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August 14, 2020

Property Management Industry Trends of 2020

Serving the property management industry for over 16 years, JDR has seen the needs of our customers evolve over time. This year, especially with the disruption of COVID-19, we’ve seen a big shift towards increasing efficiency. As your organization begins to recover and look to the future, here are some areas you may want to consider.

1) Automation through Technology

Technology is rapidly making an impact on the property management industry. It seems that every time you turn around there is a new solution to automate a manual process. From smart technology to manage your amenities to self-guided tours and automated AP tools to robotic process automation (RPA) the sky is the limit as far as solutions that are out there. Remember, as new property management start-ups join the market you can bet that they are equipping their businesses with the newest state of the art technology. So, be sure to keep an open mind and an eye on technology because getting settled into antiquated processes will most definitely put you and your organization at a disadvantage.

2) Outsourcing

The ability to react quickly to changing circumstances is key to any successful organization. You want to be able to grow when the time is right and contract when times are tight. Perhaps you’ve always been in the mindset that work needs to be completed on-site, in the office. But one thing COVID-19 has done for us is prove that business can and will go on even if all or a portion of your staff is working remotely. This has not only opened minds on allowing staff to work from home either all or part of the time, but leaders are also considering outsourcing a portion of their workload. There are many benefits to outsourcing. Accessibility—a larger talent pool at your fingertips including multiple resources with varying experience levels and specializations all wrapped into a single contract. Continuity—allowing you to keep operating seamlessly in case of employee leave or turnover. Flexibility—easily shifting resources as needs change by department. And probably the most impactful is the ability for you and your staff to free up time and shift your focus towards planning and strategic initiatives. And, when you are ready for expansion, if you look into it further, you’ll likely find that with salary, benefits, training and office overhead, the cost of onboarding a new employee outweighs the cost of outsourcing.

3) Custom Reporting

Another trend we are seeing as of late is organizations making it a priority to get their reporting in order. They are tired of spending hours and hours every month on the same manual spreadsheet work. Data management is a common challenge for property management organizations across the board. You have the information stored in your property management system, but the standard reports available to you may not meet the unique output needs of your executive team or investors. Based on a mockup of your “ideal report” and some discussions on goals and requirements, developers can often automate the exact output you are looking for, again freeing up your staff’s time to focus on other critical business initiatives.

4) Assessing Operations

And last but certainly not least important, one of the things we get approached with most is companies asking if we can take a look at their organization, their processes and systems and make recommendations on how to better use technology, optimize workflow and train staff to follow a consistent and efficient processes. It is important to step back occasionally and look at the big picture. You can and certainly should do this yourself, but there are also advantages to getting an outsider’s perspective, especially if you find that your organization has been stuck in the same routine for years. Technology Advisories like JDR work with clients from many verticals within real estate property management and other industries. We have witnessed firsthand what works for companies and what doesn’t. So, if you are looking to take a deep dive into your organization, consider a neutral third-party to give you unbiased feedback.

We hope we’ve been able to give you some things to think about as you begin to plan and budget for 2021. If you’d like to discuss any of these trends or other challenges you may be having, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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