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Deciding between outsourced vs. in-house back operations in property management.
June 28, 2024

How To Decide Between Outsourced vs. In-House Back Office Operations in Property Management


Keith Mado

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Property management companies know this dilemma all too well. Imagine standing at a crossroads, staring at two distinct paths ahead — one leading to Outsource Property Management Back Office Services and the other to in-house operations. Each path comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. Should you invest in outsourced efficiency? Or should you focus on in-house expertise?

Many property management companies that want to play it safe often opt for in-house operations. However, the rise of outsourcing is undeniable, and it has not shown any signs of slowing down. A Deloitte report indicated an increasing trend toward remote models, with IT services, payroll, and finance considered the most outsourced services.

Let’s discuss every aspect of outsourcing vs. in-house operations for your property management company. We will also uncover the potential pitfalls and hidden gems of both strategies so you can move forward with confidence and clarity.

Outsourcing vs. In-House: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to managing the back-office tasks in your business, you have two options available at your disposal: doing things in-house or outsourcing them. 

In-house operations refers to the processes and tasks that are carried out by your internal team. With this strategy, all the aspects, from planning to execution, are handled by the employees directly on the payroll. You can liken this to having your hands on the wheel as you steer your business in the desired direction.

Outsourcing, on the other hand, means you delegate certain tasks like vendor management, administrative support, and accounting to third-party companies that specialize in those areas. In a way, it’s similar to hiring an experienced and skilled chauffeur to drive your car, but you still determine the route and the destination.

Pros of In-House Back Office Operations

Keeping services in-house offers several benefits. Some of the most notable include:

  • Direct Control

In-house management of back office operations gives property management firms more control over personnel, procedures, and processes. Direct control facilitates quick responses and decision-making. This, in turn, enhances operational effectiveness and efficiency.

  • Team Cohesion

When members of the team work together in a shared physical space, there’s better collaboration, stronger relationships, and a shared sense of identity and purpose. This fosters better employee engagement, boosts morale, and enhances job satisfaction.

  • Security and Confidentiality

Carrying out back-office functions in-house enables property management firms to implement strong protocols and security measures. That way, you can prevent unauthorized access and data breaches. More control over data storage can also guarantee better compliance with privacy regulations.

  • Personalized Solutions

With in-house operations, property management firms can customize systems and solutions to meet their unique needs and preferences. This level of customization and flexibility can improve overall performance and simplify operations.

Cons of In-House Back Office Operations

While in-house operations offer enticing benefits, they also have some downsides. Below are some of the drawbacks you should consider: 

  • Higher Cost

Hiring and retaining skilled employees can be expensive when running an internal business. Plus, you have to invest in software systems and infrastructure. These can increase the financial burden and reduce profitability.

  • Limited Scalability

In-house operations can hinder property management firms from scaling. This means you won’t be able to respond to market conditions, workloads, or business growth right away.

  • Administrative Burden

Back office operations done in-house can create a huge administrative burden that can impact core business activities such as client relations and property maintenance. In other words, it can affect the company’s ability to focus on tasks that drive profitability and growth.

Pros of Outsourced Back Office Operations

Nowadays, many property management companies have opted to outsource property management back office services, and with good reason. For starters, this strategy will not only improve efficiency but also free up valuable time and resources that can be directed to revenue-generating tasks. Other benefits include:

Focus on Client Services

When you free your in-house team from administrative tasks, they can focus more on key aspects that can take your business to the next level. These include generating new leads, establishing robust client relationships, and providing world-class service.

Expertise on Demand

Outsourcing partners have experience and specialized knowledge in specific back office tasks such as data entry, property management, and accounting. Hiring these specialists will dramatically boost the efficiency of your back-office operations.


With outsourcing, you have the freedom to scale your back-office operations up or down as required. It saves you from needing to hire or fire permanent employees. This can be very helpful for seasonal businesses or those that experience fluctuating workloads.

