There are not many professions out there that are as underestimated as that of a property manager. A property manager is a bridge between tenants and landlords, a cog in the machine that makes everything work. When a property manager is doing their job, landlords and tenants can go about being blissfully ignorant of each other’s existence.
Still, how can a property manager do their job successfully? This is a specific field that requires specific talents; however, it also requires a specialized toolset. So, here are the top five tools a property manager needs to succeed.
The simplest way to understand the job of management software is to say that it helps landlords and property managers track:
- Maintenance tasks
More importantly, it helps them budget most of these tasks, which streamlines operations and helps them manage finances more effectively. Overall, it covers the most important tasks for a property manager via a single platform.
The most important thing for any property management is tenant retention. Vacancy loses you money, and finding a new tenant is always risky. Good management software can improve service quality, which drastically helps your retention efforts.
Another important aspect to consider is that management software helps establish a balance between property and finance. At the very least, it informs you of which properties bring in the most revenue and why. This helps bring your other properties up to date and plug any hole before it becomes too big.
Lastly, it helps streamline and automate compliances. We cannot stress how important this is in this line of work.
Business Plan And Development Strategy
When talking about passive income, most people imagine something like the rental industry. You have an asset (property), and it passively generates profit. This is the first thing that people think of because it’s easier for them to visualize the value and the transaction behind this setup than (for instance) understanding where dividends are funded.
Since this is so “simple,” many people forget that renting a property (let alone several properties) is an actual business. It’s an enterprise like any other, with the only difference being the nature of the product. It’s a SaaS, where your service is a living space, and the subscription is labeled rent.
Now, since it’s a business in a traditional sense, it’s clear that it needs a business development strategy plan to succeed in the long run. Make no mistake, too much success can be just as poisonous a treat as not being successful enough. You need to understand how to scale up your business and handle the increased workload when everything works better than planned.
The cheapest way to handle this is to get a development strategy template and customize it to fit your needs. The most effective way is to outsource this task to professionals. How you handle it is up to you.
Previously, we’ve mentioned that vacancy is the biggest problem in the rental industry. Well, marketing may be the simplest solution to this problem. By casting a wider net, having a greater reach, and attracting more people, you will never have to deal with vacancies for long.
There are two more hidden perks of this that we need to discuss. First, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t just want to attract tenants. You want to attract the right type of tenant. Second, by developing a sense that you can easily find good tenants, you’ll give more leverage to property managers.
Before you start, it’s important that you establish a decent marketing budget. Roughly 10-20% of your average annual revenue should be more than enough. In some industries, marketing budgets go as high as 50%; however, this field has an expensive overhead.
The starting point should be a high-quality website. An informative website can already alleviate some of your customer service workloads. Second, it portrays you in a more positive light.
Past this, you should increase your effort on social networks and bookings sites. These are the spaces where most people are looking for residential rental properties to lease.
Online Payment Platform
Collecting rent is difficult, especially if you have to travel far and wide every month. With an online payment platform, you’ll make this process more convenient for everyone.
Another thing to remember is the payments you’ll make to various maintenance services. Online payment gateways have lower fees.
One important thing in both scenarios is that there’s a digital footprint for every transaction. This makes accounting easy and reliable. More importantly, you will eventually have to submit your receipts in this line of work. Digital payment services will make invoicing easy, and copies of invoices will be available at any given point.
Going with something standard like QuickBooks might be the simplest option; however, you could also go with something more industry-specific. Platforms like Propertyware and TenantCloud are designed for these transactions, so why not try them?
Overall, switching to a better online payment platform can provide you with the level of uniformity and efficiency that you desperately need.
There are many different document types that property managers need to keep track of at all times. For instance:
- Property records
However, keeping track of this is just a starting point. You also need to be able to access all of these documents on demand. This is where a great document management system can be of help.
Previously, we’ve also mentioned the importance of having insight into your business processes. To analyze data, you need to have it structured and organized. Transforming unstructured data into structured data is a lot easier with an intelligent information management system. In other words, while there’s nothing wrong with a simple document management system, you might want to look for something more potent.
So, you need a property management tool, a payment method, and a business development plan. You also need a marketing plan and a way to manage all your documents. Fortunately, you have many amazing tools in each of these categories. Your job is to find them and pick those that suit your needs the best.