Omaha Municipal Land Bank (OMLB) is a catalyst for transforming distressed properties into community assets. Marty Barnhart, its Executive Director, is converting OMLB’s strategic vision into real results and ePropertyPlus™ is at the heart of their success.
Omaha Municipal Land Bank (OMLB) is a newly formed land bank with a staff of three and operations budget that focuses on distressed, abandoned, and tax forfeited properties. To manage their property inventory, OMLB needed a single repository to capture, manage, and analyze property data, along with mapping, reporting, and the ability to showcase available properties to the public. Additionally, the OMLB desired a database that would allow them to collaborate with non-profit partners for inventory and maintenance.
For Marty, this potential pipeline of 5,000 or more properties represents opportunity. “These properties impact at the property level, but they also represent an economic and social loss to the community. If we can transform some of these houses, we know it can catalyze owners of other properties to take more care of their properties and drive positive investment.”
OMLB chose to implement ePropertyPlus™. “We compared ePropertyPlus™ to other software programs. The choice was hands down in favor of ePropertyPlus™. It’s a proven solution, so we did not have to think about whether it would work. The implementation was quick and easy, and we just started using it. ePropertyPlus™ had a strong list of clients we could talk to. And we could not have been happier with the ePropertyPlus™ team. They were tremendous.”
“ePropertyPlus™ is ideal for what we do. It is property-centric, which is hugely important. It is built to do the things we do – acquire, hold, and sell property. From my first days, I loaded data into ePropertyPlus™ on properties that would likely end up in my hands. I wanted to start evaluating my options right away.”
OMLB is focused on transformation and ePropertyPlus™ has transformed how the Omaha Land Bank operates. According to Marty, OMLB has been able to get rid of their spreadsheets and almost all paper records. “We keep everything in ePropertyPlus™.”
ePropertyPlus™ is also driving stakeholder confidence. “With our stakeholders, like our board or members of our city council, we can share information on our activities and keep them informed. If they want to know about a property, I can immediately pull up the property data, with every picture, note or document. If someone wants a custom map showing properties in a specific area, I can generate one and email it over.”
“Collaboration is a big part of what we do. With ePropertyPlus™, we can collaborate with our nonprofit and community development partners to help them find opportunities to develop property they may not know exists. “We’ve integrated features into our ePropertyPlus™, like the Zillow integration, to help us validate prices. We can look into the county tax system automatically to research properties. Additionally, when someone wants to apply, we can accept the application and process it online. It’s all right there in one system.”
Six months in, Marty states that ePropertyPlus™ is the backbone of everything they do. “We depend on it each day and it is amazing what a difference it’s making as we implement new programs and processes.”
OMLB has acquired several dozen properties in its first few months and they expect to complete at least 100 transactions in 2017. Marty and the OMLB plan to make a big impact across Omaha and one thing they can be sure of – ePropertyPlus™ will be at the center of their daily operations every step of the way!
“The question I would ask anyone who is considering this software is, can you afford NOT to use it?”
- MARTY BARNHART | Executive Director Omaha Municipal Land Bank
Marty Barnhart is the former Executive Director for the Omaha Municipal Land Bank in Omaha, NE. To learn more about the Omaha Municipal Land Bank and its efforts to transform Omaha neighborhoods, please visit www.omahalandbank.org.