All posts containing Property management


The Ultimate Guide to Workflow Software Integration in Property Management

property-management

There is a need for digital transformation in property management

There is no easy way to summarize the role of a property manager in a way that really captures the wide range of responsibilities they have.

In essence, it’s all about communication. Interactions with property owners, tenants, and employees all need to be coordinated with efficiency and professionalism in order to keep all parties satisfied, establish a loyal customer base and enable future growth in a tough market.

Basically, managing properties isn’t just about real estate — it’s just as much about relationships.

You have to track conversations and deal statuses across multiple landlords, tenants, and applicants in addition to managing the properties themselves. It’s high-touch, high-urgency, and high-stress work.

“Communication can easily become chaos if not handled correctly. Between phone calls, text messages, emails, and walk-in traffic, it can be hard to keep tenants, owners, and staff on the same page. Documentation is very important to avoid miscommunication.” Nick D’Agnillo, CEO & Founder of Nexus Property Management

The extent of human interaction that is integral to property management creates a large margin for human error. Poor lead management, documentation of calls/emails, inspection coordination, tenant screening, and maintenance work orders are just a few examples of tasks/processes that are difficult to execute consistently without the assistance of workflow software running in the background.

As a result, property management firms are beginning to place a greater focus on improving business efficiency by formally documenting their processes and integrating workflow software, because it enables them to deliver their clients a superior service, while also providing employees with the tools they need to perform at their best.

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5 AppFolio Checklists for Core Property Management Workflows

Firstly, I should clarify that these are not checklists created by Appfolio, as the title may suggest. They are, rather, checklists created by the team here at Process Street (with some help from customers) that are designed to be used by property management firms who use Appfolio.

Appfolio is one of the most popular property management software tools currently on offer, enabling more efficient management of all kinds of properties including apartments, residences, and commercial real estate.

It is an all-in-one solution that includes features such as online owner and renter portals, online applications and leases, online payments, built-in screening, maintenance requests, mobile inspections, bulk text messaging, accounting, reporting, and a mobile app.

The software’s rich feature set, intuitive UI, and automation capabilities have received excellent feedback from its users, making it a popular choice amongst property management firms of all sizes, particularly those that are growing at a fast rate and are looking for a tool that will enable them to scale while minimizing growing pains.

To help you get the most out of Process Street while using Appfolio, we’ve created a set of 5 templates to bring the two applications closer together as, currently, Appfolio does not integrate with Zapier.

We chose to create the following checklists because they are core workflows in the field of property management, and are common uses cases amongst a number of our customers that use Appfolio on a daily basis.

If you want to dive in and go straight to the checklists, there are quick links right below. Otherwise, scroll down for a brief intro to each one.

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How Alarca Realty Replaced Spreadsheets with Process Street to Streamline Property Management

alarca-realty-case-study

Alarca Realty is a property management firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina, specializing in the full-service management of family homes, condominiums, townhouses, duplexes, and small multi-family developments.

We spoke with owner and CEO Bob Abbott to discuss how Alarca uses Process Street to improve the management and execution of property management workflows that keep their growing business running smoothly.

Streamline property management yourself with Process Street

Before we jump into Alarca’s story, check out the webinar video below. It’s a great resource for learning about how you can use Process Street to bolster your property management-related workflows, just like Alarca!

The Alarca Story

Founded in 2005, Alarca began with the mission of delivering world-class property management services in Charlotte and other locations in southwestern North Carolina.

Their focus on customer service and providing the highest return for clients has resulted in them achieving industry-leading client retention levels.

alarca-property-management

For many years, the company used a large library of spreadsheets to manage internal processes and track communication with clients.

As the company grew, so did their spreadsheets, and it soon became incredibly difficult and time-consuming to execute tasks as efficiently as they would like.

Bob identified this bottleneck, and after a period of significant research and testing, decided to go with Process Street to improve the way his team complete their day-to-day tasks and for him, as the manager, to gain greater insight into the progress of workflows.

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9 Property Management Checklists to Keep Your Rental Processes on Track

property management checklists

There’s a growing need for process documentation in real estate

Managing properties isn’t just about real estate — it’s just as much about relationships.

You have to track conversations and deal statuses across multiple landlords, tenants, and applicants in addition to managing the properties themselves. It’s high-touch, high-urgency, and high-stress work.

Especially if you don’t have the first clue about processes.

