The Vacant Free

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Written by Dayana Mayfield
on November 01, 2019

Property management operations are essential to the health of your business. As a portfolio-based property management company, the way that you run the day-to-day operations can either make your business incredibly profitable, or it can keep you in a constant state of stress.

Learn how to make improvements, save time, and increase productivity for yourself and your staff.

Manage seasonal upswing flexibly

One of the top stresses in the property management industry is the extreme variability in workload. Sometimes, property managers will be swamped with showings for multiple properties (while handing tenant and owner requests), and sometimes they'll be sitting at their desks feeling bored.

Of course, summer is always the craziest, but workload can change dramatically at any time of the year. That's just how it is.

To improve your property management operations, you need a way to flexibly handle this upswing without having to hire additional staff. Showdigs lets you get help with property management showings at any time. Turn the help on and off to match your needs.

summer-upswing

 

Set owner expectations

When owners don't know what to expect, your team is going to field more calls than necessary. Be sure to give new clients an accurate timeline of when their property will be rented based on the season, price, location, and demand. You can also set owner expectations when it comes to response times, such as how quickly you respond to critical issues and to general questions.

Share the burden of being on call

Being on call for tenant emergencies isn't fun. No one likes their evenings or weekends interrupted. Unfortunately though, this is a must. In order to make this less frustrating, most property management companies will take turns being on call.

This is a good solution up to a point. You may find it's time to give your senior property managers a break from being on call, or to outsource this to a phone answering service.

Review your internal software

Do you like the software that you use? If you're not sure, you might want to review our list of the top property management software to see if there are alternatives worth trialing.

Changing the software that you use can be very time consuming. You need to review different options, sign up for trials, test them out, switch everything over to your top choice, and train your team. However, since software is so intricately woven with operations, it's worth checking that you're still using the right vendors. You might be able to make improvements to facilities management, property reporting and tracking, tenant management, maintenance request tracking, and more.

The initial time investment of switching your software can have a huge impact on your operations, so do an audit of what you're using every winter.

 

tool-review

 

Update tenant screening processes

You can mitigate future problems by renting to the best tenants. Keep on top of current best practices for screening tenants by attending industry events and reading industry publications. Here's an example of what you might learn: in addition to credit checks, you might find it worthwhile to run criminal background checks too.

And don't forget to encourage all on-staff property managers to actually call and talk to prospects' references (instead of just checking that they're listed on the application).

Proactively retain residents

The best thing you can do to keep your clients happy is to provide long-term tenants. Of course, sometimes resident retention is completely out of your control. People move, change jobs, increase their family size, decrease their income, etc.

However, there is plenty you can do to retain your renters. Offer listings at fair market prices, be quick to respond to issues and handle repairs, and make rent payment easy and digital. You can even get creative and offer incentivization and rewards, such as a movie or restaurant gift card at every 12-month or 6-month anniversary.

Bring in tenant-centric tech

Having the right technology in place can not only improve tenant satisfaction but it can also improve your property management operations.

Here are some ways that technology can help improve the relationship between tenants and property managers:

  • Easy online rent payments
  • An app or support ticketing system for submitting maintenance requests
  • A place to log suggestions and complaints (either about the property management company or the property)

Minimize employee turnover

Not every property management company struggles with high turnover, but plenty do. Employees leaving is easily the biggest wrench that can be thrown in your property management operations.

Make sure to foster a workplace of open communication so that property managers are more likely to come to you with their concerns long before they decide to quit.

Also, you should do everything in your power to make sure that your staff isn't burning out or working way longer hours than they originally agreed to. One of the best ways to do this is to get help with property management showings when your in-house team is too busy to handle every vacancy on their own. It's better to get trained help than to push your staff to the point of breaking and lose your best people.

As for other ideas to retain staff, you can offer unexpected non-cash benefits, such as a monthly house cleaner or a food prep subscription, both of which serve as business write-offs for you.You can also make sure to regularly recognize them for their hard work. At the end of the day, we're social creatures, and verbal recognition is incredibly powerful.

Want to save time showing single family and small mutlifamily properties so you can grow your portfolio capacity and rent vacancies quicker? Learn more about Showdigs.

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