As a business, we’re always learning new ways to refine our processes to best accommodate our clients and their needs, but we’ll admit that working in property management can be a humbling experience, especially during periods of growth.
Truth be told, we’ve made our share of mistakes during our company’s evolution and have had to learn lessons the hard way. While we’re never itching to announce errors to the world, we also believe it’s important to be transparent and own up to our mistakes, make things right with our clients, and learn from them as we move forward.
While reflecting on lessons we’ve learned, a major theme that rises to the top is the realization that what once worked for our business no longer meets the needs of where we are today as we grow.
Let’s take a closer look at a mistake we made and what we learned from it. To read about another lesson we learned, you can click over to this post .
Mistake: Forgetting to Discount Agreed Upon Management Fees
At RL Property Management Group, we are big believers in checklists and workflows. They enable us to deliver consistent and high-quality service to our clients, but as we’ve grown, sometimes our checklists have lagged a step behind where we are as a business. That’s what happened in this particular scenario.
During the sales process with a potential client, our business development manager had agreed to a certain fee structure because this particular client was bringing us several units to manage all at once. This unique situation allowed us to offer some give and take with the client, which resulted in a slightly discounted fee relative to our standard plans.
Because it is rare for us to deviate from our standard plans, when the sales team passed off the new client, we forgot to enter the discount into our accounting software. Not surprisingly, the software automatically charged the client our standard management fee, rather than the discounted fee, during their first month of billing.
While it was an easy mistake to make – and correct, it’s never something we like to do. However, because discounts are relatively rare for our business, we didn’t have a process in place for it in our client onboarding checklist.
To make sure it wouldn’t happen again, we’ve simply added a step to our workflow in which we check in with the sales team prior to entering client details into our software system. This ensures that we will remain in alignment with what was agreed to during the sales process.
Mistakes like this one, though not detrimental, are still frustrating to make, but that’s where the power of checklists comes in. When something has to be changed, you can just add a step and know it’s going to be done correctly moving forward.
On the flip side, if everything is done on an ad-hoc basis or from memory, it’s harder to implement a change and feel confident it’s going to be followed by everyone at the company.
If you’re looking for an experienced property management firm in the Columbus area and one that prioritizes service and transparency, then come talk to us at RL Property Management Group.