We are in San Francisco and I have been in the property management industry for almost 25 years. My business has grown over the years and we now manage a little over 500 units. We primarily manage small to mid-sized residential multi-family properties but I do have some commercial properties in the portfolio.
We had been using Promas for a number of years and I was looking to switch software solutions because I needed a software that would more specifically address the multifamily management space. A turning point was when an owner was refinancing and I had to come in on a weekend and make an Excel spreadsheet of all transactions for the past 12 months – creating that statement by hand made me realize it was time to switch to AppFolio ! I had also heard great references from other AppFolio customers, they were having a really great experience and I trusted their opinion.
“This entire [application]
process used to take 30 minutes per application but now it is totally seamless. We review the application, then press the ‘screen now’ button and this takes less than 5 minutes”
Before AppFolio, I used to take calls from new owners and I would have to turn them away because I just didn’t have enough time and resources to take on new business. Since we started using AppFolio, I’ve been able to take on a number of nice sized properties and increase my portfolio. When I am talking to a prospective client, I really market my use of AppFolio and can get their business because I can tell them and show them how we do everything online. The residents pay their rent online, they fill out maintenance requests online, owners get statements delivered online and the owner monthly distribution funds are deposited directly into their bank account – these are all benefits to my clients.
We are more profitable because we have more time! AppFolio produces new features frequently and we always try and take advantage of the latest releases. I post vacancies through AppFolio to Craigslist and other sites. We have about 40-50% of our residents paying their rent online – they love paying rent online and we really like it too!
We all appreciate the flexibility of working remotely, we log in from home or from the properties. We have larger apartment complexes with resident managers and the fact that AppFolio is online lets our managers enter in the data from wherever they are. They used to fill out paperwork by hand and send it to us to enter it into the system, but now they are AppFolio users and we save that extra step. We save so much time that I have reached the point where I no longer have to do many of these tasks personally because someone in my office can do them.
Residents really like the online applications. Before we were able to offer applications online, our prospective residents had to take the applications with them and fax them back to us. The online application process is so much faster and easier – because it is so convenient we are getting even more applicants. I also screen the applicants online with AppFolio. So the prospects apply online, pay their fees online and get screened online.
This entire process used to take 30 minutes per application but now it is totally seamless. We review the application, then press the ‘screen now’ button and this takes less than 5 minutes. The AppFolio screening reports are so clear and easy to read, it is just a much more user-friendly product.
The biggest time savings is at the end of the month. It would take two people an entire day to make these reports, copy the invoices, stuff the envelopes, stamp them, and mail them off. This time used to be so stressful that no one would take vacation at the end of the month.
Now it is so easy. I spend a few minutes and make sure that everything has been paid, just by pressing a button because I issue almost all of the owner statements electronically. I have about a dozen clients who want printed reports and it only takes my assistant about half an hour to print these for them because all of the information has been scanned into AppFolio and stored there. It is just seamless.