You have probably heard of or used the term workflow before. At Console, we use it to describe a series of steps taken to complete a process. And if you think about the tasks a property manager undertakes, they are usually grouped as part of a process. If a tenant falls into arrears, for example, most agencies have an arrears process or workflow to manage that situation.
The new series of workflow features in Console Cloud aims to take all the separate steps involved in these Property Management processes, and let you complete them all in one work screen. So if you are using the Rental Arrears Workflow, you can open the tab, see all the relevant details, and then take any actions you need to: in the same window.
Need to send a tenant an arrears SMS? You can do that from the Rental Arrears Workflow tab. If you need to create a Breach, Termination, or Notice to Leave form using REI / Realworks—again, you can do it from the same window.
Better still, the Rental Arrears Workflow also automatically keeps track of where you are up to. So long, spreadsheets and checklists!
We’re glad you asked! When a tenant falls into arrears, you’ll be able to tell immediately by opening the Rent Arrears tab in Console Cloud. (Psst! It's under the BETA FEATURES tab in your main navigation menu.)
The Rent Arrears dashboard will show the full list of tenants in arrears, including how many days in arrears they are and how much they owe. You'll also be able to see if they've been sent any notices previously, and when you last contacted them.
You'll also see if they are receiving auto SMS reminders (and if they aren’t, you can click to turn them on). To send a new arrears SMS, tick the ‘Send SMS’ box. It's really that darn simple. Take a look at our rental arrears workflow video below, and see for yourself.
So now, instead of opening another window to send an SMS, and another to see how many times this tenant has fallen behind before, and so on—instead of this—you can see all the right information at a glance. And you can take whatever action you need to, as well, in the same work screen.
Think about the time it takes to find the right information to take an action, plus the time needed to actually take that action (usually in a different window), plus the time it takes to record that action (also in a different window). This is where workflows can help. They virtually eliminate all of this task fragmenting.
And if you're wondering just how much time and productivity we lose to this sort of thing, well, it's significant. Researchers estimate we lose up to 40% of our productivity by task switching. If that's not bad enough, another byproduct of task fragmenting also leads to ‘attention residue’. Attention residue is where your brain has started thinking about the next task while you’re still working on the first one. And if you think you've fallen prey to it before, you're not alone.
The nasty byproduct of task fragmenting is twofold. On the one hand, time is lost trying to remember where you were up to. And on the other, thinking about tasks other than the one you’re working on can eat away at the quality of your work. Not good.
The idea of bringing all the steps into one screen, then, is to save you that mental gymnastics. It’s to cut the mental processing power needed to keep on top of your workload. And that delivers radical productivity gains to property managers.
In Console Cloud, you can find the Rent Arrears Workflow under the BETA FEATURES tab in the main navigation panel. So if you haven’t seen it before, it’s time to hit F5 on that browser and take a look.
We’re willing to bet you’ll wonder how you lived without it.