Maintaining the human touch with technology

"People who use technology and systematize are efficient and can actually offer their services for less while still keeping their margin!"

~ Jason Wolf, Owner Utah Property Solutions

Who is Jason and Utah Property Solutions?

Jason is the broker/owner of Utah Property Solutions. The company manages about 225 single family homes in Salt Lake City. Jason has been in real estate for about 15 years, 5 of which he's been running a property management company. Three members of their team work remotely in Mexico and 3 others are the company's "boots on the ground" in Salt Lake.

"I quickly realized that property management wasn't just collecting rent... I didn't know I was going to become a maintenance coordinator and an accountant."

The Problem

In the early days of the company, Jason was managing doors with just one other employee. From Jason, "Everything was on a dry erase board... all our move-ins, move-outs... at maybe 60-70 doors we started to ask 'should switch to an Excel spreadsheet, or something else?'"

They couldn't scale

"I just knew that we were not scaleable and I knew that we would be pigeon holed if we didn't figure something out. One Sunday afternoon, I thought I found the perfect solution, and it was a good solution for a while, and that was Process Street."

"Process Street worked for where we were at. However, Process Street is building tools for every industry. For us to tailor and build it to property management was challenging."

Jason has extensive experience being a part of the U.S. military in his career.

"The military allows you to take anyone from any walk of life and plug them into a position and the machine keeps moving. That was the only way property management was going to work and be scaleable, especially if you're going to compete on service."

"If you don't have your processes documented, then your team members are your customer service." And when someone leaves your team or a new team member joins, your customer service will always be degraded. However, the companies who's customer service is bound up in their processes can weather those common changes without sacrificing their customer's experience and needs.

Consolidating systems

Like almost all property managers, Utah Property Solutions was dealing with way too many software systems. " I have 17 different programs that we use at least... Any time you can consolidate those is a big appeal."

"Appfolio is focused on the accounting side. We only use Appfolio for only 20% of what it is actually capable of doing, because their other features don’t work for us."

It would be great if everything could be done from your property management software, but that realty is far from being true.

The Solution

What attracted Jason to LeadSimple

"Consolidation was a big part of it... To be able to move a sales lead right into an owner onboarding and then a property onboarding, made a lot of sense to me."

LeadSimple helps his team keep track the the tasks they actually need to do. "Leadsimple only tells you what you as a team member need to be doing. There’s no need to get overwhelmed...One of the major differences between Process Street and LeadSimple (and we did a lot with Process Street) is when my team logged into Process Street they would see everything that had to happen."

  • Task instructions: "We love these... I've been embedding videos in all my instructions with a screenshare of how to do the task... My team can watch it and it teaches them how to do that task". This is particularly helpful in training new team members or when a team member is out of the office, because another person can immediately hop in and complete those tasks without much prior knowledge or training.
  • Zapier integration: "We get an Application through Appfolio which automatically triggers an application through Zapier."
  • Email templates: "I love the templates feature. It tells my team exactly when to send an email... [and] my team doesn’t have to sit and type the same email over and over again. You can edit the email before you send it so you don’t want to lose a personal touch."
  • Email automation: "Often you write the same email over and over, but when you use a template you can either send it automatically or just write a few lines each time instead of writing the whole email."
  • Property management software integration: "The data sync with Appfolio is killer. All our owner [tenant, vendor & property] information is pulled in automatically."
  • Team Management: "As an admin I can look at the tasks of any one of our users. I love that because I can see their tasks... I can sit in Tasks and check up on people if I need to."

Getting the team to buy-in

When Jason started his property management business, he was already doing real estate and had lots of experience with systems in that parallel industry. "I wanted to partner with the best platforms I could. The three contracts I signed first were LeadSimple to use for business development/sales, Appfolio, and Property Manager Websites."

"So I was already familiar with the sales side of LeadSimple. Then I got a full-time BDM and he used LeadSimple to the fullest. He used the templates, automatic emails, he uses it the exact way it was designed to be used and we can see the impact that has had on our sales and our conversions. We’re seeing leads that are coming back to us from two or three years ago who hired another management company but now are coming back."

"When we started the conversation with LeadSimple my team was already tired of change...I thought this change was going to go over like a lead balloon"

But much to Jason's surprise, that wasn't how it went over with his team 🙂

"I made the decision we were going to do this one way or the other... I said [to my team] 'we're going to switch to LeadSimple... it's going to come with a learning curve, but it's a solid company with a team to resolve issues as we go...' and my team immediately said 'We love it!'"

In reality Jason's team was "going to put up with Process Street until I told them we were going somewhere else."

How did consulting with LeadSimple go?

Accountability & support from LeadSimple every week was critical to Utah Property Solution's success. Building out your processes is difficult for a number of reasons.

  1. Some processes are complicated and require extra mental effort and research to learn how it should work.
  2. There are a lot of processes in property management so it's time consuming.
  3. And perhaps most of all, it's hard to set aside time to work ON the business when you're so busy working IN the business!
"Cutting out the time to build out your processes is important. Accountability is important too... It was really nice to have Zach and Aimee available to help and tell us where we aren't doing things right... The implementation went about how I thought it would."

"At first it was overwhelming... I didn't get it but all of a sudden it just clicked... and now I'm having fun building new stuff out."

The Outcome

At LeadSimple, our #1 core value is to Own The Outcome. What that means for you as a customer is that we don't just sell you software. We measure our success if we're able to make YOUR customers happy and successful by giving you the tools you need to provide great service at scale. That's the outcome we set out to deliver to Jason and his team at Utah Property Solutions.

Let's hear more from Jason about where they are at now that they've been working with LeadSimple for a while.

"PM companies try to hold this premium price or management fee and think, 'we have to stay here, we don’t want to be a discounter!'". But that’s not true... People who use technology and systematize and are efficient can actually offer the service for less and still keep their margin... If you don’t get on board with technology… you’re going to be gobbled up."

LeadSimple showed Jason and his team that "Technology will allow you to scale, but you don’t have to lose a personal touch in that. You can still provide awesome, personal customer service with a lot of automation in the process. You’re just cutting out the minutia work."

Do you want to provide better service to your customers?

LeadSimple is here for property managers, full stop. End of story. And we're not going anywhere. Are you interested in learning more about how you can experience this same kind of success in your business? Schedule a time to talk here!

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