Transforming a process from a “train wreck” to a smooth operation

“The fact that this type of process works for so many different things shows that it’s successful. Because you couldn’t necessarily do this with Monday or Todoist or anything else, but you can with [LeadSimple].”

~ Oscar Armendariz, Coldwell Banker Property Management

Oscar Armendariz started off in real estate on the residential sales side, before falling into property management. Now, the property management side of Coldwell Banker Property Management manages just under 1100 units, both single family and multi family, in the Lubbock Texas area.

Since he had started off as a one man show, Oscar carried a lot of things in his head that he had to pass off to his team as the company grew.

“Like any other property management team, you’ve got one person who’s got all the experience in the world in their head, and now there’s a slowdown in business growth because now we’ve got to get everything out of my head into somebody else’s head. …I already learned my lesson once of why we don’t do it this way, you don’t need to learn that again; I’ve already learned it for you.”

That quickly led Oscar to look for ways to document and manage all the company’s tasks.

“I think my problem was that I knew enough to get myself in trouble. I knew that there were a lot of other softwares that could sort of do process management. So we sort of ended up going down the rabbit hole of: can we solve this using Google Sheets, Google Docs, let’s try, let’s try Airtable. … None of them really seemed to be geared towards property management. ”

The biggest issue Oscar experienced was that those softwares didn’t account for all the unique scenarios that come up in single family property management.

“Our software couldn’t really handle those objections, so when we would try to put that into our process, say in Google Sheets or Airtable or Monday, it was very hard within that process to customize it.”

When Oscar was hiring a BDM and looking into growth, he came across LeadSimple, hearing it to be the best CRM & lead management tool for property managers. He soon found out about LeadSimple’s operations management tool. 

At the time, their property onboarding process was a mess.

“I was the BDM, in charge of all the property managers and onboarding new properties, and really doing everything. So I’d speak with an owner, get them on board, and sign the management agreement. I was really good at that. But getting it over to my staff, getting everything running, that was a train wreck.”

Now, five months later with LeadSimple operations, Oscar says his property onboarding process is one of their smoothest operations.

“When somebody’s going to ask, how do you know it really works? We’re here in May, I think we finished all of our onboarding and training sometime at the beginning of January, so we’re 5-6 months into this thing, and this part has changed to where it’s a very smooth operation.”

During the interview, Oscar shared his screen and showed off a couple of his favorite processes. He mentioned some specific ways LeadSimple has improved their operations, from documentation of complicated tasks, to custom fields, conditional logic, email automation, and more.

“Utilities are a big thing for us. The city changed their software, and when that happened, the billing became a nightmare. So staying organized on how to do that became a really important part. It wasn’t just calling the electric company to get the utilities turned on; there was a very specific process that had to happen.”
“The other thing that’s been really great about LeadSimple are these custom fields. Some of these were already there, and we can also create our own custom fields, so now we’re able to really make this process specific to Coldwell Banker Residential Property Management in Lubbock, Texas. So that’s something that has really helped us out.”
“The great thing about [conditional logic] is, whereas with other systems, I had to go create a separate workflow, [with LeadSimple] this is going to be the onboarding if the property is vacant and this is going to be the onboarding if it's occupied. Now I can keep it within one and depending on how we fill out the custom field, it will skip tenant onboarding if the property is vacant.”

Helping get the team onboard involved helping them understand how their work intersects with the rest of the team’s work.

“I think that people want to understand how does this fit in and where is my role on this, and I think once you start showing them, “Hey, we’re a team, and I know that you know how to do a move out, but I still need you to do this because there’s some automation that’s going on behind this, that is really helping the team out and saving us a lot of work.”

Oscar also mentioned that implementing their processes with LeadSimple exposed lots of areas where they could improve their processes and customer experience, and also enabled that improvement.

“We’re seeing where we can get better at things. We see some redundancy that we just don’t need because when you start trusting the process and the automation is happening, you don’t have to waste time on that redundancy. So now [we replace those tasks] with more service based tasks for our owners.”
“What this does is this helps us start becoming more reliable. If we just trust the process, we know that we will be successful, so this helps us have that focus and not worry about [things like]: “Vacancies are out of control!” We know that if we do our marketing right and make sure everything’s accurate here, and then on this day we’re making sure the property is ready to be shown. It allows us to trust that process and it’s been highly successful.”

Oscar’s job looks different now as well, since he can check up on what’s happening anytime on the LeadSimple dashboards.

“Yeah, my mental load now is just checking these reports and saying “What are you all doing?” So my focus has actually changed. Instead of going to my staff and showing them how to do everything and explaining it, we’re like, ‘Hey, I can see this hasn’t been done in a while, tell me where we’re at.’”

Oscar has also gotten creative and is using LeadSimple’s processes for a hiring process and his weekly task management. 

“The other thing that people need to understand is that [LeadSimple is] not just for property management stuff. If you want to have a process to do payroll, or clean your office, or make coffee every day, you could have a process in here. So LeadSimple is not just for property management things, it’s for anything in your office. You could even use this for your personal life if you wanted to. … The fact that this type of process works for so many different things shows that it’s successful. Because you couldn’t necessarily do this with Monday or Todoist or anything else, but you can with [LeadSimple].”

Ready to improve your company’s operations and get your team’s time back? Sign up for a free 14 day trial or schedule a discovery call and let’s get you up and running! 

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