Streamlining workflows with automation in Property Management

 

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22 May 2024  |  Automation, Property Management, software  |  Manager

It can be challenging to keep tabs on multiple properties. You need to stay on top of every detail, from charging your tenants the correct rent payments and ensuring quick responses when repairs are needed. This is why efficient workflows in property management are important. 

Fortunately, it is simpler now more than ever to create these workflows. For instance, you can automate repetitive and predictable aspects of property management. The best property management software on the market can even send automated reminders to your tenant once their rent is due. 

By streamlining workflows with automation in property management, you can enhance communication and transparency with your tenant while saving time. You will no longer need to muddle through each property, trying to understand where everything is located.

In this article, we will discuss how you can improve your property management through automation. 

Areas for automation in Property Management

There are many aspects of property management you can automate. From onboarding your new tenants to estimating your future expenses, property management software can help you reduce the manual work involved.

You can consider automating the following areas of property management:

Tenant onboarding and communication

It takes a significant amount of time and resources to manage your tenants. The more properties or tenants you have, the more challenging it will be to communicate with and onboard them.

Here are some automation suggestions in terms of tenant onboarding and communication:

  • Rental application processing: Depending on the property you own or manage, you might need to review your potential tenants. If your property is attracting a lot of applicants, you need to consider automation. Automating the rental application process allows property managers to collect, review, and approve applications quickly and without manual intervention. This can include automated background checks, credit checks, and applicant communication.
  • Lease signing: With digital signatures and automated lease management tools, lease signing can be paperless and conveniently done online. Tenants can review and sign leases electronically, reducing paperwork and the need for physical meetings.
  • Rent reminders and notifications: Automated systems can send rent reminders to tenants, reducing late payments and improving cash flow. Additionally, automated communication can keep tenants informed about important updates, property-related news, and lease renewals or rent changes.

Maintenance and repair management

Over 75% of property managers are still involved in managing repairs, according to Strategic Market Research. While being hands-on from time to time is great for fostering tenant relations, it can be taxing to constantly stay on top of all maintenance and repair work going on in your properties. With automated solutions, property managers can streamline maintenance and repair processes, improving response times and reducing operational headaches. 

Fortunately, many aspects of property maintenance and repairs can be automated, such as:

  • Maintenance request handling: Property management software can automate the maintenance request process, allowing tenants to self-serve and submit requests online, enabling property managers to track and respond to them efficiently.
  • Maintenance scheduling: Property managers can use data analysis and IoT sensors to predict when equipment or facilities require maintenance. This approach helps prevent unexpected breakdowns and reduces costly emergency repairs.
  • Vendor coordination: Automation can facilitate the coordination of vendors and contractors for maintenance and repairs. This includes scheduling, communication, and payment processing, resulting in a more efficient workflow.

Financial management

Just like in any business, financial management is transaction intensive and becomes repetitive. It can also be prone to manual errors if not automated.

There are a lot of aspects of financial management that can be automated, especially the following:

  • Rent collection and invoicing: Automated systems can handle rent collection through online platforms, making it easy for tenants to pay and for property managers to track payments. This reduces the risk of errors and speeds up the collection process.
  • Expense tracking and reporting: Automation simplifies expense tracking, allowing property managers to categorize and monitor costs automatically. This can include automated receipt scanning, expense categorization, and financial reporting.
  • Budgeting and forecasting: Automated tools can help property managers create and manage budgets, as well as forecast future expenses and revenues. This helps in making informed financial decisions and ensuring long-term property management success.

Implementing automation in your property management workflow

If you want to streamline your workflows through automation, you need to have a structured approach. This will help ensure seamless integration and maximum efficiency in your day-to-day activities. 

Here’s a guide to help you through the process of successfully implementing property management software in your company:

Assess current workflows and identify areas for automation

Before implementing automation, it is crucial to understand your current workflows. 

Analyze each step in your property management process, from tenant onboarding to maintenance requests and financial management. 

Then, identify repetitive tasks, bottlenecks, and areas prone to human error. This assessment will help you determine tasks where automation provides the greatest value, and you can achieve the most significant efficiency gains.

Research and select appropriate automation tools and software

Once you have identified the areas for automation, research the tools and software available for property management that address those areas. 

You can begin by looking for platforms that offer comprehensive automation features tailored to your needs. Consider factors such as scalability, ease of use, integration capabilities, and customer support. 

Make sure to select automation tools that align with your workflow and business goals. They will ultimately be an investment, so check if they can grow with your property management operations.

Integrate automation tools with existing systems and processes

While you choose automation tools for property management, check whether the automation software can replace, or seamlessly connect with your existing systems. It should be able to integrate with commonly used business tools like accounting software, tenant portals, and maintenance management platforms. 

Integration reduces redundancy and allows data to flow smoothly between different components of your property management process. Remember to test the integration thoroughly to ensure a smooth transition.

Train staff on using automation tools effectively

For automation to be successful, your team must be well-versed in using the tools effectively. 

Provide comprehensive training to your staff, focusing on the specific automation features that will impact their roles. You can hire support team members to help facilitate this change or get additional support from the platform or tool you choose. Through effective training, your team will be more likely to embrace automation and maximize its benefits.

Also, since automation technology evolves rapidly, you should encourage a team culture of continuous learning and adaptability. You can keep a newsletter or a segment on your team meetings to keep everyone up to speed on the new technology in property management, like Artificial Intelligence (AI). This will keep them aware of the upcoming trends and improvements in the industry.

Monitor and evaluate the impact of automation on workflow efficiency

Implementing automation is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and evaluation. 

So, make sure you establish and track key metrics to assess the impact of automation on workflow efficiency, such as reduced response times, increased tenant satisfaction, and improved financial accuracy. 

You could also gather feedback from your staff and tenants to identify any issues or areas for further improvement. Use this feedback to refine your automation strategy and ensure it continues to deliver value over time.

Automate your Property Management tasks

In conclusion, automation has significantly transformed property management. With the right tools and structured implementation, you can automate repetitive tasks, improve communication with residents or tenants, and gain better control over financial management. 

By automating key areas like tenant onboarding, maintenance, and financial management, property managers can also save time, increase efficiency, and ultimately enhance tenant satisfaction.

As you embrace automation, remember that success depends on thoughtful integration, effective training, and continuous monitoring of its impact. The journey toward a more efficient property management workflow is ongoing, with new technologies and practices constantly emerging. Through automation, you are poised to keep pace with industry trends and provide a superior experience for tenants and staff alike.

Ready to experience the UpperBee difference? 

Join the thousands of users across the US and Canada who trust UpperBee to simplify their property management and maximize their success. Contact us today to learn more about how UpperBee can help you achieve your property management goals! 



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