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Bricks and Agent plans for 2021

After the year that was - there is a lot to look forward to in 2021 including a vaccine and hopefully an end to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Despite a relatively tough year last year our team buckled down and we pushed hard on our plans to be more than maintenance.

As you may be aware Bricks and Agent was formed more than four years ago - my how time flies and we surpassed our original goal of being the default solution for maintenance connecting property managers with their trades, tenants and owners. We integrate with all leading property management software and now have more than 175,000 users on the platform with a point of presence in four countries, which is a huge achievement and one I am proud of our amazing team for.

We have always been a product first customer centric company and we have listened to customers on the good as well as the bad taking in all this feedback to make the platform the best of breed and the best in market.

This month we roll out the first phase of the simplification of the platform so it is even easier for our users to interact with one another by not only listening to our customers, but also looking at the wealth of data we have collated on the experience of our users.

In 2021 we are continuing on our mission to be the digital tool kit for property managers.

 

Integrations

An integration is a must - there is limited purpose to having a non integrated solution as there are manual data entry and manipulation which can result in unexpected issues and errors.

Bricks and Agent have integrated with all leading property management solutions and if you want to learn more about any of the integrations, please click on one of the logos below.

We are also working on integrations with other partners, so if you don't see one of the product you use below, please let our team know.

Some integrations have a deeply embedded single sign on user experience meaning no user names or passwords to remember and no browser tabs to open whilst others have a sperate login from your property management solutions. We are working on embedding into more property management software during the year to make the best user experience for our current and future clients.

 

 

 

Maintenance

The first problem we sought to solve as a business was maintenance as it took in some cases more than 60% of property management time and caused the most issues for the property manager and the agency.

With an average of 2.7 jobs per property per year, managing a portfolio of 100 properties see 5,400 maintenance touch points per year which is really hard to handle as what seems simple often becomes very complex very quickly.

With the tools we have built that assist all parties in the maintenance process, in some cases we have seen between 75 to 80% reductions in open work orders at the end of a 30 day period, which according to Waikato Real Estate is "fantastic" - I couldn't agree more.

We have developed advanced workflows that cater to all sizes of property management agencies to assist in simplifying this complex process with our in-built propriety rules engine, in built automation and Artificial Intelligence.

With both free and paid options to property management offices - we have a maintenance solution that will work with all agencies or all shapes and sizes.

 

Inspections

We have built an inspection solution from the ground up that allows you to not only complete onsite inspections but also remote  tenant assisted inspections in full HD video, a first for the industry and one that has had a high uptake as it is a different approach to inspections. Reports can have video and photographs rather than solely photographs alone.

The inspection product also allows you to create and update an asset register for your properties so you can accurately identify assets that are in need of replacement  and tag them for future maintenance requests. At the same time you can complete one click maintenance from any room, which automatically drafts a request for you at the conclusion of the inspection to send to quote or award to get the works done.

The blending of maintenance and inspections allows for simplicity in both of these time consuming processes and means that there is no longer a need to run two different systems, have multiple logins or subscriptions.

 

Smart Digital Locks

After solving the problems of maintenance, inspections were looked at the next biggest issue for property managers and property management offices. After nearly 12 months, a huge amount of R&D and testing we found a solution that works for property managers, tenants and trades.

The smart digital lock solution is an industry first allowing trades to open either retro fitted door deadbolts, smart lock boxes or padlocks by using the same mobile app that they receive work order on. No more key collection, no more missing or lost keys, a covid safe approach and significant savings for owners as they are no longer needing to pay for key collection.

Aside from trades, the platform also extends the ability for tenants and property managers to use the same mobile apps to access the property which is great for property managers as they no longer need to take keys to open homes or inspections and for tenants they can unlock the door each and every day from the mobile app negating the need to have keyed access.

Finally, if you manage short stay accommodation or wish to generate one time, time sensitive pins you can also do this and provide these to any party.

Just think of a life without having to juggle keys in your office and having keyless entry for trades completing maintenance tasks and property managers visiting properties - some have described this as utopia - it is a fair summary.

The lock solution is available to property management offices now.

 

Omni channel and bots

We have a full suite of mobile apps including those for the tenant, owner, trade and property manager. Property Managers and Trades are able to use conversational AI on the mobile apps to access key functions via voice.

We realise not everyone wants to download and use an app so we built out our omni channel solution allowing tenants to lodge maintenance with in built triage, check rent and arrears as well as have general questions and answers of the agency answered by connecting the tenant with our Bot and they are able to use whatsapp, facebook messenger, SMS, email and phone - so there is no need to manually collect maintenance requests manually or try and troubleshoot with tenants and tenants can self serve on property related questions as well as general questions. This will be extended to owners in the near future.

All of the omni channel is handled by our AI Bot allowing property managers to save time and focus on growing their portfolios rather than the manual and mundane.

 

Automation (PAM)

Removal of the manual processes is what our foundations are built on. We have built PAM our Property Automation Manager to assist with complete platform automation.

We have a fully programable and customisable rules engine that can serve reminders and complete actions on behalf of the property manager or agency and when a rule is breached it is presented via a number of communication methods as well as appearing on the smart dashboard for action by the property manager or admin team.

This is a key and significant differentiator to greatly assist offices in hyper growth with significant automation.

 

Insights

How much do you pay your top trades? How long does it take from start to finish for a work order, what is the average price for a trade in your key suburbs, what does your trade coverage look like? How long does it take a property manager to mark a job as complete?

With more than 20 data points for insights you can deep dive for the first time into your portfolio and how it looks from a maintenance point of view.

True insights based on data at your fingertips available anytime to export and share with others - it allows you oversight that you would have never seen before.

 

These initiatives are already in market and in use by clients.

We have a packed road map for 2021 enhancing the digital tool kit from property managers as we are more than maintenance.

Please reach out to see how we can help your agency deploy the digital tool kit to save time, increase revenues, increase productivity and significantly decrease costs.

 

Lets smash it together in 2021!

 

 

Topics: Product update

Rafael Niesten

Written by Rafael Niesten

In his early 20s, Perth local Rafael Niesten, won a scholarship to study in Canada, with that came the opportunity to volunteer at a local radio station. That spawned his entrepreneurial streak, returning to Perth in 2001 he set up community radio Groove FM. More by luck than design, they became successful, too successful as they took a significant chunk of the Perth Market. This sent up the red flag with his commercial competitors who saw to it that he came before the Australian Broadcasting Authority and on technicalities such as the number of volunteers he was forced to move on. He received the citizen of the year award for Western Australia (youth) and was a finalist in the Australian of the year awards (Youth). Falling on his sword he turned to running small and large scale events, all the while buying, renovating and selling properties. Buying and selling land and renovated houses provided a grounding in the property industry. He founded a cloud based medical grade voice recognition company, followed by co founding the first true cloud application for private practice in the health sector. He successfully exited these ventures at the end of 2016 and began building Bricks+Agent.

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