For property managers, a solid tech platform consolidates marketing, leasing, and resident management functions to cut out redundant data-entry, streamline workflows, and consolidate data for better reporting. But even in a world of single-platform solutions, a few property management workflows often remain stubbornly apart.
Utility billing is one example, with many properties relying on third-party billing services to facilitate utility billing, maximize recapture, and decrease delinquencies. Unfortunately, this often means efficiencies are lost.
“Our biggest challenge historically was that our utility expense management was a third-party platform, so it wasn’t speaking to our system,” explained Nick Martin, SVP at UCOMM. “The data had to be uploaded into our system and if we needed to retrieve any information it just wasn’t an easy process.”
All In One
One of the main reasons property managers are beginning to seek out solutions like Entrata’s ResidentUtility is that it brings the utility billing functionality into an already robust management platform. Access is improved, workflows are simplified, and reporting is accurate, helping property staff get work done faster and with less hassle.
“To be able to go directly from a report to an invoice or pivotal resident ledger, it’s invaluable to us,” said Martin, whose UCOMM properties now employ ResidentUtility to keep billing within their main property management platform.
Rather than juggling multiple interfaces, moving data around via drag-and-drop, or wearing out the ten-key, a single-platform option can introduce automations and efficiencies from pre-bill, to move-in, to move-out and more without eliminating preferred billing methods. And as a result, your money hits your account faster.
“Before, we would have to wait until the first or second of the month for the utility charges to be uploaded and approved. By then, residents had paid rent already and we would have to chase them down for their utilities.” said Denis Melnichenko, a regional property manager from Acclaim Companies. “It was a big mess. Now properties can have the rent paid early and utilities are included. It seems simple, but it’s so helpful to know that it’s an automated process.”
Power in the Partnership
Every property is different, and utility rules and regulations can vary quite a bit state to state, and even city to city. So a one-size-fits-all utility billing solution is no solution at all. Connecting utility billing functionality to your larger tech platform means everyone – properties and software providers – has more invested in getting your particular situation right.
Entrata’s ResidentUtility team, for example, partners with users to define and implement the service in a way that helps every client succeed. From the initial setup to the inevitable questions along the way, consultants offer support and troubleshooting to make sure each property has a utility billing solution they can count on.
“I get emails all the time from third parties that want to manage my utilities and I’m like, ‘The things you’re gonna manage, I don’t even need help with!’” exclaimed Tracy Taylor, a portfolio manager at Tokola. “ResidentUtility has been a good experience for us.”
Efficiency, time and cost savings, business intelligence: There are multitudes of reasons to consolidate services into a single comprehensive platform. Luckily, when it comes to property management and utility billing, Entrata does that!