Whether you’re a first-time property manager with a single property or have years of experience managing many properties, you’re always looking for ways to improve. You not only want to be successful and do a great job – but you want to be super efficient with your time and your money.
Below, we’ve put together the best property management tips to save your time, money, and your sanity too!
Save yourself time
Track your time for a week. Go about things as you usually would, be honest, and see where you really spend your time. Then focus on streamlining the areas that are taking up most of your time. It may take a little upfront work – but think of all that time you’ll save in the future.
Get into a routine. Time block, create a schedule, and organize your days to be more focused and productive. Figure out what works best for you and do it for a few weeks. Soon it will become a habit.
Capture your thoughts. Either the old fashioned way (i.e., paper and pen) or digitally, whatever works for you. You could use a Google Doc, Evernote, or your phone to capture thoughts that pop into your head. You know those things that are nagging you or the ones you’ll probably forget later. Capturing them helps to reduce stress. Since you’re writing it down to address later, you won’t ruminate on it.
Crush procrastination. As a property manager, there are a lot of moving parts to handle each day. Sometimes it feels easier to put some things off – especially big, daunting projects. Break it down, and just start, even if it’s only 15 minutes at a time. Set a timer and do something related to that task you’ve been putting off. You’ll get it done, even if it’s 15 minutes at a time!
Build systems that work for you and your business
As a property manager, you have a lot going on. If you’re continually putting out fires, it can start to feel like you’re spinning your wheels. And then you’re not getting done what needs to get done to run and build your business.
Build systems to manage workflow and address routine issues your business deals with on a day-to-day basis. When you set up systems that work for you, you’ll be amazed at how you can deal with whatever comes your way.
Create a reliable system for screening tenants
This simple step can save you a ton of time, energy, and stress. As a property manager, one of the most time-consuming tasks you have is screening tenants. By creating a system that quickly and easily pre-screens all prospective tenants, you’ll save time and energy. You won’t have to field as many phone calls, emails, or show properties to unqualified tenants.
Your rental standards will help streamline the screening process and find the best tenant for your property. Your rental criteria clearly state the qualifications you want in a tenant. They’re written, consistent, and easy to measure. (They also help protect you against discrimination claims when you deny an application.)
Share your set rental standards with all prospective tenants. If tenants read through your criteria and see that they don’t meet your qualifications, most won’t proceed.
Pre-screening questionnaire to the rescue. One great way to save a ton of time is to have a pre-screening questionnaire for all prospective tenants to complete. You can create this questionnaire on Google Forms, Survey Monkey, or whatever platform you like. Even if they didn’t read through your set rental standards, the pre-screening questionnaire will show whether prospective tenants meet the pre-screening qualifications.
Have a solid system for documentation
When you have a system to store and find paperwork, documentation, and notes, you’ll save time and energy. With technology, you can probably eliminate 90% of papers. But you still need to maintain a file system to keep all relevant documentation and notes.
Some documentation to keep in your file system:
- Application and background check
- Security deposit receipt
- Rent payment records
- Move in checklist
- Any correspondence (including email, phone calls, etc.)
- Eviction paperwork
- Lease violations
Use great photos (or 3D tours) for marketing your properties
When you’re marketing your property, leave no question about what your property looks like, the floor plan, and the condition of the home. When prospective tenants get their questions answered in the listing – it’ll save you time. You won’t find yourself fielding questions and showing properties to tenants who don’t feel like the property is a good fit for them.
Automate, automate, automate
Technology is your friend. You can automate background checks, security deposits, and rent payments. You can even automate some tenant issues online – by having tenants report any repairs or maintenance needed in their unit on an online platform.
Outsource what makes sense
Yes, outsourcing costs you a little money upfront. But, outsourcing tasks that are monotonous and repetitive can actually save – or even make – money in the long run. Simple tasks you do every day can cost you time (and thus money). You could be spending your time on more productive work for your business. You could find a new property, new clients, streamline your tenant processes, or otherwise work on growing your business.
Create a team of trusted people to help you out. When each person on your team has specific duties, you can create a property management system that quickly resolves issues. One that best meets the needs of the business, the tenants, and/or the investors.
Or hire a virtual assistant (VA) to post your listings, field phone calls, and handle your pre-screening and/or the application process.
Don’t forget your attorney, accountant, insurance agent, and contractors also play crucial roles on your team.
Never underestimate the value of a great team. When you have a team, you’ll be better able to meet the needs of tenants and clients – and your business too!
Communication is everything
All the property management tips in the world won’t help you if you aren’t effectively communicating. As a property manager, you have to communicate with so many people – contractors, service providers, investors, tenants, prospective tenants, staff, and more. That’s a lot of communicating.
Always say what you’ll do and do what you say. Be dependable. Listen. And be the person that follows through on their word.
Have a positive attitude to yield positive results. Being a property manager is a people business. And problems will be a daily occurrence. Set your expectations and put on your happy face. With your positive attitude (even if you have to fake it at first), you’ll not only find problems easier to deal with, but you’ll find people are much more willing to work with you and help you out when you need it.
Clear and concise (and nice!) is the key. When everyone understands what is needed and expected – and when people feel appreciated – everything will go better, from the start.
Stay current on the latest
As a property manager, it’s imperative to stay in the loop. You have to know immediately when local rules, regulations, and laws change. You should know what’s trending in your market.
It’s helpful to know what resources are available to help your business grow too. Technology is changing super-fast nowadays. The options available to property managers are expanding. To take advantage of technology that can improve your business, you need to be aware of what’s possible.
Write a mission statement (and put it where you see it every. single. day)
Why write a mission statement? It’s your vision, your goals, and your values right there in a concise statement. And it provides the clarity, guidance, and direction you need, especially on the most challenging days.
Your mission statement will serve you well. It’s there for the days when you’re questioning why you’re doing this in the first place. For the difficult business decisions you’ll have to make. For dealing with the things you don’t feel like dealing with. For getting out of bed in the morning. For knowing where you are and where you want to go in business and life.
Create a community
Be honest, be transparent, and forge connections. Connections with people you live with, work with, and serve are essential to building a successful business. When people see you as a part of their community, as a person they can always trust to follow through and do their best, they’ll respond in kind.
Going the extra mile is always appreciated. Let those in your community know they are valued. Host gatherings or meetups. Send out periodic newsletters with helpful local information, resources, or tips. Do good in your neighborhood.
More tips for successful property management
- Do regular property inspections
- Keep properties tidy when showing
- Address maintenance and property issues promptly
- Do preventative maintenance
- Create incentives for tenants – early payment discount, first month free, improvements to units, gift cards (to thank them), etc.
Whether you’re selling, buying, or investing, the process can feel intimidating and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to. At Coluzzi Real Estate, we answer all your questions and simplify the process. We’re here for you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!