One Year On

By on Jan 15, 2018 in People

“We wanted innovation and efficiency,” Sandeep Manak, chief financial officer for Wesgroup Properties LP, said in November 2016, when his company announced its adoption of products from the Yardi Commercial Suite.  “We wanted a platform that integrated various departments so they could work more collaboratively.”  Other priorities included lower operational costs, more accurate budgeting and efficient management of an existing commercial and growing multifamily portfolio.

One year later, how has that plan played out for Vancouver, British Columbia-based Wesgroup, a fully integrated real estate owner, operator and developer with 61 commercial and residential income-producing assets?

“We have made good progress,” Manak says, starting with better access to lease and portfolio data. “Centralizing all lease and financial records in Yardi Voyager gives us a holistic repository of information that is easily accessible. We don’t have to look at different places or worry about version control or broken links.  We can drill down to lease clauses and very quickly understand an asset’s performance.”

Wesgroup reduced costs by simplifying invoice processing with Yardi Procure to Pay, which automates the process all the way to vendor payment. “We pay several thousand dollars every month for document storage.  Storing images in Yardi Voyager significantly reduces these expenses in the long-term,” Manak says. Besides that, he adds, “approvers have immediate accessibility to vendor relationships by being able to review a vendor’s account and approve invoices for payment from the convenience as they are always out and about.”

Meanwhile, Yardi Fixed Assets helps Wesgroup track assets that have varying amortization schedules.  “Previously each property had its own schedule —  for example, roofs amortized differently at different properties when the materials used to build them were identical, in the same geographical environment and were installed by the same builder. Fixed Assets automates this complex process and reduces the risk of human error. Our staff no longer have to calculate the amortizations and type them in. The discrepancies were eliminated.”

The Yardi Commercial Suite has also improved Wesgroup’s budgeting process. “Yardi Advanced Budgeting & Forecasting gives us long-term forecasting ability with precision. Now we have visibility and budgets based on actual lease information reflecting contractual lease step-ups and other nuances of a lease along with the flexibility to include market leasing assumptions over a long time horizon,” Manak says.

As Wesgroup’s multifamily portfolio grows, the company will look to RENTCafé, an online marketing and leasing platform that the company is scheduled to implement in the first quarter of 2018, to deliver similar benefits of efficiency and convenience. “As we acquire and develop best-in-class properties, we strive to engage with our tenants delivering a high level of service.  We regard RENTCafé as a competitive advantage because its online services are attractive to the millennial generation of renters.”

These Yardi products support Wesgroup’s strategy of using automation to enable human capital to work more effectively. “We want our technology, including the Yardi solutions, to do the heavy lifting.  We don’t want our people doing low-value work by doing data entry on spreadsheet, we want them out there working with residents and continually improving the quality of our properties,” Manak says.