Is process automation something that will work for your business? With NREI predicting a very strong comeback for property managers, it is time to get your systems and operations prepared for the boom in growth that experts are predicting will follow in the wake of COVID-19.
How do you know if process automation is right for your property management company? Consider these points and then give us a call if you still aren't sure. We want to help our contacts make the best decisions for their business—even if it means telling you we're not a fit for your needs in the end!
You Want to Use a Process
Process automation is, at the most simple level, taking a set of steps that never change and adding automation to the parts that don't require human attention. For it to work, your property management company needs to embrace processes (what we like to call 'workflows' here at Rent Bridge). You can't automate a department that doesn't have a defined, repeatable process—and even if you could, the cost would be prohibitive.
If you don't want to move your team to a more structured work style, then automation is not going to make you happy because by it's very nature, it is structured. If the idea of a defined way of doing things sounds good on the other hand, then read on!
You Love Data
One of the best things about property management process automation (though you'd be hard-pressed to get our clients to only pick one thing they love about it) is that when everything in a process is measured, you get some pretty exact data that you can use to make business decisions with confidence.
- You'll know beforehand that you need to hire someone or know for certain that you need to move an employee from a new, efficient department to one that needs more help.
- You'll be able to give your employees their number—key performance indicators that let them know whether they are meeting their goals.
- You can use this data to hire new employees, fire underperformers, and promote your best and brightest talent.
- You can use it to budget for, plan around, and predict slowdowns before they happen so you can cut unnecessary expenses.
You Want Your Employees to Be Happier
When process automation is implemented, you can move a four-person department to a one-person department without overwhelming that one person. In fact, done right, that person's job will still probably be a bit easier—which makes for a big boost in morale.
- How many people do you know that are truly happy carrying out repetitive, boring tasks that a computer could handle?
- Do you have any employees that actually look forward to making late rent calls to tenants? Those types of employees are few and far between.
- Process automation for property management improves morale because it makes the workload of an employee more manageable while still being more productive.
You Want to Save Money
Property managers are a bit nervous right now, with late rent rates higher than average and some uncertainty in the market. Process automation allows you to consolidate departments into fewer employees without overburdening them. At first, it looks expensive—but when you consider you can save the salary of a number of employees for the cost of one automation implementation, you'll find that in the long run, you save money. As you're able to grow without having to hire additional staff, this translates into long-term savings.
Additionally, if you have processes tied to fees, automation helps ensure those fees are billed—every time. You stop losing money to sales deals gone untouched or errors in hand-completed paperwork and start ensuring that your fees are applied equally and every time.
You Want Fewer Collections Accounts
Process automation for rent collection decreases your overall delinquency rate over time. By removing the human element from the initial collections activities, you remove the ability for your tenants to play to the emotions of your staff. Plus, when tenants know that late fees will be applied without fail on the day their lease states—not when someone gets around to it—they get better at being on time overall.
You also ensure—and this is more important now than ever with the tenant groups popping up right now—that you are applying the exact same timelines for rent collection to all tenants, so none are treated unfairly, and you have a record of it.
If this sounds like a property management solution for you, we'd love to talk to you further and show you how our process automation systems work. Process automation also helps with remote sales, ensuring that no new deals go untouched. For more tips for selling better during social distancing by integrating process automation, download our Business Development Handbook for Selling During Social Distancing.