Expert Insights into Yardi: Interview with Joe Shakely

How long have you worked in/on Yardi?

I have over a decade of in-depth Yardi experience, specializing in crucial areas like Advanced Budgeting and Forecasting for commercial clients and Investment Management. My final role as a Technical Consultant further honed my expertise, giving me a holistic understanding of the system’s capabilities.

Why is it good/necessary to work with a programmer knowledgeable in Yardi?

A Yardi-knowledgeable programmer streamlines implementation, customization, and everyday workflows. They understand the complexities of Yardi’s setup and can alleviate the frustration of repetitive or time-consuming tasks. This frees you to focus on your core expertise, maximizing both efficiency and job satisfaction.

Why do you need a programmer when using Yardi? Or why is it important to use someone who knows what they’re doing?

While Yardi is powerful, it can also be complex. A skilled Yardi expert navigates its intricacies, ensuring proper configuration, accurate reporting, and streamlined processes. This translates to less frustration, faster time-to-value, and confidence that you’re maximizing the system’s potential.

Why is it important to make sure a user’s set up in Yardi is correct? (looking for a ‘garbage in, garbage out’ kind of answer).

Yardi is a powerful property management software, but its effectiveness hinges on proper configuration – especially when it comes to menus and user setups. As a seasoned Yardi database administrator at Meissner, I’ve seen firsthand how getting these fundamentals wrong can lead to security breaches, workflow snags, and a host of other problems.

Let’s dive into ten compelling reasons why investing time and expertise into user configuration is a must for any Yardi user:

  • Data Security and Integrity: Incorrect user setups create vulnerabilities, allowing unauthorized access to sensitive information. Inaccurate data entry compromises the reliability of everything Yardi produces. Think of it as “garbage in, garbage out”.
  • Compliance Adherence: Improper configurations can lead to violations of industry regulations, resulting in costly fines and legal issues. Meissner’s expertise helps Yardi users stay on track with these standards.
  • Workflow Efficiency and Accuracy: Tailored menus and user permissions streamline processes, making it easier for users to find the tools they need and reducing errors. Less frustration, less wasted time.
  • User Experience and Training: Overly complex setups make Yardi daunting for new users and frustrating for veterans. Meissner simplifies this, improving user adoption and boosting productivity.
  • System Performance and Stability: Inefficient setups can tax Yardi’s performance. Optimizing user configuration is essential for system health and responsiveness – especially as your organization and data demands grow.

The Bottom Line

Messy user configuration is like building a great house on a bad foundation – it’s a recipe for trouble. That’s where Meissner’s Yardi expertise comes in. We understand the deep connection between proper setup and your organization’s success.

How can using Meissner as a database administrator help a Yardi user?

Unlocking Yardi’s Full Potential: Why Meissner is Your Database Administration Partner

Yardi is a complex and powerful property management software, but it takes expert hands to make it truly shine. That’s where Meissner comes in. Our experienced Yardi database administrators optimize your system for success. Here’s how partnering with Meissner directly benefits you as a Yardi user:

  1. Elevated security and data integrity: Meissner strategically designs your user access and implements robust protocols to protect your sensitive information.
  2. Compliance made easier: We’re fluent in the regulatory demands of the real estate industry. Meissner helps you stay compliant, minimizing risk and potential fines.
  3. Streamlined workflows for maximum efficiency: Meissner tailors your setup, matching menus and user rights to specific job functions for a smoother, more productive workday.
  4. Simplified training and expert support: From initial setup to ongoing questions, Meissner is there to guide your team. Confusion is replaced with confidence.
  5. Optimized performance for a seamless experience: Our proactive approach keeps your Yardi database running at full speed – even as your business grows.
  6. Troubleshooting and problem-solving: Meissner’s Yardi expertise allows us to spot and fix issues before they become major headaches, ensuring minimal downtime.
  7. Unlock the power of your data: We go beyond configuration, offering custom reporting and analysis to turn your Yardi data into actionable business strategies.

What is your favorite/most efficient customization?

One of my favorite customizations revolves around streamlining invoice processing. By understanding the client’s specific workflow and pain points, I built several automations and custom reports that significantly improved efficiency.