Lower Overhead Expenses

Investing in utilities, IT infrastructure, and office equipment can be very costly. Fortunately, when you outsource your back-office operations, you eliminate the need to invest in those resources.

Improved Efficiency 

Outsourcing partners have mastered the intricate art of using efficient technologies and streamlining processes. This strategy can help minimize errors and facilitate faster turnaround times, saving you time and money in the long run.

Cons of Outsourced Back Office Operations

Just like most business strategies, outsourcing is not without any drawbacks. Below are some of the downsides of outsourcing back office operations:

Confidentiality Risks

Outsourcing back office services often involves entrusting confidential data to a third-party partner. When you mishandle sensitive information, your business can take a significant hit. To address this, check an outsourcing company’s data security practices to ensure they can protect confidential data at all times.

Cultural or Language Barriers

It’s natural to worry about language or cultural differences when outsourcing offshore. In line with this, make sure you choose a partner with substantial experience working with global companies. Fortunately, countries like the Philippines have a culture that’s a bit westernized. What’s even more impressive? Filipinos have language capabilities that can equal native English speakers!

Less Control

Since outsourcing entails relinquishing some control, you will be relying on outside help to ensure the operations run smoothly every day. This means you might also need to deal with issues like service delays, miscommunication, and technological failures. You can address this concern by choosing a provider with a proven track record of success in your industry.

Different Time Zones

While a significant difference in the time zone can seem harmless, it can often lead to frustrating business interruptions. The good news? Many outsourcing companies work during U.S.-based hours. Nowadays, it’s very common for foreign workers to work on the graveyard shift to accommodate international clients.

The benefits outsourcing offers far outweigh the drawbacks. So don’t let the downsides hold you back. The key is finding a skilled and experienced provider who can address any outsourcing issues promptly and effectively.

Why Do Property Management Companies Outsource Back Office Operations?

In the dynamic world of property management, the back office team is the unsung hero that helps improve efficiency and simplify operations. Back office tasks for property management can include financial reporting, managing lease agreements, and overseeing tenant communication. It also covers other key tasks such as handling rent collection, invoicing, and expense management.

Outsourcing back office operations also allows property management firms to tap into technology and specialized expertise that may not be available in-house. Outsourcing providers have dedicated teams that are experts in their specific fields. This expertise can result in improved efficiency, accuracy, and compliance.

In essence, delegating tasks to trusted outsourcing partners can give property management businesses the flexibility and scalability they need to propel their business to new heights. With outsourcing, they can meet changing business needs without the need to hire or downsize their staff. This flexibility helps them adapt better to market changes and seize growth opportunities as they arise.

Final Factors to Consider

When deciding between keeping back office operations in-house or outsourcing them, a few important factors should be looked into. Below are some of the factors that should rank high on your list:

  1. Core Competencies: Assess if your back office operations help with your strategic priorities and core competencies. If back office functions won’t directly affect your growth objectives or competitive advantage, outsourcing is an option you should look into. Outsourcing non-core functions gives you the luxury of allocating your resources more efficiently so you can deliver more value to your clients.
  1. Cost Considerations: Property management companies also need to evaluate the associated costs for both options. This includes expenses like benefits, salaries, and the fees charged by the outsourcing partner. Conducting a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis will help you determine the best option for managing back office operations.
  1. Oversight and Control: While in-house operations can give you more control, it requires more resources and attention. On the other hand, while outsourcing provides expertise and standardized processes, it also means less control over the operations. As a general rule of thumb, identify your preferences in terms of customization and control before signing on the dotted line.

Expert Outsourcing Solutions from STAFFVIRTUAL

At STAFFVIRTUAL, we understand the importance of having the right outsourcing partner to streamline your operations. Our promise goes beyond cost savings. We bring a wealth of skills and experience to the table so we can take your property management business several steps ahead of the pack.

With our dedicated teams helping you out, you can unlock the full potential of your property management venture. So why wait? Your property management success story is just a phone call away; we can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!


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