Real Estate IT Outsourcing Guide: Everything You Need To Know

The world is much more interconnected in the age of the internet, and geography no longer defines who works on our teams. We may hire locally, and we may hire remote workers when we need to broaden our search for a specific skill. Our employees are already very busy with their work, and wasted time spent grinding away at the mundane, daily tasks that are necessary for our businesses to operate can leave them feeling distracted and pressed for time. It doesn’t need to be that way.

Outsourcing is a great way to cut the clutter. This IT outsourcing guide will give you the practical knowledge to determine whether or not outsourcing is beneficial for your organization, as well as a few pros and cons of outsourcing your IT needs. 

 

What is IT outsourcing?

 

Outsourcing is when we hire a third party to complete some tasks or job roles for us. We usually outsource things that are either tedious daily tasks that distract from the business at hand or highly technical things that we need help with, but not enough help to justify hiring a full time employee. For many businesses, that means outsourcing their IT needs.

 

Insourcing vs. outsourcing

 

The difference between insourcing and outsourcing is fairly simple. Insourcing involves assigning roles to employees within the company to focus on and complete projects, while outsourcing involves hiring a third party company to oversee the project. 

Insourcing can be beneficial for short term or ongoing projects that are central to the business operations. Outsourcing is a great solution for tedious, day to day tasks that eat up a substantial amount of time or for projects that involve skill sets that may not be readily available in-house.

 

IT outsourcing guide: Types of outsourcing

 

If you’re planning on outsourcing some or all of your IT needs, you’ll need to take inventory of your company’s specific needs and familiarize yourself with the different types of IT outsourcing. When choosing your provider, you have three primary types to choose from.

Many companies choose nearshore or offshore outsourcing to save money, but outsourcing to another country can present problems of its own. If your provider works in a vastly different time zone, you may find your team working odd hours to accommodate. On the other hand, those odd hours may be needed to keep your company online and responsive 24 hours a day. It all depends upon your needs.

 

Why do companies outsource IT services?

 

Real estate is a mobile industry. We spend our time bouncing between one property and another, with occasional stops at the office to handle paperwork and broaden our knowledge of the local market. With a busy schedule that requires us to be in many places throughout the day, being stuck at the office mulling the minutiae is a schedule killer. Luckily, there’s no reason we need that headache in our lives.

Some projects and tasks require a dedicated staff, and others don’t. It all depends on the scope and duration of the project. Even if you can find a qualified person to fill the role, it’s not always best to pull people away from their work or take on another team member. There are many benefits of outsourcing IT, so familiarize yourself with the tradeoffs before making any decisions. Here are a few of the major drivers when companies make their decision on whether or not to outsource.

 

Outsourcing IT services: pros and cons

When it comes to IT, most real estate firms don’t have enough work to justify a full time IT person or department. When you hire a third party to help with any work that either doesn’t require a full time employee or requires expertise or skill sets different from those generally associated with your line of work, you can save a lot of money on overhead and salary. 

The companies that we outsource work to have their own employees and workspaces. There’s no need to keep a dedicated office for that help, and we can pay them as needed.

The truth is, much of the IT talent available to us just isn’t in our region or city. When we need IT help and are working with a limited local talent pool, the price of that help generally goes up. Additionally, many of the IT professionals in your area may not have experience in the field, so they’ll require a little time to cut their teeth on industry specifics. By tapping into a worldwide talent pool, we can get the part time help we need at a price that won’t break the bank.

With outsourced IT support, we can remain online, even when we’ve all gone home for the day. Since the companies we outsource to are often located in different time zones or countries, it becomes much easier to have them handle after hours tasks than to request your in-house staff work late nights and odd hours. Anything that takes us offline can happen during low traffic hours and won’t have the same impacts as they would during peak hours.

Another great benefit of outsourcing your IT is the access to technology that comes with it. If you hire someone to run your IT department in-house, you will be on the hook for all the hardware and software needed to make your business run. Not only will you have to pay to purchase equipment, but you’ll have to pay people to maintain it, too.

Utilizing your IT outsourcing guide to identify a third party provider will take a lot of those technology purchases off your plate. Partnering with real estate IT outsourcing services means you have access to the latest technology without dealing with the huge expenses associated with purchasing and maintaining new equipment, only to have to do it all over again when the next big piece of tech is released.

One of the main reasons you may be looking into an IT outsourcing guide is that you’ve got IT needs that are either eating up a substantial portion of your time or you don’t have the skill set to efficiently complete tasks. You could learn the IT ropes, but fitting it into our busy schedule can be tough.

Companies that outsource IT services can free up time and brainpower to focus on their core duties and responsibilities. By having someone else take care of your IT infrastructure, you won’t have technical issues gumming up the gears of your daily routine and can fully focus on the tasks at hand.

Cons of outsourcing

 

While there are tremendous benefits associated with outsourcing some of our labor, there are some downsides.

 

Working within specific timeframes

 

Even though having a dedicated team working all hours of the day is a great benefit that you get with outsourced IT support services, communicating with your remote workforce can cause a few changes to the way you usually do business. If the firm you’ve outsourced to is on the other side of the world, you may have to be more diligent about planning meeting times and more patient about the potential delays in communication.

 

Team building

 

When we introduce remote workers to our teams, we sometimes run into the issue of shallow interpersonal relationships and teams that don’t know each other particularly well. If this concerns you, team building activities and gatherings should be an essential part of your plan. Team building is an essential part of any solid IT outsourcing guide, and for a good reason. Even the occasional virtual gathering will help develop relationships, but if you can fit in some in-person meetups, you’ll develop a greater sense of camaraderie among your staff.

 

Lack of local knowledge

 

One of the biggest parts of being successful in the real estate world is having a comprehensive knowledge of the region in which you live and work. For this reason, some tasks can be outsourced without issue, while other tasks may require more knowledge of the area. 

Outsourcing a receptionist from another time zone can create headaches when it comes to things like scheduling and routing. They are unfamiliar with the area and may not understand real world situations that arise where you live, such as traffic or construction. Luckily, outsourcing your IT presents no such problem. Most IT tasks can be handled remotely without issue.

The future of IT outsourcing

 

As we’ve moved out of the office and found that a remote workforce is actually having many positive impacts on employee satisfaction and productivity, we will likely see the trend continue. For some tasks, a dedicated local staff is imperative. But for those tasks that don’t require it, outsourcing will be the route of choice for business owners around the world.

Also, keep learning. By following your IT outsourcing guides, you’ll become more and more familiar with the real estate IT outsourcing risks and challenges to be aware of. Reach out if you need more information on how to outsource your IT needs. We focus on the business of IT, so you can focus on your business.

3 Keys To A More Profitable AirBnb Business

The Rise of the Service Industry and Airbnb

A classic example of the services economy is Uber. It doesn’t own any vehicles, yet it’s valued at over $64.22 billion. Airbnb, similarly, owns no real estate but has a market capitalization of about $107 billion. These companies have been able to grow their businesses by using technology to match buyers (or renters) and sellers (or in this case, homeowners) efficiently.

As such, in less than a decade, Airbnb grew from a website that connected guests with hosts who rented out space in their homes to a traveling juggernaut with around 5.6 million listings worldwide. The company’s success reflects the ongoing shift to a sharing economy, where people are increasingly willing to rent out their possessions — from power tools to cars. In fact, in a recent report from Statista, an estimated 40% of all jobs in the United States are tied to the service industry.

According to LABS, Airbnb is “undergoing the biggest change to travel since the arrival of commercial flying”. At-home workers no longer have to be confined to their offices and ”millions of people can now live anywhere”.

What does this mean for all Airbnb platform users (property managers included)? It means they are now blessed with a new stream of potential guests, ‘the work-from-home travelers, who are choosing to stay at short-term rentals for not just a couple of nights but for weeks, months or even throughout an entire season.

Despite the harsh impacts the pandemic brought on the service industries for the past two years, Airbnbs short-term rental services are expected to exceed its targeted goal this 2022.

Increase in Demand for Airbnb properties = Increase in Demand for Third Party Property Management Companies

As the popularity of staying at Airbnb grows, property management companies are increasingly being engaged by hosts to manage their short-term rentals. While this means more business for PM firms, it also means they must start adopting changes in their operations to meet the increasing demand. But why? The problem is that these PM firms have to take care of dozens of different properties, each with its own unique needs. This makes it harder for them to keep up with short-term tenants who expect  top-notch service while they’re away from home vacationing.

Property managers are no longer able to handle everything themselves. And unfortunately, if there are multiple Airbnb properties in their care, it’s physically impossible for one person to handle all of the:

  • Maintenance
  • Inspections
  • Customer Inquiries 
  • Repairs 

Property managers face high levels of pressure on a daily basis. This issue can cause them to poorly delegate essential tasks, leading to a lack of attention to detail in all aspects of their Airbnb business.

As a property manager, you are aware that your employees’ interactions with customers represent one of the most important aspects of the business. Thus, it is crucial for you to create and foster an environment where employees are consistently providing excellent customer care services and not one where they are distracted trying to cope with the many unattended tasks.The ability to delegate effectively is a critical factor in determining your success and your Airbnbs future.

Furthermore, if you want to convert as many new guests as possible into returning customers, then you need to make them feel at home. If you’re unable to offer what they need, then someone else will — that’s your competition. 

As a result, the reputation of their Airbnb rentals may suffer and guests will go elsewhere if they fall short of meeting their basic expectations i.e. the rate of response at which their questions are being answered.

Let’s begin by evaluating the internal and external factors affecting your short-term rental service.

 

THE DIFFERENT FACTORS THAT AFFECT YOUR AIRBNB BUSINESS

 

Why do some property managers struggle and others excel?

 

The answer is simple: great property managers have a system in place.

You could be the best property manager on earth, but if you don’t have a system in place, you will constantly be dealing with chaos. You need a system that provides a structure, allows you to track important data, and keeps everything organized and running smoothly.

With the Airbnb business evolving even more, it’s time property management companies managing Airbnb rentals, like yourself, consider a few changes to ensure:

What is SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that helps a business owner identify their strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities and threats that may exist in a specific business situation.

The strength and weakness categories are internal factors. These are things that are within the control of your organization. The opportunities and threats categories are external factors. These are things in the environment outside of your organization that you need to be aware of and plan for.

Used in a business context, it helps property managements companies to develop a profitable market position by analyzing the opportunities presented to them and taking full advantage it.

While Airbnb’s strengths enabled the company to develop a competitive business model it also gave its hosts an advantage over other travel accommodation companies such as:

  • Strong brand recognition and expansion. The company has a global brand name and is recognized as an industry leader. This reputation helps Airbnb:

– attract more hosts for the platform

– attract more guests for its hosts

which gives it a competitive edge over other hospitality and short-term rental companies.

  • Diversification of offerings. Airbnb has expanded from strictly offering short-term private-room rentals to offering a variety of other types of lodging facilities such:

– Hotels

– Hostels

– Bed and breakfasts

– Castles 

– And even yachts for various traveler segments.

  • Immersive experiences. These one-of-a-kind experiences go far beyond tours of famous sights that most hotels offer. They focus on in-depth learning, hands-on activities, and insider access, so guests walk away feeling like a local — even if it’s their first time in the city.
  • Airbnb website and mobile applications are easy to use. Their search function is also very flexible, allowing users to specify precisely the type of accommodation they want to rent. They provide step by step instructions for each service offered in addition to links to additional resources.
  • Airbnb rentals is generally cheaper than hotels in many locations. This, combined with its flexibility in the number of people staying and length of stay, makes it more attractive than a hotel for many travelers.
  • As the tech industry grows so does Airbnb. Airbnb and other companies in the sharing economy are benefiting from the increasing popularity of digital platforms that connect consumers. Technological advances have resulted in greater availability of cheaper and more efficient sources of goods or services.
  • Sharing economy trend. Airbnb and other companies in the sharing economy (e.g., Uber, Lyft) are benefiting from the expansion of online marketplaces that match service providers with consumers.

