Leading Harcourts franchise Hamilton Rentals says Tapi’s maintenance software makes room for excellence and fun.
For the biggest Harcourts franchise in New Zealand, Tapi’s cohesive and streamlined maintenance tracking software makes room for excellence and fun.
NZ’s largest Harcourts office earns numerous awards for excellence
Harcourts Hamilton Rentals was built from the ground up by Melanie Rouse. She started an independent property management business in 2009, but once she had 30 properties under her care, she realised it would be a much easier growth journey with the backing of a franchise.
So, at 27 years old, she approached Harcourts and convinced them to let her handle the property management for Hamilton. Melanie quickly opened the Harcourts Hamilton office and reconciled her 30 properties there. Flash forward 13 years, and her company now manages over 2000 properties and employs 30 staff, plus a body corporate and a water management company.
Melanie says her company has been an early adopter of technology because it’s the best way to maintain the company standing – ‘Experts at Excellence’. This strategy seems to be working as it is now the largest Harcourts franchise in the country and has countless awards under its belt.
Introducing Melanie Rouse: owner and CEO, Harcourts Hamilton Rentals
With a Master’s in chemistry, Melanie started as a lab technician in Hamilton. Her boyfriend at the time was a property developer who loved to travel, which inspired her to swap test tubes for real estate signs – and she began managing his properties in the hope they’d have more flexibility.
While she isn’t with that boyfriend anymore, Melanie found her calling in real estate and steadily built her empire. Not only is she a great property manager, but she has an incredible aptitude for business. It’s her unwavering belief in excellent service and an empowered team that have been the building blocks of her success.
Property managers NEED good support
The role of a property manager can be overwhelming, demanding that you be at your client’s beck and call 24/7. Melanie understands that to do this job effectively while having fun too, she and her employees need to be supported with the best software available.
“It’s hard to feel in control in this role, so the support from Tapi makes a big difference. Not only are you going to have better staff retention, but your retention of landlords will also be better. Managers will be able to give them a better service without so much stress.”
Before: old software lacked scalability
Melanie has always searched for the best solutions to minimising workloads because she wants her team to focus on great service. She initially onboarded Maintenance Manager, which worked well until the business grew bigger – and bigger.
“There were so many issues that nobody had ever encountered because of how we did business and how big we were.”
When Melanie was recommended Tapi, it was the beginning of the pandemic. She needed more support, not only for her team but also for remote work, so decided Tapi’s potential was worth investing in.
“We didn't see anything on Tapi that we didn't like, and it suited our business much better.”
After: better oversight and a happier team
A bird’s-eye view allows streamlined support
After the initial changeover, Melanie and the team are loving the results. The property managers have streamlined their workflow – their notes, work orders, pictures and tenant requests are now all in one cohesive system. Tapi sends them helpful follow-up reminders and automates tedious, time-consuming tasks like replying to non-urgent maintenance enquiries.
Melanie says it’s great to see how the company is tracking, and how staff are performing individually, just by looking at the Tapi dashboard.
“As a business owner, it's a lot easier for me to see who's done what, and who's got the best or worst dashboard. Now I know how I can support them better and make sure everyone is keeping their clients happy.”
User-friendly from ALL perspectives
Melanie is not only a business owner but a landlord and the wife of a contractor too. This lets her see the benefits of Tapi from all angles. Knowing first-hand how professional and easy the quotes are for landlords reassures her that the software is maintaining the company’s standard for excellent service.
“It’s much easier than before for landlords to accept quotes, it looks more professional and it notifies us when they’ve accepted so we can just send it straight off.”
From her husband, she also hears how easy the Tapi software is for contractors. It’s all linked directly to his email and he can instantly upload photos for the property manager to see. Melanie knows that these benefits are all connected to the success of her company. What’s easier for contractors is better for landlords, tenants and property managers too.
Maintenance history is a safety box of correspondence
With all the legislative changes happening in this industry, it has been important for Hamilton Rentals to keep an even closer eye on maintenance work. With the number of properties Hamilton Rentals manages, Tapi makes it possible to know nothing has been missed. If any accusations are made, or the company is taken to the tribunal, it will have all evidence at the ready.
“If we need to prove anything, all of the correspondence regarding a property is in Tapi.”
Tapi tools improve mental health
Throughout her career as head of Hamilton Rentals, Melanie has seen staff come and go – it’s the nature of property management. This has always weighed heavily and motivates her to constantly look for better solutions to reduce stress.
Melanie says she’s grateful to Tapi for significantly cutting down the daily checklists and allowing the team to focus on the fun parts of the job, like building relationships.
“The job is hard enough as it is. We used to lose staff because their mental health suffered when they constantly felt like they were drowning. If we can take away some of the stress – to me that’s priceless.”
See for yourself how Tapi can help your property management business deliver a world-class experience for tenants and landlords.Book a demo