In October 2018, PJ Salami and the team at Harcourts Astute in Paddington, Queensland made the move to Console Cloud.
We recently invited PJ into our office for the first-ever Console Cloud Spotlight Webinar to find out first-hand what he and his office thought of the property management software.
After almost a decade on Console Gateway, PJ and his team knew it was time for a change. While they’d come to value the server-based software for its rich trust accounting and Property Management features, its focus on utility, not speed, couldn’t match Console Cloud’s flexibility, efficiency increases, and time-savings.
“Gateway was a great product when it was released, but times have changed...The change to Cloud for us came from a bit of a business change as well. We were looking for a product to take us to the next level or next step, and allow our business to change for the right reasons.”
Embarking on such a transformative journey is a risk for any business, but after his years on Gateway, PJ was confident in Console’s Service team to see him through.
“We were familiar with the brand, the support has always been great and still is, so that was probably the biggest part with such a major change to the business.”
That’s not to say there wasn’t a learning curve. Working with a new tool with different capabilities and more advanced features takes practice, and the move to Console Cloud proved to be a catalyst for change outside of the office’s real estate software, too.
“It’s been interesting, it’s been fun. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, our business, and our clients, and I don’t look back at all. It was absolutely the best move at the time and it’s really helped us get to where we are today.”
It’s not just Harcourts Astute that’s been on a journey, either. Console Cloud was still in its infancy a year ago when Harcourts Astute first joined the Property Management and trust accountancy platform, and there’s been no shortage of improvements and updates since then.
“Things are coming, things are changing, things are getting better. The last 12 months—the things that we were told would happen have happened.”
For the team at Harcourts Astute, especially PJ’s property managers, Console Cloud’s workflows have become one of the most impactful new addition to their technology toolkit.
“With almost every aspect of your everyday Property Management, having a sort of set-and-forget model, we’ve saved huge amounts of time.”
The lease renewals workflow is a prime example of this, and one that PJ cites as a key time-saver, not only for the immediate oversight it provides but also for its quality-of-life enhancements.
“You know who’s coming, you know who’s going at a glance, you can set notes, and you can see the emails coming in and out.”
Likewise, the newly added option to quickly contact an owner to find out their intent, and allow them to reply with detailed notes, such as rent increases and lease lengths, makes the process much more straightforward and less prone to missed steps. Console Cloud’s focus on internal communication enhances this further, ensuring everyone in the office knows what’s going on with any individual property, tenant, or owner, and can work together more efficiently.
But Console Cloud doesn’t just offer enhanced internal communications. As PJ explained, using rental arrears as his example, the ability to immediately—and in some cases automatically—communicate with tenants is a huge time-saving for the team.
"Traditionally, rent arrears had meant contacting individual tenants, waiting for them to respond, potentially missing that response, having to chase them up again, and so on. This never-ending cycle was disruptive, inefficient, and fuel for frustrated owners".
With Console Cloud, PJ and his property managers can set up an automated system to track, manage and remind tenants about rent arrears, with no manual input. Even better, they can customise this system, choosing when the reminders are sent, what they say, how soon they start, and when they stop.
“Nine times out of ten it’s an honest mistake. But now it doesn’t drag on.”
Console Cloud is now a key part of the way PJ does business. It’s helped him and his team create the change they wanted in their agency and drive their growth into the future. From improved work-life balance for his staff to more granular benefits like in-built document storage, each feature unlocks another piece of the productivity puzzle.
“Products like Console Cloud...this is where the industry is going, and if you don’t do it soon, you’re going to get left behind.”
Or, if you’d like to see what Console Cloud could do for your office, book a personalised, obligation-free demo today.