Automation is increasing efficiency in many industries, and property management is no different. Property managers can choose to automate a variety of tasks, though the reality is that only a small percentage of a manager’s tasks can be left to automation. Despite this, if done correctly doing so can improve performance and efficiency drastically.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the services managers can automate and the ways to do so. Furthermore, we’ll also discuss the differences between full automation and outsourcing tasks to a property management virtual assistant (PMVA).
In most cases, the easiest tasks to automate are billings and handling tenant-related processes or work orders. Thus, you can choose to hire a PMVA or buy software that helps you automate the tasks for you.
But as a rule of thumb, property managers should start outsourcing or automating “non-core activities”. For the majority of managers, leasing and looking for the right location and business can be a taxing activity.
In addition, tenant-related documentation and screening of prospective tenants can take up a lot of time. These tasks are all important – but they don’t drive revenue – thus, they are considered “non-core activities”.
Meanwhile, another task that’s sure to take up time (mostly unexpectedly) is maintenance and other tenant concerns and complaints. You can set up an answering machine or service for this that says, “press 1 for complaints, press 2 for maintenance concerns”, and so on.
But every issue or emergency is unique to each tenant and that’s why you’d often need to handle it yourself. Luckily, property managers can hire virtual assistants to help with customer concerns.
This type of outsourcing allows managers to hire a call center service to handle customer support duties among other tasks that are suitable for remote work processing.
Take note that listing units, payment collection, and dealing with complaints can all be automated but they need human input.
Automate These Property Management Tasks
If a process needs to be repeated multiple times, it can be automated. Although simple in nature, these minute tasks can become a burden, especially when scaling up your business.
That’s why you should start automating the following tasks:
Rent collection automation isn’t difficult. You’re behind if you don’t accept online rent payments. You could mistakenly limit your owners’ renter pool. Automated software lets renters pay online. The software makes rent collecting hands-free unless tenants insist on writing checks.
The software can remind tenants when rent is due. You can then let them pay immediately. You can give an incentive and choose to receive rent collecting alerts. Automation handles the payment and nonpayment alerts.
Automating renewal is easy. Say you enter a new tenant’s lease terms and information. The software sends prewritten emails to property owners on the renewal date.
It may contain renewal instructions and fields for the owner to complete. Your automated software will email the tenant a renewal contract to sign. You can also tell the software to send reminders and personally monitor the process.
Maintenance requests can be automated through software or outsourcing. Your maintenance staff or company can be alerted of move-outs so the unit can be ready for a new tenant quickly.
Automate low-priority maintenance calls. Tenant calls, messages, or submit a maintenance ticket. Your chosen crew will receive a work order from here. When the bill arrives, the job’s done.
Automation simplifies notifications. Forget emailing and messaging everyone about a parking ban or freeze-watch.
Your contact lists are continually updated as you add or remove renters. You can send a notification message to the correct person with one click.
Should Property Managers Automate or Hire Virtual Assistants?
Now that we know the basic tasks we can automate – it’s time to discuss whether or not it’s better to buy software or hire virtual assistants. There are two ways we can define “automation” in this context: “all-in-one automation” and “process by process automation”.
The basic “all-in-one” automation is a ready-made solution that digitizes business processes. Property management is used in maintenance requests, billing, tenant management, and more. Unfortunately, the software still has operational limits.
Meanwhile, “process by automation” means that you take a hands-on approach to automate services. As such, property managers need to analyze their internal business process and specify their exact needs, and short-term and long-term goals.
All-in-one automation software can become too generic. As such, it’s better to find software that specializes in a specific task you want automated.
Still, the fact remains that using software still needs manual labor. Plus, opting for a fully automated system means sacrificing human input. And, in an industry such as property management, organic human interaction become a necessity.
In the end, you’d not only struggle with learning completely new software, but you’d also need in-house staff to do the work for you. You may also have to pay more in expenses as some licenses for automation software only allow the use of one computer.
Automate Property Management Tasks with Virtual Assistants
Hiring virtual assistants is a good middle ground when it comes to automating property management tasks. For starters, getting expensive software still requires you to learn it and have somebody operate it.
Additionally, the best property management automating software may charge monthly renewal fees for a license. Eventually, this is going to stack up. Moreover, you still need time to train in-house staff on how to utilize it.
But, partnering with an outsourcing company not only gives you automation options but also provides you with a massive boost to your workforce. As such, you gain access to an entire talent pool with each virtual assistant having their own skills, so you don’t have to compromise quality.
Here are some of the tasks you can automate with the help of PMVAs:
- Phone & Email Support
- Creating and Processing Work Orders
- Creating Bills/Invoices
- Reconciling Bank Accounts
- Screening Property Applicants
- Status Reports
- Listings & Online Management
If you’re ready to start your outsourcing journey, Global Strategic can help with your business needs and give you the Strategic Advantage needed to edge out the competition. Contact us today and learn more about how offshore outsourcing to the Philippines can help your business and future business growth.