Like any good piece of infrastructure, property management is one of those things you don’t notice as long as it works. The owners list the property, the renters rent the property, and the owners collect the rent. The old dance is almost sublime in its functionality, and for that we can thank Santa Barbara’s own Yardi Systems.
Founded in 1984 by Anat Yardi, who continues to run the company, Yardi Systems has been one of few success stories in an unfriendly economy. The company employs 1,800 people in 22 offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia, including 400 at its recently expanded office in Goleta.
Yardi’s products, though esoteric to the average consumer, are an increasingly indispensable part of the property landscape. With large management companies controlling thousands of units, as both investments and rentals, more and more companies are turning to software like Yardi’s to gain the maximum benefit.
The U.S. Army, for example, has used Yardi software to manage barracks and residences for its officers and enlisted personnel. Seattle’s Pike Place Market, meanwhile, best known as the birthplace of Starbucks, uses Yardi software to manage its million-plus square feet of retail space.
All of this points to a new reality for the relationship between owner, tenant, and property. With Yardi’s release of an iPhone companion app for its RENTCafe software, hours of classifieds and phone calls can now be condensed into a few swipes on a touchscreen, perpetually synchronized to a meticulously self-organized database.
And all of this has translated to big bucks for Yardi, in an economy where such success stories are becoming increasingly rare. Though, as a privately held company, Yardi doesn’t publicize its earnings, its rapid growth in both employees and offices, or its lawsuits (most notably against competitor RealPage).
Through it all, Yardi reaffirms its commitment to its Santa Barbara roots. To claim a focus on community in a mission statement is one thing, but Yardi’s continuing and growing presence in Santa Barbara elevates a few office buildings in Old Town Goleta to the center of a growing, international property management software empire.