Firstly, I integrated their AP system with Yardi, allowing invoices to be imported directly with minimal manual data entry. This alone saved their team hours each week.

Next, I developed a validation step which exported any errors or warnings via SFTP to highlight potential discrepancies between the system and scanned invoices. Initially this helped them catch errors early in the process, preventing costly delays later, and eventually allowed them to avoid these errors and warnings altogether.

Finally, I designed a dashboard providing real-time visibility into invoice statuses, bottlenecks, and vendor performance metrics. This gave the client greater control over their payables process and the data to make informed business decisions.

This customization not only made life easier for the AP team, but also led to improved accuracy and more timely payments for the organization.

 In your experience, how much of the Yardi software are customers using if they don’t work with a knowledgeable programmer?

The percentage of Yardi’s functionality a client can effectively leverage without technical expertise varies greatly. Some clients have straightforward needs and might find the out-of-the-box features quite sufficient. Others with complex reporting, integrations, or unique business processes likely miss out on the software’s full potential.

I’ve seen cases where clients underutilize Yardi due to a lack of understanding or time constraints. They might rely on manual workarounds or not take advantage of automation, leaving efficiency gains on the table.

Often, it’s not about using 100% of Yardi, but rather ensuring they’re using the most critical and impactful parts aligned with their business needs. That’s where a knowledgeable programmer can make a dramatic difference – analyzing those needs, tailoring Yardi, and building custom tools to bridge any gaps in the standard functionality.

Learn more about Meissner’s Yardi Consulting Services and how we can unlock the full potential of Yardi for your business!

Introducing our newest in-house expert, Joe Shakely.

Introducing our newest in-house expert, Joe Shakely! We’re excited to announce our latest partnership – Yardi expert Joe Shakely has joined the Meissner team.

Joe Shakely brings over a decade of expertise as a Yardi Consultant and programmer, specializing in the creation of custom Yardi solutions. His contributions include crafting APIs that bridge third-party systems with Yardi’s Vendor Invoicing interface, facilitating seamless data migrations from platforms such as MRI and RealPage into Yardi, and designing custom financial and property report packets as well as tenant correspondence to be delivered to the necessary parties automatically.

His approach is both collaborative and client-focused, designed to optimize existing Yardi functionalities for efficiency gains, or to facilitate a smooth and seamless transition to Yardi’s advanced systems. Joe’s skill set extends to developing tailored SQL and web-based solutions, leveraging Yardi’s functionalities to meet specific client needs, or creating custom solutions if needed. He has engaged extensively with clients in both the Commercial and Residential sectors, managing tasks ranging from the conversion and import of charts of accounts to the implementation of Yardi’s Advanced Budgeting and Forecasting and Investment Management suites. This focus on delivering practical, impactful results helps clients optimize their property management processes, leading to improved operational efficiencies and financial outcomes.

Learn more about our Yardi Consulting Services here.

3 Tips for a Smooth Year-End Close

If you’re a property accountant or financial manager, the end of the year is an especially busy time ‍♀️ ⏰ You’re finalizing property budgets and CAM estimates, and wrapping up other projects, on top of the usual month-end and year-end close routines. To prepare for a smoother year-end close and CAM reconciliations, here are a few tips from Meissner’s Controller, Kevin Sullivan:

1. Review your general ledgers now to see if any expenses or accruals have been missed from earlier in the year.  For example, eleven months of financials have been completed, but there are only 10 landscaping bills. Run a 12-month monthly income statement and a current year and prior year YTD statement to help identify these items.

2. Contact key vendors to see if they any trailing bills to submit. This will help prevent being presented with an invoice for October 2023 in March 2024, when you thought you had that CAM reconciliation final.

3. For accrual-basis properties, ensure property managers and accountants get together to review in-process projects to cover pending billings that may need to be accrued on 12/31.

What are your tips for year-end close preparation?  Please share here, so we can all benefit from your wisdom and experience. Happy Holidays and best wishes for a SMOOTH New Year!!

Top 7 Tips To Help You This Budget Season!

Next Year’s Budgets: What’s your status?

