May 27, 2011

What is VARDA?

VARDA is a Software-as-a-Service (Saas) company offering a secure, web-based estate management platform where homeowners & businesses can manage multiple properties, assets & documents anytime, anywhere.

Not only is the technology robust and secure, it is incredibly simple to use.  An intuitive interface with a minimalist style means VARDA’s learning curve is measured in minutes, not days or weeks. Organized to replicate the property, it is easy to locate items, add new assets, print reports and create customized access levels for friends, family, contractors and employees.


In short what does VARDA do?

I) Property Management

A. Information Accessibility
With the click of a mouse, you can retrieve all product or asset information (model numbers, serial numbers, service records and vendors) for all major equipment. VARDA allows different permission levels for each functional group.

B. Secure Online Document Storage
Upload all operational manuals, warranties, receipts, and legal documents.

C. Video Communication
-Create “how to” videos for critical operations such as:
•    How to shut off the water and/or electricity
•    How to turn on/off technologies, appliances or systems
•    How to use complex items
•    A “welcome’ to the guest of your vacation property
•    Training

II) Possession Management

Clients will have a complete photographic survey of the entire property and include specific asset documentation.

A. Assets are insured to value.  Receive the full benefit of your insurance policy.  Due to poor documentation, organization and access policyholders are at risk to lose 30-50% of their value in the event of a loss.

B. Prevent dilution of critical asset information in the case of employee turnover.  In VARDA, communication is clear, concise and captured.

C. Think CARFAX for your properties and assets.   Each task and project will be captured and saved.  You will know who assigned a job and who’s responsible for it.

III) Task and Project Management

A. Create tasks and projects and assign them to staff, service providers, contractors or vendors.  Monitor tasks and project status with VARDA’s secure global access. Upload all critical information on each vendor including a quick link to their website.

B. Create archives of work history from service provider data entry, documents (receipts, work orders, recommendations and warranties)

IV) Examples:

Below are four examples of how VARDA is making an impact in the luxury space.

1. RISK:  Telluride, CO

Our clients purchased a new 18,000 sq. ft. ski in/out house on the slopes of Telluride.  The home has a very intricate geothermal heating system.  This system is designed to keep both the interior and exterior areas at a constant temperature to eliminate freezing and subsequent damage to the flooring and driveways.  Our clients had a false sense of comfort assuming their property manager was ‘in the know’ about every feature and system in and around the property.  

However, soon after they purchased the home, a small $1,800 control valve malfunctioned within the geothermal system.  The property manager frantically called the plumber, contractor, and other builders, but no one knew how to shut the system down.  In the following two hours,  the geothermal pumps were completely destroyed, the geothermal field froze and the custom wood flooring in the home was destroyed because the proper temperature was not maintained.

The loss occurred because there was no access to the knowledge required to shut down a major system within the house.  What could have been the replacement of an $1,800 valve turned into a $850,000 lawsuit against the builder.  There was massive exposure and vulnerability to our client due to:

A. Poor Documentation –  Information on critical procedures was not documented and provided to the homeowner.

B. Accessibility of Data – Information was attached to an individual (the builder) instead of being easily accessible in VARDA to the homeowner or property manager.

Shortly after this catastrophic event, the client made the decision to implement VARDA.  There is now a 45 second video clip of the property manager standing in the mechanical room demonstrating how to shut down the geothermal system.  “In the event of a malfunction in the geothermal system, push this red button, turn this blue valve, and call this person immediately.” Done.

Our clients mandated that their property document all emergency and critical procedures with video clips and “standard operating procedures”.  This critical  information is now forever stored and can be easily updated at any time within the VARDA system- never to be lost, misplaced or at the mercy of a property manager, personal assistant, vendor or other service provider.  The clients now retain the power of this information in VARDA and have an efficient way to transfer this complete documentation of their home to future employees, vendors or guests.  

