Eve Pieper Talks Best Property Management Accounting Software

"With Breeze Premier ... it feels like there are no limits to what we can accomplish." Eve Pieper Controller, 1st London

1st London Realtors, Inc. is a property management company based in Los Angeles, California. They have a mixed portfolio with about 300 residential units and 350,000 square feet of commercial space. Eve Pieper runs their accounting department, but when she started at 1st London, the business was not making the most of its time or resources. They needed to find the best property management accounting software for their needs. Using her knowledge of Yardi’s accounting capabilities, she quickly made her way from accountant to controller.

Eve has played a crucial role in leading the transformation of not only the accounting department, but the way 1st London collects rent and communicates with owners. In this conversation, Eve tells us how she helped streamline operations with the help of Yardi Breeze Premier.

Eve, what are your daily responsibilities as controller?

Initially, when I interviewed for this position at 1st London, it was presented as a controller role. However, their primary interest was in finding someone who knew Yardi and had a strong accounting background. Having used Yardi since 2004, I was able to prove myself and eventually took charge of the accounting department. I focus on streamlining processes, and Yardi helps me do that.

What Yardi platforms have you used before?

I’ve used Yardi Enterprise and Yardi Voyager, so I’m very familiar with Yardi products.

Do you remember what it was like using those platforms? How did they evolve over time?

Initially, I worked with Yardi Enterprise, which was DOS-based. It was quite advanced compared to other accounting and property management software available at the time. I was impressed by how user-friendly and efficient it was.

Later, I moved to a company that utilized Yardi Voyager, which was Windows-based. This version featured various modules, including those for Section 8 housing, and it was remarkable to see how seamlessly everything integrated.

Upon joining my current company, they were using Skyline, which the owner wanted to replace with Yardi due to Skyline’s limitations, especially with regards to limited reporting and lack of online payments. Skyline was not user-friendly, and I found it challenging to navigate due to its reliance on manual data entry rather than intuitive dropdown menus.

I was introduced to Yardi Breeze Premier when I joined 1st London. After a little research, I realized it was a streamlined version of Yardi Voyager. It proved to be incredibly intuitive. I caught on so fast and onboarded all our properties onto it. Training the staff was smooth, as the system’s user-friendliness made it easy for everyone to learn.

What are the biggest challenges that a small property management business faces today?

Some of the biggest challenges are finding qualified tenants and marketing the property. The accounting kind of speaks for itself. But getting those qualified tenants and getting the message out there for people to even know that you have units for rent is probably the biggest challenge.

Is technology moving in a direction to help you overcome those challenges?

The marketing aspect of RentCafe was a pleasant surprise to me. Once you sign up, it automatically advertises your property on RentCafe.com, displaying all your vacancies and rental prices. Potential tenants can fill out the credit application directly through the platform, which simplifies the process even further.

Was there a point when you explored other property management systems?

I have interviewed for other companies that used AppFolio or Sage. I’ve always opted for the companies with Yardi because I know the accounting program, and it’s just fantastic.

What is it about Yardi’s accounting that makes it so much better than QuickBooks or other accounting tools?

The option for custom reporting is a great thing to have. Breeze Premier also gives us menu-level security for each person who uses the system. That is an absolute must in accounting because we need to safeguard the integrity of our information. For instance, we have accounts payable and accounts receivable, and each has two different security levels. The AP team can’t go in and change what the AR team is doing. Everything is really streamlined.

When I started here, there was no AP process at all. We would save up invoices in a stack, then pay bills twice a month. I told my boss that this system was impossible. We needed to pay our vendors quickly, or they would stop servicing our properties. Through Breeze Premier, we added invoice approvals, and now we’re entering invoices every day as we get them. They’re not stacking up. Bills are getting paid on time. There’s no unauthorized spending, and only correct payments are processed.

Is Breeze Premier part of the growth and future of your company?

Yes! We used to be so restricted, especially when it came to reporting. However, with Breeze Premier, the situation has drastically improved. We can now request a report and have it in our hands within a minute or two. It feels like there are no limits to what we can accomplish. This extends to how many properties we can manage as well as our reporting capabilities. One of our accounting department staff even mentioned that I’ve spoiled them with Yardi.

What is it specifically that they feel that they’re spoiled by?

It’s everything from the income statements to the reporting package that I can give owners at a moment’s notice. In fact, we email owner statements on a daily basis, and it takes absolutely no time at all. It’s practically instantaneous. And that kind of functionality is crucial to have in property management accounting because everybody wants everything right away. Breeze Premier satisfies that need and then some!