Buildium – Collecting Management Fees (shortened)

The ability to automatically collect management fees was one of the most desired feature requests for Buildium’s property management software. A colleague and I dug deep to understand the root of the problem and designed a solution.

We started with contextual inquiry. We visited a few local property management companies and had them walk us through their workflows. The core problem that emerged was that collecting management fees stood in the way of paying property owners. Property managers have time pressure to deliver checks to their owners as soon as they can after tenants pay rent. So we designed, tested, and refined a way to be able to pay owners sooner, setting aside the money that needed to be set aside for management fees and bills. See clickable prototype of the design.

screenshot of tables showing journey maps
Journey maps showing multiple scenarios under the current supported functionality as well as the envisioned future journeys.
Cnoceptual model showing fees and bills being removed from the owner draw
Conceptual models for three approaches to resolving the problem of wanting to be able to pay rental owners sooner
task flow diagram showing the process of how rent money flows
More detailed task flow diagrams allowed us to better understand the pieces of functionality we needed to support to achieve the goal of paying rental owners sooner.
Screenshot of the application - the owner draw screen showing the calculation for money withheld
The final design of the screen that enabled property managers to pay rental owners while withholding necessary funds.
screenshot showing a table that appears to explain the highlighted amount
Because property managers want to double check that the math is right before sending a payment, hovering over one of the headings allows a further drill-down into the line items that resulted in each subtotal.