“I get really frustrated with the inconsistency of seeing one of my property managers handling a situation one way and another with a completely different approach.”
Property management is simply a series of regulated processes, repeated continuously and directed toward maximising the client’s return on investment and the company’s management and ancillary fee income. It’s not rocket science!
There are a variety of property management systems available in today’s marketplace but not one that links directly with any of the property management software packages which would enable the automation of the majority of those processes. It should be simple (as illustrated below) for all processes to be automated to reduce the chance of error, thereby providing consistent service to all clients at all times; however, this is not the case.
As an example, when a vacating date is entered into the property management software:
- a letter should be generated to the tenant acknowledging the vacating date and setting a date and time for the pre-vacating and final inspections;
- the Outlook diary should be updated with this information;
- a letter should be generated to the owner advising of the tenant vacating and the dates and times of the pre-vacating and final inspections;
- the advertising copy and images for the property should be accessed and the various websites used updated with the property’s information and availability date; and
- the counter-list should also be updated with the same information and imagery.
Tenant Vacating Process
Some companies are currently working on future versions of their property management software that will incorporate this level of automation but until that time, alternative systems have to be established, documented, have the staff trained in their use and then implemented.
This is a 4-step process that cannot be short-cut if a new system is to be implemented or an existing one amended.
The importance of having a well-documented series of processes incorporated into a property management system and consistently adhered to by all of the property management team cannot be over-stated. Properties are seldom lost from management because a competitor is offering lower fees; they are lost due to mismanagement and/or a lack of communication between the department and the client. By rigidly adhering to a proven system, the incidence of losing properties for management due to these reasons is drastically minimised.