HappyCo

Maxus Properties

Maxus Speeds Turn & Maintenance
and Reduces Disputes & Liability
with Real-Time Operations

Case Study — Multifamily Residential

Maxus Properties

Founded in 1987, Maxus Properties is a Multifamily owner and operator with a diverse portfolio of 60 properties across 15 states, including rental housing at every income level. Maxus focuses on creating sustainable, thriving communities by maintaining and enhancing the properties they own and manage.

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Down arrow 10-20Minutes Saved
Per Move-In
Down arrow 1 DAYFaster
Unit Downtime
636kRatings Collected
In 5 Months
Down arrow $50-70kAnnually
Move-In Labor
Down arrow $900kAnnually
Move-Out Labor
13kInspections
Performed in 5 Mo.
Down arrow 10-20Minutes Saved
Per Move-In
Down arrow 1 DAYFaster
Unit Downtime
636kRatings Collected
In 5 Months
Down arrow $50-70kAnnually
Move-In Labor
Down arrow $900kAnnually
Move-Out Labor
13kInspections
Performed in 5 Mo.

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Maxus Properties owns and operates close to 15,000 apartment units across several metro areas including Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City, Little Rock and various locations across the U.S. As a highly entrepreneurial company that emphasizes innovation, sustainability and company culture, Maxus turned to HappyCo to improve its property operations nationally. By implementing HappyCo, Maxus has achieved greater corporate visibility, faster turns and maintenance, higher damage charges, fewer resident disputes, and reduced legal liability. Due to increased labor efficiencies, Maxus has lowered its annual move-out labor by approximately $900,000 and move-in labor by $50,000 to $70,000.

Community pool in center of Maxus Properties multifamily apartment complex


Moving to Real-Time Operations Delivers Greater Visibility Company-Wide

Maxus Properties strives to deliver best-in-class experiences for its residents and employees alike while exercising discretion regarding any new technology purchases. “We have our basic software package with RealPage, and we had just implemented OpsTechnology, which is a spend management package, when we started looking at some other options that could be used on the property level,” said Rae Schnabel, Director of Sustainability and Special Projects Coordinator at Maxus.

Across their properties, Maxus was still using pen and paper and digital cameras to document all property processes — from move-in/move-out to annual apartment inspections to snow and pool logs to weekly lighting checks and more. “We didn’t think inspections were a real issue at the time,” said Alex Cuenca, OPS Operations Analyst. “But we ran into Mike Ramseyer at NAA 2016, — he had helped us with our OpsTechnology implementation when he was at RealPage — and he convinced us we needed to take a deeper look at our current property operations processes. We were making an effort to go paperless with leasing documents, so HappyCo fit into that strategy.”

Schnabel and Cuenca gathered their key regional personnel to evaluate the software. “Mike gave an in-depth demonstration to our regional managers and regional maintenance personnel,” said Schnabel, “and all of them jumped up and said, ‘Wow, this looks awesome!’” The key platform differentiators that impressed the team included Happy Inspector’s intuitive, customizable interface and Happy Manage’s real-time dashboards. The Maxus regional staff and home office personnel immediately understood the impact mobile inspections and real-time dashboards would have on their ability to monitor properties dispersed across different states, — giving them real-time management capabilities without onsite visits required.


“One of my favorite things about HappyCo is that everything is in real time,” said Cuenca. “So, as somebody creates an inspection out in the field, I can access it immediately through my desktop or through my iPad, if I’m out somewhere. Same goes for the regional managers, which is probably the best feature of Happy Inspector. My favorite feature is the dashboards. I can see the activity on a daily basis, I can see how many annual apartment inspections have been completed on a property,
 how many water leak logs we’ve had throughout the week.
It’s just really beneficial to have the dashboards.”

Maxus Properties office staff looking at HappyCo dashboards on desktop computers

Home office staff and regional managers alike benefit from the greater portfolio-wide visibility. “I had a Regional Maintenance Manager say that he loved it because he can now look at all of his properties, which are spread out across several states and see what it is they’re doing on a day-to-day basis within their logs,” said Schnabel. “It also gives residents peace of mind when they see us document conditions at move-in and monitor property safety features like lighting and security cameras with a system like HappyCo. So, I think from an operational standpoint, it’s greater efficiency, and it gives us better visibility company-wide.”

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"I had a Regional Maintenance Manager say that he loved it because he can now look at all of his properties, which are spread out across several states and see what it is they’re doing on a day-to-day basis within their logs."

