At Konnexsion we like to read Property Journals and online articles. I've just read one from Real Business talking about Improving your Property Investments. What caught my eye, and what I liked about this article, was that it diverted from the usual approach of talking about Finance, Refurbishment and other typical Property Development issues. Instead, it narrowed down directly to consider the need to "Streamline and make processes... more efficient." I passionately believe that as you scale your property business, your processes must be considered. I look at it from three dimensions.
The article suggests correctly that by working on your operations you will 'maximise profits', 'make investments operate more efficiently', 'help you expand and grow'. Let me consider these points.
There are two ways to make a profit.
Process efficiency focuses on the latter. Optimise your process, and have systems in place to support them. As a result, you will find that work is quickly allocated to the team member that can most optimally resolve the problem. This importantly reduces re-work and allows other team members to focus on their own activity. Another benefit of systems that support your processes is that your teams will have a single place to go to find the latest status. As a result sharing work becomes far easier. If a customer calls in, any member of your team can readily respond to a query.
You may think it speaks for itself. If your processes are efficient then your investments will be so too. I think the statement is broader than this, however. With the correct tools, you will be able to identify how effective your processes are working. It will also show you where you have potential bottlenecks. Where things are not quite working to plan. This may be as a result of a lack of skills in your team or you may find that parts of your investments themselves are causing issues in your operations. With a little investigation, you may find that by changing the brand of a dishwasher or implementing electronic locks your staff gets fewer support requests and as a result, your Investments really do operate more efficiently.
This for me is one of the more exciting aspects and consequences of building healthy operations. The limiting factor to most expansion is often down to you and your team's bandwidth. In the early days, to overcome this, you all just work longer and longer hours. Then comes the indisputable need to add another team member. Then another and another. What you find is you start to receive a diminishing return on each extra resource. This isn't as a result of your employment decisions it's down to your internal systems and processes. It is now time to invest in technology and an optimisation of the way you work - your processes. What you find will happen is a dramatic increase in productivity as inefficiencies are removed, errors are avoided which actually has an impact on the reduction of re-work and finally, you have created new bandwidth without the need for more staff. Your processes have finally helped you expand and grow!
The article continues by recommending the use of Property Management Software. Of course, I am not going to be the one to challenge this statement. What I will say is that with the current state of cloud-based products the small business has never had it better. I will go further and state that now, for the first time a small business can, through access to good cloud technology, compete and be on a level playing field too far larger enterprises with far larger budgets. With no-down-payment and expensive implementation costs, SAAS products can be live across your organisation within minutes. Don't overlook the years of R&D and feedback from many other customers similar to your own business. It should mean that the SAAS system you select will be tailored pretty well to your needs. These solutions will continue to evolve and all for just a monthly or annual subscription. Please don't assume that just because you can quickly subscribe to a SAAS product it means that you can use it effectively without effort. You should put in the effort upfront to evolving your own processes and configuring the product. The results will be that you maximise the potential benefit from your new Property Management software. Also, don't forget the software provider. The more investment you make in talking to the solution provider either directly or via their forums, the more you can influence the future direction of these tools. Yes, Konnexsion loves customers that share their experiences and help us build a better product for everyone, for the future.
The article continues by talking about different types of property finance. I will allow you to read and digest these details yourself. What, for me, was great to see however, was an article that positioned operational Property Management software as a priority.