Elite Agent TVEPM: TransformPM Transform Coaching 2016

Transform PM Ep 3: Benchmarking Property Management, Fiona Mott

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Rockend, Property Software Solutions Provider. Rockend provides innovative property management software, strata management software, document management software and real estate trust accounting software. For more information, visit rockend.com.au


Fiona Mott

Coaching Transcript:

00:00 Introduction by Samantha McLean

01:32 Data Integrity

Thank you for this opportunity as well. For those that I didn’t get to meet at the dinner at ARPM, my name is Fiona Mott and I am the product manager for realbenchmark. I oversee the delivery, which we’ve just launched this weekend at ARPM, of realbenchmark. It’s all the things that I love. I love data integrity, and business performance, and knowing your data, and how you can improve your business by looking at your data.

Data integrity is absolutely vital for you to be able to manage your KPIs, for you to be able to manage your businesses and your goals. One of those things is how can you manage something if you can’t measure it? What realbenchmark can provide you with is the opportunity to measure and you can see some historical statistics as well, but there’s a really cool element which I love which is the benchmarking. We can go through that too.

02:34 Overview of realbenchmark

Let’s have a look at what kind of things we can look at in your software at the moment. So what’s in your database and what kind of things you can benchmark against. How realbenchmark works, you’ve got your statistics which are updated on a weekly and a monthly basis. You’ve got a set period where you can go and you can have look, and then it’ll be updated on a Monday for the week prior, and then for the month for the calendar month. The calendar month is done so we’ve got a really clear set period for when we can benchmark. When we’re benchmarking, we want to compare like for like.

The dashboard provides us with an overview of what’s happening within your business. There’s nine reports that we can drill down into. This data that we can display on a dashboard for you, we saw this as a real opportunity to be able to put everything on a dashboard, a really simple easy to use dashboard. Rather than sifting through lots of reports, putting it all together – if you’re really savvy in Excel, making some cool graphs, pivot tables, doing some fancy things. But as Alister says, we want things yesterday. We want it quickly and we want information pushed to us. We actually don’t have to do anything here. It’s done for us, displayed for us, it’s updated for us.

04:02 Checking historical statistics

If I’m having a look at my properties, and I’ll just show you some information that you can see what’s on your property reports. I can see for that, keeping in mind your reporting period, and a really powerful tool is you can go back and you can have a look at your statistics for previous months. So, for as long as you’ve been using REST Professional, you can actually go back and you can see what was happening twelve months ago, two years ago, three years ago.

I can go back and I can check. If I have made some changes within my business and I want to see if that’s actually made an impact or made a difference, I can go back and have a look at my historical statistics. The graphs can be customised for what you want. If you want to track your gains, then you can just click on, or your losses, and of course what we all really need to be looking at is our net gains. My number of total properties, again, you can track that. This graph will display a thirteen month period so you can see what’s happened from where you are today to where you were this time last year.

05:07 Know your Average Commission 

What you can also see, and Alister touched on it as well, is just some really interesting data about your management fees. Everyone would like to say that their management fee is 7%. What happens, we’ve had a beta program that has been going for 7 months or so, 8 months, and one of the things when they activate, they look at their commission percentage split. We all think, “Oh, what’s happened here? I didn’t realise I had all of these rats and mice. I thought my commission was 5%, or my average commission was.” It’s really important to know what your average commission is. That’s something that you can as well, you can make changes within that business and clean up some of these ones that are on one property on 4.5%. You’ve got 3 properties on 4.09%.

This is a really nice visual for you to be able to just see what’s happening within the business, rather than sifting through a lot of reports and using filters. It’s all here at your fingertips. This is also mobile responsive and tablet responsive. You can be on the train going to work and log on and see what’s happening.

06:28 Gains / Lost Reasons

Down at the bottom we’ve also got our gains and our lost reasons. So you can track your gain and your lost reasons. It’s giving you an overview of what’s happening within your office. As I said before, you can also go back and you can check your historical data. It’s a real opportunity for you to go through what’s in your database and clean up. Are there work orders that can be completed that are sitting out there as a liability that are not being completed? Have I got 3 properties on 4.5%? What can I do about those? Have I got some properties on 0% that I didn’t quite know about? It’s going to show you in that wheel there.

You can also track your financial statistics too. Again, you can go and have a look at your week. I just want to show you that drop down so you can go back and look at your statistics for the week or for the calendar month. Your data is critical.

