Yardi Breeze Client: Pivotal Tech Features In Property Management

"Breeze separates our commercial and residential properties, and we can access both with one login." Patrice Loredo-Brandt Accountant, Florida Commercial Enterprises

In this interview with Florida Commercial Enterprises bookkeeper Patrice Loredo-Brandt, we wanted to know what it’s like for a small team managing a mixed portfolio. With 20 multifamily units, 43 condos and 1 million commercial square feet, Florida Commercial certainly has its hands full. Patrice spoke to us about the ways Yardi Breeze has streamlined the entire business. Our discussion covers the many responsibilities of someone who is both bookkeeper and property manager at a small business. According to Patrice, technology plays a pivotal role here, and it’s shaping the future of property management.

What are your daily responsibilities as bookkeeper?

Patrice: The bookkeepers at Florida Commercial Enterprises handle different things due to the large number of properties we manage. One person focuses exclusively on accounts payable for the majority of these properties. Another colleague is responsible for both accounts receivable and accounts payable for approximately six properties. My role involves a mix of everything. However, I’m gradually transitioning more towards property management. Despite this shift, I continue to perform certain bookkeeping tasks, such as sending out statements and generating charges, to ensure all financial aspects of the properties are managed effectively.

What is it about Breeze’s accounting that makes it stand out?

Patrice: It was before my time, but my company used to have Yardi Genesis. Before I started here about five years ago, they had already upgraded to Genesis2. However, we only paid for two user accounts. We didn’t have as many properties as we do now and were just beginning to expand. Around that time, Breeze was introduced. I saw the potential benefits and discussed it with my boss.

Breeze allows multiple users to log in and access our property data. Plus, it offers online payment options, which is a game-changer for a few reasons. Before Breeze, tenants were constantly asking if they could pay online. We just didn’t have the capability. Not to mention, the post office kept losing people’s rent checks.

What else do you use Breeze to accomplish?

Patrice: We like it for the maintenance side of things. Anyone registered to use the RentCafe tenant portal can submit a maintenance request online, and it will pop up for us to see. This means tenants don’t just have to call into the office to report issues. It definitely helps streamline the process.

Have you noticed a decrease in calls since you’ve been on Breeze?

Patrice: Before we switched over, the call volume was pretty high because that was the main way tenants could let us know what was going on. They’d always be calling the office to report issues. But now, they can just submit a work order online, and we see it right away. We can then reach out to them to follow up without needing to write the request down and type it into the system.

Are online payments saving you time as well?

Patrice: Yes, online payments have definitely saved us time because we’re not dealing with as many paper checks. Pushing for online payments was a big thing for me. I really advocated for it with my boss because, at that time, a lot of our tenants were asking for the ability to pay online. It was a significant shift, but it’s made a huge difference in how we handle payments and has made the process much smoother for us.

What is one challenge that small businesses face in property management today?

Patrice: It’s challenging to find a single system that lets you manage a mixed portfolio with commercial and residential properties. One of the main reasons we use Breeze is that it separates your commercial and residential properties, and you can access both with just one login.

Did you ever look at other property management software?

Patrice: The company had been with Yardi for a while on Genesis, then Genesis2, and wanted to stick with Yardi. Our data was easy to transfer, which made the transition to Breeze fairly easy. There was a little hiccup in the beginning with our charges transferring, but the Breeze support team was there for us, and it was an easy fix.

How did the Breeze team help resolve the issue?

Patrice: We resolved it mainly through phone support. We had a specific person assigned to help us with the transition, and we were in constant communication with them, especially during the first month. They made sure everything was running smoothly and checked in with us every week.

Were you worried that a data transfer would affect your business?

Patrice: At first, yes. We weren’t sure if our system would be down a day or a week. We were told it would take a day, and as it turned out, we were only down for a couple of hours. At that point, it was just about getting everyone logged in, getting our tenants signed in to their portals and fine-tuning the system to meet our needs.

Was there a lot to learn about Breeze after it was set up?

Patrice: It doesn’t take a lot to learn Breeze. Yardi provides basic training, and any questions after that are easy to resolve with live chat.

Do you continue to use the live chat?

Patrice: I love the live chat. Every time I have a question, I’m clicking that button. I usually get a response right away. If they’re not online, I will send an email and get a response within 20 minutes.

What’s your favorite part of using Breeze?

Patrice: My favorite part of Breeze is the fact that people can pay online, and everything is in real time. I just click on the receivables, look at the receipts and see it coming in as it’s being paid.

I also like that monthly posting is fully automated. I can just set it on to a certain day and the system will do it for me. It’s one less thing I have to do. I can also set it up so late charges automatically apply after a certain day.

Is it easy to send reports to your owners?

Patrice: Yes, it’s very easy to send reports to our owners, and they’re always happy when we can provide them with balance sheets at any time. We simply generate a report through Breeze, make a PDF and email it directly to the owners. We rely on Breeze’s reporting features to generate, download and send our reports, which streamlines the whole process and saves us a lot of time.

Is Breeze part of the future of your business?

Patrice: Yes. It keeps everything simple and lets us work more efficiently. Breeze is definitely going to be with us as we grow.