Outsourced services will dominate Property Management industry

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Outsourcing will now soon be on top recommended service in property management industry.

(Updated at September 18, 2017)

Outsourcing non-revenue generating services is the way of the future for Property Management companies and will allow Property Managers to concentrate on their core strengths and growing the business.

Property management assistance work, inspections, maintenance and Trust accounting services can all be outsourced in some way, shape or form, it is the way of the future. Getting and retaining quality staff is becoming harder and harder so by outsourcing routine tasks it allows for business continuity whilst allowing permanent staff to focus on their core strengths and growing the business.

Virtual Property Manager (VPM) frees up property managers and agency principals to grow your business by taking away all of those necessary but non-revenue generating tasks that take up to 70% of your valuable time. After all one of your key goals is to create a better experience for property owners and tenants by offering the best customer service experience.

The property management office of the future must retain a personal touch but its back office can be delivered remotely and scaled as needed whist achieving significant cost advantages. Our service is the perfect combination of remote highly trained, specialist property management assistants and streamlined processes that are brought together using leading edge cloud based technology. Using your existing trust accounting and property management system, your existing business rules, tradespeople and contractors we replicate what works best for your agency.

No one else in the Australian property and outsourcing market today brings together the people, processes and technology to deliver a property management service like Virtual Property Manager©.

Virtual Property Manager works behind the scene and our public face is a “white label” operation. All of our written communications from your software with your tenants and property owners are branded with your name, address and logo and we provide a dedicated property management assistant phone line and cloud based services, to manage the majority of your property management needs.

 

About Peter Springett

Peter has more than 40 years’ experience designing & launching new technology based solutions into the UK, Australian US & NZ markets and has over 20 years bureau and outsourcing experience. He was founder and former public officer and secretary of the Australian BPO Association.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Mental Athletes in the Boardroom – Practical strategies for sustained concentration

Today’s workplace places an unnatural pressure on our ability to sustain high levels of concentration for an extended period.

The eight to ten hour mental marathon is not our natural state and it is one which requires considerable training for the high levels of concentration, recall, problem solving, creative thinking and interpersonal relations required. Much of the time can be wasted in under performance if strategies are not put in place to trigger and maintain peak, mental functioning.

It has been well documented that concentration span wanes after 20 minutes of sustained activity. (Witness your own memory after hearing a one-hour conference presentation – let alone 8 hours). In most organisations today, people are pushing beyond the mental decline believing that they are operating at their mental best. In reality, they are accomplishing the best they can at a fraction of their potential.

In the office, this means unnecessarily long hours or simply inefficiency. Working at 20% – 50% efficiency for much of the day usually means later finishing times, taking work home and early starts. Imagine how much shorter the working day and more effective the output, if the brain was operating at 80-100% efficiency!

For the brain to function effectively, it needs fuel. While the brain represents only 2% of body weight, it requires 20% of the available oxygen and 50% of available glucose. Sedentary work results in a reduction of oxygen uptake and over extended periods, a consequent reduction in the ability to concentrate, absorb and recall information.

You probably know the symptoms. After several hours of solid concentration, you become mentally fatigued. You search for simple, mechanical tasks that require the minimum concentration. In an attempt to get the brain working, you take a lunch break but find you quickly return to the same lacklustre level of concentration. You either work longer hours or simply don’t get the job done.

Aerobic exercise and meditation are two simple methods of re-oxygenating the brain. While these have been promoted largely for their effect on cardiac health, the after effect of 20 minutes of either of these activities include not only a lowering of heart beat and blood pressure, but also an increased flow of oxygen to the brain. All this results in increased energy, creativity and improved ability to concentrate for up to 24 hours. A simple 20-minute meditation boost (instead of a cappuccino) at lunchtime will do wonders to your afternoon output! It is why some of our largest banks and parliamentary offices now have meditation rooms available for their employees.

While aerobic exercise will improve thinking, stress will have the opposite effect. A stress reaction will direct oxygen supply away from the cerebral cortex (the thinking part of the brain – the intellectual brain) to the lower brain to activate the physical functions of the ‘flight and fight’ response. Knowing how to identify the stress response is the first step. Learning control of the stress response and developing resilience strategies are critical to high-level mental performance.

While these behaviours are easy to suggest, they are not as easy to put into practice without training in behavioural change. Without support, it is much easier to just keep on in the same old rut. If you or any of your team wants to learn how to use your brains more effectively, you should seek out appropriate training. It follows that stress resilience; healthy lifestyles and peak performance will be the end result. Like learning to swim, we all need guidance to overcome our own resistance to change and new experiences.

