How Rethink Saves This User 10 Hours Per Week
‘It far exceeded my initial expectations.’
Imagine gaining an extra 10 hours a week to accomplish key tasks at work — without sacrificing nights and weekends.
That’s exactly what happened to Keith Walker, General Counsel at Victory Real Estate Investments (VREI) in Columbus, Georgia, after implementing Rethink.
“It cuts out a couple of hours a day, when you take everything in totality,” he explained. “That adds up over the course of a week.”
Here’s how it works:
“Whoa! We can use this for so much more than just contact management.’ It far exceeded my initial expectations.”
Rethink — the client relationship management (CRM) and PropTech solution purpose-built for commercial real estate (CRE) — stores dealmaking data in a single location, eliminating the need to dig through multiple files to find critical information.
“Before, everybody had their own spreadsheets and emails and things like that where they kept information,” Keith said. “Now, Rethink provides a central repository.
“For example, we have a page that lists our property information — things like the square footage of every space and the tenant stacking plan,” he continued. “So, if I need any of that information, I know exactly where it is. It’s made my life so much easier.”
Keith went on to explain that the easy access to information doesn’t just benefit him.
“It also keeps me from having to call people in the office and interrupt them when I can’t find something,” he said. “It’s made things much more efficient.”
And the time-savings was just one of several surprise benefits Keith discovered after implementing Rethink.
“Initially, I just thought it would help our leasing agents manage their contacts and record important information from conversations they have with tenants — just as a historical reference we could use to get new leasing agents caught up,” he said. “But once I got in, I thought, ‘Whoa! We can use this for so much more than just contact management.’ It far exceeded my initial expectations.”
Below, we’ll explore a few of the other unexpected benefits Rethink delivered.
Enhanced leadership oversight
Before implementing Rethink, keeping track of employee performance at VREI was a tedious, time-consuming process.
“Agents would have to prepare weekly written reports,” Keith explained. “Now, they log that information in Rethink as it occurs, and we can print reports, review them, and follow up with any questions we have. It’s a great way to see what the leasing agents and property managers are doing and who they’ve talked to.”
Rethink also helps leaders at VREI quickly manage lease approvals.
“When leasing agents have a new deal they want us to approve, they submit the terms on the Rethink deal page. Then, we review it and either approve, disapprove, or ask questions,” Keith said. “Once the deal is approved, our lease administration takes all the terms that are available in Rethink and uses that to draft the lease.”
Keith went on to add that when his team does need to ask follow-up questions, Chatter — an internal social media tool within Rethink — makes it easy to get the answers they’re looking for.
In addition to time-savings and leadership oversight, Keith touts Rethinks ability to help him successfully navigate negotiations.
“When I’m negotiating loans, our lenders ask a lot of questions like: ‘Do you have any new tenants on the horizon?’” he said. “Since our leasing agents log inquiries in Rethink whenever someone reaches out about a property, I can look at an inquiry report and tell our lenders, ‘Yes, we have interest in Space A, B, and C.’”
Streamlined property management
“That’s really what sold me — the ability to customize the platform for our specific uses.”
Before we dive into this benefit, we need to make one thing clear: Rethink isn’t built for property management. It’s designed to improve the dealmaking process for brokers, investors, and developers.
That being said, Rethink’s Salesforce-based platform is highly configurable, meaning users can ensure the solution meets their unique needs.
“That’s really what sold me — the ability to customize the platform for our specific uses,” Keith said. “That’s probably still my favorite feature to this day.”
So, when VREI decided to move forward with Rethink, they worked with their implementation team to make the adjustments needed to streamline key property management tasks.
“Our property managers get calls from tenants or we’ll have certain tasks we need them to accomplish — like fixing a pothole in a parking garage,” Keith said. “We crafted Rethink so they can post those tasks, and we can monitor their status. The head of property management uses Rethink to track the status of all maintenance and outstanding capital expense items.”
The result? Rethink helped VREI simplify a once overwhelming process.
“We have 50-plus properties and over 600 tenants, so there’s always some maintenance that needs to be done” Keith said. “Rethink provides a great central location to monitor the status of those tasks.”
Incredible customer service
“They’re always so prompt to respond whenever there are any issues.”
While innovative, configurable technology can drive significant business results, without strong customer service, it’s often more trouble than it’s worth.
Fortunately, Rethink — backed by their award-winning client success team — delivered in this area, as well.
“They’re always so prompt to respond whenever there are any issues,” Keith said. “And they keep me updated, which I appreciate. I don’t like being left in the dark.”
He went on to explain that the impressive customer service started on day one, with implementation.
“It was fantastic,” Keith said. “Everything went very smooth.”
“Wow. This is an awesome one-stop shop for the information I need to do my job.”
In the six years since VREI implemented Rethink, the company has expanded their user count, leading to even greater benefits.
“Our leasing agents, leasing administration, property management, and clerical staff all use Rethink now,” Keith said. “It’s been very helpful.”
Rethink’s intuitive design, CRE-specific features and functionality, and customer service helped VREI get buy-in and drive successful solution use.
“There was some trepidation, at first. There always is when you introduce something new,” Keith explained. “But once everyone started using it, they realized, ‘Wow. This is an awesome one-stop shop for the information I need to do my job.’”
He expects leaders and staff at other CRE companies who are hesitant to invest in a solution like Rethink would have a similar experience.
“I understand the reluctance. I used to feel the same way,” Keith said. “But once you use Rethink for even a limited amount of time and see what it does and how it streamlines and makes your work more efficient, you’ll never go back.”