The holiday season is at hand — and with it, budget and planning season. With the end of the year rapidly approaching, property managers are currently busy mapping out initiatives for next year.
After focusing on solutions to short-term challenges posed by the pandemic, property managers are re-prioritizing long-term health and growth as the industry recovers. Here are three tips property managers can use to budget for a gainful 2023.
1. Align with internal teams
There are many aspects to a property management operation, and it goes without saying that internal teams need to meet and align on the new year’s budget. From leasing, accounting, legal to maintenance, these teams rely on one another to be successful.
“When each department is very focused on their specific tasks, they can be unaware of how their work affects other teams and unknowingly slow down the work for everyone else,” said Kwang Kim, Asset Manager at Golden Bee Properties. “Meeting with internal teams is an opportunity to get everyone on board, address issues or changes, and improve the system for a smooth transition into the next year.”
These internal meetings not only help management companies stay agile and react quickly to changes in regulations, staffing or other strategic areas, but also provide a valuable team bonding opportunity.
Instead of a traditional work meeting, consider arranging a company retreat to share progress and goals in an enjoyable and inspiring environment. You can even invite management coaches to help everyone level up their skills.
“Managers and departments as a whole should meet to discuss the coming year, where each department presents their end of the year summary and 2023 budget or goals,” said Michael Benedict, Property Manager at Del Val Realty & Property Management. “Directors can chime in along with brokers and owners, creating a melting pot of ideas and guidance.”
2. Audit your tech stack
As the leasing season slows down, there’s no better time to “trim the fat” in your tech stack and make room for new solutions that could improve operational efficiency.
Stay close to your frontline staff because they are the ones using all the technology day-to-day. If they complain about having too many systems to learn and log into, or about a specific solution being hard to use, it’s a good indicator for you to consider new options.
The best way to reduce burden for your staff and increase their efficiency is to implement plug-and-play solutions, which means fully integrated proptech that works seamlessly with your existing property management software.
According to Buildium’s report, 50% of property managers agree that technology is critical for revenue generation, because it can vastly increase efficiency and allow them to “do more with less.” That’s a goal you can easily achieve with an integrated deposit-free solution such as Obligo.
As the only non-insurance security deposit alternative, Obligo is fully integrated with the leading property management systems to provide financial flexibility to renters, and help property managers streamline move-in and move-out workflows, boost operational efficiency and improve the resident experience.
Residents can also be a great resource to help assess the need for new technologies, according to Tara Anthony, Director of City Center Residential Operations at Landmark Communities.
“It’s important to know your current renters and the future renters — all of them will want a form of technology. It can be as simple as a smart lock or adding security cameras to your property, but it’s definitely worthwhile to get ahead of it now before competition does,” Tara said.
3. Benchmark against competitors and industry peers
For small and mid-sized property management teams, planning season can be a lot more fruitful if you plug yourself into the community and benchmark against peers.
Attending conferences is a good way to meet and learn from other property managers, understand industry trends, and get a firm grasp of how you stack up against competition. The insights you gain from these events can be applied to your operations next year.
There are plenty of resources available for financial benchmarking, too. For managers of single family homes and small properties, the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) put together a report that can help them better understand profitability and growth.
Multifamily property managers can turn to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), which also offers an array of powerful industry benchmarking research.
The bottom line
Your contract may be with the property owner, but the residents are your real customers. Happy residents means fewer turnovers, better reviews and more owner referrals. As you’re building a foundation for a great 2023, always keep your residents in mind!