How well do you understand the flow of information, tasks, and projects in your property management company?
If you’ve been running your business for a while, you probably have a pretty sophisticated process with multiple hand-offs every time something needs to be done. But, how do you know who is accountable for what, and when?
The answer is a solid workflow, and today we’re talking about how workflows can benefit you and the outcomes your management company is able to achieve.
Understanding How Work Flows through a Company: Michael’s Process
I’m Michael Lushington, Fourandhalf’s COO. Prior to working with Fourandhalf, I was a business technology consultant for 20 years with large companies. I got to know those companies really well, and I always thought it was exciting and a little scary walking into a new company without knowing what they do or how they do it.
The way I became comfortable with new companies was by understanding workflow and knowing how information moves through the company. If there was no documented process, doing it myself helped me understand quickly what was going on inside the company. I could identify value and see opportunities for improvement.
How does this apply to you? You can get to know your business by building a workflow. Take a step back and really understand how information is flowing through your company.
Putting Workflows to Work for Your Property Management Company
In our next blog, we’ll talk in more detail about what a complete workflow looks like and give you some examples.
Today, we want to share three important things:
- What is the process you want to identify? Usually, this is associated with some specific outcome. A good example is the way your maintenance process works.
- Identify the individual tasks involved in completing that process.
- Make sure you know the people involved in the process.
If you have the outcome, tasks and people, you can build yourself a workflow.
Examine Your Own Process from the Outside
Once you’ve got your people identified and your tasks listed out, you can look closely at your process. Step back and look at it from the outside in.
Some things to consider or notice might be:
- Are there opportunities where you can identify defects in the process?
- Can you speed things up?
- Are you taking too many steps?
- Can you expedite hand-offs and shorten delivery time?
This will help you improve what you’re doing, whether it’s maintenance or leasing or tenant turnovers or something else.
One-Person Processes are Still Processes
Something we hear a lot is: I don’t need a process because it’s just me doing the task or completing the work, and I know what I do.
Terrific. But, sometimes one person doing it all isn’t the best solution to solving a process. If you have an opportunity to share a project or parts of a project, you can become more efficient in the way you run your company. It’s better if you’re not doing everything because when you delegate tasks down the chain of command, you’ll find yourself with more time to actually run your business.
A workflow is a tool to produce an outcome. Your outcome is to better understand how you run your business and to identify the types of cost-effective solutions you can put in place to streamline what you do and how you do it.
Workflows also help you identify defects in your process. This is used in the service of your company, and with your small investment of time, workflows can produce a big understanding of what your business does and how it does it. They are powerful tools for helping you to quickly see how information is flowing through your company. It shines a light on who is accountable for what.
We’ll be talking more about workflows soon; this is just the first in a blog series on the topic.
If you have any questions between now and our next blog, please contact us at Fourandhalf.