It’s safe to say property management teams haven’t slowed down at all coming into 2022. If anything, organizations have ramped up, setting their sights on expanding, growing, and building their business. And if your team is one with big growth goals, it’s more important now than ever to understand how your company can capitalize on some of the most impactful property operations trends next year and beyond.
We’ve got you covered there. After speaking with thousands of property ops professionals during a long season of industry events (Apartmentalize, OPTECH – even our own customer conference, RealFocus), we’ve put together a rundown of trends your team can’t afford to miss.
The Days Of Pen and Paper Are Fading Fast
It’s a frightening truth – if your team is primarily using pen and paper to track operations, you’re behind the rest of the industry. In fact, many teams who said they still use pen and paper admitted that they needed need to make a switch ASAP.
Working in disparate locations – onsite, back at the office, or at home – underscored the need for centralized documentation and one point of truth to check ongoing work and property information. It’s much more efficient to be able to log in from anywhere and orchestrate property operations instead of having to call, chase, track down, or root through endless files for what you need. And if what’s in your Inbox is different than what’s in your colleague’s Inbox (or text messages, or voicemails…), that’s a whole other headache. Bottom line, it’s a waste of precious time you can’t spare, especially when you want to focus on building out your business.
Getting off of pen and paper is Step Zero on your quest to working better, portfolio-wide – if you’re not there yet, we’ve got some suggestions on how you can make the transition.
More Teams Are Investing In Better Training
One of the biggest impacts from the pandemic was the need to adjust how teams were trained. Organizations weren’t doing as many onsite, hands-on sessions, and instead relied on video classes or on-demand digital content. But what happens post-training, after you’ve watched the video? How do you ensure inspections or repairs happen the right way when you can’t remember what you watched weeks ago?
That’s where centralized solutions come in. Sometimes even your most experienced team members need reminders on how to do a task differently, or need to reference steps for a new company-wide protocol. The more you make training resources (instructions, tips, pictures) centralized and accessible from anywhere, the more likely your team is to get things done the right way. Imagine your maintenance staff being able to pull up quick videos on their mobile device, or simple step-by-step details. This level of access leads to fewer calls or messages for help, and less things falling through the cracks from mistakes.
Due Diligence Is A Huge Priority
Speaking of growth, more property management teams than ever are taking concrete steps to vet out portfolio additions and new management opportunities. The need for a better way to manage and track Due Diligence processes was one of the hottest conversation topics this year.
Of course, Due Diligence isn’t just about rent rolls or inspections – it’s about confirming equipment warranties, understanding open liabilities, and confirming receipt of ALL critical information needed for day-to-day operations. It’s also about making sure your entire team has visibility into the process – that way, if any documents are outstanding, or any inspections need follow-ups or more information, things can be addressed as quickly as possible. That’s the goal, after all – make sure your Due Diligence process is efficient (so your team isn’t delayed) and thorough (to eliminate as much risk as you can), every single time.
Automation Is The Biggest Buzzword
Doing more (specifically, doing more better and faster) is one of the biggest keys to unlocking growth at your organization. Automation is what can get you there. In fact, highly automated companies are 6x more likely to experience revenue growth of more than 15% versus companies with low automation.
Property ops leaders are always looking for ways to cut administrative clutter and focus on increasing value, and automation does just that. Automating processes – work assignments, follow-ups stemming from new information uncovered onsite – reduces time it takes to complete work and enables your team to get more done. That means more time for improvements, preventive work, and special projects that set your properties above the rest.
That’s what growth really comes down to – how can you increase productivity so there’s more time to focus on your priorities? Once you’ve laid out standard ways to train, empower, and facilitate operations work, you can take the time to strategize – knowing that your well oiled operations machine is running smoothly in the background, just the way you want it to.