Property Management Operations: How to Automate 3 Key Tasks
Learn how to use automation to save time, reduce errors, and improve the efficiency of your property management operations.
What is property management automation?
Property management automation allows you to manage your properties by leveraging advanced technology and streamlined processes. With property management automation, tasks such as resident rent payments, multifamily utility management, and communication with residents and resident related tasks are automated, saving you time and effort. By implementing automation solutions, you can optimize efficiency, improve accuracy, enhance the resident experience, and ultimately achieve greater NOI.
Why are property management companies automating their operations?
A lot of time-consuming tasks go into running an apartment community. Luckily, technology lessens the burden of these critical multifamily & HOA operations. Thanks to automation, companies are saving staff time and reducing errors. The result is increased efficiency and profitability, and happier renters.
The Benefits of Automating Multifamily Operations
Property management companies are struggling to meet the demands of renters and owners. Especially in a time where it’s harder to find (and retain) on-site employees. This is part of why automation is so appealing to property managers. It helps them accomplish more even if they are short on resources. Here are the main benefits of automating property management operations:
- Increase productivity and efficiency for on-site staff
- Gain visibility into portfolio-wide insights otherwise impossible with manual processes
- Eliminate manual data entry to reduce errors and improve accuracy
- Offer a better resident experience through improved communication & self-service
- Higher profitability through optimized receivables and payables
2023 Property Management Operations Report
From centralization to automation, multifamily companies are using new tactics to streamline operations and increase efficiency. This study analyzes how apartment operators are managing their community operations and identifies key opportunities for improvement.
Automate repetitive tasks to improve the efficiency of property management operations
It may be hard to decide how to use automation in property management. Your best bet is to start with functions that are complex and have the most impact on your business. Those include:
- rent & dues collections
- utility management
- resident related tasks like communication and maintenance requests
By automating these key tasks, you can unlock efficiency, accuracy, elevate resident satisfaction, and lead to greater NOI. Let’s explore how to automate property management.
Automating Resident Payments
Integrated resident payment systems are used by most property management companies. However, some residents still want to use a check or cash to pay rent. These payments need to be digitally converted.
Doing so saves your team members from manually processing the payment. Plus, you will receive funds faster with digital payments versus paper-based ones. This is one of the top reasons to automate property management operations.
To automate paper payments use these three tools:
- Online Payments: You’re probably already offering online payments to some degree. But make sure you accept all payment types. That increases the chances renters will pay this way. ACH, debit cards, credit cards, and virtual wallets like PayPal must all be accepted.
- Lockbox: This converts paper checks to digital payments. The process is done off-site making it completely hands-off for your team members. Plus, payment info automatically integrates into your accounting system. That means team members have instant insight into these transactions.
- CashPay: Cash and money orders can be accepted as digital payments. Renters who wish to pay this way simply go to an authorized retail location. They present the teller with their cash payment. The transaction is electronically routed to your bank account.
Automating Property Utility Management
When performed manually, utility management is one of the most complex and time-consuming tasks for property managers. That’s why it’s a key area to automate in property management.
Luckily, automation streamlines the tasks involved in managing utilities. It also helps recoup costs, minimizes vendor late fees, and provides valuable metrics about utility cost and consumption.
Property management companies use two primary utility management solutions to automate operations:
- Utility Expense Management: This automates the entire utility AP process from invoice receipt to payment. Invoices are checked for billing errors and paid by the due date. This eliminates late fees and overcharges. The data from your utility invoices is imported into your property management software, and generates reports about utility charges and consumption.
- Resident Utility Billing: This allows you to recover residents’ share of utility expenses. Depending on your chosen billing methodology (RUBS or submetering) each unit’s fair share of the utility charges are calculated. Renters receive their charges via Individualized statement. Not only does it reflect each unit’s utility charges, rent and all other monthly ancillary charges are also itemized. Renters pay all of their charges digitally in one transaction.
Automating the Resident Experience and Resident-Related Tasks
Many resident-related tasks are often done by pen and paper. Luckily, modern community mobile apps now automate these items. Residents self-serve using their phones rather than relying on a community associate for help. Task activity is centralized in a single platform for team members to track and view.
The most common tasks that property management companies automate using a mobile app are:
- Resident communications: Renters and community staff can communicate in real-time and/or through scheduled messaging. Residents receive push notifications when a community associate messages them.
- Maintenance requests: Renters submit work orders through their phone and can track the status at any time.
- Package notifications: Associates scan packages which instantly triggers a notification to the recipient.
- Amenity reservations: Renters can view and reserve community amenities
- Guest entrants: Renters authorize and allow access for guests, deliveries, and other entrants.
- Online payments: Rent and property charges are paid in full using their app.
Automate property operations at your community
If you’re feeling like there’s a more efficient way to operate property operations, you’re not alone. Learn how Zego can help you get more done with less effort leading you to increase NOI.