The Greater Syracuse Land Bank (GSLB) is reducing barriers to private investment in Syracuse’s neighborhoods by stabilizing and putting to productive use thousands of dilapidated properties. Executive Director Katelyn Wright, a nationally recognized leader in community revitalization, is using ePropertyPlus™ to drive efficient, transparent, and accountable performance at Syracuse’s land bank.
GSLB is a nonprofit organization formed jointly with the City of Syracuse and County of Onondaga, NY in 2013 and tasked with stabilizing and returning dilapidated properties to productive use. Katelyn, its first Executive Director, knew that to operate at the scale Syracuse envisioned, she needed to put systems in place to manage property information, before the Land Bank acquired a single property.
Katelyn explains “We had a good idea what we wanted (strategically) to do at the start. I knew we needed a software system to help us manage the properties, vendors, and contractors we were taking on.”
GSLB has been using ePropertyPlus™ since 2013. Katelyn says “ePropertyPlus™ offered a well suited and broad template for us. It already included the kinds of things we needed to do, so we did not need to change much. It’s also flexible, so we could ‘modify the configuration’ as we continued to grow. We’ve now set it up to track demolitions, occupied properties, and the onboarding process for new properties. We use it to assign and track services to our vendors, as well. We like that we can configure ePropertyPlus™ to manage new processes as we create them.”
“One of the biggest impacts of ePropertyPlus™ is it helps us tie the services and tracking into a single system. It’s saving us time and letting us devote more resources to properties and programs. For instance, when our team assigns a service to a vendor using ePropertyPlus™, a task that used to involve 40 emails is managed within a single service.” GSLB is also using ePropertyPlus™ has made a big difference for us. If I had to do it over again, I definitely would choose ePropertyPlus for Greater Syracuse Land Bank.
– KATELYN WRIGHT, Executive Director Greater Syracuse Land Bank
ePropertyPlus™ to track documents collected and recorded on each property, which helps manage the audit trails required when receiving and spending public funds.
The public facing component has helped GSLB share information to prospective buyers and prepare them for owning and rehabbing property. “We want to ensure our buyers have the highest chance of success, so we provide as much information as we can to set their expectations. When we publish a property on our public site, we attach a property conditions report, our program requirements, and other information.”
The seamless integration of ePropertyPlus™’s staff component and public sit component means “we have everything in one place. We don’t need to maintain spreadsheets for tracking tasks or projects. Knowing it’s all coming from a single, unified system gives us confidence the data and information we are sharing is correct and complete. The public assumes our information is correct; we know it is.”
Accountability is important and ePropertyPlus™ is delivering the confidence GSLB needs to operate transparently across the organization. Operations Manager Jake Thorsen explains “we like knowing we have all the information to back up our decisions. We can easily track inventory in a single system. We’re using the report engine to create and share reports- what used to require pulling data from different sources now requires running a single report. That alone has made a huge difference in terms of time and the accuracy of our reports. It’s also tying together operations and planning.”
Since 2013, GSLB has acquired over 1,300 properties and completed more than 440 sales, leveraging millions in community investment into Syracuse’s neighborhoods, and increasing property taxes generated by over $800,000 a year. Katelyn and GSLB continue to drive community investment in Syracuse; in 2017, GSLB was awarded NY state’s largest blight elimination grant, showing its efforts are being recognized.
ePropertyPlus™ has made a big difference for us. If I had to do it over again, I definitely would choose ePropertyPlus™ for GSLB.”
Katelyn Wright is the Executive Director for the Greater Syracuse Land Bank in Syracuse, NY. To learn more about the Greater Syracuse Land Bank’s efforts to transform Syracuse neighborhoods, please visit www.syracuselandbank.org or contact Katelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org