Supporting Advancement...

It’s a well known fact that the senior living industry has struggled to identify and retained talented personnel. Yardi client The Living Springs has found a way to nourish its talented employees through programs that promote personal and professional advancement. Through its efforts, the organization—and the overall industry—can cultivate a stronger support staff and enhance resident care. Creative Problem Solving Three years ago, Lisa Maynard, director of people and process at The Springs Living, noticed a trend. Employees were eager for professional advancement, mostly in the nursing field. Yet they lacked the resources to make their dreams into a reality. Simultaneously, care providers strategized ways to attract and maintain talent, often in vain. Maynard and the team at The Springs Living realized that both issues could be addressed at once: a scholarship that empowered employees to pursue higher education. Through the Team Springs Scholarship fund, the brand could build loyalty with current employees. Those same employees would gain the education needed to provide higher quality care for residents. “Generally, we find employees want to gain more knowledge with the goal to return and help out our residents in a higher-level capacity,” explained Maynard. The scholarship fund is not limited to long-term care or health care, Maynard says. But that isn’t a deterrent. “We do have a mission to change the way people, think, feel and experience working in senior living.  If we can get our younger generations to see the career opportunities, we think they will come back in some form or fashion.  Even if it is just referring us to another talented friend or family member.” The Springs Living also invented the Shine Academy. The in-house program assists with on-boarding, on the job training, and continuing education.  The Shine Academy encourages staff to...

Michael Joiner May15

Michael Joiner

You never know where life will take you. Many of us find ourselves in jobs which may be unexpected. Fate, it could be argued, has as much influence on our professional path as our our conscious decision making. That type of fateful, unexpected turn is what Michael Joiner, manager of Yardi eLearning Client Services, seems to have experienced five years ago. While finishing up a PhD in Musicology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Michael began to teach writing courses. That step in his professional career came with a new appreciation for learning, as well as new options for the future. “Towards the end of my dissertation, I began to weigh options such as becoming a music history professor, a writing instructor or to work in the nonprofit industry with a focus on higher education,” said Michael. Teaching and learning is a common theme to each of those pursuits, so it was natural for Michael to become intrigued when he was referred to apply for a position on the Yardi eLearning team. “I realized I could use my passion for teaching and education in a new way with Yardi. It was also a chance to build on my experience in video and audio multimedia development,” said Michael. The rest, as they say, is history. Michael now manages of team of staff supporting Yardi eLearning, and is heavily involved in product development, creating new courses, implementing new clients and anything else that comes his way. “Working with clients is something that gets me going—I get pumped to create more courses or help them find creative ways to train their staff to help them use Yardi products as best as possible, and to be amazing property management professionals in general,” said Michael. Away from work,...

Said Haider May15

Said Haider

Said Haider, regional director of Middle East sales for Yardi, spoke to us from his office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an update on the region’s rapidly growing real estate market. Q: Said, what are your principal responsibilities and how Yardi is performing in the Middle East? A: I manage our sales and business development efforts in the region. When we started our operations back in 2012, we had handful of clients; now we work with more than 80 clients in the Middle East and North Africa regions, mainly in the Gulf Cooperation Council. Without a doubt, it’s one of our fastest growing markets. Most of our clients have varied real estate portfolios and almost 90% of retail space in the UAE is managed with Yardi software. Q: When did Yardi enter the market and what was the impact? A: We launched Yardi Voyager there in 2012 and almost immediately saw high demand across multiple vertical markets. We were able to replace customized solutions with a Software as a Service platform that fulfills virtually all business operations requirements out of the box. This allowed companies to focus more on their business and worry less about the tools. As we continue to grow, we are introducing the Yardi Elevate Suite, the most comprehensive set of commercial asset management solutions available on the market. Q: What are some key trends in the region? A: The commercial, retail and residential sectors are growing fast. The real estate investment trust and shared office space concepts are also gaining footholds. Q: What’s our approach to the Middle East and Saudi Arabia in particular? A: Customer experience is the key to competing in this market and that’s how Yardi made its mark. We offer a single integrated solution...

