What if you could manage more properties without adding more staff to your office?
In order to achieve this goal, you would need a system that enables your tenants and property managers to input information for you; a system with the capability to handle all of the automations and flexible reporting to monitor your operations. Fillmore needed to replace their existing property management system, and all of their offline Excel spreadsheets with a cloud based software that would provide a powerful streamlined accounting system. That’s exactly what we provided to Fillmore Property Group.
Property Matrix offered Fillmore Property Group a cloud based platform which gave FPG real-time information in all of their locations. It allowed their tenants across six states to securely enter their payments and maintenance information and ensured the right people received the right information, every time. The dramatic increase in efficiency, solved Fillmore’s issues and helped them grow by 450 units!
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Industry: Property Management
Fillmore Property Group is an integrated investment property management company. They provide superior development management and brokerage services across six different states. Currently managing over 3 million square feet of retail space as well as 1500 multifamily and industrial units. The firm prides themselves on having a high level of diversity, with the flexibility to exceed client expectations while still beating deadlines.
FPG is committed to being a leader in the Property Management Industry. With over 25 years of Real Estate experience their firm provides exceptional results with professionalism, integrity and honesty. One of Fillmore’s largest investors is part of a pension fund, and as such Fillmore’s financial results are reported to the SEC.
Fillmore Property Group used a non-cloud version of Yardi® along with manual Excel spreadsheets to keep track of their property management operations and accounting transactions. Their non-cloud version made collaboration across multiple locations one of Fillmore’s highest inefficiencies. The lack of online services meant employees had to manually receive payments and enter other data. This created a security risk and significantly reduced their ability to grow. They needed a cloud based system sophisticated enough to manage a large quantity of varied transactions. Lastly, a powerful accounting software that can export to Excel and report to the SEC was a requirement for their solution.
FPG was looking for a property management software platform that has the vast capability to handle their ever growing residential and commercial units. The main obstacle to their growth was a lack of automation which meant that they couldn’t expand their operations without hiring additional employees. When considering their options, Fillmore knew they would require a system that had the customization abilities to tailor the platform to their changing needs. Additionally, Fillmore needed to enter data from multiple sources with real time reporting, and the ability to segment the data for different employees.
Fillmore Property Group didn’t have the ability to accept online payments, which meant every month tenants needed to pay by check. Check payments either needed to be dropped off at the property or mailed to the office. Not only was that a frustration for tenants but this outdated method required the staff to spend a significant amount of time manually inputting check payments into their system. It also required employees to go to the bank daily to deposit large quantities of checks. Fillmore received complaints of dissatisfaction from tenants and often experienced delays in receiving payments.
Fillmore’s marketing platform was very fragmented. Their lack of consistent online presence made it challenging to keep an up to date web page of the units available for lease. For the buildings that did have websites, employees would have to manually update each of them when a unit became available. They had no way of streamlining the posting of available units to multiple listing sites. With every new unit available, they were required to post the listings one by one on each site consuming a majority of their day and resulting in a lot of mistakes. Furthermore, for buildings that did not have websites, Fillmore was unable to market any of the available units online.
Upon interest in an available unit, a tenant’s only option to apply was to fill out a paper application and mail it in with a money order. There was at least a 5 day waiting period to receive the potential tenants information. Next, once the application and money order were received, an employee would manually enter the data into their credit check system to then start the background check. All in all, this system was very tedious and extended the length of the application and credit check process.
Fillmore was unable to efficiently notify their tenants of emergencies or any maintenance that was occurring at a property. When they needed information to go out, the staff would travel to each property to post a notice. Additionally, using their personal emails staff would individually call and email each tenant to send a second notification.
When tenants needed to communicate with Fillmore they would typically email one of the staff members creating delays or missed communication when employees were out of the office for various reasons. They also struggled to ensure that all of the correct staff in the office were copied on important matters. They needed a centralized system where Fillmore could communicate with their tenants, a place that all of their employees would have access to emails and texts from all locations.
Here’s how we took Fillmore’s mission to expand and delivered the tools they needed to be future proof.
