How do you feel after a long day of work? Tired, frustrated, frazzled? We all have days like this. Automation in harmony with Systems and Processes is the key to avoiding these feelings and moving towards more productive, focused days. I’ll show you how with Five time-saving shortcuts for automation.
Automation can bring about a sense of ease to one’s life. Make it a habit to automate by using technology…by creating shortcuts, setting reminders and automating your day-to-day tasks.
If you are managing rental properties, for example, automation can make your life so much easier. Instead of spending unnecessary time doing a task over and over again and possibly inconsistently, automation enables us to use our time in a more productive way.
In the case of a property management company, this means, wherever possible, the development of cross-functional tasks in processes like renewals, move-ins, move-outs, owner onboarding, customer service tickets, turnovers, leasing and any other workflow you can possibly imagine. We have found amazing opportunities to build automated workflows that are completed efficiently, quickly and consistently every single time they run.
Create Win-Win solutions while empowering your team with tools that enable them to work smarter, with less stress, virtually no errors, and in half the time than before!
So, let’s talk about the Five Time-Saving Shortcuts for Automation!
5 Time-Saving Shortcuts for Automation
Sticking with the property management example, if we look attentively at repetitive tasks, we will notice how to use automation to up the proficiency game in daily work routines. For example:
1. Start and track a lease renewal 120 days prior to their lease expiration. Why? Because most tenants have already made a decision on whether or not to renew their lease 90-120 days prior to lease expiration.A property manager (“PM”) wants to make sure that they are talking to the tenant and the owner well in advance to prevent (or promote) a move-out. Move-Outs cost A LOT of money when factoring in vacancy, unit turn costs, marketing costs, and the PM leasing fee. Without a workflow, the PM is doomed to drop the ball at some point in the 120-day process.
2. Insist on a move-in checklist – IN THE VERY LEAST – to manage the move-in process. Adding automation to this process adds a whole new dimension of efficiency. The tenant’s experience when they first interact with a property management company sets the tone for their entire experience with that PM. Yet, it is common for a PM to have no real defined move-in process, which leads to unhappy tenants, negative reviews, disgruntled property owners, a higher volume of work orders, and a non-renewal at the end of a lease.
3. When a property manager receives a notice to vacate (“NTV”) from a tenant, immediately send an email with a NTV acceptance letter, pre-inspection instructions (if required in your state), and instructions and expectations of the property condition at move-out. You might be very surprised at how often this simple step slips through the cracks if it is not part of a defined and/or automated process. The net result of dropping the ball here is a sloppy and problematic move-out.
4. When a new client engages with a property management firm, they have just handed over their most valuable asset to essentially a stranger. An onboarding process that is consistent and repeatable is the best thing a PM can do to win a client for life. Immediately engage with the client. Set up a call with all team members who will be interacting with the client. Dazzle them with professionalism and empathy. Do that with a repeatable onboarding process.
5. A property manager can communicate with their tenants who have scheduled appointments with a vendor, to receive rental payment reminders, newsletters, notices, emails or property updates.
Here are some additional basic steps to implement to create successful cross-functional and repeatable workflows:
- First create checklists to manage systems and processes (and eventually automation) to ensure that every project flows flawlessly from beginning to end. Start with renewals, move-ins, move-outs, owner onboarding and any other critically impactful processes.
- Train your staff so that every process, workflow, and task is completed in the same way every single time. Put heavy emphasis on sticking to the formal workflow.
- Establish accountability with metrics that are tracking the efficacy of the process, workflow and tasks. Routinely review and monitor a dashboard or scorecard of some kind, that reflects how well a process is being run by the staff member who “owns” it.
The shortcuts above are just a few examples of how automation is vital in the successful management of a business. For a property management company the return on investment (“ROI”) of having systems and processes in place can mean the difference between a highly profitable business and a business desperately struggling to get by.
The fundamental win-win solution lies in creating processes that are transparent across departments, generating increased productivity through automation and happier customers because of an integrated system.
The automation of systems and processes rewards business owners the time to focus more on the core of their business, i.e. working ON the business and not IN the business.
Automation comes in different shapes and forms; it doesn’t mean you only need automation software or apps for automation, automation can also happen through simple shortcuts and reminder features on your devices. Getting started in any way is the point here.
If you are a business owner who is serious about taking automation to the next level in your business, deciding on which software to use to automate your business is very important. Ideally, before walking down the path of re-engineering the operations of your business, you should consider talking with a consultant.
Give automation a try today!