Nevada HAND May07

Nevada HAND

Robert Colbert, VP of Assisted Living with Nevada HAND, has seen his fair share of clinical software. About 14 years ago, he started by making rounds as a registered nurse. Today, he is an executive of Nevada’s largest affordable housing provider. He has experienced software as a daily user in the field as well as a leader with his eye on the bottom line. Colbert trusts Yardi to support the next chapter of growth for Nevada HAND. “Everything from operations to marketing to nursing, I believe that we have almost every one of your products,” he said. Achieving Excellence As Nevada’s largest nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to the development, construction, management and preservation of affordable housing, Nevada HAND has assisted many thousands of Southern Nevada residents to have a place to call home.  Currently, Nevada HAND provides affordable apartment homes to over 7,200 adults, children, and seniors.  Nevada HAND owns and/or manages 34 properties with over 4,200 apartment homes.  Nevada HAND also has the only two affordable assisted living communities in the State of Nevada. The leadership for the assisted living division has strong relationships with The Board of Examiners for Long Term Care Administrators and provides their communities as a precepting site for future licensed administrators and also sit on the Assisted Living Advisory Council to provide a voice for changing the senior living industry through policy and regulations.  Nevada HAND works with fellow industry leaders to develop best practices for senior care facilities throughout the State of Nevada. In the field, their Westcliff Pines property received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Award, the highest recognition level for environmental design and construction. The organization also received a US Green Building Council “Excellence in Operation” award.  Nevada HAND’s two assisted living...

Earth Works

Each year, Yardi Vancouver participates in a spring Earth Day event at Maplewood Flats, a popular bird watching park along Burrard Inlet. Located in North Vancouver, there are more than 200 hundred unique bird species have been spotted in the park. Yardi Vancouver is a founding member of EarthWork Day (EWD), an annual collaboration with three other environmentally-minded companies. Each group takes on unique projects each year. This year’s efforts included a stream restoration project, free bike tuning for bike commuters, refilling and repairing social housing planters, and helping out at a non-profit grocery store reducing food waste. The EWD participants gather at the end of the day to share the results of their efforts and network. “Being part of a bigger group really helps with expanding the impact we can have as a small office,” said Edward Glen, general manager of the Yardi Vancouver office. Every year as part of their EWD efforts, the Yardi team participates in a different project that assists with habitat restoration and conservation at Maplewood Flats. “We work on removing invasive species, replacing them with native plants that support the local wildlife, and spreading mulch to help keep the invaders at bay,” Glen said.  “The primary removal target is the Himalayan Blackberry, delicious berries but with tenacious root bulbs and vigorously spreading roots that must be completely removed to eradicate. We started counting how many we were removing, but gave up after getting to 50 root bulbs in the first 15 minutes.” Because the team has been going to Maplewood Flats consistently for so long (read a previous blog post about their 2017 efforts here, it’s possible to see the progress that has been made over time. “I was excited to review some of the areas we’ve worked on over the last four years I’ve participating in these efforts. Most of the plants from last year are thriving though some didn’t make it through the dry summer,” Glen said. “One of the patches of cow parsnip we worked on three years ago, which supports the Anise Swallowtail butterfly, is doing spectacularly well and spreading on its own now. We weren’t able to access our work site from two years ago due to not wishing to disturb the off trail areas, but from a distance it looked to be doing okay.” The benefits of the work extend beyond habitat restoration. “It’s great to connect with each other outside of the office but even more it’s great to talk with the community. From the volunteers that run the society to the visitors of the conservation area, most will stop to thank us for the work we’re doing and have a little chat,” Glen said. “It’s fantastic to see all the visitors (human and otherwise) to the area while we work and know that we’re having a direct impact. Another nice connection for the Vancouver office is that a number of the staff in Vancouver work on Yardi’s energy offering, Yardi Pulse, whose goal of energy use reduction pairs well with the associated environmental benefits.” Yardi employees are Energized for Good! Learn more on the Giving...

