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Seal the Deal: How Lark Helps Sala Homes & AlphaX Save 40+ Hours a Month
SALA Homes & AlphaX specializes in property investment and provides end-to-end investment services. Lark enables teams at the company to streamline workflows in one Base and save over 40 hours a month in property management. The teams also turned each chat group for a property into a collaboration space. Key contexts, stakeholders, and tasks to finish are finally in the same place.
Co-founder & CEO
"Lark changed how we work every day and we cannot imagine leaving it now. We recommend Lark to any company in the real estate space who want to operate their properties efficiently, store and share property information with transparency, and let projects flow with no error."
Founded in 2019, SALA Homes & AlphaX has grown into a real estate company that provides end-to-end property investment services from property acquisition, planning, design, construction, to listing for sale or rental. The company now has more than $200 million worth of real estate assets and 250+ projects under management. Teams at SALA Homes & AlphaX, together with their vendors, sit across 3 countries and work together globally to make the next dream home come true.
San Jose, California
SALA Homes & AlphaX tried dozens of tools and platforms, including Slack, Excel, etc., to share updates and manage properties with teams and vendors. With the company's property portfolio booming across locations, legacy planning-to-listing tools and templates were unable to fulfill the team's needs:
Construction sometimes went off track with project updates scattered all over the place. Previously, follow-ups and updates on property projects spanned chats, groups, emails, and offline conversations. As a result, the teams at SALA Homes & AlphaX spent a lot of time putting piecemeal information together. Property projects might go off track due to partial visibility on both accountable teams and deadlines, causing revenue loss daily.
Baton drops as there has been no set, centralized process to handle and track requests. To-dos on new and existing properties were spread out across chat groups on different platforms, or sometimes even offline conversations. There was no set, optimized process to move requests forward. Task fell through the cracks due to a de-centralized process of tracking them.
The company urgently needed an integrated platform to scale property operations, sync progress on property projects, and ensure clear accountability on tasks and deadlines. They hoped to do so without toggling the 20+ tools they had already subscribed to.
Starting on Lark for daily communications, Sunnie and the team soon realized they could do far more on Lark than texting each other.
One Property Hub, Every Team
Building a dream home from the ground up is not a one-person job. A project demands seamless teamwork across at least operations, property management, design, and construction, and oftentimes requires help from other supporting departments throughout the process.
"With more than 250 projects of all kinds under management, our goal is to use one sheet to manage all of our properties and their task teams. We want to easily know the stage of each project and the next milestone we need to hit, as well as our daily cost day in and day out to make sure everything is on budget, " Sunnie says, "and we found our answer on Lark, using Base."
Sunnie and the team took a stab at building the all-in-one hub for SALA Homes & AlphaX from scratch on Lark using Base. Turning Base into a management hub, the company uses properties as their shared identifier across views to manage all the investments and track project progress.
As for each team's workspace, customized views are created from each table and can be refreshed automatically when there is an update on data. Teams at SALA Homes & Alpha X can finally see the latest information on each property and be on the same page regarding the property's current status.
On top of that, Sunnie and the management team built their first batch of KPI dashboards from within Base with simple drag-and-drop. This exclusive view, restricted to the company's management team, tracks changes in numbers and helps the management office stay on top of the investment landscape.
Add Bricks and Tiles Automatically
What brings SALA Homes & AlphaX's all-in-one property base to life is the automated workflows in Base. A simple, no-code setup process to customize notifications based on field changes, the automated workflows are set according to iterations in the property status. The team responsible for taking care of a specific change will receive an automated notification reminding them to act before the deadline.
To begin with, new property submissions can be easily made through the form view in Base for the acquisition team to add new records to the property hub.
Once the decision-making team confirms the need for construction and permits are approved, managers of relevant teams will start receiving automated reminders accordingly. They can directly click on the button on the message they receive to start planning, buying, or allocating their workforce.
For example, the design team manager will receive a notification to assign designers to the new property. The material team will receive a notification, together with an auto-generated checklist, to start buying. Additionally, downstream teams will also receive notifications to start preparing their work ahead of time.
And this is just how SALA Homes & AlphaX automates one node of their property investment chain. Sunnie and the team further expanded this practice to other functions within the company, such as listing management, material checklist, Airbnb management, and more. These teams will receive reminders based on property updates added to the overall sheet, ensuring that they complete relevant tasks in a timely manner. Staff members no longer need to manually send reminders to various stakeholders; Base Assistant takes on the grunt work, so that the teams can focus on completing the tasks.
Balance Transparency and Security
"We want to share the whole story of a property with our teams," says Sunnie, "Having this Base really helps us provide the kind of transparency we want, so that our team comes in with full context and learning, and knows who to talk to if they have a question. This boosts our efficiency."
99% of SALA Homes & AlphaX's property information is visible to its teams. The rest 1% consists of sensitive items such as finance, eviction, and lockbox codes. This 1% is also saved on Base, but only accessible to specific team members, thanks to Base's advanced permissions feature. For example, only the lockbox keepers can see and edit lockbox information. Editing access is also segmented by teams using advanced permissions, so that no one accidentally modifies information they are not in charge of.
Merge Silos Into Focused Chatrooms
Getting the right property information from the right people on time used to be challenging. Context and information were scattered across multiple platforms, and sometimes stored as tribal knowledge in members' heads.
With help from Lark's dedicated customer success team, SALA Homes & AlphaX took their usage of Lark's messenger to a new level. They built a dedicated chat group for each property. All relevant stakeholders from various teams and vendors were added to the group. Discussions became focused, and information became much easier to locate.
Important documents or sheets can be pinned to the top of the group as tabs, making them instantly accessible upon entering the chat. When new members or vendors join the group, they can immediately gain all relevant context, as well as permission to the docs that have been shared in the group.
These chat groups are not just for messaging; they have become the hubs of effective and focused collaboration.
From one Base, teams at SALA Homes & AlphaX are able to work hand in hand to get 250+ property projects running while saving more than 40 hours every month, thanks to a better focus on key contexts and automated flows to keep every task in check.
Feeling inspired, or ready to jump in and use Base for your next project? Contact us today to learn how your team can leverage Lark Base.