She had a small chuckle about the coincidence around her initials that confused some at Yardi. Not “common area maintenance” (CAM) but Catherine A. Malear (CAM) started in client support during her 21-year stint at Yardi. She quickly moved into development. “I didn’t code software. I was kind of an analyst.” Her middle initial could very well stand for “Analyst.” Before that, she was another “A”: accountant. Catherine spent the first half of her career as an accountant for a company that specialized in architecture, development, and property management, which gave her insight that proved useful in her roles at Yardi.
Today at Gelbgroup, she developed the curriculum and will be the principal instructor for the Yardi Commercial Administration certification course. Her qualification? “I was part of the product team that developed, sold, and eventually implemented Yardi’s very first commercial clients.” She gave voice to customers’ pain points and conveyed it to the coders. “I taught them about commercial—from accounting to property management, including details like CAM recoveries and retail setup. It’s really hard to develop something if you don’t understand why you’re doing it.” At that time, residential property management was the main offering and commercial was an emerging product. She witnessed Yardi Commercial delivered on floppy disk, then as software-as-a-service (SaaS), a component of cloud computing.
It’s really hard to develop something
if you don’t understand
why you’re doing it.
Along with the evolution of Yardi Commercial, Catherine’s role also transformed. “When I first worked at Yardi, I was one of the few accountants that they had hired. I was managing this little support team and every time an accounting question came in, they handed it to me. Seventy percent of the time, it was an accounting question. And I was like, no, I can’t handle all this. You guys have to learn accounting. So, in the beginning, becoming a trainer was about survival.”
She survived and thrived.
Other teams heard about Catherine’s training and started attending her classes. Then internal training turned into teaching clients at Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference (YASC), their flagship event. She had a dual role of implementing commercial for clients and training. Then she took up another challenge—make accounting fun. “Every week I’d feature a property that had different tenant names and they would have to guess the theme of the tenants. I did little things like that to make them want to come to class, because the idea of accounting was not all that exciting.”
Who is FGA’s Commercial Administration designed for?
In developing FGA’s Commercial Administration certification course, she keeps her audience in mind. They are technical but may not necessarily know commercial property management. “I’m not teaching them how to create a charge or how to do CAM recoveries. Instead, I’m teaching them what CAM recoveries are and why it’s important to commercial property management. They may have been in the business for a while and want to blend the technical piece with knowledge of business processes for achieving their company’s goals.”
Yardi Commercial consists of around ten modules that talk and relate to each other. Catherine will be teaching how to administer the settings for a variety of stakeholders such as tenants, leasing consultants, property managers, asset managers, construction managers, maintenance managers, finance/budget, vendors, and executives. Administered appropriately, Yardi gives them access to the information they need, in real time.
Lastly, Catherine sees Yardi as a powerful communication tool. “I can add a note about an event and it fires off notifications.” Beyond managing relational databases and real time information, Commercial Yardi administrators can help facilitate good relationships among the stakeholders by making good communication possible.
So enroll in the FGA Commercial Admin course. CAM will make it FUN.
Yardi, Yardi Commercial, and YASC are owned by Yardi Systems.