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...

Canadian Influence

Meet Zach Scott. As vice president of programming for Yardi in Canada, Scott leads a team of engineers conducting research and development. This diverse group, primarily located in the Saskatoon and Vancouver offices, works diligently on designing and coding features for some of our leading edge solutions such as Yardi Matrix, Pulse, and IoT.  Read on to learn from Scott about some of the fascinating work they do to improve Yardi’s proptech platforms on a daily basis. Are these solutions used primarily in the U.S. or throughout North America? Scott: Over the last two years these products have gained in popularity within the Canadian real estate industry and leadership at Yardi Canada is ready to support the need. Tell us about your team’s involvement in Yardi’s early development of the Internet of Things (IoT) platform? Scott: In 2018, as part of a one-month moonshot challenge, we designed a hub and built the software that now serves as the core of Yardi’s IoT platform. The hub sits in an apartment unit and bridges communication between the various smart devices in the unit and Yardi’s cloud-hosted software. We can’t reveal much about how the hub works or what exactly went into making it but what I can share is that in addition to building software solutions, Yardi has now entered the era of building hardware that connects our clients’ buildings to their business workflows. What do those efforts look like today? Scott: Every month, Yardi ships IoT hubs to be installed at client properties. With hundreds of hubs operating 24/7 today, the team has successfully turned an idea into reality. We continue to add features guided by client feedback. We also have a list of enhancements we’d like to add to the hub, features like Wi-Fi...

Contributing in Canada Sep18

Contributing in Canada

When it comes to teams, families and communities, communication is a key factor for success. In-person and virtual soft skills are steadily growing in importance. Yardi team member Meherzad Bakht is teaching youth how to embrace a healthy lifestyle and improve their virtual communication skills. Simultaneously, he’s honing his own soft skills and furthering his career. Overcoming challenges with tech Bakht is a Yardi Voyager sales representative based in Toronto. He’s celebrating eight years with the company. He began his career with Yardi because it brings together his “passion for real estate, sales and technology into one position.” On a typical day, Bakht learns the needs and tech requirements of prospects and clients. He then aligns them with the best technology solution(s) to help them achieve their goals. Through his work, it’s clear that he cares about helping people overcome challenges. Game On! Bakht expresses that care through community involvement. He volunteers with Greater Toronto Big Brothers, Big Sisters Game-On after school program. This virtual mentoring program is for boys ages 11 – 14. The youth learn the foundations for making healthy choices, such as physical activity, nutrition, and emotional intelligence through discussion. “I knew I wanted to work with kids and give back to the community through mentoring,” says Bakht. “Over the last several months, I have enjoyed sharing my experiences with these kids and just being a resource. This is something I didn’t have when I was growing up and I know how important that could be in someone’s life.” Join Bakht in supporting Big Brothers, Big Sisters by making a donation. Bakht understands that sometimes, youth want to talk to someone who is outside of their immediate group of friends or family. The fresh perspective on past experiences and guidance is impactful at that age. Bakht recalls one of his favorite activities, making stress balls with the kids. The organization sent the supplies to participants. Virtually, Bakht guided the kids in how to make the sensory tool using a water bottle, flour and a balloon. During the activity, they all chatted about what was on their minds. “This was a really fun experience when we are actively working together and it was great to teach them problem solving skills,” says Bakht. He continues, “I actively worked on communication and listening. They really go hand-in-hand. Youth at this age can be easily distracted, especially in a virtual environment. We have to work on keeping them engaged and active. That’s why creating the stress ball with them was such a great experience.” Mentoring offers transferrable skills “My experience with Game On is a great way for me to get additional practice for collaborating with others, internally or externally, in a virtual world,” reflects Bakht. “These are great skills to practice because as a senior account executive, I need to be able to listen to and understand our clients’ needs to communicate how Yardi can best help them.” Over the last two years, the use of property management technology has grown. Many organizations have implemented, disparate systems. Some don’t know that a fully integrated property management, accounting, leasing and marketing solution is available. But Bakht works with clients wherever they are in the tech adaption process. Once he understands the bigger picture, he can help clients reduce touchpoints, gather reliable data and reporting—all via remote access. “Technology can be a true problem solver. And my work with Game On has improved my virtual communication skills so that I can even better serve our clients.” Tips for getting involved Bakht encourages community involvement, and not to be daunted by preparation. “If others are looking to volunteer and give back to the community, I would say don’t overthink it. Do some research, see how much time you have and reach out. These organizations are in need of volunteers, so they will work with you to align your goals, skills and how...

Finding Solutions Together Aug09

Finding Solutions Together...

