collaborate with the site activities director to begin Kitten Therapy Day every Wednesday. The event shifted from Irby’s office into one of the community’s shared spaces. All residents who are cat allergy-free are welcomed to snuggle up with the kittens. For residents who cannot leave their rooms, Irby places a few kittens in a stroller for kitten therapy on the go. “For many, it’s the highlight of the week. It’s given residents something to look forward to, especially during the pandemic when no visitors could come in. There’s just something really warm and comforting about holding a purring kitten,” says Irby. The kittens usually stay in the Meridian program for about eight weeks before they are formally put up for adoption through the ASPCA. More often than not, there’s already...

Celebrating Unsung Heroes Nov12

Celebrating Unsung Heroes...

What comes to mind when you think of Yardi software development? Techies at their desks, typing out code? Designers creating user-friendly interfaces? Clinicians, nurses and accountants might not be first in mind, but they play an essential role in the development of our senior living software. Get a behind the scenes peek at the workings of our Clinical and Compliance teams. These specialists come from a range of backgrounds, lending their expertise to develop software that works for you. Nurses, accountants, operators, oh my! Programmers and graphic designers create software, but it takes droves of other specialists to customize program features for the unique needs of clients. That’s where the Clinical and Compliance teams work their magic. It’s a two-fold purpose: to interpret the needs of clients (and relay it to the techies) and to interpret legalities that must be considered during development and updates. Lisa Conrad, manager of Clinical and Compliance at Yardi, leads a team of medical professionals and regulatory specialists that advise on product design and content. “There could be a misconception that the team is all nurses.  Our team is comprised of members from differing professions and education. Each team member does have a healthcare background, but we cover the gamut from billing, operations, regulatory and clinical expertise.” Conrad, for example, began her career in informatics as a director of nursing for a provider in a long-term care facility. She adds, “We feel these diverse skill sets help us provide well-rounded content and solutions for the clients.” Big challenges offer big rewards for senior housing software professionals Senior wellness software is a particularly delicate field. Unlike commercial and multifamily tools, software that contains and transfers electronic health records ensures positive health outcomes. Prompt, efficient and accurate programs are more important...