Notice Services VS. Lien Rights Software
Is your current notice service allowing you to effectively manage lien rights paperwork, protect receivables, and save time on your collections process? With technological advancements in cloud-based software, there’s no need to use dated or manual notice services.
Watch this webinar to learn how to compare your notice service to lien rights software and make an educated decision on whether or not lien rights software like Levelset is right for you.
Ayla Gokturk, the Regional Credit and Collections Manager at Waste Connections’ west coast division, will share her insights as a long-time Levelset customer and former notice service user. Don’t miss out!
In this webinar you’ll learn:
- The challenges that arise when using a notice service
- The solutions presented by cloud-based software
- How to get started with a full lien rights management solution like Levelset
Brandon Davenport (00:00:16):
My name is Brandon Davenport. Uh, today we’re going to be talking about notice services versus lean rights software. Uh, I have an esteemed guests, uh, on the phone with us today. Uh, we got Aila from waste connections, uh, over here with us. Thanks for joining us. And, uh, we’re going to be talking a little bit about ILAs experience, uh, before we get into it, I’m going to make a quick intro of myself Eila. If you don’t mind, I’ll pass the mic over to you, make a quick introduction and then we’ll get started. I’m coming to you live from Austin, Texas. Uh, I did work in the new Orleans headquarters for a little over two years, uh, at Levelset, uh, I’m a proud Tennesseean, uh that’s to say the truth, uh, and I’m a payment expert over here at Levelset. Uh, and now I have the good fortune of leading 11 other amazing payment experts on my team. Uh, my team is called the in-center blocks for those that care Aila.
Ayla Gokturk (00:02:29):
Hello everyone. Um, I’m the credit and collections manager for waste connections. Um, I’ve got a responsibility for protecting the AR in 10 states, and I have about a hundred remote offices up and down the west coast, including Alaska. Um, I’ve been in the waste industry, uh, for 22 years. And before that I was in the construction industry for four years. So, you know, 25, 26 years, um, using lean and bombed rights to protect the companies. They are
Brandon Davenport (00:03:05):
Amazing before we actually get into the meat of our slides. Uh, again, the conversation today is indeed about a notice services versus lean ride software. Uh, and it’s going to be through a lens of Aila and her experience, someone that’s been with the Levelset family for a long time now, uh, of course, throughout the conversation, I’m going to help differentiate, uh, with some of the questions that I have. Um, so without further ado, uh, Aila, if you don’t mind, tell us a little bit about that first experience that you had when you were using a notice service and, uh, some of the challenges that you initially dealt with.
Ayla Gokturk (00:03:47):
Um, yeah, well, honestly, everything was a challenge with our notice service. Um, you got to remember I’ve been in the industry a long time and while we’ve had computers to help us, um, the notice service that we had been using was entirely manual, uh, for those of you who, uh, who may be a little younger than me, um, we actually would email or even fax over, um, an order. So if we had a particular project that we wanted them to send a notice of, right to lean on, we would do them one at a time. We would email them more often than not. We would fax that request over. And that was, that was it. We would put it in their hands and we would hope that they did everything correctly for us. Um, so we would just wait, uh, you know, at the, uh, at the end of the construction project, if we needed proof of service or if we wanted to get a copy of the letter or anything, we would have to reach back out.
Ayla Gokturk (00:04:44):
And again, to kind of show my age, when I say proof of service, we would be looking for those little green cards that the post office used to give us. Um, cause you couldn’t just look up tracking on, on, on the web back then. It wasn’t that easy. Um, the notice service also, wasn’t very helpful with reminding us about when deadlines were coming due, and that was entirely on us and on our tickler files and trying to, uh, to, to manage that, um, just using a paper calendar and counting out dates for when the deadlines work, keeping in mind that deadlines change from state to state. So it was really a very difficult process. Um, if we wanted to, uh, do research on ownership, we had to do that ourselves frequently, that required us to go online to more of a paid, you know, geo-data type of thing where now tax assessors, you know, you can hop on, on the web and look up at owner information on a tax assessor’s website, but that wasn’t the way it happened 20 to 25 years ago. So you’d have to go in, you’d pay for those subscription services. You’d log in. You try to find ownership. It was just super labor intensive on our part, um, just to fill out that order and fax it over and hope that the notice service was doing all the right things after we gave that job to them.
Brandon Davenport (00:06:10):
Yeah. It’s important. And thanks for your testimony, that it’s important that we dig into something that you mentioned there. Uh, when you talk about state deadlines being different, uh, we actually have a few states, uh, across this great country that are coming up on some deadline changes, some requirement changes, uh, at the start of the new year. And because of that, they’re oftentimes in the market is a lot of uncertainty around, okay, well, if I start a project in 2021 and it rolls over into 2022, like my subject to the previous requirements versus the old requirements and Eila, and I had a chance to hang out on a Monday and chat a little bit. And you told me a really great story about that calendar, where in the past, when you’re using a notice service, if there was a project that started within a certain timeframe that carried over into 2022, uh, you told me a little bit about what you had to do to be prepared. Do you mind telling the audience a little bit about it?
Ayla Gokturk (00:07:11):
Uh, well, it was just, we were, we were teasing a little bit on that call about, about the old way of doing things, um, where you would just use the Boolean numbers on your calendar. And, uh, for those that don’t recognize what that is. It’s buying a calendar, a paper calendar where you actually have the number of days into the year. So you have 364 days, 365 days in a year. So, you know, what day is today? Today happens to be day. Oh, how about that day? 300. So if you had a project that you put in, in November on, let’s say day 340, and you have 90 days at the end of that project, you, you could very well carry that into the next year. So you’d end up with, instead of, you know, 340 plus 90 days, that’s more than 365. So then you’d have to remember, well, wait a second then when does that make it in the next year and go to your paper calendar for the next year and find that Boolean number and figure out, oh, that’s the date that I need to send my, you know, I need to file my lane.
