Nat Kunes is the vice president of product management for AppFolio. He works on a daily basis with property management professionals to identify industry trends and product features that are included in AppFolio’s property management software.
Secrets to Accelerated Growth in Property Management
Content sponsor Appfolio explains why your hiring strategy, technology, and acquisition plan are key to making sure expansion works for your business.
March 1, 2018
Every year, property managers tell me that growth is one of their main goals. But with uncertainty in the market, recovering from the recession, and spending time on important repairs and upgrades, many have trouble focusing their attention on expansion.
Achieving rapid growth in the property management business involves a fair amount of planning and execution. Much of the work centers on three key areas: a solid acquisition plan, responsive technology, and attracting talent. Having modern, agile software at the core of your business, combined with a focus on growth and smart hiring decisions, makes all the difference.
Focus on Aggressive Expansion
If you want to grow quickly, acquisitions are a great way to do that, but you must be strategic about it. When evaluating acquisition prospects, look for property management companies that are currently thriving in the market whose owners are going into retirement or changing their career path. The last thing you want to do is to acquire a sinking ship that will only hinder your chances of growing and cause more of a headache as you try to onboard the new accounts (and possibly people) into your business.
By placing a strong emphasis on growing through acquisitions and seeking out companies that are doing well, you’ll find that the work you put into assimilating them into your company will be well worth it.
Agile Technology for a Fast-Moving Business
Do you hear “agile” as often as I do when reading through articles and blogs about business software? There’s a reason for that: It’s a necessity for remaining competitive and viable in today’s business world. Whether you’re a property manager or a software company, being able to scale your business and tools to meet your needs is a must. Nobody wants to be stuck because software is holding them back.
Ensure that you have modern property management software housing all of your data in one place, and start automating as much “busy work” as possible. Don’t let spreadsheets and physical folders of hard-copy invoices get in the way of your growth potential. Most importantly, make sure your software promises continual innovation. Look for consistent updates and new features to the software. Nothing, especially software, should be in the way of your expansion into the market.
Hire the Right People at the Right Time
When you’re expanding, you’ll find that you will need some extra hands on deck. The hiring process can be daunting and even exhausting, but it’s necessary to take the time to hire carefully. Always look for individuals who fit your company culture and align with your core values. While interviewing, think about their attitude: Can you imagine working with this person? Will they get along with your other employees? Do they seem willing to learn? Find those individuals who will hit the ground running, be a team player, and absorb new knowledge and skills. We should all be in learning mode every day, and we should expect that from those we hire as well.
It’s also vital to hone your own supportive management skills. Emphasize the importance of your associates’ visions for their careers. Encourage them to be open about long-term goals and be sure to view their time with your company—even if it’s only two years—as an opportunity for you to invest in good people and help them develop their skills. Reward diligent and forward-thinking team members with the chance to continue leading within the company by putting them in charge of new markets as you expand. Empower your people and it’ll affect your company—and the trajectory of their careers—for the better.
When trying to rapidly expand your property management business, what it really comes down to is developing a team that fits well with your company’s culture. That means being aware of and working toward the same goals, and being supported by the right technology to allow everyone to thrive. With these components in place, you will set your business on the path to strong growth.
VP Product Management of content sponsor AppFolio