LEXINGTON, KY – The multifamily property management scene can be a crowded place. Property owners often gravitate to the firms with the biggest names to add credibility to their developments, especially when they are seeking funding. But one start-up management firm has been disrupting the status quo by bringing some out of the box thinking to create significant efficiencies in property management.
Meet Proxus Management, the Lexington, Kentucky based property management firm that was founded just a little over a year ago, with a goal of shaking things up in the often mundane task of property management. Proxus took a step back and looked hard at the multiple interactions that take place on a daily basis by staff in the field and the back office. After working on several models, analyzing data and using detailed tracking methods, Proxus found a game-changer to enter this crowded space.
The result; the ability to dramatically improve financial performance of properties through the elimination of untimely surprises by reporting performance in real time.
“The major processes that makes up successful execution of third party management is only as good as the weakest link, stated Morten Lillelund, CEO of Proxus. Data needs to be structured and divided into categories of tasks to decide what area of the organization needs to perform a given task or category. We found where the bell curves are to optimize the process.”
Many tasks that in traditional property management are delegated to the field operation, have been centralized by Proxus. Example; all phone calls come to a centralized call center to ensure no dropped calls, and all late letters are delivered through a fully automated click-to-mail distribution platform.
The value-add Proxus continues to evolve through its data driven delegation is the development of its Best Practices. This is where automation plays a key role in intellectual property for the company; making it possible for Proxus to deliver consistent results and use each part of the organization to what they are best at.
“In Property Management, the challenge is to catch hundreds of (mostly) little tasks, and act quickly on the issues so the financial impact is limited and the gains are optimized, stated Charles Raffay, CIO of Proxus. There is a multitude of transactional processing on a daily basis, which is prone for errors and inconsistencies. This is a job that needs structure and organization as many deadlines are constantly due from reporting, critical bill payments or audits throughout the year.”
“Many great tools are available on the market today, but just like the hundreds of task that need to be performed, the systems on the market need to be working together to automate and structure the information created,” added Raffay.
To tie its systems together, Proxus created “Middleware Technology,” being software that sits in the middle of the organization and ties processes, systems and people together; making it easy to remain organized for each task, as well as making it easy for third party companies that might perform outsourced services.
The middleware developed by Proxus, “Proximity,” is now producing early warning reporting on a daily basis to staff members and property owners, such as daily collection results, new prospects, call analysis, occupancy status changes, and more. It is also the place where all employees start when working on any tasks, as with a simple click, Proximity takes each user to the application needed.
The core applications Proxus utilizes, such as Yardi, 365 Connect, OneNote, SharePoint and Excel all have been incorporated into Proximity. This integration gives users the flexibility to work on the same tools at the same time, and all in real time, as all processes and procedures are stored at the job level inside Proximity. This makes job sharing and training of new staff members easy, allowing users of different levels of technology proficiency to operate the same.
“But as good as we can be at creating a process flow, we needed to bring in best of breed technology to keep a steady flow of prospects, as well as create a method to retain residents to limit unit turn costs,” added Lillelund. After an exhaustive search and vetting process of online marketing and resident platforms in the market, Proxus selected award-winning platform provider 365 Connect to round out its game-changing management system.
“365 Connect has a solution so robust, we were actually able to eliminate another layer of costs. 365 Connect has some leading edge marketing solutions, such as a massive syndication platform built into their system, and the ability to utilize content marketing. The results from this marketing mix are nothing short of astonishing. We saw an immediate bounce in traffic flow, which eliminates the need of a traditional waiting list that often becomes obsolete in just a few days; it is a game-changer,” added Raffay. In addition, we are reducing costs by increasing our renewal rates with 365 Connect’s resident platform, is very different from anything we saw on the market, and automates most of the process for us. We have seen a 20% increase in occupancy levels since deploying their platform.”
Proxus’ mix of game-changing technology is certainly starting to payoff, since its founding in April 2012, the company has experienced a growth rate of over 700%, proving that the status quo is just not working anymore. “This industry needs to evolve. Most management firms think of housing as a box; not everything can fit inside the box that has been created to manage it effectively. Proxus is here to eliminate the entire process that created the box,”stated Lillelund.