Ayla Gokturk (00:08:26):
I, it, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s just math, but it, it can become a little bit confusing, especially over that timeframe. Um, I remember one time I ordered calendar in my office, admin didn’t order, the one I asked for and it came with no Boolean dates and I am like, I can’t use this. Um, so we had to frantically, you know, find me exactly the one that I want it to get those dates in and with Levelset you don’t have to do that. It’s such a pleasure for Levelset to take over all of that, all of that math and calculating deadlines based on the state that the project is a super, super easy.
Brandon Davenport (00:09:09):
Yeah. Uh, sounds like no moron calendars and it sounds like no more potentially pretty ordering a calendar. Well, but you, uh, the way that you describe it, it, um, it, it is using a no notice provider, but there is a lot of also in-house processes that you maintain at the time in order to make the engine churn so that you were protected when you made the switch over to Levelset though, were you considering any other notices or services or in-house processes that could potentially bolster the system and ultimately, I guess why’d you decide to go with Levelset during that evaluation phase?
Ayla Gokturk (00:09:51):
You know, I did look at a couple of other services, um, but honestly I didn’t really find anyone that fit well. Um, there wasn’t either there wasn’t a culture fit or their process didn’t really offer me anything that was a value add, as opposed to me just doing it in house. Um, so after, after kind of vetting two or three services, um, and being amazed at the price, they wanted to charge us, um, I thought, well, you know, maybe it is time to just bring this in house. Um, and I started looking then into software packages that we might load into our system. And, uh, same thing. I wasn’t really happy with any of that. Um, just because of the added work it was going to, uh, to add to my, to my office, you know, my, my remote offices. So, uh, you know, I was thinking about this in preparation for, uh, our call and I honestly don’t even remember how I found Levelset all I can tell you is I’m so glad that I did.
Ayla Gokturk (00:10:56):
Uh, it probably was kind of a Google search. Um, and so I did set up a demo with them and, uh, everything that I wanted was there the ability for the system to educate us and stay up to date on, on state, by state laws, uh, the ever critical deadlines to make sure that things were going to be counted correctly. Uh, they took that one step further. Um, they email out to me and my team when we’ve got a deadline approaching. Um, so, you know, it’s not just that they, you know, calculate the date for us, and then we have to do the tickler there, the tickler file as well. Um, so, uh, when we started talking price, price was, was right in line with what we, uh, what we wanted to do. Uh, waste connections is a big company, but that doesn’t mean that we went to overpaid for our service. Um, and so, you know, we started with Levelset probably about six years ago. Um, again, I was teasing with Brandon, I’ve been with them longer than he has. Um, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great people there and watching Levelset. Uh, I mean, literally changed their name from xylene to Levelset and, uh, you know, uh we’re we were one of the beta testers when they started expanding their services. Um, it’s just, it’s been a wonderful partnership over the six years or so that we can using
Brandon Davenport (00:12:29):
For sure in you, that’s a good transition actually, ILO cause you, you, you talk about the long time that you’ve had as a relationship with Levelset and how you originally got the beta test, uh, new things, new products that they came out over the course of that long time you’ve been with us, which is appropriate time to talk about, like now that you’ve been in, I’ve had a chance to reflect, how would you compare us to do some of these past processes?
Ayla Gokturk (00:13:02):
Honestly, I, I wouldn’t even begin to compare the, the service level that we get from Levelset is just, it is truly in comparable to what we were getting from, um, our old lien service, uh, where it was literally just a guy or two in an office and a fax machine. Um, the opportunity that we’ve had to, to grow our internal process with Levelset, um, so that we can add some automation. And we’ll, I think we’re going to talk a little bit about that. Um, it was great when we started with Levelset, um, we were, we were still entering the project information ourselves. Um, so, uh, as opposed to writing it down on a piece of paper and faxing it, we were going into Levelsets, uh, you know, we’d log in to Levelset and enter that information, copy it out of our billing system and put it into their system.
Ayla Gokturk (00:13:58):
And it was a little, you know, little double work there. And some of the remote offices weren’t really happy with that, but, um, as we started using it more and more, we, uh, we, we started looking at ways that we could automate that process. And that was something that, again, just, you know, calling up and talking to my account rep, we, we were able to think of ways that would, uh, make the process better on our end, um, the programming that would need to happen, you know, and again, what the cost would be on that and everything just, it was just such a natural, um, collaboration and that, and the progression of moving us from this copy pace, you know, manual ish hybrid process, we review using to something that was a lot easier and more automated, um, so that my team didn’t have to struggle with with anything. Um, you know, it just, you guys took that on, uh, created a great process for us, um, and, and just helped us implement it across the board. It was, it was fabulous experience
Brandon Davenport (00:15:06):
For sure. And I want to help contextualize for the audience here, uh, again, uh, encourage you all to ask questions for ILM myself, uh, waste connections is, is a well-known brand. Um, but for the audience here, I’m looking through our list and I’m seeing a mix of suppliers. I’m seeing a mix of subcontractors, uh, as well, even some equipment lessors that have joined us, uh, today. Uh, again, thank you all for joining, but I would tell the audience a little bit more about waste connections and typically who your customer is, whether that’s a subcontractor general contractor, a property owner, et cetera, uh, to help contextualize automation for the group.
