Have you spent too much time scouring the help section within Yardi? Oftentimes, a “one size fits all” approach to investment management can feel like a maze with no exit. That’s because there is none. Your investment portfolio is unique and in turn deserves custom solutions. Proper documentation plays a huge role in ensuring your processes run smoothly. If you feel like your current documentation is slowing progress and causing frustration, don’t worry, there’s a solution. Custom documentation for investment management lays out exactly what you need, when you need it.
Why is custom documentation is valuable?
Custom documentation is important for investment management due to the individual nature of the industry. No two investment management portfolios look the same. Customization for investment management comes in many forms. You’re juggling information such as varying menusets, required data, implementations, new hire onboarding, staff training, and many other areas. Although Yardi’s help section has vast amounts of information, it tends to be cumbersome. Filtering and scrolling through their information for exactly what you need wastes precious time.
On top of all this information, sometimes your tasks aren’t ones that you repetitively carry out day-to-day. Do you remember what you had for breakfast on a Monday 3 months ago? Probably not (and if you do, we’re impressed). How are you supposed to remember the exact steps you took to add an entity 4 months ago? (Never mind training a new hire to do this task.) Well, that’s exactly what custom documentation is for; you can focus on your present-day tasks, and your steps will be ready for you to follow at a moment’s notice, whether you need them today or later in the year.
Types of Documentation for IM
Depending on your business and team needs, there are multiple different types of custom documentation provided by our experts to meet your needs. From shortform guides, to longer, all-encompassing custom documentation, your needs are always at the center of our documentation, as they should be. Here is the breakdown of our custom documentation options:
Business Process Review Documentation
Business Process Review documentation records observations, findings, and suggestions from our business process reviews. It documents your current business state, identifies your key target areas for improvement, your end goal, and finally our recommendations designed to assist you in reaching your goals.
System Configuration Documentation
System Configuration documentation records information pertaining to your customization of Yardi. Whether you have custom reports you need to locate and pull, filter screens to utilized, and more, this type of documentation breaks down each custom task into steps, so you are always able to locate exactly what you need, when you need it.
Tailored Implementation Documentation
Tailored implementation documentation organizes crucial information pertaining to your customized Yardi implementation and structure. During Yardi implementation, you juggle a lot of information and decisions being made. This information is especially important to reference down the road with either new business leaders or new employees. These documents are also key to leverage for auditing purposes such as those who are SOC or SOX compliant. When you have an auditor ask questions, tailored implementation documentation keeps the answers you need readily accessible.
Quick Reference Guides (QRGs)
Quick Reference Guides, also referred to as “QRGs,” are custom-made, shortform training and reference documents. These documents split specific tasks (such as adding an entity) into small, easy-to-follow steps with visuals taken specifically from your Yardi. This eliminates the confusion from guides that may reference similar Yardi configurations. Our experts can make QRGs for any task that is giving you headaches or is a task that you’d like to streamline a new hire’s training on.
User Guides are larger pieces of documentation that encompass smaller guides like our other options into one, all-encompassing source of information for your needs. Like all of our other custom documentation offerings, user guides are tailored to your business and needs. This means that your user guide will contain client specific menu paths, custom screenshots from your Yardi, as well as any other information that you specifically require.
Benefits of Custom Documentation
Pairing custom documentation with your investment management needs is truly a formula for success. Check out 5 ways that custom documentation supports your team and your business:
1. Improves quality and process control:
Within investment management, there are numerous processes that you and your team must keep track of day in and day out. Some of these tasks are repeated daily. Other tasks you might find yourself completing on a quarterly or yearly basis. By leveraging custom documentation, you can ensure that your team is following the same processes each and every time, which in turn elevates the quality of the work being completed.
2. Eliminates duplicative work:
Problem solving costs a lot of time and energy. If one of your team members takes the time finding a solution, there’s no doubt that the issue will come around again. Instead of duplicating the painstaking, costly problem-solving process, custom documentation details how the issue was resolved the first time, streamlining efforts while cutting down business costs.
3. Streamlines your hiring and onboarding processes:
Since investment management portfolios require a lot of customization, each business’s processes are going to look different. When you have new hires come on board, most likely they are going to need to be ‘caught up to speed’ on how your business works. Custom documentation allows training tips and manuals to be at your new hires’ disposal, giving them a resource to learn and reference while they get accustomed to your business processes.
4. Keeps your teams aligned:
Internal policies and business processes are the foundation of your team’s success. Custom documentation is a key driver for clear communication across teams. Training documents and business process documentation details your business processes for quick, accessible reference. This makes sure that questions your team members are asking are answered as quickly as possible.
5. Optimizes your training resources:
Generic Yardi training often leads to more questions rather than answers. Within the custom industry of investment management in general, your team needs custom training in order to stay aligned with your business needs. By offering custom training documentation for your team, you are laying the foundation for your team’s success. By providing your team with the custom resources for your business, you aid in constructing a workplace for optimal investment management and performance.
Our Custom Documentation Process
Of course, since our custom documentation offerings are all tailored to your needs, our process of providing custom documentation for your business also follows the same philosophy: keeping your needs at the center. Depending on whether you are working with our consulting or custom reporting side, your custom documentation process will look a little different:
Consulting Custom Documentation Process:
If you are working with our experts on the consulting side, our custom documentation process begins with a discovery stage. During the discovery stage, a Saxony expert will meet and work with you to align on your needs. They’ll want to know key information such as what your requirements are for custom documentation, your goals, as well as training information. Another huge portion of custom documentation on the consulting side also deals with Yardi implementations. Our experts will document the major processes that take place during your Yardi implementation so that you and your team will always have a tailored record of your Yardi setup.
Custom Reporting Process:
Our custom reporting process works one of two ways (or sometimes both!): Typically, our experts will receive a request from current clients asking for a specific custom report. When our experts receive this request, they’ll take you through a spec process. The spec process aims to develop clarity around your request, and you’ll work together to confirm exactly what you wish to have provided. Once the spec is approved by you, we’ll establish the level of effort and ETA and begin the custom report. If during the process you want to make some changes to the confirmed spec, you can submit change orders. The original, approved report will be completed first, and then our experts can go back and adjust the report to include additional requests that were made later on.
Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) specifically are another huge piece of our custom reporting process. If our experts notice that existing clients are submitting repeated help tickets on the same subject, we will either recommend writing a custom document to support the issue, or go ahead and write it for you, so that you can solve your repeated problem and have a resource to move forward with.
Ultimately, whichever custom documentation path you choose, our experts’ goal remains the same: to personally support your needs in the best possible form for your team and your portfolio.
Looking for custom documentation?
At Saxony Partners, we understand the value of client-driven processes and custom solutions. Although Yardi has a lot of useful resources, what you need can be difficult to find. With custom documentation, you can ensure that the information you’re seeking is easily accessible to you at any time. Our team of consultants combine real estate industry knowledge with Yardi technical expertise to ensure that your investment management portfolio is optimized and supported with the right documentation. If you’re looking to either get involved in investment management within the real estate industry, or to leverage the benefits of custom documentation, we’re here to help.
Investment Management is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Get all of our IM insights free from our monthly newsletter below and start feeling empowered.