Airbnb is one of those platforms that seems to have come just out of nowhere and taken the world by storm. This is the classic example of a startup that focused on the user experience by adapting to changing conditions and finding huge success.

Due to its model it has brought much success to all parties involved – the platform, hosts and guests.

Despite its popularity and growth, Airbnb isn’t without flaws. Like any business model, it has certain weaknesses that open it up to competition. Let’s take a look at the top three ways in which competitors can gain an edge over Airbnb:

 

  1. Lack of Quality Control. Unlike hotels, guesthouses, or even bed and breakfast accommodations, there is no standard for quality or safety at Airbnb properties. There are no rules that property owners or management companies must meet to list as an Airbnb host. Airbnb has a rating system to weed out poor hosts, but their ratings don’t mean much since many hosts have only one review.
  2. Loss of Quality Customer Service. Airbnb became so focused on growth that it started to forget to keep guests at the center of its strategy. Guests began complaining about poor quality customer service for reasons such as:

– Cancellations: Airbnb guests’ bookings being cancelled by hosts at the last minute with no compensation or alternative accommodation provided.

– Lack of response: Airbnb hosts not responding to messages from guests for assistance or questions about their booking.

– Unclear processes: Airbnb not providing clear processes and tools for customers to use when their accommodation is unsatisfactory or they need help with their booking.

– Misleading advertising: Airbnb hosts posting inaccurate details about their accommodation to increase bookings and revenue.

3. Slow growth in profit. Due to the competitive landscape against other vacation rentals i.e. hotels & VRBO’s,  Airbnb hosts are forced to reduce their fees to remain competitive, resulting in a negative impact on their revenue and scalability.

Managing Airbnb properties can be a lot of work especially as you grow your listings. For most entrepreneurs, the key to overcoming your internal weaknesses and achieving success is finding ways to be more efficient. 

Businesses of all sorts consistently seek ways to innovate and grow their revenue just like everyone else. Thus, a great opportunity would be for Airbnb to try to maximize revenue from its guests throughout their travel experience, rather than just at the accommodation stage.

For example, developing an all-in-one platform in which it includes offering services such as:

  • Ridesharing
  • Flight booking
  • Restaurant reservations, spas, etc onto the core Airbnb platform. This can increase profits, expand it’s user base, and separate the brand name from competitors who are solely focused on lodging alone. 

Airbnb user will be able to now book an entire vacation on the Airbnb platform alone. Guests will experience a seamless, contactless digital transaction ensuring health conditions are met during the pandemic period.As a result, they are likely to become repeat customers or tell their friends about you.

While Airbnb is the most famous brand in the service industry, there are numerous competitors. These are its biggest two:

  1. Airbnb’s biggest threat is the hotel industry. Hotels are in a unique position to fight back against Airbnb. They have been around much longer and understand the travel industry better.

    Moreover, hotels also have far greater resources than Airbnb, making it possible for them to be aggressive in their attempts to counter the short-term rentals site. In fact, in response to Airbnb’s growth, Hilton Worldwide Holdings (HLT) launched a new hotel brand called Tru by Hilton that targets travelers who want a budget-friendly option without sacrificing quality service like what they would get at a traditional Hilton hotel.
  2. Another huge challenge for Airbnb is VRBOs. VRBO is a platform that allows homeowners to list their home or spare room for rent on a long-term basis.

    VRBO was the first platform that allowed homeowners to do this, and it has been operating since 1995. Because VRBO was one of the first in the space, it has a first mover advantage over Airbnb and that is there are more properties on VRBO than on Airbnb. In addition, VRBO stands out from Airbnb in several ways:

– It’s more focused on family travel and longer-term stays (30 days or more).

– VRBO’s partnership with Expedia and Hotels.com is set to increase exposure for their vacation rentals in 2022.

– VRBO supports direct communication between hosts and guests before booking on the site.

Despite Airbnb’s existing threats, the most important factor of running a successful Airbnb business is having a place renters will want to stay at. With that said property management firms can have the best marketing and advertising efforts in the world, but if their space isn’t up to par, repeat bookings will be uncommon.

3 TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR AIRBNB BUSINESS

 

The strengths highlighted in the SWOT analysis indicate growth potential for all Airbnb businesses. However, the SWOT also indicates that these hosts and property management firms address potential threats and opportunities related to its external factors. The following should be what a property management firm’s top three organizational priorities for their Airbnb properties:

Setting up and improving customer service. Airbnb currently uses Twilio to integrate marketing communications (IMC) that address the increase of customer engagement by effectively communicating its messages through multiple channels. However, while having bots behind the screen is great for simple queries, hosts should still ensure that there is a person to contact for more complex issues. According to fonolo “ 75% of consumers will still choose to interact with a real person even as the technology for automated solutions improves”. This strategy can help property managers establish a reliable brand image for their short-term rentals.

Developing an effective management structure for efficient operations. Although the flat management structure is efficient for quickly expanding the business, it may constrain the implementation of global strategies or expansion of properties for hosts . Therefore, property management companies should develop a more structured Airbnb management approach with clear roles and responsibilities in order to effectively manage its international operations.

Focusing on seamless transactions to mitigate potential risks. Since the sharing economy has various regulatory issues, Airbnb must focus on risk management to mitigate potential risks associated with lawsuits and other legal problems related to hospitality regulation, discrimination, product liabilities entailed by home-sharing activities, etc.

With an all-in-one service platform it takes care of all the necessities for Airbnb guests by handling their meals, their transportation, their activities, etc.  Moreover, focusing on cashless, minimal interaction helps to ensure that the guests and renters have minimal chances for exposure to covid. 

The fact that Airbnb is essentially just renting out your own space, with little additional costs and investments, has made it one of the hottest business niches of this decade. But with its popularity came a growing demand for an efficient business model. One that can handle the increasing influx of clients and bookings that the old model could not.

It’s no longer enough for property managers to just list your properties on the Airbnb platform and wait for the bookings to come pouring in. You have to make sure that you provide an experience worth coming back to, and that you’re available 24/7 to help them with their needs.

And that means setting up your own:

Hiring a virtual assistant for your property management firm can ensure that your Airbnb properties are well taken care of in the standards you aim for. They help you grow your business and improve your services to better fit your tech savvy guests of today. Moreover, you won’t have to ever worry if you’re falling behind the virtual trend.

WHY YOU NEED A VA TO ACHIEVE YOUR PM GOALS

 

From ensuring that your Airbnb business is running smoothly to satisfying your customers and taking care of your employees, there are many things that must be managed and maintained on a daily basis as a property manager.

Outsourcing is the practice of hiring another company or person to perform services for you. It is typically done to save costs and time, but it can also help boost employee morale, open up new opportunities, and allow more flexibility.

With that said, managing an Airbnb often requires basic administrative tasks, but it’s difficult to find workers who can reliably perform these tasks at an affordable rate. Property managers should not have to waste their hours trying to get a cleaning crew to fulfill its obligations or dealing with unruly Airbnb guests at two in the morning. By getting a virtual assistant, they would take care of all the messy bits so you won’t have to.

Virtual assistants cost as little as one-third the cost of hiring a full-time employee locally (sometimes as low as $4-$6 per hour), and are highly capable of doing the simple tasks required to help you run a credible Airbnb business. They are the easiest and most cost-saving way for property management companies to make sure their Airbnb properties are booked at all times, allowing property managers to better focus on improving the overall business.

Hiring a virtual assistant can help you meet the three pointers highlighted above, here’s how:

  • Managing customer engagements.

If you have multiple properties listed on Airbnb, chances are you already receive hundreds of messages weekly concerning various inquiries. And while you might be able to handle this at first with Airbnbs Twilio app, it can soon become overwhelming once your listings start getting more visibility and require more than the basic information. The best way to handle this is by hiring a virtual assistant who can take care of all your correspondence with guests, partners, landlords while you are away.

It’s about your staff being trained to make the best use of their time on the front desk (virtually speaking), and to build brand loyalty by creating an exceptional guest experience.

  • Streamlining processes.

A virtual assistant can help you to smooth out the processes involved in running an Airbnb business. They can streamline your guest communication process, automate your follow-up emails and scheduling of bookings, and keep track of all the guests who have stayed at your properties.

In addition, a virtual assistant is an excellent resource during the off season. With an extra hand around, you can streamline the process of getting your properties ready for visitors. They help arrange for your listings to be maintained, keep track of bookings, and manage any other administrative tasks so you don’t have to worry about it yourself.

It is imperative that the cautious tech travelers of today feel a contactless and seamless transaction with you. These days, having a strong online presence determines your future capabilities.

  • Delegating tasks for a more clear process

It’s hard to manage multiple Airbnb properties by yourself, especially when there are so many tasks that go into managing an Airbnb property. One of the best things about hiring a virtual assistant in your property management firm is the fact that you can delegate certain tasks to them in order to streamline the operation. This way, you don’t have to spend hours each day trying to manage everything yourself.

For example, you can have your virtual assistant handle communication with Airbnb guests, from responding to inquiries and emails from potential guests all the way through to follow-up emails after their stay has ended. This way, nothing slips through the cracks and all communications are handled in a timely manner. You won’t have to worry about losing track of things or making mistakes in your communications with guests.

Property managers are able to better use their available resources because virtual assistants allow them to focus on scaling their Airbnb business rather than spending time on administrative work.

Additionally, hiring a virtual assistant can be of beneficial value to your company’s revenue growth. While Airbnb’s are forced to reduce the prices of their rental listings due to increase in competition, hiring a virtual assistant to manage your day to day activities reduces your overall cost by at least 40%.

Saving and cutting on costs allows you to be able to aggressively compete with big names because now you are able to afford the reduced rental price.

If you want to grow your Airbnb business, you’ll need to be intentional about how you scale. Outsourcing is a great way to focus on the parts of your business that matter most, and prioritize your core opportunities.

OUTSOURCING TO PROTECT THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS

 

The truth is, it’s not that simple to hire a VA from somewhere in the world and expect them to perform well straight away. You need to be able to spend money for training, employee benefits, as well as overheads. It can be an expensive ordeal for you and your company to go through especially if its just for one or two VAs. Not to mention, if this is your first time hiring a VA you would need to ensure you know what your doing or else this could be detrimental to your time management efforts and professional reputation.

For property management businesses seeking to outsource their business processes, choosing a credible firm can prevent the common mistakes that plague most companies that choose to do it alone. Here are two important advantages of why you should partner with a BPO instead of going solo:

  1. Outsourcing firms take care of all the hard work so you won’t have to. They go through a rigorous screening process to ensure they hire only the best virtual employees for you.
  2. BPO’s also train their VA’s to make sure they are up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends so they can stay competitive.
  3. Another advantage of working with an outsourcing firm is that you don’t have to worry about managing your workers or dealing with issues like payroll, benefits, taxes, etc. because all of this is handled by the BPO firm themselves. 
  4. Moreover, good BPOs document your workflow and curate effective systems and processes for your organization to implement. This ensures your in-house team and VAs are performing at a high level at all times. 

Introducing Rocket Station, a leading business process outsourcing company that helps real estate and property management businesses increase efficiency, cut costs and save time. An all-in-one platform that makes it easy for you to affordably hire virtual experts who have proven track records in growing real estate and property management businesses.

All you just need to concern yourself with is how things progress and whether or not you are happy with their services before deciding whether or not to continue working together in future.

As Airbnb hosts are calling more on property management companies to help manage and run their short-term rentals, it is important they reduce their costs but increase efficiency to beat out competitors in the industry.

We live in a digital age and the property management industry is no exception.

The Ultimate List Of Tasks to Outsource to Virtual Assistants

These days, we are all trying to do more with a smaller staff. Taking on additional team members is an expensive endeavor, and some tasks don’t even require a dedicated in-house team member to get done. If you’ve got needs but not the means or necessity to hire a new employee, a virtual assistant can be a terrific means to that end.

