to Innovate

written by
Cassandra Joachim

Free up time in your schedule to focus on growing your business by automating recurring tasks.

Over a lifetime, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work. Top that off with time spent commuting, which has been on a steady rise with more than 14 million people now spending an hour or more traveling to work. In the Bay, we may know this all too well—just the thought could be stressful. Whether work to you means the career you love, an investment or just a job, you are your business. And your business will always bring a number of responsibilities that will pull you in different directions. As a resident manager, you are pulled between assisting residents, promoting your community and administrative duties (to name a few). Your time spent at work may be necessary, but how can you improve the quality of time you spend?  

Perfecting your time management skill is one of the top and most useful “soft-skills” that will help you succeed in your business. Soft skills include communication, listening, empathy, adaptability or professional agility, business acumen, and collaboration. In today’s modern society with dozens of technological advancements, it’s easier than ever to invest in yourself and strengthen your time management skills. 

Start small by marking up your calendar.
If the vast number of technology options seems overwhelming, know your limits. Katherine L. Milkman, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who studies consequential behavior has termed this “temporal landmarks.” “If people are looking to change, they may be able to look for more opportunities on their calendar that feel like fresh starts for them,” Milkman said. “When is the next date you see as a new beginning that could be your motive to start fresh on something?” 

Get organized and create a to-do list.
Notice what tasks you do repeatedly and ask yourself which of these tasks could be automated.

At Intellirent, we practice what we preach. For instance, when reviewing monthly performance, each team member will consider their added daily work activities and strategize improvements contributing to our best practices. How can the team create a better overall work experience? Were each team member’s results equivalent to the time they put in to their project?

In theory, something as simple as buy-ing a new notepad or work bag can give us a sense of change, “and could be as psychologically motivating as a temporal landmark,” Milkman says. By automating small tasks, you are saving energy for a more sustainable and strategic business performance.

Streamline processes and push toward operational excellence.
To further build on your investment or the career you love, you’ll want to future proof your business by streamlining operational processes and implement sustainable business practices. The concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars: economic, environmental and social—also known informally as profits, planet and people.

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Exploratory results confirm that the adoption of strategic sustainability practices is significantly and positively associated with both return on capital and market valuation.” The article, “Yes, Sustainability Can Be a Strategy,” refers to sustainability in the environment as well as within an organization as “strategic sustainability.” Companies should maintain processes that are good for the planet; waste management systems are proven to increase profits, but companies can also implement similarly positive methodologies in their culture or people. Increasing employee happiness enhances employee recruitment, engagement and retention.

An example of a strategic sustainability practice that companies have adopted is a circular-economy-based business model. A circular-economy-based model focuses on the management of operational flows through product design, reverse logistics, innovation and cross-sector collaboration—moving from a system of waste to one of endless resourcefulness for each pillar. The opportunity to successfully tackle environmental priorities (planet) while driving performance (people), innovation and competitiveness (profit).

Intellirent believes providing the right tools for your organization is the first step in a circular-economy based business model. With the right tools, you can implement holistic sustainable practices, giving your team the ability to declutter their work space and better streamline processes, reducing work stressors.

When comparing software tools for rental leasing, consider this advice:

Weigh your options.

Ask colleagues or other trusted sources for reviews, search online, and check out their social media. If you’ve already started organizing by creating your to-do list, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for. Schedule a quick online demo—a representative should be able to answer your initial questions in 30 minutes or less.

Don’t overpay for software you
don’t need. 

Most software requires an upfront set-up fee or monthly recurring payments. Some software may provide an advanced level of service, but they are likely to come with a price tag to match. Ask for a free trial but always make sure you understand the details of the trial package before signing up. If a trial period is not listed on the software’s website, always ask for a trial period anyway. Chances are a free trial can still be offered.

Customer service still matters.
Just because you are searching for software does not mean the product should ever lack customer service. As a resident manager and leasing agent, you work hard to provide the best customer service. You should only expect the same in return.

Although any type of transition can be difficult, a small contribution to simply learn about your choices in technology now, will increase the value of your time and business in the future.

Your career, your job, your investment and your business are important, therefore, so is your time. Make the most of your hours.

Cassandra Joachim is a director at Intellirent with a business degree from the University of Texas and more than ten years of experience in business development and software consulting.