2. INFORMATION: Malibu, CA

This gorgeous hilltop home was custom-built for an extremely successful businessman who had all the materials for the home ‘reclaimed’ from ancient castles, manors and estates worldwide.  Over the years, this individual had a plethora of property managers, estate overseers, and countless service vendors maintaining his property.  With so many individuals accessing this critical information, dilution, misplacement and loss of information were rampant.  Many critical documents had been lost as employees turned over. In addition, the owner lost all contact with the original builder, which unfortunately retained much of the critical detail and information related to the property.  

At one point, the owner decided to install a new high-tech security system in the home.  They brought out an experienced security company who asked for the blue prints of the home.  Plans could not be found and the security company assured the homeowner that they could proceed without them.

Part of this security system included floor sensors in all ground floor rooms. They began drilling into the beautiful wood flooring (which was reclaimed from a castle in Europe).  The security company came back the next day and realized their critical mistake.  Due to the lack of floor plans (and lack of information) they repeatedly drilled into and punctured the home’s hydronic radiant floor heating system.  This caused water to spray through the night whick buckled and ruined the historic wood floors in all eight bottom floor rooms.
Needless to say, a very costly and painful lesson was learned through this unfortunate event.  This all took place because there had been no system to capture and consolidate information for this beautiful custom estate.


3. PERSONNEL:  Beverly Hills, CA

The estate manager for this specific client personally oversees 11 properties (globally), 45 domestic staff, multiple private jets and related personnel.  This estate manager described the relationship with the employer as a “ball and chain” situation, for both the estate managers and the principal.  The principal is so dependant upon the estate managers for every single bit of information about their properties; he is on call virtually all the time. While the estate manager is quick to admit that this availability was a part of his job, he also recognized that this was causing tension for everyone involved. His employers felt bad when they had to call in the middle of the night for small and even “silly” questions. When we asked him what system he was currently using to manage all these estates and personnel, he smirked, shrugged his shoulders and said, “a pen and a pad of paper”. To date, he said that many of his peers have not found a suitable solution to meet the many and diverse needs of managing estates and personnel.  

The power of VARDA for this estate manager and his clients is having:

A. Controllable access and permission levels to the various properties, resources and personnel.
B. A centralized location for all data to be stored, protected and accessible; along with the ability to update information as needed.
C. The ability to have standard operating procedures for multiple properties, including “how to” and tutorial videos, in multiple languages.
D. A system where clients can easily access any information without depending upon the estate manager, if they so choose.  This is very helpful in times of  employee or contractor turnover.
E. A place where all personnel can easily communicate regarding various projects and tasks.  The client can assign new and view progress on all tasks; driving ownership, accountability and closure of tasks and projects.

4. SYSTEMS: Kauai, HI

This client has multiple properties, one of which is in Kauai, Hawaii.  When we presented VARDA to him, we were only able to get through 3 minutes into the presentation before he said, “Stop! You guys have exposed so many pain points in my life and gaping holes in our systems for managing our properties, I’m in! I need this! I’ve been looking for this for almost five years now!” He then turned to his insurance broker, who had set up the meeting, and said, “Thank you so much for bringing these guys here and introducing me to VARDA!”  
The client then said, “I want to show you something.” And ran into his office coming back with a small black notebook.  On the two inside pages were two pieces of paper, taped in place with handwritten notes of property managers, alarm codes, utilities, etc. This was his current “system” for managing four multimillion dollar properties, including a massive cattle ranch, simple because he had not been able to find a better solution to date.

This client is now utilizing VARDA as the effective system for managing his various properties.  

Warren Buffett is credited with saying, “Most toys are just a pain in the neck.”  With VARDA we help you manage and protect the things you love so they won’t be a “pain in the neck”.

Why go Saas?
-Global access from any Internet connection.
-Reduce software investment
-Unlimited user to your VARDA portal
-Upgrades included in annual service agreement.
I-ntuitive web based interface


What about Security?

VARDA has developed a robust, highly scalable information management platform with anytime, anywhere access, encrypted when in transit and when at rest, using standards adopted by the U.S. governnment for classified information ( 256AES/TLS encryption). VARDA technology is also available on a client’s own server.

 

VardaCharles Brown
Director, Client Development
650-303-9753 (direct)
charles.brown@vardainc.com
http://www.vardainc.com

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