As an executive, you know you need to continuously improve your processes for property management so that you can maximize your results but how do you decide where to start and what to focus your limited resources on?

In this post, we describe how we used our RentFlow Property Management Process Improvement Toolkit to help Julie’s company create a process improvement roadmap.

Property Management Process Improvement

As a Real Estate CFO, Julie is the executive sponsor for the strategic goal to “systematize property management processes”. She told us that there were too many processes that needed attention, and wanted a method for prioritizing the processes improvements to invest in.

Planning Project Requirements

Julie’s requirements for the process improvement planning project were:

  • The regional managers and property managers should prioritize process improvement opportunities
  • The method has to be easy to explain
  • Method should be transparent so all can understand why specific property management processes were selected for improvement
  • Process improvements should be tied to business goals and financial impact
The RentFlow Property Management Process Improvement Toolkit

We introduced Julie to our RentFlow Toolkit for Property Management Process Improvement. RentFlow consists of workbooks and questionnaires that property management teams can use for deciding what processes need the most attention.

Julie used Metric-X’s RentFlow Process Improvement Toolkit to accelerate the process improvement project (the RentFlow Toolkit provides a set of worksheets and checklists that can be tailored by property management companies as they take on process improvements).

The RentFlow Process Model

The diagram below shows the property management process model on which the worksheets and checklists of the RentFlow Toolkit are based.

The RentFlow Method

The RentFlow Property Management Process Improvement prioritization method consists of these steps:

  1. List Your Processes
  2. Identify Process Defects (defect = things that can go wrong)
  3. Quantify the Cost of Defects
  4. Rank the Processes Requiring Improvement
  5. Create an Action Plan
Property Management Process Catalog

We started off by reviewing the list of property management processes in the RentFlow Toolkit. The out-of-the-box process framework was adopted as is. Minor changes were made to the terminology.

Below is Julie’s Property Management Process Catalog. This will be living document as her company undertakes future process improvement projects.

Process Defects (or “Cost of Quality”)

After updating the Process Catalog, we reviewed the “Defects List”. The first pass through the Defect List, we identified the ones to short-list. We ended up with 18 process defects.  In the second pass, we reviewed each of the short-listed defects, and filled out the workbook for them. It was not practical to put a dollar value on every defect that was listed. Some simply had to be rated High/Medium/Low.

Below is a partially filled “Quality Calculator” worksheet that shows the process defects and their cost.

Action Plan

After the defects were quantified and prioritized, we created the action plan.

Julie decided that attacking the top defects at once would not be practical given the resource constraints. So, we created a “phased” roadmap, in which Phase 1. The picture below shows a partial view of Julie’s Action Plan.