Andrew Marshall and AMRP: A Fixflo success story
Embracing the latest technology is one of the more effective ways to get ahead in the property industry. North-Eastern letting agent, AMRP, is a prime example of how the right software can help take your business to the next level. We spoke with the Managing Director, Andrew Marshall, to find out how AMRP’s award-winning adoption of the latest property management software has helped him increase efficiency, improve communication, and get his work-life balance back on track.
Please tell us about AMRP, what you do, and what your values are.
“AMRP is a North-East based lettings and relocation agent. We’ve traded for 15 years and currently manage over 300 tenancies across the region. What makes us really unique is our relocation programme — we work with families in London and the South of England to help them find affordable housing in the North East.”
“Homes are simply unaffordable at the moment, you only have to look in the press to know that, so we are proud to help workers and their families access high-quality, affordable properties. A lot of people are choosing to move out of major cities and into the North East, because housing is more widely available, and we want to make that transition as easy as possible.”
AMRP recently won an award for technology streamlining at the Agent Rainmaker Awards 2022. We asked Andrew if he could tell us a little bit about Agent Rainmaker and what the award meant to him:
“Agent Rainmaker is a trading organisation for letting agents. They provide a lot of support in regard to not only legislation and compliance but also what it means to grow a small business. There are very few organisations who provide that sort of support — they’ve taught us a lot about how to structure a business more effectively, how to become more efficient, and how to present yourself to the market.”
“They also provide a lot of support to managing directors, like myself, who are looking for a better work-life balance. Working with Agent Rainmaker has helped me get my life back. Running a small business can become all-consuming, but with more efficient processes, and a clearer idea of my place in the business, I’ve been able to set those boundaries and enjoy myself more.”
“We’ve learned not only how to spend our time more productively throughout the business, but also how to automate work that was keeping us from our main priorities. That’s why we applied for the Technology Streamlining Award, because the strategic use of different kinds of software has really helped AMRP thrive. We looked at our resources, and what we needed to deliver, and we found better, smarter solutions. Fixflo has been a huge part of our journey toward getting our time back and growing the business.”
What were the major problems and challenges you faced before using Fixflo, and how has the software helped you overcome them?
“General administration was one of the biggest challenges we faced as a business - in fact - it’s one of the biggest challenges in our industry today. Technology can help, but very often you end up in a situation where you have lots of different types of software that all do very specific things - without proper integration, these platforms don’t speak to one another, and you end up inputting data multiple times in multiple places.”
“That’s why we moved to Fixflo and AgentOS. We were on a mission to find a process that meant we only needed to input data once, and that one set of data could be found across our systems. With Fixflo and AgentOS we have been able to reduce significant duplication, which eliminates the risk of small admin errors causing delays in repairs and maintenance.”
“Without having to duplicate data input across systems we have a much lower natural error rate. That means we are saving a lot of money on labour time, and getting jobs completed more efficiently which gives us extra capacity to grow the business.”
“The communication element of Fixflo has also made a huge difference for AMRP. Usually, with a repair, there are three parties we need to keep informed about the status of the job: tenants, contractors and landlords. Historically, tenants would call us on the phone to report a repair, then they would call again if they wanted an update. Fixflo really allows them to self-inform. With their web login, they can see the progress of their requested repair even when the office is closed, which is great.”
“The same really applies to landlords, because they might want to see the charges that have been made or check in on the status of a repair. And, finally, communication for contractors has improved tenfold. With Fixflo we’ve taken almost all of the admin out of what they do, so they no longer have to navigate large databases, or call us to determine which jobs need prioritisation — the software does that for them. What's more, Fixflo's dedicated contractor app provides our tradespeople with a clear to-do list and an easy-to-use interface for inputting updates where necessary.”
“So Fixflo eliminates the need for tenants to call when reporting a repair, or when they need an update. It also keeps landlords in the loop and gives contractors the support they need without us having to do any additional work. With all of that combined, it saves us hours on the phone each and every day.”
How has Fixflo helped to improve your processes and services?
“We’re still introducing new elements of Fixflo to our systems, but we can already see a massive change. It’s rerouted the structure of how we manage, process and close repairs and maintenance jobs. Before, we’d have everything stored in excel and you’d have to use filters to find anything, sometimes it would take hours of digging to find the information we needed.”
“We’re now in a position where we can access everything we need so much easier, and that’s because of the Fixflo dashboard. We have complete visibility over which jobs need completion, when they came through, urgency, blockers, or anything like that. Being able to get straight to those headlines of what jobs need completing, and the order they need completing in, has been a game-changer for us. Before Fixflo, even finding that information was a job in itself — the dashboards make everything significantly more transparent, meaning we can spend less time managing our work and more time getting stuff done.”
How has technology changed the way you work, and what does the future look like for AMRP?
“We won the Technology Streamlining Award because of the way we’ve embraced a handful of sophisticated, well-integrated software platforms, including Fixflo, AgentOS, and InventoryBase. It’s all about the cumulative benefit of those different platforms coming together and making our lives less fragmented. We used to live life between systems — now we just get to live our lives with one set of data and one clear mission.”
“There’s an industry push to centralize the way we work and to embrace the latest technology in order to do that, and at AMRP we support that movement 100%. As a technology-led business, it’s a really exciting journey to be on, and we can’t wait to see even more benefits in the future. We’re going to be levelling up our use of Fixflo and other technologies over the coming months, and those additional tools will help support the continued growth of AMRP.”
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