If you think that a virtual assistant may be a good fit for you, you’ll want to amass a solid list of virtual assistant tasks to outsource before beginning your search. Not all tasks can or should be completed by someone outside your organization. Identifying the places you need the most help in reducing wasted time is a good place to start. Once you’ve got your list together, you’ve got to address the most important consideration, which is whether to outsource or not to outsource.

There are some fantastic reasons to outsource virtual assistant roles in your organization. You’ll save money on employee salaries, freeing up more money to expand your business in other ways. Outsourcing also reduces your overhead, meaning you can get by with a smaller office. The smaller rent payment that goes along with it is a great bonus.

Aside from the money saving benefits that come with outsourcing some of your work to a virtual assistant, you’ll also increase your productivity and free up some time that you can spend with your family or relax and recharge. You can even use that time to drum up more business. There are a myriad of benefits that come with hiring a virtual assistant, as long as you understand what to outsource and what not to outsource.

Even though a virtual assistant may be a real live person or group of people, in the context of how they fit in with your team, it’s best to categorize them as a tool that helps you get things done. A virtual assistant should simply assist you in everyday tasks that don’t take a lot of technical, industry, or company information.

Popular virtual assistant tasks to outsource

 

If you’re thinking about hiring a virtual assistant, you first need to identify what they’ll be doing. The best virtual assistant tasks to outsource are usually the things that have little to do with what your business actually does. So, what should you outsource?

 

Administrative tasks

 

The first thing on our list is all the administrative tasks that need to get done every day but distract you from the service your business actually provides. Things like answering phones, checking emails, and scheduling needs to get done for businesses to run smoothly. Still, they can be done by someone with little knowledge of the industry and are very popular virtual assistant tasks to outsource. Outsourced administrative assistant tasks is a great way to save you money on payroll and allow you to operate in a smaller space.

A short list of virtual assistant tasks may include things like:

Social media

 

We all know a solid social media presence is needed to connect with our potential clients and customers, but not all of us have the skill sets that allow us to efficiently handle all our social media accounts in-house. Rather than hiring a full time employee to deal with social media for you, consider a virtual assistant. They can help you craft effective social media marketing campaigns and even schedule posts and reply to queries for you. What can you have them do for you? Here are a few virtual assistant tasks to outsource.

  • Create social media posts
  • Create a posting schedule for your social media content
  • Identify social media leads and pass them onto the team
  • Find out what your competition is posting

 

Accounting

 

As a general rule, we don’t want to outsource many roles where money is involved, such as closing big deals and making purchasing decisions, but the simple data entry and repetitive tasks associated with basic bookkeeping and accounting can be great things to outsource. It’s not something that requires full time help, and you don’t need a whole lot of technical knowledge to perform the tasks correctly.

 

Performing research 

 

Market research is a very beneficial, but very time consuming endeavor. You could easily spend hours every day digging for info, but it’s much more efficient to have someone else do the digging for you and present their findings in an organized and useful way. 

In real estate, maybe that means the virtual assistant researches things like home listings or price points in different areas. In manufacturing, maybe they would look into what the competition is producing and research trends in the market. The key is to have your assistant knock out the time consuming portion and deliver the info you need when you need it. As far as virtual assistant tasks to outsource go, this one is a game changer.

 

Cold calling

 

If you rely on cold calling to generate clients for your business, this is another place where your core team may be wasting a lot of time. By outsourcing your cold calling, you’ll only have to pick up the phone when you’ve got someone who’s already expressed interest, meaning your time spent on the phone is used getting information from your potential clients and closing deals.

Now that we’ve covered some good virtual assistant tasks to outsource, let’s look at some tasks that are best handled in-house. Since some tasks are much better completed by either yourself or some other highly qualified person within the organization, you’ll want to avoid outsourcing them to reduce your chances of problems down the line. So, when is outsourcing not beneficial?

 

Core competencies

 

Any time you’re dealing with the most important aspects of your business, make sure you have dedicated in-house team members to handle them for you. A virtual assistant may have a basic understanding of your field, but they don’t understand your business the way you do. They also may not fully understand your specific region or customers, so they aren’t ideal candidates for handling these aspects of your business. You are the professional, so you should be the one serving your customers. This may be the most important list item when asking yourself, “what should you not outsource?” 

 

Closing sales

 

While a virtual assistant can easily handle the cold calling portion of the sales process, closing is definitely not one of the best virtual assistant tasks to outsource. You and your team have a whole lot more direct knowledge of your product or service and can be much more effective at closing sales. You also have the authority to make changes in things like deliverables, timelines, and price, which are things you wouldn’t want to hand over to a virtual assistant.

 

Management and leadership roles

 

Management is best orchestrated by someone who is in the office and sees the team members each day. Having someone manage your team virtually is possible, but they have no way to connect and bond with the team, which will likely make them less effective than in-house management personnel would be.

While there are some companies that offer outsourced management or leadership services, these are not the best virtual assistant tasks to outsource.

What does a great virtual assistant look like

 

In a perfectly efficient world, we could use virtual assistants to perform any task associated with our business. However, going this route would eliminate the camaraderie and relationships we build with the people we work with. Companies that do not outsource at all do facilitate interoffice relationships, but they also have more overhead costs and deal with more wasted time. 

Finding a balance between in-office personnel and virtual assistants will deliver the best results. A virtual assistant is best used as a tool to complete the simple, daily tasks that eat up so much of our time, and the creative work is best left to your local team.

Creating a list of virtual assistant tasks to outsource will help you get the assistant that works best for you. VA tasks can be completed while you are working on more pressing matters, meaning you can slow things down a little and enjoy the success of your business, whatever that looks like.

The Future of Virtual Assistants: What Can We Expect?

Looking at the history of virtual assistants shows how the evolution of technology has grown the industry. Technology, of course, continues to evolve. Virtual assistants will too. What might the future look like? What can we expect moving forward? What technologies will continue to affect the growth of the industry? Let’s dig into the trends impacting the future of virtual assistants and glimpse what 2022 and beyond will hold.

To examine the future of virtual assistants, we will look at:

  • The benefits of virtual assistants continuing to grow 
  • The wider paths being paved for virtual assistants
  • The impacts of innovative technology
  • The diversification of responsibilities across industries
  • The benefits of a real estate investor virtual assistant

The Benefits of Virtual Assistants Continue to Grow

These benefits will continue to grow into the future of virtual assistants. For example, outsourcing property analysis to a real estate virtual assistant allows a real estate investor to concentrate on closing deals.  

 

Cost-effective Growth

 

A virtual assistant development strategy is a two-pronged approach to improving profitability. It lowers overhead costs and increases revenue through efficiency. It is a cost-effective growth solution for start-ups and more mature companies alike. This benefit is not changing in the near future. Outsourcing will continue to expand by providing cost effective solutions that allow companies to grow exponentially. 

 

Expanding Your Talent Pool

 

One benefit of outsourcing is access to an expanded talent pool. By reaching beyond your shores and local limits, outsourcing automatically grows your talent pool. Looking into the future, access to technology will continue to improve. Access to a larger talent pool with diverse skills will continue to improve as well. 

 

Adaptability Solutions

 

The business world has taken lessons from the pandemic that go beyond health concerns. Outside risk factors are real. Not only scenarios dreamt up by risk management. The pandemic proved the need to weigh unpredictable risks. It proved too that the other side of that scale is adaptability.

The businesses that survived and thrived over the past two years are those that responded quickly to shifting circumstances. Unpredictability is a risk. A flexible workforce is a necessity. The future of virtual assistants is rooted in this need for adaptability.

This is true across industries, but especially in ones that need to work lean. This flexibility is important for industries such as real estate investing. Knowing a virtual team can cover back office responsibilities clears the way to act quickly on more qualified opportunities.

Paving A Wider Path for Virtual Assistants 

 

Now more than ever, it is easier for companies to utilize virtual assistants. This ease has expanded virtual assistants’ roles and responsibilities. There is no reason this widening of the path will not continue into the future of virtual assistants.

This wider path for virtual assistants has been paved through:

  • Work-restructuring
  • Unexpected cost-savings
  • Remote systems development 

 

Work-Restructuring

 

Necessity is the mother of invention. When it comes to the structure of work, the pandemic was the mother of many remote work solutions. From work hours to remote spaces, the structure of work had been changing for some time. People did not start working from home in 2020. It was something that had been evolving for some time, but the pandemic catapulted this change forward.

What would have taken a decade or more to realize was done in two years. There is no going back. Work has been restructured. Changes to how and where work gets done has been transformed. This transformation paved a wider path for virtual assistants. It is also an opportunity for a wider range of companies to outsource in areas not imagined in the past. A real estate investor looking to expand can outsource support through every stage of a deal.

 

Unexpected Cost-Savings

 

During the pandemic, businesses found real savings in eliminating costly office space, furniture, and equipment and time-consuming commutes dragging down productivity. Finding viable remote work solutions supported this change. The infrastructure to build these solutions across industries has grown rapidly. This growth feeds the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing. The future of virtual assistants is a part of this growth.  

 

Remote Systems Development

 

Before 2020 there was a psychological hurdle to thinking that in-person work was better, faster, and more efficient than remote work. This hurdle has become smaller through the course of the pandemic. Companies are weighing the pros and cons of remote work differently. More companies are willing to adopt remote working systems.

It is not that remote work does not come with drawbacks. The solutions to these drawbacks are now just easier to find and faster to apply. The human level that is needed for collaboration, decision-making, and trust building can be found through advances in remote technology and video conferencing.

More cost-effective, efficient, and sophisticated remote working systems have developed. From data mining to specialized sales support, more companies can take advantage of outsourcing opportunities. Emerging on the other side of the pandemic means these systems will be further utilized. This streamlining will impact the growth of outsourcing and the future of virtual assistants. 

 

Innovative Technologies and the Future of Virtual Assistants

 

As proven by the past, technology changes the work environment. The future of virtual assistants depends on how future technologies are used and incorporated into the world of work. Technologies that are reconfiguring the workplace and enhancing employee productivity include:

  • Voice technology and natural language processing (NLP)
  • Chatbot predictions
  • Automated intelligent virtual assistants (IVA)

The goal of these innovative technologies is not to replace human analytical power but enable it to be focused on more productive areas. These technologies will:

  • Improve organizational systems
  • Allow for a more productive use of time
  • Create more rewarding work 

 

Improved Organizational Systems

 

Future generations of virtual assistants will be able to be ready to work in any system from day one with the use of voice technology, chatbot predictions, and artificial intelligence. For your remote teams, these technologies will make your company’s organizational systems easier to navigate and more efficiently utilized. The result will be faster and more effective onboarding and a more closely integrated remote workforce. 

 

A More Productive Use of Time

 

The future of virtual assistants will provide an agile workforce leading to a streamlining of your business processes. Routine, mundane tasks can be covered by a digital colleague. Voice technology, artificial intelligence, chatbots, and virtual assistants can work in tandem to facilitate a better use of time. Your remote team will have time to execute more complex work and engage in creative problem-solving. The result will not only be the generation of innovative ideas but the time and energy to execute them..

 

More Satisfying Work

 

An automated intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) computer can handle low-level and routine requests, leaving more creative responsibilities and those requiring a more in-depth human approach to be tackled by your remote workforce. Uniquely human skills can grow and flourish. Empathy, humor, making others feel comfortable, negotiation, and persuasion can be utilized to improve your business and human jobs too. By moving from transactional work to more operative work, your virtual teams will have more challenging and satisfying work. 

 

Diversification of Responsibilities Across Industries  

 

In the past, administrative services were at the core of virtual assistant growth statistics. With more sophisticated remote work systems in place, the more it will be seen where a virtual assistant can fill a gap. The future of virtual assistants will see more diversified skills and expertise being utilized by a wider range of industries. Virtual assistants will bring authority of a specific industry to the table. Real estate investors can use a virtual team to find buyers and nurture leads like never before. Trending forward, virtual assistant business statistics will expand further into digital marketing, IT, real estate, and business startups.