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Rae Schnabel
Director of Sustainability & Special Projects Coordinator

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Community room with couches and fireplace at Maxus Properties multifamily apartment complex

Lightning-Fast Deployments and Easy Learning Curve for Property Staff

Maxus determined it would test HappyCo at three properties prior to a full portfolio deployment. Cuenca selected the test properties based on their history with onboarding new technologies. “The properties we selected in our initial test run are pretty aggressive about trying to improve business processes,” said Cuenca. “We chose some of our largest properties that are located in Kansas City: Park Edge Apartments at 260 units, Rosehill Pointe Apartment Homes at 500 units, and Wild Oak Apartments at 300 units. On average our properties are 150 units, so by testing at our larger properties, we were able to better estimate how long the rest of our properties would take to deploy and adopt the software.”

“Compared to other software programs, HappyCo was very, very easy to implement,” said Cuenca. “From the time that we signed the contract with HappyCo, it took about a week for them to set up all of our properties on the program.” To train their property personnel across the various states in which they operate, Maxus set up regional webinars. “We wanted to implement by region, training a new region each week. It was super easy — just a 45 minute webinar, and it was over and done with.”

Maxus Properties Property Manager, Zach Moreland, using Happy Inspector


Property Managers found Happy Inspector intuitive to use and easy to teach to their staff. “To learn the software and train my staff took a day. It was pretty quick for us,” said Zach Moreland, Property Manager at Park Edge Apartments. “Once we got it going, to actually show my leasing staff and maintenance guys how to use it, it was literally you open the app, click some buttons and follow the steps — it’s really easy.”

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"Compared to other software programs, HappyCo was very, very easy to implement. From the time that we signed the contract with HappyCo, it took about a week for them to set up all of our properties on the program."

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Alex Cuenca
OPS Operations Analyst

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Faster Turns, Improved Maintenance & Sustainability Monitoring Adds Up to Bottomline Benefits

“The time-savings is substantial,” said Schnabel. “Before HappyCo, turning a unit required multiple visits from onsite personnel to first assess repair and replace requirements, and then determine the best course of action. Now with HappyCo, every inspection can be immediately accessed from a desk or on the go. Our teams have eliminated unnecessary clarifying conversations and multiple unit visits because they can log right into Happy Manage and see any inspection photo. We save about a day of labor for every move-out, which is equivalent to approximately $900,000 annually across our portfolio. We’ve also saved on our move-ins, approximately 10 to 20 minutes per inspection, or $50,000 to $70,000 annually.”

Beyond time savings, moving to mobile has minimized the headaches and physical space required to store the multitude of paper documentation required for turn. “The biggest relief of paperwork has been definitely our turns,” said Anthony Crafton, Lead Maintenance Manager at Park Edge Apartments. “When you’re turning a quarter of a property per year, that’s several hundred pieces of paper you have to use and store. Keeping everything on the cloud opened up a lot of file space. I no longer have to keep all that paper for five to seven years documenting what we’ve done. It’s on the cloud now.”

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"The time-savings is substantial. Before HappyCo, turning a unit required multiple visits from onsite staff to assess repair and replace requirements, and then determine the best course of action. With HappyCo, they log right into Happy Manage and see any inspection photo, eliminating those extra visits."

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Rae Schnabel
Director of Sustainability & Special Projects Coordinator

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Monitoring green initiatives and maintenance efficiency and are other key benefits of moving to mobile. According to Schnabel, “From a sustainability standpoint, using HappyCo is going to help us reduce our water consumption because we now have more accurate leak logs.” And HappyCo is the clear leader when it comes to improving the life of a Maintenance Supervisor. “The biggest thing HappyCo has helped with is not carrying around a briefcase full of documents,” said Crafton. “I have every document that’s in our corporate system on my phone any time I need it. Like today, when I’m running here to there, to there, I’m not digging through my office saying, ‘Okay. Where’s that leak log? Where’s the water intrusion? Where’s this or that?’ It’s always right there. So, I would say it’s definitely kept me out of the office more and allowed me to actually get from one place to the other a whole lot quicker.”


Maxus Lead Maintenance Manager, Anthony Crafton, inspecting a pool

Another critical efficiency saver is customizable forms. “The way HappyCo really compares, and even stands out is most forms are generic,” said Crafton. “You have three bedrooms, two baths, whatever it may be, kitchen, living room. With HappyCo, there is no more generic.” With HappyCo’s customizable forms and on-the-fly editing, Crafton has the ability to adjust forms as needed, when he’s inspecting the unit, unlike most competitive mobile forms on the market today, and this saves critical time running back to a desk to adjust a form, or simply failing to document the discrepancies. “You edit the form right then. You do it right there in the unit. So your numbers are always accurate.”

