Portland-based MW8 Apartments provides 54 units of student housing and furnished apartments. The building has one property manager, Dustin Locke, who is responsible for both potential and current residents.
MW8 Apartments is an upscale, 54-unit student housing complex near PSU that provides furnished apartments ranging from studios to 4-bedroom units with numerous amenities.
Dustin Locke, the sole property manager in charge of the entire building, partners with a leasing agent to fill vacancies. During the day, his work helping tenants often takes him away from his office or otherwise makes him unavailable to take incoming calls, many of which are for time-sensitive inquiries and requests. At night, his office continues to receive calls when he’s not there… some of which turn out to be important.
“Residential management is a very time sensitive business,” says Dustin. “However, for a busy property manager, it’s often not possible to answer calls and constantly check voicemails.”
Some missed calls were from prospective tenants in a rush to rent an apartment. As Dustin knows,
“If someone calls Saturday at 5:05pm and we don’t hear the message until Monday morning at 9am, there is a high probability that person kept making calls and already signed a lease.”
While he didn’t want to ask his staff to answer calls after hours, Dustin felt ownership over the quality of his management service. He needed a way to get real-time information on calls around-the-clock.
Dustin decided to see how award-winning Numa could give him real-time insight into calls. Numa’s easy setup made the transition very smooth. The low price made it a no-brainer.
“I love how user-friendly Numa is because I don’t consider myself or my team technical"
Dustin immediately saw value with Numa’s help. He gained full visibility into incoming calls around the clock. He could immediately distinguish between interested potential tenants, work orders, urgent lease issues, and general non-time-sensitive activity. He also loved how Numa reminds him of voicemails or calls that went unanswered after a few hours.
“Numa improves our ability to respond quickly, because we could lose business, or money.”
Dustin finally felt confident he wasn’t missing any opportunities to fill vacancies.
“Prospects for the building are very time sensitive. They can often move on to another building within minutes if they don’t feel they are going to get a response”
Little did he know but Numa was just about to save Dustin even more money.
One evening, after hours, Dustin saw a notification from Numa. It was an incoming voicemail on the non-emergency line. As has become his habit, Dustin gave Numa’s transcription a quick scan, only to notice mention of a leak coming from a washer.
There had been no corresponding call to the emergency line but Dustin knew right away this couldn’t wait until morning. Dustin used Numa to assign a maintenance worker to fix the issue that night. If this voicemail had gone unchecked until the morning, multiple units would have been damaged – costing hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars.
Dustin was relieved.
“With just this one call, Numa, immediately paid for itself!”
He continues to see benefits from Numa and is very happy that he made the decision to give it a try.
While MW8 has an overnight emergency line, Dustin finds tenants aren’t always aware when something might be an emergency. Especially when it comes to leaks and other water issues, Numa’s help catching messages before the next morning has saved the property thousands of dollars in potential damages.
"It's like a huge upgrade for us; it's fundamentally better and we can respond in off hours and they know we're here listening.
Prospective tenants looking for an apartment often have little patience. As Dustin explains, “The timing is everything. It’s like when your car breaks down, you keep calling until you find one that picks up. Apartment hunting is the same way.”
At least 25% of MW8’s leases are for immediate move-in, so missed calls are particularly likely to represent missed rental income. With Numa, prospects are no longer left waiting. Dustin can now catch them within seconds, whether during business hours or after.
“Anything that can make you more responsive to customers will benefit our business”
Poor property management and lack of responsiveness can often lead to tenant churn or negative online reviews. Tenants often used to tell Dustin, “You’re never in the office. I come by every day!” He is often out of the office helping other tenants.
“Numa gives us a better ability to act quickly in all situations,”
says Dustin. Now, with Numa, tenants can call or text questions and get an immediate response.
“It’s more efficient,” explains Dustin, referring to how he manages his property with Numa. Instead of someone coming in the morning, listening to voicemails, writing them down, and playing phone tag in an attempt to return calls a day later, staff now uses the Numa dashboard to quickly read conversations and take immediate action. This saves hours of time each week.
Dustin adds,“There is value in the ease of sharing information in the [Numa] system. The ability to relay information in a comfortable, accessible way is very powerful for my business.”
Dustin can’t imagine going back to pre-Numa operations,
“I really do feel fortunate to have it and be able to use it.”