Introducing new technologies or changing existing ones is both an exciting and essential part of running a successful property management business. Apart from the challenges of evaluating, choosing, and implementing new tech, the biggest hurdle may, in fact, be convincing your owners to go along with your proposed changes. When managing other people’s properties, getting owners on board with the changes that you’d like to implement is a must. While this can be challenging, it doesn’t have to be.
Considering this, there are a few strategies you should keep in mind when engaging property owners about changing or adding to your property management tech stack. Some of these steps include developing a framework for communication, knowing when to stop engaging, handling who pays for what, discussing technology with potential clients, and managing different levels of involvement. This article provides a blueprint that will help you control the flow of conversation with your owners and make this part of adding new technology a breeze.
1. Set your ground rules for communication early.
Establishing a framework for communication is the first step in engaging property owners. Determining which changes require simple notifications and which require a complete discussion is essential. For instance, small changes, such as updating a specific software to a new version, may only require a simple notification about possible downtime and differences in how the software appears.
In contrast, significant changes, such as implementing a new system for billing or payouts, may require a whole discussion with property owners. This framework helps ensure that communication is clear and consistent and that property owners can trust you to always keep them in the loop on matters that need their attention.
2. Know when to take a step back.
Knowing when to stop engaging with property owners about a particular topic is also crucial. It’s easy to get bogged down in details and over-communicate, which can overwhelm both parties. When the property owner understands and is comfortable with the change, it’s time to move on. However, if the owner is still unsure or uncomfortable, continuing the conversation is essential until they feel confident and satisfied.
3. Splitting the bill.
When introducing new technologies, one question always arises: Who should pay for it? In many cases, property managers foot the bill for technology investments. However, some property owners may be willing to pay for a trendy new technology if they find it desirable and a good resource for their property. But how do you split the cost if all parties involved can’t use it equally? It’s essential to be transparent about what technology is necessary and what is a luxury. Educating property owners about the benefits of specific technologies and how they can help streamline processes with you or your guests can help persuade some to pay for the additional resource or explain an increase in your fees.
4. Be an industry trailblazer.
When discussing technology with potential clients, showing how to take advantage of it is essential. Technology is a crucial selling point in today’s market, and prospective clients are often looking for property managers who offer the latest and most efficient technologies. Demonstrating how your technological resources can improve their management process can help seal the deal with a prospective client and keep an existing client on board by meeting their already-high expectations.
5. Sometimes less is more.
Sometimes a change may not warrant you to convey it to the property owner. For example, if you are making minor tweaks to your website or PMS software, involving the property owner in such conversations may not be necessary.
However, suppose you are making a transition or purchase that will affect communication between you and the owner, you and the guest, or their billing or profits. In that case, the owner needs to be involved in that decision. Clear and concise communication is the key to ensuring property owners feel informed and comfortable with any changes they make to their business process.
6. Recognize that every relationship is unique.
Property owners have different levels of involvement in the management of their properties. Some owners want to be more involved than others, and respecting their wishes is essential. Taking the time to understand each owner’s level of involvement and including them at the level they want to be is crucial to building a solid relationship with them.
Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure that a conversation about change only lasts for a short time. Respecting their time and keeping the conversation focused can help prevent owners from becoming overwhelmed or feeling out of the loop.
7. Encourage growth.
Finally, knowing how to respond to an owner who resists change is essential. While some owners follow trends and support adopting new technology wholeheartedly, other owners may resist new technologies or changes in management or guest-related processes. It’s essential to take the time to understand their concerns and address them directly. Offering education on the benefits of the change, how these new resources will function, what the direct impact will be, and how it can help them save time and money can be a persuasive argument.
Engaging property owners when changing or adding critical technologies used in their property management services is essential for success. Developing a framework for communication, knowing when to stop engaging, managing who pays for technology, using technology to your advantage, and managing different levels of involvement are all critical to building solid relationships with property owners and ensuring you are keeping up with (or surpassing!) industry standards. By following these tips, property managers can ensure that their owners are informed when they are taking on new technology and know their guests are in the hands of a management company that strives to be at the forefront of the industry.
Guneet Lamba is a content marketer and writer for PriceLabs with more than seven years of experience. Having spent two years in the vacation rental industry, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge and insights on everything related to vacation rentals. PriceLabs is a revenue management solution for the vacation and short-term rental industry that combines human control with the best-in-class algorithm, market data, and customizability to maximize revenue. This helps property managers increase revenues and save hours in the process. The team is the unique sauce. They have several years of experience in revenue management, travel distribution, technology, and analytics, and have put all that experience into making a leading revenue management solution for the vacation and short-term rental industry. Founded in 2014, PriceLabs has priced over 200,000 listings in 100+ countries globally.