3 Tips for Improving the Performance of Your Property Management Business
With the economy booming, more new construction rental units, and rent prices rising across the US, it’s easy to grow revenues but not always easy to constrain costs.
So while you’re reviewing your owner reports and balance sheets, get back to basics about your business.
Now is a good time to improve performance because the additional profit you can earn is at its highest right now. Here’s 3 fundamental level tips to help you convert into a tenant retaining, easy to operate property management company with an empowered staff.
You could mimic what the best property managers do, and hope you’ll duplicate their results. However that means you really aren’t the master of your ship. When winds change you’ll be lost.
If you optimize the fundamentals of who you hire, serve and how you manage tenants and properties, you can win in any economy or market. And you can make the best of the properties you manage.
Tip #1 Hire PM Staff Intelligently
Take your time and ensure the person you hire on staff is right for your business objectives and the longer term. Mistakes will be very costly. Give them a trial and treat it as a trial employment.
This person may have been a star at another property management company, and they may be attractive and courteous. Yet your needs are different — different types of properties, software automation, more work done digitally, and comfort with digital tools might make them.
Many people don’t adjust to new situations well, and even if they do show up regularly, the potential value of their work might be lacking.
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If they’re not inspired and geared to make their work as easy as possible and effective, they’re going to grind it out everyday. Will they add value in future? Will they burn out? Give them a rating for each task in terms of their joy and willingness to do it well.
- screen for potential
- do they like software tools and how do they speak of them?
- are they warm, courteous, helpful with a good attitude?
- are the truly interested in your company’s culture and goals?
- do they have a profit and efficiency mindset?
- do you understand them and like them?
Tip #2 Focus on Your Employees
Your staff are your biggest asset, and your focus on them creates the biggest ROI. Without them managing properties well, you’ll likely lose tenants and raise your staffing costs. Your properties, software, and tenants aren’t your biggest assets. Your staff is (and contractors). They determine your company’s ongoing ability keep your business profitable.
Listen to what your staff speak about even if it’s non-sense or non-essential, and help them learn, evolve, and grow.
Take your staff from wherever they are professionally now and move them forward gently without friction, judgement, or ultimatums. Treat them as though they were your own children. Nurture them so they realize adopting technology, managing tenants strategically, and adding value to a progressive company is good for them — in line with their own personal goals.
Use incentives and profit sharing to reinforce the alignment of the company’s goals with their goals.
Tip #3 Polish Your Communication Skills
Many managers believe they’re good communicators and are leading with the right words, concepts and directions. And if you poll staff and measure how successfully their information and directives actually sunk in, you’ll find many staff don’t have the foggiest idea what managers really said or want.
That’s why managers have to repeat, re-teach, and follow up so many extra times.
The less people know, the more they yell — Seth Godin
If you’ve gone from a one man shop to a mid-sized property management company, you may have never had to communicate like this before. It was all in your head and easy to interpret. Now your ability to communicate seems to steer the whole ship. You’ve probably already bumped into a reef or two and it’s scared you.
Now you have to report to investors or client landlords, to your employees, and to a growing variety of tenants who may come from other countries. Building one consistent, fundamental approach to professional communication will help everyone understand you.
Good communication means less work for you.
Develop a system to communicate, share, and receive feedback. ManageCasa’s Property management software can help you systemize and consolidate your tasks and your communication needs. With this, you’ll avoid saying different confusing things, and using language and phrases everyone understands.
Consistency takes the stress out of learning and you’ll spend less time worrying about what to say and clarifying later.
- list your communication goals and match the messaging you need to communicate them
- maintain a consistent communications protocol with your staff
- use ManageCasa’s software to send alerts and contact tenants directly
- ensure you send message and receive one message from all of your tenants so you and they know the system works. They’ll know how easy it is to reach you.
- look at the lifetime of communication you have with staff and tenants to see if there is a point where things go sour (software recalls that communication for analysis)
Empowering and Appreciating Good Staff
What’s especially powerful about property management software is the confidence it gives you and your staff. It empowers staff, makes property management tasks more consistent and actionable. It tells them they’re valued — in action.
Property software also frees up time from the old paperwork and phone call regimen, allowing you to be more thoughtful about work and responses. Many businesses go through the process of churning out tasks and productivity, while forgetting about quality interaction. Saying the right thing once is much better than 10 messages that erode your relationships.
Take care to hire and manage staff well, and your business ROI will rise. You’re in this business to succeed, make money, and sustain your business.
These 3 fundamentals above will help you get there. Good luck with building your business with the right motivated, inspired and capable staff.
No need to juggle text messages, emails, and find paper documents when you have ManageCasa. It makes communication silky smooth.
Try out ManageCasa for free today and see its full communications capabilities. You’ll be impressed and on your way to higher ROI.
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