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February 16, 2023 10:00AM

Common Misconceptions to Overcome When Planning Your Yardi Implementation

Staff Member Larry Hoffer
Article by
Senior Consultant

Implementing a new software tool for your business can be a daunting and time-intensive process. Real estate software solutions such as Yardi are complex and multifaceted. This means that many new users are tempted to simplify the process as much as possible, sometimes to the detriment of the overall project. 

When I meet with clients to plan their Yardi implementation, they often express a wish to exclude some modules from their initial go-live date. While this certainly seems logical and can be driven by very real internal constraints such as staff availability, it is also likely to be a mistake. In fact, many of the areas that clients commonly wish to exclude are crucial aspects of “Phase 1.” 

In today’s post, we’ll look at four common misconceptions that can trip you up when you are planning your Yardi implementation. Though these misconceptions may seem obvious at first glance, if they go unaddressed, they can cause greater problems in the long run, so it’s best to overcome them in the early stages wherever possible. 

Misconception 1: “Job Cost Can Wait Until Phase 2”

Yardi Job Cost offers financial oversight, real-time tracking, easy project management, and comprehensive reporting for construction projects of all sizes across your portfolio. It allows you to control costs and improve budgeting and forecasting to increase profitability over the long term. 

Therefore, I always advise going live with at least a basic Job Cost setup. The key is to create a Chart of Categories that will be responsive to your current needs while remaining scalable for future requirements. This will involve some additional design concerns, but creating jobs to track your costs from day one will help to avoid the need for interim work-around solutions.

Misconception 2: “We Can Just Wait Until Next Year for Recoveries”

In real estate, “recoveries” refers to shared expenses passed on to tenants by a landlord. This might include utility bills, taxes, repairs and maintenance, and so on. Incorrect management of recoveries can result in considerable financial losses. 

Consider testing your recovery setup in Yardi during the initial trial balance conversion phase. This will allow you to recreate tenant recovery billings for the previous year with minimal adjustments. I’ve found that by reviewing complicated lease structures earlier in the implementation process, clients can avoid subsequent changes to converted lease data. This can save you significant time later on in the process. 

Misconception 3: “We Can Continue to Perform Complicated Analyses in Excel and Store Ancillary Data Outside of Yardi”

Many of our clients have been using Excel as their primary or only data storage and analysis tool before implementing a real estate software solution such as Yardi. And you may wish to keep using a solution with which you’re familiar; however, I recommend transferring data into Yardi as soon as possible. 

Why not put everything on the table during the initial implementation? I implore all my clients to identify all financial reports and analyses performed in Excel and transfer them into Yardi sooner rather than later. 

Which reports are candidates for production directly from Yardi? A combination of Custom Account Trees, Property Attributes, and Custom Financial Analytics—a report writing tool available within Core Yardi—can be used to streamline the report production process. User Defined Fields and Custom Tables can also be an easy and efficient way to store ancillary data. 

Misconception 4: “Our Procedures Really Don’t Need to Change”

If you’ve always done things one particular way, it can be tempting to hang on to those old processes and procedures, even if they’re not the most effective or efficient. If you embrace change, however, you may be amazed at how much time, money, and effort you can save by improving your processes. 

Many other functions within Yardi can be used to increase efficiency beyond those I’ve already mentioned. For example, you may consider using Workflows to streamline the approval process. Numerous reports and email communications can be automated using Core Yardi. You might also consider Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for your bank reconciliations and other repetitive tasks.

Planning Your Yardi Implementation With REdirect Consulting

In this post, I’ve outlined a few areas that often are overlooked but that should actually rank high on your go-live checklist. 

At REdirect Consulting, we have decades of combined experience in supporting our clients with choosing, setting up, and implementing real estate technology solutions such as Yardi. Our experts’ job is to take the stress and guesswork out of the process, ensuring you have everything you need and that things run as smoothly as possible. 

If you need help or advice with any aspect of your Yardi implementation, we would be pleased to hear from you. Reach out to a member of our team to get started today.

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About the Author

Larry Hoffer

Larry has specialized in the real estate industry for over 30 years, initially with Arthur Andersen’s Real Estate Services Group. Subsequently, he gained experience in real estate operations and accounting systems (Yardi, MRI and Timberline) as a Controller and CFO for real estate operating, development and investment companies. Larry has …

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