Ayla Gokturk (00:15:47):
Oh, sure. Um, you know, a lot of people don’t really think that much about garbage and if we’re doing our jobs right, then you shouldn’t have to think about garbage, but waste connections is actually the third largest garbage holler in the United States. Uh, we also, um, are the largest, uh, holler in Canada. Um, and we do a full lifecycle. Um, so as it, as it comes into Levelset and construction projects, we might be hired directly by the homeowner. So they’re doing, uh, a roofing project or something, and they want to have a box, um, hold and they order it themselves. So it would be a single property. Um, and for that, we are, uh, both in equipment lesser because the box is ours. We are a service provider, um, as an employee because our drivers are the hauler for that box. Um, same thing, but on a bigger scale, uh, if it’s, let’s say a Costco or a big, um, building that’s being built, um, they might want our, uh, construction boxes and, um, have us hold the things to the landfills. So we might be hired by the general, by a subcontractor by, uh, by the owner of that bigger project. So we can be a sub sub, we can be a sub, um, occasionally we can be the general contractor. So, uh, truly, um, again, you know, we could be an equipment lease or, um, so we have all kinds of ways and levels that, uh, that we approach Levelset for, um, notices that,
Brandon Davenport (00:17:30):
Yeah, that’s perfect. And, uh, the context is really important, right? Because, uh, over 80% of the states in the U S have different notice requirements. So that’s giving you 40 different variables. You just listed off five different project roles you could potentially be on as well. You multiply that, and now we’re looking at hundreds of different scenarios, and if you don’t have everything organized in the first place, then you might put yourself in a position of risk. And so now when you have the bones in place, uh, tell us a little bit more about the actual automation piece.
Ayla Gokturk (00:18:05):
Sure. Um, our it department, um, we, uh, we’ve always been very risk averse to the idea of hacking. So, uh, when I approached our it department, they said, you know, you can do whatever you want, but we aren’t giving any third party vendor, any kind of access to our customer database. Um, so we thought, well, that’s okay. Again, we have a very collaborative relationship with Levelsets. So we started talking about other ways we can get that data into the system. And it just turned out to be a super simple thing. We created a report that pulls out all of the information that we need, what we can for us, what kind of role we are? Are we the sub or are we the sub sub or with the general who hired us, um, what the property address is, and, you know, just everything that you would normally fill out a job information sheet for is pulled out by date.
Ayla Gokturk (00:18:59):
So we can do this, you know, ad hoc. We can do it once a month, once a week, once a month is a little bit risky for us once a week, every day, if it’s a bigger site, that’s doing a lot of construction work. Um, we just pull that into an Excel format. It gives us the opportunity to review it one last time, and maybe there’s somebody on there that we just, we know we don’t want to get the notice of right to lane, which personally irritates me. Um, but we can just remove that, that row off of our, um, data file and then email it over to Levelset. And all the data is pulled from our computer system. It just flows into Levelset system, uh, automatically loads up all of that data. And then at the end of the night automatically generates the notice of right to liens based on the state that the project is in.
Ayla Gokturk (00:19:50):
Because again, this file could have, you know, three or four or five different states on it. Um, and we don’t have to worry about that. We don’t have to separate them by state. We just send it on over and it’s automatically pulled into the system. Those letters are sent out super easy. Um, when we were doing this, without that automation, we were doing about 400 project addresses a year. And when we started this process, we D we more than doubled it, we started going up to about 900 to 950 projects a year. And we did it in about 25% of the time. So huge time savings, a lot more protection for our construction projects. And literally it’s nothing harder than pulling a report and reviewing and sending it off.
Brandon Davenport (00:20:41):
Perfect. And I’m going to actually go back a little bit to when we’re talking about first joining Levelset and what that transition process look like Aila, you, you obviously have, um, a lot of people that you’re responsible for, you know, making sure that, uh, you’re eliminating as much risk as possible for the organization, processes are being adhered to as well. And we’re at an interesting time, uh, for the country’s economy right now, and also for the construction industry in particular, in the U S where, um, over the last few months, we’ve actually seen the greatest amount of resignations. Um, in September we saw 4.4 million people in the country leave their jobs in the construction industry is, is no, is not exempt from this as well. We have a lot of people that are just now getting fresh, starting new, uh, in credit positions, in office admin positions, uh, in credit manager positions, it’s giving people opportunities to, to upskill themselves and get promoted as well. And because of that, the transition process to an entirely new process can sometimes be daunting. Can you tell us a little bit more about what that looked like for you all?
Ayla Gokturk (00:22:01):
Uh, you know, I completely agree with what you just said. Um, I’ve been blessed in our company has been blessed by actually, uh, from an industry average, a lower turnaround or turnover rate. Um, so my collectors are long-term professionals. Um, I think part of that is, uh, give a little to doubt to us our, our culture at waste connections. Um, but when we do bring in those new people, um, I take a little bit of time, you know, with them. I do some of the training with them, but we’ve also reached out and had Levelset, actually do training for us. Um, I, when I was trying to bring in, um, three or four people in the state of California, you know, I did my normal training and then level said, very graciously offered, probably shouldn’t say this song here offered to do free training for an hour, um, with my team, um, which was just an absolutely incredible thing.
Ayla Gokturk (00:22:59):
I used to have to pay attorneys to do that, uh, that for us, and I didn’t have to do that this time. Um, so there, the transition process or training, you know, is just super easy. Um, and, and lane law for those people on the call, you know, it’s, it’s a confusing and very detail oriented, um, specialty in, in AR collections. And it’s, uh, I don’t even know how to, how to explain it. It’s just the collaboration and the generosity and in time in teaching us, um, how to, how to use the product or, uh, again, I hate to throw out buzzword collaborate, but if we have a problem and we don’t see the answer, um, you know, Levelset has always been, uh, open to talking about what the process is. Uh, and even, uh, again, you know, if they don’t, if y’all don’t have that answer for us, helping it, helping us create that answer, create a process, train my people. Um, it’s just, uh, it’s just been an, an, an incredible experience for, for me and my remote team,
Brandon Davenport (00:24:16):
For sure. And, uh, you know, don’t beat yourself up for using collaborative, uh, as a buzz word there. Like, I think it’s appropriate that you talk about waste connections, culture. We’ve talked about levels, that’s culture a little bit as well. And you know, when we think about what we take pride in, you talk about your experience is the most five-star experiences that our customers end up happening. We actually have what we call our Taylor swift wall, uh, over here at Levelset. Uh, it’s a fun thing that our culture is evolved over time surrounding of course, Taylor swift. And so every time we get a five star review from one of our customers who put another picture of Taylor, uh, up on the Taylor wall. And I think that is a small microcosm of what we’re talking about, where cultures do align, and it makes the transition process a little bit more smoother for both parties.
