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Why I Switched Self Storage Property Management Software

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Written by guest author Jeff Mense, real estate broker

Jeff Mense has been using Yardi software since 2014, and he was kind enough to share his experience on two of our cloud-based platforms. In fact, Jeff was an early adopter of both Genesis2 (an older Yardi software) and Yardi Breeze. In both cases, he provided excellent feedback to help us bring each platform to the self storage marketplace. Here’s what Jeff has to say about his experience using online property management software.

Jeff Mense, real estate broker

The switch to online software

Over the past 25 years, we have updated from paper receipt books and spreadsheets to several different property management software programs. In 2013, we were told that our standalone software would no longer be supported, so we explored cloud-based software … lots of them.

While nearly all programs offered occupancy status, rent generation and receipts, very few integrated those functions with a full array of accounting functions. The idea of having to transfer data on a regular basis from the self storage software to an accounting program just seemed archaic.

We chose Yardi Genesis2 knowing that we were an early adopter of this software platform. As a beta user, Yardi welcomed our suggestions to improve the platform.

Finding a fully integrated platform

In 2018, Yardi told us about a new software product called Yardi Breeze. Once again, we became an early adopter and have never looked back. We transitioned all our correspondence to email. That includes monthly statements, late notices and tenant alerts. Breeze integrates gate functions and automatic credit card processing, which significantly reduces the manager’s workload.

Additional benefits of working with Breeze

  • Property maps: While we first thought of the property map as a kind of “bell and whistle,” we have found them very useful and in fact print them out as a pocket reference.
  • Financial statements: Our owners especially like the fact that they can access real-time financials and occupancy status without having to visit or contact the properties.
  • Client support: The biggest surprise, however, was the support. It is not limited to a certain number of hours per year. It’s instantly available through live chat, and the folks there really know their stuff.
  • They listen: Their feedback system allows us to offer suggestions to improve the software. We have been pleasantly surprised by the responses we receive to our suggestions.
  • Updates: Improvements are done on a regular basis, along with explanations of the revisions that have been made across the property management software.

Coronavirus & the need for remote work capability

Everything was going smoothly, then along came COVID-19. We put a note on the main office door letting folks know we could be on the property — in person — within 20 minutes. Otherwise, our entire staff would be working remotely. In fact, remote work is a piece of cake with Breeze. If we’re out and about, we can handle anything on a tablet.

Jeff Mense is a real estate broker who specializes in self storage properties. His self storage business, Emenson LLC, operates as Best Price Storage in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with 260 storage units, 15 trade shops and 35 outside self storage spaces.

We’d like to thank Jeff for sharing his thoughts and perspectives on Breeze. His is one of many Breeze client voices we hope to share with you in the weeks, months and years to come.