Replacing manual property management efforts with technology that can carry out repetitive tasks and processes maximizes efficiency and helps you serve clients better. Sounds pretty good, right? Not so fast!
As automation experts, we firmly believe that every property management company can (and should) benefit from optimized workflow automation. However, automating too quickly can actually work against your success and leave you unable to serve existing clients or add more doors.
What do we mean by "too quickly?" Here's what business owners need to know about using property management automation effectively—without getting ahead of what's ideal for your company, employees, and clients.
It's Never Too Early (But Watch Your Speed)
While it is possible to automate your business too quickly, most property managers can't afford to wait to embrace the right technology and property management systems. We'll cautiously tell you that it's never too early to automate something about your property management business, but don't take that statement and run with it (just yet)!
Many property management companies find that employees spend too much time on administrative tasks that don't serve clients or move the business forward. These include activities such as scheduling appointments, organizing filing systems, and planning meetings. As a result of these manual, repetitive tasks, your business loses money, clients aren't happy, and your team is less productive.
Automating too much too soon can also overrun your budget. While well-implemented property management automation strategies will save money for you long-term, optimizing workflows and putting automation in place requires an investment of time and budget dollars.
Property Managers Should Start Slow
When considering automation, think about how you and your team spend each day running your property management business. Write down the tasks and processes that take place regularly. Doing this helps you see patterns of inefficiency and identify tasks that are easy marks for automation.
Begin By Automating Tasks That Deliver Immediate Relief
A good implementation strategy starts with tasks that are low-hanging fruit for optimization. These tasks are often roadblocks to completing critical processes for clients (until someone notices something didn't happen on schedule). An ideal workflow automation plan tackles big issues that can make a significant difference in your efficiency right away. When these tasks and processes are operating well, property managers can look at the next highest-priority processes that can benefit from property management or marketing automation.
When done the right way over time, automating your business improves your ROI and builds a lasting infrastructure that maintains your newfound efficiency and productivity and supports business growth!
Avoid Too Much Property Management Automation At Once
A little bit of automation can produce significant results, and it's easy to get excited about what you're experiencing and want to move quickly toward more! It's also tempting to speed up the process by automating everything on your list at once. However, that can be a costly and frustrating mistake for your budget and your employees.
Tackling too many challenges at once can adversely affect successful property management software systems automation. A doctor would never prescribe a medicine for an ailment you haven't experienced yet. Likewise, an experienced property management automation team would never recommend putting automation in place for workflows that don't need it—or that you don't use yet as a company.
As with any good business practice, start with what you need now. Addressing current needs is the best way to start your company's automation process. Plus, automating based on current needs helps set the stage for future automation as your company grows and needs change.
Having a good foundation of smart automation strategies and the right property management software benefits property managers long-term! However, automating more than you need (or should spend operating budget on right now) can leave you with an unwieldy machine that frustrates your team and clients.
Take It Step-by-Step
Incremental automation also helps your team adapt to new processes (and more free time to focus attention on business-building activities)! Overhauling your entire system at once can discourage employees and leave you without the people you need to grow your business.
A step-by-step approach also helps your team see the end game and participate in your automated system's evolution. They'll have opportunities to give feedback, test new workflows and property management software, and function within an efficient system with ease.
Slow and Steady Wins the Automation Race!
Property management automation is a long-term strategy to improve efficiency, boost returns, and build an operational structure that helps your company succeed for the long haul. If you're thinking about automation, but you're not sure where to start, RentBridge is here to help!
While we appreciate eager property managers ready to go "all in" on a total automation solution, we find it's best to take a strategic stair-step approach for success. We're here to help you build a foundation that grows as your company grows! Reach out, and let's talk about the best approach for your company's property management software and automation implementation.
Learn more about the ideal approach to property management automation! Download our free guide, "What and When Should You Automate? A Guide for Property Managers With 50/500/5,000 Doors."