Ayla Gokturk (00:25:06):
You need to take a picture of that Taylor swift wall, and that needs to be your new, you know, billboard behind you.
Brandon Davenport (00:25:13):
I’ll do it. I’ll do that. I do one of these I’m about every single month. So why not? Uh, no, but thanks for sharing. And, uh, as we wrap up this first segment of the conversation today, uh, before we talk a little bit more about the product, what other general advice can you give to other credit managers, um, around the country around lien rights, perhaps, but also additional measures that they can take to provide secondary levels of security?
Ayla Gokturk (00:25:44):
Um, honestly, one of the things I always tell people is liens and bond rights are the, some of the strongest security out there. Um, it’s easy to put those on it. Shouldn’t be a fight internally, and it really shouldn’t be a fight externally either. Um, again, you know, garbage sounds crazy, but we actually have salespeople. And, you know, if I get a salesperson that says, oh, no, no, no, no, we can’t send out that notice. It’s going to, you know, chase my customer away. I say, no, you know, honestly that preliminary lien notice prelims, whatever you want to call them. It’s, it’s just a letter. And it actually, in my mind, um, enhances our image. Again, we’re the garbage company, you know, we don’t necessarily have this professional image out there, but when we behave professionally and we send out this really professional letter, it says, we know what we’re doing.
Ayla Gokturk (00:26:41):
We’re professionals about it. We have an of payment. Um, and we, quite frankly, we expect you to pay us. It’s not, you know, you say, it’s not a bad thing to use the word collaborative. I would argue. It’s not a bad thing to say. We expect to be paid for our services. That’s why we’re all in this business. Um, I have found in my 20, oh my God years, um, that really the only time contractors get upset about receiving a notice of right to lien is when they really didn’t intend to pay us anyway, it’s that whole Rob Peter to pay Paul thing. And you just hope that the guy gets another job so he can pay you, you know, three months later. Well, I don’t want to do that. I don’t want my company to become a bank. So we send out those notes and write two lanes.
Ayla Gokturk (00:27:28):
Um, our salespeople, you know, have I’ve worked with him long enough now that they know it’s nothing, it’s not a fret. You know, the letter very clearly says on there, it’s not a lien. It’s just a certified letter that lets them know, lets the bank know, lets the owner know whoever state by state has to get that notice they get the notice waste. Connections is a professional organization. We manage our accounts receivable in a professional way and we just move on from there. So don’t let the process, uh, scare you. Don’t let your salespeople scare you. It’s, it’s a normal thing in the construction industry for these letters, these notices of right. Two lanes and bond notices to happen. And you are enhancing your status as a, as a business when you do this. Um, and again, I will tell you that the, the way that Levelset has helped us in doing that, um, you know, the notices come out, they’re timely, they’re professional looking. It’s, it’s just, uh, it’s, it’s something that honestly should just be ad hoc, whatever should be SOP standard operating practice. You should just always do it.
Brandon Davenport (00:28:44):
Absolutely. And the way that you describe it, just now like the expectations that we should get paid for our services, it hearkens back to like kindergarten, right? The golden rule, the golden rule do unto others as others are doing view pretty basic, pretty simple, funny how it still applies even later on in life in this profession. But you, you talk about something before we transition, um, about like don’t letting sales scare you from, from not wanting to maybe send to notices for, for, for the other folks on the call today, uh, in the audience, what might be the number one selling point in your mind as to why a salesperson would maybe want to protect their lien rights even more often?
Ayla Gokturk (00:29:33):
Oh my goodness. You’re throwing me something I hadn’t thought about. Um, you know, it’s, it’s a company by company thing. Um, just like, uh, most other salespeople. Um, our guys are incentivized with, you know, sales bonuses. They get commissions on their thing on their, on their sales. And that’s one reason why they, you know, they come forward and say, well, no, I don’t want to do this. They want this to be as unconfrontational as if a letter was confrontational, but as unconfrontational and as easy as possible for the customer. And I understand that and I appreciate that. I’m not trying to make anything difficult for them, I ever, um, but uh, just telling them that if they, if, if they sell some bad business and that customer doesn’t pay, um, short of bankruptcy, we actually reversed their commission. So this gives the sales person, um, a real, uh, push to send that out because if we send out that notice of right to lane, usually that’s all we ever have to do.
Ayla Gokturk (00:30:48):
Um, and it just, it, it puts us at the top of the payment pile. Um, I say that as much as we’re still in computer systems, the alphabet is the alphabet and w is pretty far down in the alphabet. And if you’re a smaller contractor, even big ones, if they are taking the practice of paying by alphabet, uh, we’re pretty far down on that. Um, and this will always push us up to the top of the level that they know that there’s a notice of. Right. Tilly. Um, and sometimes it’s just as simple as that as explaining, it’s just a letter it’s just going to elevate us to the top of the payment pile. And it’s going to ensure that you get your bonus, um, you know, money talks, we’re all HR people. That’s a big thing.
