“Our tremendous growth over the past year led us to start looking at ways we could accommodate growth without increasing overhead,” Lantukh says. First, the company built and implemented a custom customer-relationship-management (CRM) platform, a change that allowed the Asset Safe team to coordinate up to five times the workload it had previously.
Next, the company invested in iPads outfitted with customized software for its project managers, allowing the managers to quickly enter and send data. “Before, managers would have to bring handwritten notes to the office and enter all the data, upload the photos, and complete the bid,” COO Roman Molla says. “It could take up to a week to process a bid. Now, we have real-time, dynamic information, and our bids are usually turned around within a half-day.”
“This bid should include the client’s requested items but also note items that can save the client time or money,” CEO Paul Semenov says. For example, a client might request that Asset Safe repair minor water damage in a dining room, but the company makes sure the client doesn’t overlook the cause of that damage, which might be something such as a cracked pipe located above the dining room.
3. Select the appropriate team for the job
“We work with more than 50 contractors in various trades,” Molla says. “Some projects are best handled by an outside specialist. However, minor issues often can be quickly resolved by our in-house contractors. Knowing when to use which option increases productivity and saves valuable resources, and choosing the wrong option can lead to missed deadlines, which, in the REO business, are inexcusable.”
4. Appoint communicative, detail-oriented project managers
Asset Safe’s project managers have to keep everyone involved in a project—including brokers, vendors, and contractors—on the same page. “Allowing communication to break down can, at best, annoy the client,” Lantukh says. “At its worst, it can cause an entire project to implode.”
The managers must also have a sense for nuances and be able to look at projects from macro and micro points of view. “The bigger your operation and the bigger your projects, the more room there is for error,” Molla says. “When project managers stay on top of the details, issues that arise become mere inconveniences, but if details fall through the cracks, the results can be catastrophic.”
Semenov notes that REO homes often don’t have utilities. Asset Safe’s teams must therefore be prepared to work with generators, and they must be prepared to pressure-wash a home’s exterior, to check for leaks without running water, or even to find and repair weather-worn cracks in a home’s siding. Having contingency plans for these and other potential issues saves the company valuable time.
6. Conduct a final inspection
After work is completed, Asset Safe has trained field agents review a project’s punch list to verify all requests were completed to the client’s specifications. “The final inspection is the last opportunity to catch details that might have fallen through the cracks,” Semenov says.
“Asset Safe is focused on helping our clients move inventory,” Semenov says. “As a result, our speed of service has to be unquestionable, our pricing attractive, and the quality of our workmanship high. To accomplish these goals, we had to stop thinking like a construction company and experience a true paradigm shift.” ABQ