13 Ways to Take the Fear Out of Implementing New Property Management Technology


Don't Be Afraid of Change
Change is nothing to fear.

Whenever Friday the 13th hits, even those of us who aren’t triskaidekaphobes often can’t help talking about all things phobic, stressful, fearful, superstitious, and just downright strange.

In the case of implementing new property management software across the enterprise, it doesn’t matter what day it is, because your employees are bound to experience fear and anxiety.

Change is scary. In general, we fear the unknown.

The good news is that with a proper change management plan in place, you can calm many fears before they start.

In preparation for Friday the 13th, the unofficial holiday for fear and anxiety, I sat down with some business consultants from RealPage’s professional services group to capture 13 tips for prepping for and embracing change.

First, two tips for you as you prepare for rollout:

1. Communicate

Communication is critical for successful transition and adoption of change. Communicate early and often to all levels of the organization to make sure everyone knows about pending changes and can buy into the value proposition early in the process.

2. Train

Training is vital, too. If your employees are untrained or improperly trained, you increase the likelihood that they will be less accepting of the new technology, less efficient, and most likely miserable.

Next, here are eleven messages you want to pass along to your employees:

3. Remember that the new system isn’t replacing you

Keep in mind that the software’s role is to help you do your job more efficiently. If a task that used to take you ten hours a week now takes you three, that allows you to do something else and increase the value to deliver to the organization.

4. Prepare to do your job at a higher level

The new software can help elevate what you do. For example, rather than spending time simply creating and printing reports, it can give you more time to analyze the numbers and see how you can save your company money, and it can allow you to perform higher-level functions.

5. Stick together

The entire organization is going through this change. No one should feel alone or singled out because everyone is starting over at the same time.

6. Become the go-to resource for the software

Take advantage of the opportunity to put your nose to the grindstone and become the person who understands the new system best—and ultimately someone your company can rely on to help others and to bring the company along during the implementation.

7. Keep in mind that your job is bigger than the software

Being in the software is one thing—that’s a process that moves data through the system. But your job is much bigger than that. You have tons of responsibilities. And that’s your answer to your managers: “I do tons of things other than sit in the software all day long.” The system holds you accountable, but you don’t have to fear it because you do much more than just use the software.

8. Spend more time doing the job you were hired to do

The software’s efficiencies will give you more time to do the things you were hired to do. If you spend less time glued to the computer, you’ll have more opportunities to plan ahead and use your people skills.

9. Help your career by embracing the change and the software

Getting to know the software and jumping on board during the implementation can be a great way to advance your career within the company.

10. Take lunch

If the software can increase your efficiency during the day, then you will have time to take an actual lunch, possibly even away from your desk!

11. Have a little faith

Especially on the accounting side, it’s easy to worry about data integrity. You’ve used your old system for so long that you’re intimately familiar with how it works and how “A” gets to “B”. But with the new system, you won’t know all the ins and outs right away, and it’s scary to accept things on faith with financial data. Just remember that you didn’t know your last system in the beginning, either. You took it on faith that it would work and it did. Trust that you’re working with a reputable company that will give you the support you need.

12. Remember the last time you went through a change

When you first use any system, you discover its idiosyncrasies. It’s tempting to get frustrated and cry out, “This software doesn’t work!” But that’s probably what you said three to five years ago when you first started on your current system. It’s a cycle. The old system only seems best until you get the hang of the new one.

13. Trust that you’re being set up to succeed, not fail

Yes, change is scary. But as a company, you’re making this change to make improvements in operational efficiencies and ultimately the bottom line. The ultimate goal is success, not failure, and that includes employees. The more successfully employees can do their job, the more successful the company. That’s win/win and a change you shouldn’t fear.

What tips do you have for managing change or Tropophobia, the fear of change? Do you take any extra measures when you see Friday the 13th on your calendar? Let me know in the comments below.


Contributor, Property Management Insider

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Michael Cunningham is Content Marketing Manager at ProofHQ, and the former Managing Editor of PropertyManagementInsider.com. He worked as a social media manager for RealPage, Inc., a provider of on-demand software solutions that integrate and streamline single-family and a wide variety of multifamily rental property management business functions. He is responsible for promoting the company through various media channels, including editorial, print and online advertising, and social media. Michael received his education at Indiana University where he majored in English.

3 responses to “13 Ways to Take the Fear Out of Implementing New Property Management Technology”

  1. Lisa Trosien says:

    Also, and this is for managers – make sure your people are comfortable coming to you with questions (any questions).

    I remember speaking at a conference several years ago on internet marketing. An attendee took me aside as she had a question she was afraid to ask her supervisors. I gave her the answer and encouraged her to take any further questions to her management team. She said that her team didn’t seem open to answering ‘small questions’ and that’s why she had sought me out for the solution.

    Create an atmosphere of support for your staff. It’s important they feel comfortable coming to you with their questions.

    Well done, Michael!

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