Earth Week for All

Yardi Atlanta’s Earth Week celebration proved to be a fun way to promote workplace camaraderie and environmental consciousness. The new approach to Earth Week serves as a successful model for other corporate environments. The Best Earth Week—Ever The week was packed with informative and interactive events for Yardi Atlanta employees. To promote sustainable transportation, a representative from the Georgia Power Electronic Vehicle Program facilitated a session on EV car chargers and rebates. Employees also enjoyed a car show featuring Tesla, Porche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Nissan, and BMW vehicles. Dealership representatives talked about their lineup’s latest green advancements. Employees couldn’t stop talking about the eye-catching Porsche E Tron. It demonstrated a luxurious approach to sustainable transportation. A sleek design, spacious interior, and user-friendly dashboard helped employees reimagine the electronic driving experience. The following day, Georgia Power returned to offer a presentation on energy efficiency at home. Employees learned practical tips to lower their energy bills.  Fulton County Water Department also made an appearance during Earth Week, leading a presentation on water conservation. Attendees learned multiple ways to make their homes more efficient. They also discovered rebates and programs that can decrease monthly utility costs. Rubicon Global’s trash audit offered many interesting findings. Yardi Atlanta learned that 70 percent of its trash was compostable and could be diverted from the waste stream! Additionally, the office learned that its recycling practices were clean with minimal contamination. The news encouraged employees to pursue zero contamination. For the full week of events, check out our last blog post. Keys to Success Yardi Atlanta Earth Week was a huge success thanks to teamwork, local collaboration, and relentless marketing. Sustainability Within Atlanta Yardi (SWAY) brainstormed and organized the Earth Week events. The volunteer-based group is led by employees Ethan Arbiser, energy benchmarking analyst, CSD and Evan Hearn, energy management analyst, CSD. The group received support from Don Rogers, general manager, G&A. SWAY reached out to local businesses to garner support. Yardi client and property management company, Cushman & Wakefield, agreed to transform Yardi’s Atlanta office into a multidisciplinary learning environment. Local utilities, dealerships, and grocery stores also contributed to Earth Week events. Earth Week would not have been a success without the attendance of curious and supportive Yardi Atlanta employees. To attract the masses, SWAY shared the week’s itinerary via blog, press release, and several daily social media posts. Looking Forward SWAY’s Earth Week celebration can be replicated at other Yardi offices! Yardi offices are encouraged to create local volunteer groups, like SWAY, to organize Earth Week events at their sites in 2020. The volunteer group may also choose to work with its local Yardi office manager to pursue green solutions for the site year-round. Together, the manager and volunteer group may explore eco-friendly trash audits, recycling services, even vendors that supply sustainable office and kitchen supplies. Collaborating with other local organizations, such as utility providers, adds depth and diversity of knowledge to Yardi-sponsored events. Have questions about starting an Earth Week campaign in your Yardi office next year? Contact Ethan...

Meet Joe Anfuso Apr24

Meet Joe Anfuso

Growth can be a mixed blessing. San Diego-based MG Properties Group, for one, certainly didn’t mind significantly expanding its portfolio of properties in California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon. But by 2015, the company’s investment management technology couldn’t keep pace, and the company, which acquires, rehabilitates and manages apartment communities, was approaching a stark choice: Modernize or risk stagnation. Cramped by Spreadsheets The spreadsheet programs MG Properties used for investment calculations and investor reporting couldn’t keep up with the rising volume of work. A single report often contained up to 450 tabs, for example. “When we loaded a number and hit “Enter,’ we crossed our fingers and hoped the whole system didn’t crash,” recalls Joe Anfuso, the company’s chief financial officer. “The old method was stressful, error-prone and hindered our performance.” It became clear to him and other executives that the company needed a modern, professional investment management software platform, one capable of automatically capturing and distributing all relevant investment information. Anfuso and his colleagues also realized that if they wanted to compete with the major players—the big institutional investors—they needed to invest in technology that removed pain points, time and effort and enabled more efficient operation. “That’s when we decided to ditch our spreadsheets for a more modern solution,” Anfuso says. A Single Connected Solution That solution, adopted in July 2015, was Yardi Investment Management, which automated MG Properties’ asset, investment accounting and investment lifecycle. The system helps MG Properties track not just the movement of dollars, but the result of the investment they represent, from the moment an investor makes a commitment. MG Properties grew its investor base by 150%, its properties by 24% and its units by 50% without needing additional staff or expenditures to manage them. The quarterly distribution process...

March for Meals

Food insecurity affects one in every six seniors in Idaho. This vulnerable population relies on local aid to stay healthy. Yardi Boise teamed up with Metro Meals on Wheels and the community of Treasure Valley to combat hunger among seniors. Meals on Wheels In America, more than 9 million elderly adults struggle with food insecurity. About 6.9 million seniors live in poverty with incomes of less than $228 each week. About one in every four seniors lives alone with one in five reporting feelings of loneliness. When seniors lack adequate nutrition and face loneliness, their mental and physical health suffer. Meals on Wheels is a federally supported organization that combats hunger and loneliness. Its volunteers deliver life-saving to 2.4 million seniors nationwide. The capstone service is meal delivery, in which seniors and other people with limited mobility receive fresh food delivered to their doors. Volunteers deliver 225 million meals each year. During deliveries, Meals on Wheels also conducts welfare checks. Representatives asses seniors’ personal wellbeing and living conditions. Through these services, seniors are better able to remain independent while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Meals on Wheels has also expanded its services to house pets. Seniors that struggle to feed themselves often lack the means to feed their furry friends. Supporters can make donations towards pet food so that no one is hungry or alone. The local chapter, Metro Meals on Wheels, addresses the needs of seniors in metropolitan Boise. Volunteers assist approximately 1,000 seniors every weekday and 700 seniors on weekends. Although Meals on Wheels receives federal support, it is severely underfunded. More than 80 percent of low-income and food insecure seniors do not receive the home delivered meals that they need. To raise money, Metro Meals on Wheels partnered with Blue Cross of...

