The property management industry suffered from being short-staffed long before the pandemic. According to the National Apartment Association (NAA), the pre-pandemic turnover rate in property management was 32.7%. Workforce shortages are common across the board within the industry. There is a high percentage of turnover of maintenance workers that continues to rise as many move toward construction for higher wages. Even landscaping and cleaning support positions have been difficult to fill.
An NAA online survey of property management professionals in mid-2021 found that recruiting and retaining staff, establishing efficiency in operations, and increasing revenue are the top concerns for the industry in 2022. After the 4.5 million people who quit their jobs in November and the 4.3 million in December 2021, maintaining staff will continue to be a challenge.
Automation in Property Management
Property management companies (PMCs) are also experiencing setbacks due to their vendors being short-staffed. The trickle-down effect is causing existing staff to work overtime to keep up with the large number of requests from residents who are now at home for more extended periods. Remote workers and parents of children in virtual learning programs have increased due to Covid-19 and so have their demands. Property management staff are doing everything they can to keep up.
As with many other industries, property management has a lot to gain from automating certain services. The most common tasks that are automated are rent and association dues collection, property inspections, tenant notifications, renewals, and maintenance requests. For a short-staffed PMC, automating these processes may be the best way to help prevent employee burnout.
But there is an important element that property management companies should not overlook. Automating their AP processes benefits the PMC and their equally short-staffed vendors.
Accounts payable functions are often repetitive and time-consuming manual processes. Generating invoices, verifying payment amounts, and reconciling statements usually require sorting through a lot of paperwork and the review and approval of several people to accomplish. This already lengthy process takes even more time when property management companies are short-staffed.
A large percentage of PMCs depend on paper checks as payment from tenants and homeowners as well as for making their B2B payments. Slow manual processes like paper check payments can delay the disbursement of funds and result in late fees or, worse, the loss of valuable vendors. And with staff shortages affecting vendors as well, receiving prompt payments would increase their cash flow and make things a little easier on their end.
Digitize Property Management Payments
Automating tedious manual functions establishes a more efficient workflow and saves time and money. An automated accounts payable process would require less attention from your current workforce. It will cover financial duties in short-staffed property management offices so staff can focus more on customer-facing activities.
Many PMCs that already automate property management services understand how beneficial and time-saving automation can be. Automating accounts payable can help PMCs and their vendors. The process is easier than expected, especially considering you can automate many of the different payment types that vendors accept, such as:
PMCs and vendors can count on timely payments and better workflow by using automation for all payment types. And with the right accounts payable automation technology, PMCs would get more done even with fewer employees. They would be able to focus on hiring and recruitment and staying on top of tenant and owners requests.
Benefits of Property Management AP Automation
The benefits of automating AP processes will help the Property Management industry meet two of its 2022 goals – establishing efficiency and increasing revenue.
- Gain full visibility of all payment activity reduce the need for several people to review and approve
- A cloud-based payments processing platform that is accessible at any time from phone, tablet, or computer
- Faster reconciliation with real-time invoice and payment tracking, reducing the possibility of duplicate invoices, double payments, or lost payments
- Consistently pay vendors on time, avoid late payment fees, and earn rebates that generate new monthly revenue when you pay suppliers that accept virtual cards
- AP automation is more secure, helps to minimize check fraud, and save property managers the cost associated with lost checks
While labor pools are shrinking and the “Great Resignation” continues, automating repetitive and routine functions may be the boost that PMCs need to attract new talent and keep current employees from burnout.
Accounting processes are a part of all industries and can be automated by every business, from small companies to giant corporations. And since being understaffed is a country-wide and cross-industry occurrence, everyone can benefit from AP automation.
Corporate Spending Innovations (CSI) is a global FinTech leader providing innovative payment solutions to world-leading brands across all industries. CSI automates and digitizes B2B payments with a safe and highly secure cloud-based payments platform. For a more efficient way to manage payables, including virtual credit card, B2B Payments Network, ACH, and check, please visit https://www.corporatespending.com/contact to book a demo.
CSI is an Edenred Company, the global leader in payment solutions for the working world.