BuildingLink.com is growing. They are moving from East Cost United States to be a national and international company. With 8 programmers of their 18 people, they have grown a lot in this last year. After 7 years in business, it is about time they came out with a second generation of their product.
The BuildingLink.com 2.0 product focuses on residential property management. Only approximately 5% of the 500 buildings they service are commercial. The flexibility of their product puts them in good position to repurpose their product with little more than a new look and feel. User accounts are role-based, so tenants have a different view than does a building engineer. The property manager can group buildings in to a “virtual building” to allow tenants within a community to interact or to create a logical grouping of issue tracking.
The product is for medium- to large-sized facilities. At $13/year/unit for residences, it requires about 154 units to make the $2,000/year minimum order. For commercial buildings, the $0.015/foot/year requires 110,000 square feet to achieve the $1,650/year minimum order. The complexity of setting up the system also relegates this to bigger buildings. Some software can be too flexible, and this could be an instance. Training is included in the price, and they expect it takes at least 3 hours/person to use the system. This may make short-term tenants sluggish to adopt it, and may make those unfamiliar with computers apprehensive to get started. But once you do, there is so much that can be done.
- Service order tracking. This includes bar codes on each work order.
- Inventory management. This can be tied to each service order.
- Event-driven notifications. Notify any user of any event, scheduled or specified. For example, inventory management of Fixed quantity orders can be initiated via email through a simple hack if you have an email address for the product supplier.
- Canned reports. Preparing management reports are simplified through this feature. Problematic (read as “expensive”) units can be determined with the same feature.
Several new features are on the road map.
- Custom roles will limit access to types of contractors or to a single person. Don’t let Joe the Plumber access financial records.
- Make-ready processes will dictate known steps needed to make a unit ready to be re-rented and will create and track service orders to achieve those steps.
- Biometric login will limit access and can track employee hours.
- Key tracking is a physical devices that manages access to spare keys.
- Online payment is something set for the distant future.
Time management with this product is its most obvious weakness. There is no integration with outside systems. The easies step would be to utilize the iCal standard. But despite this lesser weakness, this is a company to watch and a product to consider.
Let’s see where BuildingLink.com goes with this.