Historically, the property management business has been paper heavy. Paper applications, leases, credit checks… form after form after form. Thankfully, over the last decade there’s been a shift away from paper toward digital forms. But the fact remains that technology that is common in many other industries is still lagging behind the times in property management. There are simply too many manual processes, which take up an inordinate amount of time – not to mention valuable resources. And, when technology is used, it tends to be disparate and siloed.
Consider this all-too-typical property management rental process: A property management firm assigns a staff member to show units and respond to calls and emails. While they’re out giving in-person tours to un-vetted prospects, other potential renters’ calls go to voicemail. Too often, those calls aren’t returned for hours, sometimes even a day or two. And that’s just one example. Clearly, the system is broken, or at the very least, fractured. The question is: What can you do to fix it?
Here are just a few ways to use automation and forms to streamline your day-to-day workflow.
Encourage Self-Service Booking
Put back hours into your agents’ days with self-service booking; let prospective renters book tours at their own convenience on your listing websites. Gone are the days when your team would spend hours on the phone and go back and forth on emails. For instance, Property Vista’s Lead Managing tool is integrated with the leasing agent’s Outlook or Google Calendar, prospects can book tours with a few clicks so your team can focus on serving existing tenants.
Automate Lead Management
Harness technology to directly capture leads from your ILS listing and feed them to the right rep for prompt follow-up. (With a smart solution like our Lead Managing, you'll also know exactly which marketing channels drive new leases. Invest in the channels that work and cut out the ones that don’t.) The digital information can also auto-populate guest cards, leasing forms and welcome letters, eliminating manual work and potential errors, and saving a ton of time when the person becomes a tenant.
Modernize the Leasing Process
Today, most tenants expect to be able to apply from anywhere, at any time. So give them what they want. Provide the tool they need to apply online, or on a tablet with your rental agent. It’s fast, convenient, and it increases the odds that you’ll convert leads to renters. It also cuts out the risk of human error posed by hand-written applications, and eliminates tedious, repetitive tasks like faxing documents. Remember, the longer the delay in the leasing process, the more likely your qualified renter looks elsewhere before the lease closes.
Expedite Credit Checks and Approvals
To do away with paperwork and save time, integrate automatic credit checks into the lease application. These enable you to simplify the application process while performing consistent, accurate credit checks. You can go one step further and analyze applicants’ financial viability, using software to evaluate their salary, current rent, monthly rent of the unit they’re applying for, whether they’ll live alone or share the rent, and more. Within seconds, you’ll know whether prospects have a good background and solid financial history, so you can make informed decisions about who should live on your property.
Streamline Communications with Automated Responses
Best-in-class property management software, like Property Vista, enables you to set up preset responses to common scenarios, like certain payment processes. Use email templates to set up automated messages to tenants to alert them to rent payment receipts, failed or returned payments or any errors in processing rental or other payments.
You can also easily set up automated messages for agents to let them know that application or rental payments have been rejected, so they can immediately attend to the situation. They can also be alerted when a tenant sets up automated payments or changes their payment details.
We Can Help Automate Your Processes
By automating forms and digitizing processes, you can save time and resources upfront. You’ll also be able to cut costs and increase profits further down the road, by better screening renters and ensuring improved customer satisfaction for existing residents.
If you’re looking to fix your property management system, we can help. To learn more about what you can do to streamline processes and become more profitable through automation and other technology solutions, book a demo with us today!