In our last post, we discussed the importance of being able to measure key performance indicators in Property Management businesses in order to effectively manage staff productivity and portfolio performance. We also went into some detail on which KPIs offer the most value from a business insights perspective, and how those insights can help business owners and portfolio managers hit their own targets while impressing the heck out of their communities, too.
Of course, having read that previous article, anyone actually in the Property Management industry probably found themselves thinking that those insights and manageability techniques sound wonderful in theory, but are pretty much impossible to implement using typical Property Management tools.
We’re certainly not going to argue that point – it’s 100% accurate. Thankfully, WeconnectU’s Community Management Solution is anything but typical, and makes complete manageability an almost effortlessly attainable dream. Here’s how.
Simple solutions to Property Management’s biggest manageability challenges
1. Software/Tool Challenges
Software Challenge #1:
Tracking KPIs across multiple tools and solutions is inefficient and ineffective.
While financial services are the backbone of Property Management, there’s a lot more to successfully managing a community than just keeping the books. From compliance, to maintenance, to rule enforcement, to issuing transfer clearance certificates, Managing Agents are responsible for a whole range of processes where the financial component is far from the full picture.
As a result, most Property Management businesses are having to use a range of different – and often costly – solutions in addition to their financial software packages. Unfortunately, using multiple disparate solutions makes accurately tracking KPIs across workloads nearly impossible, and keeping tabs on the health and growth of your business and portfolios is extremely difficult as a result.
With WeconnectU, all business and portfolio KPIs are tracked from a single, central location.
Using WeconnectU’s Community Management Solution, Property Management teams can complete all their workflows on the same, central platform – no external software, planners or filing cabinets needed. This makes it a simple matter to track and consolidate all business and portfolio KPIs – particularly since our user-friendly management dashboards do (almost) all of it for you!
Software Challenge #2:
Unintegrated, offline tools make global overviews of monthly tasks impossible.
Tracking KPIs isn’t the only challenge posed by using multiple, incompatible, offline solutions. They also make it very difficult to get any kind of overview of the progress and completion status of monthly tasks.
Curious to know how far your team is on completing month-end, interest runs, arrears admin, billing, transfers, meeting minutes, cash book uploads and communications? We hope you have a few hours to spare, because unless you’re using WeconnectU, your best chance of success is going to be speaking to each and every stakeholder for a personal update.
Needless to say this makes it pretty difficult to monitor staff performance without micro-managing, and keeping an eye on the kind of service your customers are getting is equally tough.
WeconnectU provides real-time, at-a-glance overviews of all task statuses.
If you are using WeconnectU, getting the latest updates on which tasks have and haven’t been done is as easy as logging into your management dashboard via any internet-enabled computer or mobile device. You can view real-time overviews of each and every workflow being run through the system, and instantly flag any dropped balls, problematic departments, or underperforming staff.
Software Challenge #3:
Lack of accessible statistics makes it impossible to spot trend-based community issues or opportunities.
Not having a central solution used by all departments makes it very difficult to get statistical information on community trends like the number of transfers taking place, sales price movements, warnings issued, and repeat maintenance tasks. Without these statistics, it’s impossible to spot the underlying problems – or opportunities – that they can bring to light.
WeconnectU tracks all relevant community statistics and makes trends easy to spot.
Thanks to its central setup, WeconnectU enables both business owners and portfolio managers to see all kinds of useful statistics on their communities. From highlighting potentially damaging price trends, to picking up a widespread faulty geyser issue, customer feedback has shown this feature to be an invaluable business tool.
Software Challenge #4:
Generic software solutions are difficult to adapt to the ever-changing regulatory environment.
As we’ve all seen over the last couple of years, Property Management industry regulations are subject to changes that can involve some significant adjustments to normal workflows. This can really mess with productivity when the tools you’re using don’t accommodate these adjustments – something a lot of businesses learned when they found their generic financial packages couldn’t handle the new reserve fund requirement, for example.