Mapping the Future Apr22

Mapping the Future

With the excitement of spring and summer holidays ahead, most of us have in mind that the key to a great vacation is careful planning, research and a clear idea of where you want to go. Lifting a real estate company out of individual spreadsheets and into collaborative systems is a very different kind of adventure, but mapping out the steps in the process and knowing what results you need are no less critical to having a successful experience. Going Digital Without Hiring Engineers Many real estate companies in Asia Pacific, and elsewhere globally, are starting their journey toward mining the data from their team activities and customer experience with systems that look much the same as what they had been using in the 1990s. This can put property firms at a disadvantage as they expand into new markets or try to ramp up growth. With online analytics now common in finance, ecommerce and other firms, more real estate companies are looking for ways to get accurate, real time data on their businesses, but get put off by the challenge of adopting new systems, Bernie Devine, regional director for Asia at Yardi, explains. “Our message for them is that the benefits are worth the pain, and there really isn’t that much pain anymore.” Devine indicates that that while systems like Yardi’s, which allow real estate firms to manage their leasing, track building maintenance and link their financial reporting directly to the front end of their businesses, are built by teams of programmers, implementing them does not require technical knowledge. “The key to getting your business online is having a clear understanding of how each step of each process works and being able to map those steps out,” Devine said. After having helped scores of...

Earth Week Apr19

Earth Week

Since 1970, Earth Day has served as a reminder to honor our beautiful, fragile, and generous planet. What started as a single day is now a week-long observance! Below, you will find ideas for Earth Day programming that build loyalty and community among your staff. Yardi Atlanta even offers a full week of fun, informative activities that you can adapt to your site.    Build loyalty Employees favor eco-friendly workplaces over traditional models. Millennials in particular desire workplaces that “improve society.” When working for an earth conscious employer, employees report a heightened sense of well being and purpose. Sustainability measures are popular tools to attract and maintain talent. Use Earth Week to highlight your existing green efforts or jumpstart new programs at your organization. In the process, you will build loyalty amongst employees and position your brand well with prospective new hires. Explore an office-wide celebration If a week of earth-friendly activities seems overwhelming, take heart. You don’t have to go in alone. Yardi Atlanta, for example, collaborates with local businesses to get employees involved in Earth Week. Its programming piques employee interest in sustainability while encouraging workplace satisfaction. Starting April 22, Yardi Atlanta will host fun and informative daily activities. Sustainability Within Atlanta Yardi (SWAY) teamed up with Yardi client and property management company, Cushman & Wakefield, to host these events: On Monday, Yardi corporate sponsors a healthy breakfast for staff. Selected foods will emphasize the role sustainable farming practices play in overall environmental health. Tuesday emphasizes sustainable transportation. A representative from the Georgia Power Electronic Vehicle Program will facilitate a session on EV car chargers and rebates. Guests are also invited to a car show with contributions by local dealers. Tesla, Porche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Nissan, and BMW will have cars and...

Meet Breck Austin Apr18

Meet Breck Austin

When you think about your senior residents and their families, do you think of words like “tech savvy,” and “forward thinking?” You should. Breck Austin, VP of operational services with Clearwater Living of Newport Beach, understands the importance of exceeding clients’ growing tech expectations. His organization has identified software that allows the company to advance with the times. We sat down with Austin to learn how the organization uses RENTCafe and Senior CRM to make life easier for residents and staff. Q: What are one or two business objectives you’ve been addressing over the last year? A: At Clearwater Living, our objective is to enhance residents’ experience in the senior platform. So one of the things we look at is technology. We look at how do we make ourselves more relevant? How do we make the residents’ experience relevant? We use a variety of things that we are addressing, from technology down to our philosophy of care. Q: How did Yardi technology help you accomplish this? A: Yardi technology was the best thing that ever happened to us in a growing state. It provided one single integrated platform that allowed us to address the growing need of the family’s involvement and their need to know what’s going on, transparency, to our consumers. So, it’s no longer just a resident living in our community. We’re addressing the family members or those that are responsible for members of our communities. The ability to communicate with them through technology, Yardi provided that outlet for us. And it’s integrated so that it addresses all areas of our touch points and building on the connections with our residents. Q: What Yardi products have been most transformative for you and why? A: Two products that have been transformative to the...