This adds up to VA’s taking on more advanced responsibilities with a closer tie to main business functions. Outsourcing, including the future of personal assistants and virtual assistants, trends toward a stronger contribution to business success.

Roles and responsibilities beyond administrative support include:

  • Social media management
  • Computer systems services
  • Website development and architecture
  • Sales and business development
  • Financial analytics
  • Data management
  • Customer service and client support
  • Marketing campaigns and promotions
  • Bookkeeping and accounting
  • Content creation and management 

 

Virtual Assistant Services for Real Estate Investors

 

One industry where virtual assistants and virtual teams are expanding rapidly is real estate. Outsourcing responsibilities to skilled virtual professionals who are meeting investors’ expectations are well-trained to the specifics of the real estate sector. The timing of deals can be an obstacle for real estate investors. Virtual assistant companies provide a way over and through it.

Real estate investor virtual assistant services include:

Virtual Assistants for Home Service Providers

The labor market is tight. It is more difficult than ever to find workers to support home service companies. But just because it is harder to find the right people doesn’t mean that support is not needed. If you’re self-employed or providing home services is your business, then your time is money. How do you buy yourself more time? How do you find the right home service admin support for the right price to keep your business running? An efficient and cost-effective answer is to hire a virtual assistant.

How can a virtual assistant support the needs of a home service business? To answer that question, let’s take a look at the following:

What is a virtual assistant?

 

A virtual assistant provides administrative and operational support for businesses much the same as in-office support staff. A virtual assistant however is an independent contractor working remotely. They have access to the necessary systems and documents to complete assigned responsibilities and are trained in the needs of your industry.

The use of the Internet continues to increase across a broad spectrum of businesses. This fact has increased as well the types of support a virtual assistant can offer. The range of support filled by a remote team member continues to grow and become more specialized. Experienced remote assistants can provide home service admin support to meet the specific needs of the home services industry. 

 

What a Virtual Assistant Can Cover for Home Service Providers

 

The home service industry covers a range of businesses with any number of support needs.

Need help with billing? Need customer service support? Need someone to manage your work schedule? The range and specificity of home service admin support can be tailored to the needs of your business. A virtual assistant can take the pressure off your back office and free you up to do the work you do best. 

Finding the right virtual assistant to cure the pain points in your specific business is vital. For example, a cleaning company virtual assistant can take on the role of billing and invoicing customers. An HVAC assistant can be hired for the seasonal uptick in inbound sales. Both residential and commercial contractors can find home service admin support in the areas of project management or customer service. An online assistant can offer plumber support with scheduling and a handyman administrative support to enhance your social media profile.

Home Service Admin Support

 

A few areas of beneficial support include:

Project Management Support

The reputation of a home service contractor often hinges on the timely delivery of services to clients. The success of your business hinges on this reputation. Delays may be inevitable, but excessive delays are crushing. Using a highly-skilled contractor virtual assistant to support your project management can make all the difference by:

  • Efficiently dispatching staff workers
  • Minimizing downtime
  • Monitoring onsite progress
  • Organizing permits and work schedules 

Customer Service Support

Filling a gap in the area of customer service with a virtual assistant can cost-effectively up your game. Providing the personal touch to customer support that does not interrupt your busy work schedule onsite. Stopping a job to answer the phone is no way to get a job done, but neither is worrying about missing a customer call. A virtual assistant trained to cover the needs of your customers can be the lynchpin to your success and peace of mind. 

Social Media Engagement

Whether you are self-employed or managing your small home service company, social media is a part of a smart marketing plan. It is an area of your business that can be affordably outsourced to a virtual assistant. It is an investment that takes this off your to-do list while helping you reap the rewards of a consistent and engaging social media profile.

Scheduling Appointments

Scheduling can be a headache. A handyman or home inspector juggling client appointments or a contractor scheduling a job can mean more time organizing schedules than delivering services.

A handyman virtual assistant or a contractor virtual assistant can juggle the appointments reliably and consistently without it dipping into your bottom line.

Billing and Invoicing

Billing and invoicing is the cog in the wheel of getting paid for completing a job. It’s vital. It’s also time-consuming and requires a consistent and efficient process. A virtual assistant can provide the grease that keeps the wheel turning and generate higher revenue. It can create:

  • A more reliable cash flow
  • A higher percentage of invoices paid on time
  • A quicker invoice and billing cycle

Inbound Sales

Outsourcing your inbound sales to a virtual assistant can reap cost savings in a variety of ways. Missing those inbound sales calls costs money upfront by losing jobs to competitors. You do not want to lose someone looking for your services because you couldn’t be reached. Dedicated remote support trained in your industry to cover those calls takes care of that problem. A virtual assistant able to usher an inbound call into a booked job can be crucial to generating revenue.

Depending on your industry, virtual assistants for home service providers can check off a range of time-consuming tasks. Knowing it’s covered frees you up to bring your best to the money-generating parts of your business. Focusing your efforts where they are most effective.

The Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

 

When thinking about hiring remote admin support, the first thing that comes to mind is a call center. The second thing is how many call centers do not seem like the answer to your needs. But, what if you had the control of hiring the affordable virtual talent you need without the impersonal experience of a call center? What if you could hire a virtual assistant that could remedy the pain points in your business both efficiently and cost-effectively? What if you had home service admin support, and it was just that–support?

The good news is that none of these situations need to be what-ifs. Now, more than ever, remote team members for home service admin support are available, affordable, and highly trained to meet your needs. The benefits of hiring a virtual assistant are tangible solutions to support shortfalls.

The Benefits of Virtual Assistant Services 

 

One advantage of virtual assistants is the ability to hire to support a specific operation. It is important to determine the best operation to outsource. A virtual assistant service can help identify your home service admin support needs and provide a vital step in this determination. Building a custom strategy that works for your business is key to reaping the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant.

Hiring virtual assistant services can streamline your back-office operations by:

The Best Way to Invest in Your Business

 

Getting home service admin support from highly skilled and well-trained virtual assistant professionals can make a big difference in not only how well your business is run. It can be the difference between you running your business and your business running you.

Investing in a virtual assistant does not have to be difficult. Rocket Station is your “easy button” to finding, training, and managing virtual assistants that understand the service industry and help you do your business better.

The Benefits Of Property Management Software: Everything You Need To Know

The property management industry (PM) is one of the most rapidly expanding sectors in the United States. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global property management market is expected to reach USD $23.63 billion by 2026. 

Property owners and managers are finding themselves with more properties and tenants than ever before as a result of this growth. And thus, are turning to technology solutions like property management software, online rentals, and online payments to simplify their workflow and grow their business.

Consequently, as the property management industry grows, the demand for quality software rises in order to:

  • Beat out the competition by providing quality service (other property management companies) 
  • Maintain an up-to-date streamlined business process
  • Attract the tech savvy buyers and renters of today 
  • Offset labor shortages -as the demand for rental property grows, the supply of labor to service that demand is lagging behind. This influx of residents means that rental property managers are busier than ever, often stretched too thin as they handle an increasing number of calls and requests from tenants while simultaneously managing properties. That’s where PMS can help.

People expect to be able to pay their rent online or schedule maintenance requests with just a few clicks.

According to Chuck Hattemer, co-founder & CMO of Poplar Homes, “ Property management is going through an evolution right now, and tech providers have stepped up to the plate to disrupt the industry”. Popular Homes is a tech-enabled property management company with more than 2,200 doors under management across 10 major metros.

One of the top reasons why residents won’t renew a lease comes down to poor management” said the CMO and “this proves that the property management experience from a renter’s perspective matters to your bottom line as a property owner”.
Streamlining internal workflow to increase efficiency whilst providing accessibility features for potential renters is your solution to solve the high turnover rate.

Ultimately, the aim for every business is to grow its revenue through increased sales while decreasing expenses. Thus, meeting the basic requirements of a virtual buyer’s environment means keeping up-to-date with the latest software and technology, as well as ensuring that you’re doing what you can to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. A good system in place can advance your real estate and property management businesses.

However, with so many property management systems on the market, it can be difficult to figure out which software is best for your needs. Are there certain software solutions that are better than others? How should you evaluate the options?

This guide will walk you through the different types of property management software and give you tips for selecting the right solutions for your business.

WHAT IS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE (PMS)?

 

Property management software, also known as a PMC, CRM or ERP, is a system that allows property managers to track and manage their properties and tenants. By using a property management system, you can keep track of all the relevant aspects of your business operations in one place.

While there are hundreds of different types of property management softwares available on the market, they all generally fall into one of two categories: server-based or cloud-based software. 

Here are a few things to help you make an informed decision about whether server based or cloud based is best for you.

Server-based software runs on servers located in your place of business or at a third-party hosting provider that you’ve contracted with. 

The benefit of this is that the control is in your hands over the data, upgrading of hardwares and installation of updates. With that said, this is viewed as an outdated solution for a few reasons:

  • a traditional software model requires that you purchase, install, update and maintain all of the hardware and IT services needed to run the software. 
  • it requires a physical space which adds to the expenses of the organization. 
  • it also comes with the risk of possibly losing all your data should these physical servers get damaged. 
  • and not to mention the costs of maintaining and upgrading the servers.

Situations like Covid-19 have highlighted another downside to server-based softwares. VPN’s go hand-in-hand with server-based softwares so that workers can access the softwares remotely. Therefore, companies must also ensure that the VPNs are setup on every device which could be very time consuming.

Cloud-based software or also known as cloud computing runs on remote servers and data centers that are owned and managed by your software provider. To access the software, you log in over the internet from any device with a web browser and an internet connection. 

An obvious benefit to this compared to server-based software:

  • is the lack of required investments in setting up the infrastructure. 
  • with its ‘pay as you go model’, you only invest on the resources that you need. Saving you costs that otherwise would have gone to infrastructure for server based and maintenance/upgrading costs of the servers. 
  • risk of loss of data is significantly reduced via cloud computing. Data can be backed up to the cloud automatically on a regular basis. Hence, this can help in recovering these valuable data in case of human error or natural disasters. 

Today, cloud-based property management software solutions are quickly eroding the market share of their traditional server-based competitors. In fact, according to Forbes, 90% of companies are already embracing cloud computing based on a study by 451 research. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect people, businesses, and essentially all aspects of daily life, there is no doubt that the way we live and work has been drastically changed. On the bright side, this global pandemic has also accelerated many digital transformations and solutions i.e. cloud-based property management software for property management businesses.

HOW PMS CAN MAKE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT EASIER


Whether you rent one or multiple properties, dedicated property management software (PMS) can help you streamline your rental operations.

For example, with the right software, you can:

Simplify Accounting

Property managers and landlords can simplify accounting by using software to generate invoices, keep track of payments, calculate interest and late fees, and automate the process of sending out monthly statements. This can help prevent mistakes, enable faster payment collection and reduce the time spent on accounting.

Communicate more effectively with tenants and prospects.

Software is often used to manage leads and communicate with current and prospective tenants. Property managers use it to schedule showings, collect applications, track leases and communicate with tenants via email. The system may also be integrated with a website so that renters can apply for available properties online.

By extension, it also allows you to provide better customer service by enhancing communication with tenants, landlords or contractors through online portals and automated messaging services such as SMS or email. This can be used for maintenance requests, rent checks or simply just for general communication.

Automate Marketing Tasks

Property managers may choose to integrate software with marketing tools like MailChimp or Constant Contact to automate certain marketing tasks such as emailing newsletters or promotions to tenants or potential renters. Some property management software allows users to create custom reports that they can send out via email or post online. This can help landlords market available units, reduce vacancy rates and maintain relationships with current and prospective tenants.

Automate routine tasks like rent collection and maintenance requests.

It is important for property managers to have quick responses from their staff so that the customer does not feel ignored and loses interest in the business. When technology is being used for managing the properties, then this becomes an easy task as everything can be done with just a click of a button.

