In business today, there’s an application for just about everything. This includes hundreds of apps for the real estate industry.
For example, there are apps that help you collect rent, manage tenant requests, track rental payments, and calculate profitability. Most of these are genuinely useful, but apps can become a burden if you’re having to depend on too many of them.
When you hire a property management company, you don’t have to depend on an array of apps because the firm will take care of everything for you. For instance, companies like Green Residential in Katy, Texas help landlords become more profitable by using top-of-the-line property management software suites.
Such comprehensive applications are often too expensive for solo investors. If you don’t have a property manager and you’re using multiple applications to manage your investment properties, that’s not unusual. It’s hard to find an affordable all-in-one app.
Here’s how multiple apps might be hurting your investment business.
“App overload” is real
There is such a thing as having too many apps. There might be an app for everything, but if you’re using a different one for every single task, you’re not working efficiently.
A lack of efficiency creates wasted energy, which can only have a negative impact on your ability to manage your investments. Several years ago, a software company performed a survey that found the average employee uses 35 pieces of software during the day to complete his or her work.
If that weren’t enough, the survey also found that employees switch between apps more than 1,100 times per day. App overload and task switching is a major productivity killer.
You may not be using 35 apps for your real estate business, but the total number you use throughout a day will have an undeniable impact on your productivity, even if those apps are personal.
How app overload kills productivity
If it’s not immediately obvious how using multiple apps can kill productivity, the main reason is because of the need to switch constantly between programs. Switching between any set of tasks is a fast way to drain your energy.
It’s like turning off your car engine and restarting it every ten minutes. You burn more gas starting the car than allowing it to idle.
The brain works in a similar way. Just like a car uses gasoline, the brain uses glucose for fuel and burns more of it when it switches between activities.
It’s also much harder to stay focused and on track when you have to jump continually between tasks or applications. It takes time to adjust to having redirected to the new app. Even if it takes only a couple of seconds, those seconds zap more energy than if you hadn’t shifted from one app to another.
Some people label this “multitasking,” but there’s no such thing, really. There is only task switching, and it’s been shown to drain your mental energy.
App overload has been studied and the results aren’t good
TechAdvisory.org published the results of a study conducted by CITE Research to find out how app overload is affecting workers. The study surveyed 2,000 workers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, and found that 69% of subjects wasted an hour each day switching between applications.
An hour a day might not sound that bad, but it adds up to about 261 hours per year, which is 10.8 full days. At $25/hour that’s $6,525 worth of wasted payroll each year per employee.
If members of your team are wasting more than $6,000 per year, imagine how much money you might be losing with your investment business by allowing apps to drain your energy.
Three tips for preventing app overload
Want to ensure you maintain your productivity? Here are three simple ways you can avoid falling into the energy-draining trap of app overload.
1. Hire a property management company
If you don’t have to manage your own properties and tenants, you won’t get overloaded. This is the easiest way to prevent app overload.
2. Use apps that provide multiple features
You probably can’t get around using apps, so find ones that provide multiple features. For example, look for property management suite software.
Buildium is one of the top-rated property management suites around. You can manage work orders, rent, maintenance requests, leases, process payments, and more with this program.
3. Schedule your time
Even when using minimal apps, it’s worthwhile to schedule your time. Instead of grabbing your phone or tablet any time it makes a noise, schedule your work time and don’t expend time and energy outside of those hours unless it’s an emergency. This will help prevent fatigue and wasted hours.
Apps are powerful investment tools when used efficiently
The key to making apps work is to use them sparingly. When you minimize the number of apps and the time you spend task switching, you’ll automatically have more time and energy to focus on your investment business.