Meet Arun Das

Say hello to Arun Das, head of marketing and technology at Pangea Properties in Chicago. Arun is featured in Yardi’s new Real Estate Questions Answered series, a fantastic way to find out about how real estate professionals use Yardi software to solve problems in real life. Arun’s role at Pangea means that he’s a fluent in marketing technology. He’s also a genuinely nice person. We recently talked with Arun about the online renter experience, website optimization and conversion rates – and peanut butter! Keep reading to learn a little bit about Arun and how you can apply what he’s learned from his marketing initiatives at Pangea to your own properties. Can you tell us a little more about Pangea? A: Founded in 2008, Pangea Properties is a private real estate investment trust (REIT). We have more than 500 buildings and 12,000 apartment units spread across Chicago, Indianapolis and Baltimore. Pangea’s mission is to provide service, value and care, one resident at a time. We’re also extremely passionate about giving back to the communities in which we operate. What are one or two marketing objectives you’ve been addressing lately? A: Over the past year, we’ve focused on a variety of process enhancements. Specifically, we’ve been working to streamline resident communications and improve our overall application experience for prospective residents. How does Yardi technology help you accomplish your goals? A: Yardi’s full stack software solution allows our RENTCafé, RENTCafé CRM and Voyager instances to seamlessly communicate with one another. That lets us use robust Yardi resident communication tools without having to transfer information between different software platforms. On the prospect side, the application and screening tools give us the ability to collect custom information, which then provides us a better underwriting process and overall a better application experience for our residents. The seamless online application process also saves our staff a lot of time – we estimate we saved around 150,000 hours over the last year. What would you personally like to achieve in your role at Pangea? A: I would love to continue having a positive impact on the lives of our residents as well as positively representing the communities and neighborhoods we serve. I’m passionate about Pangea Cares, our corporate social responsibility program designed to give back to our Chicago communities. (Watch a video about the impact of Pangea Cares and how it helps the company connect with the community.) Our staff is encouraged to take time to volunteer for Pangea Cares’ community efforts. They might use it to create marketing materials, put together baskets for Thanksgiving deliveries or hand out back-to-school supplies to area kids. So far, we’ve donated around 7,700 volunteer hours, and I’m personally invested in the continued success of this initiative. What marketing trend are you currently most excited about? A: I’m excited about artificial intelligence. There are starting to be services out there that can take over your property tours or your call center or your website. We’re years away from a product that will match our level of service, but things are coming, and I think this could really transform the industry. Tell us something interesting about you that would surprise someone. A: Something interesting about me that would surprise pretty much everyone is that I absolutely hate peanut butter. I think it’s the most disgusting condiment ever, and I catch a lot of flak for it daily. Watch Arun’s real estate questions answered videos and find more answers to real estate technology questions on the Real Estate Questions Answered...

Chicago Multifamily Apr08

Chicago Multifamily

With healthy demand almost balancing out supply, Chicago’s multifamily market seems to have left the fear of overbuilding behind, at least for now. The city has been adding jobs at a more accelerated pace—particularly in the construction, manufacturing and education and health services sectors— and has been strengthening its tech hub status, which fueled demand for housing across the metro. According to a recent Yardi Matrix multifamily report, at the end of last year, rent growth reached the highest value since 2016—2.5 percent, which, although still below the national rate, represents an achievement for the market. Growth was mainly led by suburban submarkets such as Grayslake and Chicago-Heights North, but several neighborhoods near Downtown, including Hyde Park, Bronzeville and South Shore, also recorded rent increases. Yardi client Pioneer Acquisitions is a multifamily investor with a portfolio of roughly 2,000 units in Chicago. James Peterson Jr., founder & principal, said that “the fundamentals in Hyde Park are very strong” and the neighborhood has been attracting a lot of interest from investors and residents priced out of Chicago’s core areas. Peterson reveals what other submarkets are strong for investment, the evolution of rent growth in 2019 as well as the company’s strategy for the year ahead. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Chicago’s multifamily market? Peterson: Strong demand remains one of the main strengths of Chicago’s multifamily market, particularly in Hyde Park and the far north side neighborhoods. We continue to see tenants being priced out of near north side neighborhoods and moving north, along the “L” lines, to find units that fit their budgets. One of the main weaknesses, particularly downtown, is the continuing introduction of new supply with elevated amenities and leasing incentives, which encourages tenants to trade up to newer buildings. Soaring real...

