KTS Estate Management is based in Arundel. It manages all types of residential dwellings from single blocks of flats to large mixed estates of leasehold and freehold properties across the South of England. KTS is now responsible for in excess of 25 estates.
A Professional Approach
KTS is run by Kathy Wilson, Tracy Ide and Sally Baldock, who have worked together for many years and have a thorough grounding in estate management. Encouraged by colleagues in the property business they decided to set up their own dedicated estate management business in 2010. KTS is thriving despite the economic climate. Many new developments are being built in the area and these are a great source of new business. Thanks to its fast-growing reputation for efficiency and professionalism, KTS is also winning clients from the existing marketplace.
Many estates that have previously been self-managed are turning to KTS. Faced with all the legal complexities of property management, and the complications that inevitably arise when close neighbours have to agree about money matters, more owners are seeking a professional management service.
Such has been the impact that KTS has made in such a short time, they were nominated for four awards at the 2011 News on the Block Property Management Awards.
KTS went on to win ‘Highly Commended’ in the Managing Agent of a RMC/RTM Block category, Customer Service category and Regional Property Manager of the Year Award for Kathy Wilson.
The Search and Selection of a System
The KTS team’s previous experience of estate management was with manual systems. They instinctively knew this wasn’t an option for the new business. Such systems are time consuming, plus the team was very aware of the need for strict legal compliance. They knew that a property management software package was the answer.
They also knew that Qube PM was the only software solution for them. KTS had seen a Qube PM demo and appreciated how much it could deliver. Qube PM offered so much more than any competitor’s package; the decision was easy. If they were going to set up their own business they were going to use Qube PM – right from the start.
“When we saw Qube PM in action we were blown out of the water by all the different things it can do for us.
We are still finding new things it can do. ” Kathy Wilson, Director, KTS Estate Management
Thorough training and post sale support
Having made the investment in Qube PM, KTS were keen to get the most out of it. They were very aware that with no experience of such software they had lots to learn. Naturally they were a little nervous, but that soon wore off.
The Qube PM team worked closely with KTS helping them choose the right modules. All three directors spent time at Qube Global Software’s King Street offices, structuring their data, understanding routines, how to generate reports and many other functions. This was followed by on-site consultancy visits at the Arundel office, setting up various templates and making sure everything was working exactly to their needs.
The training didn’t stop there. The KTS team still sets aside half a day each week to learn more about the system and practice new applications. They particularly like the Practice facilities. As Kathy points out: ‘You can try out different actions and it doesn’t matter if you do it wrong. It’s all about testing boundaries.’
The Qube Global Software Help Desk offers ongoing support. Most queries are dealt with over the phone, if needed, using the remote access capability whereby the Qube PM team can take over and demonstrate the system in operation. The Help Desk mostly deals with questions about how to complete a task where the user has forgotten what to do.
“This was a major step for us financially but it was absolutely one worth taking.
Having Qube PM meant we could do everything we needed. By making that investment
we were also making a statement about being professional, and about
being in this business for the long term.” ” Kathy Wilson, Director, KTS Estate Management
The Results of the Investment
So, after making the initial investment, and doing the training, has the hard work paid off for KTS? The answer is a resounding Yes!
Qube PM is fully integrated into KTS’s operations. It helps them organise and keep track of everything, including:
- Maintenance tasks – from changing a light bulb to major works l
- Service charges, ground rents, reserves and sinking funds l
- Debtors and creditors l
- Ongoing charges such as insurance and electricity l
- Budgets, year end statements, spreadsheets l
- Logging phone calls and emails
Everyone benefits. According to Kathy: ‘Our contractors think it’s the bees knees too. Whatever the task, Qube PM has it sorted. From sending out Notice of Intentions, handling estimates and keeping our owners informed of progress, everything happens like clockwork.’
“Everyone at Qube Global Software was great. They put us at ease and really helped us. What could have been quite scary
ended up being very enjoyable. We just learnt so much.” Tracy Ide, Director KTS Estate Management
Using Qube PM has brought all the efficiencies and time saving KTS wanted. This means the team can divert resources from repetitive administrative tasks to looking after their clients. In fact, much to the team’s delight, KTS has nearly become a paperless office!
Another major benefit is the way Qube PM enables everyone to cover for each other. Although each KTS director focuses on a different part of the business, with Qube PM everyone can gain visibility of all activity. If someone is away from the office, the others aren’t searching through their desk trying to locate a file. At the touch of a button a person can simply pick up where another left off. That’s really important with a small team.
As well as delivering a professional service today, KTS also has the opportunity to grow in the future without having to increase headcount. KTS estimates it would be possible to treble its current portfolio without having to take on any extra staff.
KTS certainly wants to build up its use of Qube PM. Over the next two years the team hopes to introduce the Qube PM Tenant Portal. Leaseholders will then have on-line access so they can keep up to date with block / estate notices, planned repairs, pay their service charges and raise any other matters. That’s the next step in the KTS drive for professionalism and efficiency, as enabled by Qube PM.
“For a small business start up Qube PM means an investment. For KTS it was clearly the right thing to do. It meant they could hit the ground running and they are still racing ahead. I’m so pleased for them. ” John Thumwood MRICS Qube Global Software Sales Manager
“You do have to think about the investment but it is well worth it. Qube PM staff have been a great support.
Their belief that we could start this business up really meant a huge amount to us.
We have no hesitation at all in thoroughly recommending them.”
Kathy Wilson, Director KTS Estate Management