Tell us about your business
Rooms in Kent is a full-time professional HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) property business which provides high quality, low cost, shared accommodation for key workers and other working professionals in the Ashford and Maidstone areas of Kent. Their business is constantly growing as they are looking to purchase new property and target young professionals and key workers for house shares.
What are your biggest operational challenges?
The main compliment that I can pay to Arthur Online is that they have saved us a lot of time. We had a lot of manual processes when I first joined Rooms in Kent. We were keeping records of financials on spreadsheets and having to monitor interactions with landlords and tenants via email. This was effective whilst we were small, but it was obvious that this was going to become a barrier to our growth.
With the previous system, even in a small team, it was difficult to keep tabs on all the clients especially when tasks were being delegated. For example, one of my colleagues could be allocated a client, but is then unable to deal with issues if they’re off sick, if they don’t forward recent emails to relevant team members, those covering don’t know what to do.
In the past, unexpected events like this would have brought things to a halt.
How has Arthur Online helped you overcome these challenges?
Using Arthur Online has saved us a lot of time. For example, financial information is a lot easier to manage compared to keeping track of everything on spreadsheets. We no longer need to create our own formulas to work out income and expenditures. Arthur Online also creates reports from these financial statements, streamlining a lot of processes for us.
Having one system that everyone in our team has access to is very important to us. This is much more efficient than the previous processes we had which relied heavily on our team members remembering to pass on vital information. We know that we can easily find tenant information as well as landlord information on Arthur Online. Whether we need to check something small that has been added in the notes on a tenancy or if we need proof of documents in photos, all can be uploaded to the system, keeping everyone up to date.
What add-on features do you find most useful?
The apps are useful to us – being able to invite contractors, tenants and property managers is important as we know that they have access and can see what’s important to them. From our point of view, it puts our minds at ease knowing that everything is automatic. For example, once an invoice has been generated on Arthur Online, our tenant can see it on their statement and there are automated events to remind our tenants when to pay their rent.
How did you find the on-boarding process?
The on-boarding process was a simple one, this is because we already had our information on spreadsheets, making it easy to import our data to Arthur Online. What I found especially great about the Arthur Online on-boarding process is the fact that the platform really caters to your needs as a client. After they asked me about the processes of my business it really made me think about what would work best for us. Once I told them what I needed they were able to mould the platform to suit my needs. Some of my friends use software such as Jupix, and they very much felt that their needs weren’t being met in a tailored way.
How much has your business grown since you started using Arthur Online?
The best compliment we could pay to Arthur Online is the fact that using them has enabled us to streamline a lot of our daily processes, this has allowed us to be more efficient. We are yet to take on more landlords as a result of using Arthur Online, however we feel very confident that if we did (take on more landlords and tenants) then we would be able to cope with the extra workload. The only way we could do this with our old processes would be to hire more staff, but with Arthur Online, we’re confident that won’t be necessary.