How are you doing with your property budgets for 2024?  Here at Meissner, budget season is coming into the home stretch!   If you’re feeling challenged to complete your property budgets, here are some insights, contributed by our experienced team of managers and accountants, that may help you gain the momentum you need!

1.  GETTING STARTED: Define the purpose of the budget

It is helpful to start by identifying your goal for both the budget and the subject property or portfolio.  This sounds obvious, but sometimes we launch into a complex project such as creating a budget and dive right into the details and mechanics – with great intentions of powering through it – only to find we get bogged down in numerous decisions soon after we begin.   When creating a property budget, it’s important to start with the end in mind.   What is the purpose of your budget?  Who are the users?  Are there other investors with specific reporting needs related to property performance and reporting metrics?  Or will the budget be mainly used by an internal owner/manager team to guide operational activities and related expenditures?

2. Goals/plans for the property

Once you have identified the purpose for the budget and the needs of its users, define the goal for the property.  Is the objective to maximize the cash flow?   Or is the goal to create value by investing in improvements now to reap a larger gain upon sale?  This will help to prioritize decisions concerning budgeted uses of funds and management resources and will ensure your management of the property supports your objectives and for it.

3. “Piggyback” off of current year actuals with a current year reforecast

Create a reforecast of the current year.   A reforecast would include actual income and expenses recorded to date in the current year.   Use this reforecast as the first budget draft for the same months in the year to be budgeted.   If your property accounting software does not have a function to automate this reforecast, seek a consultant [the word “consultant” could perhaps link to info about MCRES Yardi consulting services] with expertise in your software who can automate this reforecast for you.

4. Start with what is known

There are many items to include in a budget, and looking at an empty software template or Excel workbook can be overwhelming.  Start with what is known or is unlikely to vary greatly from historical norms.  For rental income, start with non-expiring leases and those highly likely to be renewed, and factor in any scheduled rent increases.  For expiring leases, project income through the end of the lease term and consider completing the projection for that space after a separate analysis of new potential lease rates and needed incentives.

Known expenses include utilities, minimum expected repairs and maintenance, property taxes, and insurance premiums — subject to potential rate increases.   For tips on actions you can take to help minimize premium increases, click HERE (

For mortgage payments and the related interest expense, refer to the loan amortization schedule or ask for an updated one from your lender.

Once these knowns are complete, this will not only complete a healthy portion of the work, but it will also inform what resources remain to be budgeted for other, discretionary, expenses.

5. Start with a manageable time frame

Start with a one-year property budget before undertaking longer-term projections.   You will learn much in the process of creating and finalizing the first-year budget, and these insights will inform future years’ projections.   If you tackle future years after completion of the first year, the work required to complete those future years will be less.

6. Document, document, document

Finally, document your assumptions as you go while creating the property budget.   Keep supporting documentation and detailed supporting schedules in the budgeting software, the excel spreadsheet, or a document accessible to all who will work on the budget.   Having clear and complete documentation will eliminate time spent trying to recall or recreate how a calculation or projection was derived when reviewing or explaining later.

Budget narratives are a key component of documentation and one of the most useful parts of a budget report for anyone reading or analyzing the budget.   This can spell out expected fee increases, seasonality, or operational needs that give rise to changes from the prior budget year as well as to monthly changes within the budgeted year.   Lastly, they are helpful in understanding variances between actual and budgeted numbers as you progress through the year and analyze performance.   Having your narratives housed in your budgeting software for easy reference and reporting is optimal.

7. If you get bogged down

One thing that we see sometimes slows managers down in completing a budget is a fear of getting it wrong.   Keep in mind that the purpose of the budget is not to predict the future, but to prepare for it.  The budget provides a benchmark so that, if circumstances change – and they almost certainly will – you have a tool to help make informed decisions about what to adjust.    Make quality projections based on the best information you have, along with your knowledge and experience, and you’ll have a basis for informative reporting and sound decision making.


According to an update from Kimball, Tirey, & St. John LLP (KTS), unlawful detainer cases are experiencing heavy delays throughout California. In San Diego County, “sheriff lockouts are expected approximately 5 months from the date of submitting a request” for default judgment.

