MHN Solutions Showcase: Savvy Property Managers Simplify Processes — and Go Mobile — with Yardi
Throughout the year MHN will showcase companies that provide solutions to the apartment industry. From finance, legal, construction and design to technology, operations, marketing and communications, gain new insights into the companies that solve problems and add value.
How are your customers managing their businesses more efficiently with your products?
It is clear that the multifamily industry of today is seeking technology that helps foster a sense of community, meets the demands of ‘on-the-go’ renters and staff, and makes all processes faster, easier, and cheaper. We also see that there are undeniable benefits for clients that standardize on one technology platform. Clients can consolidate on Yardi and gain all the tools they need to support residents through social media, work from any device, and adopt smarter workflows for everything from property management and accounting, marketing and leasing, operations, revenue management, screening, renters insurance, utility billing, business intelligence and more. We built them on a single platform where they work together to allow clients to run their entire business on Yardi. When consolidating on the Yardi single stack, our clients say they get more products and services for less total cost of ownership, eliminate interfaces, improve efficiency, and provide better resident service. All of these combine to give them a competitive edge. And having all their data in one place means better business intelligence because information across their entire business can be analyzed in ways never before possible.
How does Yardi help companies compete in today’s market?
With Millennials reaching prime renter age, convenience is key. Our RENTCafé® solution is a complete marketing and leasing platform designed to make it possible for owners and managers to draw as many prospects as possible to their communities, turn those leads into leases quickly and easily, and keep residents happy. The platform offers property marketing sites, full online leasing, prospect and resident portals, and social media marketing and reputation management. Social media is increasingly a ‘go to’ for effectively communicating with prospects and renters, marketing apartments, and facilitating reputation management and resident retention. RENTCafé helps staff to track, review, and manage online ratings on Yelp, Facebook, ApartmentRatings.com, and more. It also includes customizable design templates for responsive websites that display beautifully on any device and feature large photo displays, innovative mouse-over floor plans, and a seamless user experience. Clients can even pull in images and feeds from social media outlets like Instagram so that prospects and residents can relate to real-world experiences. Providing mobile conveniences can make the difference between converting a lead into a lease — and retaining or losing a resident. Keeping up with the times is more important than ever to succeed in our digital, online world.
Washington, D.C.-based Community Realty Company (CRC) is using RENTCafé to boost their online applications and prospect inquiries. Before RENTCafé, their property marketing websites were not responsive and lacked online leasing capabilities. Since implementing RENTCafé, resident applications originating from their websites increased by 189% and CRC has tracked a 251% increase in phone traffic, a 231% increase in email traffic and a 294% increase in property tours over the same period. RENTCafé property marketing websites are mobile, easy to navigate and showcase exactly what potential residents want to see: unique photos and interactive 3D building maps and floor plans. Because RENTCafé is built into Yardi Voyager®, CRC leasing agents have real-time unit availability and pricing information at their fingertips, helping them quickly turn leads into leases. And the RENTCafé resident portal allows tenants to pay rent, submit work orders, contact site management, and track deliveries.
How can small property owners benefit from Yardi solutions?
Our Yardi Genesis2™platform for property management and accounting — with optional integrated smart additions from the Yardi Genesis2 Suite™ — is a real game changer. It is web based, cloud hosted and provides all the tools and functionality that smaller property owners and managers typically need, including automated best practice workflows for property management, accounting, maintenance, marketing, screening, insurance, payment processing, and resident services. For clients who are used to doing it all, we offer a complete software solution that can multitask as fast as they do.
Are there benefits to investing in technology that are commonly underestimated? Please explain.
Absolutely; for large companies or for companies that manage 1,000 or fewer units, a cloud hosted and web based mobile platform that supports all of their business processes in a single database provides enormous benefits: automated workflows, reduced or eliminated paper processing, hassle-free automatic software updates and system maintenance, and lower IT overhead costs. For smaller companies especially, avoiding the considerable costs of hardware and IT issues is extremely beneficial. Plus, providing staff with the ability to log into the system remotely is a great productivity booster.
The benefit of process automation is often greatly underestimated. No matter what the process, automation can significantly reduce costs, save time, eliminate data redundancy and data entry errors, reduce paper and more, so investing in technology to help automate processes is a good business decision. For example, clients using Yardi Procure to Pay™ and the Yardi Marketplace™ have streamlined their purchasing process using the system’s customizable workflows, flexible payment options, detailed spend analytics and in-store purchase programs with partners such as The Home Depot, Staples, and Interline. We also leverage our position in the market to create buying power for our clients with a competitively priced online catalog featuring over one million products—at a price lower than clients can typically negotiate for themselves. Plus, Yardi Procure to Pay helps automate and strengthen vendor management and compliance. On the invoice processing side, Yardi Procure to Pay integrates purchase orders and provides approval workflows that automate the accounts payable process.
What are some other technology solutions that you recommend should be a priority for the apartment industry?
Business and market intelligence tools. It all boils down to generating, accessing, analyzing and using data to better your business. Being able to take a holistic look at your financial, operational, and ancillary data is extremely powerful and will allow you to make better decisions regarding spending, property performance, rental pricing, energy management, the quality of your residents, and more. That is why we developed Yardi Orion® Business Intelligence—to give our clients an easy-to-use tool that takes the complexity out of data compilation and allows them to make informed, timely decisions.
And don’t forget the data that lives outside your database—specifically, market intelligence and research data. Yardi Matrix™ is a powerful market intelligence and business development tool giving our clients access to detailed information on apartment properties in their markets for better decision making. Clients can easily access research data to analyze current market conditions at both the micro and macro levels and identify deals and drive value with property-level research.
“It’s exciting watching our clients achieve results with Yardi solutions; they are leveraging social media more, mobilizing operations and leasing, and automating processes—being social, mobile, and smart is needed to stay competitive in today’s market.”
Senior Vice President of Sales, Yardi Systems
“After implementing RENTCafé, phone calls and tours increased by more than 200%. Applications increased by 189%!”
Karen Kossow, Vice President of Marketing, Community Realty Company Inc.
Now in its fourth decade, Yardi® is committed to the design, development and support of software for real estate investment management and property management. With the Yardi Multifamily Suite™, Yardi Commercial Suite™, Yardi Investment Suite™ and Yardi Orion™ Business Intelligence, the Yardi Voyager® platform is a complete real estate management solution. It includes marketing, operations, accounting and ancillary processes and services with portfolio-wide business intelligence and platform-wide mobility. For more information, visit www.yardi.com.