All the "stuff" | Case Study | Real Estate
07 March 2021
How does Julie Emery manage a busy Real Estate business and an even busier household?
Julie Emery is the owner and CEO of North Horizon Investments, a busy Canadian Real Estate investment business. She’s also an active member of her community, a mom of four, and runs a busy household including her student-athlete daughter’s demanding schedule. So the age-old question is how does she do it all?
Well, you can’t do all of these tasks well without a little help. Julie first started using Charli almost a year ago as one of our early beta users. Her initial need was to manage the business and personal expenses in one place that was quick and easy to use. Quickly, Julie saw the value in Charli as her hub for organizing all kinds of information like important documents (both business and personal), invoices, and more. Now she not only uses Charli to help keep her business, North Horizon, organized, but she’s found ways to use Charli to better manage her household and volunteering jobs.
“I’m using Charli for everything. I use it to keep track of physical mail, emails, recipes, expenses, and more. I’ve been slowly incorporating Charli into a lot of my daily workflows. I know I’ll need to go back and look for these things and it can take forever to find, so putting it in Charli is simple and I don’t have to think about it again”
Julie has been involved with Real Estate since 2002, with her first investment in two development lots. Her passion for both business and creating value for tenants and homeowners led her to join the Canadian Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) in 2012. She has been overseeing up to 12 investments at any given time and managed countless renovations.
As the real estate business grew so did the amount of paperwork. It quickly became the biggest time sink for Julie. To add to the stress, there are no cutting corners when it comes to real estate investment, as Julie put it “your records have to be spotless” otherwise you’re in trouble with the government or tax agency. Being organized was critical to the success of the business and to her own sanity.
Enter Charli, a better way to manage the mountains of paperwork piling up on Julie’s desk, inbox, and cloud storage. With Charli, Julie has been able to declutter her filing systems, save herself hours of manual organization of content, and save days spent looking for critical business paperwork. Before Charli, Julie was having to spend countless hours searching high and low for everything, the content she needed for work could have been in either a paper filing cabinet or folder, her inbox, or cloud drive, and while it was somewhat organized she often could spend 20 mins just looking for something.
“Before Charli, I used a filing cabinet for paper content, left important content in my email often and the trouble was always having to search my inbox or rifling through papers, basically tearing the whole place apart. Kept a physical folder for all of my real estate biz receipts in my dining room so I could put them away first thing when I got home after a site visit or something.”
What Julie likes about Charli is the “reassurance of knowing I’ll be able to find the files I need when I need them is great.” This has saved hours and in some cases days of wasted time. She estimates saving about 2-3 days of work come tax season for both her business and personal life. On a weekly basis, she’s saving a few hours per week, but the value goes beyond just time savings for Julie. It’s about the ability to stay in her workflow.
Julie would have to break her productivity flow often to go searching for content and being on the road a lot made that difficult, so she’d either put things off or wait till the end of the week to finally get back to that tenant, or buyer, or broker.
“I would have to search my inbox or drive trying to find that data point could take 20 mins, it would either derail the convo or I’d have to follow up. At that moment I quickly searched in Charli, found exactly what I needed, and was able to give my tenant an answer. This allowed the process to move forward much faster and I had less admin work to do at the end of the day.”
One of the benefits of Charli has been the ability to get content organized the way she wants without the hassle of opening her Drive, creating folders, and maintaining that level of organization. Julie applies a pretty straightforward strategy to using Charli.
Here are some of her tips:
- “I got into the habit of always snapping a picture or forwarding important emails at the moment to Charli so I could start keeping track of this information better”
- “I like to add #tags to all my content, my approach is always to use one broad keyword for a #tag like #realestate and then get specific depending on the document”
- For example, I did some repairs in one of the units and incurred expenses so when I sent those receipts to Charli I tagged them as #realestate #city-name #street-name #upstairs-unit #refrigerator
Streamlining her workflow wasn’t just important for her business but for a working parent, it’s critical for making sure everything in the house runs smoothly. The realities of our lives working from home are a lot of multitasking and distraction. It is a necessary evil, especially when you have 4 children with activities, like Julie’s daughter who is a student-athlete.
Her advice for other busy entrepreneurs and parents…
“If you’re at all like me always changing tasks like running around for my business, taking care of kids and running errands, and doing volunteer work, it’s like those things don’t all mix well together – I’m so grateful for a tool like Charli because it allows me to multitask better.”
Julie’s favorite apps are the ones that keep it simple and can serve more than one purpose, which is why she has enjoyed using Charli. “What I really like about Charli is that it has this very simple functionality and intelligence that gives me the flexibility to use it any way I want, be it for my business, keeping track of expenses, or just planning recipes for the week or home decor. So all the major aspects of my workday can be managed in one place.” She’s also found uses for Charli beyond things that NEED to be organized like personal finance documents, business documents, and warranties but fun things like recipes to try, home decor inspiration and even keeping track of kids’ report cards.
Julie is on a mission this year to go totally paperless and she’s excited to use Charli more and more to get her and the household there in 2021. Despite the pandemic 2021 is going to be another busy year for the business and her house gets busier and busier with four teenagers so it’s never been more important to declutter, get organized, and streamline her workflows. By offering a really simple solution to her organization woes, Charli helps Julie run her business efficiently and with confidence while also managing her busy home life.
The possibilities are endless, how can Charli help you?