Property management: outsourcing the tenancy application process

Property management: outsourcing the tenancy application process
Mark Engelmann
Mark Engelmann
    5 minute read

For property management agencies, business growth broadly translates to growing the rent roll and reducing one of the greatest agency overheads, labour.

As a general rule, a Property Manager (PM) can manage around 100 properties. What if you could double, or even triple, the number of properties they manage without dramatically driving up labour costs? You could save $84,000 per year, per position. The impact to your bottom line would be profound.

By outsourcing process-driven tasks, not only will you reduce labour costs. You will also free up your local property management team to focus on building relationships with landlords and giving that rent roll a significant boost.

Give your agency the freedom to grow by nailing down each step in our three-part journey.

Outsourcing Tenancy Application Processing

Processing tenancy applications is the obvious first step in a string of essential, but time-consuming, property management tasks. Due to the administrative and repetitive nature of tenancy application processing, it makes sense to outsource this task to a more cost-effective Property Management Assistant (PMA) in the Philippines.

Almost straight away, your local team’s capacity will increase, allowing them more time to focus on tasks that directly aid agency growth.

As Frank Ham, Principal at LJ Hooker Brisbane West discovered, by shifting the bulk of the tenancy application load offshore, his local PMs have gone from spending 90 minutes on a tenancy application to just 3 - 7 minutes.

From start to finish, we’ve detailed the tenancy application processing tasks, so you can see just how logical it is to divide and conquer with the help of your offshore PMA.

  1. The Australian team launch the advertising campaign and schedule open home times. Tenants apply either electronically or with a paper form.

  2. This is where the reigns are passed to your PMA, who will process, screen and review all tenant applications, including:

    1. Data inputting

      You PMA will be trained in all of the software that is used by your Australian property management team, such as Rockend’s Rest, Property Tree, Property Me, AgentPoint, Complete Data, Agentbox and Console (just to name a few!). This means that all the tenancy application information is accessible by anyone, at any time.

    2. References and rental history checks

      With fluent English, a quality phone line with an Australian number, and a high speed internet connection, your PMA is well-placed to contact relevant parties on your behalf. Using your agency’s local details, you PMA will follow up with the applicant’s past agency for rental history, employer for employment verification, and individuals for personal references. Phone and email scripts can be used for consistent messaging during every interaction. If you’d prefer not to have voice support, don’t stress. This step is still easily managed by your PMA through email communication and liaising with your local PM, who can be the one that picks up the phone. The administrative burden is still taken care of.

    3. Application paperwork

      Your PMA can take the headache out of chasing up and filing all the relevant paperwork from applicants, such as I.D. documents, financial records and rental history documentation.

    4. Background and TICA database checks

      With access to relevant industry tools, including the TICA database and RP Data, your PMA can obtain the key information required by your Australian team.

    5. Assessing suitability

      Now that all the application information has been collected and collated, your PMA will provide feedback on all the applicants, based on guidelines you provide. They can even recommend the best tenant, helping you make the best selection for your landlord.

  3. Once processing is complete, your local property management team is notified and an overall summary report is compiled for each property, for easy reference. This report can be created using the template you provide, ensuring that information is relevant and consistent for your Australian team.

  4. Your Australian PM now steps back in to liaise with your client directly, nurturing the landlord-property manager relationship. A decision is made on the best applicant and the property is leased in accordance with your agency’s leasing procedures.

Recruiting Outsourced Staff

Now that you know how to work with an offshore PMA for processing tenancy applications, you’re thinking about how agencies go about hiring. Recruiting your first outsourced staff member isn’t as difficult as it may first appear. If you’re using an outsourcing provider, they can walk you through the steps to getting your first seat filled. There are a number of key things to consider when searching for a skilled applicant.

  1. The job description needs to be exciting enough to capture the interest of the right candidates.

  2. Hiring university qualified staff doesn’t mean the cost skyrockets. For an insignificant cost difference, you can be seeking out a highly-skilled, tertiary qualified PMA.

  3. Skills testing is crucial to finding the right candidate, as you should never trust a resume on its own.

  4. You will still be able to interview the applicants. It will all be done using video technology, such as Zoom or Skype.

Overall, recruiting offshore isn’t really that different to recruiting in Australia. Read about recruiting the right staff for your offshore team in depth.

Will This Work in My Agency?

You’ve seen that outsourcing tenancy application processing, at a fraction of the cost, creates a win-win situation for your agency. Naturally, the next question is, ‘How do I know this will actually work in MY agency?’

We’re in the business of helping your agency to save, scale and grow. And let’s be real, there is no one-size-fits-all outsourcing solution. Let us chat with you about your unique agency needs and what you’re aiming to achieve. We can help you identify where the gaps are, and tailor our service to provide a solid solution and support system for your agency.

Get in touch now for your free, no-obligation business consultation.

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