As our very first Console Cloud customer in New Zealand, agency principal Aashish Suri is a special client for us. When we first met with Aashish, he had just started a brand new boutique real estate agency. He signed up with us soon after, and began to grow his business.
Starting out with Console Cloud
Terramark, based in Wellington, is one of New Zealand’s freshest agencies. And when principal and founder Aashish Suri launched his new venture in November 2019, he knew that a key part of his success would be finding the right software.
‘I first looked at Palace Liquid and Property Tree, but when I started interacting with the team at Console, I knew I had to move toward their more ‘client-focused’ software. They communicated their platform’s benefits from an agency perspective rather than a software provider perspective, and they were clear that their product was continually advancing. What I saw at the time would be different tomorrow, next week, and next month.
The other providers I looked at failed in their customer focus. After demonstrating their product, they were slow to follow up, and from what I learned after, lacked strong support as well.’
Console’s attitude, unique among property management software providers, proved particularly attractive to Aashish, especially given his own approach towards business. Unlike in Australia, investment properties in New Zealand are more typically managed by independent landlords, who directly handle tenants and their properties. And while property management as a service is beginning to become more popular, agencies have their work cut out for them when it comes to demonstrating their value.
‘My philosophy in property management is all about communication. If we can address the needs of our clients through efficient communication, we have a better chance of keeping them. Communicating clearly and respectfully means we can create great relationships with both our tenants and owner investors.
This culture of respect and high ethical standards, matched with clear communication, compliance, follow-up service, constant improvement, and engagement is what our clients love. This type of excellence aligns with the excellence I’ve experienced from Console.’
But it wasn’t just this strong foundation of shared values that drew Aashish to the platform. As the new kid on the block in Wellington’s competitive property management market, Terramark would need to be supported by software that was designed around the idea of doing less and making more. Console Cloud, based on workflows that constantly talk to each other and limit the need for cross-keying data and manual effort, was the perfect choice.
‘Console Cloud eliminates the donkey work of data entry and management of manual processes. As a startup, I could immediately start growing. I believe that with Console Cloud I should be able to manage 150 properties on my own, before adding additional resources. Console Cloud offers the efficiencies I need to do that, without the extra headcount.’
Coping with change
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the usual operation of many industries, including those in the real estate and property management sectors. Fortunately, Aashish has found his business relatively untouched, in part thanks to Console Cloud.
‘It was mostly business as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand. Having Console Cloud as our property management software meant we were prepared, with no interruption to business.’
Again, Aashish drew on his business philosophy of constant communication and transparency with his clients, ensuring they were comfortable with any changes to procedures during New Zealand’s first wave and consequent lockdown.
‘I had a very conscious approach during COVID-19. My main concerns were for the tenants, so I made sure I kept in contact with them and adjusted any inspections of properties. I found that inspections after that initial lockdown period were great. Tenants were thankful for the respect and space given during this time, and because of this we’ve created stronger relationships with them.’
Why choose Console Cloud?
As the first Console Cloud customer in New Zealand, Aashish has plenty of advice for other principals considering moving their agencies to the software.
‘Console Cloud would be great for larger agencies with some less experienced property managers. From my experience, we often see the owner of large agencies being great at what they do, but some of their staff may not be.
I have taken on clients from agencies who were unhappy with the service they used to receive, where the only communication offered was by email from the property manager. Console Cloud’s simplicity provides the right pathway for an agency that wants to grow while still having the time to talk and build relationships with investors and tenants.’
And as for getting the whole team on board?
‘My advice to other agencies would be to be smart with Console Cloud and clearly communicate with your team as to how it works. While it will be a change from what you know, it will be easier for you. Take the time to learn and build this as a process with your team. Use the tutorials that Console supplies and invest in the extra one-on-one training.’
Console New Zealand
Console are providers of trust accounting software and end-to-end property management solutions, for property managers and agents in Australia and New Zealand.