Making a Positive Impact to Preserve the Planet
Resources and manpower were wasted delivering resident notifications
Working toward Green Initiative goal to save resources and preserve the planet
Printing and hand delivery of flyers
StuartCo was founded in 1970 and has grown to one of the most respected full service residential property management firms in the Upper Midwest. Their current portfolio size is over 5,000 units, 150,000 feet of commercial space and a workforce of over 375 employees.
The portfolio represents a diverse array of properties including market rate apartments and townhomes, a senior housing campus that includes memory care, independent living and assisted living, affordable housing, and commercial properties. They are located primarily in metro-Minnesota, with additional sites in Nebraska and Wisconsin. StuartCo is firm in their commitment to provide quality customer service for all of their customers — renters, vendors and investors.
StuartCo’s Executive Team developed a corporate initiative to begin making smarter, energysaving choices to preserve the planet. Their goal is to reduce waste by 10% in the first calendar year. As Director of IT, Travis Guza’s team looked at what was being done at several of their properties and what specific action they could take to save on manpower, paper and ink. On a weekly basis, the property managers were sending out reports and notifications that were physically being printed and hand-delivered under residents’ doors. Not only was this old style of communicating a waste of paper, but manpower as well.
Riverview at Upper Landing in St Paul, Minnesota was the first property to institute OnSolve® One Call Now® notification system. Riverview needed a quick method to let residents know in real time what was happening during an expected flood and if evacuation would be necessary. Riverview continued to use One Call Now for routine notifications from that point on. Based on their experience with One Call Now at this property, it made sense to go with something they had confidence would work for StuartCo’s Green Initiative and other notifications as well. “The decision to go with One Call Now was an easy one,” reported Guza. StuartCo sent out a letter to all residents advising them of the Green Initiative and that they would be utilizing One Call Now’s digital communication tool moving forward.
Working with the One Call Now sales and systems engineering staff, StuartCo was able to set everything up the way they wanted. “One Call Now’s team made it very easy for us. Everything we requested during implementation was done without issue,” Guza shared.
The One Call Now messaging service was integrated with StuartCo’s current property management software system allowing for extraction of resident data. This eliminated the need for property managers to manually input resident information. Group training on the system was conducted for all StuartCo’s property managers. Guza said, “There’s always a learning curve when rolling out something new. I think that with the training we did beforehand and the ease of use of the system, it’s been great.”
One Call Now was rolled out to 25 of StuartCo’s properties and now they use it for everything including emergencies, community events, package pickup, maintenance issues, water shut-offs and snow- plowing notifications. Guza said that “The more comfortable the users are becoming with it, the more they are able to find new ways to utilize it.” He adds, “The biggest benefit is the real time notifications. We deal with multiple residents in each building. Winter can be terrible in Minnesota, and the system notifies residents immediately about snow plowing.”
Utilizing the One Call Now Subgroup feature has made communications even more efficient. While StuartCo’s preference is to primarily send voice message calls, they have some properties where residents have specifically asked to receive notifications via text message. Property managers are able to use the Subgroup feature to accommodate those residents’ requests. Guza uses the Subgroup feature to reach out to just the IT Department staff as well. If they schedule server or maintenance work, they are able to notify the appropriate properties and corporate staff. StuartCo has also set up a maintenance emergency request system. Guza said, “The communities are broken up by territory. If there is a maintenance emergency in the Northwest Territory, for example, they can get all hands on deck for each and every one of those properties utilizing the Subgroup feature.”
One Call Now reports are generated in such a way that Guza is able to view all StuartCo properties. He sees how many calls are being made and what the property managers are using it for on a weekly basis. “So we can keep track,” Guza says. “If a manager isn’t using it enough, they can give them some direction on how best to incorporate it at their property.”
With everyone on board at the 25 properties currently using One Call Now, StuartCo is well on their way to meeting its goal to help preserve the planet with its Green Initiative. Guza says, “It’s been a great tool, and we look forward to continuing to use it.”