Our Clients: Advent Real Estate Services Ltd.

Running a property management business is all about the details: each property has a rental agreements, tenants, emergency contacts, repairs, work orders, rent payments, ... the list goes on and on. Keeping track of every document, phone call, and property is a huge job. How best to tackle it? Vancouver’s Advent Real Estate Services Ltd. is doing so with a custom FileMaker database built by Oak Bay Softrends.

Andrea Farina, Advent’s office manager, says the database—which was launched in 2014—is saving the business both time and money. Advent uses another tool to handle checks and reconciliation, but everything else is managed by their database: “There are thousands of records. We have 650-700 properties, and we add more all the time. It literally does everything for us. We track all of our contact management, contracts, tenants, work orders, and statements.”

The custom database has quickly become an indispensable daily tool for all of Advent’s agents and office staff. Everyday tasks—inputting data, finding information, implementing changes—are all faster to do and easier for everyone. There are bigger payoffs as well: Advent has been able to bring on additional agents without having to hire more support staff.

Recently, Andrea got a call from Advent’s office supply representative, who was concerned that Advent had taken its business elsewhere. Turns out, Andrea says, “we weren’t ordering as much paper as we used to. These days, we are just printing less. He said we’re purchasing about 50% less paper today than we were a year ago!”

It took Oak Bay and Advent about 2.5 years to a build the database, a process that was complicated by the constantly shifting nature of the property management business. It wasn’t until they launched the database and began really using it that they realized just how much more they wanted to add and change. If possible, Andrea advises, “Know ahead of time what you want to get out of the process as best you can. Going in knowing what you want gets you the best result.”

Would Andrea and Advent recommend working with Oak Bay to others? Absolutely, says Andrea. Advent’s success is tied closely to the flexibility, consistency, and reliability of the database.

“If it went down, we wouldn’t even know who we were talking to! It’s key to running the whole business.”

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