Client Spotlight

Automations, financial reporting and custom workflows – Why Hobdens Property Management are loving Qube PM


Hobdens Property Management has been helping families find their home on the south coast since 1946 and have always been a family-run business. Darren Dalton, the current CEO, worked for the company as a teenager delivering letters after school while his mother was the Managing Director. Darren returned to the business 21 years ago and worked his way through the business and up to being Managing Director after his mother retired leaving Darren with a well-respected business model that had grown rapidly since the 80s.

Since taking over, Darren has overseen several acquisitions and mergers, most notably joining the Trinity Group five years ago, and the recent acquisition of Sanders Property Management in July 2023 that added around 30% to the Hobdens Portfolio. Darren has grown the portfolio to around 8,500 units whilst keeping the family values that Hobdens was built on including the operating model, location and staff close to the heart of everything they do.

Hobdens & MRI Software

Hobden’s relationship with MRI Software dates to 2014, when they made the decision to move away from a previous system that Darren described as serving them “just fine, it just never moved with the times. There was a clear lack of development that led to us looking at other solutions, which led us to MRI Qube.”

At the time Hobdens reviewed a few providers including MRI Qube’s closest competitors in the block management space. Ultimately Hobdens chose to proceed with MRI Qube, despite the cost being higher on paper, as the far more impressive functionality on offer was more crucial to achieving the ROI Hobdens were seeking.

Over the last 10 years, Darren hasn’t changed his view on this decision. He has had exposure to other Property Management solutions through being involved in various acquisitions and market reviews.

Darren still believes that:

MRI Qube is by far the superior product when you consider the features, integrations and interface.

Unrivalled functionality

For Darren, one of the main reasons why MRI Qube is regarded as the “cream of the crop of property management” systems is the functionality. Whilst commonplace now, 10 years ago the ability to email directly from the system was a huge leap, and one of the main things Darren credits to Hobdens keeping their edge today is the financial reporting capabilities within MRI Qube PM.

Bank reconciliations and sorting out year ends with other software was a very manual process, but with MRI Qube we save a lot of time – processing accounts is so simple now, the accountants love it.

Manual Bank reconciliations can often take up a full-time job of an accounts staff member, where manual year-end accounts productions can take days per property. MRI Qube allows Hobdens to automate these processes down to mere hours per year resulting in a significant efficiency gain and allowing them to scale their business without unnecessary additional headcount.

Easy compliance

Hobdens have also recently started to experiment with the different ways in which MRI Qube PM users can customise the software and benefit from custom pages, reports, and workflows. This ability to set up workflow triggers has been particularly useful for Hobdens, especially when it comes to ensuring compliance.

For example, Hobdens need to remain compliant with ARMA’s Q process, one way in which they achieve this is through having an automatic workflow set up in MRI Qube to assist with the introduction process as part of lease assignments. The workflow is set up to send out an introduction letter and contact sheet to new tenants once they have been assigned.

“MRI Qube PM streamlines a lot of our processes, without us having to do an awful lot – it delivers massive time saving in a slick process that ensures compliance with ARMA standards”. “This process wasn’t difficult to set up with a little bit of consultancy and works perfectly well to this day helping us to stay complaint and be more efficient”.

Essential to securing new business

MRI Qube has become an integral part of the pitch, with prospective developers and blocks that are changing managing agents.

We lean on the fact that we have market-leading software.

The Reports function have become front and central as part of that pitching and clients love it too. Typically, Hobdens will run through reports directly from MRI Qube, some of their standard reports include – Expenditure, Funds Available, Debtors and Budget vs Actual.

90% of our clients are more than happy with our standard reports but there’s the functionality and flexibility within MRI Qube PM for us to cater to the needs of the other 10% too with ease.

Looking to the future, Hobdens are starting to explore further efficiencies through virtual banking in addition to portals that would allow leaseholders to log in, view their accounts, pay bills, and raise maintenance requests. We are delighted to be a trusted partner to Hobdens and look forward to playing a role in their continued innovation using the MRI platform.

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