First Pointe Management Group (FPMG), also known as Brymarc Management Company and a subsidiary of The Ezralow Company, has relied on property management and accounting software from Yardi® for 18 years, utilizing a Windows®-based platform before eventually moving to browser-based Yardi Voyager®. The continuous growth of their residential portfolio prompted another reevaluation, according to Vida Bautista, assistant controller for The Ezralow Company.
“We wanted our onsite people to have the best software along with online services for our residents, so we started looking for new solutions to perform various ancillary operations,” Bautista said. As a result, FPMG adopted several new products that improve internal operations and resident services by integrating with Yardi Voyager.
Seeking detailed insight into its marketing processes, FPMG added Yardi PopCard™ to Yardi Voyager. “Before PopCard, information from paper guest cards sometimes weren’t entered into our platform, and we wondered why our traffic wasn’t as high as we expected,” Bautista said. “We looked for a product that could solve that issue while tracking the source of every prospect. With PopCard, we can track our advertising sources, which is great because that helps us make decisions about where to spend money for advertising. It has been a great tool for monitoring our traffic, determining which advertising sources work for us, and getting us more leases.”
Another product built into Yardi Voyager is Yardi Energy Solutions™, an automated utility billing and energy management solution that converges utility charges with online rent payments, providing convenience both for FPMG and its residents. “There’s no separate billing for the residents so it’s easy for them to see their charges, and it’s easy for us to see the revenue coming in. We can also see utility revenues that we’re not able to collect, which helps our decision-making, especially in budget preparations,” Bautista said.
FPMG also adopted RENTCafé™, a full online marketing, leasing and resident services solution that’s integrated with Yardi Voyager. Prospects can search for an apartment, apply and execute leases online. For residents, RENTCafé provides a resident portal for online work requests, lease renewals and online payments. “We converted all our properties to RENTCafé, and our residents are really happy with its convenience. They can set up recurring payments and can pay anytime by credit card,” Bautista said.
Another recent addition to FPMG’s property management platform is Yardi Payment Processing™, which scans rent checks and gives residents paperless self-serving rent payment options. “As an Accountant, I love the backup. You click on the payment, on the receipt, on the attachment, and you see the check,” Bautista said. “There’s no delay in getting funds deposited, they’re instantly recorded in Voyager, and we save money and labor by eliminating trips to the bank and courier pickups. The greater transparency also helps our cash flow because we know how much we’re collecting on a daily basis. Payment Processing is the best thing that ever happened with our collection process.”
“Performing all of these operations on one platform gives us seamless workflows and better research for building reports that help not just the property sites and accounting, but the company’s owners as well,” Bautista said. FPMG also plans to add Yardi PAYscan™, which scans invoices and automates invoice processing using customized approval workflows. “After we implement PAYscan, automating our invoice processing within Voyager will save paper and improve our audit preparation,” she said.
“We’re on top of all the new products Yardi is building into Voyager. If we see one that helps us work better, we don’t hesitate to move to it.”
About First Pointe Management Group
First Pointe Management Group, based in Calabasas, Calif., owns and manages more than 8,200 residential property units, 2.5 million square feet of commercial properties, and 14,500 self-storage units. The company is also involved in Tax Credit and Affordable property management. For more information, visit firstpointemanagementgroup.com for its residential properties, midvalleymanagement.com for its commercial properties, and storewith-us.com for its self-storage properties.
Now in its fourth decade, Yardi® (yardi.com) is committed to the design, development and support of software for real estate investment management and property management. With the Yardi Multifamily Suite™, Yardi Commercial Suite™, Yardi Investment Suite™ and Yardi Orion™ Business Intelligence, the Yardi Voyager® platform is a complete real estate management solution. It includes operations, accounting and ancillary processes and services with portfolio-wide business intelligence and platform-wide mobility. Yardi is based in Santa Barbara, Calif., and serves clients worldwide from offices in North America, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East.