Kristina Sekulic is the founder and CEO of Building Broad, a property management company based in Chicago. Her team used to be on a previous-generation Yardi platform but has since upgraded to Yardi Breeze Premier. They manage a dozen or so commercial properties all owned by the company. They formed management company Building Broad to handle their condo properties, also on Breeze Premier. It’s not easy to work in different markets with multiple management companies, but Breeze Premier unites everyone under one solution.
So how did they manage to save an estimated 35% by switching software? Kristina walks us through Building Broad’s growth and development with Yardi.
Tell us a little about yourself. What’s your background, and how long have you been in property management?
I started out in banking, and I thought that I might stay in banking forever until I bought my first property. Then I bought a flat and converted it into condos. From that point, I was hooked on real estate. I got my broker’s license and eventually decided selling real estate wasn’t my thing. Somehow, I worked my way into property management and discovered that was my thing.
Do you mind sharing the size of your portfolio and annual revenue?
We have a unique situation. We use Breeze Premier for two different entities. The first entity that we have is properties we own. There are about a dozen of them, and they vary from restaurants to mixed-use property to commercial property to residential. We’ve also started doing third-party management. That’s the other entity. We have one condo building on Breeze Premier now and more coming as our website gets set up.
What challenges did you face in the past to market your properties, keep your books, generate owner reports, etc.?
Previous software made it kind of hard finding things if you weren’t familiar with the interface. Training new people was also a little bit more of a challenge. Breeze Premier is just so much easier to navigate.
How did you come to choose Breeze Premier?
Breeze Premier offers big savings for us. We’ve saved about 35% in annual costs. We’re not even at our unit capacity, so we can grow without our price going up.
It was really important for me, even with a smaller condo building, to feel like our residents get a lot of value from the software. They can pay their condo assessments online, and we can store governing docs for the association. Work orders are easy to complete online, which is a nice feature to offer a small condo building.
Which features in Breeze Premier make work especially easy or efficient?
Sometimes we work remotely. This was initially because of the pandemic, but I still like to work after hours. I can log in to Breeze Premier from anywhere to be able to get tenant information, handle emergencies, make calls and send emails.
Breeze Premier stores all my documents, so I don’t have to worry about getting them onto my server. We used to have issues with those all the time, but it’s no longer a factor. I’ve even done work on vacation, even though I know I shouldn’t.
How do you think this technology is reshaping the industry?
For a company that’s just starting out, Yardi Breeze offers an easy entry point. Even just a few years ago, I think property management software was cost-prohibitive for somebody new to the industry. Before Breeze, I don’t think I could have gotten property management software. I would have had to wait until we had a much bigger portfolio to afford it.
With Breeze Premier, it’s possible to start right away on a good footing. For new businesses and small companies coming in, I think this software is a game changer.