Simplifying property management
Resident’s founder, Kate Boyes, runs Alexandre Boyes, an award winning, residential sales, lettings and property management family business in Tunbridge Wells.
As she was frustrated with what tools and admin support were available for managing blocks of flats, Kate set about designing something that would make managing property simpler, more transparent, and more cost-effective for her team and for clients. And so Resident Property Management Software was born in 2014.
Integrated web portal
One of Kate’s biggest frustrations was that there was no integration. Accounts had to be managed separately using a software package that could only be accessed in the office, as it had to be installed on one of the computers there; if her team needed to communicate with the block residents, they would have to send an email to each one or phone them individually; to keep on top of maintenance work schedules, they had to log into a separate calendar and search through different directories to find local contractors. To anyone else managing blocks of residential property, this probably sounds pretty familiar too!
Flexible and cost-effective block management
The aim with Resident was to create a single point of access, which would save time and money, for anything to do with block management. Working with a team of local web developers, Resident was designed from the start as a cloud-based online portal. It was also important to make it flexible and cost-effective enough to suit both managing agents and leaseholders who self-manage. And to date, we’ve had about the same number of managing agents as those who self-manage signing up to use Resident, so hopefully we’ve got that right! It helps that it has been developed by people who work in the property industry themselves, so they are only too aware of the need to save time and money on managing blocks of flats.
Digital block management assistant
For example, because we know that having service charges paid on time is so important to cashflow – providing vital funds to pay for maintenance and unexpected repairs – we’ve programmed Resident to generate and send service charge demands automatically. It also works out expenditure versus budget reports, again to help boost cashflow. Annual returns are a doddle as Resident keeps a record of all leaseholder, shareholder, director and company secretary details and it’s a simple click of a button to email the end of year accounts spreadsheet over to an accountant.
Listening to client feedback
It’s also very important to us to listen to feedback from our clients, and throughout the last year we have been tweaking Resident to better suit our clients’ demands. It’s this responsive and fresh approach that sets us apart from what else is available on the market. We’re about to release Version 2, which incorporates some exciting new features as well as some refinements based on what we know our clients would like. One of these is multi schedule accounting. Some of the big, expensive, property management software suppliers do this already, but what makes the Resident offering unique is the affordable cost and the integration on our web portal with all the other elements that we know from experience are required to manage blocks of flats effectively.
Easier to communicate
Some of those features are based around easier and quicker communication with leaseholders and anyone else involved in the management process. The work we’ve put in to making Resident an integrated communication platform has been very well received by our clients. Version 2 incorporates a built-in instant messaging service, a digital message board, and an online voting tool to speed up decision-making. All the information held is block specific, a real time saver during change in ownership and legal enquiries. As all leaseholders have logins too they can access budgets, documentation, and maintenance reports themselves, which frees up valuable admin time and makes the whole management process totally transparent.
The little black book of local suppliers
Another feature that gets the thumbs up is Resident’s online directory, which cleverly works out the location and connects clients directly to approved local contractors for maintenance and repairs, and to professional service firms if legal or accounting advice is required. One click gives access to specialist leasehold brokers for building, engineering, and directors’ & officers’ insurance; and there are also links to utility suppliers which our clients use to work out the most competitive electricity and gas unit rates for their block.
Award-winning block management software
In its first year, Resident has already won bronze for Best Online Business in the Kent Digital Awards and was a finalist for the Best Services Provider at the News on the Block Property Management Awards. We have worked very hard to provide a totally integrated online block management portal that is adaptable and affordable enough to suit individual developers and those who self-manage as well as start-up or established managing agents, and we are very proud of all that we have achieved over the past year. Happy birthday to Resident and here’s to a bright future!