Last modified on June 27th, 2019
By Megan Eales Monroe
When it’s time to make a decision about implementing new technology in your business, getting everyone on the same page pays off.
In a recent research study conducted by AppFolio in partnership with John Burns Real Estate Consulting, 77.7% of property managers reported that they are open to adopting new technology in their business. This is encouraging, as it demonstrates that the property management industry is on its way toward a large-scale shift in favor of more modern tools.
If you’re a leader or decision-maker considering new property management technology for your business, you will gain more confidence in your final decision if you take the time to get input from your entire team during the software selection and transition process.
Here are a few simple strategies you can use to get alignment across your team.
Learn About Your Team’s Pain Points
If you’re considering implementing a new tool, check in with your staff at each level of the organization, across all offices and locations. Find out how they prefer to work day-to-day, paying special attention to any pain points that become a theme. Learn what types of non-essential work they spend the most time on, and keep an eye out for tasks that can be streamlined with the new technology.
Check in on Processes and Consistency
You should also investigate whether processes are being followed consistently by everyone, including regionally dispersed teams. Some processes, such as the protocol for responding to customer service requests, are critical for maintaining your business’ excellent reputation. Others, like screening, present a huge liability if processes are not followed consistently.
Oftentimes, a well-intentioned but cumbersome process falls by the wayside as staff look for more efficient ways to work — without realizing exactly how important it is to follow established business processes. If they are being asked to use outdated technology or do time-consuming manual work, that is one reason that your standard processes may not be followed consistently. The new property management technology you implement can fix that, so be sure to encourage honesty as you check in on your existing processes.
Explain the Benefits of the New Technology Clearly
Once you have decided to implement a new solution, be sure to communicate the reasons why you have made your decision back to the team. People may be reluctant to embrace the new tool if they do not understand how it will benefit them.
Help your team see how the new software will save them time and make their day-to-day workflows more efficient. Be sure to show them how the new tool satisfies their needs and addresses the pain points that they shared with you at the beginning of the process.
Communicate Any Process Changes or Improvements
During the initial implementation period is the best time to pause and think about how processes should be carried out. That way, you can build them into the new tool and reinforce them during the training process.
Once these ideal business processes have been defined, you will need to clearly communicate your expectations about how the new tool should be used when you train your team.
Make the Most Out of Training and Resources
Make the most out of any resources provided by your software partner — for example, at AppFolio, new customers are equipped with resource materials, training opportunities, and much more to make sure that everyone within the company is on the same page as implementation begins.
You should plan to provide a time for training your staff on the new tool, and hold them accountable for attending and learning new skills. It’s best to set aside time specifically for this, rather than asking your busy team to do this on their own time. Make sure they have a chance to ask questions and practice with the new software, and plan how you will train new employees to use it when they join the team.
In order to realize the full value of an all-in-one platform, your team must use it consistently — especially if you will rely on it for data and business insights. But, your team will welcome this if you’ve chosen a user-friendly platform that truly saves them time and makes them more effective in their work.