Communication sounds so easy in theory. So how come it’s so tricky to get right? Just how frequently you “tickle” or get in touch with the onsite managers at your properties — and how you do it — can make or break a multifamily management company. As the head of one of Houston’s busiest, I’ve taken this knowledge to heart.
It’s simple enough to understand: Companies perform better when they acknowledge the role that clear communication plays in their day-to-day workflow and subsequently prioritize tasks accordingly, and communication is essential to an organization’s success, financial or otherwise. And in a market as active and wild as Houston, clear communication is a must. Below are a few ways to improve both your company’s and your own performance, improving your investor’s return on investment as well as your own reputation and experience as a property manager.
Property management software helps automate the communication process. Why not use it? Today there are many software options, and most can easily throw all of that complicated communication between managers, maintenance crews and tenants into a one-stop hub. An endless stream of spreadsheets, emails and phone calls creates confusion, but automation will see that your work orders are scheduled and tracked while notifications keep everyone tuned in and up to date.
There are plenty of vendors who haven’t digitized their invoice and notification process and it costs them in time and organization. The benefits of using technology for electronic data interchange (EDI) automation are not to be ignored. Property management software integrates the whole payable process so that all records and invoices are stored and accessible online for complete, real-time transparency.
Streamlining communication is all about organization. Good property management software lets managers schedule and complete work orders over the internet, as well as easily send and receive notifications upon status changes and even alert the tenant upon completion.
Maintenance modules can reduce on-site inspection time with technology that allows staff to use a cell phone to identify an issue and assign a work order. It can even help prioritize a to-do list, create timelines and expectations, and assist in scheduling. All of this creates greater efficiency, better documentation and shorter response times ensuring customer satisfaction.
The benefits of effective communication may be difficult to measure with dollars but is infinitely important to an organization’s culture, health and long-term performance.
Maintaining an environment where people can rely on what each other says is important. This can easily be achieved through a transparent, open-door policy and making sure employees at all levels know what that means for them.
Transparency is essential to letting people know you mean what you say. Honesty, integrity and clear communications are important parts of this. Make what you say and what you do match up, regardless of if you’re encouraging your team before a big day or you’re speaking one-on-one with a new employee.
Getting your team together in person helps encourage a cooperative attitude, especially before busy times always making sure that you save or make time for those one-on-one chats.
You’ll find that expectations are met and rules followed when both are written down as well as verbally communicated to team members face-to-face. Being direct and thorough with how you communicate is crucial to making expectations clear. You might choose to regularly publish updates or blast out announcements to make sure everyone’s on the same page. In the age of instant gratification, effective communication will become more and more integral to the success of today’s property managers.