June 07, 2016
A Competitive Advantage Through Better Customer Experiences
What happens when a property management company adopts an online payment system and maintenance portal?
With over 60 years of property management experience, Westdale Properties understands that commitment to resident satisfaction is key to staying competitive. Donato Caprara, Westdale’s manager of real estate and information systems, is in charge of seeking out IT solutions —from software and hardware to new applications— to improve the customer experience for residents and to help the business grow.
“Today’s property marketplace is very competitive, and it can be difficult to attract and keep tenants. So, we’re always striving to find new technologies that make life easier for our residents,” notes Donato. “Whenever we do this, it also allows Westdale to differentiate itself and stand out.”
While Westdale Properties had set up POS systems in its rental offices for residents to make debit payments, property managers were hearing from tenants that they would like additional payment options and online convenience. Donato was tasked with finding and evaluating technology solutions.
“The exciting thing about Property Vista was that it had a suite of applications. There is the online portal that allows our residents to easily communicate with us or make rent payments, and there is also the maintenance and insurance modules,” says Donato. “It gives us more ways to serve our tenants and protect them. For Westdale this is really important.”
Because Property Vista’s solution is web-based, the ease of implementation was another draw for Westdale. Property Vista’s professional support team worked closely with Donato and his team, ensuing a seamless deployment and getting out the new solution up and running within a matter of weeks.
“We’ve had a tremendous response from our residents. There’s been a high conversion rate across our portfolio. Tenants have been quick to jump on board because it’s just so easy to pay their rent. They can make a payment anywhere or anytime, even at night when they are relaxing in front of the TV.”
And, residents aren’t the only ones benefiting. Property managers now have full transparency into maintenance requests, with a digital trail of communication between the company and the resident.
Since the rollout of the Property Vista solution in mid-January of 2016, “traffic flow to our rental offices has really reduced. Residents don’t have to go to the office to drop off a cheque or make a payment.” The upshot is that it frees up on-site staff to focus on delivering more tenant-pleasing customer service rather than processing debit payments or collecting cheques.
For Donato, not only have operations been streamlined and made more efficient, but also “the feedback has been extremely positive and our tenants are very happy.”
Westdale is now in the process of launching Property Vista’s Online Leasing suite, which will continue reduce paper, streamline the leasing process and make it possible for prospects to apply for a lease anywhere, anytime.