Advanced Property Specialists used a software system that was not designed solely for property management. TOPS has helped them with the industry specific design of TOPS.
“[TOPS] is geared exactly to meet our needs.”
— Joe Baez
Advanced Property Specialists
There’s no other business quite like property management – a business with specific needs. Too often, management firms struggle with software systems that were not designed to meet their specific needs. The software might work great for rentals or maybe even sales, but if it can’t do the things a property manager needs, then they’ll only slow a firm down. Chicago-based Advanced Property Specialists solved that problem with one simple step: they brought TOPS in to do the job.
Anyone who has ever tried to get their software to do something it wasn’t solely designed to do knows that the frustration level is akin to trying to force a round peg into a square hole or put on a shoe two sizes too small. In short, it’s a time consuming and ultimately fruitless enterprise.
Imagine, then, what it’s like for property managers to use software designed for something other than property management. Like many others in the management business, the good people of Advanced Property Specialists in Chicago attempted to use other software systems including QuickBooks to meet their needs. Because this software was designed to meet rental needs and only tangentially to serve those of property managers, it was often a source of delay and frustration, says Joe Baez of Advanced Property Specialists.
TOPS solved the majority of those issues, Baez says, “There are eleven of us in the office and all of us can access it at once. With QuickBooks, someone had to close out of a company (property) in order for someone else to get into it,” he says. “Just being able to access accounts at the snap of the fingers has been terrific.”
Baez says that using a software system designed specifically and exclusively for property management provides peace of mind for clients as well. “I go out to interviews [with prospective properties] and tell them what we use, and I can tell them that this is their mainframe and they can trust the system.”
Advanced Property Specialists has been using TOPS for more than a decade, evolving along with the software itself, adding new modules and new services as they are introduced. In particular, Baez says, they find the work order module quite effective. “I like that it’s unique to the vendor,” he says. For the snow removal vendor, for example, the system allows staffers to leave a work order open throughout the season, adding details as the weeks go by. Then, at the end of the season, “you can see the vendor’s performance throughout the whole year,” Baez says. Knowing what services have been performed, what’s been paid for those services and being able to keep notes on the services rendered helps save time, save money and improve quality for everyone involved – all thanks to a single software system.
Ten years after first introducing TOPS into the company, Baez remains as enthusiastic about the product as ever. “I would recommend it to anyone, as long as it’s not my competition,” he says. Remarking on how the strength of TOPS goes back to the specificity of its design he says, “We do condos and community associations, we don’t do rentals,” Baez says. “That’s who we are. This software is geared exactly to meet our needs.”
This case study is for informational purposes only. TOPS Software makes no warranties, express or implied, in this document.