Building a scalable Property Management Business through an Integrated Property Ecosystem

Johann van der Merwe

Managing Director @ WeconnectU

Your Property Management business and the technology it uses are inseparable – especially in the “new normal”. You want to be profitable, relevant, and competitive in the long run, but you need the right combination of tools.

Ideally, the sum total of the software or platforms you use to manage your business should create an integrated “ecosystem” that directly supports your workflow efficiency and sets you up to build a scalable property management business.

In this article, we will explore what a property management ecosystem is, and what the two most important characteristics are to look out for when sourcing the ideal property management solution for your business.

What is a Property Management Ecosystem?

A property management ecosystem is the combination of all the software you rely on to keep your core business functions (and more) running – that includes property management, rental management and/or inspections and maintenance.

The best ecosystems make your business operations smoother and enable you to keep your hands (and hours) free to invest in human-to-human interactions with trustees, directors and other stakeholders. Get your ecosystem wrong, though, and you could end up with a collection of disjointed solutions that don’t suit your business’ needs, add no value to your clients and, ultimately, fail to deliver on the efficiency front.

Your property management ecosystem must be like a well-oiled machine where all the individual pieces work together, seamlessly.

What are the two key characteristics of the ideal Property Management Ecosystem?

1 An ideal property management ecosystem is an end-to-end solution that creates efficiencies in every workflow.

At its core, the ideal property management ecosystem should address the two main challenges that Property Managers face. These are:

  • Inefficiencies in the various workflows within their property management businesses, and
  • A lack of transparency and clear communication between all the relevant stakeholders of a property management business.

Most property managers use some form of property management software to address these two challenges and streamline their business operations. Often this is a less-than-perfect fit made up of a collection of outdated and/or disjointed tools.

Here’s the thing: Since property management is such an efficiency-driven industry where scale can drastically affect profitability, the more property managers can do inside of a single platform, the more profitable they’ll be. The best property management software acknowledges this and offers an online, cloud-based, end-to-end solution for each and every workflow within the business to create optimal efficiency and transparency, communication and teamwork between all relevant stakeholders.

Workflows that benefit from being managed on a single end-to-end property management software solution include:

  • End-to-end financial management
  • Compliance management
  • Comprehensive task management for all day-to-day operation, e.g. jobs, projects, warnings, penalties, transfers within the Body Corporate and HOA environment, tenant applications, credit checks, lease management, inspection/maintenance management in the rentals environment and more
  • Interaction between teams, departments, and external stakeholders (trustees, owners, tenants, debt collectors, auditors, suppliers), created by an online, cloud-based platform where all stakeholders are users and have the capability to access, view and give feedback on key tasks and workflows
  • Bulk communication capabilities to share information with stakeholders
  • Client payment and collection solutions
  • Arrears management and debt collection
  • Bulk banking capabilities and banking integration
  • Financial and operational KPI measurement
  • Comprehensive and relevant reporting (that is easy to compile and disseminate)

By supporting all of the above, the ideal property management ecosystem empowers the Property and Rental Asset Manager to manage their entire business from one, integrated platform.

2 An ideal property management ecosystem is intelligently integrated with third-party solutions for even more efficiency.

The second key component of the ultimate property management ecosystem is its ability to create additional efficiencies by conveniently integrating with other tech platforms or third-party solutions related to property or rental portfolio management.

Over and above the core workflows listed, the property and rental portfolio manager spends a considerable amount of time on other activities related to these day-to-day workflows. For property managers, these can include utility management, meeting management or chasing after outstanding levies. For the rental portfolio manager, these tasks include liaising with various contractors as part of inspections and maintenance management, high volumes of credit checks, and compiling time-consuming asset management reports.

For both managers, these activities are time consuming and often require more manual admin and additional resources, and lead to increased expenses, directly affecting their bottom line.

The ideal property management ecosystem has the flexibility and capabilities to integrate with third-party tech solutions or other software to automate some of these activities – further empowering the property and rental asset manager. These automations create convenience, further efficiency and, ultimately, scalability.

For some, this might seem like a “nice-to-have”, but for the tech-enabled property manager, automation is key to scalability, growth and profitability.

Some of the integrations that we see forming part of the ultimate property management ecosystem include:

  • Smarter utilities management with integrated smart metre readings capabilities
  • Integrated online meeting management
  • Integrated and smart client payment solutions
  • Bank integrations
  • Integrated credit checks
  • Integrated management reports
  • Property valuation integration
  • Smart apps that integrate interaction and communication between tenants, agents and contractors

How will WeconnectU’s Property Management Ecosystem help you to scale your Property Management business in 2021?

WeconnectU is on a mission to transform the property management industry. We’re constantly working hard to enhance our systems and deliver on our promise: to be the leading end-to-end property management software. 2021 will be a big year for WeconnectU clients! Not only will we be rolling out a number of third-party integrations, there will also will be exciting system enhancements to create the ultimate end-to-end Property Management Ecosystem.

Here’s what WeconnectU already offers, and what you can look forward to in 2021:

  • WeconnectU Community Management Software
  • Payment Integration – integrated debit order management for more efficient collections
  • Online Meeting Module – our online and live meeting module will transform the way you manage community meetings in 2021
  • Utility Management Integration – comprehensive, smart utility management and reporting
  • WeconnectU Rental Asset Management Software
  • Bank integration
  • Lightstone integration
  • Inspection & Maintenance Credit check integration
  • Credit Checks
  • Online and interactive Asset Management reports
  • Integration with the WeconnectU Community Management Software
  • RedRabbit Inspection and Maintenance Management Software
  • Tenant Interface
  • Contractor Application Interface
  • Rental Asset Management

Not a WeconnectU client? Maybe it’s time to upgrade to the most advanced property management ecosystem in South Africa.

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