Many of you in preservation probably remember 2013. I was still in Preservation. Things were busy, there were homes to secure and maintain, compliance regs were still maturing, and prices were great. During this time, I had the opportunity to personally meet with some our client's regional supervisors. One, who's name I cant really remember, told me this one line, that changed the course of how I was going to run my preservation business.
We have found that the best Preservation companies, are the ones that are ran like tech companies
What does this mean? Well, when I heard that statement, it meant that I had to analyze every part of my business and determine if there could be a way to integrate technology, to improve my services. Whether it be utilizing a weather notification system, managing databases of properties, leveraging recruiting systems, or utilizing an app like Pruvan, I had to leverage technology across the board. And our company largely was already. We had a whole team dedicated to scouring through photos all day to find estimates that weren't created yet, which we managed within a realtime database. Another team was dedicated to finding contractors, and building relationships with them, again managed, mostly, using a realtime database. Yet another group of people processed work orders, which we had an entire completion system for, to make sure everything was checked prior to the completion of an order.
I could go on and on about the systems we created, but I can't stress this point enough: There was still more we could do, and I spent a lot of my time finding technology that could solve our problems. This required finding the problems we had in the office, through listening, or uncomfortably sitting with someone while they work, not micro-managing, but micro-helping, by identifying key things that they struggle with.
Through this process I discovered Robotic Process Automation, and began implementing it where I could.
But it's also important to note, that not all technology will solve a problem. The problem needs to be worth solving, and the solution needs to save money, or time in the grand scheme of things. A good example of this was implementing 9 button mice for our processors, where more time was wasted on figuring out the button configuration software, than all the time that could possibly be saved with such a tool.
Technology enabled us. We were able to be pro-active, manage a larger amount of properties, contractors and work orders. We could rapidly respond when our clients, and contractors needed help. Finally, work was also enjoyable, because we had solutions.