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How to Manage Your Property Management Team During Busy Season

July 19, 2016 Elizabeth Francisco
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We are in the eye of the storm for the multifamily peak leasing season. This can seem like the most hectic time for property management teams, but there are still critical steps your team can make in order to be successful in the midst of chaos. It is never too late to prepare and make small changes to make this leasing season the best one yet.

Secure Current Residents

The easiest way to manage the madness is to make sure your current residents are happy. You may have an influx of new, potential renters, but keep in mind that it is less expensive to keep existing customers than finding new ones. A simple increase of 1% in your resident retention rates can mean thousands of dollars over time just at the property level. This strategy will ultimately work in your advantage. Resident insight will give you a valuable perspective that helps improve your property and appeal to potential renters. Listen to their input and if you have time, create a maintenance checklist that you can complete before the leasing rush. Creating this customer-manager relationship leads to current residents wanting to stay, and that means you can avoid the hassle of tenants moving out while new ones are coming in.

It is a tricky game balancing current resident needs with what potential residents want. No storm is smooth sailing, so brainstorm solutions to problematic situations beforehand. Come up with protocols you and your team can easily follow to make things run smoothly like easy move-in and move-out procedures, the most effective way to respond to last minute maintenance issues, or emergency situations. Sit down with your staff to think of the smallest issues that could arise to the largest. If you are able to minimize problems, you can minimize stress. The balancing game will be much easier if you can tackle problems on prompt instead of letting them build on top of each other.

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Build Your Dream Team

New customers only get a first impression once, so make it memorable. Taking the right steps to create great customer service and ensuring your property is in top shape before you show it to potential customers may be harder than it sounds when you’re already bogged down with work. Your staff can be an integral part in making this happen.

As business increases you may feel the need to hire extra helping hands, but this quick solution may not be the best.

According to a report by the Center for American Progress, the direct cost associated with replacing an employee is roughly 20% of the employee’s salary.

Instead, invest time into your employees. Making every team member, from maintenance to accounting, feel included and important drives the property’s success.

So how exactly do you create this cohesive team unit? It begins with management bridging the divide between departments. Communication is key. Before the boom, be honest with employees on how it will affect them too. You most likely will need to extend their hours or double up on staff on the busiest weekends. This can be used in your advantage to create a stronger team. Hold occasional staff meetings to build camaraderie and increase motivation. Nobody said these meetings had to be traditional. Try starting a sports team for everyone to be a part of, occasional team outings, or a monthly breakfast club. These informal gatherings keeps communication open.

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Varsity Properties host team social events in order to build strong management teams in all three of their student housing developments.

Extend Your Presence

Most young renters get their first impression of your property online. According to Fortune3, It takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form an opinion about your brand. Your property can reach significantly more customers online than in person, so turn these leads into residents. Clean up and update your property’s website. Leverage your social media channels and engage with potential renters before they even see your property. These small efforts go a long way.

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Planned Property Management uses their Instagram account to showcase local restaurants and events in their property’s community to attract residents.  

What tweaks can you update this week on your website to make your site a bit more appealing? How does your site reflect the personality of the apartment? Are photos up-to-date? Make your photos reflect your properties atmosphere. Try adding people into amenities shots in order to give your property a sense of community. These are just a few things to think through when making quick website changes during an extra busy time.

Go Digital

The hardest part about the leasing season is the surge of paperwork. Good news is it’s the best time to be a property manager— you can streamline the rental process by going digital. Avoid time wasted on organizing applications, lease agreements, etc., by automatically having it archived in one place. Not only will this make your life incredibly easier, but it gives your property a competitive edge.

Stay up-to-date with the latest software versions and make sure they integrate with mobile communication capabilities since it’s convenient for residents. If you make the move to switch to digital, train employees to know the ins and outs of the software program in order to lead a more effective team.

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Property management software programs like, ResMan, will help you stay on top of resident renewals and units.

The right software management programs organize the rental process before, during, and after the busy leasing season. A well-integrated software program can be one of the most helpful assets for your property. It will do the monotonous chores for you, like alerting tenants a month before the lease is up, so you can focus on other tasks. During peak seasons, this extra time can be critical. If your software management program is optimized it will be incredibly beneficial for both parties.

If you feel like this leasing season is getting the best of you, remember success starts from having a strong team and happy residents. Put in the small efforts it takes to create this and it will simultaneously reflect on your property as a whole, attracting potential residents.

 

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