Choosing to outsource property management seems to go against common sense. After all, the most important part of property management is to stay on top of the care and maintenance of a piece of property. Frankly, that seems hard to do from a distance. While that may be mostly true, outsourcing property management does not mean leaving a property manager’s intuition at a distance.
Outsourcing is a complementary strategy, not a replacement.
Delegating duties can help a property manager optimize their time and focus on tasks that require more of their attention. In short, outsourcing offers the opportunity to enhance a firm’s performance. And that requires a careful assessment of which tasks can be delegated.
Can marketing be outsourced?
Short answer: yes, it’s possible to outsource the marketing needs of property management.
Marketing includes many responsibilities and tasks, the few being:
- seeking buyers and investors
- entertaining queries and touring potential buyers and tenants
- managing online listing details and information
- composing write-ups and designing ads for listed properties
At a glance, some of these marketing tasks can, indeed, be outsourced. Or they involve tasks that can be outsourced.
Designing advertising material, finding online listings, or composing write-ups are tasks that can be outsourced. Likewise, firms often hire creatives externally. Thus especially helpful when firms want to upgrade their marketing tactics, or when they want to deploy ads that can communicate their sales pitch in a way that effectively reaches their key audience. Tapping experts who do that for a living is far more effective and rewarding in the long-run.
Subsequently, property managers can also hire virtual assistants to field inquiries, schedule appointments, or send personal invitations to potential clients about open houses. Having a dedicated assistant off-site who can help you do what you do in-person more efficiently can be liberating. As a result, property managers are able to stay on schedule and dedicate their time to bigger fish and more complex negotiations.
Can maintenance be outsourced?
Short answer: partly, yes, certain tasks in property maintenance can be outsourced.
Technically, unless a real estate firm runs construction on the side, maintenance is already mostly outsourced.
Before, during and after occupancy or a purchase, maintenance is an essential part of keeping a property healthy. A virtual assistant may not be able to physically inspect a home, and that’s not their job. But virtual assistants can provide background support by
- fielding complaints
- scheduling inspections
- consulting and seeking contractors
They won’t be making any important calls, but they can manage a property management database remotely. A dedicated customer-support around the clock can be especially helpful during emergencies with a tenant, when a property manager is out of reach or a busy management team is unable to be on call.
Specifically, a dedicated customer support team can fill in and make sure that a firm stays on top of maintaining the property’s health by
- providing the first line of solutions through trusted contractors
- monitoring a property’s maintenance schedule and sending out reminders
- keeping maintenance costs as close as possible to the financial plan
Many of these tasks may seem small. However, a professionally customized touch can go a long way. It can maintain not just the health of the property, but also the relationship of the stakeholders of its care.
Can finances be outsourced?
Short answer: yes, financial tasks in property management can be outsourced, and is, in fact, very common.
One of the most important responsibilities of a property manager is handling the finances of a particular property.
In the case of leased properties, remote assistants can provide assistance in keeping track of payments, dues and fees. It depends on the state. Normally, tenants are encouraged to follow due dates and payments to the letter. It is important for tenants to thoroughly read their contracts and lease agreements. Whether outsourced or hired internally, an assistant property manager ensures seamless transactions.
As an important intermediary, virtual assistant property manager can
- schedule reminders for rent and other payments
- chase up missed due dates and enforce late fees
- provide assistance to inquiries about prorating
In summary, virtual assistants function as the front line of handling related inquiries.
It’s important for a firm’s financial health that their property managers can stay on top of their finances. A simple clarification of terms of contract or a personal reminder to clients about due payments can go a long way in helping a real estate firm stick to its financial schedule.
Can client care be outsourced?
Of all the tasks in this list, choosing to outsource client care in property management is the most familiar.
Above all, property management is a profession that deals with people’s relationship with their homes. It is a job about managing these relationships, and to nurture them, property managers place a lot of importance on personalized and customized care.
In this case, virtual assistants provide much-needed expertise. They focus on the small things that are incrementally important in the long-run. For instance, they
- provide timely and personal care to clients
- receive and process complaints and concerns
- provide the first line of response to minor hiccups
- assess, analyze and effectively redirect problems
- manage database and records
- alert managers and landlords about important maintenance or repair needs
In other words, virtual assistants are the glue that brings property management closer to the ideal standards of customized and personalized care. They do so not just for the people relying on the property at any time, but also, and most importantly, for the property itself and all the value that has been invested in it.
So, to answer the original question: do you need to outsource your property management?
It’s really up to you. Like any other strategy, outsourcing works in compatibility with the needs and the vision of a business firm.
If you’re a property management firm that’s slowly growing and expanding, you may benefit from having the extra hands to fulfill and manage tasks that require delicate attention and expert customer care. If you’re a landlord handing a single property or two, a virtual assistant may help you stay on top of what you need to do to ensure the health of your property.