Discover how Professionals Christchurch uses Tapi to provide its clients with a streamlined property maintenance experience that needs less paper, involves fewer calls and saves the firm valuable time.
From the coalface of sales through to property management, Lester Williams has carved a 33-year career in the real estate industry.
“I remember the days when applications to the Tribunal were handwritten, then you had to go down to the bank to get a sticky to prove you’d paid for it, so I’ve been around for quite a while,” he laughs.
These days, Lester is an integral part of Professionals Christchurch, working as Divisional Manager for its property management team.
After that amount of time, you could simply “put your head in the sand” but when it comes to change, Lester says he’s more than willing to embrace new technology.
It wasn’t that long ago that Lester remembers sending staff out into the field to do inspections with a phone, camera and notebook. Then iPads were added to the mix. The problem was, along with desktop computers in the office, it was a lot of hardware to maintain – and the upkeep was expensive.
Two years ago, when COVID-19 “started breathing down our necks”, the company realised not only did they need to consolidate their hardware, but they also needed to operate with minimum contact.
Paper tenancy agreements became a challenge to sign and keeping track of invoices sent via email or post was time-consuming.
It all resulted in a clunky maintenance process that had plenty of room for improvement – and that’s when Tapi came into the picture. It was one of two options the Professionals Christchurch team considered, and “the overall consensus was that Tapi had more ticks than the other company.”
Among its features, Lester says it was Tapi’s user-friendliness that was one of the “top reasons that made us decide to go with them.”
Lester says one of the best improvements since using Tapi is how much less paper the team is using. Previously, invoices were printed, signed and scanned, all before the admin team could process payments, and there was always the risk of paper invoices going missing.
Tapi’s invoice automation has simplified that process.
Supplier invoices are synced to the team’s Tapi dashboard, so all property managers need to do is click to approve. Once approved, the data goes straight through to the accounting system.
Lester also likes that invoices can be forwarded to landlords for direct payment.
When you're managing a medium to large portfolio, the volume of maintenance issues is high – that’s assuming that every problem gets reported.
Since using Tapi, Professionals Christchurch has “seen a 40% increase in reporting of maintenance issues”. Lester says that’s a good thing, because it means there’s less risk of small jobs snowballing into bigger problems for clients in the future.
Using Tapi’s Tenant Concierge, tenants can log maintenance jobs and give property managers all the information they need to prepare suppliers.
If a job isn’t urgent or there’s a quick fix, tenants can access instructions on how to triage different types of problems and recommended solutions for minor issues.
“Recently I asked tenants to use the Tenant Concierge and within 10 minutes they’d logged the job – without me having to call anyone.”
The key to good property management is communication, and managing maintenance traditionally requires a lot of phone calls and emails.
With Tapi, Lester says the company can streamline its communication with tenants and trade contractors – which will stop things from falling through the cracks.
He shares a prime example: “We had a job that had been on hold for four months because the contractors couldn’t get what they needed to finish the work. If we had had Tapi then, they could’ve used it to quickly update the property manager – without us needing to chase anyone up.”
Tapi provides a digital record that everyone can see and integrates with Palace, which are big wins for Lester. He and his team now have visibility across every stage of each job and can easily spot the ones that require immediate attention.
Furthermore, Lester knows Tapi will “pay us back in leaps and bounds” when it comes to compliance and Tribunal cases.
“We haven't had to use it yet, but I'm sure one day we will. Then when we go to the Tribunal, we can confidently say we’ve done everything that we needed to do.”
See for yourself how Tapi can help your property management business deliver a world-class experience for tenants and landlords.Book a demo