You may think you are already familiar with Building Operations Software. You know, that “system that does work orders and PM.” But as we head into the New Year, I challenge you to stop using the phrase “Work Order System.” That means no more, “Yeah, we have a work order system.” Or telling your tenants and property management staff to “Just submit it through the work order system.”

“Why,” you ask? The phrase simply doesn’t describe the full capabilities of modern property management tools, which do far more than help you handle work orders and preventive maintenance tasks. It sets the wrong expectations. And as you may already know from delivering service to tenants, managing expectations is everything.

If your system truly only handles work orders, then it is time to switch to a modern Property Management Software platform like Building Engines. You shouldn’t be paying for tools that hold your team back from its full potential, or separate systems that complicate data collection and analysis. You deserve better.

And if you do utilize Property Management Software, but are still calling it a “Work Order System,” then you have evidence that you may not be getting the most out of the software – or your investment.

As a teaser of “what could be,” here are five features of modern Property Management Software that could revitalize your operations if you and your team challenge yourselves to go beyond the “Work Order System.”

Moving Beyond the “Work Order System”

  1. Tenant Relationship Management

    Tenant Relationship Management isn’t a single feature, so much as a combination of many tenant service features working together to create positive tenant relationships.

    This includes things like:

    1. The ability to set custom service delivery benchmarks (i.e. “We will arrive to Priority One Issues within 15 minutes,” “Priority Two issues within 30 minutes,” etc.) and then clearly communicate expected arrival times to tenants and your team.
    2. Tools that gather tenant feedback on a regular basis (a great way to supplement the Kingsley Survey) through post-work order “How did we do’s,” surveys, and mini mobile surveys through a Tenant Mobile App.
    3. A Mobile Tenant Center to pull all of your data together, providing an easy way to pull up tenant histories and documents on the go, from your mobile device.
  2. Auto-Creating Work Orders

    A modern Property Management Software like Building Engines can do so much more than submit work orders – they’re all about automating inefficient aspects of your process.

    They allow you to automatically create work orders upon failed inspection points, set up recurring work orders for ongoing issues, or even automatically create a work order based on a shared space that may need A/V service. (To name a few example situations.) Each automation, including billing associated with a work order, means more money in your pocket and more time for your team to work on high priority tasks.

  3. Taking Action on Expired COIs

    There’s no way any of you are still using spreadsheets to track COIs, right? Let’s hope not.

    Today’s COI tools do all the work for you- alerting you when COIs are coming up for renewal and sending proactive alerts and notifications so you are always protected. For example: the Building Engines system will even warn you when trying to assign work to a vendor that has an expired COI.

  4. Broadcast Messaging

    Whether you just need a daily communications tool, or you need to reach first responders and building occupants in the event of an emergency, modern Property Management Software reduces the time required to get your message in the right hands.

    You can post messages from your mobile device to a Tenant Portal or property website, send off messages to pre-defined contact groups, or quickly pull up the right tenant contact. All of these features simplify the communications process for everyone involved.

  5. Mobile Time Cards

    Tracking employee work schedules can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Which is why I love this gem of a feature in Building Engines. Time Card Tracking provides a more efficient way to track labor hours, identify trends, and simplify reporting. The best part is, staff can submit time worked from any mobile device.

There are certainly hundreds of additional features I could showcase, but I will leave you with my original challenge. If you already have Property Management Software, make this the year you implement some unused features. If you don’t have a system like Building Engines, start building a business case for one and make implementation a priority for 2016. You won’t regret it!