No business owner sets out to crash and burn. However, from time to time in the property management industry you hear stories of companies that went out of business. So, what can we learn from the missteps of other property firms that we can apply to our own business aspirations? Plenty! Here are the common mistakes companies make.
They Don’t Manage Their Reputation
For better or worse, review sites and social media platforms amplify word-of-mouth marketing, in today’s always online society. Owners, tenants and potential tenants… it doesn’t matter who it is, everyone googles companies they intend to do business with to check reviews and what people are saying about them. Review sites like Yelp and social media channels have a profound impact on prospective tenants’ leasing decisions as well as an owner’s decision to work with a property management company. So, take care of your properties, and your properties’ reputation.
No Repeatable Processes and Automation
Just how many manual processes does your company have? Review every manual, paper-heavy process and look to digitalize and automate any process that is repeatable. Automation is critical in order for a company to grow and scale its operations. For example, automating ILS listings or the applications and lease renewal process – these types of automation save hundreds of hours, make your business more efficient and position you to better take on growth.
Rapid Growth or Over-Expansion
Improving your processes and automating complexity puts every company in a better position to grow. However, it doesn’t mean that a company can simply double the number of properties it manages. Especially if they are spread across town or throughout a region.
To deliver top-notch customer service, a property management company needs three things: people, process and technology. Smaller companies often make the mistake of trying to do everything without hiring the outside expertise or help they need to grow. Additionally, trying to take on more business than you can handle drains your working capital and usually results in a decline in quality property management. It’s better to set the groundwork and grow steadily.
It is not enough to have a great property management company. You also have to develop what makes you different, or you’ll simply get lost amongst the competition. What sets your business apart? Is it your customer service, your technology, or something else? Every property management firm should be able to easily answer two questions:
1.) What makes our properties better options for renters?
2.) What makes our company a better option for owners and investors?
Not Knowing Their Customer Base and Market
Property managers must have a clear picture of their portfolio, what the market will bear and their target audience tenant. Businesses that don’t won’t be marketing effectively, will market to the wrong person at the wrong price. The result will be bigger gaps between tenants and potentially more turnover.
A Lack of Data
What do all the big REITs and property management companies have that gives them an edge? Data, and tons of it. Though your market is smaller, you still need information at your fingertips. If you don’t have real-time insights into the performance of your business it’s almost impossible to make smart, data-driven decisions.
A company that has dashboards that show collections by building or tenant, date or number of days outstanding. This type of consolidated data, easy analytics and clear view into the financials, you’ll be able to keep owners and executives informed on your company’s position in the market. With property management analytics, you can measure the average response time to a work order per building/property. And, once completed, determine tenant satisfaction. You can use that data to improve how quickly repairs are completed and the quality of the vendor’s work. With an analytics tool, maintenance managers can quickly spot repair patterns to help them with forecasting their budget and preventative measures.
How Property Vista Helps
At Property Vista, we provide both the technology you need to better understand your business and the tools needed to make changes. Our solutions come in a modular format, allowing you to choose the services you need, when you need them. If you are looking to improve automation across your property management business, check out our pricing here and contact us for a demo.