Brandon Davenport (00:31:38):
No, that’s helpful context there. And, um, you know, to your point there about like making a bonus, I’ve never met a salesperson that doesn’t want, that doesn’t want to hit quota. We actually have a hand raised from the audience, um, Linda, uh, Paret. I hope I’m pronouncing your name. I’m gonna actually let you dial in on the conversation and ask a question. Give me one moment. Go ahead, Linda.
Speaker 3 (00:32:04):
I, yes. Can you hear me?
Brandon Davenport (00:32:08):
I can hear you.
Speaker 3 (00:32:10):
Um, I just wanted to check the handles releases. [inaudible]
Brandon Davenport (00:32:20):
Let me repeat the question back. Want to make sure that I heard it well, um, Linda, it sounded like you asked, uh, for the audience today. Uh, how should I handle releases specifically? Am I hearing you correctly? Perfect. Um, so we are going to be talking about releases. Uh, w why don’t you talk a little bit about, um, your experience, um, with releases and how they work in conjunction with notices and later on in the conversation, I’ll actually talk about our toolbox and how it addresses, uh, releases slash waivers. Yeah.
Ayla Gokturk (00:32:53):
Uh, and, and yeah, thanks Lennox. I didn’t even really think about that. I was only thinking about the front end of all of this. Um, we all know that as you send out notice a right, two lanes, you are going to get, um, requests for, um, releases, uh, whether they be conditional or unconditional progress or final. Um, and part of, of, of managing that is, again, the training, making sure that since I have totally remote offices, I don’t have any of my team sitting with, you know, near me. Um, we go through some training one-on-one with each person, um, if we needed to do a bigger training, um, that was part of what level said did for us, like down in California. Um, all of my team, uh, has been well-trained in that if they get, um, any kind of a waiver, if they don’t understand it, or if a customer has sent the customer’s waiver, they know to, if they don’t get any part of, of, of the legal ease in there, um, to send it over to me, um, they also know at any point, if they just don’t want to deal with the, uh, the waiver that they received, um, you can go into Levelset and actually produce.
Ayla Gokturk (00:34:06):
And like Brandon said, we’re going to, I’m sure he’s going to show us this, but you can go right in, pull up that project and then pick any one of the, uh, usually do the four common releases, those unconditionally versus conditionals and the finals versus the progress. And it’ll, pre-populate 90% of the information in there. Um, it makes sending out those waivers super easy if you use their platform, um, the, it even, you know, stores for you copies of those. So at any point you can go back in and look at, what’s been sent out to the customer. Is that helpful?
Brandon Davenport (00:34:46):
I think I put Linda, um, back on a mute perhaps, but, uh, Linda, if you do have more questions related to this, um, when we get back over to the lien waivers portion of the presentation, please raise your hand again. Uh, would love for even more specific the questions come up. Thanks again for timing in. So, uh, this transitions over to the, the toolbox, we call it the construction finance toolbox over here at Levelset of all the different offerings that we have to empower credit managers, empower CFOs and empower ops revenue related people within an organization to have everything that they need to mitigate as much risk as possible and put themselves in a position to get paid as fast as possible as well. Uh, looks like I saw the chat. Linda, it looks like we got your question answer. Awesome. Again, don’t hesitate to unmute again and ask any questions later on in the conversation with lien rights automation.
Brandon Davenport (00:35:47):
We talked a lot about, uh, Eileen’s experience with notices. She’s now touched upon, uh, lien waivers as well at this point in the conversation. And, uh, really when we boil it down to the lien rights automation point of it, that’s what it is. It is about documentation and having the right thing coming up at the right appropriate time, so that we create an amicable experience for every party that’s involved on the individual project, high level. Uh, if you don’t mind, the second bullet point right here, receiving alerts about upcoming paperwork and deadlines based on job impose that you’ve entered, it’s a part of the automation process. And so some people can, they sign in two camps really, like, I don’t want a bunch of notifications cause I’m already getting a bunch of emails, et cetera, per day. And then some people are like, yeah, like, go ahead and give me all the notifications I’ll sift through. Um, which camp do you reside in?
Ayla Gokturk (00:36:47):
I would rather receive a hundred emails and only need five of them than to not receive the one that I really needed. Um, having said that everything that I get, all of these automated, um, messages, as far as deadlines popping up to me, they’re all critical. Um, so I get them, um, and the remote office that’s actually in charge of that project gets them. Uh, the other day I was able to, uh, I, I received them and I noticed that about five or six of them were with one particular office. And so I was able to reach out to Kelly and, and say, Hey, you’ve got a lot of deadlines, you know, that are really coming up now, do you need help? Or are you able to manage, you know, you know, all reviewing each one of these on your own. And she, you know, she was, she was actually very sweet and she sent back, she was like, did I do something wrong? No, he did everything right. And that’s why you’re getting these notices. And I was just reaching out to see, do you need some help today? And, uh, she was very, very sweet. She’s like, actually, I’ve already done all of it. And that was, you know, probably 10 minutes of her day.
Brandon Davenport (00:37:58):
There you go. And that’s a great testimony that you share there with, um, someone that, you know, rolls up into you, reports to you, you’re able to have that oversight. You’re able to help first within your own organization. It’s actually one of our core values, uh, over here at Levelset, uh, allowing for you to put yourself in a position where you’re able to collaborate and get ahead of potential issues down the road. Uh, so you’re, you’re looking at locations as potential things that pop up, um, as like maybe I’ll message Kelly here, or I’ll message this other credit manager here and get a sense of what’s going on. Any other indicators that you might look through through the mass notifications to prompt action as someone that’s overseeing a lot of other individuals,
Ayla Gokturk (00:38:45):
Uh, every now and then when I, uh, find a little bit of time in my day, um, I’ll also use those just to kind of go in and spot check, uh, the work that, that my team is doing just to make sure, um, and that has proven helpful. Um, I don’t consider a rent charged on a container to be of substantial service to me, it’s the pickup and the hole that’s that substantial service. So I’ve been able to go in there and I did see one of, uh, one of my team was using the last time we charged a rent as the last day that we provided service. And I went back in, I amended, uh, the information and Levelset to make sure that our calendar was, was maintained properly. And then I reached back out and, uh, talked to that person and said, well, she shall remain nameless, but, um, you know, and said, I just want to be sure you understand this because I think we’ve got a little misunderstanding about what substantial service is. It’s always the whole, the last hole, not when did we last charge rent? Um, so I use it a little bit for a training tool. It’s good for that.
