THE EF­FI­CIENCY GAME

WHEN IT COMES TO RUN­NING a sleek prop­erty man­age­ment di­vi­sion or manag­ing a port­fo­lio with ease, it all comes down to one key thing: ef­fi­ciency. Kasey McDon­ald ex­am­ines how tech­nol­ogy is here to help.

Elite Property Manager - - Contents -

Kasey McDon­ald

There are a grow­ing num­ber of dig­i­tal tools that can help a prop­erty man­ager im­prove work­flow to drive ef­fi­ciency. How­ever, as prop­erty man­agers we have a ten­dency to want to com­pli­cate pro­cesses, which can re­sult in clunky work­flow and long nights of eat­ing din­ner at our com­puter.

Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time au­dit­ing prop­erty man­agers and their work­flows, and it’s clear to me that there is a di­rect cor­re­la­tion be­tween ef­fec­tive work­flow and prop­erty man­agers who are at the top of their game. They’re ef­fi­cient. Ev­ery­thing they do is un­der­pinned by a well-de­fined process. And they’re not afraid to use tech­nol­ogy to make that work­flow just that bit eas­ier and quicker.

So if you’re look­ing to play a big­ger prop­erty man­age­ment game and you want to use tech­nol­ogy to get your work­flows su­per-de­fined so you’re su­per-ef­fi­cient, start with th­ese tips.

WHY EF­FI­CIENCY?

Re­mem­ber, ev­ery­thing you do as a prop­erty man­ager im­pacts on bot­tom line, and while you mightn’t pay much at­ten­tion to this, it means the world to your boss. Ef­fi­ciency drives bot­tom line.

The bet­ter a man­ager can clearly de­fine reg­u­lar pro­cesses, the more ef­fi­cient the team be­comes. This saves over­all time, mak­ing the team more ef­fec­tive and able to do more with less stress or frus­tra­tion. The more ef­fi­ciently and ef­fec­tively you do th­ese pro­cesses, the bet­ter you can do your job – and hope­fully go home at a de­cent hour.

WHERE TO START

To stream­line work pro­cesses and im­prove work­flow, as­sess the en­tire op­er­a­tion from top to bot­tom, look­ing for ar­eas of im­prove­ment. As a leader, look at what you are cur­rently do­ing and ask for feed­back from ex­ist­ing staff about what frus­trates them in the day and what is work­ing well. Con­duct an of­fice in­ven­tory, start­ing from the fil­ing sys­tem (if you still have a man­ual sys­tem). Eval­u­ate the use of pa­per in the of­fice, in­clud­ing how check­lists and forms are used, pro­cessed and archived.

DON’T OVER-AU­TO­MATE

Stream­lin­ing pro­cesses to drive ef­fi­ciency is great, as long as you don’t re­move the el­e­ments that make up great cus­tomer ser­vice. Full au­to­ma­tion can some­times take the per­sonal touch out of the prop­erty man­ager-to-land­lord com­mu­ni­ca­tion and can di­lute re­la­tion­ships in the process. In­te­grate clever tech­nolo­gies that can help, not hin­der.

QUICK, EASY TECH TO START

If you’re still us­ing a lot of man­ual pro­cesses, you might want to start with some ba­sic drive-shar­ing to cen­tralise tem­plated doc­u­ments. Google Drive or Drop­box are both great places to start and can be easily ac­cessed by ev­ery­one in the of­fice any time, any­where. This means you can start to get rid of the old fil­ing cab­i­net – and ev­ery­thing in it. All doc­u­ments can be filed in this one lo­ca­tion and can be ac­cessed by those whom the file is dig­i­tally ‘shared’ with. Elec­tronic sig­na­ture soft­ware like DocuSign can also make sign­ing ba­sic doc­u­ments a lot eas­ier and quicker for all par­ties.

TECH FOR TASKS

I find a lot of prop­erty man­agers are re­luc­tant to im­ple­ment tech­nol­ogy, be­cause they are so used to their man­ual sys­tems; they can’t be both­ered chang­ing over. This is to their own detri­ment. For in­stance, plat­forms like Trello and Process St make it easy to au­to­mate tasks and check­lists that re­quire in­put by other col­leagues.

Con­sider a process where you do three steps of a check­list, then the sys­tem au­to­mat­i­cally no­ti­fies the next col­league to com­plete their part, with auto-re­minders un­til it is com­plete. It al­lows for eas­ier man­age­ment of mul­ti­ple tasks and pro­cesses at the one time, and can not only min­imise time but help re­duce some of the er­rors aris­ing from man­ual han­dling. Re­mem­ber, the top ten per cent of busi­nesses in this in­dus­try are heav­ily in­vest­ing in and adopt­ing tech­nol­ogy; per­haps you should too.

"THERE IS A DI­RECT COR­RE­LA­TION BE­TWEEN EF­FEC­TIVE WORK­FLOW AND PROP­ERTY MAN­AGERS AT THE TOP OF THEIR GAME."

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