October 01, 2015

NOW is the Time to Prepare for 2016

Sure, October has only just begun, but now is the time to start gearing up for 2016. Things have slowed down after the summer busy period. Fall is the time to prepare everything as the season for rentals is starting soon!

If you want to be prepared, you need to work on strategies this season so they’re ready to roll out in January. Here are a few tips for hitting the ground running in the New Year.

Set New Goals

Before the rush of the New Year, think about your goals for 2016. Do you want to drive more referrals? Lower operational costs? Facilitate better communication and engagement with existing residents? Whatever your goals may be, start mapping them out and putting the strategy in place to make sure you can achieve them.

Check Your Policies & Procedures

To deliver on your goals, you need to have a policies and procedures plan be in place—one that’s up to date. No matter how solid they are, it’s important to revisit these policies and procedures every year. Your policies and procedures need to evolve to reflect the changing market, so you can protect your interests and attract desirable renters. They also need to reinforce your business goals and strategies. By making changes to your marketing, customer service, maintenance or operational policies two to three months before the New Year, you can be sure to address any training or HR needs before officially unrolling the strategy in January.

Get Smart(er) About Marketing

While you’re re-evaluating your operational procedures, consider how your marketing fits into the bigger picture. What steps do you want to take to change or grow your brand? What messages do you need to communicate in order to reflect that brand, and which tools should you use to reach the right renters for your property? Here’s a hint: Make sure your marketing strategy reflects today’s tech-savvy prospects. Advertising via social media is a must, and your website has to be mobile-friendly. Do you need to save time? Look for a solution that can help reduce your manual efforts.

Reboot Your Tech

Speaking of technology, you should make sure your current systems are still meeting your needs—and that they’re up to the task come 2016. Sure, the thought of a possible upgrade for your property management software, server or database isn’t thrilling. But it’s far easier, and much less expensive, to be proactive. Imagine the hassles and inflated costs of an unforeseen, time-sensitive replacement (not to mention the frustrated residents who could be put out by a server outage). Also, consider new SaaS solutions with “plug-n-play” ease of use, like Property Vista’s suite of property management solutions!

Inspect Your Property

Never forget the basics. Before the snow flies, property managers should be doing a physical check of their properties. How’s the landscaping? Does it have curb appeal? Are there any repairs that need to be done in the parking lot or inside the building’s common areas? (Pro Tip: Use a cloud-based maintenance system so you have a clear audit trail, and no issues are lost or overlooked. Building or property managers can use smartphones or tablets to instantly capture the work that needs to be done, and then get it into the system to be scheduled. The increased visibility means that key stakeholders (residents, property managers, maintenance coordinators and assigned personnel) can more easily keep tabs on the progress of the service request—from start to finish.

Starting your planning now is the best way to ensure that the changes you want to see in the New Year actually happen as of January, rather than several months into 2016.

To learn more about how you can improve your business and marketing strategies for 2016 and beyond, sign up for your free account today or give us a call to learn more.

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Penny Colomvakos

Senior Manager, Residential Administration , Starlight Investments

Describe your experience in a few words

I enjoy using property Vista – I am able to generate reports immediately.

What do you like the most about the software?

Implementing Property Vista has made a significant different to our business. I have seen huge benefits in using this system. We have reduce our time we spent on analyzing arrears ( as we can generate a report immediately). Tenant maintenance request can be resolve effective and in a timely manner and we are able to have a log! The benefits from the Vista have been pretty remarkable – but I’d always like to see more!