Home. It’s where our heart is—or at least it’s where our things are.
Regardless, it’s pretty important. So it only makes sense that the care for the house and the livability aspect is something that property owners, private landlords and tenants should be able to communicate without having to play cat and mouse.
FIXO, a new communication app designated for residential property managers and their tenants is eliminating the lost messages and the neglected bulletin board postings of a bygone time. Having an accessible mobile solution to such an old relationship is proving to create many new opportunities for both parties that otherwise might have been ignored.
As a participant in The Next 36, a SFU business student, and an aspiring property manager, FIXO’s co-founder, Chantelle Buffie, wanted to take part in a project that she herself will find value in. “The biggest complaint is that tenants don’t see a resolution or their maintenance issues fixed right away,” Buffie tells Techvibes Media. “And a lot of that comes with the inefficiency of current communications tools used by property managers.”
While Buffie recognizes the complexity of being a property manager, her business partners and fellow co-founders of FIXO, Jon Yam and Armin Mahmoudi have seen the problems from the tenant’s perspective. It’s not easy living with a predicament, addressing it to the property manager in an email and then feeling forgotten due to a messy inbox. With no on-the-go and easily accessible tool, property managers are challenged when it comes to prioritizing issues and inquiries, in addition to organizing documents and contracts. FIXO establishes mutual respect by bringing the needs of residents and renters out of the junk folder.
But FIXO is not only a platform for tenants with “complaints”; it also works as a communication centre between a property manager and all his or her tenants. FIXO is a paperless option for building notices, a chore often left to the property managers, security guards and the friendly door guy/concierge/whatever his actual title is—whatever he’s nice.
“If something is happening in the building, you’ll want to know,” said Buffie. “That is why we are working to incorporate building notices and mass-group notices across the platform, or just general inquires. At the end of April we will be testing [FIXO] out with a student residency in Toronto. Our focus is going to be student residency first, because students live on their phones.”
Hear ye! Hear ye! As our communities grow, town crier jobs are harder and harder to get. Yet the number of communication tools will increase. Even property managers have multiple options when it comes to performing their duties: CRM software, web apps, customized portals, emails and of course, in-person communication.
“Where we see having the advantage is that a lot of them don’t focus on having a mobile application,” said Buffie. “What we want to do is have instant real time communication, where we can get Push notifications instantaneously. For instance, if there is a fire alarm testing (which is apparently a big deal in apartments) you as a property manager can send out a quick notification in the app and it’ll get Pushed to the tenants automatically, so they won’t have to fish through their emails and they won’t have to read a notice on the door.”