Can you afford to grow?
Growing your property management business is exciting and if your team are performing well you will no doubt experience strong rent roll growth. This growth however means plenty of new properties and clients to service. One major mistake that many agencies make is focusing too much on growth and not enough on house-keeping or implementing strategies to support the increased workload.
This is crucial as you need to ensure current clients are receiving the service they were promised and also that you team is capable of taking on all this new business without the risk of overpromising and under-delivering.
Rethink your approach
You will hit growth barriers when building your rent roll - this is a given and every agency will experience this. A growth barrier is when you reach a certain number of managements and now matter how hard you push your new business team, your cannot grow any more. This has nothing to do with how effective your marketing is, it's purely because your team are struggling with the workload.
There are several areas that can be addressed to help take you to the next level however the two key areas that I would tackle first are team management and systems (including updating your technology).
Grow your team (or not)
Many principals think the solution to growth-related issues is to hire more staff. While your business may very well need additional human resources, more staff mean more salaries and this expense will not be immediately proportionate to the increase in management fees collected. Instead, start with your current team and ensure they are operating efficiently and have the right skill-sets for the job they are doing. This will stretch your HR budget before your increase it.
Review your team, their tasks and ask them how they allocate their time as this will help you understand what part of the business is holding you back. Develop procedures that allow you to monitor whether tasks are being completed quickly and efficiently. Introduce extra training and motivational events to drive confidence. Ask them where they need help and what you can do as a Principal to make their role more streamlined.
Another great motivation tactic is to implement KPIs around service levels and offer rewards when they're met. This will help boost morale and give your team some added incentive to go above and beyond.
Systems & Technology
Technology has come a long way yet many agencies are still using old school, server-based software with limited functionality and next to no automation. Overhaul your systems by researching what products are out there that will no only give you a point of difference in the market, but increase your teams communication and productivity plus potentially reduce their workload.
An important thing to remember is that if you implement a new platform or service, you need to ensure your team is adopting it - there is no point in implementing a great CRM for instance if no-one updates their notes for a contact/deal. This comes down to your systems and ensuring that everyone is following your workflows and processes.