Did you know that companies in the top 25% for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their industry medians? Or that innovation is six times higher at companies with the most equal workplace cultures? Commercial real estate is among the many industries making gains towards equity, and it’s not coincidental. Heather Brady is one of thousands of women actively promoting change from within. Meet Heather Brady As the regional director of sales for Yardi Canada, Heather is accountable for the success of both the Voyager and the Breeze Premier sales teams. In total, there are 13 sales executives in Canada engaging with clients from coast to coast.   That’s a lot of terrain to cover. “There is never enough time in the day,” she laughs. “We have a large market share so that’s a lot of clients and still lots of opportunities. Teamwork and prioritization are key.” Heather handles each day in stride, guiding her team to foster relationships with existing and new clients while achieving corporate performance targets. “At Yardi, we bring a lot of new products to market every year and all products are developed with clients’ input or their benefit in mind,” says Heather. “It’s a key to our success.” She continues, “I love getting feedback from clients about how much our products have helped their organizations. During COVID, our products allowed clients to automate their AR, AP and leasing functions. That is so valuable, and we received such great feedback. It feels wonderful to know we’re valuable to their organizations, and of course it makes us feel energized to get more clients using these products!” Foundations for success Game-changing products are only part of the reason that Heather has forged a career with Yardi. She...

Changemakers Series

In a one-of-a-kind series sponsored by Yardi, Senior Housing News (SHN) is recognizing pioneers driving the future of senior living. Deemed 2021 Changemakers, these leaders have taken unique steps to transform their organizations — tackling unforeseen challenges along the way. Say hello to Adam Kaplan Adam Kaplan is an accomplished Yardi client and the founder and CEO of Solera Senior Living. Selected as a member of this year’s Changemakers class, Adam has shown that taking an innovative approach to senior living is key to evoking positive change. Since founding Solera in 2016, he’s pursed a focused strategy to take on complex projects — helping Solera grow into an organization with a hospitality-driven culture, empowered teams and a commitment to resident care. With insights captured in his Changemaker interview, Adam shares where Solera is headed next, how he’s driven change and what he’s learned during his years in senior living. Here’s a highlight: As you think back on your career in senior living, what changes have you driven that you’re especially proud of? Many of the changemakers [in this series] are the pioneers who paved the way for people like myself. I don’t see myself as a changemaker, I see myself as somebody who has been fortunate enough to build on a foundation that was put in place by the incredible senior living entrepreneurs who came before me. That said, the industry today is still led by many of those pioneers. While we’ve attracted a lot of talent to the industry, I think we’ve done a pretty poor job of attracting talent into operations as the industry matures. Many entrepreneurs have come into the industry through startups in technology, services and media, but the same cannot be said for operating companies. When I left Senior...

Changemakers Series

This year, Senior Housing News (SHN) has honored a variety of senior living leaders through their Changemakers series. And without fail, each member of the Changemakers class is inspirational, unwavering and transformative in their approach to industry obstacles. That certainly describes Yardi client Fee Stubblefield, founder and CEO of The Springs Living. Headquartered in McMinnville, Oregon, The Springs Living owns and operates multiple senior living communities across Oregon and Montana. Fee started the company in 1996 with a mission to create communities that felt like home and since then, he’s elected positive change in the company’s design and operations. That’s exactly why he was chosen as a 2021 Changemaker and interviewed in this special series, sponsored by Yardi. In this excerpt from his SHN interview, you’ll learn how Fee has led The Springs Living through a period of change — and how he’s preparing for the future. Plus, you’ll get an inside look at Fee’s approach to innovation, his dedication to senior living and his tolerance for risk. Do you agree that change-makers are risk-takers, and secondly, how do you describe your own personal tolerance for risk? I would say that we’re probably categorized as both innovators and risk-takers, but I don’t see it that way. I don’t see it as risky. This is what we’ve learned. This is what we believe the market wants and we have hedged it in ways that we think makes sense — that eliminates risk. It’s been really fascinating to see how different people look at the mountain from a different side. When you go on a hike, you look up the hill and you think, okay, I’ll remember that spot when I get there, and then when you get up there, it looks completely different. Our view...

Team Works Jul16

Team Works

When do you know you’ve found the right job? Many employers offer competitive compensation. Stand out companies encourage, support and celebrate the personal and professional development of their team. Add in a company culture that nurtures clients and community relationships and you’ve got the Yardi Breeze sales department. Staying connected The team consists of about 140 members servicing both Breeze and Breeze Premiere. They are responsible for positioning and selling the software to companies that specialize in managing real estate assets within targeted markets. Yardi Breeze sales team members represent at an in-person trade show event. Team members reside throughout the U.S. including Santa Barbara and Oxnard, Calif., Salt Lake City, Dallas, Irving, Texas, Long Island, N.Y., Raleigh, S.C. and Atlanta. Though far apart, team members share common goals and support one another’s progress. What prompts a 14-year career with Yardi? Mark Coverdale, director of Sales, began with Yardi 14 years ago. “I was excited to start a career in software sales. Once I was at Yardi, I knew this was a place I could be for many years.” The collaborative culture appealed to Coverdale. “In addition to collaborating with other departments, our sales teams meet regularly to give each other advice and guidance regarding sales opportunities, how best to take care of clients, and sharing success stories that we can all benefit from.” He was also drawn to the relationships that Yardi fosters with its clients. “In our industry, we cannot ‘sell and run,’ nor do we want to,” says Coverdale. “We take great pride in building partnerships with our clients. Sometimes the sale is just the start as we continue to build and nurture relationships that last for years.” Client feedback prompts product development, which in turn creates better products and happier...

