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How Westcourt Group is cutting admin time and future proofing their business


Luke Dawson copy

Luke Dawson
Head of Property, Westcourt Group

Luke Dawson is the Head of Property at Westcourt Group and is focused on using the right technology to streamline their commercial investment portfolio. By understanding which properties are performing well and which are not, as well as the time invested in managing each property, this will help the company understand how they are performing and where they want to be going forward. 

Westcourt Group is a regional property investment and development business based in Yorkshire, with a portfolio of properties across the industrial, office, retail and residential sectors. As a family company, Westcourt Group prides itself on building long-term relationships with tenants and the wider community. They recently participated in a charity sleepout and donated to a food drop for WeCareLeeds.

We're a small team, so we need a good system to make sure we don’t forget anything. That was a big driver in our search for a new property management solution. 


Systems stuck in the past

For more than a decade, Westcourt Group has enlisted the help of different property management systems to support their operations. But throughout this time, Luke says these systems have fallen short of providing the full functionality they required or the ease-of-use to allow them to quickly pick up the software. 

We've had several property management systems over the past 10 to 15 years and many of them looked like they were on MS DOS. It was like looking into an old Atari video game.

One of the major challenges with these previous solutions was that important information about leases, invoices and dates were in siloed systems and spreadsheets. With no single source of truth, the team were forced to double check all their data and create, time-consuming, undocumented work-arounds.

We're a small team, so we need a good system to make sure we don’t forget anything. That was a big driver in our search for a new property management solution.

As a property investment company, all we want is to put the data in. We wanted a system that could send out bills on a quarterly or monthly basis, and act as a central place to keep leases and important documents. We can then concentrate our time on seeking out new opportunities.


Combining functionality with usability

Re-Leased came on to Luke’s radar through a personal recommendation from an agent who was using it to manage properties. What stood out immediately was its focus as a user-friendly platform built specifically for commercial property management.

Our previous systems were very clunky and very difficult to use. One of the systems was simple but lacked functionality and then the other systems had the functionality but were very difficult to use. We feel that Re-Leased bridges the gap between these two needs.

Within Re-Leased, the user-friendly dashboard has preventative, reactive and detective controls for outlining daily tasks and upcoming or overdue actions in one place, meaning Luke and his team will not have to continue relying on their memory to action important lease events.

The reporting and analytics capability was another drawcard as it will enable the team to get full visibility of daily business information to help drive portfolio performance and proactively surface any risks.


Adapting & growing for the future

Unlike other property companies, Luke says Westcourt Group looks at more than just financial returns when it comes to making investments. They are a family-run company and strive to add value to the properties they invest in. This approach, however, has helped them to attract high-quality tenants and, so far in 2020, Westcourt has collected over 92% of their rent. So, what has helped them buck the widespread trend of significantly lower rent collections in the wake of the pandemic? A commitment to communicating with their tenants and working together through this tempestuous time.

We were looking at purchasing more stock this year but since the pandmenic, the priority has been to refocus on looking after what we have. Efficient management of our current stock is what provides the solid foundation for taking on new opportunities. Keeping in regular contact with our tenants and agreeing achievable payment plans has enabled us to perform well this year.

We have concentrated on completing our office refurbishment project @56WellingtonSt in Leeds City Centre which will be coming to the market in 2021.

The goal now for Westcourt Group is to start leveraging their new system to not only drive efficiencies and make data easily accessible, but to also make smart decisions to future proof the business.


We're gearing up for a better 2021 and this forms part of that plan. Re-Leased will take care of a lot of administrative elements. Invoices will go out and the service charges will be easily reconcilable. This gives us time to appraise what we do strategically, explore new opportunities, and understand how our assets are performing rather than just spending that time chasing up administrative issues.

Re-Leased is being brought in to not only provide operational efficiencies, but to enable us to grow and move forward with our strategies over the next 15 to 20 years.


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