Interview with Corey Runnells of Specialized Real Estate Group








Specialized Real Estate Group
Springdale, AR

Portfolio Type

Multifamily Residential

Previous Solution


Tell me a little background about your company.

My name is Corey Runnels and I am in charge of all of the operations here at Specialized Real Estate Group. We try and stay diverse in our portfolio so we have a variety of multifamily properties in Northwest Arkansas and our business is growing quickly.

Brick-front house & separate headshot image of Corey Runnels of Specialized Real Estate Group.

What solution were you using before and why were you looking for a replacement?

We used Propertyware before, and were using Quickbooks for all of our accounting. We were looking for a complete solution that would streamline our operations and we decided to give AppFolio a try. We were growing our business and when we acquired a new MFR property, we put that property on AppFolio and experienced what it was like to use the software. We went for about 3 or 4 months operating on both software systems.

After using AppFolio on that property, we quickly realized how easy it was to use and let go of Propertyware in 2010. We love AppFolio’s accounting functionality and are able to do our bookkeeping in a more time efficient manner without Quickbooks. By integrating our accounting with our property management software we were able to recoup the 2% fee that we were being charged before.

We also really like how AppFolio is a complete property management solution that has allowed us to track a prospect, move them in as a resident, and then move them out of a unit all in one system.


"We love AppFolio's accounting functionality and are able to do our bookkeeping in a more time efficient manner without Quickbooks."

Corey Runnels
Specialized Real Estate Group

Can you tell me about your experience with AppFolio’s service / support team?

We really appreciate the support we’ve received from AppFolio and noticed a more personal touch with AppFolio. We had some bad experiences in the past and find the AppFolio support team to be very responsive. Before, we would place a support request and would have to wait several days to hear back from them. With AppFolio, we know that we can count on them to get back to us quickly and resolve our issue.

Do you use AppFolio’s built-in Resident Screening Service?

AppFolio screening reports are so easy to read compared to the traditional screening reports that we were using before. I would estimate that I have been able to cut down the time it takes to read the report and make a decision on an applicant by 50%.

All of the information is still in the report but the color-coded system of information makes it easier to read by highlighting the important positive and negative attributes on the person’s report. We promise to get back to prospects within 48 hours and the integrated screening feature helps make this possible.

Do your residents pay rent online? How is this reducing your costs?

We have two large student housing properties with 500 units and residents want the ability to pay rent online. Approximately 75% of our residents who use the Internet are paying their rent online through AppFolio. Because we’re saving so much time collecting rent online, we’ve been able to devote more resources to marketing our properties which translates to filling our vacancies faster.

Attached buildings near sidewalk & a separate image of a large white building with gold-tipped dome.

How has using AppFolio impacted your business overall?

We have an Operations Manager, a book-keeper, and an in-house property manager and then we have onsite staff that manages the complexes. Being able to add the defined user roles within AppFolio has been very helpful for us. They’re very simple and do exactly what we want. If we add a leasing agent, we can just plug them in the system and away they go!

I cannot stress enough, the user friendliness and the ease of use and the simplicity that AppFolio offers while maintaining that level of sophistication that you need to have detailed bookkeeping. We keep the detailed history of our residents and being able to take them from being a prospect all the way through to a resident and then move them out...all in one system, it’s really great.

We are in the process of developing 2 new student housing complexes, which will be about 500 units and once complete, we plan to add them to AppFolio.


"We promise to get back to prospects within 48 hours and the integrated screening feature helps make this possible."

Corey Runnels
Specialized Real Estate Group

Do you recommend AppFolio Property Manager to your colleagues?

Yes we do! And we also talk about AppFolio when we’re selling our services to new owners. In my pitch to acquire new owners I stress how we are progressive and try to stay right on the cutting edge of all of the technology that is available to better our performance. Our use of AppFolio is the future and we tell everyone we can.