Getting The Donald to buy their building management software was a big step for a Vancouver firm named Apartment Pilot.

Bruce Constantineau, Vancouver Sun

Vancouver software developer Apartment Pilot has been told "You're hired!" by billionaire Donald Trump's real estate organization in New York.

Company vice-president A.J. Papp said Tuesday the Trump Corp. has purchased the company's software to help manage 13 apartment buildings containing more than 3,000 upscale apartments in Manhattan."We're a small Vancouver company dealing with a mountain of a company in New York, and I tell you what -- it's very exciting," Papp said in an interview.

He said Apartment Pilot officials have not yet met The Donald himself, but are still hoping."I tried very hard, but it's still not out of the realm of possibilities," Papp said.The company's Web-based software -- called Resident Pilot -- allows building residents and managers to communicate over the Internet. Users can track packages and deliveries, submit repair requests and permission-to-enter forms, access management newsletters, receive building alerts, submit suggestions and even search a directory of neighbourhood stores.



-Tom Pienkos, Vice President of Operations, Trump Corporation



Papp said the contract with Trump isn't huge, but it represents a significant first step in dealing with an organization that owns and manages thousands of apartments throughout North America."We're hoping to expand this to all their buildings in North America, but it's not the money portion of the deal that was interesting -- it's the reference point it gives us," he said. "I can't think of another organization we could deal with that could get us this kind of attention. It's that kind of name." Apartment Pilot president Joe Gold, a Vancouver entrepreneur who lives in New York for part of the year, first approached a Trump building manager about the software before company executives saw it and decided to purchase it. "To have the Trump organization use that product speaks volumes for us," he said. "You equate Trump with quality, and that's what our software is."Trump Corp. vice-president Tom Pienkos said company officials are pleased with the software's performance since it was introduced in a new Trump building on the west side of Manhattan."Since then, the software seems to meet and in many cases exceed our expectations," he stated in an e-mail response to questions.Apartment Pilot opened for business in Vancouver in September 2002 and currently employs six people, including Gold, Papp, research and development vice-president Brad Archibald and account manager Wanda Roberts.