Mastering the delinquency process

"We're now able to see what is happening, and that allows us to focus more ON our business as opposed to just working inside of it."

~ Jason McGuire, Owner RPM Service

About Real Property Management Service

RPM Service is a Canada-based property management company. They've been in the industry for the past 11 years and manage about 250 units right now. Being in Canada means that software solutions are much harder to come by than they are in the U.S. and that's proved to be a challenge to Jason and his team over the years. They've been through several software changes over the years, trying to make Canada work in an American system.

The Problem

Challenging software platforms

Several years ago, Jason and his team started using Wrike for process management and it was a huge step up from the pen-and-paper processes they were using previously. It helped a lot with transparency in their business, but in their experience it required you to be really technical and involved in the system. The hefty learning curve caused his team to struggle with it.

Process documentation vs. process automation

Breaking out your processes and getting them from your head onto paper is difficult and time-consuming enough. Then putting those processes into a process management system is another big task!

"It's challenging to take on both of those tasks at once, especially when you still have a job!" There's a delicate balance between working IN your business and working ON your business and Jason knew that frustration well. "It causes a love/hate relationship with process management".

Too many systems!

"Being in property management, we have too many pieces of software... None of these systems talk too each other. You have one system to tell you what to do, one system to look up the information, and another system to send the information."

"There was no connectivity to and no simple way to integrate. I never found a way to get three tools to communicate well."

"When LeadSimple launched their module for operations, it really turned me on to what it made possible... The ability to involve the task management AND communication pieces was a huge step forward."

The Solution

Getting buy-in and training the team

"Everyone is resistant to change. Having been through a lot of software tools, everyone is afraid to do things differently because they’re comfortable with where they’re at."

"Our team already had a bit of exposure to LeadSimple since we already used it to manage sales, so it wasn’t 100% shock."

  • "When we started showing it to them, talking about it, it was very bite sized bits. So people are doing small tasks and they can see how easy it is to do."
  • "I wasn’t having my staff jump in and develop a process for me on day one."

"Because we took that smaller approach we had the whole team up and going in three weeks. We didn’t have any major hiccups."

Jason made really heavy use of LeadSimple's task instructions feature to explain exactly how each task in a process should be done.

"I love using Loom because it allows me to record my screen and myself and I can guide people through a task... With a video, they don’t need to reach out and ask me because they have the resources they need… they have confidence they are doing things correctly."

LeadSimple integrates with Loom, BombBomb, Youtube, and other video platforms to make it really easy to embed videos in your task instructions and email templates.

"You can always improve and update the instructions over time... LeadSimple makes it really easy for us to edit the process as we're working on it too, including task instructions."

The simplicity of building processes in LeadSimple

"You shouldn’t start with a shiny new tool and automation. If you can’t see what’s happening in your business now then automating it isn’t going to get you further ahead."

Jason found that simply having their processes documented already in a basic, step-by-step format made it so much easier to build out the processes in LeadSimple. Since they had a clear understanding of what was involved in the process, they were able to build it out quickly and then transition into adding automations afterwards.

"I like how LeadSimple is set up because you can take things in separate steps. You can get your processes in there and then you can add automation to the process later... Just getting a process into a system creates a lot of value on its own."

Consolidating process management, data, and communications

Property management is basically 90% communication. For RPM Service (not to mention pretty much every other property manager), having a system that easily combined his process management tools with his calls, emails, and texts was an important piece of providing excellent customer service to his clients.

LeadSimple not only enabled them to document their processes as checklists. It also allowed them to automate so much of the email communication that takes place in each process.

From Jason, "Ninety five percent of our communication is templated these days, and we’ve been able to make it a lot easier by using merge fields in LeadSimple to automatically pull in move in dates, addresses, and rental rates when I send an email... Many of my templates will send automatically, or I can send it manually if I'm ready."

"My calls to clients are always recorded so my team can come back and see how the conversation went and if anything needs to be improved."

What do you like most about LeadSimple?

  • Automatic data population: "I don’t have to enter the tenants and owners when I start a process, they’re already associated [with a property] within the system. I don't have to go into Appfolio and say “who owns this property”. It’s a small thing, but it’s a huge step from using Wrike and Helpscout because it gets rid of looking up that customer's information."
  • Task instructions: "You’re able to edit the instructions as you’re running a process if you’re an admin. Being able to edit those on the fly is really helpful, because it updates everywhere in the process."
  • Data tracking: "If I come in to a process, I can see all of my team’s answers to the specific, important questions that we have. We are taking a lot of advantage of custom fields... if I can dive in and make the information I need stand out, it is a lot easier to move forward."
  • Conditional logic: "My tasks only show up on a process when they become relevant. You have the backend settings to only show [your team] the tasks they need to see, the ones that are relevant, instead of showing them the whole checklist at once."
  • Email templates & merge fields: "Everything populates into the email templates I’m going to send. And many of my templates will send automatically. Or I can send it manually if I’m ready to."
  • Tasks and team management: "The Tasks page always shows you what needs to be done or where you could possibly jump in and help your team with some of their tasks."

How did consulting with LeadSimple go?

Jason opted to sign up for LeadSimple's consulting package to help him get set up with some of his processes.

"I engaged LeadSimple to help me build out the most complicated processes we have... We were able to get 99% of it to happen through LeadSimple, through Zapier and into PDFiller where I just have someone checking for errors and printing out a form.

"I knew it would be too frustrating for me to learn how to build out this process from scratch and as Zach and I worked through building this process out, he doesn’t know Ontario like the back of his hand like I do, but he does know the software better than I do and I learned a lot of things through that."

At LeadSimple, we're all about Owning The Outcome. Our goal isn't to sell software or services that are the equivalent of a black box that does cool things, but forces clients to rely on us to support that. Our goal is to train and equip our clients so that THEY can go out there and do this on their own. Jason had something to say about this.

"This was a quite a refreshing approach... Being able to make tweaks to the process along the way, being able to hop on a screen share and fix things... it was really refreshing to work with a vendor as a partner like this. I’ve worked with other companies before and they ended up building something that I didn’t actually want."

LeadSimple is successful if our client's customers are successful so it's our aim to turn YOUR customers into raving fans of your business.

The Outcome

"I can say that the biggest difference between going from a paper system to an online system is that being an owner/operator, you get a lot more transparency of what is happening in your business."

Here are some of the things Real Property Management Service now has that they were lacking with the other systems they were using.

  • "We can see which tasks are on track, which ones are behind, which ones got missed, who needs help, and who is doing what."
  • "There's a lot more communication going between team members and the online tools allow you to see what’s happening. The information in people's personal inboxes is now accessible by a manager."
  • "When we start to be able to see what is happening, it allows us to focus more ON your business as opposed to just working inside of it."

What would your advice be to someone tackling this problem?

"The biggest problem people run into is trying to tackle two problems at once. If you’ve got your processes documented first, it’s a lot easier to make a transition like this."

"I can say that the process to set up new processes within LeadSimple is a lot more straightforward, there’s no technical knowledge required to do it. You could probably learn how to start making your first process in half an hour. Where with other solutions I’ve had I can have 3 days of training and still not feel like I can set it up correctly."

"It’s easy to get going in there on a first pass. When you set it up in LeadSimple you are literally building out a list (a b c d), and you can plug it into there from your pen and paper approach and it will work exactly the way you expect.

"The process management was very similar and so it was very easy to learn. It was nice to have that continuation of software without a gap."

Is LeadSimple right for you?

We're all about helping property managers make their customers into raving fans. If you're interested in talking about how your business could benefit from using LeadSimple, Schedule a time to talk here!

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