Property Management Practices Have Changed Dramatically With New Software & Technology.
Property management is a peanut butter and jelly business, right? WRONG! As time has progressed, so have the ways in which this business can operate! Do not fall victim to 'old school' ways of conducting business, but rather thrive from the new tools available to all property owners! Whether you own 1 unit or 100, there are 'new school' ways for you to benefit from! This includes efficient methods to collect rent, field calls/complaints, advertise vacancies, and more!
Collecting The Rent
One of the most common inefficiencies made by owners today is collecting rent in person. With the plethora of technology available, it only makes sense to take advantage of this quick, free (in most instances), and documented transaction. There are many web based currency transfer services such as PayPal, Google Wallet, Square Cash, and Xoom. These often can be completed from the convenience of a cell phone! What a difference from driving back and forth to your tenant each month!Not only is it free and quick, but it also gives you, as the Owner, the upper hand. When you are catering to your tenant by picking up money from them you are displaying a certain desperation that tenants can take advantage of. For example, if a tenant only has ½ of the rent, will you take it or leave it? You most likely will be taking it since you took the time out of your day to physically go there. A seemingly small compromise on your end teaches the tenant that it’s OK to not follow the terms of the lease, and that you are not a strong business person. When you use the internet as your shield, the opportunity for emotional decisions to effect the relationship becomes completely removed. When you show your tenants that they can pay online it displays higher level of business operation and professionalism. You can also take advantage of recurring alerts for overdue balances, and even get late fee alerts set up for delinquent tenants. Those are much easier, and cheaper, than knocking on the tenant's door every day!
Professional Landlord to Tenant Communication
Another important facet of operating your property management business is boiling down lines of communication and forming some type of barrier between you and the tenant. As much as you want to be directly accessible to them, this will only become more difficult as you grow your portfolio. Setting up one specific email for your properties is the cheapest option. For example, [email protected] would be a simple and effective tool to getting your tenants in one location, and see that you have a well thought out framework to your business operations. This gets all of the correspondence in one location, and avoids your phone from ringing off the hook at all hours! For larger portfolio investors, you may want to consider hiring a 24/7 answering service. Companies like this have live agents that answer a script that you create! From there you receive a text message summary of who called, their number, and what their issue is! A 20 minute phone call can get boiled down to a quick glance on your phone; what’s better than that!
Advertising Vacant Properties
Finally, are the ever elusive “For Rent” signs. These antiquated advertising tools are no longer relevant in today’s renting world. They will generate interest, for sure, but offer none of the substantial information tenants want to know! Price, pet policy, laundry offering, parking options, storage availability, and utilities included are topics that cannot be explained on a small sign as someone drives by! Once again, the internet has many tools available for free that you can use to get a leg up and increase your likelihood of finding the right match for a tenant. Here are some of the tenant screening facets we consider when trying to find the best candidates:https://www.nexri.com/tenantscreening.html. Craigslist, Trulia, Apartments.com, Hotpads, and Zillow are all sites ready to host your free listing and spread out across the world wide web! Not to mention, every “For Rent” sign is a welcome mat for burglars!
As an investor of any size you can enjoy the benefits of modern technology to increase your productivity, improve your efficiency, and most importantly, raise your bottom line! And, as always, if you feel that your operations are not as easy and enjoyable as you desire, the opportunity to hire a property manager is something you may want to consider.
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Watch Greg speak on The Round Table national radio show about the benefits of property management below
Greg Rice is the Vice President of Sales for Nexus Property Management™. A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.
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