How do you make it easy to transform your property management processes? Our Top 5 steps will help you get there.
When we think of transforming how we do business, we might often think about huge undertakings that are costly and disruptive. However, transforming business processes needn’t be something that’s drastic or requires a massive amount of time, money, or energy. In fact, there are many process-driven changes that can be very simple but very effective to implement.
We’ve chosen 5 ways to help you identify where changes may be needed and offer up simple ways to overcome and improve.
- Customer touchpoint analysis
“We have 50,000 moments of truth every day. This was said at the start of the First Wave of seminars to turn SAS around in 1982 and referring to every time an employee of the company came into contact with a customer [sic].” [Source: Wikipedia]
If you’ve heard about Scandinavian Airlines, you will know about their ‘Moments of Truth’ and how it saved the business. It’s a useful case study to benchmark and utilise in any business and focuses on every possible point at which customers – owners – come in contact with the business.
This doesn’t have to be when contact is made with people in the business. Touchpoints include websites, emails, bills, text messages, and it could even be the office window.
For property management companies, a major touchpoint could even be the owner’s block – everything that’s the responsibility of the property management company. When you think about touchpoints, or ‘moments of truth’ in this way, we start to see just how important it is to be on top of the management of a block.
Property management companies who take owner touchpoints to this level and seek to introduce processes that add real value and turn these ‘moments of truth’ into an opportunity to delight.
- Where are humans intervening
We all make mistakes, it’s only human. But often, many mistakes that are made could be avoided.
If there are tasks humans are doing that could be done by technology, then it could be time to hop onto Google and identify if there are solutions out there that can help you streamline processes and reduce human input, therefore reducing human error.
Let’s take the example of something as simple as email circulation. Emails are a fairly human-centric task. Yes, they might cut out the need to rely on postmen and women to deliver the information, however, when an email arrives in a generic ‘info@’ or ‘admin@’ or any other generic inbox, it has to be managed. This could mean reading the email and then forwarding it on to the relevant person or department. Whilst this sounds like an easy task, it is time-consuming and there is a lot of room for error – whether it’s not knowing exactly who it should go to and potentially slowing down the response time, sending it to the wrong person, or not forwarding it on at all. This is a task that can be carried out automatically with the use of technology.
Businesses can look at tasks carried out by human beings, that are potential areas for concern and then identify if there are opportunities to improve.
- Identify weak links
This isn’t necessarily people! There may be areas in the business where there are blockers that prevent progress or movement. There may be pockets of the business where information gets stuck. Or there could be departments or indeed people who are consistently not getting things right for whatever reason.
This isn’t about blame or pointing the finger, this is an exercise in identifying processes and areas within the business that are causing problems.
Using the email example again, this could be an example of a weak link, that’s causing hold-ups, causing complaints, and causing delays.
Once you have identified weak links you can take the steps necessary to strengthen or omit them.
- Encourage feedback from everyone – team, clients, suppliers, (questionnaire, feedback loop)
If you aren’t already doing so, having an ‘open-door’ policy to encourage feedback from employees about business processes, could prove invaluable. This requires a level of maturity and willingness to take anything and everything that may be brought through the door. It gives employees a safe platform to air concerns, to share experiences, and provide valuable feedback from the frontline.
- Communication channels
Following on from the encouraging feedback, whether it’s the team, management, owners/tenants, or suppliers, the way in which everyone communicates has to be joined up. When communication channels are accessible, integrated, and easy to use it reduces risk and contributes hugely to smoother processes.
This article was written by our MD, Brian Welsh. Brian offers business and software consulting services for legal and property management businesses – please visit his website https://www.brianwelsh.co.uk/ for more information.