Fillmore Property Group is now fully cloud based allowing firm-wide access to all tenant and leasing information, receiving payments, running reports, and general operations. The new technology has created a high level of consistency for their properties; everyone is on the same platform. It also promotes collaboration across all of their offices.
Fillmore set up liability and workers compensation insurance custom fields on all of their vendors. They then created an automatic action to receive a warning every time a bill is submitted if their insurance has expired.They worked directly with their support representative and decided to take it one step further, adding an automatic action to warn them 30 days in advance of the expiration.
Property Matrix used the advanced user permissions module to segment their properties by state and user role which opened up the door for Fillmore to streamline all of their locations, ensuring the right people get the right information every time. This allowed Fillmore Property Group to efficiently scale across the United States.
All of Fillmore’s tenants across their full portfolio of properties now have access to a portal which allows them to view their rent invoice and setup one time or automatic payments from their bank account or credit card. Since adopting this new method for tenants, some of their properties receive over 95% of their payments electronically. This has resulted in a significant decline in delayed payments and an overall increase in tenant satisfaction. Receiving payments electronically, has given staff more time to focus on company growth by reducing their time spent on data entry and bank deposits trips.
Since starting with Property Matrix, Fillmore now has a website for each of their properties. This has allowed potential tenants to view all of the available units and apply online with simply one click. Within the Property matrix listings feature FPG staff can quickly post available units to multiple websites all at once and with consistent information, reducing the margin for error. Fillmore has reported a substantial increase in foot traffic due to the new increased online postings.
Additionally, Fillmore is now receiving the majority of their applications across all of their properties through the online application. This process which used to take five days has now been reduced to two. This rapidly decreased the time from a tenant applying to the completion of a credit check, leading to a more efficient leasing process.
Lastly, with their new online marketing presence in place, Fillmore Property Group has increased their portfolio awareness for potential customers, all while eliminating the cost of paying for hosted websites and listings.
One of Fillmore’s most utilized features is the communication Hub on Property Matrix. In the Hub, any staff member has the option to text or email any tenant from one centralized portal. Fillmore can now use the texting function in case of emergencies to quickly send individual messages or one property wide message to all of the tenants in a building. They can utilize the email function easily allowing them to send and receive emails from one centralized system eliminating missed emails or texts due to one staff member being out of the office. Tenants can now login to the tenant portal to send messages and create maintenance requests.
Property Matrix has allowed Fillmore Property Group to increase their overall level of efficiency and achieve their mission to grow. They recently grew their portfolio by 450 units and with the help of their dedicated support team, all of those units were smoothly transitioned into the Property Matrix platform. Fillmore also stated that their most noticeable form of savings since switching to Property Matrix is that they did not have to hire additional corporate staff in their accounting department as they acquired more buildings.
Cloud – Cloud based platform has given Fillmore firm-wide access, seamless data entry, a streamlined process and growth of 450 units! They receive an unlimited amount of users with ongoing training and support so they are able to give their entire company access to the system.
Automation – Created scalability and a flexible platform with the detailed customization and automatic actions needed to increase efficiency in workflow.
Payments – Decreased the amount of delayed payments being received and increased overall tenant satisfaction offering online payments and giving staff more time to focus on their tasks at hand.
Marketing – Increased awareness of all available units by implementing websites for each property. Also, significantly decreased the work required for the listing process, and shortened the application process.
Communication – Provided Fillmore and its tenants with a central communications portal which easily allows staff to individually reach out to or notify all tenants and properties in case of emergencies or maintenance.
“Our company continues to grow and we have not had to add corporate staff to our accounting department where previously we would have had to add staff in order to grow.
We knew that we needed to get more modern technology and we wanted to provide more access to the sites so we could minimize our staff load at the corporate office by pushing work down to the site level and the system allowed us to do that.
The unlimited amount of users was a plus for us, the integration of online payments, and the flexible reporting.”Vice President
See how Property Matrix can help you transform the way you manage properties.
Property Matrix® is a registered trademark of Property Matrix, Inc.
Yardi® is a registered trademark of Yardi Systems, Inc.
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