Improve data insights

The more data you have on your properties, tenants, and landlords – the better decisions you can make about your business. PMS allows you to collect large amounts of data that can be turned into actionable insights and answers your questions like:

  • How much should I charge for rent?
  • Will my tenant pay on time?
  • How long will it take to fill a vacancy?
  • Who should I market this property to?

If your team is consistently running behind on important tasks, it may be time to evaluate how PMS can help your organization become more efficient and competitive in the market.

So which property management software is the best? That really depends on your business and what features you need.

10 FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A PMS

 

The prospect of buying property management software can be intimidating. There are so many options available and every one promises to help with your problems. How do you know which one is right for you?

Here’s a list of important criterias to consider when choosing a property management software:

If you manage fewer than 100 properties, there are many different types of software that can handle your needs. However, if you manage more than 100 properties, you’ll likely want to use dedicated property management software.

A short list of features might include accounting tools (for managing rent payments and tracking expenses), reporting capabilities, and maintenance management (to keep track of repairs and issues). How much automation do you need? Some software can automatically send rent reminders or help with scheduling repairs.

Some services offer a free trial before you commit. Your budget for property management software should also include the time it will take to learn how to use the software.

As mentioned earlier, our recommendation and as is the trend for most companies, cloud-based software is the future.

If you’re running a business, you probably already have various tools and programs that you use to accomplish specific tasks. Ideally, your property management software will integrate well with these apps so you don’t have to spend time manually entering data across multiple platforms.

For example, if you use QuickBooks for your accounting, you will want to make sure that your PMS integrates with QuickBooks so that it can automatically send financial data (like rent payments and security deposits) directly into QuickBooks for you. This saves time and prevents costly errors from entering data by hand.

Look for reviews from industry publications and competitors as well as actual customers to get an idea of what others think about the software you are considering. Does it have good customer support? Is it easy to use? How is the training process? These are all things that you want to consider before making a decision.

You’re not just buying a piece of software; you’re buying into a long-term relationship with the vendor. It’s not always easy to predict how long that relationship will last, but look for signs of stability and growth before you make your choice.

A lot of great property management software companies have focused on one aspect of property management. Some focus on marketing, some focus on maintenance, and others focus on accounting. But you want a solution that covers all the bases and gives you an end-to-end solution for managing your properties. And if it doesn’t include everything you need, make sure it integrates with other systems so you can get everything in one platform.

Some systems are easy for tech savvy users but not for those who aren’t quite as familiar with technology. You want a system that is intuitive and user-friendly for your team to work more efficiently and effectively. It also needs to be able to grow with your company.

Mobile apps are becoming more and more important for landlords. There are so many solutions available for landlords to manage their properties from their phones that it’s almost a requirement now. Make sure their mobile app is helpful and intuitive enough to use before signing up. To expand your presence in the property management industry, it’s important to have clarity about what Proptech is available today, and what types of innovations are expected in 2022.

Property management software comes in all shapes and sizes, with different levels of functionality and options suited to the needs of your business. It can be overwhelming trying to find the right solution that addresses all your issues and meets your budget.

While it’s tempting to go straight for the most expensive system with all the bells and whistles, it might not always be your best option. Keep in mind that more expensive systems also come with a steeper learning curve, which can make it difficult for staff members to adapt quickly.

By asking yourself these questions, you’ll be better equipped to choose a property management software that fits your needs.

10 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE TO MAXIMIZE ROI

 

The best property management software is easy to use, but it’s also powerful enough to handle everything from rent collection and tenant screening to maintenance requests, accounting and reporting. Some property management systems are designed for specific types of properties or landlords, such as multi-family residential or vacation rentals. Others are for commercial real estate.

Take a look at some of the preferred PMS in the market today:

  1. Buildium: Designed to simplify the tasks of property managers and property management companies. Supporting multiple property types, including residential, community associations, student housing, and affordable housing, it has all the tools necessary to streamline the management of rental properties.
  2. AppFolio: Best for multifamily apartment complexes, single-family homes, or community associations looking for a complete platform including accounting, applicant tracking and online rental applications.
  3. Rent Manager:  Award-winning property management software for residential, commercial and short-stay properties of all sizes
  4. ResMan: Leading platform for property management, most preferred by owners, operators and investors across the multifamily, affordable, and commercial real estate marketplaces.
  5. MRI Residential Management: The company offers an end-to-end solution for multifamily properties. It is a comprehensive management system that seamlessly integrates strategic planning, daily task planning, and performance measurement.
  6. RealPage: An extensive property management software offering solutions for the single-family, commercial, multifamily, and vacation rental housing businesses
  7. Yardi: Offers a full suite of products to help you streamline your processes. Built for any “size business for all real estate markets” i.e. supports residential, commercial, affordable, manufactured housing, condo/associations and self storage markets etc
  8. DoorLoop: The software can be used to monitor residential properties, commercial spaces, student housing, community associations, affordable housing, and more. Its key aspect is that it provides a single solution for property owners to manage the entire rental cycle, from advertising their property to collecting rent and renewing leases.
  9. Hemlane: An all-in-one, property management solution that offers small businesses a range of capabilities, including property marketing, applicant screening, lease tracking, rent collection and maintenance coordination.
  10.  Tenant Cloud: A free service for landlords and property managers with fewer than 75 units, it’s an ideal option for small-scale property managers working with limited budgets.


With the right property management software you’ll be able to scale your business faster than ever before. And since most property management software comes with a mobile app that lets you manage everything from anywhere, there’s no more need to be tied down to an office.

 

GETTING THE MOST OF YOUR PM SOFTWARE BUDGET

 

You’ve done your research, you’ve narrowed down your list, and you’ve found the perfect property management software package. You’ve  submitted the purchase order and want to move on to more important tasks. What do you now?

The first thing we have to do is make sure we are getting the most out of our current budget. Here are some ways we can do that:

  • Make sure you have a setup and plan in place for any new hires that will be joining the team. Training them on how to use the software will help them get up to speed faster, which means they can start adding value sooner.
  • Make sure your current employees are using the software properly and efficiently. If you notice people not using the software or going around it, find out why and see if there are any adjustments that need to be made.
  • Get people involved in the decision making process regarding what PMS software should be used. If people feel like they were a part of the solution, they are more likely to use it effectively.
  • Ask for feedback from users periodically to see what’s working and what isn’t. You always want to improve, so having a constant stream of feedback is great for success.

Growing your property management business these days not only requires updated technology and solutions but for you to be well ahead and stay above water from the rising competition, effectively using available resources to its full potential is a turning point. 

You can easily start by doing something simple like offloading routine tasks so you can focus on what matters most — getting more deals and growing your company’s value. Transforming your company to be more virtual capable and hiring professional virtual assistants ensure you cut costs, and maximize your ROI. They can improve your property management services in tremendous ways and what’s better than knowing your company is still functioning while you sleep? Or that your company is able to cope up with the demands of clients on the clock?

Effective Ways To Find (And Use) A Virtual Rent Coordinator

The goal of utilizing a virtual rent coordinator is to make everything function at a very high level and for you to be able to focus on other ventures while they take care of the necessary ones.

As property owners or managers, your success depends on your ability to improve operations and increase profits. But when you’re dealing with a lot of tenants simultaneously, coordinating tasks like collecting rent and responding to maintenance requests can eat up a significant amount of your time and energy. Thus, resulting in shifting your attention elsewhere. Hiring virtual rent coordinators can help supplement the growth of your property management business by gaining back the opportunity to get back on track and pursue your core goals.

With major shifts in today’s rental property market, there is no better time than to start considering using a virtual rent coordinator. Two reasons:

Over the past few decades, more and more people have been moving back in with their parents. The cost of owning a home has risen so much that it’s becoming hard to afford any kind of real estate investment, let alone a home. 

You can credit the COVID-19 crisis for the rental property business boom and the housing market crisis, as many people lost their homes, got divorced or had to relocate for jobs. Since then, there’s been a surge in families becoming renters for the first time. According to iPropertyManagement, 34.6% of occupied housing units are now renter-occupied and is only expected to grow in the next five years. 

This is great news if you are in the rental property business or if you’re considering investing in one. Not only will there be plenty of demand, but with the rise in single-family home rentals come more opportunities to make money as a landlord. 

To keep up with the demand, companies in the U.S. have started employing virtual assistants through agencies like Rocket Station. This increased by 41% in 2020, as many companies laid off their staff due to the economic restriction periods (COVID-19).

One of the most common tasks that real estate professionals delegate is rental property management, as it involves a number of repetitive tasks that take hours of the day away from growing their business. The amount of time that can be spent on a single rental property is tremendous, considering all the different aspects of managing them. Thus, delegating these tasks to professional virtual rent coordinators can be a huge time-saver and cost less than a full-time employee.

While there are plenty of virtual assistants who can act as a virtual rent coordinator, the right one will hold a bachelor’s degree, have several years of experience in property management, and is comfortable taking on management projects with little to no supervision. 

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL RENT COORDINATOR (VA RENT COORDINATOR)?

They are often referred to as “rental agents” or “rent administrators” because they are hired by property management companies and landlords to help with renting apartments, condos and homes. They have a great deal of experience in locating tenants for properties and will know what type of tenants are looking for which types of rental properties. They also ensure that the property is maintained in a manner that fosters an environment that is comfortable for tenants while enhancing the value of the property. A virtual rent coordinator’s main objective is to act as the primary point of contact for prospective tenants and renters.

Most virtual assistants, even those holding a position of virtual rent coordinator are sometimes misconceptualized as a simple administrative clerk. However, that’s not the case anymore. They are part of the larger field of property management, which involves overseeing and maintaining a property and its occupants. This can be broken down into three major buckets:

  1. Tenant Screening
  2. Tenant Management
  3. Overseeing Maintenance/Repairs and Rent Collection

Which can entail the following responsibilities:

VA rent coordinators allow you to allocate your time to tasks that deserve priority such as the business development, marketing or other strategic activities that can help drive your business forward in the long term. It’s an indispensable role that doesn’t disappoint.

With the technology that exists today, hiring a VA rent coordinator makes it conveniently simple to seamlessly integrate these experts into your regular office operations. The best thing about it is that they can work and function just like any other in-house employee as if they are right there with your team. The advantages of hiring one are endless.

THE VALUE OF A VA RENT COORDINATOR

Landlords and property managers often feel overwhelmed by the tasks associated with renting out their apartments for multiple properties. Simple everyday duties, such as:

  • scheduling showings 
  • writing rental agreements
  • Monitoring the move in/move out process of old tenants

These duties can take hours for landlords and property managers to accomplish.

By employing a virtual rental property coordinator, you can streamline all the handling of your rental property transactions. You won’t have to worry about missing important deadlines or incorrect handling of your paperwork either! Everything will be taken care of and processed. 


The advantages of hiring a virtual rent coordinator include:

In the past, VA rent coordinators were hired only by large companies. Nowadays, they can be found in start-ups, small businesses, and large corporations alike. This is because these professionals can help you manage all of your property management transactions at every level.

As a result, business process outsourcing companies are emerging in record numbers in recent year, giving you plenty of options for finding reliable, high-quality virtual assistants. With a the right business process outsourcing company by your side you don’t have to allocate your own resources to finding and hiring a VA. You just need to give them your requirements, and then they will take care of everything else.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING COMPANY

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a method of subcontracting various business-related operations to third-party vendors. The BPO industry has been growing rapidly, with an annual growth rate of 8.5%. It has also become increasingly complex, with different types of processes and functional areas being outsourced.

The most popular BPO services currently are call centers, accounting and payroll functions, transaction processing and customer relationship management. Other services include human resources administration, supply chain management, real estate, property management, logistics and data processing.There are many providers who will offer VA property management services, but not all of those providers are reputable. Consequently, before you partner with a BPO (business process outsourcing) company, a background check on their reputation is required. Do they have clients that are willing to vouch for them? What do customers say about them? Are they happy with the services they receive? For solid feedback start by:

  • Reading reviews and testimonials on Google, and Social Media pages i.e. Facebook. These are some of the more popular resources to see what previous and current clients have to say about them. There is nothing better than hearing directly from past customers about their experience with a company or person you are looking into hiring for services.
  • Asking friends, family members, and colleagues for referrals. If they have used the services of a VA rent coordinator before, they will certainly be willing to refer someone they believe in.
  • Checking how the company screens virtual assistants. Most companies will include criminal background checks before offering them an agreement for your property.
  • And of course checking out their website. If there aren’t many details available on the company, it’s probably because the company has nothing to be proud of – avoid them at all costs.

