When Realty Capital’s in-house IT assistance departed the firm, the company was left without a dedicated IT solution. The company experimented with a solo IT resource, but the lack of a support team was problematic. Those challenges, and the arrival of the pandemic, helped lead Realty Capital to Novatech.
“When COVID hit, we were not prepared to work from home,” says Realty Capital Director of Accounting Kelly Vance. “We had an old school, unreliable VPN, so I had to return to the office and reset servers and the VPN, climbing on things, finding plugs, etcetera. I even did that for the phone room because AT&T was not sending techs out.”
At the end of the year, Vance notes, she evaluated their IT spend and uncovered bad news. “We looked at our P&L and realized we had spent $90k trying to enable people to work from home, yet we had nothing to show for it. We hadn’t bought a bunch of hardware and software. We were still operating on Windows 7; still held together with superglue and duct tape.”
A Better Solution Emerges
Vance interviewed three IT companies and among them, Novatech was the obvious choice, she says. “Novatech was impressive. They were all about coming out to the office to see what everyone did and what the best solution would be to get us running. They wanted to know who we were – so they could give us what we needed.”
“They would save us more than $2,000 a month with a far superior product, and more productivity and functionality by leaps and bounds,” Vance says. “Plus, everyone I met from the firm made me feel confident they would deliver on their promise.”
The Novatech team transitioned all the staff to Windows 10 and Microsoft Office, with Mimecast for email, and equipped each employee with a new PC or docking station. “Their techs also helped us learn how to use these new solutions, including Teams when we had been using Zoom,” says Vance. “Everything was included.”
On the support side, Vance notes, Novatech was equally helpful. “Trying to be the IT liaison between the IT team and our staff was eating all my time,” she says. “The Novatech team takes care of everything IT and gives us 24/7 support. There is a Novatech icon on everyone’s computer, and personnel just click it when they need help.”
“Most of our company work is putting out fires, so when staff put in a ticket, they need help right then,” she continues. “Novatech can handle everything pretty much right now and I have no involvement. If our needs are greater, I shoot an EM to our Technical Account Manager and within minutes the issue is being handled.”
Improving Outcomes — and Bottom Lines
“Now, we are totally secure,” she notes. “Novatech’s security solution blocks ransomware, hackers and others. I am confident our security is top notch.” Furthermore, Vance says, staff can work productively wherever they are — at home, in the field or in a meeting. “That was a huge benefit in itself. With the old solution, we had dead spots in the office because the WiFi didn’t reach there.”
Other benefits of the Novatech partnership have been evident in Realty Capital’s business development efforts — and their bottom line, Vance says. “If our developers couldn’t get on the server to pull up their plans, they couldn’t get their permitting done. If the server was down, QuickBooks was down, and we couldn’t send out statements for rent.”
Novatech had a much better plan. They told us, ‘We lose money when you guys are down. We make money when you are up and running.’ Novatech delivers on what they promise. Day or night, no matter what crazy issue we might have, I know they are going to resolve it.”
“Our IT firm should be the expert. I want to tell them what my problem is, and they come back with the solution.” Novatech did that, Vance says, and more. “We are not getting nickled and dimed on every ticket either,” Vance continues. “Novatech’s service is included in our fee. I cannot wait until the EOY when we pull up the P&L and see the difference.”
Founded by Richard Myers in 1987, Realty Capital has developed 10,000 residential units, 4,000 acres of single-family residential communities, and more than two million square feet of commercial buildings. In 2011, Realty Capital became an employee-owned firm with Richard Myers, Jimmy Archie and Tim Coltart serving as Managing Directors. Realty Capital Management currently partners with industry leaders including Hillwood Residential, Stratford Land, ArchCo Residential, Stoneleigh Companies and Real Capital Solutions.
Current land holdings total approximately 2,000 acres of prime commercial and residential tracts in various stages of development throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Over 40 development projects are overseen by the Realty Capital team of developers and property managers including single-family, retail, professional office, medical and large-scale master-planned residential communities.
Innovative ideas and strategic planning have been key components in Realty Capital’s success bringing mixed-use, commercial and residential developments to areas with difficult barriers to entry. For more information, visit www.realtycapital.com.