Property management companies are finally beginning to bounce back after a few long years of uncertainty related to the pandemic. Building closures brought unprecedented consequences and the return to work has been steady but slow, creating unpredictable building occupancy.
This has led many property management companies to reevaluate the efficiency of their buildings and to work towards gaining a better understanding of how the properties are utilized, as unpredictable occupancy can mean wasted resources. This also means a closer look at the budget.
And while the property management sector is predicting growth in 2023, the focus remains on finding ways to save money and stay competitive.
Here are some strategies that property management companies can use to save money in 2023.
One way to save money is by investing in energy-efficient systems and appliances. This can include installing low-flow toilets and showers, upgrading to Energy Star-rated appliances, and adding insulation to your properties. These upgrades may have a higher upfront cost, but they can save money overall by reducing energy bills.
Additionally, finding low-cost solutions that directly impact energy efficiency and sustainability can also be incredibly beneficial.
As Caleb Richter a Forbes Business Council Member points out, replacing old light bulbs with LEDs, adding solar window films to help cut cooling costs, and patching areas where heat may be leaking out can all have cost-saving benefits while being sustainable.
“Think about green additions that lower energy usage, make it easier to track actual energy costs, and close gaps in older buildings. This is an easy way to save money through going green that can be easily repeatable across commercial properties” (Richter).
Advancements in AI and automation have come a long way and there are many solutions available to take on a wide range of tasks.
Floor cleaning is one task that takes up a large amount of cleaning staff’s time, is repetitive, and can feel mundane. Automating this process can free staff to focus on other important tasks and be a solution to the declining labor force.
While it does cost money to add a cobot to the staff, there are opportunity costs involved that come from optimizing cleaning processes, which lead to increased productivity, as well as creating happier staff by taking mundane work off their plate and allowing them to focus on more rewarding work. This can lead to less turnover, which is costly.
Plus, Cobi 18 is available for less than $20 a day and through an all-inclusive subscription which includes service. Not having to worry about additional costs for servicing the machine can have significant cost savings benefits for property managers.
Another way to leverage technology to streamline processes is by using professional property management software to manage properties and communicate with tenants more efficiently.
There are tools like online rent payment platforms and virtual tours to reduce the need for in-person interactions that help reduce labor costs.
According to the 2023 State of Property Management Industry Report put together by Buildium, Propertyware, and NARPM:
“Technology helps property management teams to automate repetitive tasks. This has the benefit of creating more fulfilling work for employees, freeing up their time so they can focus on higher-order functions like devising strategies to generate additional revenue, and delivering the quality of service that differentiates small and mid-sized companies from larger competitors.”
Data analytics systems are tightly tied to AI and building management. By utilizing the collected data PMs can analyze and understand a wide variety of information and trends. By reviewing and understanding the information they can make more informed decisions that directly impact the bottom line and help to cut costs.
Another way to save money is by implementing a preventative maintenance program. This includes creating a checklist for all equipment and systems on the property that could benefit from regular maintenance.
By making a checklist and scheduling regular maintenance, PMs can avoid costly repairs that come from leaving issues unattended for too long.
They also suggest taking the time to evaluate the property to determine any other systems that should be on the list such as elevators or automatic gate systems.
Even cleaning equipment, like ride-on floor scrubbers and sweepers, can be placed on the preventative maintenance list.
Some companies, like ICE Cobotics, even offer regular service as part of their all-inclusive subscription. So, if a floor cleaning machine needs repair, the company will take care of it as part of the service plan—no additional cost to the property manager.
Preventative maintenance is a key way for PMs to cut costs and save money, and it can be a great way to keep the property in top condition, which can attract higher-paying tenants.
Rental property management software has come a long way. There is a long list of platforms designed to handle the inner workings of property management and for any size portfolio.
Some of the most important aspects of these programs are that they have self-service options for tenants and come with a wide variety of tools for leasing agents to use as well.
For example, most of the software platforms allow tenants to pay their rent online or submit maintenance requests through an online portal. There are also options for tenants to communicate with property or facility management professionals which can help expedite any urgent issues.
For property managers or leasing agents, tools within the platforms can help with answering tenants more quickly, identifying issues with the leasing process (late rent payments, etc.), as well as keeping lease agreements up to date and handy--making the job faster and easier for those in charge of the property.
Self-service tools help to save time and money and can even be used to identify cost savings opportunities.
A professional procurement service can help negotiate lower prices on supplies and materials that are used regularly. This can include everything from cleaning supplies to maintenance equipment. By working with a procurement service, PMs can take advantage of bulk purchasing discounts and other cost-saving measures.
In the same vein, it is always a good idea to reevaluate fees and pricing for the vendors or service providers you have hired. This can include everything from lawn maintenance and pest control to garbage removal and HVAC repair. By shopping around and negotiating better rates, PMs can save a significant amount of money on these expenses.
Finally, consider outsourcing certain tasks to specialized third-party service providers. This can help with better time management and cost savings. It can be tempting to try wearing many hats, thinking it saves money, but it can be tricky to pay attention to all the things that need dedicated time and consistent management. One person trying to do it all can cost more.
Finding a team of skilled professionals who can execute the work quickly and with quality results can help a PM get more done with less time and money wasted. This can include things like accounting, marketing, and legal services.
By outsourcing these tasks, PMs can save money on labor costs and take advantage of the expertise of specialized professionals.
By implementing these strategies, property management companies can save money and increase profitability in the year ahead.
ICE Cobotics is a technology and cleaning equipment company specializing in automation. If you would like more information on Cobi 18, please reach out to our automation experts.