07:30 Vacancy Rates

You can see your available properties which are vacant. You can see what’s not available. You can track your vacancy rate. Again, planning. Planning for your resources. What’s happening with your vacancy rate. This time, we’re on a week, so this time 3 months ago we had this demo data has had a vacancy rate of 5%, but now we’re sitting at 7. What’s happened in the last 3 months to make that difference? 2% vacancy rate is a significant difference. This is just such a great tool for you to be able to see it visually and I like seeing things visually myself. You’re looking at reports and you’re looking at what’s happening. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it?

08:18 Lease renewals / rent reviews

As we know, lease renewals can get put to the bottom of the pile like rent reviews and inspections. Some of those things property managers, and I know I’ve been there and I’ve done that so I appreciate it too, you’ve got so much happening and as Alister says, everyone, your communication, email, it doesn’t stop. Your phone doesn’t stop. There are things that get put to the bottom of the pile. For you to be able to see that improvement and track and identify that that’s actually happening and that’s going on the up, absolutely. Incentivise stuff to say, “Look, if we can get lease renewals done …”

When we have a look at the rent reviews I’ll show you that’s got a really good statistic. We have a go at our rent reviews because I just want to show you what I’m … If I’m having a look at what was completed for that reporting period – so just keep in mind that I can go back at any time and check. If I wanted to come back and check where we were in November, what was completed in November 2014 were three. Then here was 48 – twelve months later. If I’m having a look at … I’ll just come back to my overdue, so here it’s just an example of ‘we were tracking really well. We were absolutely on top of our rent reviews’. Then I can see here my overdues just continuing to increase. Have I got a new staff member that doesn’t perhaps know how to complete a rent review in REST Professional, or they need more training, or we need to resource adequately?

A nice little statistic as well is what properties were completed with a rent review that had a rent increase. I did have a couple of people that I spoke to over the weekend. I said, “Can you show me what’s been rent decreased as well?” I think we’ve been experiencing some of those rents are actually coming down too. Keeping in mind that realbenchmark, we’ve only just launched it. I’m really looking forward to the evolution of this product. We’ve got the opportunity to just build upon that.

10:20 Comparing your business to others

Does anybody benchmark their business or read benchmarking reports and thought, ‘where do I sit?’ Benchmarking previously and traditionally we have relied on other agencies and users to fill out surveys. Is it the truth or did they say “I’m managing two and half thousand properties,” and I’ve got two thousand?

With the benchmarking, what we can do now is we can benchmark and compare our business against other comparable businesses. For those that are using realbenchmark, we can see where my business is sitting vs the average and vs the bottom 10% and the top 10%. I can think to myself, “I had a really bad month leasing. I wonder if others in the industry experience the same thing?” or “My lease rate is inflated,” or, “my vacancy rate is inflated, are there other experiencing the same?”

What I can do is I can compare my region – so this is what I was talking about before. At this point we can compare them by state. I can compare by number of properties under management because you want to compare like for like. Then I can filter. Everything that we report on on the report side, we can benchmark against.

11:54 Demo scenario using realbenchmark

I can see here, these directional arrows here, I had 10 gains for the month. The average had 13 so I’m down from the average. Up at the top, the average at the top 10% had 62 gains. What’s going on there? What I can do is I can also, keeping in mind you’ve got the historical statistics too, so you can go back and you can check what was happening 3 months ago.

With what you’re able to benchmark against. You’ve got a really good cross section of the industry. We’ve got a large percentage, more than 50% of the software providers. You’ll have a really great cross section to be able to benchmark against.

You can benchmark your financials. You can benchmark your tenancy fees, your management fees, letting fees. You can benchmark your vacancy rate. We’ve got a pretty high vacancy rate in this demo, but my top 10% have got a 1% vacancy rate. The bottom 10% have got an 11% vacancy rate. Just how that’s working with the bottom 10% and the top 10% – it’s the average of the bottom 10 and the average of the top 10. There’s no identifying component whatsoever to a particular agency or a business. There’s no identifying component to a property. It’s in the cloud, absolutely. Data security is what we live and breath.

With the leasing, lease renewals. Oh look – positive on this one so I’m at the bottom. I can play the 14 lease renewals, the average had 10 but hang on. The average at the top 10% is only 20. Do I want to set a goal to be in that top 20-10%? Absolutely. I can see I need to be able to do my lease renewals.

What’s been completed? What’s overdue? Other businesses, like the average here, they’ve got 328. It’s also comfort to know that there are other industries or other businesses that might be experiencing similar vacancy rates, arrears rates, other experiences as you. It also gives you opportunity to go, “I want to be up there.”

14:08 Conclusion

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