Tech vs hiring: Boost revenue with a smarter approach to your property management staff

Jon Park
Jon Park | 10 min. read

Published on July 2, 2024

Almost every property manager is looking to grow their portfolios in 2024. In fact, 92% of them have plans to expand their business this year. While expansion may entail hiring more staff, a technology-based approach is often a more effective way to invest in your team.

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In this post, we’ll cover specific solutions to help you grow your business along with tools to turn to if you decide to hire.

When Adding Technology Is the Right Choice

There are several areas of property management that can be automated and streamlined without increasing headcount. The right tools can help your teams be more efficient, positively impacting your bottom line and cutting out the time spent on redundant tasks.

Marketing and New Business

Building a lead generation engine isn’t as simple as paying for Facebook ads. It’s a multistep process that requires you to juggle multiple marketing channels and communication tools to bring in qualified tenants. From building an SEO-optimized website to managing your contact lists, certain tools can streamline marketing and sales operations, so you can focus on converting more owners, investors, and tenants.

There are two tools in particular that can help you build your brand and generate more leads:

LeadSimple® is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform designed for property managers to manage leads and convert them into tenants or owners. The platform stores your contacts in one place, so you have a single source of truth for your marketing and sales teams. LeadSimple also makes it easy to take action—from automatically following up on leads to tracking sales activity—in one simple platform.

Goodjuju® is a purpose-built marketing agency that focuses on helping property businesses generate more leads with reputation management, Google Ads management, and website design. Their team works specifically within property management and knows how to optimize your marketing strategy to stand out in the industry.

Accounting, Taxes, and Collections

Accurate and reliable bookkeeping is table stakes for any successful business. The more properties you manage, the more transactions, vendors, and tasks you’ll have to keep up to date—not to mention the costs associated with human error.

Keeping your books tight would normally require you to devote a lot of staff time on a daily basis. However, the right technology can make accounting more manageable and also help you stay prepared for unexpected circumstances, like needing to collect unpaid rent or debts owed on a vacated rental property.

Controlling the cash coming in and out of your business is easier with purpose-built software focused on property businesses. For example, property management accounting software often includes the ability to set up industry-specific charts of accounts, automatically reconcile your books, and get a jump on tax season with all the relevant forms and templates.

Here are a few solutions to help manage your business’ and portfolio’s finances:

Clyr® is an AI-driven expense management and AP automation tool that helps property management companies and HOAs get more efficient with their finances. It automates redundant tasks like matching receipts to transactions, bill creation, and reconciliation so you can manage and track your finances within your budget constraints.

Triple Tied Out® is an accounting system that automatically monitors your books to make sure they’re audit-ready at all times. This includes everything from monthly bank reconciliations, uncashed checks, uncleared deposits, and tenant liabilities.

Hunter Warfield® manages collections for you while remaining compliant with your local laws. Rigorously trained Hunter Warfield collectors can collect, negotiate, and lend virtually, with one of the highest recovery rates in the industry without your team having to get involved.

Lead-to-Lease Cycle Management

A healthy leasing cycle fills vacant units quickly and brings in quality residents reliably without any ideal applicants falling through the cracks. As most property managers know, it’s a broad part of everyday operations, encompassing everything from syndicating your rental listing listings and scheduling viewings to signing paperwork and supporting tenants throughout their lease.

However, engaging the right renters, getting them into your units, and keeping them there doesn’t always require close management from your staff. Technology can streamline some of the most time consuming tasks. Here are two solutions that can help manage your lead-to-lease cycle with less effort, automating certain processes while letting you focus on the more personal side of working with renters:

Tenant Turner® simplifies the leasing process with property listing syndication tools, communication portals, and scheduled viewings. Tenant Turner’s Showings Coordinator feature is integrated with Buildium to automatically connect rental, tenant, and owner data to help streamline scheduling with your existing contacts.

PropUp® is a vacancy management system that handles move-outs and move-ins to minimize time on the market. By utilizing live data to automate unit turns, PropUp proactively tracks time and money with every lease, automatically alerting owners and property managers to make timely decisions to ensure no units go vacant ahead of time.

Maintenance Coordination

While managing each maintenance request can be stressful, hiring, training, and delegating team members to manage them can make things even more complex. From answering tickets to paying vendors on time, coordinating work orders gets exponentially harder to manage as your business scales.

Our latest Industry Report found that most property businesses turn to technology to make maintenance tasks more manageable. In fact, 25% of property businesses surveyed employ virtual assistants or outsource redundant maintenance tasks altogether.

But not all of the technology out there provides the same benefits. Here are two solutions that are purpose-built for property managers and offer the highest potential for cost and time savings:

Property Meld® is a web-based property maintenance software that streamlines maintenance coordination. It puts property managers, residents, vendors, and owners in one place to centralize scheduling and communication—and ultimately make property maintenance a breeze.

Maintenance Contact Center® is a call center that answers and manages resident service requests 24/7, 365. Backed by highly trained professionals, the contact center helps you receive and assign work orders faster and updates all your tickets in real time so your staff can focus on running the business instead of answering texts, emails, and phone calls.

