Creating a Paperless Office to Improve your Property Management Skills

Copying, filing, searching, retrieving, refiling, sending, mailing and faxing… on average a property manager spends 20% of their time on paperwork. If you’re tired of doing things the hard way, you’re not alone. Many property management agencies have converted to/created a paperless office and have never looked back since.

While the change may seem intimidating at first, here are some compelling reasons why your agency should create a paperless office today.

Lower costs

Printing or copying a single document may not seem expensive, but the cost of constantly using paper, printers, ink cartridges, toner, copiers, and filing cabinets adds up quickly over time. According to research, the average office worker consumes more than 10,000 sheets of paper each year. That’s equivalent to a yearly cost of around $1,000 per worker and $10,000 for a small property management firm of 10 agents. Although you may initially spend more upfront on equipment, creating a paperless office will be a much wiser financial investment in the long run.

Increased efficiency

Did you know that all that paper could hold you back from finishing your work on time? (And it will only pile up as your portfolio grows). By eliminating paper, you can be free from all those strenuous hours of processing paperwork. In a digital environment, property managers can send and retrieve documents with just a few taps of a button. The time it takes to get signatures for leases and inspections can be drastically reduced by using electronic signatures instead. With our Paperless Handover System, documents can be made available online to be accessed anytime by tenants, reducing your number of client calls and time spent sending and retrieving documents.

Easy access and secure storage

When everything is recorded, copied and stored on paper, there is a high risk of something being filed incorrectly, lost or damaged. Important documents can get mixed-up even with the most well-organised paper filing systems. Not only is it time consuming to try and locate missing documents, but it can also seriously damage your reputation with clients when there are legal implications involved.

By creating a paperless office, you can take advantage of an intelligent document management system, from which you can instantly retrieve electronic files and generate custom reports on demand. In addition, paperless systems give everyone peace of mind by ensuring all documents are securely stored and backed-up via the cloud. This minimises the risk of lost or damaged files while preventing the wrong people from accessing confidential information.

Have what you need anywhere, anytime

We all know that property management isn’t your standard 9 to 5 job. You could be chasing up overdue rent or doing routine inspections at 2 pm and coordinating a plumber at 6 pm. Then you could still be working up until 10 pm, trying to get on top of emails. Imagine doing all this while having to carry piles of paper everywhere you go.

By creating a paperless office, your smartphone or tablet replaces those piles of paper, so you can easily work while on-the-go. One way to achieve this is by utilising our Tenant Assisted Inspection feature. Through implementing this into your paperless office you can request tenants to complete your routine inspections for you and you don’t even have to attend the property, saving yourself even more time during your day. This means you can access files you need from anywhere and at any time instead of having to dig through stacks of paper on your desk, in your handbag or in your car.

Improves tenant-agent communication

A paperless office makes it much easier to keep track of progress and communication. For example, with our new maintenance integration, you can lodge Maintenance issues identified whilst completing inspections, lodging from within your Inspection Manager App and sent automatically back to your Bricks+Agent Dashboard for actioning – no double entry required and easy to follow and keep track of the maintenance status!

In addition, every property manager knows how frustrating it can be to trace the paper trail when a tenant dispute arises. After creating a paperless office, you can have instant access to conversation histories via email or text as well as all relevant documents that were exchanged.

Better service, happier clients

By promoting your agency as a “paperless office”, you can project a positive brand image to both clients and stakeholders. Apart from being eco-friendly, people associate a paperless business with mobile, efficient, easy-to-use service.

As a paperless office, information such as statements and invoices can be promptly retrieved and supplied to enquiring tenants and owners. Not only will you impress clients who often want things done “here and now”, you will also have more time to focus on growing your property portfolio.

There is an e-revolution brewing in the property management industry today. It’s time to say goodbye to mixed up documents, stuffed filing cabinets and the endless stacks of paper crowding your desk. It’s clear that creating a paperless office is a great strategic decision for property management agencies, regardless of its size.

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