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...

The Power of Data Mar04

The Power of Data

Editor’s note: Richard Gerritsen is regional director for Yardi’s sales team, based in Amsterdam. The following piece appeared in Property Week and is reprinted here with permission. The tech giants of the world – the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon – are putting all their efforts into gathering, analysing and monetising data about our everyday lives. I find it fascinating that so much of the data they use is generated inside a property, whether it Is the residential property where I live, the office where I work or the shopping centre where I shop. And yet we in the real estate industry are happy to sit back and observe these companies make money from that data, without questioning how we ourselves can better use it. We focus far too much attention on wondering whether data is relevant. This, I believe, is the wrong way of thinking. We need to capture as much data as possible in our properties – because providing we can learn to properly analyse that data, it will allow us to make infinitely better decisions about our portfolios. I understand why property companies are reluctant to embrace the power of data. After all, the essence of traditional real estate is based on the scarcity of information. If you’re a UK investor wanting to invest in Amsterdam, for example, you look for a local expert. If I’m that local expert, and I know something you don’t, you must pay me for it. I’m making money, and if I give you the right advice, you’re making money too. Everyone is happy and the model works. But when innovators come in and disrupt that model, and recognise my local knowledge is just data that could be in a database, we risk being overtaken....

Student Housing Feb27

Student Housing

The student housing sector is not the industry’s Sleeping Beauty anymore. The number of students attending universities is growing and this is due mostly to the ease of obtaining loans. As a consequence, the demand for this type of accommodation is surging, which makes the segment appealing to investors. Sales volume almost quadrupled in the last six years, according to Rick Graf, president & CEO of Pinnacle, a Yardi client. According to Yardi Matrix data, Pinnacle Living owns and manages more than 150,000 units of which roughly 18,000 beds at 34 universities across the country, from San Diego to Syracuse, N.Y. In an interview with Multi-Housing News, Graf shares his view on the student housing industry, but also touches on what it takes for a property management company to stay ahead of the game in 2019. Tell us about your view of the multifamily market in general and the student housing sector in particular. What are the main trends? Graf: In general, the multifamily market remains robust. Demand has not lessened due to very strong job growth in nearly every market. With respect to the student housing sector, we continue to see institutional acceptance and desire to expand holdings into this niche subset of multifamily real estate. Transaction volume in student housing topped $11 billion in 2018, up from $3 billion just six years ago. It is important to note that student housing is significantly more management intensive and multifamily investors should be cautious to partner with operators with specific expertise in the nuances needed for success. Could you single out one trend that is gaining popularity in the student housing property management sector? Graf: A sea change has come to student development. While student housing properties rival high-end multifamily properties, the arms race of amenities has turned from wave...

Brook Baker Feb26

Brook Baker

Brook Baker serves as Yardi’s regional director of sales for Australia and New Zealand. He joined Yardi in 2018. We caught up with Baker in a recent interview and learned about how Yardi is becoming the technology solution of choice for property owners and managers in Australia and New Zealand. Tell us a bit about yourself. A: I’m an Aussie boy, born and bred. I started a construction company at age 16, and my love of all things property has been going strong ever since. Twenty-five years later, my roofing days are behind me but my affinity for real estate isn’t. My focus now is the engine room: the software that supports assets and helps the people behind them work efficiently. It’s great being part of a company that continues to be at the forefront of new developments in real estate, software and new areas of innovation. Q: What are your principal responsibilities? A: My team and I support new and existing clients across Australia and New Zealand. My role is focused on helping them achieve their business goals, identifying the right products for their needs and making sure they’re looked after throughout their journey. It’s always interesting to see how our clients want to develop their business and finding ways to help them. Q: When did Yardi enter this market, and are we growing? A: Yardi opened its first office in Australia in Sydney around 13 years ago in a Regus-serviced office. With a team of more than 55 people based in Sydney, we’ve long outgrown that initial space and are now in a tower overlooking the Barangaroo complex. Our clients include the largest owners and operators of real estate in Australia and New Zealand, from be publicly listed REITs to an owner...

