Is your company more or less efficient than your peers?
You might expect that in an industry with so many associations and educational forums that there are best practices that would lead to common time metrics on simple every day procedures.
You would be wrong.
Not all property management companies are created equal, nor do they run at the same levels of efficiency. I recently surveyed property managers on common operational tasks to find out how long they spend each month on operational tasks, collecting rent for example. Some companies have employed tactics that make them up to twice as efficient as others, while providing a higher level of service to their owners and residents.
Time is money.
So why don’t property managers treat their time like they treat their money? Ask a property manager if they audit their books and do they know where their money goes each month and the answer is, “Yes.” Ask them if they audit their time and the time of their employees to find out where the biggest time expenses are in their business and the answer is, “No, it’s too hard.”
So what? Property managers will often do a task themselves rather than pay for someone else to do it, because it “saves” them money. What they fail to quantify is the time expense, and the cost to their business. The amount of time property managers spend actually growing their business is often quite small – typically less than 5% of a companies’ resources are focused on growth and yet it’s almost always the #1 goal.
So, the next time you see your employee or find yourself doing any of the following, ask yourself if it’s an efficient use of time:
- Entering rent manually
- Folding and stuffing owner statements in envelopes
- Faxing a work order
- Answering questions about an owner statement that is hard to understand
- Answering the 10th inquiry about a vacancy on the phone with the same answer
Once you are aware of these activities you can look for opportunities to avoid them.
As we add time-saving features to AppFolio Property Manager each month, we continue to find new chances to help our customers spend less time on these tasks so they have more time to find new business – it is so exciting!
Albert Oaten has conducted over 50 property management workshops and seminars around the country, inspiring debate and discussion on tactical ways to save property management companies time so they can focus on growing their business.