After you partner with a dependable BPO company, and start assessing potential candidates, there are many things to consider when choosing your right fit. 

HOW TO SELECT A VA RENT COORDINATOR

You’re not alone if you’re worried about how to find an established VA rent coordinator. What if you hire the wrong one? As with any other profession, there are good and bad rent coordinators out there.

Choosing the right person is so important because it directly affects your:

By doing some research on their experience and qualifications beforehand you can evade needless mistakes or issues. Below are some key points to look for in a VA rent coordinator:

  • Organization. Whatever you need your VA to do, if they don’t have good organizational skills, then you’d better start looking elsewhere. A good virtual assistant should be able to effectively organize and manage their time so that they can complete tasks on time and without reminders or follow-ups from you. They should also be able to organize the items that they’ve completed so that they’re easily accessible whenever you (or your clients) need them.
  • Attention To Detail. Whether it’s making sure that no typos or grammatical errors slipped through in an article, fact-checking information before posting online, or ensuring everything is properly formatted before sending you files, attention to detail is definitely one quality all good VAs possess.
  • Communication Skills. Since communication will be done mostly via email, Skype or phone, look for someone who has excellent English communication skills (both written and verbal).
  • Education. BPO companies like Rocket Station only work with VA’s who are college degree holders. A college degree or certification may be essential especially if the position requires specific skills or expertise. Through these BPO companies, filtering the right VA to suit your business needs becomes simplified. 
  • Experience. Hiring an experienced VA in the real estate and property management industry can save you time, money, and energy. They already know the ins and outs of being an effective rent coordinator, plus they also know how to provide services that are specific to your industry.
  • Personality. Working with a virtual assistant can be challenging due to the distance between you and your employee. You need someone self-motivated, flexible and able to deal with problems independently even if he/she does not have direct supervision from you all the time.

These factors are crucial when selecting your VA rent coordinator. After all, this is someone you’d be looking to keep as part of your team, so it’s best to find somebody who can do a great job for you, both now and in the future.

WORKING WITH A VA RENT COORDINATOR

Virtual rent coordinators exist to ease your tensions in this competitive industry. They have the capacity to enhance the efficiency of your business and improve client relations. Since many of their responsibilities are time-consuming, they need to be done as efficiently as possible with minimal supervision. Here are five ways you can ensure your VA will work to their highest potential so that you get the best outcome for your business:

If you want something done right, it’s important to be specific about what you need and how you want it done.

Business process mapping can be used as a communications and coordination tool to keep everyone focused on the big picture, know the steps required to achieve a company’s goals, and ensure the whole organization is working together toward the same objectives.

Otherwise, vague instructions or ambiguous requests leave too much room for error.

Just like any regular in house employee they want to know why they’re doing the things they do — and this doesn’t just apply to new VAs; it also applies to VAs who have worked with you for years. It helps them understand how their work fits into the bigger picture and gives them context beyond “do this because I said so.”

Make sure you set aside time each day or week to communicate with your VA rent coordinator about projects you have for them. Your VA rent coordinator may have questions about your requests, and it’s helpful if they can reach out to you in real-time and get clarification as needed.

A system is a set of instructions or rules for doing something. We all have systems in our lives – from making coffee in the morning through to checking emails or driving a car. A system is simply the steps we follow each time we take on a task.

Proper systems help your virtual rent coordinator get started straight away without having to wait for you to provide the resources they need. Rocket Station helps you set up systems and processes from day one so there’s no delay in getting started when hiring our virtual assistants.

Many entrepreneurs fail when it comes to working with a VA because they don’t have realistic expectations. It’s important to remember that just as no two businesses are alike, neither are two VAs. They are an extension to your business and you should treat them as such.

In an ideal world, all your tenants would pay their rent on time and in full every month. But in reality, that just isn’t the case. A virtual rent coordinator speeds up the process of growing your portfolio by:

  • ensuring manageable rental income each month 
  • and by creating an efficient system to deal with rental situations that come up

They offer a “tenant experience” that will make your residents feel like your company is doing everything possible to help them out.

In the virtual world anything is possible especially for those who are held back from pursuing their business objectives due to the limitations of their budget. There are tons of property management and real estate virtual experts available for all sorts of positions. For example, if you are in need of virtual professionals who solely focus on ensuring that your buildings are properly maintained and that equipment is operating correctly, then consider virtual maintenance coordinators.

Are you wondering how they can maintain and uphold your properties according to your expectations virtually? Here’s an informative guide on all things maintenance coordinator.

The property management is a fast growing industry so if you’ve been thinking about getting into the business, now is a great time to get started — but remember, you don’t have to do it alone!

Your virtual assistant is a human being with a personality and emotions (just like you!) and your role as the one who leads them is to make sure they are motivated. It is important for your business because it keeps your employee engaged and willing to perform better work for you.

Virtual Team Building Activities – Keeping a Remote Staff Cohesive

The most important part of a virtual team is not that team members work remotely. It’s that they are a team. Building cohesion among virtual team members is an essential element for increased productivity. It facilitates collaboration, communication, and problem-solving. How do you build a cohesive remote team? What are effective virtual team building activities that promote bonding between remote co-workers? Can these teamwork activities also be fun? 

Team building is important to business success, but it can also be a challenge. The challenge becomes bigger when your team is virtual. The shared space of the in-office work structure creates organic opportunities for social bonding and trust building between colleagues. Remote work structures lack these built-in opportunities that proximity provides. This lack can create a connection gap, eroding understanding between colleagues and hampering a team’s success. It is not without remedy though. Virtual team building activities can fill the gap.

Teamwork activities, work games, and fun virtual events can replace the convenience of proximity with intentional ways to enable team bonding. Virtual team building activities can create a bridge between remote colleagues and help overcome remote work drawbacks. 

 

The Purpose of Virtual Team Building Activities

 

Virtual team building activities are designed to create human connections between virtual colleagues. They can address challenges by forging stronger bonds and promoting team harmony. Online team building activities can make it easier for teams to:

Tools for Online Team Building

 

Remote work tools are team bonding tools too. Work management tools can be used as virtual whiteboards for team bonding games. Communication platforms can serve remote team fun. Video conferencing tools can promote fun virtual events and team games for social bonding. These are tools that virtual teams already use to get work done. They can also be utilized for virtual team building activities that keep your remote staff cohesive. 

 

Considerations with Virtual Team Building Activities

 

Not all remote team building activities are the same. Goals, structure, and execution matter. The individuals who make up the team do too. One online group challenge that worked well for one team may fall flat with another. Don’t push fun work games that do not have a focus and purpose. That last thing you want is for your virtual team to ask, “what’s the point?” 

Virtual Team Building Icebreakers

 

Icebreakers are not only for new teams. Team members’ lives evolve and change. In a remote work structure, members can feel isolated, which can prevent bonding even if they have worked together for a long time. Icebreakers serve as a check in that can break through the isolation. They are quick connections that can be done at the beginning of video meetings or via group chat.

Icebreaker ideas for fun team check-ins include sharing:

Quick Icebreaker Games

A fun and easy game where each member shares two truths and one lie about themselves. The other members guess which one is the lie. It is surprising how much you can learn about your team members when they tell lies. 

The team is split into two groups, and each group is assigned either pancakes or waffles. The group debates why their assigned breakfast food is superior. This can be done with other seemingly mundane topics too.

Best done with smaller groups within a larger team. The group has to identify three unique things they have in common. It may be all were cheerleaders in high school or have read Shakespeare’s Macbeth. It could be as simple as they all prefer to wear brown socks. 

Elevating the Group Chat

 

Online team building does not have to be an event. There are plenty of free virtual team building activities that elevate the group chat to promote team bonding.

Simply sharing stories or pictures over a group chat can facilitate connection and bonding. Some suggestions for weekly questions are:

Creating social chat channels with a purpose can also serve work-related benefits. A few ideas for different channels include:

  • Discussing anything but work. Like a water cooler chat, but remote.
  • For team members without the manager. It creates a safe place to ask questions.
  • For support. To find help when needed and feel supported. 

Fun Virtual Team Building Ideas 

 

Learning Circles

Teammates make a point to connect on a personal level by sharing and expanding their knowledge. It can be done in teams or across the organization. Team members choose a work-related topic to learn more about and connect with colleagues who want to learn the same thing. They meet over video to discuss articles, books, or a presentation on the topic. 

 

Share Your Passions

Some remote team fun can be ongoing to encourage teams to bond over the long haul and to find common ground outside of work. Through video discussions or group chats, teammates can bond through:

Trivia games

Try to mix it up beyond the pub trivia style. Incorporate video clips, unique themes, or short song clips with a “name that tune” format. 

Game Apps

The best virtual game apps have a non-threatening format built in. For example, Drawful is fun because it is almost impossible to draw well. No one can say, “I can’t draw,” because no one can.

Other virtual  teamwork activities that emphasize collaboration, problem-solving, and creativity include:

Fun Virtual Events

 

Some virtual team building activities are structured as virtual events shared by team members. These events often include kits that are sent to each team member’s home with all the ingredients and supplies needed to participate. The event is synchronous via video conference. The team shares in doing something together. It is often guided by an expert where something tangible is learned, a physical thing they need to prepare or do. It brings the physical world into the virtual.

Some event sessions include:

Don’t limit yourself to virtual events

 

As helpful as it is to keep your employees engaged with one another through virtual team building activities, nothing can fully replace actual human interaction. If virtual activities filled all of our needs, there would be no reason to see our friends and family in person. The fact is, tangible interaction is an incredibly important part of effective relationship building.

One-off events like bringing the team together for a party over the holidays or inviting their families to spend an afternoon at a theme park in the summer are great for building shared experiences. Still, the addition of a monthly group gathering fosters ongoing bond building.

Whether virtual or in-person, team building works best when we are intentional and consistent with it. Maybe your best option is biannual in person meetings, supported by regularly scheduled virtual events. Perhaps you can swing a more 50/50 mix of in-person and virtual. It doesn’t matter what schedule works for you and your team. The important thing is that you take the time to bond and develop relationships beyond avatars and written communication.

 

Time Well-Spent

 

Taking the time for team members to get to know each other as individuals is an investment that pays off with increased performance. Virtual teams bond as people and colleagues, making it easier to balance skills and improve decision making. When remote teams stay connected and have fun, it can move the work forward in more innovative ways. When done right, virtual team building activities can keep remote teams cohesive and working together successfully.

11 Tasks To Delegate To Your VA Property Manager

The internet allows for countless opportunities for businesses to go virtual. But what about companies that need to be in a physical location? What about property management and real estate companies? How do they go virtual? 

If you’re a property manager, you know how much of a hassle it can be to take care of your properties. You also know that the more properties you manage, the more time and effort it takes to maintain them.

Let’s dig into how property management companies can go digital through the use of virtual teams and the benefits of doing so.

THE REASON BEHIND GOING VIRTUAL

Due to these rapidly changing times, many companies have been forced  to adapt and are looking for ways to save money. The property management industry is no exception to this. Many PM Companies are now offering virtual office services to their clients as a  more efficient way to operate and to help cut down on operating costs as well as meet changing tenant demands.

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider taking your property management company virtual:

Property management companies have faced a problem for decades: handling the thousands of tenants and landlords in their database. Records, payments, and important documents were scattered across multiple locations and formats, making it time-consuming to access them when needed. There’s no better time to consider exploring opportunities to convert your organization into virtual mode than now. Especially when technological advancements show no signs of slowing down.

