When we consider property management as a profession, much of what comes to mind is the daily responsibilities in maintenance, collection and marketing of vacant units. However, an area that deserves equal recognition is in the management of public services. This is an important part of the job of a property manager, manages the public services of the building and ensures that everyone is paid on time so that tenants do not experience any interruption in their life experience: think of the closure of the electric, gas or cellular service. With the closure, in addition to interrupting the day of their residents, property management companies will also face significant fines and late charges if utility bills are not paid on time, all of which will reduce business income.
The easy solution to avoid late payments is simply to pay on time, right? Not quite. The property management business is a very accelerated and time-consuming industry, where there is not always enough time in the day to manage everything, especially within a large residential building. Among the last-minute calls for maintenance requests, problematic tenants and the large amount of daily communication that must be made with existing tenants and prospects, public services are not an easy aspect of managing the business. Enter the technology.
Use of technology to assist in the management of public services
I understand better than most how technology helps increase efficiency in so many different aspects of the property management business. Its effect when applied to the management of public services is multiple. Technology not only saves property managers time, but also helps them find new cost savings, reduce human error and improve the lives of residents.
First, property management professionals can save time by applying technology to the administration of public services to automate much of the manual work that is generally required to handle the public services of numerous properties. Instead of physically classifying invoice stacks and manually billing individual residents, property managers must implement an automated and accelerated process to completely eliminate those processes. Cost recovery due to vacancies, handling late fees, preparing and sending individual charges to residents and invoice processing are all responsibilities that technology could handle automatically, allowing property managers to reduce the amount of time dedicated to supervising public services. It also eliminates human error, which often creates problems with residents. When you have valuable time in your day, you can focus more on strategic tasks that will help boost your business.
Property managers must also use technology to gain access to a deep analytical view of public utility companies' data to discover new cost savings and ultimately improve business performance. Use these ideas to discover atypical peaks or increases in the use of public services to see where problem areas exist. Could a peak in water use be the result of an unknown pipe leak?
Peaks aside, you can use general utility data to determine areas in which to reduce spending or use and obtain benchmarking data with respect to competitors. Having that comparison helps companies identify how they are doing in terms of energy use or energy waste. With the accounting of public services, in general, up to one third of the operating costs of a building, any monetary savings resulting from a thorough analysis should be considered a great gain, and discovering new savings is always a good omen for the future from any property management company.
Public services are often the second largest expense for properties after debt service. For many years, property managers treated public services as an uncontrollable expense, but smart property managers now realize that through active management of public utilities using modern software, you can control and manage this expense and improve the financial operating performance of the property as a result. .
Finally, as current tenants put more and more emphasis on green building and green life, they should reduce energy waste as possible to better align with the expectations of residents and potential customers. In fact, many prospects consider how "green" the buildings are before signing leases. The fact that your building does not have ecological services or solar-powered roof panels does not mean that it cannot contribute to ecological life. The promotion of the overall energy efficiency of a building will interest prospects that value energy conservation.
How to choose the appropriate public services management technology
When it comes to finding the right technology to help your company with public service management, it is important to look for versatile software that not only helps automate certain billing processes, but also provides a deep set of analytical data to help you make more informed decisions about how you manage public services.
Also, since property management personnel will use public services management software within a company, be sure to look for intuitive and easy-to-use technology that does not interrupt operations as employees learn how to use it.
Making any type of decision about public service management software should always depend on the background investigation. Take the time to compare different technologies to determine the software that will best help you move your business forward.
Ultimately, public services administration gets very little airtime when we consider the property management business. While it is not a promoted topic, it is of significant importance to the overall health of a company.