Exploring Your Potential Feb25

Exploring Your Potential

Vaijayanti Deshpande, head of HR, finance and administration at Yardi, leads human resources, recruitment, finance and facilities at Yardi Pune. Though she has embraced the responsibilities like a fish to water, it didn’t start out that way. Deshpande had to explore unknown paths to unlock her capabilities as a leader. The Big Switch Deshpande did not begin her career in human resources. For 14 years, she worked as a financial controller with a software services company. “I am a chartered accountant by qualification, and I had always worked in the finance domain before joining Yardi,” said Deshpande. “On being offered a role in HR at Yardi Pune, I was skeptical initially.” Despite her uncertainty, she accepted the role. Seven years later, she loves that she made the switch. The challenges of the transition encouraged her to expand her skillsets. “Sometimes in life, you realize your potential only when you take the unexplored paths,” reflected Deshpande. “From accepting this role, to handling the employee sensitivity part of it, to actually enjoying it today—it’s been a wonderful journey!” With the support of her team, Deshpande emerged as an even stronger and more capable leader. “I received a lot of support from my manager and the people reporting to me. I feel working at Yardi has made me a kinder person. Today, I have a different flavor to my personality. It has broadened my horizons, and I look forward to coming to work every day.” She added with a smile, “The fact that the office is a mere 2.5 km from my residence also makes it easy.” Staying Balanced Deshpande’s day-to-day goals at Yardi center upon compliance and providing timely support for employees. It’s a continual balancing act between building rapport and trust with employees while adhering to and enforcing protocols. “We strive to make life at Yardi better by staying true to our corporate motto: ‘Take care of our clients, take care of our employees, take care of our communities, stay focused, and grow,’” said Deshpande. While she enjoys the diversity of her role and the environment, the work-life balance at Yardi has made it possible to feel success professionally and personally. She works smart in the office and can then savor her personal time. “I enjoy spending time at home and with my family,” said Deshpande. “I read a lot, do the crossword and Sudoku and take an active interest in the affairs of the Housing Society where I stay,” explained Deshpande. Though math puzzles may be frustrating for some, Deshpande’s Sudoku hobby is a nod to her roots in finance. Math is familiar and comforting. “It’s something I have always enjoyed. It is a good exercise for the brain. I also enjoy doing the crossword. In fact, I am a crossword addict.” Looking back on her career, Deshpande tries to summarize the lessons that have helped her to grow. “If I offered advice to my 20-year-old self, it would be this: work hard, work smart. Keep learning. Focus on enjoying your job and not just the monetary benefits. Be a good worker and the rewards will follow naturally. Above all, maintain good relations with your...

Devine Guidance Feb19

Devine Guidance

We recently caught up with Australia native Bernie Devine, who leads sales and business development across Asia from Yardi’s Hong Kong office. Bernie, please tell us about your journey from Sydney to Hong Kong. Devine: It was an indirect route! I started out as a CPA and economist. But I’d always had an interest in technology and how it supported the operations of the real estate companies whose assets I was responsible for. My focus has been helping clients scale and grow, create efficiencies and gain better insight into their business.   Several years back, I had an opportunity to lead a team on a project in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. When that role ended, my wanderlust didn’t. I’d known of Yardi for many years, having encountered them through my work leading and supporting property technology start-ups across Australia, the U.S. and Europe. When I learned more about the opportunity to grow Yardi’s presence in Asia, it felt like the right fit for me. The region is very diverse, encompassing mature markets for property management as well as emerging ones, and every day provides a fresh challenge. Q: How is real estate in Asia is changing? A: There are two key areas of change. Firstly, as markets mature, rents surpass many developed countries and wage costs rise, real estate companies are putting greater value on accurate data and robust process. Secondly, coworking has taken off at an amazing growth rate. It is estimated that Asia already has the most coworking sites globally, with about 4,000 and growing.  This is about 800 more than the U.S., according to a report by East West Bank in June 2018. Most of these coworking sites are located in China, which is a hub for shared and flexible...