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"The biggest thing HappyCo has helped with is not carrying around a briefcase full of documents. I have every document on my phone any time I need it. So, I would say it's definitely kept me out of the office more and allowed me to get from one place to the other a whole lot quicker."

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Anthony Crafton
Lead Maintenance Manager

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Mobile Forms Process Ensures Damage Charges Are Documented and Billed

Prior to implementing HappyCo, inspection checklists were rarely completed as instructed, and often the details were entirely missing. “I always ran into these issues where the guys would just fill out the form by writing a line across it,” said Moreland. “I always questioned whether it was done or not. With the Happy app, I now feel more confident in my guys. The app walks them through the apartment, room by room, so each section is completed. If there are any issues or questions, they take photos and then I can pull up those photos right on my phone and determine right then what we need to do.”

Damages often went undocumented and unbilled before Maxus starting using HappyCo according to Crafton. “With pre-turns, HappyCo helps a lot,” said Crafton. “We now go apartment by apartment and take pictures of anything that needs fixing. Before HappyCo, if a resident had punched a hole in the door, the maintenance guy simply fixed it and went about his day. Now we take a picture; it’s uploaded to the cloud; we radio the office, and the office attaches that expense right then to the resident’s charge sheet. We now made that extra $1,500 we weren’t making before.”

More Transparent MIMO Processes Lead to Happier Residents and Fewer Disputes

Maxus Properties Assistant Manager, Samantha Smith, looking at Happy Manage in her office.


Since implementing HappyCo, resident disputes across Maxus properties are much fewer, and the new inspection process to document move-out conditions using Happy Inspector has improved resident relations. “Having HappyCo has made it a lot easier for my residents to be aware of what charges they can expect by doing both the pre-move out and move-out inspections,” said Samantha Smith, Assistant Manager at Park Edge Apartments. “Everything is there in black and white with pictures, so there’s no guessing about what a charge refers to. It definitely creates a much better process.”

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"Having HappyCo has made it a lot easier for my residents to be aware of what charges they can expect by doing both the pre-move out and move-out inspections. Everything is there in black and white with pictures, so there's no guessing about a charge. It definitely creates a much better process."

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Samantha Smith
Assistant Manager at Park Edge Apartments

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“The disputes with residents upon move-outs have gone down dramatically.” said Moreland. “Most people used to argue with us because it was a delayed process to get the inspection reports. But now with HappyCo, we walk through each room and we take photos of everything now. So there’s no room for dispute. The photo is the answer. So I really have not had any disputes since using HappyCo.”

Move-in documentation with HappyCo has also improved transparency with residents, increasing their confidence in Maxus. “Move-ins have gone much more smoothly for us because the residents feel more confident with us as a management group, because we take photos of everything now,” said Felicia Etayem, Leasing Agent at Park Edge Apartments. “So if a resident has a concern with something in their unit at move-in, we take a picture of that issue, so at move-out they know they’re covered.” Rebecca Hawkins, Leasing Agent at Rosehill Pointe Apartment Homes, agrees: “Being able to take photographs during the move-in process is a game changer; the residents moving in absolutely adore that. It’s gonna be part of their permanent record.”

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"Move-ins have gone much more smoothly for us because the residents feel more confident with us as a management group, because we take photos of everything now. So if a resident has a concern with something in their unit at move-in, we take a picture so at move-out they know they're covered."

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Felicia Etayem
Leasing Agent at Park Edge Apartments

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Regular Inspections For Property Systems and Amenities Limits Liability

Property systems and amenities across a residential community are numerous, and without careful monitoring, legal liability can skyrocket. To ensure resident safety and avoid negligence claims in case of an accident, it is critical for property personnel to keep well-documented records with timestamped photographs. This applies equally to security cameras, exterior and interior lighting, pools, snow logs, mold removal and more.

“The benefit of the snow removal log is we are required to document it every day, whether there’s snow on the ground or not,” said Moreland. “Here in Kansas, you could have snow one day and it could be gone the next day, but the problem is we have a lot of refreezing. The key is to document every day in case something happens. Before HappyCo, if an accident happened and the resident reported it to us a few months later, I’d have to go through all the papers and hope we had that date recorded. Now, in the Happy app, it’s done right away, first thing in the morning, — this is what we did, this is how much snow we removed; this is how much fell.”

With the exterior and interior weekly light checks and monthly security camera checks, HappyCo reminds property personnel to inspect at regular intervals. “It falls onto my shoulders to make sure the cameras are working,” said Moreland. “Sometimes you come in to look at a camera feed and you realize your hard drive has been down for a little bit. Now, with HappyCo, we go through a process; it’s a simple process but it’s something that’s easy to forget. And the Happy App is good about reminding me of that.”

