Last modified on May 9th, 2023
By Brittany Benz
Effectively managing a growing property management business requires a lot of patience, flexibility, and perseverance. With dispersed properties and staff, it can be difficult to maintain transparency and keep up with everyday tasks and responsibilities, while continuing to scale your organization.
To help you more efficiently manage your properties, daily to-dos, and customer relationships, we reached out to four property management companies to find out their secrets to success. Read on to discover their stories.
Secret #1: Stay organized
While it may seem obvious, organization plays a huge role in the success of your property management business. Disorganization can manifest in many forms, whether it’s a misplaced paper vendor invoice that led to a vendor not getting paid on time or a voicemail from a resident regarding a maintenance issue that fell through the cracks. Outdated, inefficient systems are usually the culprit of these kinds of mistakes, and can end up costing your business.
Thomas Toye, Owner of Arthur Thomas Properties, manages over 820 single-family and multifamily rentals. He says having a systemic approach can help you to overcome persistent organizational challenges: “There are so many facets to property management it can be overwhelming and complex to keep up with everything. Each property is like a separate business with its own accounting, tenants, and contractors… and of course owners, too. For a property management company, keeping organized can be a lot, so a systematic approach with full integration is critical.”
One way Toye has been able to stay organized is by going fully paperless and switching from QuickBooks and Excel to a comprehensive property management system to run his business: “…we transitioned to property management software to ensure we had a centralized, cloud-based and paperless system that interlinked residents, contractors, owners, leasing agents, maintenance staff, and administration.”
Secret #2: Automate routine tasks
Manual, repetitive tasks — like collecting rent payments and responding to maintenance requests — can waste your team’s time, stunt business growth, and lead to employee burnout. Automation can drive efficiency and free your team to focus on what matters most, like growing your business and providing top-notch service.
Owner and Property Manager of Blue Key Property Management, Jessica Watts, says automation has been her secret weapon for success: “I want to see us grow in the short-term rental space as well as the multifamily, traditional rental space. What I’m finding is the more I can automate, the more properties I can take on. Being able to automate all of these processes empowers me and my team to spend our time going after new business.”
Secret #3: Put your customers first
Property management is not just about being a good salesperson. While you do have to have the skills to attract owners and residents, it’s the strong relationships you build with them that make lifelong customers. The best way to foster these relationships is by putting your residents’ and owners’ needs first and delivering an outstanding customer experience.
Wade Sorensen, Founder and Owner of Jamkee Properties, believes communication is one of the biggest factors for better meeting his customers’ needs. With over 400 single-family and multifamily properties spread out across the St.Cloud, Minnesota area, it’s not always easy. However, by adopting modern mobile communication tools, he and his team have been able to provide a better owner experience. “A lot of my owners came to me because they were unhappy with their previous management company. My competition has made it easy for me. When you have the level of communication and the personal touch that we do, it becomes effortless to gain and retain customers.”
Secret #4: Prioritize mobility
In today’s digital world, it’s expected that you should be able to get work done from anywhere. Relying on software with limited mobility and cumbersome, paper-based processes make it nearly impossible to conduct business if you’re not in the office, making it harder for you to do your job effectively and serve your customers.
By prioritizing mobility and embracing new technologies, you can handle any request and keep a pulse on your business, whether they’re at the office, in the field, or at home.
Tami Simeona, Broker and Owner of Two Seas Property Management manages over 90 single-family rental homes and condos. Having a 100% mobile property management system has been a real game changer for her business when it comes to boosting efficiency and providing more flexibility: “With AppFolio I can work from my home or out in the field. I don’t need an office or a place to keep files. I don’t need any other software. AppFolio has everything I need.”
Success comes to those who plan and strive to achieve new efficiencies and opportunities. By making the most of the secrets shared above and stepping out of your comfort zone, you can take your property management business to new heights. If you’re ready to embrace modern tools and put technology to work to streamline and grow your business, download the free guide below.