The Invisible Service Helping Millions and Millions of People

William Bailey | February 16, 2024

The Invisible Service Helping Millions and Millions of People

Residents…like property managers, portfolio owners, and probably even to some extent utility providers themselves—kind of hate utilities.

Which makes sense. They’re an expense. And unlike a fixed-rate mortgage or car loan, they’re not an especially predictable expense. The weather, varying usage, leaky infrastructure, provider errors, and whatever chaotic force rolls the dice on constantly fluctuating utility rates means that predicting the dollar amount of any given bill is hard. Then, once it shows up, you have to pay or your lights don’t work and your faucets run dry.

So at best, residents are indifferent to their utilities as a natural part of life. At worst, they’re understandably frustrated with them. Nobody, after all, likes being beholden to a chaotic bill that grows more expensive over time.

The point? For property owners and managers, Conservice is recognized across the nation as a strategy for transforming utility bills into a cost saving, data rich asset. We showcase the service at our conferences, publish the success stories and testimonials of our happy customers, and continue to function as the largest, most successful company that is singularly focused on utility management.

What doesn’t get talked about nearly as much—but impacts an exponentially higher number of working Americans—is the positive impact that Conservice has on the millions of residents, students, tenants, and professionals who live in, occupy, or commercially leverage the properties we support. Yes, we save our direct customers a lot of money and headaches. But we do so much good for their customers too. 

And that is what this article means to lay out in black and white: the direct benefits that residents enjoy when their property managers leverage Conservice.

The Numbers and Knowledge for Great Customer Service

The Numbers and Knowledge for Great Customer Service

Property managers already wear a huge number of hats. They personally oversee the attending of maintenance requests, the onboarding of new residents, the cleaning or retrofit of vacant units, the screening of prospective tenants, and the day to day needs of the residents they support. So if a resident has a problem with their utility bill or a burning question about their costs, property managers are the go-to. As competent and good willed as the vast majority of property managers are, they are few and they are busy. Conservice has thousands of dedicated support specialists whose sole occupation is understanding utilities, the specifics of municipalities throughout the U.S., and the issues that residents often face while navigating their bills.

When Conservice manages their utilities, residents get an army of dedicated helpers. Call times are shorter, response times are quicker, and outcomes are better because the person on the other end of the phone isn’t juggling eight crucial tasks—they’re doing one highly specialized job.

A Simpler Bill is a Better Bill

Keep it Simple

An annoyance is small and quickly forgotten. But the same annoyance, inflicted the same way, month after month, adds up quickly. By attending to some of the smaller quality of life details that impact residents, Conservice makes a huge nationwide difference. 

Millions of people are forced to collect a series of invoices—often by mail—for everything from rent to (depending on the municipality) different utility line items. It’s not a world ending headache, but it sucks. One of our core services is, where possible, consolidating all of a given resident’s bills and rent into a single, easy-to-digest invoice. We spell out all of the factors that went into their final bill so they know exactly what they’re paying, and we make it incredibly easy to digitally submit their payments. 

Paying utility bills, as spelled out in the introduction, is an already lousy experience for residents. By streamlining and clarifying the process for residents, we lessen the bite.

Setting Up Utilities Feels Bad. So We Do It.

Setting Up Utilities Feels Bad. So We Do It.

Pop quiz. Would you prefer to A) call the different companies who control the distribution of your utilities and go through all of the unique, time-consuming processes that each has exacted to change names and set up utilities, or B) do almost any other conceivable activity?

When a resident moves into a property supported by Conservice, they don’t have to call ANY of their utility providers. We walk them through a single set-up process, and we take care of all of the hassle behind the scenes on their behalf. It’s not a service that’s likely to be celebrated by residents, because it’s not always a service they realize they’re enjoying. After all, it’s not easy to realize that you’re NOT enduring a series of hours-long phone calls

Saving Money. The G.O.A.T. Benefit.

Saving Money. The G.O.A.T. Benefit.

The big one. The good news. The function of Conservice’s services that is rightfully and consistently paid the most attention to by our customers and their residents. Without flaunting any bells and whistles, the vast majority of the residents we support will either break even or outright save money despite our service fee.

Because yes, we charge a service fee. That army of utility experts chasing down bills, consolidating invoices, auditing provider charges, and answering resident questions aren’t doing it for free. BUT. Between the many aspects of our service that lower the costs for residents, that fee is usually swallowed up by savings.

RUBS or Meters. An institution that isn’t leveraging a managed-utilities service like Conservice will often consolidate the nightmare that is calculating utility cost responsibility into a flat fee that is rolled into rent each month. Easy for them, but normally more expensive for residents. When an institution uses Conservice, we do one of two things to ensure a resident’s bill is as fair and as low as possible. 

  • If a utility is metered, that resident will only be charged for the specific usage attributed to their portion of the meter.
  • If a utility isn’t metered, we use a rigorous (and completely transparent) calculation method called RUBS to determine a resident’s portion.

Either way, the bill is more accurate and almost always lower than when flat fees are used.

Breaks and Leaks. Pipes burst. Toilets leak. And as bad as the big infrastructural breaks can be, it’s the slow, insidious leaks that can cost residents the most money over the long term. Conservice audits the usage metrics for each invoice that passes through our system. We compare it to the previous month’s usage, and year-over-year usage, and then incorporate local weather conditions to determine whether or not a given bill seems wonky. If it does, we alert the property managers. It may sound strange but, believe us, it’s true: less water costs less than more water. Conservice protects residents from slow, long term leaks.

A Rising Tide and All That

So yeah. Like a lot of the more overlooked facets of business, the benefits of rock-solid utility management and premium customer service aren’t particularly complicated. The residents we connect with get a simpler, clearer bill, more reliable customer service, and a lower, fairer bill. While residents aren’t our direct customers, they’re the people we professionally worry over, think about, and strategize on behalf of day in and day out. Utilities, like death, taxes, and the joys of political headbutting aren’t going anywhere. But with Conservice, they can be as boring and simple as they deserve to be.

William Bailey

William Bailey

William Bailey is a veteran writer in the real estate industry and the Content Manager at Conservice. He’s obsessed with utility technology, tarantulas, and the ways that language and stories can bring industries together.

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