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Gaining Visibility a blueprint for success in property management

With Joel Davis, Image Property

With increasing competition and disrupters entering the property management space, there is a sense of urgency in the sector around the need to change the traditional business model, not soon, but right now. Over the last three years, Joel Davis, Managing Director of Image Property, has radically transformed his property management business in order to not only survive in the current disruptive climate, but thrive. And thrive is precisely what Joel and his team are doing. In fact, they are substantially more profitable today than they were eighteen months ago as a direct result of the changes he has implemented.

Joel says, “We've wiped out the inefficiencies, increased the profitability and given ourselves the ability to pay our staff what they deserve for the job they do.” Furthermore, Joel now has complete clarity and visibility over who does what and when, meaning he can give staff the support they need, when they need it.

What does the future of property management look like?

Joel’s team now consists of a local and offshore team with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. There are also clear processes, structures and systems in place. Joel remarks, “It's led to between a twenty and thirty per cent increase in profits within eighteen months. The main benefit however is that the business is sustainable now, which wasn’t the case before.” Two unexpected benefits of the new approach has been the fact that fewer properties are lost through mismanagement and that they are gaining more properties from existing clients then ever before, which Joel refers to as 'a beautiful by-product of doing your job very, very well'.

Today at Image Property, the most experienced property managers, those with several years’ experience, work on dollar-productive activities at least eighty per cent of the time. And they now have a far greater focus on relationship management with both owners and tenants. Significantly also, property managers at Image Property are in the office eighty per cent of the time as opposed to the traditional model, which sees property managers out on the road most of the time.

In contrast, Joel’s property management support team staff are out of the office eighty per cent of the time. Joel says, “The responsibility still lies with the property managers, but they are not doing the leg work, they are not doing the paperwork, they are not doing the administration, as these activities don’t represent the best use of their time."

To manage his property management team’s administrative tasks, Joel has engaged a highly functioning team of three in The Philippines. The offshore team capably handles owner and tenant lease renewals, entry notices, viewing uploads, invoice processing, property owner and tenant uploads, signboard ordering and application processing. Joel says, “I can't stress how much this has changed our business. The number one reason it works is that it gives our in-house property management team the time to do what they do best. The Philippines team now take cares of all of the administration tasks for us. Property managers are now being paid more than they ever were before because the administration role is being performed far more cost effectively."

Clients are also benefitting from the change in structure, and are enjoying significantly greater consistency in service levels and value. Rather than being lost in administrative tasks, property managers and support staff now have the time to provide in-depth client care and valuable insights.

Joel says, “To be able to get to the end of that three years and say that I can comfortably step out of the business knowing that we've got structure, systems and clarity is incredible."



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