We sat down with James Industrial Limited’s property manager Mark Groves about the benefits of using Re-Leased and why our platform impressed him on a number of levels.
We hold quite a significant commercial property portfolio spread across a group of companies, which in itself presents quite a challenge. The portfolio had been managed externally, to differing degrees of success, by a variety of different commercial property companies.
A decision was taken in the middle of the year last year that we could probably better service the portfolio if we took on management in-house, subject to finding a suitable software solution, as we had no system in place that would adequately cater for the number of properties we would be looking after.
In short, Google – then a lot of research! There were a number of software providers offering a whole range of different solutions of varying complexity and usability. Once we had a list of potential candidates, we contacted them in turn to seek further explanation and demonstration of their systems, functionality, support and costings.
Re-Leased impressed us on a number of levels. Firstly, and this goes back to the old saying ‘you don't get a second chance to make a first impression’, the people who fielded our enquiry were just great! Professional yet friendly, knowledgeable, patient, responsive, funny – all the things we needed as people new to the idea of managing a sizeable portfolio ourselves for the first time.
Secondly, the software is really easy to grasp. It goes without saying that there is a lot to learn, and we are still learning, but to get to grips with the basics and get the system up and running and automating a lot of daily tasks is quite easy – it is very intuitive software and it just works!
Thirdly, it was cost. For what Re-Leased offers we think it is very fairly priced.
And fourth, the support is great. From helping us collate the original data, which needed adding to the system (Re-Leased handled the initial set up for us) right up to date, the team at Re-Leased have been brilliant. Calls, however banal, are answered with a cheery "Hello, how can we help?" and a thorough response is provided. We have even received video clips demonstrating exactly how to do something so we get a thorough walk-through of the solution to our question – first class support and a lot of the so called ‘Blue Chip’ competitors could learn something from Re-Leased.
Re-Leased has automated a lot of the tasks we were doing manually previously. Xero is our accounting software package but we had to manually adjust dates in invoices for example prior to implementing Re-Leased. What was effectively a new-start business in terms of daily management of our property portfolio, Re-Leased has allowed us to move the management over seamlessly from the existing providers with the absolute minimum of fuss and disruption.
This is a little difficult for us to answer as we were not doing the job previously! However, what we would say is that Re-Leased has saved us in terms of cost, as we are no longer paying third parties to look after our properties and the usability of the system means that we are now managing our portfolio very professionally and efficiently.
The ability to diarise and schedule things such as maintenance tasks (safety inspections) and insurance renewals means that we are not relying on anything other than Re-Leased to maintain our schedules and diaries. Everything is entered onto Re-Leased and it is then a very simple job to maintain workflows and manage renewals, repairs and maintenance tasks.
One of the big provisos from our senior management team when we were researching software to enable our transition to in-house management was compatibility with Xero. By complete coincidence, Re-Leased had already been highlighted as the front runner prior to the information regarding Xero compatibility being cascaded, so when we saw the Re- Leased and Xero worked hand-in-hand, it seemed that it was just meant to be!
The backward-forward compatibility just makes life so easy for us. Re-Leased has removed some of the manual tasks which we had to perform when just using Xero previously and the two systems have just worked together perfectly since the moment we pressed the "Enable" button to link them. Again, it just works!
One area where Re-Leased has helped us significantly is communication with tenants. Once set up, it is quite literally a few clicks of the mouse and you have sent an email or text message to significant numbers of tenants with all communication being stored under the tenancy so there can be no question of receipt.
Digital storage of key tenancy documents has also been a big bonus for us. No more looking through files or trying to remember where documents are saved, everything just sits nicely under the tenancy and can be retrieved in seconds, which is handy when you are on the phone and being asked questions about break clauses or rent increases, etc.
One word...EASY! It was a simple as filling in an excel spreadsheet and clicking send on an email! Re-Leased took care of the rest and we were then delivered a working system.
It was important for us to make sure our information tied up exactly with Xero to avoid duplication when the two were linked but (and this was our fault) the couple of anomalies which were thrown up because we did not have everything 100% were quickly and efficiently resolved by the Re-Leased support team and software specialists. They helped us to resolve our data issues so we could get up and running, and live with managing our platform on Re-Leased
With the simple expansion which Re-Leased offer, as our portfolio grows, so will our use of Re-Leased. We are confident that, and at the time this case study is published, we need look no further than Re-Leased for a solution to our growing needs. It is obvious that a lot of thought, time and effort has gone into producing a system that will cover our demands as a commercial property business and Re-Leased captures pretty much all of the elements that we need to work effectively.