Brandon Davenport (00:39:58):
Yeah. Uh, that’s, that’s really helpful. And you actually remind me of, um, as I mentioned, we’re, we’re headquartered out of new Orleans. I’m coming to us live from Austin, but we have a partner, uh, pool Corp, um, as well, that’s, um, over in Covington, Louisiana, just across the lake there. And you sound exactly like their team as well, and exactly how they use it from an oversight perspective, um, for all the different offices that they have throughout the country as well. When we shift over and talk about automation, uh, and then transition into research. You, you gave some really great context there, Aila with you having a lot of different project roles with the different kind of organizations that you work with, uh, throughout the country and with job research, whether you’re a supplier or equipment lessor, sub subcontractor that has at minimum two, but perhaps three, four or five layers to the bank at the top of the payment chain or the lender surety, if it’s a public job, there’s a lot of digging that can happen to making sure that you on earth, who those parties are involved so that you actually are going to do it correctly when it comes to protecting your payment rights.
Brandon Davenport (00:41:21):
I love, you know, in your own experience, you already talked a lot about, uh, the research aspect, but, um, any stories that, that maybe stand out from, from your experience with Levelset where you felt like you were maybe many layers removed from the people at the top of the payment chain, and you were surprised by, by what our team of data professionals and researchers found.
Ayla Gokturk (00:41:50):
Well, you know, not really surprised in the sense that, um, 99% of the time when we’ve got something wrong and your research team reaches out and I say, Hey, you guys gave us this, but we found that, um, I have so much confidence now, uh, in, in Levelsets research that I used to go in and say, well, how did you find that? Because you, you, your team is so good at explaining why they found something different. I will admit nine times out of 10. Now I just pencil with it and say, Nope, whatever you found I’m sure is correct. Because our sales team isn’t necessarily, I mean, they’re getting this information from maybe the subcontractor, again, we’re a sub sub and they don’t necessarily know, um, you know, we used to spot Checketts. Um, we just always found out that Levelsets research was better than our own research.
Ayla Gokturk (00:42:47):
Um, but, uh, again, the opportunity to even have you guys reach back out and say, you know, we could even make that automated. I will tell you, I free fruit for the people on the call. You can, you can say, you know, what always trust Levelset. Um, and I probably should do that because usually I do trust sets, but I still want to see it myself. Um, we use a dollar threshold for, uh, even greater levels. Um, I think in, normally we get your, your scout research pro uh, if it’s a big job, um, and for us a big job would be, let’s say, $50,000 or more. Um, then we automatically, again, it’s an automated process within Levelset. You guys automatically grab anything that’s more than 50,000 for us and run it through ultimate, um, where you just really truly dig down into the whole thing. Um, and that has been pivotal in a few unfortunate cases where we did have to go to court and the documentation that we had, um, when our attorneys started looking at it, had some errors in it. But luckily the level said research was correct, and we were able to move forward in litigation, um, because your research was better at an hours. Um, and that has, like I said, that’s been pivotal at two of our, uh, two cases at one of our landfills over the last few years.
Brandon Davenport (00:44:21):
Absolutely. And well, what you talk about there, it makes me think of, um, a common misconception with, uh, research, uh, across the country, actually. And it’s about who the actual property owner developer is at the top of the payment chain. And, you know, what we find, uh, in some cases, uh, we’re in a year where there’s the most mergers and acquisitions in the country’s history as well, right? It’s, it’s a lot of record breaking things happening this year. And that’s one of them, a lot of organizations buying other organizations and construction. And because of that, you end up with subsidiaries, um, even for real estate developers and property owners, you end up with holding companies and the misconception, right, is that we’ll, I’ll just take what the salesperson gives me and send it up and I’ll be good to go. But if there has been some kind of change in actual ownership, if you’re missing out on the parent company or that holding company, and they’re not there now, they’re not a part of the conversation right now, that is a gap and they don’t even know about it.
Brandon Davenport (00:45:30):
And it’s all because of what we’re talking about right here with the market and us changing, which is a good transition point into talking about job radar alerts with, with so many things changing and happening, uh, across the country. Uh, another common trend that we’ve seen. And again, it’s another one where we’ve hit record highs in the country, uh, bankruptcies, uh, we’ve seen the most, um, for whatever reason, uh, you know, people are, uh, out leverage, uh, from a cashflow standpoint, a balance sheet, uh, taking on too much debt, you name it and what’s causing, um, some ripple effects after that, of course is again, working with new folks, same GC that you work with for a long time, same property owner. They work for a long time, a lot of projects they’re not around anymore, not too different from the great resignation that we’re talking about, working with new people.
Brandon Davenport (00:46:28):
And because of that, new relationships are starting to unfold this year. And it’s going to continue to go down that route over the course of next year, the year after that, the very beginnings of it, which is exciting in some, in some instances it’s out of unfortunate circumstances, right? But that’s just one of the things that, uh, Levelset partners are able to understand and see. And I’m hearkening back to, bankruptcy’s able to get ahead of some of the issues that are on your projects potentially before you even get there. Other mechanics liens that are being filed on projects that you’re working on. Most of it’s county recorder, data anyways, and filed our team is able to extract that information and put people that come in later on the job such as waste connections. Right? Very rarely are you the first organization on a construction project?
