When workarounds become a habit in your maintenance process, you inadvertently embed inefficiencies as well. HomeRiver Group did not realize that they had become their own worst enemy in the maintenance process. Since switching to Property Meld, HRG has been able to identify and improve not only the process but the connected aspects surrounding each work order.
As the director of our property services group, I was charged with creating greater efficiencies to help us grow revenue and reduce costs. We were experiencing rapid growth and needed a solution that could grow with us. While we had found tools to supplement our communication with owners and tenants and our scheduling process with technicians, vendors, and tenants, it wasn’t as systematized as we’d have liked and wasn’t integrated with our operating software. It required lots of workarounds like copying and pasting communication from outside the system in order to capture it for documenting purposes. We needed to do more with fewer people and leveraging a technology solution seemed like the obvious evolution to explore.
Product Vetting and Potential Risks Considered
We had looked into Property Meld a year before we ultimately signed on, prior to me joining the team, but did not proceed. There were several things we liked about the software but a few things we felt were missing. We gave that feedback to their team at the time. However, when we looked into it again, we were amazed at how much further evolution and development had taken place. It was quickly apparent they listened to customer feedback and adapted to meet the needs of their clients and prospects.
Risks for us seemed to be centered in the cost of the software. We weren’t replacing one software with another, we were adding a new software which meant adding a new recurring monthly expense we didn’t have previously. We needed to be able to create enough efficiencies from Property Meld to be able to justify the added cost of the program and then provide additional value.
Results and ROI
Since implementation, our maintenance revenues have increased 30% year over year, all while reducing headcount by 20%. While we’ve added units and grown, we simply would not have been able to grow top line revenue at that pace without Property Meld. Our average work orders per day jumped from about 6, to 10. Thanks to Meld’s automation, we were scheduling tenant’s faster. Our operating cadence before this was to send the tenant a message, hear back the following day, then schedule. With Meld it was within minutes. It was like walking onto a freeway. Sure we got run over for a month or two at the beginning. But once we figured out our choice was to run or be roadkill we took off like a rocket. Now we feel like we have greater visibility, an operating cadence that is much faster, and the API integration with Rent Manager is fantastic.
We’ve been able to better coordinate maintenance across 3 markets, and to do so faster and more efficiently. We do more work orders per day so each of our techs generates more daily revenue as a direct result of Property Meld.