All companies must operate efficiently in order to be successful, and reviewing how you operate can help you cut costs, increase income and save time. Streamlining processes, working smarter and accelerating workflows allows letting agents to achieve more during their working hours, as well as improving profits. Across the industry, there’s immense pressure to cut costs and increase productivity, and here we discuss tips on how to make your letting agency more efficient.

Motivation: It is vital that objectives and goals are shared among your entire team, where employees are also given KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and individual targets. As a result, employees will be more motivated, knowing that they have a direct influence in achieving targets, designing their own efficient workloads and improving their career prospects and salaries. Clearly allocate your staff’s workload, and minimise any risk of errors or duplication, thereby improving employee job satisfaction. For example, for the complete property management process, you may allocate accounting, property management and tenancy administration to different team members. For smaller letting agents, complete ownership of a property in your portfolio could be allocated to one staff member, who will be given personal responsibility and satisfaction in their job.

Proptech: Proptech undoubtedly improves efficiency of businesses when it is effectively used by staff. However, many letting agents across the UK still do not even utilise property management software. Instantly accessible, electronic systems containing your portfolio are crucial in managing, measuring and planning your business. Proptech acts as a tool for customer relation management, and contains all the tenant, property and landlord information you need, with advanced systems that can automate reminders and payments, to ensure your business will remain compliant with legal processes and regulatory liabilities. Proptech also ensures best practice.

Technology can also streamline processes and save time in other key areas, such as tenancy administration. This job is particularly paperwork heavy, and time-consuming, and software can save huge costs in postage, printing and storage when agents move to paperless administration, with easy-to-use and affordable systems available on the market. Agents should invest in the right technology to ensure they reap the benefits, while delivering a great customer experience. However, technology is not a replacement for staff, and property will remain a people-centric business, as landlords and tenants will not want to talk to a robot. Technology can instead create a more efficient organisation, allowing you to focus on other parts of your business.

Staff losses: With streamlining and increased efficiency, there is often a loss of staff, which your business may have to cope with. Downsizing, or moving out or moving others in, will improve the performance of your lettings business. You should ask yourself if your business needs a high street presence, as much space as you have, and an office. Consider more affordable or smaller options when your lease is up for renewal, and allow flexible working, working from home days and desk-sharing to save space. Negotiators will often be out of the office, with property managers able to work from any location. If moving is not an option, consider sub-letting space or combining multiple branches, or even outsourcing some tasks to external specialist businesses which have the infrastructure and skills to provide an effective service.

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