Meet Anja Jacobs Apr05

Meet Anja Jacobs

They say polo is the sport of kings. But in the case of Anja Jacobs and her teammates, make that the sport of queens. Jacobs, an Atlanta-based Yardi senior manager for military housing, and three fellow mallet-wielding warrior women were recently crowned U.S. Open Women’s Polo Champions. Their March victory in Palm Beach, Florida was the result of a long year of hard work, long travel journeys, and rising above challenges. Jacobs is the type of person who sets her mind on a goal and goes for it – both at work and in her personal life. About 15 years ago, she decided it was time to fulfill a lifelong dream: riding horses and playing competitive polo. Today, she has 13 horses in her backyard and devotes most of her free time to the sport. “I had always wanted to ride horses as a kid, but I grew up in Miami, and there weren’t a lot of opportunities to do so,” said Jacobs, who has worked at Yardi for the last seven years. “After I’d graduated from college, I attended an alumni event that was hosted at a polo game, and I immediately knew I had to try it.” First, she had to learn the rules of the game – which is basically high speed croquet on horseback. “It looks like chaos if you ever try to watch a polo game without knowing the rules, but there are really strict rules that are all about safety. It looks like one of the most dangerous sports there is, but every rule is about the animals’ well-being first and foremost,” Jacobs said. With a background in martial arts and ballroom dancing, she has both a killer instinct and sense of balance that are essential for a successful polo player. Jacobs is a defensive specialist, meaning that her role, and that of her horse, is to clear the field so her teammates can get to the goal. “I’m a scrapper and a fighter,” Jacobs says of her efforts on the field. Her U.S. Open championship team also included Nina Clarkin, the No. 1 ranked women’s polo player in the world; Mia Cambiaso, a 15-year-old phenom in the sport, and Pamela Flanagan, who not only plays polo but is also an attorney and horse rescuer. The group came together organically after Jacobs and Clarkin, who met at international polo events, struck up a friendship. Success in the sport is based on the player’s handicap level, which ranges from -2 to 10. Jacobs boasts a handicap of 2; Clarkin is rated a mixed 4 in the U.S. and a 10 on the Hurlingham Women’s scale in Great Britain, her home country. The U.S. Open Polo Championship does not require all players to be from the U.S. Flanagan and Jacobs are both U.S. citizens, while Cambiaso is from Argentina. In countries like Argentina where polo is extremely popular, children learn the sport very young. Cambiaso was already playing competitive polo at age 5. And Jacobs’ favorite horse, Power Ranger Red, is also a former Argentinian who she purchased from a four-year-old Argentine boy. “He is the most amazing horse. The reason I have 13 horses is because I bought Power Ranger Red, and then bought 12 more trying to find another horse like him,” said Jacobs. Power Ranger Red is her go-to starter, the first horse she rides in every polo match. Atlanta may not have a huge polo community, but it is horse-friendly and there are many opportunities to learn to ride. That’s what Jacobs did when she decided to take up the sport 15 years ago. Two years ago, she purchased a 10-acre farm outside Atlanta so that her horses would have a great place to live. When she’s not assisting Yardi’s military clients, Jacobs’ free time is occupied by exercising her herd of horses and preparing for the next polo match. The...

