REdirect is back from D.C. and we’re still on a high from all the excitement and news from the East Coast YASC (Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference). Held May 23 to May 25, this energetic and empowering three-day event never ceases to impress. Brimming with real estate professionals, executives, and technology gurus, YASC offers countless opportunities to learn, share, and network with the industry’s brightest. After each YASC, we—as real estate technology consultants eager to educate and learn from one another—host a post-conference debriefing to pool our insights. It’s our job to ensure our clients benefit from our attendance at these enlightening Yardi workshops, seminars, and panels.
Below is the 10,000-foot view of YASC 2017 and our top eight takeaways:
Conference Gossip: As a market leader in real estate technology, Yardi organizes two major conferences for its North America users annually—one on the west coast and one on the east. The East Coast YASC attendance remains strong, staying fairly consistent this year at about 1,500 attendees. We suspect it’s due to Yardi’s increase in insightful multi-day educational forums in addition to its two YASCs. That said, Yardi expects this conference to grow next year, and because it regularly sells out, we recommend registering early for this great event.
No News is Good News: It’s no secret that Yardi is a real estate technology giant. In 2016, it gained an impressive 541 new clients on Voyager; it now employees 5,300 industry professionals, and grows between 15 and 20 percent year after year. But, for the first time in a very long time, there were noticeably less announcements at YASC about new products, services, or acquisitions in the pipeline. This is good. Instead, Yardi heralded that the company would be focusing on enhancing its existing services and scalability. Yardi has also set its sights on strengthening cyber security, heavily investing in its infrastructure including its data centers and servers.
They Bring Up A Good Point—SharePoint: Launching in the third quarter of 2017, is Yardi’s “SharePoint for Office 365,” a true enterprise document management solution. This isn’t a SharePoint solution hosted by Yardi itself. Instead, Yardi is taking advantage of Office 365’s hosted SharePoint solution and allowing Yardi users to host their Yardi documents on it and linking it directly to Voyager’s front end with smart two-way syncing of document metadata!
InvestorPlus = Awesome: In AprilYardi rolled out enhancements to all three components of the Investment Management suite. Some of the exciting enhancements introduced in InvestorPlus include role-based security; intelligent data entry templates with conditional data-driven fields; customizable alternate terminology (screen labels); workflow-enabled business processes; and improved notifications. With all these great enhancements, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in the Investment Management Suite in the coming months!
Let’s Make a Deal: InvestorPlus’s new fundraising and deal track functionality is the bee’s knees. It offers five dashboards that act as building blocks to raise capital, match opportunities, and seal deals. The lead dashboard organizes current investors and prospects; the opportunity dashboard defines opportunities by property type and matches them with qualified leads based on custom scoring; the proposal dash details the potential commitment, which is booked through InvestorPlus; the CRM dashboard shows the big picture with multiple chart and grouping options outlining which deals are on the table, which are open, which are approved, and so on, all on one screen; finally, the workflow dashboard makes sure nothing in the fund raising and deal making process falls through the cracks with custom and role-based tasks, event-enabled processes, and more.
School’s Always in Session with Yardi eLearning: Yardi eLearning is a fabulous and effective way for us real estate technology consultants and our clients especially to keep learning and growing. This smart, interactive employee training platform is convenient, customizable, and online, so it’s always available. You can even set up games to make learning more interesting and, dare we say, fun!
Big News for the Big Apple: Yardi’s New York Module’s newest release is slated for July with three notable features: electronic lease renewals through Yardi RENTCafe; New York Analytics in the form of new standard forms like the vacancy report and the asking report; and a simplified, easy-to-understand New York Lease Renewal Preview that outlines both one-year and two-year lease pricing.
Go with The FLO: Yardi’s Advanced Budgeting and Forecasting is some powerful stuff. One aspect that really impressed us was the Forecast Lease Options (FLO) process (applicable only for commercial real estate). It’s an intuitive way to enter leasing assumptions and offers multiple sorting, filtering, and grouping choices. Since FLO does require design and setup, plan on some additional training sessions to learn this new module.
And that’s just our elevator summary! This conference reinforces year-after-year Yardi’s dedication to improving and expanding its full suite of products to better its user experience. If you have any questions about our takeaways or any other aspect of Yardi, don’t hesitate to contact us. Getting to share in all the newest Yardi intelligence and making sure that you’re prepared for upgrades, evolutions, and new capabilities is one of the main benefits of having trusted real estate technology advisors on your side.