Leading by Example

Meet Medha Deshpande, a director of CSD in Yardi’s Pune office. Her team of 450 employees assists Yardi Energy, P2P, Matrix, Utility Billing, Utility Expense Management, and Invoice Processing clients. Deshpande’s department covers a lot of ground. She manages the broad range of responsibilities by focusing on strategic team building rather than tasks. “My role is to mainly ensure that I have the right people at the right place doing the right job,” smiles Deshpande. As her teams develop, maintaining clear, unified objectives keeps the department operating coherently. “I like our company’s vision, growth, culture, values, and philanthropy. It is very important for all of us to maintain this culture and inculcate the same value system within our new employees as we continue to grow at a good speed,” said Deshpande. She is also mindful to maintain her personal growth. During her 14-year career with the company, Deshpande has encountered and overcome numerous challenges. Each posed an opportunity for her to hone her skills and emerge as a stronger leader. Deshpande reflects, “I have learnt and can say I am still learning to have patience. I tell myself that things may not move always the way you want and at the speed you may be expecting.” She continues, “Always be optimistic, demanding, and have perseverance for sustainable growth.” Pursuing Excellence in the Community  When she isn’t working at Yardi, Deshpande and her husband operate a weekend school for about 50 disadvantaged youth in grades three through 10. The school allows her to help kids pursue excellence. “We run the school at our farmhouse which is about 15 miles from Pune. We teach the children mathematics, English and value education,” says Deshpande. “This school runs throughout the year with no vacation. Children enjoy the school since our focus is not just education but also personal development through some activities which kids love. There is a library arranged for them with some very good books and educational toys.” The support of Yardi teammates and loved ones has helped the weekend school flourish. “Many friends and colleagues not only from India but from the United States donated books, school stationary, toys and other resources,” she explains. “Our family members and friends also support us on some weekends as visiting teachers. One of our Yardi employees, Chandrakant Manekar, has been a dedicated teacher for about one year, which has been a big help.” “We have been fortunate as we get immense satisfaction and pleasure from spending time with these kids. It has been like a booster to our life!” says Deshpande. To learn more about Yardi’s outstanding team members, visit the People page. Director Medha Deshpande Deshpande with school children Guest teachers with school children Local school children Roll call at school Study session with teachers Students of the weekend school Students welcome guests to school...

Client Spotlight Feb12

Client Spotlight

Seattle-based Avenue5 Residential, a Yardi client, has recently had several reasons to celebrate. The company was named the second fastest growing firm in the state of Washington and it currently occupies the 30th spot in NMHC’s top 50 largest apartment managers—up 16 spots from last year’s position. The secret to its success seems to be its flexibility and willingness to adapt to a fast-changing environment. CEO Walt Smith shares the strategy that is designed to help the company thrive even more. What are the main trends in apartment operations today? Smith: One key multifamily industry trend is related to pricing. We used to be able to track pricing on a less-frequent basis. Because today’s market is increasingly dynamic, however, there is greater pressure to monitor indicators for rental rates every single day and to price apartments in real time according to the data. Another critical trend is monitoring customer sentiment on an ongoing basis and empowering teams to make changes based on customer feedback. Providing exemplary customer service has always been essential, but today it holds particular importance due to the popularity of online ratings and review sites. Even a relatively small number of negative online comments can significantly impact a property’s bottom-line performance, so being able to proactively assess challenges at the property level and address those challenges quickly can give a property a competitive edge. A third important trend is harnessing the power of the numerous metrics that are currently available to multifamily management firms. Managers who can select a data platform that aligns with their needs and the needs of their clients, who can aggregate massive amounts of data into easily consumable insights and translate those insights into actions that will improve performance will be in the best position to meet...

Client Spotlight Feb08

Client Spotlight

As a custom office space provider, Yardi client Knotel has more than 100 locations in New York, San Francisco, London, Berlin and Sao Paulo in Brazil. In December, Knotel expanded its New York City presence with four new office leases totaling 78,780 square feet. The largest lease inked was a 51,000-square-foot space at Rosen family’s 27 W. 23rd St., which encompasses the entire second and third floors of the building. Knotel was represented by Elie Reiss of Skylight Leasing and the landlord was represented by Danny Breiman of Olmstead. Eugene Lee, Knotel’s global head of real estate and business development, oversees sourcing and negotiation of management partnerships, leases and purchases, as well as global market expansion, corporate development and enterprise business development. Prior to working for Knotel, Lee served as a senior advisor for economic development in Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, was chief of staff & senior advisor for the U.S. Department of Commerce in D.C., and worked at Knewton, an adaptive learning tech provider. What led you to Knotel? Lee: The opportunity to help build a company and product that solved a huge problem. When I worked at City Hall during the Bloomberg administration, we constantly heard from emerging companies and entrepreneurs about the pain and expense of finding office space. While we couldn’t easily address the issue then from a policy perspective, Knotel is the solution that will change how all companies consume office space. This interview originally appeared in Commercial Property Executive, a Yardi publication. Read the rest of the conversation with CPE’s Keith Loria...