Client Spotlight Apr04

Client Spotlight

Based in the heart of Texas, Yardi client Churchill Residential is an affordable housing provider with a focus on senior housing that works to provide exceptional customer service for its residents. We recently caught up with Michelle Bless, director of accounting, to learn how the company has benefited from its use of the Yardi affordable platform and how the Walk In Payment System (WIPS) is truly a game-changer for affordable housing providers. Michelle, tell us about Churchill Residential? We were founded in 2002, and pride ourselves on developing and operating high-quality, 100% affordable housing communities, most of which are for seniors. We’ve leveraged Low Income Housing Tax Credit funds to build 17 communities and more than 2,700 units across the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area. What does Churchill do best? Customer service is at the forefront of Churchill’s mission. Our guiding principles focus on enhancing the lives of residents, onsite staff and office employees. When we see an opportunity to make a change towards improving service, we take it. What changes have you gone through recently? We’ve achieved improvements in staff efficiency and resident services by implementing the Yardi integrated software platform. That change has helped us improve performance by simplifying many processes and improving data transparency across our organization. How does having an integrated accounting software translate to happier residents? Time savings for our onsite staff definitely benefits our residents, as the staff now has more time for personal interactions every day. As far as resident-facing technology goes, electronic payment processing is a nice perk for our residents because they can log in at any time to check their up-to-date ledger. We couldn’t offer residents that type of real time information prior to adopting the Yardi integrated software platform. Churchill just went live with...

Insight from POAH Apr01

Insight from POAH

The economy is approaching a decade without a downturn. U.S. and global GDP are likely to hit a multi-year high at about 3 percent this year and the consensus view is that growth will slow only slightly in 2019, according to a recent Yardi Matrix report on the state of the real estate market. However, the same report shows that rising interest rates and affordability are making it difficult for first-time buyers to afford homes, with construction getting more and more expensive. Soaring land and materials costs have made it difficult to pencil all but high-end new projects in many metros. Multi-Housing News asked an industry veteran to weigh in on the poignant affordable housing issue. Aaron Gornstein is a leader in affordable housing policy and development, with more than 25 years of executive experience. He is currently the president & CEO of Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), a national nonprofit organization that owns more than 7,000 units across 11 states. Gornstein used to serve as undersecretary for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Prior to that, he spearheaded the passage of state and federal legislation, launched innovation programs and helped form numerous coalitions as the executive director of Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association. How serious is the affordable housing crisis in the markets you currently operate in? Gornstein: Several major national studies show a severe lack of affordable housing in every state in the country. A new report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, for example, found a shortage of seven million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income renters and found that no state or major metropolitan area has an adequate supply of rental housing for the poorest renters. There is a serious shortage of affordable homes in every...

People Focused Mar26

People Focused

Aarty Sonambekar, a director with Yardi’s Global Solutions team, believes the secret to her success is understanding people. Based in Yardi’s Pune office, she focuses on the company mission to “take care of our clients” and “take care of our employees.” Growth naturally follows. Her team of nearly 90 PSG consultants, account managers and technical resources are responsible for supporting clients across Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Each interaction, she said, gives her a better opportunity to understand client needs and how to meet them. “My role helps me to be in touch with clients in the Asia Pacific region,” Aarty told us. “This gives me better insight of how the product is used and how we can actually partner the clients in their growth. Making the same product work for different clients across different countries is both fun and challenging.” “Managing teams also helps me interact with different people on daily basis, study their reactions and understand them,” she added. The human-centric approach has served her well in more than 13 years with the company. That isn’t to say that she has always enjoyed smooth sailing. Aarty has encountered her fair share of challenges. “A major challenge is being able to multi-task and handle multiple projects at the same time,” she said. “I am getting a better hand over it by improving my time management techniques.” Mastering time and task management are lessons that can never be learned too soon, and they can always be improved upon. “My advice to my 20-year-old self would be ‘First thing first.’ This helps one to prioritize things according to importance. It improves focus and brings in the virtue of systematization,” said Aarty. Nourished by Creativity For Aarty, balancing her technical work with creative expression is key...

Yardi Client Q&A Mar22

Yardi Client Q&A...

Yardi client Red Sea Markets Company (RSMC) owns Red Sea Mall Jeddah in Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia. Red Sea Mall is an iconic shopping and leisure destination and one of the largest shopping centres at Jeddah City. We interviewed Geji Masilela, the company’s CEO. He shared how the company’s use of Yardi Voyager helps them overcome business challenges. Q: What is your company’s background, heritage and history? A: RSMC has been existence for more than a decade. It was initially formed for the development of Red Sea Mall and other properties. Our aim for the next several years is to grow our assets under management. Q: Can you give a flavour of your company’s business culture and philosophy? A: It’s a happy and informal company culture. While we adhere to corporate norms of running a company, our leaders remain down-to-earth and approachable to our employees, customers and tenants. Q: What is your company’s brand in the current market? A: Red Sea Mall is an iconic shopping and leisure destination and one of the largest shopping centres at Jeddah City. The mall has 242,200 square meters of built area and includes a five-star hotel, a seven-story office building, and external and undercover parking areas. The mall blends international and local brands with a variety of restaurants, cafes, diners and entertainment options. Q: Could you give some understanding of the number or value of the assets involved? A: We’re still in the formative stage in terms of assets. We current have one operating asset and another asset under development. We’re actively looking for growth opportunities. Q: What’s your role? A: I’m primarily responsible for identifying and executing those growth initiatives. Q: What motivates you? A: I have a love of shopping malls, serving mall customers and...