 

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Susanne Rix is a Behavioural Scientist, and author of Superworking: How to Achieve Peak Performance without stress.

Susanne and her team conduct Peak Performance programs for organisations. Individuals consistently report they are achieving more, in less time and with less stress. Organisations report higher staff retention rates, lower absenteeism and improved team cohesion.

Phone +61 2 47574231 or contact this publication for email connection.

Getting a Chip in The Game

by Tessa Conboy

I was sitting in a presentation for International Women’s Day, where a female CEO of a global media company spoke to all the women at my company and gave her top five tips for excelling in industry, especially as a female.

One of these points was to take a seat at the boardroom table, ask for things we need and deserve, and although she was applying this to specifically our brand of female, you can also apply this to the millennial brand, because across both genders, male and female, we all want to take that seat at the table, and be heard.

Ideation flows through every employee from every sector of a business, they may not sit in the ‘creative department’ or have a title that implies ‘ideas master’ but they all have a different perspective and a different voice to lend to the mix. Especially the millennials sprinkled throughout the business. Having a mentor or manager who encourages and what we deem as ‘allows’ us to offer our thoughts and contribute in order to collaborate, is what each millennial desires.

I have been lucky enough to have three managers who have provided exactly this for me, even a director of a department I was in, who believed in my ideas and perspective. It encouraged me, it drove me, it challenged me, because I was starting to make my way to taking that seat. When we are given the opposite, a superior who will not let us spread our wings, or a superior who for want of a better saying feels ‘we should be seen and not heard’, we are less engaged, less productive, less collaborative and less confident.

We have come ahead leaps and bounds in the gender equality race but what about the age respect race. Young and old, we all want our opinion to matter, we all want our ideas to be heard, because as much as we all play for team ‘me’, we also play for a team ‘us’. Some of the best results are delivered when a group listens and hears one another, leading to what we want when we eventually take that seat, respect.

When millennials are not just seen but also heard, and our opinion is acknowledged, we respect our superiors as they have seen us as an equal rather than a junior member of the team, but as well as this we gain respect from our colleagues. Therefore the next time we enter a meeting, or a brainstorm, or a client presentation, we feel encouraged and confident to express our ideas and contribute to the end solution. We are making our way to take the seat at the boardroom table, but also hoping we open up the avenue to have more millennials start to take that seat as well.

 

Tessa Conboy is a millennial and grew up on Sydney’s North Shore. She was private school educated (Pymble Ladies College) and gained her Bachelor of Communications, Journalism from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW.

Currently, she works as an Account Manager for Australian company, Bastion Collective in their PR and Communications team, Bastion Effect. Previous to this position she has worked with Sydney’s leading hospitality company and a national radio entertainment brand in their PR teams. Like most of her generation, she is a digital native and fluent with most social media platforms.

Every Property Manager Needs a Good ‘SMAC’

By Martin Conboy

Current trends in Corporate IT have caused enterprises across industries to rethink their digital strategies.

In a recent online piece, Michael Yardley of www.propertyupdate.com.au  says,” The new generation of renters have arrived, and they’re bringing a whole new set of rules to the game.

They still favour great locations, mod cons, and accessibility to entertainment and infrastructure, but they’re also turned on – or off – by their access to technology.

Technology now underpins every facet of modern society, and housing is no exception.

Keeping up with its influence is more important than ever for investors who want their property to maintain high desirability.

Or, they risk being left behind.

Social Researcher Mark McCrindle stated, “Renters comprise nearly a third of Australian households.

A fascinating report compiled for Optus by research agency McCrindle, released in January 2016, revealed some very interesting insights into modern renter personalities and what they’re looking for in a property.

Firstly, ‘The Renter of the Future’ report discovered that plenty of next-gen renters choose to rent.

For the modern Aussie renter technology underpins and has become completely fused with their lifestyle.

This group is among the first to jump onto new technologies, keeping abreast of the latest trends and, where possible, the latest devices.

Accessing the Internet quickly from their new rental property is a must for them.”

The McCrindle report found technology featured strongly in their top-5 rental property wish list:

  1. Parking (38%)
  2. Pet-friendly (32%)
  3. Cable internet (31%)
  4. A strong mobile signal (25%)
  5. Number of power points in a room (22%)

Basically, a good chunk of modern renters want to be connected and live tech-happy lives and will seek out these attributes when they’re looking for a place to live.

