Big Time

By on Jun 6, 2017 in Marketing


Mallory Monsma addresses the spring 2017 Yardi Marketing Forum in Austin, Texas.

We could all use just a little more time to get everything checked off our to-do lists. If you’re a property manager at any size property, you and your team have a seemingly endless list of daily tasks, from interacting with new prospects to taking resident payments.

Fortunately, modern technology is evolving to help speed things up at work. Advances in online services mean many processes that once had to be done by hand can now be automated.

Recently, a few clients have shared quantifiable time savings they’re seeing at their businesses as a result of implementing better property management software. Take a look to see where you could be saving hours every month.

Online Applications: 15+ minutes per application

How much time do onsite teams spend entering application data? Mallory Monsma, marketing leader at NALS, estimates that online applications save its leasing agents 15 minutes each. In August of 2016, the team processed 347 applications, resulting in a time savings of 87 hours.

If you’re using esignatures and completing the leasing process entirely online, your time savings will be even greater. Not to mention all the savings you’ll accrue surrounding printing, mailing, paper costs and physical storage.

Online Payments: 4+ minutes per payment

Monsma says that automated payment processing saves at least two minutes per check and a 20-minute roundtrip to the bank for every 10 checks. These numbers might seem small, but they quickly add up across a portfolio. In a month with 11,000 online payments, the NALS team saved 44,000 minutes (733 hours).

Getting onboard with online payments also adds convenience for renters and speeds up cash flow. Roscoe Properties collects 95% of its rent electronically, quickly and on time. Mariana Estrada, vice president of operations, enthused, “That’s massive! That’s money in the bank.”

Think seamless online payments are only for the big guys? Think again. Small to mid-size property managers now have access to more cost-effective solutions than ever before.

“One of the biggest reasons we switched to Yardi Genesis2 was automated payment processing. Even with many of our units still under construction, it saves us a whole day of work every month,” Anne Roundtree, property manager at Milestone Investment Properties.

Online Maintenance Requests: 3+ minutes per request

Even the most commonplace work orders take time at the front office. You have to gather information, enter data and may have to follow up with the maintenance team to make sure work got done. They also take time away from your renters, who have to call or pop in during hours that might be inconvenient to them.

Online maintenance requests available through resident or tenant portals make the work order process quicker and easier for everyone. Users can fill out all necessary information online, submit requests and have them instantly routed to maintenance. Techs can see work order details and provide updates via mobile apps, increasing transparency and decreasing work for the leasing office.

“Online maintenance requests through RentCafe save us time by asking pertinent questions in advance, so we have all the information. When can we come? Can we enter the apartment if they’re not there?” said Roundtree. “It gives us information that we would normally have to track down. Before we were doing it via text and email, there was no centralized place to track work orders.”

Monthly Savings: hours upon hours!

Small tweaks to go online and automate your processes will result in big time savings in the end. That means your staff will waste fewer hours on data entry and paper management and can spend more time creating positive prospect and resident interactions instead.

“With RentCafe, we saved 1,070 hours across our portfolio in one month,” shared Monsma when she completed her time savings calculations including online applications, payments and maintenance requests. “That’s three full workdays we got back at each property!”

The question for today’s property managers isn’t whether to automate, it’s when and how quickly.

What are you going to do with the hours you save?