A Step Ahead Management


Chad Stickley and his property management company, A Step Ahead Management, are known for providing an excellent tenant experience, from showing to move-out.

That reputation goes back to February 2014, when Stickley, his wife, Lisa, and his best friend, Breandan, founded A Step Ahead Management. Go ahead, Check Their Google Reviews. Try to find one page where no one mentions the seamless application, quick responses, or easy rental processes.

But excellent output is not the point of this story. Because Stickley and his team have always maintained excellent output.

The point of the story is that, with the help of ShowMojo over the years, A Step Ahead Management has maintained that excellent output without increasing headcount or working obscenely long days.

In fact, headcount has stayed the same, obscenely long days are no more, and their unit count has almost doubled from 135 to 300. This is the story of how.

From Scheduling to Full-Blown Leasing Automation

A Step Ahead Management started with 135 units under management in 2014. At the time, Stickley and his team were spending hours just coordinating showings. ShowMojo eliminated all of that and, as it turned out, much more. So while Stickley came to ShowMojo for its scheduling capabilities, he stayed for Leasing Automation and Live Answer.

Even after solving the scheduling problem, Stickley and his wife were still often chained to their desks. They’d regularly work 12 to 14 hours a day answering questions from prospects. What’s the rent? Can I get more pictures? Is there a pet policy? And on and on.

With Leasing Automation, ShowMojo effectively freed the Stickleys from the administrative work that overflowed their days. Now, ShowMojo automatically replies to lead inquiries with a scheduling link and information about the listing the prospect is inquiring about. It Screens Prospects, Confirms and Follows up on Showings, and Collects Feedback.

But the team wanted to take things another step. They wanted to give every prospect who wanted it the opportunity to speak to a real person. So they activated Live Answer, ShowMojo’s 24/7 live answering service. With Live Answer, Stickely and his team still don’t have to pick up the phone, but prospects have the option to get answers from a real, ShowMojo human.

And while ShowMojo keeps the automated leasing machine humming along, the A Step Ahead Management team can focus on growing the business. Or taking some much-needed time away from their desks.

ShowMojo even covers the stuff that usually falls through the cracks. For instance, it Detects Incoming Calls From Prospects With Missing Identity Verification or Incomplete Pre-showing Questionnaires. It then assists these prospects in completing the needed activities.

ShowMojo helped me focus on growing the business. It’s like we have a marketing person handling the leasing process. We don’t have to touch anything until the lead is 80% ready.
Chad Stickley, President, A Step Ahead Management

The Switch to Self-Showings

Once ShowMojo helped unchain Stickley from his desk, he moved on to new ways to improve his business. With time and headspace to think more strategically, Stickley had a new idea.

He wanted to roll out MojoLock Smartlocks and switch all his listings to Self-Showings.

The A Step Ahead Management team wasn’t sure about the switch to self-showings or MojoLocks. But Stickley pushed on.

Despite the team’s hesitation, they didn’t miss a beat rolling out self-showings. Using ShowMojo and the MojoLocks, they set up their new self-showing workflow, and they were off and running. With self-showings in place, Stickley’s team has a lot less driving to do to and from the property. And they can facilitate access remotely not just for prospects, but also for vendors, agents, and whoever else needs access.

Since the units my company manages are single family, MojoLock’s one-time access codes were key to seamless, secure self-showings.
Chad Stickley, President, A Step Ahead Management

Breandan, who was responsible for property showings, may be the biggest fan of the self-showing rollout at A Step Ahead Management. He hasn’t shown a property in 5 years, which lets him focus on construction and maintenance.

Yet as much as the MojoLocks improved the team’s operations, they’re also a treat for A Step Ahead Management’s residents.

With Resident Access, rather than fumbling around for keys, residents of MojoLock-equipped properties can unlock their homes via Bluetooth using an iPhone, iPad, or Android. They can also create unique access codes that are either permanent (for their own uses) or temporary (for guests). And all they have to do is download an app and access the MojoLock on their home.

Resident Access is also a treat for A Step Ahead Management, because it’s all self-serve. The team just has to add the resident into ShowMojo and the platform handles everything. That included notifying the prospect, enabling mobile access for the prospect, enforcing the lease start and end date, and supporting simple account management like password resets.

Here Come the Scammers. There Go the Scammers.

A property manager’s work is never done. And it wasn’t long after self-showings started to gain prominence in the industry that the self-showing scammers started to show up.

To address this, Stickley took matters into his own hands. He started using outside software to screen every prospect’s phone. The problem was, if he wanted to keep the actual, non-scammer prospects moving, he couldn’t put his phone down. At dinner, in the office, wherever he went, he had to be standing by, ready to screen every prospect. That got old fast, so he reached out to ShowMojo for help.

In short order, ShowMojo replaced Stickley as Head of Security. And as the new head of security, ShowMojo instituted its standard operating procedures which include:

  • Identifying new bad actors based on an evolving set of behavior patterns.
  • Using markers from newly discovered fraud activities to locate and block associated and pre-existing bad actors.
  • Transforming identity document scanning into a rigorous security check.
  • Identifying and escalating potential fraudulent actors to the same advanced identity screening used by banks and credit card companies.

Stickley especially appreciates the added layers of self-showing security. For instance, ShowMojo Automatically Verifies the Prospect’s Location at the Listing on Potentially Fraudulent Showings. And there’s no new setting Stickley has to configure for this. Showings with no fraud markers get the normal scheduling experience. Showings with fraud markers get enhanced security. It’s that simple.

From 12- to 14-Hour Days to Vegas Baby!

When Chad sat with ShowMojo’s marketing team to tell his story, he did it from his hotel room in Vegas. After the call, he went to dinner with his wife and left his phone in the room. Before A Step Ahead Management adopted ShowMojo, Stickley couldn’t have kept his phone off the dinner table, let alone ditched town for an impromptu trip to Vegas.

Do you want to delegate answering prospect questions, screening applicants, managing property access, and much more? Either for you or your twenty person leasing team? Click the buttons below to try ShowMojo or schedule a demo today.

Sign up for a demo.

   Schedule a Demo

Or just sign up for a free trial and give it a try right now.

   Sign Up for a Free Trial

See How Your Industry Peers Are Succeeding With ShowMojo

   View All Case Studies