Palace Property Management (herein Palace) provides property management solutions to thousands of realtors across Australia and New Zealand. Palace’s software allows users to better oversee the management of their client’s properties. They currently serve over 1000 small and medium realtor business customers that provide services for over 150,000 properties.
The company, which has seen 30% year-on-year growth, attributes a portion of this success to its continuously evolving product, which includes features such as an app and a number of third party capabilities, which add value for its clients.
It’s essentially an accounting system for managing money involved in the rental marketing and a large part of the business is dealing with tenants and owners.Michael Abbott, CEO, Palace Property Management
As the platform offers a complete property management solution, it is critical for the company to also provide a reliable and effective communication system between property managers and tenants.
Common technology to solve a common problem
SMS has proved to be one of the most effective, and popular, methods my clients use to communicate with tenants.Michael Abbott, CEO, Palace Property Management
The Palace software suite has always operated in a crowded and competitive marketplace. To distinguish itself from competitors it has been important for Palace to offer the most innovative and efficient solution to client challenges.
One major challenge causing a headache for any realtor is tenant communication, especially any communication that requires a response. It was difficult to chase up tenants with email or giving them a ring, according to Palace Property Management CEO Michael Abbott because they don’t answer or it goes to messages.
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With text messaging, however, it became much easier for property managers to chase up tenants for late rent or upcoming inspections. This was in part due to the fact that MessageMedia also offered a service that would not just go to the property manager’s phone, but one that would be recorded on Palace’s system as well.
Unlike other forms of communication, when you receive a text, the recipient will often have a look as soon as it pops up.Michael Abbott, CEO, Palace Property Management
Early adopters to future-thinking innovator
Abbott first identified a need for a reliable communication system in 2008 when a number of clients had mentioned that they found it difficult to reach and communicate with tenants over the phone, however, they had a much higher response rate with SMS.
Providing SMS to their customers turned out to be a challenge with many recommending customers sign up to them. MessageMedia stood out as one of the few that offered an API integration “that allowed SMS to integrate back into our system.” For Abbott, this was a key consideration in their decision to work with MessageMedia.
Integration of MessageMedia’s SMS service was straightforward, and Abbott believed he was provided “some of the best support we’ve experienced from a software development perspective.” MessageMedia has continued to provide that support for many years since.
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Nowadays SMS, to Abbott, is considered a “staple” in property management software with many of their competitors offering it too. It is only growing in necessity, with Abbott seeing a huge spike in messages around COVID, becoming an even more important notification for property managers struggling to get in touch with tenants.
SMS is becoming a staple of what’s needed in property management software. It’s one of those things that’s not even a nice to have anymore – it’s a default, it’s needed.Michael Abbott, CEO, Palace Property Management
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SMS property management use cases
There are many use cases for SMS property management communications including:
- Rental payment reminders
- Inspection appointment alerts
- Remittance templates
- Property status notifications
- Tenant check-ins
- Maintenance requests (initiated by tenant with MMS enabled)
It can also be useful for tenants with certain disabilities, Abbott pointed out, such as deafness where written communications are best.
But SMS is also useful in other ways as well, especially for property managers who need a robust and reliable way to keep track of past communications. This is because some property managers have hundreds, if not thousands, of tenants and tradespeople that require constant communication.
It is close to impossible for property managers to keep records of each communication themselves, on their personal devices, so it’s easier if their property management software does it for them. MessageMedia’s integration allows Palace to ensure a record of any text sent is stored against that tenant, and any replies are also recorded on their system.
This is especially important in cases where there is a legal dispute and a tenant or property manager needs to take up resolutions with the tribunal. Records of text message communications can therefore be shared as evidence to protect the realtor, property manager or owner against any potential legal liabilities.
Additionally, if there is staff turnover, a secure record of communications also allows simple handover for new staff.
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How SMS has generated value and business growth for Palace
MessageMedia makes up a critical component of the Palace software suite and is a key selling point because of its speed, reliability and functionality. Abbott has even used MessageMedia’s functionality as part of his software demo in sales meetings.
He will ask potential customers to volunteer their mobile numbers so he can generate a text from the system using one of their standard templates. This all happens within seconds, helping clients see the advantage of using text communications as a way to manage property communications.
Text messaging has also proved highly economical because Abbott only pays for what he uses. As one of the most utilised functions on the platform, it is also a key source of value for the business as well as his customers. SMS has played an “important part” in Palace’s 30% YOY business growth, according to Abbott.
I would certainly recommend MessageMedia as I know competitor services are not as good as what MessageMedia provides.Michael Abbott, CEO, Palace Property Management