Doing More with Less

by Amanda Cupp on August 27th, 2014

“We need to do more with less.” Here we go again. Are you as tired of hearing that as I am? At work, at home, in our communities… the mandate is unrelenting. It’s a challenge; but it’s also a reality. So let’s deal with it.

Perhaps one of the best ways to approach it is with a change in mind set. Doing more with less means becoming more efficient. It means you’re sharpening your tools, trying innovative ideas or new technology. And if it leads to improvements in your operations… that’s a good thing!

Here are 5 tips to consider when stepping up to the challenge:

  1. Get creative. Are there revenue-generating opportunities around you? My aunt lives in a 55 and older adult community. Her property management team has set up bins to collect paper goods and aluminum cans for recycling. The drive helps foster a sense of community and the revenues are funneled back into the HOA. No HOA? Funnel the funds into your activities budget, so residents benefit directly from their efforts.
  2. Communicate smarter, not less. Time and time again, resident satisfaction surveys cite communication from property management as extremely important. But newsletters and flyers are costly and ineffective. A good message notification service like One Call Now can greatly improve your resident communications and save money, too. One Call Now is an efficient, low-cost way to communicate quickly across all channels. Get in step with how your residents communicate. Find out how they want to get information. With One Call Now’s mass messing service, you only need to create one message, one time and deliver it in the manner they prefer: voice and text via landlines, mobile phones, SMS text, email and social media sites. Automated features save you valuable time: two-way communications allow recipients to respond with their keypad or transfer to a phone for a live conversation.
  3. Look for energy rebates and take advantage of them. Are there energy rebates available in your area? Is it feasible to power your hot water heaters with solar panels? Or install energy-saving appliances that will cut costs and generate rebate dollars? Are solar screens an option to help keep units cooler? How about insulation? Do you have to use specific manufacturers to quality for rebates?
  4. Take advantage of economies of scale. Can you partner with other properties—residential or commercial—on large-scale projects such as landscaping, paving and other property improvements to get a lower price? How about on purchase opportunities such as appliances, carpeting or pool supplies?
  5. Tap into your most valuable resource… your staff. Do you regularly ask your staff, “What can we be doing better?” “What’s taking too much time?” “Where are we wasting money?” If you’re not tapping into the inside knowledge of your staff, start!

Cutting costs without cutting services is always a challenge. And understanding your resident base is critical. Be creative and give special consideration to areas that influence satisfaction and retention.

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