How to Use Technology to Increase Efficiencies in Your Property Management Business
Author: Brenton Heyden, Renters Warehouse
Sometimes we are so used to using technology as a distraction (Netflix, Facebook games, Buzzfeed quizzes, etc) that we forget that they can be valuable tools for our business. When it comes to advertising your property, there are a number of inefficiencies that you have to deal with on a daily basis. And your time would be better spent elsewhere instead of dealing with them. That’s where technology comes in.
It wasn’t that long ago that the agents of Renter’s Warehouse were increasingly frustrated with poorly designed and broken tenant placement processes. Though we had makeshift systems in place to help landlords maintain no vacancy, it was an increasing battle. So, we acquired a software called RentFeeder. It’s a semi-automated advertising syndication platform that allows rental property listings to be simultaneously and consistently promoted across over 230 websites and 300 social media sites.
The implementation of RentFeeder has significantly advanced the growth of our company year over year. We have achieved 100 percent growth on average, including over 4000% growth at one point, and now manage over 7,000 active properties in 10 states and 7 cities at any given time. And RentFeeder is one of the many reasons why Renters Warehouse now boasts the fastest tenant placement time in the industry – just 17 days on average.
But whether you use Rentfeeder, or some other platform that helps you get the job done as best as possible, there are a few things you should know.
1. Do Your Research
Ask around and do some research to see what platforms are most suitable for your company. Don’t let a glossy interface fool you into thinking that a platform is more effective. Simple often beats robust, feature rich solutions. To help you with your research, you need to ask yourself what you need, why you need it, and how much can you pay?
2. Try Before You Buy
Why pay upfront when you can do a test drive? Sign up for free trials of a few interesting platforms so you can compare their performance. Not only will you escape the oh-so depressing buyer’s remorse, but you will be an informed buyer. If they don’t offer free trials, email or call support and ask for a limited trial.
3. Teach and Grow
Now that you have your property management software in place, make sure to dedicate some time to train your team on the platform so that they can maximize its use. You don’t just want to throw the platform at the team and tell them to have at it. A platform is not going to be effective if no one knows how you use it. So carving out some time for training is integral.
4. Offer Platform Improvements
When you are using a new platform, it’s normal to think, This would be perfect if it just had X feature. If this is the case and there are some things that the solution seems to be missing, contact the support department.
Sometimes companies will create custom features for you (at a price) to help keep you as a customer. It’s often cheaper for them to create a unique feature than it is to lose you and find a new customer. You’ll never have what you don’t ask for.
5. Share the Love
Chances are that if a platform works for your business, it will work for someone else’s. If you see a fellow property manager struggling with various inefficiencies, recommend your new platform. Better yet, recommend the service publicly on social media and tag the platform’s social media account. This way they see you as a valuable user and influencer, but they might offer you some discounts and perks for your evangelizing.
Implementing new technologies often comes with an onboarding process, which can be daunting. But the more research, time and effort you put into finding a streamlined solution, the more you will get out of it. Be patient. Train your team. And give them the autonomy to use the new tool to help them grow your property management company or local franchise.