As a Business Development Rep in the Property Management Industry, I spend most of my time on the phone talking with Property Management professionals.
And though sometimes the conversations veer towards sports or weekend plans, most of the time they’re spent chatting about what excites me: the recipe for effective day to day building operations.
After over a year’s worth of conversations, I’ve noticed a lot of similarities in the struggles that management teams face. Here are 4 key challenges we’ve heard over and over again, and what some teams are doing to combat them:
“There is so much inconsistency in the way
my people work out in the field”
Management execs might know what work is being done out in the field, but they have no way of knowing how the work is being done, and they are pretty sure it’s being done with little consistency across their team.
For example, 2 Property Managers on a team might do tenant move-outs or grounds inspections with completely different methods, and in most cases, one property manager’s methods are more effective.
Management execs eliminate this inconsistency with something called Standard Operating Procedures. These are specific best practices to handle certain events or processes, from storm preparation to routine inspections.
Some property management companies have them in written form, but even if they do, most have no way to actually enforce them across their team.
This predicament leads us right into another thing I often hear from executives who have Standard Operating Procedures in place already, but lack something necessary to maximize their benefits: visibility into the day to day.
“I have no idea if my team is actually working according to our Standard Operating Procedures”
Lack of visibility is a huge problem in property management.
Even if management teams have a set of Standard Operating Procedures, it’s impossible to track whether they’re being followed out in the field, which unfortunately renders them less effective, and perpetuates the inconsistencies we discussed earlier.
For example, your new hire might be trained on the company’s procedure to handle tenant complaints, but still sticks to their old habits (ignoring them until they move) and the Director has absolutely no clue that this is going on until it’s too late.
Management execs need to be able to see exactly what their team is working on, their progress, and that it’s being done according to their best practices.
Then they can have peace of mind and focus on other important parts of the job, like business strategy and growth!
“Our documentation processes around inspections are pretty messy”
Management teams know that inspections are essential for maintaining healthy assets, budgeting for maintenance, and preventing future problems.
For these reasons, it is just as important to have well-organized and standardized documentation around the inspections.
However, many management teams still use pen and paper to do inspections, which makes it difficult to easily organize and retrieve inspection results.
Unless you’re right next to the file cabinet where ALL of your inspections are stored, it’s nearly impossible to find what you’re looking for when you need it – especially critical information that could impact your budgets or work schedule.
These manual documentation methods can be huge time wasters for everyone on your team.
Management execs need inspection information to be stored in one central location so that documents can be accessed on demand.
Here are some ways Directors are tracking asset health without relying on fallible pen and paper or Excel.
“Something came up and I’m so busy right now. I just can’t talk.”
Over the past year, I’ve been lucky enough to build some wonderful business relationships with many friendly and smart property management pros.
Of course, no matter how close we are, there are still times when they say “I just can’t talk shop right now Sam. Things are crazy over here this week”.
Often, they are too busy to talk, and I get that. Most of the time when they have to run, it’s because of an unexpected emergency or issue that takes all of their attention – something they tell me happens far too frequently, and distracts from other ongoing work.
Although most of them I’ve spoken with love that every day in this industry is different, many wish they could spend more time strategizing about how to improve and grow their business instead of tying up loose ends, dealing with emergencies, and checking in on employees.
If any of these problems sound familiar, check out our Resources Center – we’ve got lots of great best practices on how other teams are dealing with these issues – and I’m just a phone call away.