H.M.S. Development: Business Growth with AppFolio Property Manager

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H.M.S. Development, Inc. is one of the largest property management firms specializing in the management of single-family homes, small residential investment and commercial rental property in the Bay Area. Owner Sylvia Hill also serves as a National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) educator specializing in owner and property manager relations. Without a doubt, H.M.S. knows a thing or two about the property management business.

“AppFolio allows us to
keep our focus on growing our business rather than on the software that supports our business.”

~ Sylvia Hill

The Challenge

When Gil and Sylvia Hill bought H.M.S. in 2002, the company managed approximately 300 properties. Today, H.M.S. oversees nearly 450 properties with the help of 10 employees. Their strategy for effective property management begins and ends with high quality service to owners and tenants. H.M.S.’s growth and ability to provide superior service, however, was strained by the very thing that was supposed to keep the company running smoothly – the company’s property management software. In fact, H.M.S. had acquired another company that used a different software product. This resulted in having to use two different software packages for owner statements, disbursements, and tracking.

The Hills also found that they were on the road quite a bit for industry teaching events and seminars as well as spending time with family, especially their grandchildren. They realized that they needed a property management solution like AppFolio that would provide comprehensive management capabilities, enable the company to grow and also allow access to critical data while traveling.

Focus on Business Growth

Because AppFolio is Web based, the H.M.S. team can connect from anywhere – from the road, home, or a colleague’s office – with just an Internet connection. “When a tenant calls in late at night with a problem, we can just log in from home,” explains Sylvia. “All the information we need to handle the emergency is instantly available and very easy to search. A work order can be created and emailed immediately,” she adds.

Moreover, AppFolio’s Web-based access to critical property details enables Gil and Sylvia to continue to grow the business. Before implementing AppFolio, the company ran into considerable IT expenses just getting a secure channel set up between multiple offices. AppFolio eliminates the cost and hassle of connecting distributed offices. “We can continue to expand into new areas without worrying about the impact of additional IT expenses,” Gil explains. “AppFolio allows us to keep our focus on growing our business rather than on the software that supports our business.”

“With AppFolio, our staff is just a click away from our data
anywhere and anytime. This differentiates our company from our competitors. The best part
is I can do this even when I’m on the road visiting my grandkids.”

~ Sylvia Hill

AppFolio Delivers Unexpected Advantages

Efficiency, ease of use, and accessibility are always top of mind at H.M.S. “The ease of use and speed of information access have our business happily humming,” says Hill. “To further improve our efficiency, we’ve begun uploading CC&R documents, vendor invoices, and lease documents to AppFolio, leading us one step closer to a paperless office.”

According to The Hills, their company has discovered unexpected advantages that continue to help staff save time and money. “We can search property details much faster than we ever thought possible,” explains Hill. “And the data migration process with AppFolio blew us away.” Because H.M.S. was using two different software systems before switching to AppFolio, the ability to migrate years of data to the company’s new property management system was essential.

Balance Work and Family

Investing in a property management solution like AppFolio enables the entire H.M.S team to consistently provide a superior level of service to clients and easily scale with the company’s growth. Plus, because AppFolio is web-based, they can work efficiently from anywhere. “With AppFolio, our staff is just a click away from our data anywhere and anytime. This differentiates our company from our competitors,” says Hill. “The best part is I can do this even when I’m on the road visiting my grandkids.”




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