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"The key is to document every day in case something happens. Before HappyCo, if an accident happened and the resident reported it to us a few months later, I’d have to go through all the papers and hope we had that date recorded. Now, in the Happy app, the snow log is documented every day."

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Zach Moreland
Property Manager at Park Edge Apartments

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Outdoor fire pit surrounded by lounge chairs in Maxus Properties courtyard


One of the most important amenities, a community pool, requires multiple checks per day. According to Crafton, “We check the pool three times a day. We’re open 247 365 days per year. Before HappyCo, that was a lot of pages that got wet, got dirty, got crumpled. Now it’s all on a cloud and everyone can see it. When the pool inspector comes in, if he wants to see a paper copy, we pull up the report, hit print and it prints from date to date. There’s no discrepancies or the possibility we could have simply penciled in the numbers at a later date. No, it’s timestamped. It’s set in stone.”

“HappyCo helps us from a liability standpoint,” said Crafton. “It really helps the residents’ peace of mind — for example with mold inspections, residents see us entering data into a system instead of just chicken scratches on a piece of paper. They can sign the inspection if they want. They get emailed copies after we’re done with it, so they get that constant interaction from us.” In addition, mobile inspections makes each staff member accountable to what they report on much more than a paper-based system could do. “My name’s on that report now,” continued Crafton. “I’m going to make sure that the problem is taken care of because I can’t just go throw the inspection away like with a paper checklist and say I was never there.”

Maximizing ROI and Driving Product Adoption

HappyCo has improved operations across Maxus Properties — from greater corporate visibility to faster turns and improved maintenance efficiency; to ensuring damage charges are documented and billed; to more transparent processes for happier residents and fewer disputes; to reducing legal liability across the entire portfolio. “HappyCo has improved our operations significantly,” said Schnabel. “With the accuracy and the visibility that we have in the inspection reporting and dashboards, we can see what is going on at any property at any time, and that’s an amazing thing.”

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"HappyCo has improved our operations significantly. With the accuracy and the visibility that we have in the inspection reporting and dashboards, we can see what is going on at any property at any time, and that’s an amazing thing."

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Rae Schnabel
Director of Sustainability & Special Projects Coordinator

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“One other thing that’s been incredibly positive is our interaction with the HappyCo personnel,” said Mike McRobert, CEO & President. “They’ve been outstanding towards helping us drive product adoption. Here at Maxus, we don’t spend money on software just to say we use this or we use that. Being a highly entrepreneurial company, those dollars are coming out of our pockets, and it’s all about maximizing that spend and creating an ROI. The HappyCo team has done an outstanding job of helping our personnel drive that process and maximize that spend.”

Community pool with waterfall at Maxus Properties multifamily apartment complex

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"We don't spend money on software just to say we use this or that. Being a highly entrepreneurial company, it's all about maximizing spend, creating an ROI. HappyCo has done an outstanding job driving that process."

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Mike McRobert
CEO & President

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Key Challenges

  • Corporate visibility limited by paper inspections with no ability to monitor operations remotely
  • Multiple unit visits by maintenance and property staff required to assess and approve repairs
  • Substantial physical space required for storing turn and maintenance records
  • Maintenance wasted valuable time retrieving a missing inspection or log form during repairs
  • Non-standardized and incomplete inspection data led to unbilled damage charges
  • Slower, less reliable inspection process due to a lack of paper form customizability
  • Photo documentation often not recorded or misfiled leads to more frequent disputes
  • Lighting and camera inspections not always performed exposing company to greater legal liability
  • Pool logs required 1000+ sheets of paper annually and were difficult to keep dry and clean

HappyCo Solutions

  • Happy Inspector ensures standardized, high quality data for every inspection performed
  • Customizable forms allows for unit and property variations and on-the-fly editing
  • Integrated inline photo feature provides timestamped, visual documentation for every inspection
  • Happy Manage dashboards give management real-time access to trends, issues and compliance

Successful Outcomes

  • Deployment across 60 properties and 15 states took one week from contract signing
  • User training required a single 45-minute webinar per region, conducted weekly
  • One day saved per move-out in labor and unit downtime, equivalent to ~$900,000 annually
  • 10 to 20 minutes saved per move-in, equivalent to $50,000 to $70,000 annually
  • Phenomenal user adoption with 13,000 inspections and 636,000 ratings collected in 5 months
  • Dramatically fewer resident disputes; some properties reporting 100% fewer disputes at move-out
  • Improved resident transparency during move-in and move-out lead to better resident relations
  • Standardized inspection data and higher compliance provides a history of diligent inspections and reduces risk from liability

Get the Maxus Properties Case Study PDF

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