There are, of course, workarounds that can be implemented, but when changes occur on a regular basis, these are seldom effective for long and are often not worth the time they take.
WeconnectU is purpose-built for the Property Management industry and is consistently updated to remain current.
Being purpose-built for the Property Management industry makes WeconnectU’s Community Management Solution the only one on the market that adapts as and when the regulations do. We keep a close eye on all industry developments and make sure our product consistently meets and exceeds requirements, giving you and your teams everything you need to do your jobs better, faster and more effectively than ever before.
2. Customer Service/Process Challenges
Customer Service Challenge #1:
Booking meetings with trustees is time- and resource-intensive.
Anyone who has ever had to coordinate a meeting between multiple, busy professionals in a variety of industries will tell you that it’s a lot like herding cats. The same is true of organising meetings with trustees to get sign-off on important tasks. This typically takes hours of back-and-forth emails and almost invariable includes accidental double-bookings, miscommunications, and mis-assigned resources like boardrooms.
This is a huge source of frustration for everyone involved, and only gets worse when meetings are booked last minute in response to emergency situations or urgent deadlines.
WeconnectU enables proactive scheduling up to a year in advance.
Using WeconnectU’s planner, your team can schedule an entire calendar year’s meetings in advance, giving trustees plenty of time to plan their schedules around important dates. Having the key deadlines in black and white also helps keep your community management processes on track, and ensures your teams meet their regulatory obligations without any need for last-minute scrambles.
Customer Service Challenge #2:
Keeping trustees adequately informed is extremely time-consuming for Managing Agents.
It’s not just organising meetings that is time-intensive for Managing Agents. They also need to make sure their trustees are kept fully informed of all community-management-related events.
Because traditional Property Management reports are typically limited to financials only, that often leaves a host of other details to catch up on during trustee meetings, which often balloon to several hours as a result.
WeconnectU provides trustees with 24/7 access to all community information, online.
With WeconnectU, trustees can access all their community information at any time via their online dashboards. The information is presented in an user friendly overview, with the ability to drill down into details as required. This, combined with the comprehensive monthly reports generated by our Community Management Solution, makes it quick and easy for trustees to catch up on key points before meetings (particularly since they know the schedule months in advance).
The result is quicker, more efficient and more effective meetings, because everyone is on the same page from the start.
Customer Service Challenge #3:
Minuted action points often fall through the cracks after meetings.
An important part of taking meeting minutes is recording the action points decided by the parties present. Sadly, these action points often get forgotten and gather dust in a filing cabinet somewhere after the minutes have been sent to and approved by the trustees.
Tasks loaded into WeconnectU’s planner are highly visible and easy to track.
WeConnectU offers Managing Agents the ability to load all action points into a central planner as part of their post-meeting workflow. This keeps these tasks front and centre, along with their chosen deadlines, and progress can be tracked by all parties to ensure completion happens on time.
Customer Service Challenge #4:
Getting formal payment signoff from trustees is time- and labour-intensive.
Getting formal payment approval from trustees is a vital part of any Managing Agent’s role, but few would argue that the “compile > email > print > sign > scan > email back > process > file” procedure is efficient in any way. In fact, it’s so time-consuming and fiddly (particularly if additional queries are involved) that many trustees are tempted to skip the process altogether, opting for verbal approvals that leave them vulnerable to fraud and auditing discrepancies.
WeconnectU enables payments to be signed off in convenient batches at the click of a button.
Using WeconnectU, your team can upload all payment schedules and invoices to the Community Management Solution, to be checked and approved by the appropriate trustee in convenient batches, once a week (or as convenient). Approval can be given securely, at the click of a button – no mess, no fuss, and no paperwork cluttering desks and destroying rainforests.
Best of all, all approval details are recorded for 100% transparent transactions and clean audits.
Customer Service Challenge #5:
Poor inter-departmental collaboration creates bottlenecks and potential compliance gaps.
