Success Story

Caretaker and the iPad – changes of tenant at the GBW Group

With 30,000 apartments, 18,000 garages and 300 employees at four sites, large document quantities are inevitable. To cut costs and save time, the GBW Group, one of Bavaria’s largest housing companies, thus uses easysquare – for example for changes of tenant.
IT&I Magazin Nr. 22 - "Der Hausmeister und sein iPad – Mieterwechsel bei der GBW Gruppe"

The GBW Group has been planning, developing, building and managing high quality, affordable apartments for 80 years. The corporate group arose from the merger of several housing companies in Bavaria and is among the largest housing companies in Germany. With efficient processes, the housing company manages a housing stock of around 30,000 apartments and has a well-structured portfolio. Particularly in growth regions like southern Germany, affordable housing is in high demand and the GBW Group is extremely well positioned in this market segment. Almost 85 percent of the housing stock is concentrated in the 20 largest locations and in metropolitan areas such as Munich and the surrounding area, Nuremberg/Erlangen/Fürth, Regensburg and Würzburg. One in three apartments in the portfolio is a subsidised apartment. In this way, the GBW Group makes an important contribution to creating affordable housing. The housing company, with its headquarters in Munich and branches in Nuremberg, Regensburg and Würzburg, employs around 300 members of staff.  

Data integration sought and found  

Like most of their competitors, the use of forms, pens, trips to the post office and other errands were standard procedure at the GBW Group. However, the GBW Group’s main objective was to be able to process information immediately at the time of creation. In dialogue with the tenants, the caretaker and the relevant departments at the GBW Group, the aim was to agree on a joint central tool. In addition, the processes that occur in the event of a change of tenant should be processed faster, be easily traceable, documented without any gaps and mapped in a paperless manner. After taking a look at the competitors and holding discussions with PROMOS, the GBW Group found the solution in the diverse possibilities provided by easysquare. Key factors here were compatibility with the SAP® system that was already in use, process-oriented task processing with the easysquare workflow process kit, which was implemented and tested the previous year, and the option for mobile property managers to use it with the easysquare mobile application.

Figure 1: Rough description of the change of tenant process at the GBW Group.

From termination to re-letting  

In the event of a residential property inspection due to a change of tenant and re-letting of a vacant property, it is clear to see the greater efficiency provided by easysquare workflow and easysquare mobile. The PROMOS change of tenant solution has been in use in GBW’s inventory since August 2015.  

After a termination is received, the entire termination and residential property inspection procedure is performed as a digital process. From the time the termination is accepted, the vacancy management process runs in parallel. Here, the process sequence can take into account different vacancy situations one after another: first, does the property require one of a number of different forms of maintenance? Is the search for a potential tenant being run via multiple channels or does a rejection by one potential tenant lead to a repeat attempt to re-let the property? It is also possible to specify the sale or demolition of a property at this point and thus end the process before the re-letting.

Informationstechnologie und Immobilien (IT&I) Ausgabe Nr. 31 / April 2021

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The iPad in action  

During the course of the process, the landlord initiates the sending of the residential property inspection and apartment handover form from the central ERP system to the caretaker’s mobile terminal device at the appropriate time. There is no need to waste time typing things on site thanks to the wealth of functions available in the easysquare application, which provides the appropriate field functions for the formalities (which are always identical) as well as for every potential defect and irregularity. Photos, including visual highlighting of potential defects, can be attached immediately at the relevant place in the form. Information regarding the apartment, the rooms and their general fittings as well as current data on the vacating or new tenant is retrieved in full from the ERP system. This ensures that most of the form is already completed in advance. In addition, changes to this data are automatically reintegrated into the ERP system to avoid work processes being carried out twice, delays, loss of data and transfer errors. Furthermore, other data such as meter numbers and readings can be recorded freely and re-integrated into the ERP system. The mobile log is sent in the form of a PDF document. If an agreement is in place with the tenant, he or she can provide a digital signature on site, and thus move forward with the inspection process without any further discussions with the GBW Group. An integrated email function sends the digitally completed form directly to the tenant’s inbox. The sending of the form to the GBW property manager is accompanied by immediate, automatic archiving of the document and the process is continued.  

Neither homemade nor off the peg  

PROMOS has integrated individual criteria into the enhanced functional scope of the easysquare app in consultation with the GBW Group. This includes the defined reasons for termination, which are analysed in detail for vacant properties, and pre-generated special agreement texts. If an adjustment of certain easysquare functions is required (e.g. the selection options for defects on building components), customers can make the required changes independently in their ERP systems. The cost savings with easysquare thus also include the possibility to avoid any additional costs. With the PROMOS solution, customers can design the system themselves to meet their individual requirements. Caretakers and their iPads: this image that many of those involved surely still find unusual is well on its way to becoming a true success story.

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