We are in the business of leasing apartments.  That is the primary objective. It takes a variety of corporate staff to make the magic happen seamlessly each month. Operations, Accounting, Technology, Training, and Marketing to name a few. Our industry has evolved into streamlined 24 hour a day virtual offices, leasing apartments, processing paperwork, and procuring payments.  A prospect may select their unit, qualify themselves, and digitally sign lease agreements in the middle of the night.  Residents may enter service requests, pay rent, and digitally renew their leases after the office staff has left for the day.

Management companies should begin to rethink day to day operations, streamline processes, and focus on efficiencies that can be gained by outsourcing.  We tend to add tasks to existing community staff when outsourcing may provide a more effective solution without incurring a heavy expense.  Many management companies have embraced outsourcing (vendor compliance, social media posting, etc.), experienced success, and are brainstorming new ways to outsource.

What if you decided to outsource property bookkeeping?  With web based software this is definitely an option.

What if you outsourced the help desk?  Similar to a leasing call centers, the help desk vendor would learn the management company’s policies and procedures, answer support calls, and resolve or escalate accordingly.  The vendor would supply the client with analytics regarding types of support calls and resolution times. Would this help determine product deficiencies, training initiatives, or settings/process changes?

What if you outsourced rental insurance compliance?  Hire a vendor to maintain and audit resident insurance policies in place.  When notifications are received regarding policy lapses, they respond quickly, communicate with residents until resolved.  Would this reliable insurance policy data?

What if you outsourced resident retention? Hired a vendor to intentionally reach out to residents 30-60-90 days after move in and renewals.  Would this translate into better resident relations?

As you go through your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, I suggest you to keep a running list of potential outsource ideas.

  • How much time does it take to perform a task?
  • Who on my staff is currently performing this tasks?
  • Is this a wise use of their time?
  • Are they the best resource for the task?
  • Is this something that can be outsourced?
  • Does this task require specific knowledge of management company policies and procedures?
  • Is there a vendor or consultant currently available to outsource this task to?

I would be interested to hear from you regarding outsourcing.  I pose the same question to software vendors a well. What makes sense for multifamily vendors to outsource? What you would like to outsource? What has worked? What didn’t work? Why it didn’t work? What you would do differently?

Kim Senn