To deal with the increased workload and regulations, most Property Management businesses have had to separate their workflows into various departments. These departments need to work together seamlessly to ensure communities are properly managed and portfolio managers can effectively oversee their teams.
However, a lack of transparency between departments – usually caused by poor communications and incompatible systems – makes effective collaboration nearly impossible for most teams. This inevitably creates bottlenecks as departments wait for information from one-another, and can result in missed deadlines and important actions slipping through the cracks.
WeconnectU’s central platform ensures full transparency between departments, making collaboration effortless.
With WeconnectU, all departments work from the same, cohesive platform, performing their roles with complete transparency between stakeholders. That means each team member can see exactly where other teammates are in their processes, and share important information effortlessly for a streamlined, gap-free workflow.
3. Internal/Staffing Challenges
Internal Challenge #1:
Staff turnover is extremely disruptive and vital information is often lost.
With workloads spread across various departments and multiple tools, the majority of community and progress information in a typical Property Management company resides inside the heads of the employees doing the work. When one of those employees decides to move on to greener pastures, that information is very often lost the moment they walk out the door.
Needless to say, that makes it very difficult (and time-consuming) for new employees to pick up where others left off, and can create serious compliance gaps, and continuity issues for clients. This can result in clients leaving based on the incorrect assumption that previous service excellence originated from the departing agent, rather than your business as a whole.
WeconnectU enables Managing Agents to pick up exactly where others left off.
With WeconnectU, all project and process information for all departments is stored centrally in our easy-to-use and easy-to-learn Community Management Solution. That means any incoming employee can get an instant overview and progress update on any community or portfolio by simply logging in. That includes all completed tasks, all upcoming tasks, and all important dates and deadlines.
They can also generate reports from day one that are identical in content and format to those created by their predecessors – your clients will be none the wiser, and just as happy as before!
Internal Challenge #2:
Marginal profits make it difficult to attract top quality staff.
Let’s face it: profit margins in traditional Property Management businesses are slim, and there’s not much salary opportunity for managers given the amount of work they do to earn their monthly pay. In an ideal world, trustees would help shoulder the daily management burden, but without access to operational and financial information, this is rarely practical.
As a result, talented staff are often difficult to attract and retain without sufficient financial incentives.
WeconnectU increases staff productivity, making it possible to offer more competitive salaries to a smaller, more elite team.
WeconnectU offers solutions to this challenge on a number of fronts. Firstly, having access to all their community information makes it far easier for trustees to get involved in keeping things on track, and lightens the supervisory burden on your portfolio managers.
Secondly, our collaborative and user-friendly solution dramatically increases the efficiency of all departments. This effectively enables you to achieve the same or better output with fewer – happier – employees, who can then be paid more competitively without affecting business profits.
Internal Challenge #3:
Managers have to rely on accurate staff feedback to spot problems, making them vulnerable to human error and misinformation.
Humans are not the most reliable of sources – not only are we prone to accidental errors, we also tend to fudge the truth a little to make ourselves look good. That’s a big problem for managers who have to rely on reports from staff to spot problems (both internally and within communities). It also forces a reactive management style that limits their ability to add value.
WeconnectU provides reliable, real-time access to all KPIs, enabling managers to be more proactive and consistently effective in their role.
With real-time, accurate access to all KPIs, WeconnectU gives managers the ability to spot potential problems long before they come into effect. From workflow issues, to staff performance, to worrying community trends, managers can be proactive in their role, keep your teams running at maximum efficiency, and add serious value to your clients and your business.
Got a challenge to solve that we haven’t covered? Get in touch to find out how WeconnectU’s Community Management Solution can help!
Let us help you to keep your finger on the pulse of your business – it’s possible and a whole lot easier than you might think, thanks to WeconnectU’s Community Management Solution. Stay connected as we introduce you to the other three key pillars of success in your Property Management business – Compliance, Scalability and Profitability.