27 communities in Arizona, Colorado and Utah
SightPlan instrumental in Avanti’s transition to in-house management for half of the cost.
27 communities in Arizona, Colorado and Utah
When Avanti Residential began to bring the management of its properties in-house in the spring of 2019, the company’s leadership team knew that selecting the right platform for onsite teams to communicate with residents and manage service requests would largely make or break the transition.
It was paramount that the startup management company set the right tone from Day 1 and launch with the technology in place to take customer service to the next level.
Brenda Gammie, senior vice president of operations for Avanti, said the company’s vetting process quickly steered it toward SightPlan. In addition, one of Avanti’s previous third-party management companies used SightPlan and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
"The easy decision for us would have been to just go with our property management system’s mobile maintenance, but we wanted to go with the technology leader and the best-in-class, which was SightPlan."
The decision was made easier by the fact that the top-shelf solution didn’t come with a painful sticker price.
"When we went with the SightPlan workflow platform, we not only eliminated the mobile maintenance component of our property management system, but the answering service too,” Gammie said. "The price that we were paying for the just the answering service was about twice the price we pay for the entire SightPlan platform, including answering service. The value of SightPlan really stood out to me."
SightPlan’s diversified capabilities also won over Gammie, along with Avanti’s onsite teams.
"When I did the demo, all the features that SightPlan has were really appealing. I just remember being so excited to roll it out, even knowing that we would probably have some hiccups and not everyone would embrace it," Gammie said.
But Avanti hasn’t had any of those issues.
Normally, with a significant technology transition, the change management is hard and there is push-back from the sites, Gammie shared.
"We were going from a live person to more of an A.I. with SightPlan, so I expected some resistance and some challenges. But it went super smooth and everyone embraced and loved it. A lot of maintenance guys aren’t necessarily tech savvy, or don’t want to work through their phones, but the whole process was incredibly positive."
In fact, Avanti maintenance supervisors now are among the biggest advocates for SightPlan, praising its user-friendly interface to its documentation and photo features.
"We really like SightPlan because it’s easy to use and understand on the maintenance side. It has definitely made my job easier.", said David Mariotti, the maintenance supervisor at Flats at Pinecliff.
Jose Alvarez, the maintenance supervisor at Omnia McClintock in Tempe, Ari. said the SightPlan platform has organized my workload and allowed my team to often diagnose an issue before a technician ever sets foot inside an apartment home. "SightPlan is easy to use and keeps track of service requests. I love that residents can take a picture of the problem and upload it to the conversation. That helps us to troubleshoot in advance. It has truly made a difference in my day to day operations."
To help ease the transition to the new workflow platform, Avanti simultaneously rolled out bring-your-own-device (BYOD) system, which allows associates to operate the SightPlan app on their personal smartphones. Approximately 80 percent of team members selected the BYOD option, rather than be issued a company phone.
Avanti brought management in-house at 25% of its properties in April of 2019, and by mid-summer of the same year it had assumed management of the remaining 75%, with SightPlan implemented portfolio wide.
The first indicator that SightPlan was paying dividends for Avanti showed up in the form of accountability. The transparency and documentation provided through the system allowed associate performance to be tracked and evaluated at an entirely new level.
SightPlan built out custom reports for Avanti on the reporting and inspection end of operations, to track efficiency items like turnaround times for work orders apartment turns.
But how have those custom tracking reports altered productivity and efficiency?
"Significantly. Shockingly significantly, Internally, it’s very important to us to track performance. When you’re tracking it and teams are being held accountable, it’s always going to be a different level of performance – the highest level of performance."
Gammie said that the ability for SightPlan to quickly adapt to Avanti’s changing needs has helped the company navigate the unprecedented waters presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well. Avanti continues to use SightPlan as a primary means of communication during the ongoing health crisis.
Service performance has always been top priority for Avanti and that didn’t change with the implementation of SightPlan. When comparing service performance key performance indicators (KPIs), Avanti had a score of 2.09% in October 2019, one year after rolling out SightPlan across its portfolio, KPIs show a significant improvement to 4.65%, or an increase of 122.4%.
"The customer service, their response times, the custom items that they had to build out – whether it’s because we’re a startup, or if it’s been Covid-19 related – has completely exceeded our expectations."
SightPlan has been there to help troubleshoot more routine issues, as well, Gammie said. SightPlan’s role in Avanti’s management launch proved instrumental in its success.
"We transitioned those 27 properties in 90 days and things were a little chaotic on our end. We weren’t always 100% organized, but SightPlan did a great job of working with us, and even supporting us in ways that are really outside of what SightPlan does. Their whole team has been a bigger part of our startup and our launch than just being a vendor providing a product for us.”"