Brandon Davenport (00:47:24):
Now you’re able to have a little bit of foresight and see, okay, wait, did the concrete people get paid fairly? Okay. Or did the electric folks that came through after that? Oh, it looks like they filed a lien with the people at the top of the payment chain. Okay. Now folks like Eila are in a position where they can see the storm that’s up ahead. Know what to do, know what levers to pull internally in order to weather it appropriately. We’re always adding new insights as well, such as tax liens that are being added as well. Uh, as of recently, um, Aila not to put you on the spot for this section, but, um, anything to add around job radar alerts and, uh, anything that you’ve, uh, gained or potentially educated yourself on because of what we’re able to forecast down the road.
Ayla Gokturk (00:48:16):
Well, first let me correct. You verbage is usually the first thing on and the last thing off of every job site. Okay. Um, cause you think about it, you know, even if it’s just excavation and they have, you know, they’re, they’re breaking ground and dirt’s got to go somewhere. Um, so we are like as a very frequently, the first things on and the last things to go. Um, but yeah, when we get these, uh, job radar alerts, particularly when, uh, a lien has been filed on an address that we also have lien rights. Um, I always take those and take on, you know, take a deeper dive into our AR is that customer paying us quickly? Or am I starting to see something that’s, you know, that’s troublesome, are they pushing a credit limit? Are they running a little bit past due? Uh, is there days to pay?
Ayla Gokturk (00:49:08):
Is it just slowing? Um, and so it’s a, it’s an early warning system for me, uh, to go in and take a look at that. And then I can reach back out to the remote office and say, you know what, I’m not hearing great things. Uh, you know, maybe we want the salesman to go and just check out that job site, does it, are the workers still there? Does it look like everything is going well? Um, or they’re past due and I’m starting to get concerned. So we got to pick up the phone, even though it may be a little bit early, uh, earlier than normal, let’s pick up the phone because somebody didn’t get paid and we’re on that job site too. So really helpful for that. Those alerts are, are extremely important
Brandon Davenport (00:49:52):
For sure. And, uh, you, you mentioned the salesperson again in how they get looped in to the conversation and if they’re proactive and, you know, they care about that, that relation relationship, I’d imagine they’d be pumped and excited. You could take it, this kind of information from their local office that wow. Like I have an opportunity to do, to, to, to go learn something to maybe Amanda relationship, um, potentially be able to help in some capacity as well. Is that the kind of responses that you get from them?
Ayla Gokturk (00:50:24):
Oh yeah. Yeah, no. Um, in our company, we don’t have an adversarial relationship, you know, a lot of times in some companies credit and sales are, you know, cats and dogs. Um, but, uh, we’ve, my, my team has gone a long way in proving that again, we’re not the sales prevention department, we’re here to support. We’re here to make sure that we get paid. Um, cause if we don’t get paid salesman, doesn’t get paid. And so, uh, I am, I am very proud to say that our sales team is, is actually happy and excited to reach out to us, uh, to the, to the collectors and that credit people and, and, and, and say, you know, maybe they hear something on the street, you know, uh, can you, can you just tell me I was going to go and start a new project with ABC Corp? And I heard from somebody else that they’re not looking so good. Um, so I can, you know, run through and do a little vetting. I can go into Levelset and see how have, how have they paid other projects, not just even mine, but have they paid other, other, um, vendors that are using Levelset. So it’s a, again, it’s not just the generator. It’s, uh, it’s just the opportunity to go in and see how other people other contractors are getting paid, um, through the Levelset program.
Brandon Davenport (00:51:50):
Absolutely. I’m going to talk a little bit about lean waiver solutions. Um, so Linda, um, if you need any extra context here by all means, raise your hand again, more than happy to help answer some questions. And, you know, when we talk about eyelids experience, um, you know, sending over their file on either a daily, weekly cadence, whatever makes the most sense dependent upon that project, uh, after getting that information from there, as you can see connecting the data can be as easy as one click, uh, to get your waiver out the door, have it already signed and help the paperwork process, um, avoiding any potential bottlenecks, uh, can sometimes be a common excuse, uh, for people, uh, like amongst the payment chain of they haven’t got this waiver yet. No. Now you can put the power in your own hands again and make sure that you’re using a standardized template as well.
Brandon Davenport (00:52:46):
Three of the 50 states require notarization. Um, with level side, you can have that taken care of as well, uh, dependent upon your preference to be able notary that you trust. And, um, that’s really it electronic saving, churn it’s out the door. It can be as simple as that Linda, uh, we’ll wrap up with, uh, payment profiles and, uh, what they mean for an organization, uh, not too different from job radar alerts. They fit within the same bucket that we call data over here at Levelset and what it allows for you to do in this environment for construction, where there’s so many new relationships that’s happening, uh, people are trying to grow and capture market share, uh, because of what happened over the course of the past 18 months. Now there’s a chance to be able to enter into a relationship with a little bit more context about who they are about some of the people that they work with, some of the common contract terms that they potentially have on some of their projects where they work and even get qualitative information here as well.
Brandon Davenport (00:53:50):
What you’re seeing on the left side of my screen is a screenshot where it is going to give you quantitative data, how fast they pay, how slow they pay, but you’re also going to get some of these qualitative experiences where people get their testimony. Yep. It was great working with Richard construction. They were fantastic, uh, great people over there too, or it wasn’t so great for whatever reason I’m looking forward to maybe potentially continuing the relationship with them in the future, but X, Y, and Z needs to improve has to be a balance of both. Uh we’ll uh, we’ll transition into, uh, questions, uh, comments from the group. I know I need to go back and look at the chat, uh, Aila, anything else that you want to maybe potentially add for the audience and for the group as we finished out today?
