Remember back to when you were implementing Yardi Voyager? You may have been upgrading from a previous version of Yardi, or you may have been migrating from an entirely different software package. Either way, the implementation was undoubtedly difficult…not because of Yardi, but because the inherent difficulty in going through a software implementation, and because you had your regular job to do.
In short, you were most likely pressed for time. You probably made a prudent implementation decision that sounded something like this:
“Let’s just get the base functionality installed, and we’ll come back and do the other stuff later”
If you did that, then you made a sensible decision. You only have so much organizational bandwidth available to institute a major software change. At a minimum, during the implementation you needed to be sure that the following 6 tasks could be completed in order to satisfy your tenant and ownership constituency:
- Issue financial statements at the end of the month
- Enter invoices
- Issue checks
- Bill tenants
- Train the user base on the relevant modules
And then, due to fatigue, you may have stopped right there…
Getting Past the Post Implementation Exhaustion Syndrome
And if you did, then you are like most everybody else. You are suffering from Post Implementation Exhaustion Syndrome. You know somewhere in the back of your mind that there is more that you should be doing with the software, but can’t seem to get the energy or the focus to: One, start the implementation project back up, and Two, decide what you should be working on, or even where to start.
The problem is further magnified by the fact that Yardi continues to do a terrific job of adding functionality through product development and acquisition – which may lead you to suspect that there are aspects of the system that you could be utilizing to create efficiencies in your organization. This means that you could be paying for functionality included in your Annual License Fee from which you are not actually getting value. Or, said another way, you are not optimizing your Return on your Annual Investment.
If you are in this ‘place’ right now with regard to Yardi Voyager, you may also have:
You Can Take the Next Step
If any of the above statements resonate with you, then there is a way to get ‘un-stuck’ – to take The Next Step. Lupine Partners’ four-part Next Step program has enabled a number of Yardi clients to maximize their Return on their Annual License Fee Investment.
The program works as follows:
First, a review of your database for data incongruences is performed and the findings are documented. This review is done offsite before meeting with anybody in your organization. One of the many complaints heard about the software is that the reports are sometimes ‘wrong’. This is almost always related to data issues, and not a programming issue. Some examples of residential data incongruity are:
Prospect traffic with no source
Concessions granted but do not show up in recurring charges (possible fraud)
Leases with no security deposits (possible fraud)
Tenant records with no SSN
Every real estate vertical, and every client, has their own version of what is congruent and what is not with regard to their data. After the database review, a list of all possible data issues is presented for your consideration.
Second, all relevant system users from all levels within the organization are interviewed individually and asked questions like:
- How do you use the system on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis?
- What is working for you and what is not? What slows you down?
- What are your frustrations with the Yardi system?
- Present the reports you are using – for both internal and external purposes.
- What functionality do you think you should be using in Yardi, but aren’t?&nbps; Why?
The interviews are easy – only lasting 30-90 minutes, and are facilitated in a safe, secure, and non- judgmental environment. An interesting dynamic that has played out over and over again is the disclosure by interviewees of things that they will never tell you. With the right questions and techniques, their unique truth will surface. In order to do maximize system usage, and accordingly Return on Investment, you need their truth…
Third, the data incongruences, your disclosures, our observations, and our experience and knowledge will be combined to create a tailored Next Step plan with an emphasis on these 3 areas:
Fourth, you take action based on the roadmap created for you. You take The Next Step.
Your Invisible Employee
Whether you realize it or not, Yardi Voyager is your invisible employee – readily available to work 7 days a week, 24 hours per day. The question for you to consider is this: Even though Voyager (your employee) is a workhorse – are you keeping it busy enough to warrant the very high annual salary you pay it every year? Would you pay a human employee and accept only a 35% effort? You should be squeezing every bit of productivity from your highest paid employee that you can. It will do whatever you ask – but you do have to ask.
View Yardi Voyager as a very narrow profit center. The revenues are not hard cash or accrual earnings – but rather benefits, both direct and indirect. Benefit examples are:
A possible decrease in FTEs
Working tactically rather mechanically Reassignment of human resources Elimination of errors
Increased employee satisfaction Decreased employee turnover Scalability for growth
Other Yardi Customers Have Done It…
In 2008, a custom Next Step review was performed for a Dallas client. During the interview process, we determined that one of the biggest issues for the owner of the company was the threat of theft. An immediate brainstorming session was held around the whole notion of on-site fraud and theft. From our session came 19 scenarios that he wanted to be notified of. The scenarios weren’t necessarily fraud, but might be. These reports run every night and ‘notify’ him when a possible fraudulent activity might be occurring. He is still using this notification solution created using tools that were (and are) in the software.
In 2011, a long-time client requested a Next Step review of their use of the Residential functionality in the software. Three days were spent interviewing all of the relevant professionals in the organization – including both of the owners. The presumption going in was that Yardi Voyager was the problem…and there was some under-utilization of the software that was documented. But the major finding was that they had a major leadership issue in both the operational and financial business units. The important lesson here is that you never quite know what you are going to find when an independent review is performed – especially when the ‘problem’ is not pre-assumed…
What are the Possible Areas of Interest?
Question: Can you give me some examples of areas of interest you might identify in a Next Step review?Answer: Here is a representative list of system functionality identified for other Next Step clients:
|Fraud Detection||Automated Distribution of Financial Statements||Notifications|
|Vendor Insurance Tracking||Recoveries Setup & Strategy||Lease Abstract|
|GPR Reporting||Tracking Variances||Portfolio Level Reporting|
|Custom Cash Flow Statements||Reporting on Percentage Owned||Attachments Strategy|
|Use of Memos||Tracking Mortgages||Management Fees|
|Account Trees||Exception Reporting Strategy||Delinquency Notes|
|Property Attributes||Market Surveys||Report Inventories|
|Using Current Report Versions||Import/Export Strategies||Security|
|Report Scheduler||MCA||Performance Tables|
Your company has unique needs, and you have a unique position, but there are always ways to extract more profitability from Yardi Voyager. Let’s work together to make that happen.
Dedicated to your success,
President – Lupine Partners