Growing your property management business is exciting and, if your team is performing well, you will no doubt experience strong rent roll growth. However, this growth means you will have plenty of new properties and clients to service.
A major mistake that many agencies make is focusing too much on growth and not enough on house-keeping and implementing strategies to support the increased workload.
This is crucial, as you’ll need to ensure current clients continue receiving the service they were promised, and that your team can take 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 experiences it. A growth barrier is when you reach a certain number of managements and, no matter how hard you push your new business team, you cannot grow any more.
This has nothing to do with the effectiveness of your marketing. It's purely because your team is struggling with the workload.
Several areas can be addressed to help take you to the next level. However, the two key areas that I suggest tackling first are team management and systems (including updating your technology).
Grow your team (or not)
Many principals believe the solution to growth-related issues is to hire more staff.
While your business may very well need additional human resources, more staff means more salaries and this expense will not be immediately proportionate to the increase in management fees collected. Instead, start with your current team members and ensure they are operating efficiently and have the right skill-sets for the jobs they are doing. This will stretch your HR budget before your increase it.
Review your team members’ tasks. 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 enable you to monitor whether tasks are being completed quickly and efficiently. Introduce extra training and motivational events to drive confidence. Ask your people where they need help and what you, as a principal, can do to streamline their role.
Another great motivational tactic is to implement KPIs around service levels and to offer rewards when they're met. This will help boost morale and give your team 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 the products out there that will give you a point of difference in the market, increase your team’s communication and productivity, and potentially reduce their workload.
Remember that, if you implement a new platform or service, you need to ensure your team is adopting it. There’s no point implementing a great CRM, for instance, if no-one updates their notes for a contact or deal.
This comes down to your systems and ensuring that everyone is following your workflows and processes.