Michael Joiner

By on May 15, 2019 in People

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.

Michael with his three children at Santa Barbara County’s Lizards Mouth.

“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, Michael is a self-described family man. He spends free time at his children’s school plays, t-ball games, piano recitals and kickboxing lessons. The family also enjoys a lot of time outside, with hiking trips to local trail destinations including Lizard’s Mouth in the hills above Santa Barbara. “Right now, I’m saving longer hikes to take with my dog. But, I’m sure my kids will be old enough for those before I know it,” said Michael.


During the past five years, Michael has developed a depth of insight into the needs of property managers. Training, he says, is hands-down the biggest challenge faced by the industry. “High turnover rates, evolving processes, implementation of new technology and the continual need to grow are all common amongst property managers. A successful training program is critical to meet those demands,” said Michael.

To overcome those challenges, Michael suggests companies prioritize development of a strategic and sustainable training plan. Proper planning can help companies retain employees, increase their performance, grow revenue and have happier customers. Here are three attributes of Yardi eLearning that Michael finds particularly important to creating a successful training program.

Comprehensiveness: “Yardi eLearning is a one-stop-shop. Not only does it offer every course a property management professional needs, but also provides innovative and easy-to-use tools for managing live training events, surveying users, creating engaging online content, and more, all hosted by Yardi in the cloud. Our clients often go from five or more software products to one mobile platform when they adopt Yardi eLearning.”

Proven Training Content: “There are more than 70 plug and play role-based learning plans in Yardi eLearning. Each is configured for specific types of property managers, including residential, affordable housing, commercial, condo and PHA. These are client-tested curricula that blend Yardi software, compliance and soft-skill courses into a comprehensive training program. And they are customizable, like everything in our platform!”

Automation: “Yardi eLearning is an administratively hands-free platform, which saves a lot of time and data entry. Training administrators can export staff data from HR software to eLearning, and automatically create and update user accounts, assign them to groups, grant supervisor privileges, assign role-based curriculum that deploys courses over time and send reports to all stakeholders on a scheduled basis.”

Michael attributes many of Yardi eLearning’s features and benefits to feedback from users. “We rely on, and value, feedback so much,” said Michael. To gain feedback, Yardi eLearning hosts monthly roundtable focus group sessions. Attendees have the chance to review the Yardi eLearning development roadmap and comment on whether course development is on track to meet specific needs.

Other opportunities for feedback come at the biannual Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference and ongoing series of Yardi Forums. “I live for YASC! It’s a great opportunity to get ideas for new courses, but my favorite part is enjoying meals with clients and having fun with them at the big party on the second night. Connecting with clients is what energizes me, and YASC is the most exciting chance I have to make that happen,” said Michael. Are you attending YASC in Washington, DC next week? If so, please take a moment to say hi to Michael!