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By Rob Buffington
As the labor market continues to be the single greatest difficulty of our industry, companies are exploring new ways to increase their Direct Labor Efficiency Ratio (DLER). This is traditionally achieved through one of three means: specialization, automation, or outsourcing. Specialization is the process of narrowing job duties so that each position is working on the same few tasks and thereby becoming more efficient at each. Automation refers to the use of software and processes to replace man hours with machine hours. Outsourcing can be delegating the position entirely, such as hiring a third-party accounting firm, or hiring remote workers from staffing agencies at a lower cost than domestic employees.
Specialization is one of the most important changes our industry needs to practice in order to advance. The portfolio mindset of 20 years ago still endures, with the property manager being responsible for all activities related to a property. The goal of...