Yardi is the leading provider of high-performance software solutions for the real estate industry. A group of TRSM Business Technology Management students recently had the opportunity to visit Yardi’s Toronto office for a job shadowing day. Here is student Hank Meyer’s experience.
Welcome Address by Rick Young, Senior Manager, Genesis2
We were welcomed to Yardi by Rick Young, manager for Yardi’s Genesis2 department. He spoke about his experience working for Yardi for the past 18 years and emphasized the company’s growth. From a company with less than 300 employees to an organization of over 30 offices and 5,000 employees worldwide. He stated that it is much better work for a growing organization in comparison to a downsizing company.
An interesting point was that during the economic crisis of 2008–2009 Yardi was growing. Even during an economic downturn, the demand for real estate management is higher, due to the housing market and retail spaces. After we got a chance to speak with Rick, we heard from some Ryerson Alumni who work at Yardi, including positions in the Genesis2 platform and Café services.
Ryerson Alumni Panel Discussions
One of the key presentations from the morning was the Ryerson Alumni Panel. We got to see the perspectives of past Business Technology Management students beginning their career with Yardi. There were lots of discussion with the panel and the job shadow day attendees, which was valuable for us. One of the main topics of discussion was what the panel likes best about working for Yardi. The answers varied from the great cultural environment, to again the growth factor of the organization. It’s a casual environment with lots of young and energetic employees. Yardi’s growth is an opportunity, and Yardi employs about 35 Ryerson alumni.
Introduction to Genesis2 / Overview of Café Services / Overview of Consulting Services
Between 10 and 12, we learned about operations at Yardi. We were lucky enough to have Ken Abescoro and Ali Mazhar as alumni from Ryerson to present. Thanks to Dani Legault and Gayatri Kumar for taking the time out of their days to present as well. As we were job shadowing following these presentations, it was very helpful to have some background knowledge on the software and operations and these presentations were key. We learned about the functions of Genesis2 from Dani and Ken.
We were presented with a live demo of the software and learned how it integrates with the accounting a day-to day retail manager would entail. The Café services function as a live portal for property managers to offer rental spaces online. We were presented RentCafé by Ali, who showed us the demo, and operability of the site, and how it also functions as a website building tool for clients. We had the chance to view a public storage, showcasing the wide variety of tools Yardi offers. After a brief room change following the Café services demo, we went back up to the 6th floor board room for a presentation from Gayatri on consulting services. We learned how the practice groups come into play at Yardi, and that the consultants are almost always on site with clients and not in the office.
As a graduating student, it is important to have an idea of what type of work will be applied in our careers and these presentations were a great introduction to the day to come, and the most important part of the day, job shadowing.
Job shadowing can be defined as the “shadow” of an employee, to learn the day-to-day operations. During the job shadow day we each had the opportunity to partner up and job shadow an employee for an hour and then rotate to another employee. This experience was enlightening for me; I had not been in an environment such as this before. Despite having researched Yardi before the event, reading about their software and listening to the presentations in the morning, the job shadowing is the most valuable experience of the day.
John separated us into partners and designated us each an employee to shadow. I began in the Genesis2 application specialist department and got to listen into a support call, while watching the specialist I was shadowing fix the client’s issues with ease. He was kind enough to tell me what he was doing so I understood what was going on, as well as giving me some tips along the way.
During our rotation, we were brought upstairs to the Voyager application specialist department where we shadowed work on this platform. The difference between the two departments I have found is essentially a broader platform (Voyager) and a more specialized software (Genesis2). Each of which requires competence from employees to manage the customer requests. Following the shadowing, we spoke with Vice President Peter Altobelli for some closing remarks.
Peter had some closing remarks for our group. We discussed Yardi as a whole; some positive growth factors, and competitive advantages. One of the key takeaways was what Yardi is looking for as they expand and hire new employees. He described it as one generation retiring and our generation not just filling the gap, but providing new insight and opportunities.
As a graduate in 2017 we are not only bringing our degree to the table, but experience in technology and online collaboration, something we have developed throughout our lives in the technology and Internet age. That is something that can’t be learned overnight.