Aditya Shah, Director of Middle East Operations at Yardi, talks about evolving tenant experience Image Credit: Supplied

PropTech provider Yardi empowers real estate stakeholders to simplify processes. The company designs, develops and supports software solutions for real estate owners and managers. By bringing all marketing, leasing and residential services onto one platform, Yardi helps companies to go fully paperless with end-to-end solutions catering to every stakeholder in the industry. The goal is to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs for its global client base, which includes public, private and non-profit organisations.

Aditya Shah, Director of Middle East Operations at Yardi talks about evolving tenant experience and how Yardi can step in to help owners and managers retain healthy tenant base.

A recent survey in Dubai says 50 per cent of tenants are likely to move out in the next 12 months. What can property managers do and how can Yardi help?

Our recommendation would be to move to monthly rentals and map the rent payment dates as per the tenant’s salary cycle. This will help tenants with their cash flow and in turn reduce cheque bounce. For most tenants, the three or four-cheque rental payment creates a pressure on cash flow. A monthly rental plan can improve tenant cash flow as it makes it easier for the tenant to budget every month.

With a monthly rental plan, however, accounting will now have to process 12 cheques, instead of four. Yardi can step in here to help with its core flagship product – Voyager, built on global best practices. Yardi Payment Processing, which is part of the Voyager suite, can help with online payments and direct debits, improving the operations flow. Payment Processing also connects with the tenant rent pay and communications portal, RENTCafé.

Monthly direct debits are quite common in western economies. Being a global PropTech company, Yardi is capable of handling post-dated cheques as well as supporting online monthly payments.

So how does the whole system work operationally?

Tenants can download the Yardi RENTCafé resident app and register themselves. Once they do that, they can view unit details, rental contract, payment terms, and other related documents, such as the Ejari. The tenant can then log in and set up their IBAN number, and direct debit mandate. The mandate form then goes to the bank. Every month, Yardi Voyager generates a file for rent payment and sends it to the bank for processing. Entire process is fully digitised and electronic, making it contactless.

While the tenant uses the RENTCafé app, the property manager uses the core Voyager system to handle accounting and Payment Processing facilitates the process on the back end. RENTCafé can also help with online rent renewals and integration with Ejari and does not require that tenants meet property managers in person. With more than six million residential units now using the app, RENTCafé also helps applicants check unit listings or available inventory

What else can landlords do to improve the tenant experience?

The Yardi Facility Manager solution sends various pointers to the landlords to check the health of building that they want to lease out. Facility Manager picks up maintenance data from different buildings – which could pertain to electrical, mechanical and plumbing requirements, and sends it to the management to understand inefficiencies in the facility. This data helps the landlord to carry out preventive measures and betters the experience of tenants when they move into the property. Facility Manager, along with the RENTCafé and VendorCafe solutions, completely automates the reactive maintenance cycle.

What other initiatives has Yardi undertaken during the pandemic?

During this period of extreme disruption, Yardi has been supporting clients and communities because a property manager’s obligations to tenants, residents and communities must continue uninterrupted. The Yardi team has helped clients ensure business continuity, safety and productivity by offering free online training courses. Yardi’s flexible learning management platform, Aspire, offers cost-effective training solutions. It provides both classroom and online webinar training sessions, designed to help businesses gain critical knowledge of Yardi’s powerful software solutions.

Aspire users can participate in webinars, communicate with managers, plan complete career development moves and more. This is a global e-learning platform and is available free of cost till December to Yardi clients if they want to be trained in leasing or accounting.

The coronavirus pandemic has created a “new normal” where almost everything can be done online with a seamless contact-free approach to working. From finding a property to paying rent, addressing facilities maintenance issues and more, Yardi delivers a trusted platform for owners, managers and tenants, to drive best practice driven operations that also helps support tenants needs and delivers a great experience.