Property management company CA Student Living is widely recognized for its vision, track record, creativity and investor loyalty. Originally founded as Campus Acquisitions in 2004, CA Ventures is the parent company to CA Student Living, which operates 19 student housing locations.
How HappyCo Helped
CA Student Living, the fastest growing student housing business in the country, owns and operates 19 properties across the U.S. and Canada with plans to increase their portfolio by more than 40 percent over the next two years. By implementing the HappyCo platform, the company has reduced Turn times, increased damage deposit recovery and has reduced disputed move-out charges.
Streamlining Inspections for Super Fast Turn
Most property management solutions focus on accounting, reservations and lead generation, but their facilities management function is often limited. CA Student Living needed a solution that would modernize one of the most time-consuming aspects of its business — student turn.
Twice yearly, CA Student Living conducts bedroom and common area inspections of their occupied units to assess conditions during the academic year. For their student turn operations in the summer, 10,000 bedrooms are inspected and rehabbed in a few weeks. Time is a critical commodity under these constraints, so the laborious process of using paper checklists to document cleaning, carpet replacement, paint and other repairs adds a tremendous workload for the staff to aggregate the data in order to track and schedule repairs.
CA Student Living turned to HappyCo to streamline student turn operations. “It was very easy to get up and running,” said Matt Walker, VP of Property Management. “We provided HappyCo with our checklists and unit floor plans, and they digitized all the forms into the Inspections app.” CA Student Living initially started with a few sites and then quickly deployed another eleven properties last fall.
Walker said that rolling out each additional property was just a matter of a few days, as they could leverage the same template across properties and customize for unique features rapidly. Because each inspection is customized per property based on room configuration, staff can rapidly walk rooms and rate conditions in the order they encounter them. “The Inspections app makes it incredibly easy to standardize items inspected and take photos of damage in-line with condition ratings, — all of which adds up to tremendous time savings on every student Turn we manage,” said Walker.
And the Manage control center gives student managers immediate access to every inspection in real time, so they can stay abreast of progress in terms of inspections and work required. Digitizing the inspection process has reduced operations labor significantly by eliminating the data entry required with a paper-based workflow. Additionally, data collected for each unit is now standardized across the portfolio with pricing attributed by repair type, — providing key operational insights regarding rehab costs portfolio-wide that were previously difficult to calculate using a paper-based workflow.
“The Inspections app makes it incredibly easy to standardize items inspected and take photos of damage in-line with condition ratings, — all of which adds up to tremendous time savings on every student Turn we manage.” Matt Walker VP of Property Management
Faster Dispute Resolution, More Damages Collected
Student housing properties typically endure heavy use. Frequently parents dispute charges for cleaning or repairs, demanding proof for the damages incurred. The HappyCo platform provides instant access to before-and-after visual documentation, allowing CA Student Living to more quickly settle disputes and recover more for damages.
“Now when someone disputes a damage claim, we can immediately provide a detailed report with photo evidence. Since implementing the HappyCo platform, the number of disputes has dramatically decreased,” said Walker. Because reports are more accurate and disputes resolved more quickly, CA Student Living has increased recovery of damages.
With the results CA Student Living has realized using the HappyCo platform for semester inspections and student turn operations, the senior management team is planning to next incorporate HappyCo into its new property inspection process. Once a general contractor has completed a new building project, a CA Student Living property manager performs a move-in inspection to ensure everything is installed correctly, — from window blinds to the TV. CA Student Living is excited to digitize another operational process of their business with the HappyCo platform.
“Now when someone disputes a damage claim, we can immediately provide a detailed report with photo evidence. Since implementing the HappyCo platform, the number of disputes has dramatically decreased.” Matt Walker VP of Property Management
The Road to Success
Inaccurate data and labor inefficiencies resulted from conducting inspections for 10,000 rooms using paper checklists
Inability to effectively document evidence of property damage led to disputed damage charges and lower recovery of costs
Move-Out inspections for Student Turns in summer
Semester inspections for periodic checks on unit conditions throughout the academic year
Move-in inspections to ensure newly acquired properties are ready for students in the fall
Significant time savings on every Turn over using paper checklists and spreadsheets
Reduction in labor required for inspections, both Turns and periodic inspections
Lift on damage deposits recovered, reducing overall refurbish expenses