Thousands of property management companies across the nation have failed for all different reasons. When tenant satisfaction drops and property maintenance suffers, so does your bottom line. Without the right tools in place, your financial future can be bleak.
We’ve worked with hundreds of Native American housing authorities and property management companies across the nation and have had the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of their successes and failures. While every business has its ups and downs, we’ve narrowed down the secrets that the most successful companies make sure to always follow.
1. Spend the time on development and research.
Knowing your market and industry is vital. Develop a SWOT analysis and list your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Identify who your competitors are and make sure to consistently check up on them; find out what their rates are, their perks, etc. Determine what is going to set you apart from the rest and highlight your strengths
2. Invest in your employees.
Each person you hire is an investment in the future of your business. Instill in your employees the value of your field and the importance of their jobs. Each person’s training and ability to positively represent your company through their attitude, skills, and customer service will make you or break you. To your tenants, your employees are the face of your company.
3. Market yourself and your business.
You know how wonderful you are; now share that with your customers, prospects, neighbors, and anyone who will listen. Join local associations like the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, Landlord and Property Management associations, and network with other business leaders. Share newsworthy updates about your business with the media and apply for awards to highlight your successes.
4. Keep up your reputation.
Utilize social media to interact with those who are talking about you, whether it be positive or negative. Comments are your guiding light to what you’re doing right and what you can improve on. Negative comments also allow you the great opportunity to address issues in a public setting, showing off your excellent customer service and dedication to customer satisfaction. Apologize, address the issue, and state how you are going to correct it.
Engage with your audience in an authentic conversation. Be interesting and the person that people want to talk to.
Don’t jump on every social media bandwagon unless you’re committed to posting, commenting, and following up every day. If you’re just starting, select one platform that you feel best fits your business (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc) and make a plan. What are your goals and what do you want to accomplish?
5. Increase your online presence.
The web is the first place that people will look for you. Make sure your website is up-to-date and has the information that people are searching for. Search engine optimization (SEO) matters and the rules are always changing. Stay up to date on the latest tools and rules that search engines like Google and Bing are using when people search for your business.
Take the time to
6. Choose the right software.
The right software solution is critical to your success as it will help you lower your labor cost by minimizing manual entry and errors and will help you maintain compliance, documentation, and will streamline reporting. There are several good solutions but the key is to find the one that fits your industry and your budget.
Start by making a list of all of the things the ideal solution would do for you and rate each item on its level of importance. Below are several different categories you should consider when researching software.
Financial Management: general ledger, cash flow management, fixed asset management, intercompany, national accounts, multicurrency management, analytical accounting, revenue/expense deferrals, bank reconciliation, electronic banking, safe pay, cashbook management, payables management, receivables management, customer/vendor consolidations, lockbox processing, refund checks, grant management, encumbrance management.
Human Resource Management: payroll, direct deposit, training calendars, certifications.
Supply Chain Management: invoicing, sales order processing, order management, inventory control, bill of materials, purchase order receiving/processing, PO generator, requisition management.
Tenant Management: tenant history, late fee tracking, contact information, rent collection notices, documentation.
Work Order Management: work order generator, the ability to track cost per unit or job.
Program Management: waiting list scoring, income and program based calculations, certification rent rules.
Mobile Application: mobile work orders and inspections, photo documentation.
Once you implement a great software solution, you’ll find yourself more productive and more successful.
7. Set goals and strive to achieve them.
If you don’t have something you’re striving for, it’s difficult to pinpoint success. Set goals throughout the year and keep track of your successes and failures. Some goals may include: percentage of tenants who pay rent on time, a specific number of days for work orders to be completed, number of hours that it takes a manager to respond to an issue or how quickly a vacant apartment is rented.
Build your business on these seven tips and success will soon follow. For assistance finding the right software solution for you,