If you take a peek at the numbers, you’ll see the BPM in real estate market is expected to grow at a rate of 24.8% between 2016 and 2021.

Property management firms are beginning to place a greater focus on improving business efficiency because that enables them to deliver their clients a superior service.

To turn your disorganized business around, creating a modern, automated system for documenting processes is an absolute must.

“A habit of highly successful property managers is creating step-by-step playbooks and standardized processes for everything. This documentation not only ensures consistency and operational efficiency but also shortens the amount of time required to train up new staff.” – Silvia Liu, 7 Habits of Highly Succesful Property Managers

Market research analysis conducted by Research N Reports drives this message home by claiming that the increasing need for accurate process documentation is a key driver of property management software adoption.

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How Dodson Property Management Manages 3500 Homes Using Process Street

dodson property management process street case study
Dodson Property Management is a Richmond-based property management company which uses Process Street to track the progress of everything from recruitment and onboarding to managing tenants and creating monthly reports for their landlords. This lets them make sure that their processes are carried out accurately and reliably, even when their team is on the go.

We spoke to their Vice President of Single Family Management, RMP, and MPM Tim Wehner about how they use Process Street in their business.
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The All-You-Need Checklist Bundle for Homeowners Association Management (8 Free HOA Checklists)

homeowners-association-management

Homeowner associations (HOAs), also commonly referred to as community associations or residents associations, are on the rise in the US.

A 2019 study found that nearly 60% of recently built single-family houses, and 80% of houses in new subdivisions, are part of an HOA.

If we were to break that down by region, HOAs govern about 33% of homes in the Northeast, about 50% of homes in the Midwest, and at least 75% of homes in the West and the South.

All in all, there are now almost 310,000 HOA-governed communities in the United States, which is a staggering 260% growth since their inception in the 1970s.

Needless to say, it’s likely that you will encounter an HOA property while house-hunting, and if you are on the other side (an HOA community member) it’s important that you and the other members manage the association well to keep the community happy and attract new residents who could easily choose an alternative.

This post aims to provide you with the tools you need to manage an HOA that stands out and establish a community that not only feels confident in the leadership team, but also provides the space for members to contribute in a way that benefits the collective.

We will be covering:

Here is a preview of the free homeowner’s association management checklists that we’re offering in this post:

Let’s get started!
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Total Quality Management (TQM): Improve Processes & Keep Customers Happy

TQM-total-quality-management

What caused the global financial crash in 2008?

Failures of AIG, Lehman, Merrill, and other major financial firms? Disproportionate risk-taking by banks and lenders? Deregulation within the financial industry? Development of new ways to finance mortgage products? Excessive lending and borrowing in the housing market?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

However, these causes only tell half the story behind the financial meltdown that morphed into the biggest global recession since the Great Depression (Covid-19 aside).

What was the root cause? The real reason behind the enormous cost to the economies of many countries and the lost fortunes of millions of families?

A lack of total quality management (TQM).

Paul Moore, former head of group regulatory risk at HBOS (part of the Lloyds Banking Group since 2009), dubbed this crisis as ‘the biggest quality failure of all time.’

Total quality management stems from the belief that mistakes can be avoided if everyone is behind the continual process of detecting, reducing, and eliminating errors.

If organizations from within the financial sector believed in putting quality first, and positioned culture and people above profit margins and structure, the events leading up to the crisis could have been avoided.

Just imagine how different things might have been had the financial sector been managing their quality in a similar way to ISO 9001!

We’ll continue to explore this concept later but, before we do, let’s look at what else we’ll cover in this Process Street post:

Let’s get going!

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8 ITIL Processes for First-Class IT Service Management

itil-processes

Data-driven.

This short statement could be used to accurately summarize the way big business wants to function in today’s world.

Its all about data; gathering it, processing it, analyzing it, and then leveraging insights to continuously improve business operations and customer experiences.

And yet, despite its importance, many companies are failing to do it very well.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework that enables organizations (mostly enterprises and government agencies) to efficiently perform this process of leveraging data.

Of course, this is a very simple, reductionist way of putting it. The framework is incredibly complicated and how exactly it delivers such a powerful service is not easily understood.

