Merritt Properties is already known for having strong relationships with its tenants. But VTS has allowed them to strengthen those bond even further in a more scalable and efficient way.
Jean Farnsworth, a market research analyst at Merritt Properties, is a self-proclaimed lover of Excel. “I’m probably part of the 1% of the population that enjoys spreadsheets,” she said.
And that’s what makes Jean so good at her job. She is focused on “consolidating data and reporting on Merritt’s leasing activity and occupancy.” Most of the insights that the company needs to make leasing decisions come from her desk.
But, compiling those spreadsheets and reports was often a challenge for Jean. “We have 12 leasing agents across two offices. There are just so many mediums of data,” she said. “It was a mixed bag of sources: phone calls, post-its, spreadsheets, Google docs, smoke signals, you name it. There was so much activity and standardizing the data medium was tough.”
While the reports came together every week, Jean was worried that she “couldn’t really trust the data because when the sources are in so many different places, it’s hard to be sure you’re catching it all in the reports.”
Jean began searching around to see if there was any solution to this type of issue. That’s when she discovered VTS. They rolled out VTS Landlord Standard, integrated with the rest of their systems, and began managing their leasing and asset management processes all within the platform.
“VTS has completely changed how we report,” said Jean. “I used to spend 5-6 hours a week to prepare the reports or to answer questions. Now I can do it with just the click of a button.”
She added, “Since each leasing agent is responsible for inputting their activity into VTS, I’m confident everything’s in the platform.” This has made everything run smoother and the “inter-team communication on deals is much easier. That’s what I really love - working smarter, not harder,” she said.
In addition to saving time and centralizing all the data, the VTS platform is helping Merritt continue to deliver on one of its core competitive differentiators: tenant relationships.
“Merritt is very serious about tenant retention,” said Jean. “I know a lot of firms probably say that, but our renewal rate is very high and having long-term relationships with our tenants is very important to us.” She added, “We even have some tenants from the late ‘70s that are still with us.”
VTS has helped Merritt “maintain great relationships with our tenants,” said Jean. “We have a better sense of what’s happening in our portfolio and we are generally more responsive. We can start on that renewal a little quicker since we have all the right data. Or, if we stop into the office, we can track all their details on our phone.”