Encart - IDU

Urban Development Institute (UDI)

“In the past, employees worked on administrative tasks, registrations, billing requests... Now everything is automated in Yapla and the team dedicates its time to higher value-added tasks like creating content for our community!”

Louis-Philippe
Director of Operations, UDI

 

+300

member companies
(3,000 salaried members)

+45%

growth in the number
of member organizations
since 2017

18,474

registrations to
events organized by
UDI since 2017

UDI: Helping Quebec’s cities thrive
 

The Urban Development Institute of Quebec (UDI) is an independent non-profit organization that was created in 1987. It is the voice of the commercial real estate industry in Quebec.

Its mission? To help cities thrive by supporting sustainable and constructive real estate projects that will shape the urban landscapes of tomorrow. To that end, UDI promotes debate and cooperation as a means of establishing connections between the industry and its environments.

In total, UDI brings together more than 300 member organizations, ranging from large institutional owners and the largest real estate developers and managers, to industry professionals and companies working in related sectors.

With a team of six employees, UDI represents its growing number of members in different institutional bodies and offers useful content to its members (such as real estate watches, studies, and news), as well as many events.

Louis-Philippe Pelletier is the Director of Operations at UDI. He oversees the management of the organization’s different activities. We spoke with him to understand how Yapla supports UDI in increasing its professional presence and managing its 300+ member organizations.

 


 

The challenges UDI faced

As Director of Operations, Louis-Philippe has a broad view of the challenges that UDI faces, the team’s workflows, and the needs of its various partners.

In the past, without an actual management tool in place, memberships and registrations for UDI’s many events were managed using PDFs and Excel tables that were difficult to keep up to date.

The team worked long hours to enter registration information, issue invoices one by one, and reconcile payments.

All of these repetitive tasks left the team little time to develop the organization’s communications, event content, and other high-impact initiatives.

UDI offers different membership categories to its members, with membership fees varying depending on the value of the members’ real estate assets. The larger portfolio a member firm has, the higher the membership fee.

Even with discipline and an organized system, it was a challenge to manage members’ renewal deadlines manually. Between the different types of memberships and membership start and end dates that were different from one person to the next, tracking renewals was extremely time-consuming.

Then, for every event that the UDI organized, they had to check: Who had already paid for their tickets and who had yet to pay? Which organization registered how many of its members, and which ones? Given the large number of participants at their events and their need to manage affiliations to member organizations, it was easy to get things mixed up and they were wasting valuable time finding the information they needed. 

Overall, the way that operations were being managed was not optimal for the team, and it was hurting UDI’s brand image.
 

UDI is a major player at the heart of a large and growing ecosystem, where progress and innovation take centre stage. It is essential for UDI to have a website that puts it in its best light, and integrates quality content and services such as online registrations and payments. Two questions came up: How do you make your website transactional? And how do you make your website grow with the times? 

The solution offered by Yapla

UDI decided to go fully digital with Yapla in 2017 to meet the new needs of its growing professional community and to offer it the best services possible.

Member registrations and renewals

Louis-Philippe and his team saw a great opportunity in Yapla to make their management system and their services more professional. Most importantly, they found a long-term partner able to provide them with all the tools and advice they need to free themselves from repetitive and time-consuming administrative tasks.

By adopting Yapla, UDI introduced a new and modern way to become a member. The primary objective was to simplify how the team managed its administrative activities. No more time spent editing hundreds of PDFs and manually entering data on the computer! All this work is delegated to members who fill out their information and pay for their membership directly online.

In addition, the system is much simpler for the members themselves, who no longer need to print the membership form, fill it out by hand, and then send it by fax. Members can pay for their membership or renew it through their dedicated online member area with a simple web browser and a few clicks.
 

Participating in UDI’s events

With events being a core part of UDI’s activities, the organization needed to improve its registration process.

UDI’s new event registration system is just as streamlined for membership management, and offers even more benefits! 

 

 

 

For example, UDI can offer preferential rates to members and suggest that non-members join the organization when registering for an event. What better way to retain your current members and grow your membership base! 

In addition, the online registration journey for events is adapted to each type of participant:
UDI direct members, Individuals from UDI member organizations or from an organization that is not a UDI member

The Registration Manager mode allows people who aren’t participating in one of their events to register other participants in their name. This allows the manager to register and pay for multiple participants and is useful when a member organization’s administrator registers other employees. 

 

« We’re growing because we are becoming more relevant. We share more content, organize events that people are interested in, and our team and communications are professional. »

 

UDI set up its online registration and payment system in 2017. That same year, the organization created its first feature-rich and professional transactional website using the Yapla platform.

Members now have access to a contact directory that is automatically populated and updated by the Yapla platform. Building on its digital transformation and its first years of experience with Yapla, UDI wants to update its website to include content that is strategic, cleaner, and easier to read at a glance.

Due to the Content Management System (CMS) and the entire system on which the UDI website is based, changes in its structure and content can be made easily, without requiring a complete overhaul of the site.

Beyond the new tools that improved the whole organization’s efficiency, UDI took advantage of Yapla’s professional services. 

A concrete example of the value of the support Yapla provided is the implementation of an annual membership system. The organization wanted all memberships, which did not start on the same date up that point, to begin on September 1st of each year.

After analyzing UDI’s operations and identifying its specific needs, its activities, the issues it was facing, and its member types, the Yapla team thought carefully about how to make the transition as smooth as possible.

In addition to making a real impact for the team in terms of tracking renewals, making memberships annual became a marketing tool for UDI, and they went full steam ahead! 

UDI’s marketing efforts for its membership campaign, which were previously dispersed throughout the year, are now all concentrated at the end of the summer. That way, UDI can launch a genuine marketing campaign aimed at generating a maximum amount of interest in memberships and renewals. It’s an ideal way to ensure a high renewal rate and to expand your community of members!

UDI’s digital transformation with Yapla allowed the team to optimize its business processes and free up time to advance the organization’s strategic objectives.

In addition to implementing online registrations and payments, Louis-Philippe’s team quickly learned to use all of the features of the automatic communications system, edit and send invoices, and automate their accounting processes. 

The results Yapla generated

+300

member companies
(3,000 salaried
members)

+45%

growth in the number
of member organizations
since 2017

18,474

registrations to
events organized by
UDI since 2017

 

« The team now has time to focus on higher value-added missions and initiatives such as creating newsletters and developing content that is relevant to our members. For example, we have three targets and now we have time to segment them and tailor the content of our communications for each one, which we were not doing before. » - Louis-Philippe, Director of Operations, Urban Development Institute (UDI)

News - Thumbnail

The all-in-one and feature-rich platform

has allowed UDI to centralize virtually all of its tools in one place.

News - Thumbnail

Administrative tasks are automated

eliminating the need for paper forms and Excel tables that need to be updated manually. The team’s missions have also evolved to create more added value.
News - Thumbnail

By saving time and increasing their efficiency

UDI was able to dedicate more time to creating content, launching round tables, organizing studies, and creating official reports

News - Thumbnail

UDI is becoming more well-known.

New organizations are now joining without being solicited or contacted by the team, which did not happen a few months ago

News - Thumbnail

The organization’s membership base

is therefore growing naturally.

Need help?
Get in touch with Yapla Onboarding!

We’re here to make your life easier! Our team of NPO experts understands your needs and can help you get the most out of our platform. Get in touch and have all your questions answered.

Contact us

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Discover all our tips and news: good practices to manage your NPO, testimonies of NPO managers or news on the Yapla platform!