Project Management:

A successful Property Management Software project requires proper planning and on-going project management. We utilize an on-line project management system called Autotask which clients have access to. At any time, our clients can logon and enter support tickets, check the project plan, and run a variety of reports. We begin a new project by having an on-site or remote kick off meeting. This allows us to better understand your company, its property portfolio, expectations and timeline. From this meeting, we prepare the project plan and upload it into our Autotask system.

We also believe in weekly status meetings, along with the account manager of your property management software, to ensure we are on track and on budget at all times. We prepare an agenda sent prior to the meeting and after these meetings, we create both a weekly project status report and a weekly to-do list so you, the client, and all other parties, knows what is expected to be completed the following week. These weekly project status reports are ideal to forward to upper management or the Board of Directors to confirm that their approved budget is on track and everyone is working hard to move the project forward. We also work with clients to draft the conversion/implementation/go-live timeline and coordinate any data conversion which may be required.

Property Management Software Consulting & Implementation Services

The first step to helping you get the performance you need from your property management software is to sit down with our project management team. After the first kickoff meeting ends, and our consulting firm fully understands your needs, it is time to move into the implementation phase. This is where the team at The Jacobs Group really shines.

During implementation, our professionals review all aspects of the system in detail with your implementation team. Managing your property management software is a complex task and this phase allows the project team to decide how much of the software to implement in Phase I and what to roll out down the road. Making this implementation plan is essential to getting your company optimized and your team properly trained.

In addition to creating a plan of action for the implementation of your property management software, we also take the time to work with you and your team to teach them the best practices on policies and procedures using your new program or version upgrade. This extra bit of guidance can go a long way towards helping your real estate team find success.

Contact us today for more information about implementing your new software or for other property management related consulting services. We look forward to hearing from you.

Our experienced trainers can provide training on the Property Management software and any ancillary modules that are perfect for your company. We can provide either on-site or web-based remote training. Unlike some other consultants, we do not charge travel time for on-site training. We prepare a training agenda and can provide a customized policies and procedures manual in MS Word or PDF format. If requested, we can also record web-based trainings so you can refer to them later and/or train new staff. We either provide a train-the-trainer style approach where we train someone on the project team or training department, and they will then train the end-users or we can train all the end users.

The Jacobs Group utilizes several different methods to electronically convert property and financial data. For property, unit and resident types of data, we can use our SQL import scripts or utilize import capability of the property management software. For trial balance, transactions and budget data, we can import data or train clients to import themselves. We can also assist clients with the import and proper setup of new properties they acquire after they are fully up and running.

The Jacobs Group can create any custom report, special programming or interface needed. We have several programmers available to make minor modifications to existing reports or very complex interfaces / stored procedures / custom tables. Whenever possible, we try to utilize our extensive library of previously written scripts to minimize the programming time/costs.

Our usual approach is to request a mock-up of the report in Excel with definitions. For example, if a rent roll report is requested, is the column for “rent” the rent from the unit (market rent) or the rent from the resident screen or the recurring lease charge for rent from the resident? We sometimes request a phone meeting to clarify the report requirements. We then provide an estimate, then once approved, we create the report. Changes are made to the report if it’s within the original spec/scope of work. Out of scope work is completed at our hourly rate.

A service The Jacobs Group has provided over the last few years is a full Property Management Software database review. We look at all aspects of the software setup including most areas of the system admin menu, the Chart of Accounts, security, charge codes and a detailed review of a of couple properties. This extensive software review results in a detailed report (approximately 5 pages long) with recommended changes to the setup. It also identifies areas of your program you are not utilizing (and may not be aware of) to make your business more efficient. Once the report is sent to you, we schedule a call to review the report in detail, answer any questions and help establish a plan to prioritize the changes needed.

The Jacobs Group provides full property management business process reviews. These reviews are provided by the Principal, Chris Jacobs, as he has over 30 years of experience working in the property management business. He interviews employees at each level of your company’s structure, gets honest feedback of time consuming and poor business processes, then provides industry and your Property Management Software best practices/recommendations. Chris has worked with hundreds of property management companies and has learned what works and what doesn’t.

The Jacobs Group provides fast, experienced support – and this sets us apart from others. If we can provide a quick answer in 5 minutes because we know the answer right away based on our many years of experience, we feel it’s better than other sources who need to ‘look-into-it’, ‘check-with-their-manager’, and get back to you days later. Our experience and pro-active support service results in cost savings for clients in addition to getting results much faster.