Better, Faster, Stronger: Property Management System Improvements
While that might be a tagline from on old TV show, the same premise applies when it comes to the systems and technology we use in our day to day operations. We are always looking for improvements in our systems to enhance the user experience, streamline operations, increase efficiency, and overall improve our bottom line.
But what is the determining factor that qualifies it into one of those categories?
That is a question that is highly dependent on the needs of the company and is not a “one size fits all” answer. One of the first things you have to ask yourself is who will this benefit? Typically you can break this up into three different groups: the company, employees, and the customer.
Take the Online Application and Availability product that many software companies offer and think about how each of those three categories benefits. The company reaps the benefit of increased applications, thus revenue, via a more accessible application process that is not reliant on the prospect walking through the doors to physically submit an application. Our site teams now have less administrative work to do as all the information was entered by the prospect, monies paid online, and the site team now just has to follow up with the application as opposed to having to be the driving force for it to be entered into the system. Lastly, the prospect can apply for their new home from any computer or mobile device, from any location they choose, and can complete almost the entire process without even having to step foot onto the community.
Now granted, not every piece of technology or system enhancement will benefit all three audiences, but it is important to understand this before implementing new products or making significant changes to existing ones. Too often I’ve heard colleagues voice their frustration about a product that looked good on paper and while it might have benefited one of the three groups, it caused too many pain points to the other groups to be able to be classified as a win.
One of the other big questions you have to ask yourself is whether you go single stack or multi stack? Do you pick up the secondary product that is owned by your main property management software, or do you go with a company that specializes in those secondary products? Fluid integration and consolidation of products versus best in class and specialization. In a perfect world you should be able to get all of those regardless of which company you partner with, but as most of us know, you end up sacrificing at least part of one for the other. Which do you sacrifice?
As software companies in our industry evolve they are recognizing that it is all important and we don’t want to sacrifice one for the other, and we’ve seen a larger drive to eliminate the bottlenecks that have plagued us for so long. Are we there yet? Some say yes, some no, but it is definitely getting harder to choose a clear cut champion in each product we use which in turn forces healthy competition to provide us with products that meet more of our needs than ever before.
For the nerds in us, just remember….”we have the technology.”