Housing + Self-Sufficiency Jul12

Housing + Self-Sufficiency...

Access to affordable housing can be a life-changing experience for residents, especially when residential units are paired with social services. HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is a perfect example. The goal of FSS is to transform individuals and families by stabilizing housing and providing services like childcare, education, physical and mental health, food and other tools to overcome barriers to increasing income. New Directions is a mission-based affordable housing provider based in Louisville, Kentucky. HUD recently approved New Directions to administer FSS for residents living in seven of its properties. New Directions calls its FSS program “I Rise,” a title inspired by the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. New Directions is led by Bridgette Johnson, its chief operating officer. Bridgett studied the success that public housing agencies (PHAs) were having with FSS and found that most of the FSS graduates she spoke with had moved on to home ownership, started their own business, or both, within a few years of graduating from the program. Inspired by those success stories, Bridgette created I Rise for New Directions, and conducted extensive fund raising to pay for staffing. FSS does not pay administrative fees for affordable housing providers, a significant difference from PHAs’ ability to pay staff with a portion of FSS funds. Solving the “Benefit Cliff” Affordable housing and social services workers often refer to the “benefit cliff” as a metaphor to describe how access to programs can suddenly be taken away when participants’ incomes rise. That can cause households to lose access to support before they are entirely self-sufficient. Under FSS, participants can maintain enrollment in social services even as their income increases. FSS prevents participants from falling off the benefit cliff by requiring households to save a portion of their increasing wages...

One Team, One Dream

When Yardi expanded to the Asia Pacific (APAC) market 15 years ago, it entered uncharted territory. Supporting a new team more than 11,000 miles away from the Santa Barbara headquarters required creativity, cultural savvy, a bold sense of exploration—and of course, technology. Since then, the Yardi Systems Pty Ltd. has established itself as a trusted leader in proptech. That trust has developed in part due to the marketing team which consists of three members serving from Sydney and Singapore. The team builds association relationships and develops the Yardi profile as trusted partners to and supporters of the real estate industry. This is done through content-rich materials such as white papers, articles, online events and APAC’s biggest initiative, the APAC-wide PropTech survey. The team is also responsible for translating Yardi’s global identity to the local markets. This includes marketing materials dedicated to the APAC region as well as sales and service materials. Big fish, growing pond Marketing manager Nina Feldman began her career with Yardi APAC five years ago. She was intrigued by working with a global organization that was relatively new to the region. “I get to work in the most awesome corporate environment that also functions like a startup – this gives me a whole heap of challenges but lots of fun, too,” says Feldman. Nina Feldman The APAC marketing team shifts through diverse workflows to accommodate the needs of the region’s sales and services teams. She finds it challenging to balance local agility with the unique demands of a global organization. It’s a challenge she tackles each day with the help of communication. “Communication, communication, communication. I’m a firm believer in one team, one dream. We’re all working for the same outcome. Whilst the ideal process never exists, I will always keep everyone in the loop so they feel informed and comfortable with whatever is happening or the timelines involved,” she says. Get in-depth insights on local best practices at the Mingtiandi Asia Logistics Real Estate Forum, sponsored by Yardi. Building cohesion while working thousands of miles apart Sasha Shatilova and Ian Khoo are marketing associates in the APAC team. Though both virtually joined Yardi during the pandemic, they felt welcomed and engaged from day one. Ian Khoo Sasha Shatilova “A highlight is definitely the first team lunch with Nina and Ian where each of us made a short PowerPoint presentation about ourselves. Very geeky, I know, but we have really bonded as a team through that activity,” says Shatilova. Khoo adds, “It has been a complete work-from-home environment which eliminates that warmth you get when you are in an office. Thankfully, my marketing team has been really warm and supportive and daily video calls with them has generated that sense of camaraderie that you’d get over office lunches.” Both associates were pleasantly surprised by corporate culture at Yardi. “There is an incredible support system here at Yardi,” says Shatilova. “Despite it being a very large company, the culture is surprisingly flat. You really feel that your ideas are being respected and your voice heard.” Khoo agrees. “I am able to feel a sense of community. Nobody shies away from extending a helping hand wherever possible, be it across the world in the U.K. or even locally in a separate department. There is a strong sense of collaboration within each project where everyone feels heard and feel like they are able to contribute their own ideas.” Interested in becoming a Yardi team member? Explore opportunities in your...