Client Spotlight Feb04

Client Spotlight

As it celebrates its 125th anniversary, Chicago-based Draper and Kramer Inc., a Yardi client, has promoted Todd Bancroft to president & CEO. Bancroft is taking the helm at the commercial real estate investment, financing and residential management company from Forrest Bailey, who decided to step down from his long-term positions. Bancroft had served as the firm’s COO & general counsel since 2014 and has a deep background in law and real estate. Previously, he worked at Bancroft, Richman & Goldberg, a Chicago law firm he founded in 2010, and spent 13 years with Equity Marketing Services, a professional sales and marketing firm for condo development projects and condo conversions. It was there that he first formed a relationship with Draper and Kramer, partnering with them for a condo conversion way back in 1997. In his new positions, Bancroft will be tasked with continuing Draper and Kramer’s legacy while capitalizing on new opportunities for investment and net operating income growth. In November, Draper and Kramer acquired North 680, a luxury community in Schaumburg, Ill., as part of a 1031 exchange following the company’s sale of Fieldpointe of St. Louis, a 318-unit property in Maryland Heights, Mo. In October, Draper and Kramer teamed with Edge Principal Advisors on the $131 million sale of Wheaton Center, a 758-unit community in Chicago’s suburbs, to FPA Multifamily. What led you to working for Draper and Kramer? Bancroft: I worked at Equity Marketing for 13 years and then the downturn was really its deathblow. There were no condominium sales, no new condominium projects, so its entire business model all but went away. So, at the beginning of 2009, I decided to open a small law firm and was targeting general real estate work as well as condo associations. A year later,...

Client Spotlight Jan25

Client Spotlight

Yardi client MG Properties Group, based in San Diego, focuses on the acquisition, development, rehabilitation and management of apartment communities throughout the western United States. Over the last 26 years, CEO Mark Gleiberman has steered the company to the acquisition of more than 140 properties totaling approximately 20,000 units, and the management of more than 17,000 apartment homes in 55 communities in high-growth cities in California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon, worth more than $2 billion combined. In October, the company acquired Carillon Apartment Homes, a 264-unit community in Woodland Hills, Calif., for $93 million. In February, MG Properties Group acquired Thorncroft Farms Apartments, a 340-unit multifamily community in Hillsboro, Ore., for $97.5 million. Talk about MG Properties Group focus and the areas you serve. Gleiberman: Historically, we have been a value-add buyer. We have in-house property management, in-house construction management, but there has been a bit of a shift in the last year or two, as we have seen the value-add deals getting extremely competitive and bid up in price. In that time, we shifted a bit to deals we would not have previously thought about buying, we are now buying. This includes more brand-new construction. This interview was originally published in Multi-Housing News, a Yardi publication. Read the rest of the interview with MHN’s Keith Loria...

Staff Appreciation Jan23

Staff Appreciation

Do you have members on your team that go above and beyond the call of duty? Or maybe you want to reassure your staff that their opportunities are just that—opportunities! There are several reasons for employee appreciation efforts. But unless you can offer family vacations and luxury cars for everyone, you may struggle with affordable ways to convey that you care. Show your team some Valentine’s Day love with these creative and inexpensive staff appreciation ideas. First Things First—Thank Them Have you actually said, “Great work” or” Thank you”? If not, start there. The phrases are so simple but when they’re sincere, they’re effective and motivating. While exploring the other ideas on this list, be sure to include a verbal and/or written word of thanks to make the maximum impact. Affordable Group Outings Organize a free, outdoor activity for your staff. Consider a group hike, walk, frisbee golf, or team sport at a local park. Such activities encourage team members to get active (ahem, lower health care costs) while building camaraderie. Team Yoga Corporate yoga classes are another great way to unwind. Yoga can teach employees healthy ways to destress, control their emotional responses, boost energy, and improve sleep. The possible benefits are truly endless! Host a visiting teacher at your office to include as many employees as possible at a reasonable rate. You can also request a private class for your group at a local studio. Many studios will provide mats and affordable pricing for private groups. To accommodate the most students, consider a basic hatha or restorative yoga practices. Community Activities Many neighborhoods host inexpensive activities that can serve as a fun outing for your team–and you don’t have to organize the events! Outdoor movies, concerts, festivals, and food fairs are easy...

Meet Delicia Miller Jan04

Meet Delicia Miller

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

That’s a Wrap! Jan03

That’s a Wrap!

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

Sharing the Bounty

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

Spreading Joy

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

Sharing Literacy

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

Empowering Learners

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

Meeting Challenges Nov29

Meeting Challenges

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