As your rent roll grows, whether it’s organically or through purchasing a rent roll, your management responsibilities will change.
While it’s important to continue to look to grow your business and generate more leads, you’ll also need to start thinking about ways to better manage your current list of rental properties.
For many real estate agencies, your rent roll is the lifeblood of the business that keeps things moving, and keeps cash flow consistent. As a result, you should always be looking to make sure you’re treating the rental management side of the business the right way, and nurturing it, especially when your business is growing.
The last decade has seen the creation of new technology and tools which have made life easier for both agents and property managers.
One of the most important tools is your CRM, which will help manage the sales pipeline side of the business. This will save you time, make you more efficient and ensure no leads are slipping through the cracks. There are also other technology tools, portals and management systems that you can use to better help run the day-to-day operations and keep track of each of your rental properties.
A great example of this is things like chatbots, which answer basic enquiries and further improve your sales funnels and management systems by engaging with customer queries in a timely manner.
With a larger rent roll comes more responsibility, and more pressure on your time. You’ll need to look at innovative ways to help maximise your efficiency.
It’s easy to get caught up in checking emails and lose time in phone calls. One way to avoid this is to have designated times of the day when you don’t take calls or check emails. This could be first thing in the morning, during lunch, or whatever time best suits your schedule. As long as you are blocking out times of the day to work exclusively on your own tasks, this will help you be more focused and more efficient. An alternative to this is having set times of day where you set aside time to respond to others, whether it be emails, texts, or calls.
There are also other things you can do such as use things like outsourced receptionists or virtual assistants to help ease your workload. Another way to lighten your workload is by utilising technology to reduce the amount of time spent of laborious tasks which can be eliminated by using automation processes.
As your business grows, having the right systems and processes in place becomes more and more important. If you started a rent roll from scratch, then it’s likely that you’ve taken on much of the responsibilities across the board. It’s important that as you expand, you look to focus on higher-level decision making and outsource everything you can to your team.
It’s also important to think about how you operate your business. Is it worth having separate sales and management experts within the property management division? Both these roles require a different set of skills, so it could be more effective to have different people filling those roles.
You also need to have the right systems in place in terms of how you follow up with leads and manage the day-to-day operations of the business. Once again, you can lean on technology here, but it’s important to make sure all your processes run smoothly.
When times are good, it can be tempting to let your systems slip as you may still find success despite inefficient systems. However, when market conditions change, you need to make sure you’re doing everything right. This also applies when your rent roll is growing, what may have worked for a rent roll of 30, is not likely to be effective for a rent roll of 300.
Putting together a team of inspired, determined, and talented people who are all on the same page should be a priority for any business, and this is certainly the case in the property industry. For property managers or directors and principals, getting the right people can be make or break, given so much of real estate is reliant on those with great people skills.
Finding a team of property managers who are proactive is going to be key as your business expands. When you have established this team, it’s important to ensure that this team has the support they require in order to do their jobs effectively. Check in with your managers and find out what they need. This might include more resources, or even an assistant who they can also lean on to help ease their workload and let them focus on their highest-value activities.
It’s also crucial that you have a team of experts that you can rely on as required. This includes proper legal support, accounting support, tech experts plus a list of tradespeople your business can rely on as needed. Any weak links will impact the overall business.
With a growing rent roll, it becomes easy to start putting the needs of the landlord behind other business operations. This would be a mistake, as the quickest way to start to see your business decline would be by neglecting the needs of the landlord by not doing a good job of managing the property, or responding to their requirements and queries.
Property owners are quick to move management firms on if they feel they are not being prioritised and this will be a key consideration for any property management team.
Again, focusing on having good systems and checks and balances in place is important. It’s also vital that a property owner can reach you or your team in a timely manner. If you can’t respond to a request from an owner within 24 hours, it likely means you don’t have the right processes and systems in place, or you need to expand your team.
Make sure you regularly check in with your owners and continually get feedback on how you can improve your current systems. Most importantly, make sure they’re happy. A happy owner will ensure you keep their business and will lead to referrals down the track.
With a growing business, it’s actually quite easy to forget the one group of people your actually meant to be helping, which are tenants.
The best way to make sure you get your tenants onside is to build a relationship with them. Frustrated and unhappy tenants can cause more work in the long run and it’s a losing proposition for the property owners as well, who hate it when tenants move out as it costs them more.
Take the time to stay in contact with the tenants. Even if it does take time to work through a large rent roll, a small effort can go a long way.
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