Harper Properties stays connected across three cities – without a paper trail

With Tapi, Harper Properties improves communication, customer service and maintenance workflow efficiencies

Independent firm looking for a big change

In 2004, Kevin Harper started a property management firm called Harper Properties. He single-handedly grew the business to 80 properties before hiring his first employee, Chris Russell. From there, the business continued to evolve fast and eventually, Chris and fellow property manager Jon Harris bought the company as co-managing directors. 

Now, Harper Properties has a reputation as one of New Zealand’s leading independent property management companies with a team of 12, including its dog Ace (a beloved company mascot). It manages over 1000 residential properties throughout Auckland, Waikato and Hamilton from three office locations.

Introducing Chris Russell: co-owner and managing director at Harper Properties

Chris wasn’t particularly drawn to property management until his mentor and close family friend, Kevin Hart, won him over. Under Kevin’s tutelage, his passion for real estate was ignited. 

Chris believes that good service comes from focused property managers. He knows their dedication is what sets them apart from competitors, and assigns smaller-than-normal rent rolls to make sure each property manager isn’t overwhelmed. 

Aside from attentive service, Harper Properties clients also value the rare opportunity to have multiple properties in different locations under the same management umbrella. 

Before: too much paper, too little time

With over 1000 residential properties and offices in three separate cities, Harper Properties’ paper-based maintenance management was becoming messy. With more time spent working remotely, it was also becoming impossible to be efficient. 

“Before Tapi, we were using a manual, laborious and paper-based process. First, we would get calls from contractors giving us updates, then we'd have to manually note that down somewhere. And when the job was done, the invoice would then be emailed, printed off, approved and double stamped.”

Chris and Jon heard about Tapi through a marketing agent and knew straight away that it could be the first stepping stone to a much-needed process overhaul. 

After: maintenance administration cut in half

Three offices, one connected system

Having maintenance information stored in one central system enables the Harper Properties team to collaborate, communicate and keep track of all ongoing maintenance jobs in real-time. If Auckland managers need to work with someone in the Hamilton office, the cloud-based system means they’ve got visibility across all their properties. Chris says this has had a “noticeable impact” on their invoicing speed and accuracy.

“It's all on one dashboard, centralised. There's no need to print anything off and send via post, you can just log in and approve an invoice.”

Solving maintenance issues in record time

With Tapi, logging and closing off maintenance jobs are now beautifully streamlined, not only for the Harper Properties team but tenants, landlords and contractors too. Beforehand, the team would spend a lot of time on the phone or via email, going back and forth – even if the problem was minor or easily fixable. 

With Tapi’s Tenant Concierge, tenants can quickly log maintenance requests and get 24/7 support, so their issues can be resolved, triaged or reported right away. It helps Chris’ team to quickly qualify which requests are urgent and reduces response times.

“Our tenants used to send us a lot of very frustrating maintenance requests. We spent a lot of time going back and forth, helping to solve each problem. Now with Tenant Concierge, they have their concerns answered immediately. It has significantly cut down our communication time.”

Easy access to historical data

Harper Properties uses maintenance history for two reasons: to track the frequency of maintenance issues and gain insights on how to prevent future maintenance problems. This used to consist of searching through old emails and paper files but with Tapi, Chris and the team are loving a much smoother process.

“Tracking old invoices and warranties is a lot easier with Tapi. It propels us to give a better service.”

Paperless goals achieved

Chris says moving to a digital system has been the catalyst to streamlining all areas of the business. It saves time, space and money, and it ensures a higher level of data security. Everyone on the team, including clients, can access relevant information when they need it. Chris and Jon are happy they have finally made the transition. 

“Tapi was a great first step towards going paperless – it was a no-brainer.”

Breaking down the physical boundaries between offices, Tapi keeps everyone at Harper Properties on the same page. Tenants and landlords now have an automated 24/7 support system at the ready, and because of the reduced response time, there is less work involved. This means Chris and his team have more time to focus on other areas of service while continuing to grow the business. 

“With Tapi, we can see maintenance work and notify the owner and tenant simultaneously. This is hugely helpful and cuts out any communication double-ups.”

See for yourself how Tapi can help your property management business deliver a world-class experience for tenants and landlords.

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