Case Studies

An MRI Client Success Story: Southwood Realty

How Southwood Realty revolutionized their business with the MRI Living toolbox

Founded in 1977, Southwood Realty is a family-owned property management company based out of Gastonia, North Carolina. With locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia, Southwood Realty has emerged as one of the premiere property management companies in the Southeast U.S. 

Business Challenge

Starting off as a smaller organization, Southwood originally managed their properties in traditional, paper-based processes. As they experienced unprecedented growth in mid-2000s, Southwood Realty knew they had to make the jump from managing their data and leases on typewritten paper to handling their most important documents in a digital format. Additionally, they wanted a system that would evolve with them.  


Southwood Realty worked closely with the MRI Software team to move their property management onto MRI’s core offering for residential housing. This core system, now called Property Management X, would serve as their base of operations for their organization. 

Business Impact

Through their use of Property Management X and other MRI solutions, Southwood Realty has been able to continue growing with a system that grows alongside them. With the ability to pull data from a single source of truth, staff at every level of Southwood, from regional property managers to the C-suite have gained the ability to streamline their processes and better understand the organization’s strengths and weaknesses that need to be addressed.  

The partnership between MRI and Southwood has progressed dramatically since 2005, with Southwood transitioning over to many of the solutions in the MRI Living toolbox, including Lead Management, Multifamily Insurance, the Connect Suite, and Resident Screening. 

Streamlining operations and experiences

When Southwood began to grow, it wasn’t long before managing their expenses on a spreadsheet became unworkable.  

With Property Management X, Southwood’s managers have been able to quickly focus in on irregularities in operations. It’s given them the ability to easily identify and take action to improve areas of the prospect and resident experience, which increases likelihood that quality residents will renew.  

This ease of operation also gives Southwood executives the insightful data they need to improve the employee experience, which is crucial to training and retaining talent as property managers across the industry report struggles with burnout.   

Proactively protecting thriving communities

In 2021, Southwood Realty implemented MRI Multifamily Insurance, a fully managed program that works to ensure that a community’s renters have an active insurance policy. Southwood had not previously required renters’ insurance and, after only a year and a half, 95% of residents living in a Southwood property were covered by a policy. Residents add coverage through the online resident portal, and the MRI team reaches out to residents if their coverage lapses. This helps Southwood provide an exceptional resident experience while saving staff thousands of hours every year. 

Support to see through all transitions and challenges

Southwood gives feedback on the products they use, and that feedback has been used by MRI to optimize Southwood’s solution to closely fit their needs. And with MRI’s support team dedicated to client success, a helping hand is never far away.  

If I email someone from MRI Software, I can rest assured that I’m going to hear back from them. MRI has been dependable, responsive, and we wouldn’t have been able to get where we did had it not been for that partnership. 

Delilah Freeman, Employee Development Manager, Southwood Realty 

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