When opportunity knocks, Bob Butterfield doesn’t just listen, he opens the door wide. So when he met a friend of his by accident in a local hardware store, and the friend asked him, “What do you think about property management?” Butterfield’s response was along the lines of “Should I be thinking about property management?” And, a few months later, on March 16, Butterfield became the proud new owner of Real Property Management Vancouver.
“My plan is to get this franchise up and running from a business standpoint – take it to the next level,” said Butterfield. “My goal is to take the headache away from property owners and all the things they have to deal with.”
Prior to purchasing the property management franchise, Butterfield had been an executive for Providence Health Plan for 18 years. He’s applying that experience to his new endeavor, with a newfound energy and dedication.
“In my research, I found that technology and customer service are lacking in this industry,” Butterfield said. “We want to correct that in this business sector.”
Real Property Management Vancouver is one of 300 Real Property Management franchises across the country. Services include comprehensive marketing and advertising, tenant screening and selection, full-service leasing, rent collection, regular inspections and maintenance, and comprehensive accounting. Butterfield said his firm is currently managing 135 properties in southwest Washington – many are residential single-family and multi-family residences, plus some home owner associations (HOAs).
Butterfield acknowledged that opportunities exist for improving communication with home owners and tenants, and is putting technology in place to do just that. He uses an online review management application called Grade.us that enables Real Property Management Vancouver to respond to home owner or tenant feedback, monitor customer reviews across the web, and easily turn positive reviews into automated web and social media content.
He is also putting in place a lead-management application tailored to the property management industry.
“LeadSimple tracks all communication including telephone calls, texts, and email messages,” said Butterfield. “I can listen to how my staff are responding to inquiries and, if necessary, can coach and mentor them about best practices for dealing with clients.”
The application also automates lead response and helps make data-driven decisions about where to invest and how to improve.
“I see great opportunity in this business,” stated Butterfield, who graduated from Battle Ground High School and has lived in Clark County for more than 40 years. “I understand what people are looking for from a Vancouver/Clark County standpoint, and I have a name that people trust.”
Butterfield said that once he has all the technology in place and has updated his internet accounts and website, he is confident that he can meet both the expectations of the market and his own expectations, “which are very high.” Then, he said, he’s anticipating a “full-blown expansion” including adding commercial and apartment complex properties to his mix.
With five employees (counting himself) currently, he hopes to bring on additional staff as the firm meets its growth targets.