Harris Tripp: Moving maintenance from the inbox to the cloud with Bricks and Agent
Bricks and Agents have not only its saving PM's time but also stopped the tenents calling and asking. I think that open communication and transparency at the same time, does make a big difference with maintenance, for us. Bricks and agents have everything integrated inside a single application that brings us great value.
Based in The Inner West of Sydney, Harris Tripp with a team of more than 30 property management staff, completed an exhaustive two-year search for a property management and maintenance solution, settling on Bricks and Agent due to its advanced workflows, integration and the ability for single sign-on keeping all users in the same platform.
Maria Pakis, Head of Property Management, has been in the industry for more than 20 years and has managed her current team for more than 5 years.
Why we wanted Bricks + Agents?
“I like that the Property Managers initiate the work orders using the platform and we are not relying on Outlook, so I am able to monitor what's going on and have complete transparency around maintenance and repairs. From a management perspective, we now have insight into how many work orders are executed, which tradespeople are attending jobs promptly and other metrics, we had no visibility over previously.” A sizable rent roll ensuring that not only her team but her tenants, owners and trades were looked after in the process was important to Maria. “We have a lot of tradespeople and over the years, we've built these relationships. What our compliance department appreciates the most is that Bricks and Agent, vet all the insurances and licences for our trades. That alone was a definite advantage for us because it saved a lot of time and it has definitely eased my mind.”
“The majority of our Property Managers have commented that they are not having to remind tradespeople to attend jobs, because of the automated reminders. That has really helped the process. Reminders such as these were set up in our onboarding process with Bricks+ Agent. Business rules such as these, have benefited our tenants as maintenance and repair requests are being resolved quickly, trades are invoicing and being paid quicker, which is great because most owners want to pay the invoice on the same month that the job is actioned.” Moving from a desktop solution to a cloud solution with Bricks and Agent all on the same day was a big undertaking for Maria and her team. “There is always the fear of change. The team has embraced technology, including those that have been working here for 10 to 15 years. The platform is universal and easy to use for all age groups. Compared to other programs we've used previously, the team do not require as much prompting and day to day assistance.”
“Efficiency has also improved. The platform has made work orders more detailed which means reporting of the repairs is much more concise. Our accounts team are enjoying it because they no longer have to complete any additional work with the trade invoices and fewer mistakes are being made - as a result, we have been able to reduce our offshore headcount.”
As a direct result of moving from the inbox to Bricks and Agent, Maria and the management team can visualise from the dashboard all facets of maintenance at their agency, which was never an option before.
Support was always something at the forefront of Maria’s mind as with any new application, support is critical to the success or failure of a new application.
“The support from Bricks and Agent team has been amazing. They touch base with me, if not weekly, a couple of times a week and have also taken the time to speak to each individual Property Manager because everyone is wired differently and has different ways of learning.” In 2021, data is one of the most important commodities for a property management business to gain insights and competitive advantages on various aspects of their business.
“The business insights really won our business over. I have implemented a number of software programs and by far the insights provided from Bricks+ Agents are the best I have seen. Through business insights, management is no longer left in the dark - there’s visibility in terms of performance regarding our team and our trades. I have noticed some trades that are top performers and there are other ones which have lagged a bit and they quite surprised that we now see this.”
“It is about finding that happy medium. I think landlords are appreciating that invoices have been paid on the month that the work was completed, especially when tax time comes. Owners previously were getting an invoice that was in some cases three or four months old, through no fault of the property manager as some trades were slow to invoice or missed invoices due to no system able to offer assistance.” “The platform has encouraged all parties to speed up the process because it's really a chain of command, you've got the tradesperson, you've got the property manager, you’ve got the tenant and then you've got the owner, so we really have to be efficient on all levels,” Maria says