Managing residential property can be a surprisingly complex operation, even for relatively small companies. For Wentworth Property Management, complex is an understatement. The firm manages over 550 properties, with more than 150,000 units in New York City and Washington, DC. Each property is unique, with lifestyle and active adult communities, developing communities, high-rise buildings, condominium and homeowner associations, and multiple recreation associations and resort facilities.
Simply keeping track of this staggering variety of properties would be virtually impossible to do without a customer relationship management system (CRM). Keeping each unit and facility in excellent shape — while also maximizing property values and contributing to best quality of life for owners and residents — would be completely impractical without a modern CRM. Surprisingly, Wentworth didn’t have a CRM.
Instead, Wentworth relied on a cobbled-together system of spreadsheets, email tools, and paper records to create a CRM-like solution. This system was highly inefficient, slow, prone to error, and stretched far beyond its limitations. Worse yet, even though Wentworth had a great reputation, the company’s sales teams were unable to effectively grow the business due to a lack of standardized sales workflows.
Further complicating the issue, Wentworth had previously attempted to adopt a new CRM. Without expert guidance on implementing the software and training their staff, however, this attempt failed. The company’s instance of SugarCRM Professional™ software sat as unused “shelfware” for more than 9 months before the company decided to try again.
Wentworth had specific needs for their new CRM, and any proposed solution would need to be capable of handling them. These were:
After discussing their needs with Intelestream, Inc., a Chicago-based CRM consulting group, Wentworth decided to move forward with a new CRM implementation.
The first step in Intelestream’s CRM implementation process was to meet with Wentworth’s management and other stakeholders to gain a complete understanding of the organization’s workflow and business processes. After learning about the company’s unique challenges, Intelestream was able to quickly create a roadmap for the custom-tailored CRM the company needed. Not only would this new CRM address Wentworth’s current problems, but it would also create a sustainable, scalable solution for future growth.
Mindful of the previous failed attempt at implementing a new CRM, the Intelestream team administered all stages of the new CRM deployment including:
The work went surprisingly fast, with Wentworth’s team readily adopting the new system. After working with Intelestream for just one month, Wentworth’s new, fully customized CRM solution was up and running.
Business Value Realized
Wentworth’s CRM adoption proved so successful that their parent company, FirstService Residential, soon expressed interest in incorporating all of their subsidiary companies into a single CRM environment. Using Intelestream’s CRM solution, FirstService Residential saw a dramatic improvement in both the efficiency of their operation, saving more than $32,000 in their first year.
Their integrated system also allowed for a much more fluid process for transferring details from the sales teams to property managers. This created a more efficient system overall, and also greatly improved Wentworth and FirstService Residential’s customer experience. In other words, it was a complete success.
“The CRM solution provided by Intelestream was a worthwhile investment that has helped us raise our yield, build our business, and keep us on the cutting edge of our industry.” — Wentworth’s Vice President of Business Operations
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