Vista Property Management

Leveraging AppFolio to Streamline Community Association Workflows

YEAR ESTABLISHED

1992

COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS
(TOTAL DOORS 2,700+)

40+

TIME SAVED / MONTH ON
ACCOUNTING & REPORTING

45+ hrs

Company

Vista Property Management
Olympia, WA

Portfolio Type

Community Associations

Previous Solution

TOPS

A Bit of Backstory

Vista Property Management was established in 1992 as a full-service property management company serving clients in the greater Seattle area. Vista currently manages over 450 rental units and 40+ community associations with over 2,700 doors throughout the Pacific Northwest. They joined AppFolio in August 2017 and have continued to improve their back office efficiencies to expand their portfolio without additional overhead.

Interview with Shinobu

We spoke with Shinobu Young, Community Association Accountant with Vista Property Management, to learn how AppFolio Property Manager allows her to streamline the payables and reporting processes to better manage their large community association portfolio.

Headshot of Vista Property Management's Shinobu Young & separate image of houses, trees & mountains.

How was your transition to AppFolio Property Manager?

The AppFolio team has been really helpful both in the transition and as I learn the software. There is a robust Help Center with instructions in detail that I can follow step by step and if I call in or submit a support request, I get a call the same day. Even if it’s late in the day, I’ll get an email or call first thing the next morning. Whatever question or issue I have, they get it done. That's what I love about AppFolio. I also really appreciate that AppFolio listens when we ask for improvements or changes. I can tell they value listening to their customers and address what we need and want. That’s one of the main advantages over other competitors in the space.

quote

"Community managers are often visiting multiple associations in a day and AppFolio enables them to use the mobile app directly from their phone, out in the field or even at home."

SHINOBU YOUNG
Community Association Accountant, Vista Property Management

How has AppFolio helped you streamline your processes?

AppFolio is fast and responsive. I love that we can work in multiple pages or tabs and AppFolio keeps up. It helps us increase productivity and allows us to accomplish multiple tasks at once. Processing reports was taking so long with our previous software and sometimes it would shut down or freeze. Now that we are using AppFolio, it’s seamless. I can pull a report and view it in one screen using that information to work on another task. I really love how responsive and automated it is. I can use recurring journal entries, which I set up by monthly, and I don’t have to worry about posting the entries every month. AppFolio does it for me!

I also love the bank reconciliation feature. Having our online banking synced to our AppFolio account is so awesome! I run the financial reports monthly and I used to finish up last minute, but now the whole process is so quick – I can finish in the first week of the month! It used to take me 10 days or more to finish the bank reconciliation. I would do the bank reconciliation, process the report, and then check it and see what I need to fix. The whole process took forever, but now it takes me seconds to generate reports and seconds to fix any errors. I get so excited about this feature. Before, I was doing everything manually. Now, the whole process is streamlined.

As a business, we have also been able to focus on late fee collection. The Homeowner Delinquency Report in AppFolio has been great to keep track of owner delinquency. Before, we did not do well with late fees and we barely charged them. We had to do everything manually, charging them one by one. Now that we are using AppFolio, and you can do it all at once – it has helped completely automate the process.

How has AppFolio’s mobility helped your association managers?

For our managers, mobility has been a game-changer. Community managers are often visiting multiple associations in a day and AppFolio enables them to use the mobile app directly from their phone, out in the field or even at home. It’s given us a huge advantage. The violation tracking feature has also been helpful to be able to track this in AppFolio and out in the field. It has streamlined that whole process. Before AppFolio, this was something that we really did not have a way of doing in our previous solution. It was a struggle for our managers, but once we started using the feature, everyone has been so much happier.

Tell us about how AppFolio Property Manager has impacted communication.

Our board members are happy because we can share reports with them directly. They love receiving emails that allow them to review reports at their leisure. AppFolio has also had a great impact on our homeowners. Once we get an owners email, we can set them up with a portal right away so we can send them information and they can pay their dues online.

Sitting area that has a plush blue chair with wooden legs & a separate image of a dark blue house.

How has online payments helped your accounting workflows?

Having online payments with AppFolio has been truly amazing. As an accountant, it has reduced my workload so much. Last year, I was so busy that I was literally doing cash receipts every day, all day, because homeowners were still mailing in checks. Online payments are the biggest game-changer for my role as an accountant. I went from having to post, deposit, and scan checks to barely having to do anything! Even if there is an NSF, I can automatically reverse the payment in AppFolio. It's such a great feature that we didn’t have before and I absolutely love it.

quote

"Our board members are happy because we can share reports with them directly. They love receiving emails that allow them to review reports at their leisure."

SHINOBU YOUNG
Community Association Accountant, Vista Property Management

Would you recommend AppFolio Property Manager to other association managers?

We were recommended AppFolio from the residential side of our company because they were so happy with it. Because of this, we decided to bring all of our HOA units over as well and we haven’t looked back. It’s provided huge time savings and improved efficiencies across our teams. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.




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