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Agency to launch new property management software Oct. 1

New web-based software by Yardi will manage admissions, tenant accounts, maintenance work orders and more

SEATTLE — September 6, 2012 — A cross-departmental core team at Seattle Housing Authority has been diligently working over the past two years to implement a new property management software system that is expected to go live October 1, 2012. The new web-based software by the Yardi company is called Voyager and replaces five different products that have been used across the agency for years.

Seattle Housing's property management software impacts almost everything the agency does, from admissions and managing tenant accounts to maintenance work orders and compliance tracking. Replacing five aging systems with one more easily manageable system will result in significant gains in efficiency for agency employees.

Seattle Housing's Chief Information Officer, Marianne Emerson, explained some of the problems with the old systems that prompted the agency to work toward a replacement.

“Using five different products across the agency has often resulted in the same information being entered multiple times at the cost of productivity. One piece of software is so old that its vendor no longer supports it. Because it runs with underlying software that is not used anywhere else, it's a difficult product to troubleshoot when it fails, as it often does," Emerson said. “In the end, this switch enables us to get rid of very old, outdated software and reduce the cost of supporting a lot of different systems. We will be positioned to more easily add new features to our system in a way we couldn't before."

Some of those new features might include giving applicants the option of applying for a unit in any property online, allowing property managers to see a history of repairs made to units, and making it easier for the agency to accept electronic rent payments.
Residents may be impacted by the switch in one of three ways:

  • During the transition week of September 20-28, the agency will stop using the old systems and work on transferring data to the new system. During this transition, the property management team may have limited access to the old systems and current resident information in the computer.  Processing of move outs will also be delayed.  Everything will be back, up and running October 1st. 
  • Rent statements will be re-designed to provide a more user friendly format. A letter explaining the changes to our rent statement will be included along with September's rent statement. Residents will begin receiving the redesigned rent statement in October.
  • Although we are working hard to train staff on the new system, it will still take some time to become as proficient in the new software as they are in using the old ones. Providing all of our regular services to residents may temporarily take a bit longer.

We are looking forward to having this new software that will provide staff with an updated and more efficient tool to servicing our residents.