Unfortunately many property management agencies are not keeping up with the technology changes in the market and there is fast appearing a widening gap between tech-savvy renters and technophobic (an irrational fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex devices, especially computers and software.) property management companies.

The second generation of Silicon Valley innovators and the rise of disruptive technologies have together redefined both innovation in IT and the IT industry itself. The worlds of consumer technology and enterprise technology have merged.

The next wave of IT can be found in Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud (SMAC) delivered as a holistic solution known as the SMAC stack.

Disruption and innovation as caused by the adoption of digital technologies have propelled some companies to meteoric success while contributing to the demise of others. Even companies once viewed as innovative have often failed to respond to the disruption in the market, hanging on to legacy business models and out dated IT systems. The cycles of innovation are occurring faster and faster. The ability of a company to keep up with these changes will determine how business contends with the challenges of tomorrow. Digital transformation through SMAC gives businesses an advantage over the competition in winning the battle for the future.

Source: Capgemini Consulting

Margaret Rouse in her blog on Whatis.com says that SMAC is the concept that four technologies are currently driving business innovation. SMAC creates an ecosystem that allows a business to improve its operations and get closer to the customer with minimal overhead and maximum reach. The proliferation of structured and unstructured data that is being created by mobile devices, sensors, social media, loyalty card programs and website browsing is creating new business models built upon customer-generated data. None of the four technologies can be an afterthought because it’s the synergy created by social, mobile, analytics and cloud working together that creates a competitive advantage.

SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) technologies have been reshaping client experiences and relationships for some time now. They have proven to be disruptive, affecting the buying behaviours of customers as well driving the digital transformation of enterprises. Most organisations, including Property Management companies  however, are failing to appreciate the full impact of SMAC and what it means for their future.

S is for Social Media

As social media sites continue to spawn and proliferate, the range of audiences they reach continues to grow and diversify.

Believe or not, according to recent statistics and reports, the fastest growing demographic on Twitter are adults aged 54 – 66. According to a recent post on Fast Company blog more and more 45 – 54-year-olds are using Facebook and Google+.  Fastest growing – yes. But these age groups are still a long way from being the largest.

Nevertheless, it does recognise a growing use of social media by broader and more diverse groups. And potentially more affluent groups within society.

M is for Mobile

The amount of mobile devices already exceeds the number of people inhabiting the planet. According to recent research from Cisco, monthly global mobile data and traffic will surpass 15 exabytes by 2018. According to an IDC paper, “161 exabytes of data were created in 2006 that is 3 million times the amount of information contained in all the books ever written”.

Much of this data will be generated by social media sites, apps, responsive and interactive websites, that allows consumers to access a range of services from their phone or tablet. Mobility is a vital platform for building customer relationships.

A is for Analytics

Big Data is the new Oil. Every day the world creates 2.6 exabytes of data. 90 precent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. That’s an enormous amount of data. Much of it stems from social media and the transactions consumers make via their mobile devices and other channels.

Organisations are looking to harness this vast reservoir of data to generate meaningful insight into the buying patterns and behaviours of consumers and customers. But it is a daunting task and one requiring specialist skill sets and tools to make it practicable.

C is for Cloud

Everybody is talking about the cloud these days. The provision of computing and business resources on a utility basis, offering immediate scalability upon demand. No need to wheel in large boxes into air-conditioned rooms with floating floors. Anyone, with a browser, can access their applications regardless of geographic location.

SMAC is not a brand new acronym. It’s been around for two or three years. But most Property Managements organisations have not really taken it on board. They’ve taken on maybe one or two facets of it. Or if they have taken on more they haven’t really integrated their approach as an overall strategy.

In IT circles it is referred to as the SMAC stack. Capgemini Consulting highlights how the combined technologies of the SMAC stack have the potential to erase geographical barriers, cut costs, and enhance operations and business process efficiencies.

Property management companies need to be at the forefront of the SMAC stack and developing an integrated customer experience strategy. Property organisations need to spend more time and effort thinking about the convergence of these four elements, and how digital disruption will transform their business.

SMAC is impacting all businesses large and small. SMAC allows companies to move into high-margin businesses due to its global reach, low overheads, and high availability.

The Property Management agencies that develop products and services around SMAC that can deliver competitive advantage for their customers will achieve front-runner advantage in this new gold rush.