Employee Appreciation Mar15

Employee Appreciation

In honor of Employee Appreciation Day, Yardi Atlanta set up Appreciation Stations throughout the office. Employees were encouraged to take a few moments to think about someone they’d like to acknowledge for doing a great job or helping their team. “The person you acknowledge could be someone on your team, someone you went through training with that made it just a little bit easier, or even someone who may have given you a few words of encouragement over a cup of coffee,” Catrina Ishman, human resources generalist at Yardi Atlanta wrote in an office-wide email explaining the event. “Whoever it might be, please stop by one of the Appreciation Stations and write a few kind words letting them know why you appreciate them.” Employees were given one week to plan, write, and drop off their letters at the Appreciation Stations. There were no limits on how many appreciation letters employees could create. Since it was the first year for such an activity, the planning committee was not sure how it would turn out. They were pleasantly surprised to distribute over 300 appreciation letters at the end of the week! After the planning committee distributed the appreciation letters, Yardi team members excitedly read their letters. Many posted the cards of gratitude and encouragement in their cubicles. Some team members were gracious enough to share their letters: “I would like to express my gratitude for those employees that take action when there is work to be done. Whether it’s emptying the dishwasher, volunteering for a Yardi event, or calling a client, it’s easy to overlook the importance of those that ‘keep the trains running on time.’ But your commitment to excellence has not gone unnoticed. Thank you, Yardi Employees!” – Adam “Chris, Thank you so much for always helping me with all of my questions and never making me feel like a burden. You were one of the first ones to make me feel like I was a part of this crazy PHA family. Thanks for being a great co-worker and awesome friend. You da best.” -Alyssa  “Marilyn, Thank you for always having the answers 😊 You are a fountain of knowledge, and not just about all things Yardi. I hope you know how much you’re appreciated!” – Jill  “Dear Kim, Thank you for all the help and guidance that you constantly provide me with. As a fledgling sparrow in the vast skies of Yardi, you have helped me learn to fly.”—Zeen 😊 At the end of the week, Yardi Atlanta celebrated all of its hardworking employees. As a thank you for ensuring that things run smoothly in the office, leadership purchased Tropical Café Smoothies for the group. It was a sweet way to end Employee Appreciation Day in Atlanta! Christine Kelly and Johnathan Atkins create appreciation cards A small portion of the 300 appreciation cards sent among peers Laura Perez, Chenetta Watson and Rakin Ahmed celebrate Staff Appreciation Day with smoothies Keisha Flen and Christi Duffey enjoy smoothies provided by Tropical Smoothie...

CRE in Cincinnati Mar07

CRE in Cincinnati

The office real estate sector shows strong fundamentals as it appears to be near a peak, shares Yardi client Adam Rath, founder & owner of Rath Equity. The company started operating in the Cincinnati area since last year and is now focused on growing its base of industrial and office clients. In a wide-ranging conversation, he touched on the trends, challenges and opportunities in the metro’s commercial real estate market. What is your general view of the office sector? What are the main trends? Rath: The major factor contributing to a strong office and industrial market in Cincinnati is a strong local economy and revitalized downtown that has aided in the ability to retain educated workers and have accelerated a strong economic growth. The unemployment rate has compressed to under 4 percent. The Cincinnati office sector is currently strong and healthy. In the last few years, we have seen rising rents and vacancies going down. Also, sales are strong but appear to be reaching a peak at both cap rates and price per square foot. Tell us about the challenges you see in today’s market. Rath: The major challenge we are faced with today is economic uncertainty in the next one to three years. We have seen record growth/investment over the last few years and debt limits starting to reach pre-recession levels. Most people in the industry are starting to feel a pullback. The majority of the investors I speak to feel a pullback is needed to bring pricing within limits to deploy capital. This economic uncertainty should provide an opportunity for investment. What are the trickiest aspects of being a medium-sized company? Rath: Rath Equity was created to be a boutique investor-friendly brokerage and built to be able to adapt and pivot as...