Jocelyn Lozier is a property manager at the Manchester Financial Group in San Diego, CA. She’s been in this business since 1988, so she’s seen the total evolution of property management software. And she certainly knows the pitfalls of having to previously work with accounting and communications programs that don’t integrate. She sat with us virtually to go over her experience and share her wisdom.
Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background, and how long have you been in property management?
I have been in property management since before I graduated college, where I had a real estate internship. My dad was in real estate, so he was sort of pushing it when I was in college. I eventually worked at a permanent community that was newly built and converted to condos, and I worked on the sales team. As soon as I got out of college, I went to work for a small, local property management company. I worked there for about four years until my current boss came on-site one day and said, “I’m buying this property, so why don’t you stay and work for me.” I’ve been with him now for 20-plus years managing office buildings.
What tools have you used in the past to help market your properties, keep your books, generate owner reports, etc.?
I started working in real estate in 1988. Technology has changed a great deal since I have been in the business. At my first couple of jobs, I primarily used Skyline. When my current boss hired me to work directly for him, I just continued on Skyline because that was what I knew best. We didn’t have any software like we have now to track work orders, insurance and everything else. We had spreadsheets. Also, there was one license on one computer. You could not remote in.
When did that change?
We purchased a new office building in November 2016. When we were going through the whole escrow process, the property owner, who was also the property manager at the building, was sending me reports. I was thinking, where’d you get these? And it turns out they were from Yardi Genesis2. From there it was a quick decision. We were closing escrow in 30 days on a 12-story office building.
And after converting to Yardi Genesis2, you did a second transition to Yardi Breeze Premier.
Yes. It was a super quick conversion to Yardi Breeze Premier. Just the fact that I can log in from anywhere, and that multiple people in our company can log in as well, is fantastic. This year, we finally convinced our accounting department, which is also just one person, to adopt Breeze Premier. Before, our tenant-side accounting was never integrated, so that was a huge thing.
Is it important that you can customize monthly reports?
There are reports that I look at every single month. We have two different lenders on our two properties, and one of them likes an additional report, the cash flow report.
Also, my 12-story office building has about 30 storage units. The previous owner had them all appearing in the rent roll. This drove our lender nuts. They didn’t understand what it was, so I always had to gray them out and write a note on the side to prevent the lender from getting confused. The Breeze Premier support team helped me set these storage units up as rentable items, so they’re no longer clogging up my rent roll. I can tell you that my lender is much happier now with the way it shows up. It’s also easier for me to track which storage units are connected to which tenants.
Are retail tenants now coming to you with different expectations? As in amenities, online portals, communication, etc.
Tenants, I think, know now to ask for portals. They seem to really want them now, way more than before. I use the communications portal constantly to send out messages, and we have all our safety and emergency information posted on it, and tenants want to see that.
When it comes to amenities, we added a fitness center at one building, and tenants always want conference rooms and meeting spaces now. That’s come up more since COVID because I have some smaller tenants who want to spread out.
So, all in all the switch to Breeze Premier has been a positive experience.
Yes. When you switch to Breeze Premier, everything sort of makes sense in your head. With Breeze Premier, I can figure out most things on my own. I rarely need help.
We’d like to thank Jocelyn for giving us her time as well as the opportunity to share her knowledge of property management software and the benefits of integrated accounting.