April 13, 2023CMMS
Use a CMMS for Your Property Management SOPs
What do standard operating procedures (SOPs) have to do with property management? Like any business, property management comes with unique challenges. This is the case whether managing properties on behalf of real estate agencies or for yourself. What’s more, even if you don’t run a property management business, you might need to handle some form of property management based on your business.
If you’re a manufacturer, keeping your shops, warehouses, and any other physical facilities in good working condition is a top priority. And, if you want successful operations as a whole, you’ll likely need to reduce the number of problems you’re solving daily. You can’t focus on everything at the same time, after all.
If you’re looking to create asset management systems that allow your properties to run smoothly, provide value, and scale as your company grows, using standard operating procedures is an excellent place to start.
Why Define Your Property Management SOPs?
The benefits of adequately defining standard operating procedures for your property management company can include the following:
Helps Reduce Oversight
No matter what kind of property management you’re handling, you’ll be faced with various decisions. In residential property management, for example, in one day, you may find yourself dealing with tenants who want to move in or move out, fixing bathroom leaks, repairing broken sidewalks, overseeing evictions, or having to follow up on late fees and rent payments.
While every case is different, using a template to handle these issues will help prevent and solve maintenance problems. For example, what’s the procedure for returning a security deposit? Who answers maintenance requests? What’s the procedure for fire alarm testing? How do prospective tenants book viewings? With digital SOPs, your team can refer to these procedures to know what to do and when.
Ensures Processes Are Standardized
In addition to reducing the number of decisions you need to make daily, crafting strong property management SOPs helps you standardize tasks across teams and technicians. Beyond people knowing what to do, your SOPs help them understand how to do it. This way, you don’t have wildly differing approaches to the same problem.
It’s true that maintenance issues can be unique and sometimes require creative problem-solving, but it helps to have a framework within which a team can maneuver. For example, property managers might know how to contact residents or office tenants in particular situations, but it helps standardize communication. Is it okay to call someone’s phone number sometimes? Or should emails be the standard to ensure communication is documented? When making payments, are bank transfers okay? Or are all fees payable by check?
Your company might also have different approaches for dealing with property owners and rental property. This should be laid out clearly in individual SOPs and in the company-wide procedures manual. If you use a CMMS, you can attach the digitized operating procedures manual to all work orders.
Improves Employee Confidence
For both established maintenance teams and new employees, SOPs create confidence by providing a clear and consistent framework for completing tasks correctly. When your employees can easily follow well-defined processes, they know exactly what is expected of them and can work more confidently and efficiently.
In addition, digitizing your SOPs promote the following:
- Consistency: SOPs provide a consistent way of completing tasks. Your employees can trust that the process will work each time they follow it.
- Clear expectations: SOPs set clear expectations for how to complete tasks. Your stated expectations reduce uncertainty.
- Reduced errors: SOPs reduce errors by providing step-by-step instructions. Tested and reviewed procedures reduce the likelihood of mistakes.
- Training and development: SOPs are ready-made onboarding tools for new employees. SOPs provide employees with the knowledge and skills to do their jobs effectively.
Why Use a CMMS for Property Management SOPs?
A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is designed to help streamline workflows and make managing your facilities easier. For example, if you want to establish, store, and share your SOPs with your staff, a CMMS can help.
Modern CMMS software systems provide preventative maintenance functions, optimized spare parts inventory levels, improved scheduling and planning, and measurable regulatory compliance.
Here are a few potential benefits.
Automate Management Workflows
Work order generation is the core capability of a maintenance software platform. It allows management to create, assign, and monitor preventive maintenance tasks with ease. This proactive maintenance approach, in turn, increases reliability, enhances client experiences, and improves response times to emergency maintenance requests when they do arise.
The best work order systems also include task-prioritization labels; multiple calendar views; asset, location, and parts details; and PDF uploading for maintenance manual attachments.
Property management maintenance software is essential to running effective preventive maintenance programs to reduce the frequency of inconvenient, unplanned breakdowns.
For example, part of your property management processes might involve specific activities organized by daily, weekly, monthly, or other time intervals. A CMMS like MaintainX can schedule work orders and provide detailed instructions for how each team should perform each activity. You can also make these work orders repeatable. This means you no longer need to create the same work instructions repeatedly. And you can schedule everything in advance.
Integrate Work Requests
Speedy communication between tenants and management can improve resident loyalty, enhance property reputation, and reduce disputes due to miscommunication. The best software options include API integrations that allow users to merge data from other applications. API stands for Application Programming Intermediary. Essentially, APIs help programs “talk to” each other.
Work request APIs allow managers to connect maintenance software to online portals where tenants can submit work requests. The software generates automated work requests that maintenance managers can either approve or reject. Management then assigns approved assignments to maintenance technicians or third-party contractors as scheduled work orders. On this point, note that MaintainX features its own requestor portal so there is no need to integrate third-party software on this front.
Information is crucial to audit your processes. You can assign these activities to specific staff members, track their progress, and communicate with them if and when needed. Using a CMMS to automate your workflows, as outlined above, helps with this. Furthermore, with a robust CMMS, you can record your past work orders. Creating and maintaining SOPs that your teams are willing to use is one of the best risk management tools.
Automating these SOPs on a CMMS that your teams actually like and want to use is even better.
In other words, you can see the procedures, the people assigned to each work order, and how they went about it. This eliminates the need to search for paper records to review progress. But, of course, if there’s a problem or miscommunication, you can always refer to your CMMS to find out what happened.
Analyze Key Performance Indicators
Beyond helping you with audits, the best CMMS platforms also analyze your data. MaintainX, for example, comes with reporting dashboards to help you track, analyze and visualize real-time key performance indicators (KPIs). Using a CMMS to store data regarding, for example, your employees’ SOP completion rates, inspections, time and cost tracking will help you generate actionable insights as you scale your business.
Improve Communication and Collaboration
A CMMS can also help communicate SOPs to staff. MaintainX also hosts a global procedure library containing procedures from across industries and for a range of equipment reactive and preventive maintenance.
Furthermore, MaintainX is the only CMMS offering in-app messaging. Your staff can reach out from the maintenance site to ask questions, request additional help, or respond to team members. Instead of returning to the office or facility, staff can message one another directly.
Optimize Your Property Management with MaintainX
Beyond providing basic capabilities—work order management, asset management, inventory management—the application delivers “the wow factor” with its business messaging and advanced reporting features. MaintainX allows property managers and maintenance technicians to communicate in real time via individual and group messages from their desktops and mobile devices.
In addition to work-order commenting, real-time messaging is the most frequently cited “favorite feature” by product users. Offline mode, digital checklists, purchase orders, requestor portals, and time and cost tracking features are also favorites. MaintainX has everything property managers need to digitize standard operating procedures (SOPs), oversee workflow audits/inspections, and manage equipment maintenance.
If you’re looking for a CMMS to help you establish and communicate your SOPs, try MaintainX. We offer built-in functionality for data storage and analysis, work order automation, and instant chat. Check us out.