How Locale played an effective role in improving communication within The Colonnades Apartments

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Managing Agent:
Premier Estates

Site:
The Colonnades Apartments, Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool

Portfolio Type:
Residential

Units Managed:
115 units

About Royal Albert Dock

Royal Albert Dock is an award-winning waterfront development that constitutes the largest group of Grade I listed buildings in the UK. The 5-storey brick and cast-iron 19th Century warehouses were restored in the 1980s to include mixed assets such as commercial, retail, leisure and residential. Among those occupying the complex include Merseyside Maritime Museum, Tate Liverpool, and The Colonnades Apartments. Featuring a 24-hour concierge and round the clock security, The Colonnades comprises 115 individual luxury apartments and penthouses.

 

The Challenge

The main source of communication at The Colonnades was a basic WordPress site containing clunky outdated messaging, and engagement between residents and staff was in person or paper based. Premier Estates, the managing agent responsible for The Colonnades, initially suggested that building management software might provide the ideal solution for improving communication and engagement.

Emily Okukenu, a resident and director of CRL, was keen on software as a solution to act as a one-stop-shop for residents, enabling them to access an array of information, announcements and events, whilst also providing an external facing website. Accompanied by the bonus of creating efficient processes for the concierge team, who were still reliant on outdated paper-based processes such as written logs for deliveries and forms, this notion was very attractive.

After much due diligence, Emily proposed three companies that would be suitable, with her own vote being in favour of Locale, due to our comprehensive offering of services.

“After due diligence was done to compare the market and packages on offer, I felt that Locale was the best fit. To further inform our decision, myself and the Finance Director visited London Dock, another client of Locale and Premier Estates, to see the portal and app in action. Needless to say, we were impressed with what we saw, and I proposed we implement Locale at our next board meeting” Emily Okukenu, Director CRL

The outcome of Locale

Previously, parcels would be written down in a log before the concierge would deliver notification slips to individual post boxes. Now, with Locale’s Deliveries module, this process has been automated, creating a digital audit trail and resulting in real time communication between the building team and residents.

Further streamlining management processes and communication between residents, staff, and the Premier Estates management team is the introduction of Locale’s Document Management module. Through this, residents and staff can access a range of essential documents such as procedures and policies, fire action notices, contacts, and training guides.

“Digitising processes and documents has resulted in streamlined management and communication, as residents now have access to important documents and forms that are relevant to their property and building. Allowing ease of access to these documents has been well received by residents and staff at The Colonnades. Furthermore, Locale is highly configurable, allowing us to maintain control over who has access to which documents.” Emily Okukenu, Director CRL

As Locale went live just before the UK’s first lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Emily was able to utilise the modules to support the residents through this difficult time. This included creating a page dedicated to COVID-19, with links to government guidelines, NHS advice, and useful contacts such as healthcare and pharmacies.

The Residents Association also set up a number of initiatives to support the community through COVID-19. These included setting up an essential shopping team to help those needing to isolate, whilst also teaming up with a local charity to collect contributions from residents for a local food bank, all communicated and promoted via the Locale portal and app.

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Usage highlights

A great source of appreciation and usage from Emily and the residents of The Colonnades has been Locale Life’s Virtual Services module. When the lockdown came into effect, Virtual Services was made complimentary to support the different challenges our customers were facing. The module included a directory of over 70 virtual experiences, services, and resources to access and enjoy such as home schooling, fitness, wellbeing, home delivery services, hobbies & interests, and professional development.