Recently, and perhaps unsurprisingly, we’ve been fielding lots of questions from our clients about working from home. That’s why we created a no-nonsense guide to how to make the most of it, which you can find here.
But alongside this general advice, there’s plenty that Console Cloud can do to help make this shift easier and allow your office to stay more productive.
Access your software anywhere
Unlike traditional server-based software that’s only accessible when you’re physically in the office, Console Cloud hosts everything securely online. That means your data, contacts, and workflows are all available anywhere you have internet access.
This has a huge impact on how capable property management agencies are when it comes to shifting towards working from home. Whether it’s finalising a lease, chasing up on rent arrears, organising an inspection, or managing a maintenance request, it can all be done with no commute to the office required.
But this cloud-based design doesn’t just empower individuals. Because everything is hosted online and updated in real-time, entire teams can stay completely up-to-date on any changes in data or progress through workflows.
Not only does this keep everyone on the same page, it also cuts down on the chance of redundant effort, missed opportunities, skipped tasks, and duplicated data. And when you’re working from home—and not as able to just walk over and ask someone—there’s nothing more powerful for ensuring maximum productivity.
Keep comms open
Console Cloud also offers full-featured support to keep all your communications up and running, even when you can’t make it into the office.
First and foremost, you can seamlessly send bulk emails and SMS to owners, tenants, and creditors, with contextual merge fields included. This means that if your office needs to contact people in a hurry, perhaps to alert them in the event of an emergency, flag a change in opening hours or contact details, or provide an update on your services, it’s simple and quick to do so.
It’s also possible to send emails and SMS at any time from within each of the workflows, cutting down the steps it takes to keep in contact with your customers and creditors. Like everything else in Console Cloud, these are accessible anywhere you have internet, so there’s no need to head into the office when it’s time to get in touch. You can also create, edit, and delete your own templates, so if you have specific communication needs, Console Cloud is ready to adapt.
*A note about the COVID-19 outbreak*
Given the current Australian Government Department of Health advice to practise social distancing where possible, many of our customers have reached out to us to discuss how to safely limit contact with potentially unwell tenants, particularly during routine inspections.
Obviously the measures taken by each property management agency will be different, but here are a number of suggestions that may be of help:
- Consider creating a template email to advise tenants to get in touch with you if they are unwell or if they have recently travelled overseas, so you can adjust inspection schedules. This templated email can then be sent through via the inspections workflow
- Some agencies are requesting that tenants are not present during inspections to limit contact. This is up to the individual tenant, as they are within their rights to be home, but if it is a concern, you can reach out to them individually or in bulk via Console Cloud’s email features
- It may also be worth contacting tenants to ascertain whether anyone living in the property is immunocompromised or otherwise at particular risk from COVID-19 and adjusting your inspection plans accordingly
- If you are delaying routine inspections, you can also use Console Cloud to communicate with your owners and advise them of any changes to inspection schedules for their properties. Be honest and straightforward
- If you do conduct inspections, avoid touching items within the property and wash your hands thoroughly before and afterwards
Use Self-Serve Options
Alongside its in-built communications features, Console Cloud also empowers your tenants and owners to self-serve information, cutting down on the need to manage communications completely.
The Console Tenant App allows tenants to access their current lease details, recent payments, rental reference, and download rental receipts, eliminating the need for them to break your work-from-home zen. It also allows tenants to report maintenance issues directly through the app, including notes and photos about the problem, reducing the need for you to physically inspect issues yourself. These maintenance requests feed directly into Console Cloud, so they’re immediately accessible wherever you are.
If your agency still accepts cash and EFTPOS payments, you can also start using Console Pay to allow tenants to pay rent via direct debit. As well as eliminating the need for tenants to physically come into your office to pay, Console Pay also features other benefits, including automating rent collection, rapid-fire receipting, and reducing the number of individual bank deposits you have to make, which cuts down on fees.
Similarly, the Console Owner Portal allows your owners to find out all sorts of information about the properties you manage for them, including statements and the property’s tenancy details. If you manage multiple properties, they’ll all be available in the same place.
Console Cloud was designed for flexibility, versatility, and allowing agencies to break free from the way they’ve traditionally worked. It’s all online, accessible anywhere, and packed with features to allow offices to collaborate and be more productive, even when staff are working from home. So if you’re looking at moving out of the office, it’s time to start looking at Console Cloud.
Looking for more general advice about how to stay productive when you’re working from home? Check out our top tips on making working remotely work for you