We recently had the pleasure of working with Robbins Electra, a Florida-based company that invests and manages in multifamily properties across the region, who knew that general ledger software was no longer sufficient to meet their ever-growing needs.
Their due diligence process led them, first, to select Yardi Investment Management and Investor Portal as the software package best suited to meet their particular needs and goals, and then to select REdirect as the partner to help them implement it.
Just before implementation began, they also hired Travis Wobbekind as their new Director of Investor Relations, who brought years of experience at major accounting and investment firms to his new role at Robbins Electra. Although Travis was new to both real estate and database-driven systems like Yardi, this implementation project stands out as a stellar example of How To Do Implementation Right.
For starters, the C-level executives were smart in appointing someone like Travis to be the main point person with REdirect. All too often, companies fail to make implementation a top priority for someone (particularly at the director level), and what is inevitably a massive undertaking falls too easily by the wayside. Smarter still, was the process they adopted whereby Travis and his team reported to the C-level team on a monthly basis, to identify challenges, discuss work-arounds, and keep the project moving on time. An added benefit of these regular check-ins with senior-most staff is that it helps keep the momentum going and wards off any potential “implementation fatigue” that besets many newcomers and nibbles away at ROI.
Through regular communication—video conferencing, phone calls, and emails—REdirect guided Travis and his team through each of the key stages: learning the system, entering the data, customizing the fields, creating reports, and, of course, the all-crucial test phase. Such a hands-on approach, where accessibility to us as well as forthcoming requests and clear communication from the client side, were key to the project’s success.
The net result of this undertaking was that our client was up and running on time and under budget, a phrase that is music to our client’s ears as well as ours. In their own words:
“As a fast-growing firm investing and managing more than 60 multifamily properties across the Southeast US, we knew it was time to upgrade beyond general ledger software and into a centralized system.
“Through REdirect’s diligent and patient guidance, setting up Yardi Investment Management and the Investor Portal was actually a relatively simple and user-friendly process. When we encountered a hurdle, our REdirect consultants were responsive and constructive, often presenting us with several options that reflected not only a breadth of experience, but also an eagerness to engage in new research when it was required.
“Moving all of the data behind 63—and growing—multifamily properties was a massive undertaking. Working with REdirect made all the difference: we stayed under budget and within our timeframe: we went live in six months, and had our investors accessing the IM Portal in less than seven!
“Our investors are loving working with our newly automated systems. Our high net worth individuals feel confident in the security of their data, and having real-time access to their investments empowers their choices as investors—and buoys our relationship with them, too.
“Simply put, we are now poised for even bigger growth in the year ahead, and working with REdirect has played a big role in that.”
We are delighted that Robbins Electra—and their various investors—are fully utilizing the system as they intended, just a few months after commencing the project. We are genuinely eager to check back in with them six months or a year from now to ensure that they are still on target to meet their goals. With such able leadership and diligent professionals at the helm, we are confident that they have a bright, productive path ahead.
If your company is considering implementing a major system like Yardi or MRI to help you reach your business goals, let Robbins Electra’s story be a guide:
- Make sure you appoint a point-person (or point-team) who can make implementation a priority in their day-to-day.
- Set clear objectives and revisit them throughout the project to make sure that what is being set up can meet those goals.
- Make sure that the lines of communication are always open, between your point-team and your consultants, as well as between the point-team and the C-suite folks.
- Set a timetable and schedule that accurately reflects your objectives, your resources, and is inclusive of the all-important testing phase.
If your implementation story does not seem as successful, don't fret. Keep these best practices in mind during your next gap analysis and you may still be able to reap the benefits. It’s never too late!
*We offer our sincere gratitude to Travis Wobbekind for offering the above testimonial.