The delays are due to reasons including “a large backlog of cases and understaffing in both the courts and Sheriff’s Departments.”

Please see the link here for the timeline of estimated delays provided by KTS attorneys.

News Flash from the California Business Properties Association

Update from BOMA California quoted below.

“Major Threat to Proposition 13 Passes the Assembly: Urgent Action Needed to Stop ACA 13.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment 13 (Ward; D- San Diego and Rivas; D-Salinas) is a last-minute attack on Proposition 13.

The bill seeks to limit the initiative process by shifting the power to raise the voter threshold for new and higher taxes away from voters and to the Legislature.

Yesterday, ACA 13 passed the Assembly on a vote of 57-19 with only one Democrat voting no. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Your help is needed. Contact your state senator today in order to help stop ACA 13 and protect Prop 13.

Financial support is needed. If your company wants to get directly involved on this critical cause please contact Matthew Hargrove at [email protected].”

More info can be found on CPBA’s website

The California Business Properties Association (CBPA) has presented a call to action to sign this petition to protect Proposition 13 and oppose ACA 13 as directly quoted below:

“Assembly Constitutional Amendment 13 (Ward; D- San Diego and Rivas; D-Salinas), seeks to limit the initiative process by shifting the power to raise the voter threshold for new and higher taxes away from voters and to the Legislature. ACA 13 is a last-minute attack on Proposition 13 sponsored by the same public employee union group that spent almost $100M on Prop. 15 in 2020 – a Split Roll Property tax measure which we helped defeat.

ACA 13 is meant to protect the recent court decisions that have removed the two-thirds tax vote thresholds on your properties. Most recently this loophole was used to pass Measure ULA in the City of Los Angeles, an $800M per year tax on apartments and commercial properties.

ACA 13 is a brazen attempt to change the Constitution to stop the CBPA co-sponsored Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act, which has qualified for the November 2024 ballot and will restore the two-thirds vote requirement on special taxes, fixing the Upland Loophole and protecting against future attempts at creating a Split Roll tax.

We need your help. Please take a moment to sign the petition to let your legislators know you oppose ACA 13.

If you would like to do more to help please reply to this email ([email protected]) for more information on contacting legislators directly and/or how to contribute to help fund the campaign to protect your rights.

Thank you for your support of our ongoing efforts to protect taxpayers from the continued attacks on Proposition 13.”


Sign the petition here:

Unleashing the Power of Artificial Intelligence in Real Estate

In recent years, the real estate industry has witnessed a transformative revolution fueled by technological advancements. Among these, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a game-changer, offering unprecedented opportunities and redefining how the sector operates. From streamlining property searches to optimizing investment decisions and enhancing customer experiences, AI has revolutionized real estate.

1. Enhanced Property Search and Analysis

AI-powered platforms and applications have empowered buyers and investors with advanced property search and analysis tools. Through natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, AI can process vast amounts of real estate data, analyzing factors like location, amenities, price trends, and market conditions. This capability not only helps potential buyers find properties that meet their specific requirements but also allows investors to identify lucrative investment opportunities with higher accuracy.

2. Intelligent Virtual Assistants

With the rise of AI, virtual assistants have become an integral part of the real estate ecosystem. These AI-driven chatbots and voice assistants can provide instant responses to customer queries, offer personalized property recommendations, and guide users through the buying or renting process. Intelligent virtual assistants not only save time for real estate agents and customers but also enhance customer satisfaction by providing round-the-clock support.

3. Predictive Analytics and Market Insights

AI has unlocked the power of predictive analytics in the real estate industry, empowering agents, investors, and developers with valuable market insights. By analyzing historical and real-time data, AI algorithms can forecast property price trends, identify emerging markets, and predict demand fluctuations. This enables professionals to make informed decisions, optimize investment strategies, and mitigate risks.

4. Property Valuation and Risk Assessment 

Determining property value and assessing associated risks are critical aspects of real estate transactions. AI has revolutionized these processes by introducing automated property valuation models. By leveraging vast amounts of data, including historical sales records, market trends, and property characteristics, AI algorithms can provide accurate and objective property valuations. Moreover, AI-driven risk assessment models help identify potential risks such as natural disasters, crime rates, or economic factors, allowing stakeholders to make more informed decisions.