Here is a more comprehensive definition:

“ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a well-known set of IT best practices designed to assist businesses in aligning their IT services with customer and business needs. Services include IT related assets, accessibility, and resources that deliver value and benefits to customers. ITIL framework objectives include the delivery of valuable service offerings, as well as meeting customer needs, and achieving business goals of a given organization. Despite the individuality of each organization, ITIL provides guidelines for achieving these objectives and measuring success with KPIs.” – Jarod Greene, The Essential Guide to ITIL Framework and Processes

Thankfully, this vast framework can be simplified and broken down into 5 core stages, illustrated in the graphic below.

itil-framework

These categories make up the ITIL Service Lifecycle, which we here at Process Street have written an extensive post about:

I highly recommend reading this article if you would like to learn more about what exactly the ITIL service lifecycle is, how each stage relates to one another, and for valuable information on how you can apply ITIL to your business.

The article you are reading could be considered a follow up to the post linked above, as it provides you with 8 free ITIL processes in the form of practical checklists that you can integrate into your business right away.

Each of the 5 stages contains a certain number of standardized processes and functions. Processes make up the majority and are the focus of this post.

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Review Management: How to Win Business and Influence Customers

Review Management

Everyone who works here is a jerk. It smells terribly bad and the manager is an a**hole.” – Vanessa, TrustPilot

As a business owner, how would you respond to this review? Fight back and tell the customer they’re wrong? Ignore it and hope it goes away? Or apologize profusely and kill them with kindness?

In a world where 70% of consumers look at multiple review sites and read a whopping 10 reviews before choosing a local business, review management needs to be a crucial part of your business success plan.

But with 63% of businesses not checking or responding to their online reviews, we at Process Street, have written this post to help you understand the impact and importance of managing your online reviews.

This post will tell you everything you need to know about review management, including the following topics:

We will also give you access to 14 super-charged templates that will actively help you manage your online reviews. If you’re in a hurry, feel free to jump straight into them:

If you’re curious about what these templates look like, check out this embedded Social Listening Strategy Process Checklist here, or scroll down to find them all embedded.

But if you’ve got time, grab yourself a cuppa and let’s get started!

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What is ISO 9000? The Beginner’s Guide to Quality Management System Standards (Free ISO 9001 QMS Template)

What is ISO 9000? The Beginner's Guide to Quality Management System Standards (Free ISO 9001 QMS Template)

In 2018, Apple rolled out their brand new iPad Pro; top-of-the-line, cutting-edge, very slightly bent- wait, slightly bent?

Customers on social media and several on the MacRumors forums have discovered their iPad Pros exhibited this slight bend straight out of the box.

Of course, Apple’s response was that this was completely normal, and absolutely not a defect.

Despite the publicity Apple gives its “ultra precise” quality manufacturing process, more and more issues like these are appearing. The bendy iPad Pro is looking less like an exception, and more like an increasingly problematic trend.

Here’s a comprehensive quality breakdown (quite literally) of the iPad Pro in question:

It’s interesting to note that while Apple is bragging about premium materials such as the sapphire camera lens cover, tests like the scratch durability test done in the video above pose glaring questions to Apple’s quality standards.

Other quality management blunders from Apple’s recent track record include:

  • iPhone X: Major factory defect on phone screen making it unresponsive to touch;
  • iPhone XS/XS Max: A repeat of antennagate, except this one might be un-fixable with software;
  • Apple Watch: Batteries will swell and crack or detach the screen.
  • iPad Pro 2017: An older iPad model sold until November 2018 reportedly develops strange screen glitches;
  • MacBook Pro: Users have reported and Apple has admitted to serious defects (resulting in data loss and failure) with the solid-state drives inside 13-inch models, as well as severe performance issues with i9 CPUs and sound distortion at low volume;
  • Macbook/Macbook Pro: Defective keyboards in models from 2015 to 2017.
  • That’s a lot of issues for a company that continues to charge top dollar, push prices up, and boast a reputation as a pioneer in quality assurance.

    Obviously, and for whatever reason, there is a problem somewhere in Apple’s quality management process.

    Quality control and management is important to ensure the customer gets the value they deserve, and quality management standards like those defined by the ISO 9000 family exist to make quality management work better.

    Although Apple has received certification for ISO 27001 (an information security management standard), it doesn’t appear that they have any ISO 9000 certification for quality management. Who knows, if they had, perhaps they wouldn’t have so many QC issues?

    In this article, I’ll be looking at the ISO 9000 family of quality management standards, breaking down the basics and giving you a few free checklist templates to get you started with your own quality management system.

    Here’s exactly what I’ll be covering:

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