Planning for the year ahead is an increasingly important task for property management business owners and senior management. Without a firm plan of action in place, it’s only too easy to fall into the same old patterns and achieve the same old results. No change means no growth, no improvement, and no hope of staying ahead of the competitive curve.
WeconnectU recenty hosted the third edition of the Ultimate Property Management Masterclass, with the main theme: Ultimate Property Management Business Plan. A pre-event survey conducted amongst over 500 delegates revealed a high level of optimising amongst business owners with regards to growth and opportunities in the industry. About 75% of respondents experienced gradual growth during the past 18-24 months. But growth for the sake of growth is not sustainable. The main aim should be increased profitability, achieved through greater scalability – in other words, achieving more with the same or fewer resources.
Work ON your business, not just IN your business
“It can be difficult for property management business owners and senior management to step away from daily activities – particularly during ‘silly season’ – to reassess their big picture goals and business strategies,” says Schalk van der Merwe, Director of WeconnectU. “Those who do make the time have the opportunity to create a massive competitive advantage, however, ensuring their business evolves with their customers and continues to create, deliver, communicate and monetise value.”
According to Van der Merwe, one of the most efficient and effective ways to kickstart a fresh business strategy is putting together a written business plan.
The Ultimate Property Management Masterclass survey revealed that over 60% of Property Management business owners did not have a formal business plan. Asked why this was, 55% of the business owners indicated they “did not know how to write one”, while 25% responded that they “don’t think it will really help”. The remaining 20% of the business owners said they “just don’t have time”.
“It might seem counterintuitive to draft a business plan for an existing company,” says Van der Merwe, but it’s actually one of the easiest ways to refine your goals and unpack the success factors leading up to them. Once these elements are clear, it becomes far easier to create effective business strategies and identify the key performance indicators that will guide your standard operating procedures moving forward.
“It’s also much easier to get your team on board when they understand your vision and can see the purpose behind their roles and responsibilities.”
When drafting a fresh business plan, Van der Merwe stresses the importance of analysing your services not only from your own perspective, but from your customers’ point of view as well.
“The hard truth is that customers only pay for the value they perceive,” he says. “If you don’t take the time to understand that perception, your role in its creation, and how it measures up against customers’ evolving needs and expectations, you’re going to struggle to make any tangible or lasting improvements to your bottom line.”
To help guide your analysis, Van der Merwe recommends keeping the five pillars of business in mind. These pillars are:
- Your value proposition and how this speaks to your customers’ needs, risks and expectations.
- How you create value through the implementation of skills, knowledge and processes.
- How you deliver value through a skilled, motivated and supported team.
- How you monetise value and where you can improve profits through cost efficiencies, scalability and unlocking possible new income streams.
- How you communicate your value so that your customers perceive the true worth of your services.
While technology has an essential role to play in each of these five pillars, Van der Merwe warns against falling into the trap of thinking tech, alone, is the answer.
“A lot of property management businesses are sitting somewhere between the 3rd and 4th Industrial Revolutions – they’re still adopting technology and the automation it offers their businesses,” he says. “This is a very important step, but as a society, we’ve now moved into the 5th Industrial Revolution, where the focus is on merging the strengths of people and technology in the workplace more effectively.”
According to Van der Merwe, combining the ability of technology to automate mundane tasks while maximising property managers’ focus on value-adding customer service and experience will be the key to success for property management businesses in 2022.
To help clients perfect this combination, WeconnectU has created a free business plan template designed to streamline the journey towards an up-to-date and effective business strategy.
“We may be a technology company, but we’re committed to providing much more than just transformative software solutions,” he says. “Our goal has always been to help property managers leverage our tools to take their businesses to the next level, growing more compliant, manageable, scalable and profitable every year.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about how you can use WeconnectU’s solutions to support your people and processes even more effectively in 2022.