Property Management Automation Case Study: Calson Properties

Calson Properties hired Ascendix to automate their property management, email campaigns, and contact management. To reduce software development costs, we configured our AscendixRE CRM and created custom functionality.

Background

Jordan Christensen is a Commercial real estate adviser and Principal at Calson Properties.

Jordan’s Tools and Services Used:

Ascendix: Tell us a little bit about Calson Properties?

Jordan: Calson is a small, family-run property and asset management company that manages the commercial and multi-family residential properties.

We originally started in 1948 in Palo Alto, CA and now have a dispersed team in Colorado and California providing services to the Western United States.

Jordan Christensen
Principal
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Location
Palo Alto, California
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Industry
Property management

The Ascendix team is extremely knowledgeable about the Salesforce platform and always works to find the best solution. I love that they take the time to understand the business application and try to mold the software to fit us, rather than us change how we operate to fit the parameters of our property management software (which other software tends to do). They are creative in finding solutions to the unique problems we present. Problems of the past, such as contact management and mass emails no longer plague us.

Jordan Christensen, Principal, Calson Properties
Calson Properties

Challenges

Ascendix: What obstacle or problem were you facing that led you to seek solutions for Commercial or Residential real estate Property Management?

Jordan: Our biggest need was a solution to consolidate information from various team members and platforms and bring it to a central location.

We had recently had a team member retire and the subsequent restructuring of responsibilities had team members dispersed in different parts of the country.

This required more organization, transparency, and communication across our company, which ultimately generates more efficiency, such as no longer asking questions like, “Do you have the contact information for the new flooring vendor?”

Calson Properties
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We also needed a central tool to manage more information on the properties and tenants, such as vendor contracts, certificates of insurance, as well as tenant data.

We were using a common property management/accounting software but it has limitations on custom fields and was cumbersome in so many areas.

For example, contact management was extremely difficult and did not flow to our maintenance technicians’ native phone apps, making them frustrated.

Mass emails to all tenants at a property were also limited.

We also wanted something that would be flexible to adapt to new business processes.

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Solution

Ascendix: What solutions did you research and how did you end up selecting AscendixRE on the Salesforce platform?

Jordan: We reviewed various property management and accounting solutions, but they were all restrictive in some sense.

Some are weak on task/work order management, others are weak on accounting, others are cost-prohibitive.

We also looked at Zoho and a custom-built Podio installation.

We considered building our own Salesforce implementation as well, but the full scope of that was daunting and cost-prohibitive for our little operation.

Ascendix had 80% of what we wanted out of the box and they were great in designing and building out the remaining 20%. 

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Ascendix: Describe how selecting Ascendix as a partner to implement both CRM and advise on your customized business process has improved efficiency, transparency, organization etc for Calson?

Jordan: Ascendix has been a fantastic partner through this process.  Their team is extremely knowledgeable about the Salesforce platform and always works to find the best solution.

I love that they take the time to understand the business application and try to mold the software to fit us, rather than us change how we operate to fit the parameters of our property management software (which other software tends to do).

They are creative in finding solutions to the unique problems we present.  Problems of the past, such as contact management and mass emails no longer plague us.

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Ascendix: What are some of your favorite features of the platform?

Jordan: Having all of our information in one place is fantastic.

We still use a management/accounting software but are essentially running updates into our AscendixRE database on a weekly basis as we can do so much more in AscendixRE than the other software.

Since we use the platform as a service delivery mechanism, rather than sales, so organizing tasks is important to us.

Being able to quickly see the status of other’s projects is extremely helpful.

We are starting to use more automation as well, such as automatic emails based on trigger dates, which opens up a tremendous amount of potential efficiencies.

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Ascendix: What’s the 2020 plan for Calson Properties?

Jordan: We want to continue to streamline through automation and refined processes, find more ways and information to track in AscendixRE rather than in team member’s separate spreadsheets, or worse, just in their heads!

As we do that, it will free up team members to focus their time in other areas that will maximize revenue and reduce property expenses.

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Key Takeaway

It is not the first time when property management companies turn to us to create their own software for property management automation.

While there are quite some ready-to-use solutions on the market, they:

  • Might be not flexible enough and force you follow their pre-built processes.
  • Don’t let you add custom functionality even if you want to invest in custom development.
  • Might lack important functionality to track communication with clients, tenants because they are not CRM software.
  • Might be cost-prohibitive, especially taking into account that most likely you would need to pay for CRM software as well.

We understand that not all companies can afford to build software from scratch or to wait for multiple months before the software will be shipped. That’s why we can take our products as a base and repurpose them to decrease custom development significantly. Also, we leverage our global team to offer you the optimal quality/cost structure.

As a result, you’ll get the product tailored to your needs and can repurpose unleashed funds for further improvements.

Founded back in 1996, Ascendix Technologies has built multiple products for various commercial real estate companies including JLL, Transwestern, Colliers, Styles, Savvils Ireland, and many others. Get in touch with us to share your needs. Most likely, we have a product that can help you or that can be quickly repurposed.