Ayla Gokturk (00:54:38):
Um, nothing other than if anyone on the call wants to talk to me, um, personally, I’d be happy to share my office line or my email address if that’s okay with, uh, with you Brandon.
Brandon Davenport (00:54:53):
Oh, I would love for you to have that opportunity. Um, thank you for offering that up Aila. I’m more than happy to coordinate with, um, our marketing votes. Uh, again, shout out Marissa and Kristen that have made, uh, today happen, uh, for getting this webinar scheduled, um, would love to connect you with anyone in the audience and offer up that office line. Thank you.
Ayla Gokturk (00:55:16):
Uh we’ll we’ll we do that like afterwards, when you email the presentation out or
Brandon Davenport (00:55:23):
Yeah, I mean, we can do it that way. We can also go ahead and throw it in the chat, um, for our audience today. Um, you can do that on your own island if you want. Uh, but that office line, let anyone reach out to you say hello.
Brandon Davenport (00:55:42):
Awesome. Okay. While you’re doing that, I’m going to go back and look at some of the questions that were submitted throughout. Let’s see, uh, before I do the first question that was submitted. Thanks, Kristin. Um, Marissa, it looks like you said we can share contact information in the email following today’s session. Perfect. Um, so yeah, I’ll, if you want to send it over yet, there it is. There’s Iris contact information for those that want to get in contact with our directly, uh, we’ll have a Marissa coordinate on sending that via email today. If anyone’s not able to get written down, let’s go back up to the first question was submitted. Uh, again, Chris, and thanks for sending this over and read it off for the group. You mentioned that you had worried about time earlier, uh, this, this audience member said, I worry about having to take too much time to train employees to use new software. What was your experience like getting started with Levelset and, and I love this, this audience member might’ve joined after that portion, where we were talking about that, but if you don’t mind, um, maybe real quick hashing over again, uh, that portion where, um, when you were talking about what it’s like to train employees and, and what it’s like getting started with us.
Ayla Gokturk (00:57:01):
Well, um, when we first started using Levelset before we made it just a transfer of a file for the data, um, I would have my team go through some one-on-one training with me, uh, if, if they needed more training than Levelset, uh, was very generous with their time and offered to train. Uh, usually, uh, what we would do is my, my folks, when a new order would come in for a construction-related project, they would go into our customer database. They would create the service address, which is where we would be delivering our container. And then they would just do a real quick copy paste. So while they’re in our, um, our color route manager, but when they’re in route manager, they would create that account. They would grab the address and they would simply go over to another screen it Levelset, and they would create new project throw in the customer name, copy and paste all of the service information, which is the project address.
Ayla Gokturk (00:58:02):
Um, start dates. Everything that we needed to put into our billing system was exactly what Levelset needed in order to generate the, uh, the preliminary lien notice. Um, so again, just copy paste, copy paste over and over again. And while that didn’t take very long, that’s why we actually decided to move to a more automated, um, system where we could just, instead of copying and pasting all that, uh, I will import and pull all of that data in. And then once a day, we would just email that over to Levelset for them to upload. Um, but the training piece of it was just really super simple. Um, that’s probably the same for most of the people on the phone, as far as getting that or getting that order to deliver whatever it is, maybe it’s scaffolding or something. Obviously the customer going to tell you where to deliver that material. That’s your project address the date, you know, that you’re supposed to deliver it as the first data substantial service. Um, so on the construction side, the way that Levelsets, um, project creation, you know, the way that your platform works is, is just intuitively, it’s almost exactly what we were doing on our side.
Brandon Davenport (00:59:21):
Yeah. That’s um, that’s perfect. So it’s like, it sounded like we just molded in with some of your needs and preferences, which is actually one of the questions that we had. Uh, and we can finish on this one. It looks like earlier in the conversation, someone had asked a question about, um, being able to fit in with what you already want. What are you already envisioned for our process? And one of the things that oftentimes comes up for that Aila, um, is when people have preferences for certain customers, like maybe we don’t want to send a notice to this particular customer for whatever reason, or we want to send a notice to this particular custom on X day, because of an expectation that we set with a salesperson. I mean, the list can go on and on and on. Um, I know we only have one more minute, but could you briefly speak to that and then we’ll wrap up.
Ayla Gokturk (01:00:12):
Yeah. Um, again, the way that we handle that now, uh, if the salesperson has said, I always want to send a preliminary lien notice for this particular customer, or I never want to send a notice to that customer, um, because of the way our system works. We simply, again pull up that report. Um, we can all kinds of different ways to do it in Excel, but we can, you know, filter out or sort out those VIP customers, um, that have, um, an ex, an excellent payment history with us. Um, not send anything on those. Um, and then quite frankly, I get that exceptions list from my team and I go and do a little extra vetting and just make sure that the payment history is as good as the sales person represents it to be. Um, and you know, if, if that harder conversation has to happen where Nope, we’re not going to accept these, then that moves up to, you know, a different level of the management chain. Um, but it’s, it’s not difficult again, the way we’ve done this, it’s nothing more than an Excel spreadsheet. If you don’t want the customer to get the notice, to get deleted off of the sheet. And then you email that list over Levelset only gets the information necessary from us, uh, for, for them to send out the notices, create the projects and at the timelines.
Brandon Davenport (01:01:38):
Beautiful. Uh, we’ll wrap up with that. Um, again, if you have any other questions you can see here on your screen at the bottom, you want to learn more, schedule a call with Levelset team levels had.com backslash contact dash us. You now have Eilis contact information. She’s offered it up, get in contact with her. If you want to get in contact with me as well. Brandon dot Davenport at Levelset dot com, happy to field, any questions that you might have about what’s going on in the market ILAs experience any other of our partners experience, have a great rest of your afternoon, and we’ll leave with that. Thank you all.