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Property Manager Success Story: Helping Elly get ahead and stay there.

Straightening out months of back books, avoiding costly mistakes, and saving thousands of dollars every month for a Los Angeles property manager.


The Challenge

Elly was in a hole that felt too big to get himself out of. He was way behind on his books and the inexperienced support staff he hired to help turned out to be dangerously negligent. Funds went missing, reports were delivered late, and mistakes ran rampant. He was losing clients.


The Outcome

We succeeded in getting Elly all caught up while setting up more effective, reliable accounting processes. Today, everything is running smoothly, accurately, and on-time. Thrilled to be saving over $8k a month, Elly is more at ease and confident in his business than ever before.

What software does he use?AppFolio, and QBO for his corporate books.
How many units did he have?1,000+
How much does he spend on accounting?3 full-time staff members.
How often does he process owner/vendor payments?Owners: monthly. Vendors: daily.
How does he collect rent?87% online, 13% checks
How many bank accounts does he have?Eleven.
How often does he prepare bank reconciliations?Offline recs are performed every 15 days, AppFolio Recon once a month.
Elly was one of our very first clients.

We had known Elly for years before we started Proper.ai. In fact, his situation gave us an enormous amount of inspiration, insight, and empathy, shaping the way we built Proper. With Elly, we got an honest glimpse into just how frustrating it can be to have problems with your accounting and bookkeeping systems, even if you’re a pro.

And Elly is savvy. He’s been in the business for over 25 years, had over 1,000 units, three full-time accounting staff members, and billboards all around town. If this guy was struggling, we could only imagine how other property managers were fairing.

Trying to save money was costing him.

The bookkeepers Elly hired turned out to be dangerously negligent and inexperienced. They fell way behind on his books and his reports were coming in late and full of mistakes. Funds even started to go missing! Owners were growing increasingly unhappy, and he was beginning to lose clients.

I had this great fear that I couldn’t take my accounting staff and put them outside of my office. So I would hire people who were underqualified because of my limited property management budget.”

Fear is a big barrier to growth; fear about having someone outside your office handling your books, about spending money to get support and not having it work out, or fear about how long it might take to get started with new systems.

Giving Proper a try.

We spoke with Elly at length about his situation and felt confident we could help. Pushing fear aside he decided to give Proper a try, so we got work learning all about his current setup.

We were patient, taking time to reassure him of our skills as we learned all about how his brain works and his working processes. We figured out a meeting schedule that worked for him (2x’s a week) and started working hard to get him caught up. At the same time, we began taking things off his very full plate – from AP to AR, bank recs to owner statements.

Their reconciliation is excellent and that part of the work is huge. They really do the job well.”

Uncovering mistakes and making things right.

While working on his books, we noticed some mistakes with reconciliations from prior periods that Elly thought had been taken care of with his previous bookkeepers (uh oh). So, with an extra careful eye, we began to untangle what felt like an overwhelming mess.

With each mistake we found and every problem we solved Elly gained more and more confidence in our work. We fixed the recs from prior periods, chipped away at his backlog, and finally: helped him deliver a flawless owner statement (yippie!).

They really streamline everything and the quality of people handling my account is very high. It’s made my life a lot easier.”

Not too late to fix his Section 8.

As many property managers know, Section 8 accounting and reconciliation processes are not complicated when they’re set up properly. But when they’re not? It can mean a whole lot of paperwork and headaches.

In our work, we discovered that past employees of Elly’s had misclassified a number of items for his Section 8 properties, making it clear to us that his transaction flow had much room for improvement.

So, we rolled up our sleeves, re-reconciled everything, sorted out cash receipts, figured out which steps were overlooked and put new processes in place. Today, we handle all of Elly’s Section 8 accounting processes end-to-end, and he no longer needs to worry about everything getting done correctly.

The proof in the Proper pudding.

Over the course of our first month working together, our team straightened out past mistakes, established better processes, and learned everything we needed to know about Elly’s working style and preferences.

Before he knew it, his books were up to date and we were walking him through his first month of reconciliations and reporting. No confusion, no mistakes – just clarity and expertly balanced books.

What Proper is doing was costing me three full-time employees.”

Adding corporate books and growing together.

A few months after we started working together, Elly was so pleased with his property management books that he asked if we could do corporate books for his business and his maintenance entity, too! We happily agreed, and now we’ve taken those tasks off his place as well.

All caught up, and ready to get ahead.

Now that his mess is untangled and he’s all caught up, Elly is more confident than ever in his business. His property management accounting is on point, and now his corporate books are, too.

He’s saving over $8,000 every month and is able to rest easy knowing he has a capable team on whom he can rely. His books are done right the first time, and every time thereafter. Now if that’s not the closest thing to a “happily ever after” ending then we don’t know what is!

You’re better off with Proper. They know what they’re doing, and you won’t have a problem. Managers are afraid of letting go of having someone in the office they can watch but it’s a fear thing. Let go of your fear, hire Proper.”