5. Smart Building Management

AI’s impact on real estate extends beyond buying and selling properties. It also plays a crucial role in the management of commercial and residential buildings. AI-driven systems can optimize energy consumption, enhance security through facial recognition and smart surveillance, and automate maintenance processes. This not only improves the overall efficiency of buildings but also provides a better living or working experience for occupants.

6. Data-Driven Investment Strategies 

Investors are leveraging AI to develop data-driven investment strategies that maximize returns and minimize risks. AI algorithms can analyze large datasets to identify patterns, market trends, and potential investment opportunities. This enables investors to make well-informed decisions, optimize portfolio diversification, and react quickly to changing market conditions. The ability to process vast amounts of data and generate actionable insights sets AI apart and empowers investors to capitalize on emerging trends and unlock new avenues of growth.


Artificial intelligence has emerged as a generational opportunity in the real estate industry, revolutionizing the way properties are bought, sold, managed, and valued. With AI-powered tools and platforms, property search and analysis have become more efficient, saving time and effort for buyers, sellers, and investors. AI also enables predictive analytics and market insights, empowering stakeholders with accurate information for decision-making. AI’s transformative capabilities also benefit smart building management systems and data-driven investment strategies.

As the real estate industry continues to evolve, AI will likely play an even more significant role in shaping its future. Embracing AI technology empowers real estate professionals to remain competitive, improve customer experiences, and uncover untapped opportunities.

Why Yardi is the Go-To Accounting Software for Commercial Real Estate Businesses

What is Yardi?

Yardi is a software platform that is widely used in the commercial real estate industry for property management, accounting, and other related tasks. Its accounting software, in particular, has become popular due to its ability to handle complex financial functions specific to the commercial real estate industry.

Why is Yardi so widely used in the industry?

One of the key benefits of Yardi’s accounting software is its comprehensive accounting system, which includes accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, and financial reporting functions. This system helps property owners manage their financials efficiently and accurately, providing them with the data they need to make informed financial decisions.

User Friendly: Yardi’s accounting software is also designed with user-friendliness in mind. Its interface allows users to easily access financial data and generate detailed financial reports, which is particularly useful for commercial real estate owners in tracking their financial performance and identifying areas for improvement.

Integrability: Yardi’s accounting software can be seamlessly integrated with other Yardi products, such as its maintenance module, Common Area Maintenance (CAM) module, construction management moduel, and online tenant billpaying, providing owners with a complete solution to manage their properties and finances from a single platform. This integration saves property owners time and money by reducing the need for manual data entry and minimizing the potential for errors.

Advanced reporting capabilities: Yardi’s functions allow owners to generate custom reports that meet their unique needs. This feature is particularly valuable for commercial real estate businesses that need to report on complex financial data, such as lease revenue and expenses, capital expenditures,  depreciation, and complex lender schedules.

Closing Thoughts

Yardi’s accounting software is relevant and widely used in commercial real estate due to its ability to handle complex financial functions, user-friendliness, integration with other Yardi products, and advanced reporting capabilities. By using Yardi’s accounting software, commercial real estate businesses can streamline their financial operations, reduce errors, and make informed financial decisions that help them stay competitive in a rapidly changing industry.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Real Estate Professionals: Our Experience with READI

On Thursday, April 13th, we were honored to host students here at the Meissner corporate office as part of the Real Estate Awareness and Diversity Initiative (READI). This program, a partnership between the USD Burnham Moores Center for Real Estate and the Barrio Logan College Institute, aims to provide high school students in underserved communities with an opportunity to explore career opportunities in real estate.

During their visit, we had the privilege of introducing these bright young minds to the world of commercial real estate and showing them the diverse range of career paths available. Our team members spoke to small groups of students, sharing insights about their roles and what makes our company unique.

READI’s mission is to inspire students who might not have otherwise considered real estate as a career path. By exposing them to various areas of real estate, such as development, finance, property management, and asset management, we hope to have opened up new possibilities for these aspiring professionals.

Overall, it was a great night filled with excitement and curiosity, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to have played a part in inspiring the next generation of real estate professionals.


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