CAN YOU RUN A PROPERTY MANAGEMENT BUSINESS VIRTUALLY?

One of the biggest myths about running a property management business is that you have to be on-site to manage rental properties. The reason this misconception persists is that some landlords apply old-school methods to modern day property management i.e. analog solutions. They might call their tenants when they have issues and even go to their properties to fix it themselves.

So, in short, YES it’s completely possible to run your entire business from anywhere you want. For those of you who want to be location independent and travel or relocate anywhere you desire, having a virtual property management business makes it possible. In fact, many different types of businesses can be operated virtually from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. 

Times have changed and so has technology. But it comes down to the details. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your employees will need to use technology wisely. If they’re having problems with the various tools you’ve adopted, they can’t just walk over to the IT department and ask for help. Make sure your team is technologically savvy and knows how to use the apps and programs you’ve adopted. Better yet, get a professionally experienced IT specialist virtually! It’s very doable especially considering they cost much less than if you were to employ locally.  
  • Third party and outsource as much as possible. Build comprehensive, local vendor lists for anything your business may need. From virtual assistants that support your internal staff, to local repairmen, evaluate every function of the business and ask “is this the best use of my team’s time? Is their someone out there that can do this better and cheaper?”
  • If you’re in charge of your own facility, make sure you have vendors who can handle occasional on-site tasks like repairs and maintenance. Talk to local handyman services about becoming a regular customer, or hire the work out on a per-project basis. The more you can do remotely, the better off you’ll be. While onsite or in house maintenance is sometimes the best options, for a lot of operators, the extra you spend contracting third party vendors is more than recouped in employee cost savings.

You’re probably asking, “Well how do I coordinate and handle all the logistics associated with virtual property management?” This is where your virtual property manager comes in. Your virtual property manager can conduct 3D home virtual tours, answering any questions tenants may have about the property. They can also research maintenance and repair services in the area, thoroughly vet and negotiate, and then make arrangements for services without making phone calls or driving around town looking for vendors. And then there’s cost: Virtual management companies often charge lower monthly fees than traditional ones because their overhead costs are much lower. This makes your company that much more attractive to potential owners and investors.

WHAT IS A VIRTUAL PROPERTY MANAGER?

While there are many different types of virtual assistants, a virtual assistant property manager (VA PM) specializes in handling all aspects of running a successful property management business — these can include anything from bookkeeping and basic accounting work to lead generation. Virtual assistant property managers can also take on more sophisticated management tasks such as tenant screening, maintenance coordination, and financial analysis.

VA PM has become a popular option for property managers who want the flexibility of working from home and the security of having their assets professionally managed by an expert team.

HOW CAN A VIRTUAL PROPERTY MANAGER HELP YOU

If you are a full time property manager, you are always trying to balance having enough employees to handle the workload or manage your clients, while not adding too much expense to your bottomline.

And especially if you’re managing your properties alone, how can you keep up with so many tasks? Even if you have an assistant who works for you in the office, what happens when you need help on the weekends or after hours?

To save you time and money, a virtual property manager can take care of many tasks that are crucial to the success of your property management business. Many VA (virtual assistant) companies have portfolios covering both residential and commercial properties. Hence, they possess proficient knowledge and experience to suit your business needs. Also, utilizing VA’s instead of regular employees helps increase your return for your investment, while minimizing the cost to your bottomline. With the diverse range of VA’s, that can cover a variety of tasks ranging from general to specialized, there is an abundance of options for you to pick from to help you focus on your key goals.

Here are some advantages of using a virtual property manager for your business:

  • A virtual property manager offers flexibility. A VA is available whenever you need them, whether it’s during business hours or after hours. You also don’t have to worry about managing their schedule as they already have one that works well with yours.
  • A VA who specializes in real estate and property management has the skills necessary to manage all aspects of running your business as it is a cost-effective solution for real estate companies and investors to outsource their property management activities. With a virtual property manager, you can access an experienced professional who can take care of all your rental property needs without the costs associated with hiring an in-house operations team.
  • A virtual property manager provides exceptional support. When you hire a VA, you get someone who will be there for you every step of the way. They know how challenging it can be to manage properties and will do whatever it takes to make things easier for you and your tenants.

In a world that’s becoming more and more digital, you might be surprised to hear that some things are best left to the professionals. Sure, you could take your own passport photos or maybe even get away with doing your own taxes, but some things simply require an expert’s touch—things like property management.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF VIRTUAL ASSISTANT PROPERTY MANAGERS (VA PMs)

While VA PMs are becoming more commonplace, there is still some confusion about what exactly they do. Below are some typical tasks for a Virtual Assistant Property Manager:

Responding to maintenance requests

Property management maintenance requests might include informing tenants about upcoming inspections, resolving complaints arising i.e. noise disturbances, resolving pest control issues, locked out of apartment or unit and so much more.

Additionally, if you’re an Airbnb host who needs help managing the cleaning and logistics of your rentals, a VA PM can be of great use here too. Managing an Airbnb property is no easy task. There are a lot of moving parts: you want to provide a high-quality experience for your guests, you have to make sure your home has the amenities they expect.

Regardless, when a tenant calls about a leaking faucet or a broken A/C unit, you don’t want to be the one who has to show up at their apartment in the middle of the night. You also don’t want them to think they’re bothering you by asking for help. Instead, forward those maintenance calls to a VA PM who will only contact you if there’s an emergency. All non-urgent issues can be handled through your VA’s routine scheduling process.

Rent collection

Collecting rent from tenants can be a hassle for landlords and property managers. It involves sending out invoices and reminders to tenants who don’t pay on time. Then there’s the time-consuming task of depositing checks at banks or money orders through mail. All these tasks can be automated with software like RentTrack’s online rent payment software — but this is where virtual assistants come in handy. A VA can upload the tenant information into an online rent payment system and manage the entire process from start to finish. They can also send out reminders when rent is due or late so landlords don’t have to worry.

They can also help with collecting outstanding payments from tenants by following up with them through phone calls and emails. VAPM’s are adept at client-facing situations, maintaining balance between friendly and firm stances to uphold client relationships while ensuring timely collections.

Screening applicants

Another role of virtual assistant project managers is the screening of applicants. This is done by handling all applications and conducting background checks, verifying employers, calling references, pulling credit reports, and criminal records on the potential tenants. Once a tenant is approved, the VA PM can assist in finalizing rent agreements, coordinate move in days and provide the new tenant with the best customer service experience as they prepare to move in.

Marketing and Promoting Property Listings

Another task that the VA PM’s can take on is conducting marketing and promotion of units. Writing and posting ads on real estate websites ( Craigslist, Zillow, Trulia, RedFin, etc.) and social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, etc. as well as publishing them on commercial real estate directories such as LoopNet and Costar; creating eye-catching flyers; taking photos of the properties and writing catchy descriptions to go with them. These are essential to generating leads, hence a professional touch is required to effectively deliver the key messaging in the promotional efforts. 

Performing 3D home virtual listing tours

Renting an apartment can be frustrating. You might have to schedule time off from work, take time out of your weekend, or even pay for a cab just to visit a few places you’ve found online. But it doesn’t have to be that way. More landlords are letting tenants view apartments through video chat or more technologically savvy property managers, via 3D home virtual tours. Thus, eliminating the hassle of visiting a property in person.

Assistance in signing the lease agreement with the tenants

Once a potential tenant finds the right property to suit their needs, there is still the issue of signing the leasing agreement. Fortunately, this can be done online as well via e-mails and e-signature applications, thus making the whole process possible to be done from remote locations. 

Bookkeeping and accounting

A virtual assistant can help manage your accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, and payroll. They can also set up charts of accounts for you, reconcile bank accounts and credit card statements and prepare financial reports.  They can also provide recommendations on how to improve a company’s financial health.

Serving as a point of contact for your tenants and owners

Manage security deposit funds from tenants, including the administration of tenant move-in/move-out procedures and the subsequent return of security deposits, as applicable. They can also handle owner communications, approvals and property updates to ensure your owners always know what’s going on with their assets

Manage and organize daily operations

Virtual assistants manage calendars and schedules, make travel arrangements, create sales plans, and presentations, and respond to emails. They also maintain databases, organize files, conduct online research and assist with social media marketing campaigns.

They make sure you’re always where you need to be on time. They can also set reminders and ensure you don’t forget important recurring events. You might send them your schedule by email or give them access to your online calendar so they can see when you’re busy, when you have free time, and what other commitments you have scheduled.

Streamlining operations

Any type of waste in a business, be it money or time, is inefficient and would  directly and negatively impact the business. A responsibility of virtual assistant property managers is to streamline the business in order to minimize these kinds of waste. For example, tracking time spent on each task and identifying the ways to remove redundant tasks or improve efficiency on existing ones. 

Handling Property Management Software

Property management software allows managing your property efficiently. It helps in tracking rent, producing reports and budget calculations, complying with legal and safety regulations, and much more. While this software is an essential tool for keeping your PM business running smoothly, it’s a good idea to let your virtual assistant help you handle it. The software is the tool, but the virtual assistant is the master.

VA PMs can use PM software to easily manage all your properties from one place and can maintain them immediately without needing to drive or fly across town.

When you’re running a business, it’s important to have all the tools at your disposal to make sure that your team is on the same page. For instance, if you don’t have a property management system in place, you can’t manage the day-to-day upkeep of properties and make sure they’re being properly maintained.

When it comes to choosing a property management tool, there are several options available. While some features are specific to one platform or another, most can be used by both landlords and tenants.

PROPERTY MANAGER TOOLS

Exciting new property management tools are emerging as startups bring their automation and big data insights to this century’s biggest property management challenge—the multi-family housing industry. By leveraging the latest in automated communication and distributed ledger technology, new companies are using machine learning and computer vision to build software that will reshape the property industry.

Here are some of the must-have tools for property managers:

  • Buildium allows you to market and advertise you rental properties, find tenants search for tenants online, manage finances, and handle maintenance requests
  • Appfolio is a web-based management system that streamlines the processes of business. The cloud-based software contains various modules for administrative purposes, such as inventory management, customer support, and financial and operational reporting.

The product is currently in use by over 400 businesses and has over 50,000 users worldwide.

  • Rentify is an online application that allows renters to apply for housing online and manage their lease online
  • Rent Pro is an app designed specifically for landlords and property managers. It offers tools to schedule inspections, view your tenant’s credit report, track their rent payments, and more
  • Propertyware is an all in one, open-platform property management software designed for performance-minded single family property management companies. With propertyware, monitoring your business is simplified with its powerful dashboard, unlimited custom reports and self service owner portal, while the customization features allow you to develop unique workflows and automate processes.

The property management department is constantly on call. If a toilet breaks at 2 a.m., you’re going to need someone to fix it. To manage all of this, you need the best property management software and apps on your side. Knowing more on the 7 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT TECH TRENDS [2022] can help you pick the right software, that allows you to automate many processes, perform tasks more efficiently and save money in the long run.

BEST PRACTICES OF VIRTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 

Virtual property management comes with its own set of challenges but can be mitigated. By Implementing these best practices it will allow you to reach your business goals, while at the same time creating an excellent customer experience for your residents:

  • Have clear written policies and procedures, that are accessible to all virtual assistant property managers.
  • Using a standardized contact management system across a virtual property management team.
  • Using a shared task manager to assign, manage and track tasks for all property managers in the team.
  • Sending daily task reports to the head of virtual property management (or whoever is managing the team).
  • Using cloud-based software services for all aspects of property management (including financial, client/tenant, and maintenance areas), so that every property manager has access to up-to-date data from anywhere in the world.
  • Ensuring that there is an easy way for clients to contact their virtual assistant property manager directly, so they can ask questions or request changes at any time!

It’s important to know how to work with virtual assistants in a way that gets the most out of the relationship. After all, they’re not just another piece of software or some random person you’ve never met before — they’re part of your team.

Virtual property management can be the answer to a property management company’s prayers, especially in a market like today’s that is straining a property managers time and resources. 

