Rainier Properties has made a name for themselves by being a boutique-style property management company and real estate investment firm offering unique rentals for young professionals and families.
In her role as Asset Manager of Operations, Anne considers herself to be a “problem solver” and takes pride in creating efficiencies, reducing redundancies, and being a lifeline for team members who need help. “My biggest passion is making sure people have somewhere to go if they need help. It bothers me if there’s a roundabout way of doing something and it doesn’t go away until I figure out a way to solve it.”
One particular problem that needed solving was finding a new software provider that didn't feel disconnected or take dozens of clicks to find important information for all 2,000 of their units.
“Our previous solution felt very segmented to the point where we had to exit completely out of the system if we wanted to look at multiple properties. But with AppFolio, all of our data is together in one place. Searching for data is now task oriented rather than property oriented.”
Taking the lead on finding a new property management software is a task that Anne didn’t take lightly. Operating on a centralized leasing model, it was very important for their team to be able to access the information and data.
From accounting to leasing, the team at Rainier Properties had pain points with nearly every feature in their previous software. Invoices sometimes didn’t upload accurately and got lost in the system, they had communication issues within the resident portal, and they experienced an overall lack of customer service support. “Every click took away time,” she explains. “While looking up data for one property, it would take us 10 clicks to get to where we needed to go, and that just slowed us down.”
The turning point in choosing to switch to a new solution was the exorbitant fees that were added on and ultimately cutting into their bottom line. “We’re a small company, and we just felt taken advantage of. When we had questions, we were pretty much told ‘It is what it is.’ By then, the relationship wasn’t salvageable, and 6 months after our contract expired, we joined with AppFolio.”
While finding a new solution seemed overwhelming at first, Rainier Properties knew that making the change would play a key role in the success and growth of their business. After making the switch in 2021, Anne described the onboarding experience with AppFolio as the smoothest transition she’d ever seen. “AppFolio really did everything they could to make it as smooth as possible, and they made it clear that they were here to help us. That alone solidified our decision.”
Once they became familiar with our powerful platform, they started to uncover new efficiencies in their day-to-day duties.
“I think people forget how useful Global Search is; it’s the main search function within AppFolio. I may not know where every function is, but I know how to get to it by just typing it in. That makes life easier.”
“We really love Lisa! During the busy season, our phones would ring constantly to the point where phone calls took a higher priority and email leads were often ignored. Now, everything gets routed to Lisa and it’s like having another team member. These items weren’t paid attention to previously but are now a huge core responsibility of Rainier’s customer service.”
“Before AppFolio, managers had to enter bills in a very specific way, and our accounts payable team would constantly need to correct or adjust what was entered. With the advances in efficiency we achieved with the immense help from AppFolio, it propelled our AP person to learn more about accounting and start a new role at the company as a Staff Accountant, which was extremely exciting!”
“Our residents submit Maintenance Requests very easily. Work orders come in, and our maintenance [team] can see everything on their phones. We’ve gotten into a groove of people using the after-hours system when needed, and our teams are great at communicating repairs that need to be done when it’s an emergency. This has saved us around two to five hours per week.”
“When we were learning the system, the help articles were really helpful. It’s like AppFolio already knows what I’m thinking and there’s already a full article about it. There’s also a discussion board for customers where I can search for keywords.”
As stressful as managing a business can be, Anne and the team at Rainier Properties have confidence knowing that the efficiency and automation within AppFolio is making their jobs easier. A big fan of the great outdoors, Anne can leave her work at work and be able to go hiking without worrying about their software.
“One thing that’s really made a difference is being able to travel without feeling like I’m missing something at work. Our previous solution created a sense of anxiety that things weren’t going to be done right, but AppFolio creates more peace of mind.”
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