Growth Planning

While most companies reported increased revenue in the past two years, many expect growth to slow down, partially because of a 26% increase in costs. Rising property taxes, insurance, utilities, materials, labor, and acquisitions are making property businesses turn to closer data collection and financial modeling to help understand the market and plan for the future.

However, all this number crunching doesn’t have to mean hiring new staff or diverting your team’s resources away from other important tasks. Here are three solutions that can help you stay closely tuned into performance—at the property, portfolio, business, and industry levels—and make smarter business decisions:

Beekin® offers Ebby, an AI-powered estimator that provides market rent estimates for apartments, single-family homes, and condos. Sourced from over 15 million units, Beekin guarantees 95% accuracy and a 100% fill rate for any floor plan anywhere in the United States.

Fuel CRE® is a cloud-based financial modeling software that provides cash flow forecasting for commercial, multifamily, and mixed-use property portfolios. The solution gives portfolio-level scenario analysis for acquisitions, management, debt structuring, refinancing, and dispositions.

Buildium® offers powerful property management data analytics tools and personalized data insights to help grow your business. You can utilize their localized industry benchmarks to see how you stack up in the market. All the data is presented in one easy-to-read dashboard with clear visualizations to help you understand your numbers better, and identify your most promising areas for growth.

When Hiring Property Management Staff Is the Best Option

There are certain scenarios when hiring management staff is better than relying on technology to scale. But before we dive in, first you’ll need to assess your team’s capacity and capabilities.

As your business grows, you will also expand your needs, including skills that may be outside of your team’s current capabilities, like specialized maintenance, legal support, or financial expertise. Noting where your gaps are can help identify what roles you need to hire for and what specific skills you’ll need to prioritize.

On top of spotting those gaps in specialized expertise, you’ll also want to preserve the level of service that defines your brand and help you win and keep new business. Technology can enhance, but not fully replace human-to-human interactions, especially when it comes to providing personalized service to tenants, owners, and board members.

Here are a few additional scenarios where hiring would be the best option:

Providing Personalized Service to Owners and Boards

In property management, reputation is everything. Making sure your owners, staff, and board members are taken care of helps retain and win new business. To preserve a standard of excellent service and reliability, make sure you have enough staff members to field calls, communicate effectively, and stay organized.

Staying Responsive to Residents Throughout the Leasing Process

For tenants, few situations feel worse than struggling with unresolved issues—or or dealing with a breakdown in communication. Setting clear expectations on how to communicate and being able to respond to questions and requests quickly is a key skill that you’ll have to hire for. If you’re receiving negative feedback or performance metrics that indicate poor service levels, hiring more personnel can certainly help.

Technology to Grow a Remote or Hybrid Property Management Staff

Building a hybrid or remote workforce can help save on costs, fill in staffing gaps quickly, and even improve the productivity of your team over time. You won’t have to pay for additional office space and can hire from broader talent pools. Beyond these efficiency gains, a hybrid workforce can increase job satisfaction across the board.

If you choose to hire remote employees, you’ll want to find the best talent out there, while building a cost-effective team and managing that team effectively. Here are two solutions that can help:

Rocket Station® connects virtual teammates and is specifically designed for property businesses. Trained to handle day-to-day tasks like accounting, leasing, maintenance, and resident relations, Rocket Station can help you hire affordable talent from around the world.

VPM Solutions® lets you manage remote and hybrid teams by helping source, onboard, train, and pay your employees in one place. Specifically designed for property businesses, you can also list jobs within their virtual assistant job boards to expand your team’s capabilities.

Comprehensive Software to Support Your Property Management Staff

Improving your tech and hiring the right people do a lot for growth. But to ultimately scale your business, it’s important to have flexible, purpose-built software that scales with you

Comprehensive property management software like Buildium has built-in features that offer personalized service with less effort, including:

  • Leasing tools that streamline rental listings, showings, online applications, screenings, lease signing, and renters insurance
  • Smarter maintenance management with easy work order requests, tracking, dispatching, and payments
  • An Owner Portal to serve up data and financial reports in real-time, collect payments, share important documents, and streamline communication
  • Analytics and insights tools that help you track KPIs, spot trends, and improve business performance
  • A Resident Center where you can collect payments, field requests, and communicate directly with residents, so nothing gets lost
  • Accounting software design specifically for property management with time saving templates, automated workflows, and tax filing capabilities

On top of these and several other features, Buildium also integrates with all the other software we featured in this guide through the Buildium Marketplace—so you can enhance more business functions and get the most out of your investment.

You can test  Buildium out for free with a 14-day, no-risk trial and see the specific ways you can benefit from more efficient property management.

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Jon Park

Jon Park a Content Strategist who started his career by building an online community of 150,000 beatboxers. During the little time where he's not consulting or heads-down writing content, he loves playing gaming, traveling to escape the NYC weather, and eating hot pot.

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