While challenges to using virtual assistants may still be floating in your head especially ON THE SECURITY AND PRIVACY CHALLENGES OF VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS. There’s an easy fix to calm your worries. Implementing firewalls such as:

  • Norton 360
  • TotalAV
  • Intego
  • Panda
  • Bullguard 

And many other solutions can address any worry you may have. Either way, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reap the benefits of having a virtual assistant to help keep your lives organized.

As the world becomes more globalized and people start doing business across borders it’s no surprise that more companies are shifting towards remote operations.

2022: 7 Property Management Tech Trends To Watch

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic requiring organizations to shift towards more virtual solutions, the use of online systems and apps, innovative marketing techniques, and sophisticated CRM tools has become more and more essential for a sustainable business model. Technologies such as cloud computing, mobile apps, and even artificial intelligence have been implemented to improve the way you manage your properties. 

Proptech encompasses the marriage of property management technology, with cloud-based infrastructure, AI, and software for more efficient operations of daily real estate business activity. It is revolutionizing how property managers operate and manage their businesses. Over the next five years, technology will continue to expand its role in various types of real estate.

It may be difficult to grasp exactly how we can incorporate technology into property management companies when in reality they’re already replacing a lot of work for property managers and leasing companies. While there are several interpretations to Proptech, James Dearsley, Co-Founder of Unissu – Trusted PropTech Procurement, stated that it is generally viewed as a small part of a wider digital transformation in the property management industry. This covers practically any digital adaptation in real estate. If you look closely, you can see the evolution of proptech and how we use it — to do things like improving customer service over the phone or building a system that allows us to seamlessly move tenants from one property to another. 

As supply channels are getting negatively impacted by the pandemic across all sectors (including real estate and property management), cost of goods rise and supply chains get stalled. Additionally, with the average property manager spending a staggering amount of dollars per year on the operations of the business, you would think that the solution to their problem would be simple: automating tasks like rent collection and save money on labor. And it is! These strains on organizations provide a strong argument to consider adopting PropTech in order to counterbalance the financial burden. 

In this article, we take a look at some of the trends to watch out for this 2022.

WHAT IS PROPERTY TECHNOLOGY (PROPTECH)?

Property technology or proptech is the process through which real estate agents, investors and property managers use technology to increase efficiency, reduce cost, help with decision-making and improve customer service.

It is most commonly associated with the use of computers in the buying and selling process — software platforms that automate tasks like finding a house on Zillow or marketing your property on Redfin. These allow you to manage your listings online from anywhere at any time and from virtually any device. They also make it easier for you to use and stay organized by helping with tasks such as managing leads or tenant applications, managing your calendar so you can get to everything on time, dealing with maintenance tickets, billings, and much more. 

Proptech solutions are designed to help you run your business more efficiently and save money. They can help you deal with customers more effectively, automate your processes, and make important decisions easier for you. Proptech products include services like virtual office technology, computerized property management systems, digital marketing platforms, mobile apps, and more.

It is a rapidly growing industry that should be taken advantage of by everyone in the real estate space.

WHY SHOULD YOU START USING PROPTECH?

If you’re a property manager that relies on paper processes like leases, applications, and rent payments, you’re missing out on a lot of savings, of both your time and money:

The number of tasks property managers have to perform has increased significantly over the last decade. The need for more efficient processes is common in all segments of the industry. And with technology making it easier than ever to find out how other companies manage their properties, there’s a lot of competition out there for your business.

The word proptech may be new to some people in the industry, but many of these tech products have been around for some time. For example, computers are used heavily in real estate businesses already. And some features of proptech have existed for years as well — like property management software or the MLS online listing platform.  In addition, proptech companies are able to secure more funding as of 2021 at US$ 7.1 billion compared to its previous year, and is expected to continue to grow. Reason being, millennials make upto 65% of first home buyers and these consumers show interest in smart technology according to FinTech Global.

A lot of property organizations have invested in this at the top level because it really does have a place in the property tech world.

But why? The answer is simple: the advantages of this technology are clear. Property technology powers the sector, enhances transparency and ultimately enables better working. Here are six advantages of using the most relevant property management software for your properties:

Save Time

Managing multiple rental properties can be very time-consuming — especially when you use archaic methods like paper and pen for everything. But when you switch to proptech, you’ll save loads of time by automating common tasks. For example, when you use electronic leases instead of paper leases, you don’t have to waste time manually inputting all that information into your database since it’s automatically collected for you. Virtual home tours, a service currently offered by several companies, save landlords and property owners plenty of time they’d normally be spending on property viewings.

Increase Efficiency

In addition to saving time, proptech has other efficiency benefits as well. For example, online portals allow residents to submit maintenance requests at any time instead of having to call and email you. Cloud based property management softwares like appfolio or propertyware allow Property Managers to keep connected to their teams and customers, ensuring business continuity. By properly utilizing these apps, the efficiency increases as work can be done from anywhere, anytime.

Reduced cost

Paper processes are slow, error-prone, and expensive. The more time you spend on paperwork, the more money you lose on things like late fees, because it takes longer to chase down delinquencies when you’re relying on paper checks. Proptech automates many tasks that were once done by hand, saving your company money. Platforms like Zillow help automate the process of advertising property listings – reducing costly man made errors, or reducing the time to advertise the listing, allowing the business to save on the labor cost

Improved accuracy

You won’t have to worry about lost or damaged documents with proptech solutions, because they’re all stored digitally and backed up regularly in the cloud. Data is always accessible and safe from damage in proptech systems. Additionally, you can even accurately determine the best investment plans to determine how much you could earn by renting out property based on over 500,000 calculations.

Streamlined systems and processes

Automation doesn’t have to be complicated. It can just mean streamlining processes and making sure that as many tasks as possible are completed on time. Take your rent checks, for example. Your landlord might have you mail them, or you could have a system that automatically deposits money into your account so you never miss a payment. Services such as Intuit QuickBooks allows tenants to pay you with a click of a button and consist of many other great functions. The more automated your tenant management systems are, the more you can do.

Automation reduces the amount of time you spend on tasks like verifying rent payments and communicating with tenants. It also frees up your valuable staff members so they can focus on other things

Better insights into your business

When everything is automated, data becomes much easier to analyze because there’s a lot less of it to deal with — and you know it’s going to be accurate in each case because it was machine-generated instead of entered by hand by people who might make mistakes or copy information incorrectly.

The right software can help you manage your property, streamline maintenance work orders, and ensure that you’re being paid on time.

There are so many factors driving change nowadays that you need to be able to adapt quickly if you want to keep ahead of the game.

WHAT ARE THE TOP PROPTECH TRENDS?

Proptech can come in many forms. Some tools are more akin to advanced search engines that let brokers quickly locate properties they want. Others are applications that automate common tasks like scheduling appointments or entering data into CRMs. Many of these tools have been around a while, but they’re now catching on with property managers because of the unlimited benefits that help them work smarter, not harder.

Consider these top trending PropTechs that can grant you the competitive advantage you’ve been looking for:

The Cloud enables property managers to:

  • You can access your data from any device, anywhere, anytime.
  • You can collaborate on projects more seamlessly and effectively with your team members (Zoom, Slack, etc)
  • Your data is more secure and less prone to errors.
  • You can keep your costs down because you don’t have to pay for servers or IT infrastructure.
  • You’ll improve communication with your residents by allowing them easier access to rent payments, maintenance requests, and other critical information.

It is quickly becoming a worldwide standard. In fact, according to a survey conducted by findstack., 80% of respondents said that they either use or plan to use cloud-based software in the next 3 years. While 56% of them save they have already adopted multi-cloud.

If you’re still using on-premise or desktop software, it’s time to consider migrating your system to the cloud. Yardi Breeze is a top contender.

The introduction of 3D virtual tours, which allow prospective buyers to virtually walk through a house with ease, will help them envision just how comfortable the space might feel.

There are already several companies offering virtual tours of property by using your smartphone or tablet. Instead of calling up a property manager and asking them to take you on a tour of your dream home, you can now use your iPad or smartphone to ‘walk through’ the property with a virtual tour. Buyers can literally feel what their house would be like before they even move in.

With this kind of technology, there’s no reason why you couldn’t have beautiful virtual tours for your properties on your website, as well as an interactive 3-D model that offers multimedia experiences such as 360° video and laser scanning. Some known software include iStaging, Tourwizard, My360, etc.

it’s a comprehensive solution that provides all the tools required to run a rental business. Most of the rental management software products available in the market are highly customizable and can be used for renting out a wide range of products, including vehicles, equipment, media, furniture and accessories.

Here are some of the key features offered by rental management software:

Rentals tracking: This feature allows users to track the status of their rentals. It also provides several filter options to find the required information quickly and accurately.

Inventory management: This feature allows users to manage their inventory efficiently by tracking the movement of rented items. The feature also allows users to track item availability and maintain stock levels. It also helps in scheduling maintenance activities.

Reporting: This feature offers advanced reporting functionalities that provide insights into various aspects of an organization’s performance, helping them make informed decisions. Using this feature, users can generate reports based on various parameters such as rentals due, overdue rentals, reservations or payments due, etc.

Rentals billing: Rental billing is one of the most important functions performed by rental management software products. These products efficiently manage rental billing activities including preparing invoices, processing payments, sending out reminders and generating financial reports.

Top PM rental software include – Buildium, TurboTenant, AppFolio, Propertyware

Predictive analytics is the use of data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. The goal is to go beyond knowing what has happened to provide the best assessment of what will happen in the future.

This approach helps you make proactive decisions around your business, instead of relying solely on hindsight. For Instance, property managers can better understand

  • their target resident demographic
  • create targeted marketing campaigns
  • and streamline operations 

— especially when it comes to maintenance requests.

Tango is a great software for property management industries.

This can be employed by property managers in a number of ways, including:

automating routine tasks like responding to tenant inquiries

  • handling rent payments
  • improving customer service via chatbots on websites 
  • or managing maintenance needs automatically with AI-powered sensors that monitor appliances and other equipment in units


ensuring they’re working properly or signaling when they need attention.‘Different’ is one of the leading Ai technology for property management companies.

It is technology that is quickly becoming a key component of real estate tech. It’s used for tracking and storing all kinds of data that are needed to complete the sale, lease, or transfer of a property, including finance, title, and property management.

Blockchain is also crucial when it comes to the exchange of payments between buyers and sellers as well as communities and smart contracts that enable buyers to purchase properties in new ways. The use of blockchain will enable greater privacy by eliminating the need for intermediaries and the risk of fraud. An example of this would be ConsenSys.

Property management technology has undergone a significant transformation over the past few years. The introduction of cloud-based software and mobile apps has led to greater access, streamlined workflows, and smarter reporting for property managers.

But one trend that’s taken a bit longer to materialize is outsourcing. Offshoring tasks like administrative work, accounting, and marketing have long been a part of the business world. Property managers are just now realizing its potential benefits. 

THE TOP REASONS TO HIRE A REAL ESTATE VIRTUAL ASSISTANT:

  • it can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house staff member
  • is more efficient because you don’t have to train them or figure out how to use their technology. 
  • They can also be accessed remotely, 24/7.

Rocket Station has built a platform that allows you to build your own unique team to support your business, with each virtual assistant receiving training on your specific needs and processes (including any onboarding needed by your software systems).

Outsourcing is a trend that will continuously grow as technology allows more processes to be streamlined.

The days of managing your property in a binder and shuffling paperwork between your office and home are long gone. Today’s property managers have the luxury of using technology to manage their properties, tenants, finances, and much more – all from the comfort of their phones. They’re using them to connect with other people, and that leads to an increase in what’s called “virtual” space.

Virtual assistants and property management technology are only the beginning of an exciting new frontier that will revolutionize the way people do business. Soon, businesses will have on-demand access to virtual assistants who can be tasked to complete tasks across multiple platforms, who have access to all relevant information needed to complete each task, and who can do all of this at a low cost.

The combination of both proptech and virtual assistants is a game-changer.

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