Dunlap & Magee was founded in 1976, with an initial focus on multifamily rental property development. Having expanded services in later years, Dunlap & Magee is now a full-service real estate firm, specializing in the management of multi-family and commercial assets.
Based in Phoenix Arizona, Dunlap has grown into a leading fee management company serving the southwest region of the United States. The firm has been able to build and sustain an unparalleled reputation, being recognized for successfully operating, and often repositioning properties to thrive.
Adapting to rapidly changing times
Dunlap & Magee developed and maintained business workflows that served their purpose for decades. However, as technology became more prevalent, and the needs of employees and residents evolved, Dunlap & Magee began to look for technologies to advance efficiencies, streamline processes and keep up with evolving industry factors.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic impacted the lives of employees, residents and potential renters. It also served as an opportunity for Dunlap & Magee to set change in motion by investing in new technology that they hoped would help them succeed during times of uncertainty, and beyond.
Yardi RightSource clients receive expert support, making the most complex compliance tasks more streamlined and efficient; while at the same time delivering an environment that proves to be less cumbersome on client staffing. RightSource offers thorough file reviews for applicants and residents, to ensure compliance data is accurate and complete. Processes are also in place to assure efficient and timely reviews of all files, completing most reviews within 24 hours of submission.
Affordable housing providers can also add full-service compliance workflows with a simple to use interface with Yardi Voyager.
RentCafe Affordable Housing
Affordable housing applicants use RentCafe Affordable Housing to submit rental applications online, uploading all required documentation through the provided secured portals. Affordable housing compliance teams use RentCafe to process applications, verify accuracy of submitted forms and communicate with residents to recertify eligibility annually.
Looking to the future of affordable housing property management
Vice President Anna DiSabato embraces change in her leadership position at Dunlap & Magee. She has experienced the challenges of hiring workers with the right characteristics necessary for the highly specialized affordable housing industry. She also sees that renters today are different from past generations, and that includes affordable housing residents.
“Technology is a critical component of my strategy to solve challenges and make sure our company continues to grow,” says DiSabato.
Dunlap & Magee is required to maintain compliance with affordable housing programs such as Tax Credit, CDBG, HOME, Section 8, Public Housing, Section 811, local programs and more. Yardi RightSource helps their team simplify compliance by automatically updating a library of forms needed for every program. “In the past we’d spend time on a form to make sure it was up to date and collecting all of the right compliance data. Now, we look to the Yardi RightSource database,” says DiSabato.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many industries do business, including affordable housing. As workers suddenly became remote full-time, organizations implemented new technologies that supported workers no longer able to see each other face to face.
Dunlap & Magee quickly adapted to contactless service delivery and used it as an opportunity to promote safety for its on-site staff and residents. “We continually monitored updates and recommendations made taking a proactive position on things like in-person interactions, unit inspections and maintenance work. We’re using web-based technology where ever and whenever available to expedite these workflows as much as possible, not only for safety, but also for convenience. I expect RentCafe will help us immensely in these efforts,” says DiSabato.
Taking core systems and services online has paid off for Dunlap & Magee in many situations, for example when they serve as the public housing authority for the city. In the past, they faced immense workloads when opening the public housing waiting list for new names. The turnout of people waiting in line for assistance was so massive that police were required on the scene to ensure safety of everyone, including some who had chosen to camp out overnight.
That type of scenario is what inspires DiSabato to embrace technology and forgo traditional and outdated business practices. “I believe most everything that used to require physically meeting with someone can now be done faster, easier and more efficiently online. Almost everyone has an internet connection through a personal device, and those that don’t, typically can get access with the assistance of an outreach worker. I have heard the reluctances – everyone from our staff to our applicants and residents who think that online services will be hard to figure out or just won’t work. We need to focus on the benefits; why it’s better for them, and we need to have patience as everyone gets on the same page with technology,” says DiSabato.
Focus on implementation
Dunlap & Magee is in the final phase of implementing RentCafe Affordable Housing and RightSource, two complementary solutions from the Yardi Affordable Housing Suite. Even amid a global pandemic, DiSabato has nothing but good things to say about the process.
“Our implementation experience with Yardi has been great. It would have been a tremendous challenge to implement these types of solutions on our own, mainly because our normal workday assignments never stop. Yardi has helped us keep on track with deadlines and milestones, and keeps us up to date as key steps come up on the schedule,” says DiSabato.
Dunlap & Magee’s use of Yardi software was limited in prior years. DiSabato encouraged her team to look at all of the features they had available to make sure they were taking advantage of technology available to them.
“We had some reluctance to change. One of the ways we overcame it was through training. The Yardi implementation service included online coursework that fits into the schedule of our employees. They can take five minutes to learn a new skill or solve some issue that they are facing. The approachability and effectiveness of Yardi training courses is a great way to instill user confidence as they adapt to new work software,” says DiSabato.