135: Eliminate Risk in Your Systems, with Jon Darbyshire

Welcome to the Managing CRE Risk podcast with Jeremy Goodrich. Our guest today is Jon Darbyshire, the CEO and co-founder of SmartSuite. In this conversation, we talk specifically about one of our 4 quadrants – systems risk. We learn about how to elevate our processes by using simple and accessible technology and the key systems every CRE business should have.

Learn more about Jon and his story at shineinsurance.com/managing-commercial-real-estate-risk!

“In commercial real estate, people continue to run their business using older technology when newer platforms are available that are just as financially viable for them.”


Jon is the CEO of SmartSuite. SmartSuite is a work management platform that allows organizations to manage any business process inside of their organization. It is a no-code platform, which means that it doesn’t require any coding or knowledge of programming languages. Users can use different managing templates and customize them to their needs.

According to Jon, the biggest mistake people make in their real estate systems is using old technology to manage their business. Sometimes, even billion-dollar companies manage their portfolios on spreadsheets without any systems. When businesses switch to up-to-date technology, the people involved in the processes can collaborate better and tasks can be allocated easier.

“We help organizations manage any process or any project on a single platform.”


SmartSuite helps manage many different processes.

  • Due diligence
    There are a lot of standard due diligence questionnaires in SmartSuite that can be assigned to different people with due dates. Different properties can also be compared.
  • Asset management
    You can do monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual reviews of your properties from a health perspective, an occupancy perspective, and a financial perspective. You can track maintenance activities as well.
  • Exit strategy
    There are a few ways an investor can prepare for an exit with SmartSuite. The first is tracking market economics in that particular geography. The second way is to look at the cash flow.

At the end of the conversation, Jon shares the most important system features that a CRE investor should consider:

  1. You want to have a product that’s accessible through the web and mobile.
  2. The systems have to be cost-effective. (SmartSuite starts at $10 per user per month.)
  3. You want to have integrations because you need to get data into the system.
  4. Ability to automate routine tasks in order to save time.

About our guest, Jon Darbyshire

Jon is CEO & Co-Founder of SmartSuite, a work management platform allowing realtors, property managers, and CRE companies to improve their operations, tenant relations, bids, and remodels. With Jon’s experience at EY and dozens of Fortune 100 companies, he has enhanced the productivity of people and teams by aligning their work around common goals.

Throughout his career, Jon has been dedicated to automating everyday, essential business tasks to create smarter, more efficient organizations, no matter what the industry. Prior to Archer Technologies, Jon held leadership positions at both EY and Price Waterhouse, honing his skills in understanding the need to automate and simplify work for the enterprise.

Mentioned in the show:

  1. www.smartsuite.com
  2. His LinkedIn
  3. Shineinsurance.com
  4. www.shineinsurance.com/managing-commercial-real-estate-risk
  5. Jeremy’s LinkedIn

Need an instant insurance ballpark for your next Multifamily deal?! Answer 9 simple questions and we’ll give you a sense of what insurance should be. Visit us here for everything you need to know: https://www.shineinsurance.com/ballpark/ 

Special thanks to Jon Darbyshire for taking the time to share so many great insights with us

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