Managing Commercial Properties – and all moving parts – in Smartsheet
When you manage 40-60 commercial properties across six different states, it’s a constant exercise in managing moving pieces. Pacific West Land, LLC, based in Washington State, is in varying stages of development of neighborhood shopping centers and commercial properties in the Southern California, Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Boise, and Phoenix markets. They also acquire and reposition distressed commercial properties, which means a lot of moving parts in the work associated with stabilizing and refurbishing the properties.
To help them keep their finger on the pulse of what properties have open leasing options, maintenance needs, and/or site issues, the team at Pacific West uses Smartsheet’s work collaboration tool.
“We have several sheets dedicated to each property,” said company president Martin Stever. “Keeping all this information and related documents in Smartsheet helps us coordinate all the tasks associated with developing the site and quickly assess outstanding items.”
No More Ugly Spreadsheets
Before Smartsheet, the team used “an ugly mess” of spreadsheets and email. According to Pacific West’s IT Director Ches Wilson, “It was just too difficult to manage our work, constantly switching between Google and a variety of spreadsheets and databases. Details were never where you thought they were. We needed to consolidate our tools.”
Wilson knew traditional project management tools such as Microsoft Project wouldn’t be the solution for the team because of the licensing issues and the inability to share project information with outside contractors.
When he found Smartsheet in the Google Apps Marketplace, Wilson felt the familiar spreadsheet-like feel of the cloud tool would be an instant hit with the team. “For us, if everyone didn’t buy in and use it, there’s no collaboration and no value to the company. Smartsheet is streamlined and easy to use which led to immediate use, and immediate value.”
Property Management and Beyond
Because the management team and its extensive network of contractors is dispersed around the country, it’s critical everyone has access to the most up-to-date information.
“In the office or on the road, we use Smartsheet every day, and especially at our weekly meetings to go through open issues. When we assign tasks to contractors and property managers for all the day-to-day onsite maintenance in Smartsheet, we’re confident everyone’s in the loop,” said Stever.
The contractors, leasing directors, and property managers who are onsite at the different properties access the same information directly on their smartphones.
In addition to managing the properties, the Pacific West team also uses Smartsheet to manage HR and employee processes and procedures, including new hire onboarding, employee exit checklists, and payroll schedules. They also track due diligence, contracts and other related documentation for new property investments.
“Smartsheet is a great collaboration tool for our entire company. It’s what keeps us focused and moving forward,” said Stever.