Maximus Real Estate Partners is a fast-growing real estate business in the San Francisco Bay area. Founded in 2014, it has a unique business model as an all-in-one owner, real-estate developer, and property management company. As a developer planning for the second-largest housing complex West of the Mississippi (in San Francisco’s ParkMerced area), Maximus is working to make its mark as an innovator of sustainable real estate. For example, the company has set up an innovation lab to explore long-range sustainable options for energy, connected environments, and transportation for the 152-acre, 9,000 apartment ParkMerced community. One current offering for residents is $100 per month for car-free living, offering discounts for ride-sharing, biking, and hourly rental options.
For the greatest impact on the business and the communities where it operates, Maximus is all about thinking ahead of the curve. Which is why the company is currently putting in place the scaffolding for connective culture to support its quickly-growing, diverse employee base which ranges from business developers to builders.
Maximus Real Estate Partners is poised for a significant period of growth with the ParkMerced project and needs to ensure it has the culture in place to drive equally strong satisfaction across its team and its customers. Foundational to powering that culture, the company needed strong talent leadership and an intuitive, accessible system to foster communication across a team with a broad set of roles, backgrounds, and languages.
In 2018, Maximus hired Real Estate and tech industry HR pro, Mike Boyadjian, to help create an inclusive and agile culture that could adapt to the growth and change this high-profile business plans to deliver. He’s building a people strategy, team, and training and development programs aimed at creating a positive and open employee experience that will help Maximus become a sought after employment brand as well. In order to scale his staffing aspirations, Mike chose Zenefits as his HR system of record.
Building a Great Employment Brand
Hiring for the hugely complex ParkMerced project, which could be decades in the making, is no small task.
To support the business and mitigate complexity, Mike is working to build a culture with a clearly-articulated mission, vision, values and “a North Star that matters.” Mapping that mission to company, department and individual objectives and key results (OKRs) will underscore each person’s impact. His team is also starting to build out learning and development opportunities to enable Maximus team members to sharpen their skills.
“We have the opportunity to benchmark our culture as part of our employer brand,” says Mike.
“We’re listening to and learning from our people. Our culture surveys help us set the foundation that we will build from.”
Zenefits: The Easy Choice for HR
Mike selected Zenefits in January 2019 to bolster his HR plans and replace an ineffective implementation the company had previously tried with Namely.
With team members that are rarely at desks, but on the go, it is critical to have an on-demand mobile system that makes it easy to clock in and out, enroll in benefits and have the pay and performance information they need at their fingertips.
“Our Zenefits experience has been so good! The biggest draw for me was how intuitive the system is,” says Mike.
Like Apple, Zenefits is designed for simplicity, which makes it an easy choice for HR management.
Vice President, HR
In fact, Mike had made the Zenefits selection at two of his former companies. His pleasant surprise was how much the platform had evolved with even more powerful applications.
“Benefits is the bread and butter of Zenefits and made our May open enrollment easy. In fact, as we change our open enrollment to November, we’ve elected to switch our broker and Zenefits makes it easy to make that change and still leverage its technology.
“Further, all of the other apps in Zenefits are equally easy to use: Performance Management, Time & Attendance, and even Payroll are remarkably simpler and take less time. For example with Zenefits, I no longer have to run reports and worry about meal break violations, it’s in there. And we are piloting Zenefits emerging functionality like General Ledger reporting. Zenefits just keeps getting better and better.
“HR teams are used to having to do a lot of data manipulation on the back end to get stuff done. With Zenefits’ business intelligence and reporting, I can see our impact in real-time. Zenefits is worth its weight in gold to me.”