- Over the last 31 years here at Management One, I’ve been asked more times than I can count, “why are property management systems so important?”In property management, the shelf life of a Landlord client can be decades long as is the case here at Management One with many of our owners, compared to a Real Estate Sale where you list your house to sell and it’s 30-90 day process
- Residents stay in properties for years and decades likewise, like here at Management One, 34% of residents stay with us for 10 years.
- Our longest resident was 25 years, two and half decades in which they paid 85% of the owner’s mortgage off.
Therefore, property management systems become essential in order to track all the maintenance repairs on a property, monthly and annual inspections of the property, lease renewals each year, owner modifications annually, and legal contracts. In addition, you must track all the specific wants and needs of each and every owner and residents if you are going to give great service to the owner and resident of the property and be compliant with all City, State, and Federal laws.
What Are The Advantages Of Property Management Systems?
Compliance With City, State, and Federal Agencies
Fair Housing Laws are constantly changing every month. Such is the case with service animals. You can charge a pet deposit in most states, but if that pet is considered a service animal, you CANNOT charge a pet deposit. Why? Because it’s considered a service animal, not a pet.
Having written systems in place to avoid lawsuits and huge fines at both the State and Federal level are critical to staying in business.
Want more details? Click to get the facts from Fair Housing Direct
Efficiency Is Necessary Due To Small Margins On Management Fees Charged
Most Residential Property Management companies charge from 7-10% of the monthly rent collected. Some companies charge a flat fee starting at $99.00 a month. Many property management companies will net–before taxes–about 28-40% a month on the management fee’s they collect.
You will normally see the larger the company becomes the less net % is earned. For example, on a 200-door company (a door meaning one house, one side of a duplex, etc.) a company can see this net even higher than 40%, but a company with 3,000 doors would be closer to the 28%.
To keep these margins, their overhead must stay very lean. And with labor being the number one cost, this is where efficiency comes into play.
The last quote at NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers) was about 60-70 doors per person, and some even as low as 48 doors per staff member where they were managing 1800 doors with 37 staff.
Here at Management One, we run 85-110 doors per staff member. The more experienced they are, the more doors they can manage by using our written and specific systems that are integrated with every division and every process of the company.
A low number of doors managed is mainly due to most property management companies either not having complete property management systems in all divisions or partial systems that aren’t integrated to the other divisions. Therefore, it takes more labor driving up cost and lowering the number of doors you can manage per staff member.
Consistency Is Crucial To Keeping Residents And Owners
Without written and specific property management systems, it’s impossible to have consist service for your customers in a property management business. When customers have inconsistent service, they go elsewhere. An example of great consistency is McDonald’s Hamburgers.
With McDonald’s, you know exactly what to expect in the hamburger you order, French fries and a chocolate shake. In fact, you can almost savor the taste thinking about it, can’t you? Now ask yourself, do you, and all those other people, go there because it’s the healthiest meal you could eat?
No, it’s because it’s consistently average, but it’s consistent. You know what to expect, and that makes you feel secure, comfortable, and something that you can count on; it’s a sure thing.
Property Management Systems allow you to have significantly less touch points, which cuts labor cost, reduces mistakes, and reduces customer complaints (as they know what to expect each and every time from every staff member).
In addition, your referral of new residents and new owners’ properties to manage will be higher because they trust you’ll be consistent in your delivery of service.
Scalability Is Doable With Systems
Having written systems in place allows the property management to not only scale upon expansion but to do it at a reduced price. With time-tested systems, you know what to do, how to do it, you can do it with less effort and time, and you’ll know what it’s going to cost before you scale up.
As you grow from 100 doors to 200 doors and beyond, you’ll need to know the additional space, furnishings, technology and types of additional staff you will need. Your new staff may include an accounting person, maintenance inspector, leasing consultant, etc.
Experiencing hyper-growth without systems can greatly affect your company, and in many cases, by the time you get your arms around your growth, you’ve damaged many things:
- Your company name
- Your reputation on social media like Yelp, Google, etc and good luck trying to get that back, if you every do
- Turnover of skilled staff as they become overwhelmed and quit
- Lack of any kind of a life for yourself and seeing your family
Property Management Systems vs No Property Management Systems
’ve had a lot of experience with both in the 31 years I’ve owned Management One Property Management. When you first open your property company, you don’t really see the benefits of systems because you only have a handful of accounts to manage.
You just handle it within your Real Estate office staff and the handyman you have now. So, you feel pretty good about your decision, at least for the moment, not to invest in property management systems…
Let’s look a little deeper into the pros and cons of property management systems:
Pros and Cons of Property Management Systems
Pros of Property Management Systems
- Systems give you start-up assistance.
- Systems enable you to grow much faster in an organized fashion.
- You will find it reduces your cost to operate your company with efficiencies.
- Companies that start with business systems have a 95% success rate, those that don’t have a 15% success rate.
- You have on-going support, training, and coaching from the systems provider.
- Systems allow you to ramp up your property management business much faster.
- Systems will have you prepared if you experience hyper-growth.
- Know about fees you should be charging on day one instead of 10 years later.
- Systems eliminate costly mistakes.
- You and your company will have leadership with your Systems provider on an ongoing basis as the marketing conditions change.
Cons of Property Management Systems
- 90% of all startups fail. Mainly due to poor planning and management and limited marketing (according to Neil Patel, a Forbes Contributor).
- You must make an investment. But in essence, you will make it anyway in loss of revenue due to inefficiencies in your property management company.
- Lack of efficiencies in leasing, maintenance, accounting, marketing etc. etc.
- Not charging ancillary fees you should be charging.
- Lack of training, support, or coaching that you will need.
- Increase in marketing cost since you would have to come up with all your own marketing material, Marketing strategies, etc.
Being a pioneer doesn’t pay. Let the other person do the pioneering; and then after they have shown what can be done, do it bigger and more quickly. But let the other man or woman take the time and risk.