A successful Yardi project requires proper planning and on-going project management. We utilize an on-line project management system called Autotask which clients have access to. At any time, Yardi clients can logon and enter support tickets, check the project plan, and run a variety of reports. We begin a new Yardi project by having an on-site or remote kick off meeting. This allows us to better understand the company, its property portfolio, expectations and timeline. From this meeting, we prepare the project plan and upload it into our Autotask system.

We also believe in weekly Yardi status meetings, along with the Yardi account manager, to ensure we are on track and on budget at all times. We prepare an agenda sent prior to the meeting and after these meetings, we create both a weekly project status report and a weekly to-do list so the client, The Jacobs Group and Yardi knows what is expected to be completed the following week. These weekly project status reports are ideal to forward to upper management or the Board of Directors to confirm that their approved budget is on track and everyone is working hard to move the project forward. We also work with clients to draft the conversion/implementation/go-live timeline and coordinate any data conversion which may be required.

After an initial kick-off meeting to understand the client’s needs, we move into the implementation phase. We review all aspects of the Yardi system in detail with the client’s Yardi implementation team. Yardi is a complex software and this phase allows the project team to decide how much of the Yardi program to implement in Phase I and what to rollout down the road. Furthermore, we work with clients to provide best practices on policies and procedures using the new Yardi program or version upgrade.

Our experienced trainers can provide training on the core Yardi program and any ancillary modules. We can provide either on-site or web-based remote training. Unlike some other Yardi consultants, we do not charge travel time for on-site training. We prepare a training agenda and can provide a customized Yardi policies and procedures manual in MS Word or PDF format. If requested, we can also record web-based trainings so you can refer to them later and/or train new staff. We either provide a train-the-trainer style approach where we train someone on the project team or training department and they will then train the end-users or we can train all the end users.

The Jacobs Group utilizes several different methods to electronically convert property and financial data. For property, unit and resident types of data, we can use our SQL import scripts or utilize Yardi’s built-in ETL import capability. For trial balance, transactions and budget data, we can import data based on the Yardi format or train clients to import themselves. We can also assist clients with the import and proper setup of new properties they acquire after they are fully up and running.

The Jacobs Group can create any custom Yardi report, special programming or interface needed. We have several programmers available to make minor modifications to existing reports or very complex interfaces / stored procedures / custom tables. Whenever possible, we try and utilize our extensive library of previously written scripts to minimize the programming time/costs.

Our usual approach is to request a mock-up of the report in Excel with definitions. For example, if a rent roll report is requested, is the column for “rent” the rent from the unit (market rent) or the rent from the resident screen or the recurring lease charge for rent from the resident? We sometimes request a phone meeting to clarify the report requirements. We then provide an estimate, then once approved, we create the report. Changes are made to the report if it’s within the original spec/scope of work. Out of scope work is completed at our hourly rate.

A service The Jacobs Group has provided over the last few years is a full Yardi database review. We look at all aspects of Yardi setup including most areas of the system admin menu, the Chart of Accounts, security, charge codes and a detailed review of a of couple properties. This extensive Yardi review results in a detailed report (approximately 5 pages long) with recommended changes to the setup. It also identifies areas of the Yardi program clients are not utilizing (and may not be aware of) to make their business more efficient. Our database reviews have been very well received by Yardi clients. Once the report is sent to the client, we schedule a call to review the report in detail, answer any questions and help establish a plan to prioritize the changes needed.

The Jacobs Group provides full property management business process reviews. These reviews are provided by the Principal, Chris Jacobs, as he has over 22 years of experience working in the property management business (7 years), working directly for Yardi Systems (7 years), and providing Yardi consulting services (8 years). He interviews employees at each level of the client’s company structure, gets honest feedback of time consuming and poor business processes, then provides industry and Yardi best practices/recommendations. Chris has worked with hundreds of property management companies and has learned what works and what doesn’t.

The Jacobs Group provides fast, experienced Yardi support – and this sets us apart from others. If we can provide a quick answer in 5 minutes because we know the answer right away based on our many years of experience, we feel it’s better than other sources who need to ‘look-into-it’, ‘check-with-their-manager’, and get back to you days later. Our experience and pro-active support service results in cost savings for clients in addition to getting results much faster.