Loading...

Follow Property Matrix | Property Management Software .. on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Real estate will always be one of the prime ventures with comparatively good investment returns. There’s no doubt about that. Human beings are guaranteed to always seek shelter- and that translates to a consistent investment opportunity for both property sales and rentals.

What is changing, however, is investment models. As the society continues to evolve, so do preferences and investment options.

Consider the rise of Airbnb, for instance. It continues to change the whole concept of short-term rentals, especially for travelers. And this has had both real estate hotel industries reeling.

Of course, many property managers perceive Airbnb as competition because it promotes increased competition. But, let’s take a minute and analyze it critically.

Short-term rentals, particularly in popular tourist destinations, have always been booming for property managers. Despite quick turn-around, it’s a good way to rent out property at rates that are substantially higher than standard long-term leases.

To attract tenants, property management firms have always used websites and social media to showcase their properties. So it was only time till someone found a way to consolidate all this in one platform- and provide a single channel to source for short-term rentals across the globe. Not quite a far-fetched idea after all.

Currently, Airbnb is valued at $31 billion, with more than 150 million users and 640,000 hosts. Let that sink in for a minute. Clearly, property management can mint you extra money if you’re very strategic and clinical about it.

With tools like Property Matrix, managing rentals is now easier, and it provides the requisite flexibility to explore other income-generating options. To help you in this, here are a couple of ideas on how to make extra income as a property manager:

Increase Rent Strategically

Revising the rent upwards might lose you some tenants and increase your vacancy rate. That’s true. But so is the fact that maintaining constant rent could choke your growth, and inflation may even catch up with you over the long haul.

That said, it’s possible to increase rent and maintain a low property turn-over rate at the same time. All you need to do is handle the process systematically and strategically.

If you’ve been a property manager for quite some time, chances are you know tenants can smell a raw deal from miles away. They know when their property managers are being greedy enough to increase rent at rates that are higher than standard market norms. On the other hand, however, many of them are also aware of inflation and the rising costs of property maintenance.  So they know that rent might be reviewed at some point during their tenancy period.

And that requires some amount of finesse. Review similar properties around your area, standard inflation rates, property appreciation rates, and relevant legislation on rent increment. Some states, like Oregon, have outlawed increases during the first year of month-to-month tenancy.

Most importantly, since you might be tempted, avoid being overambitious. Because otherwise, you could lose it all just when you thought you were about to make a killing.

Run a Coin-Operated Laundry

Now that you already have tenants, it would be a good time to start looking into at lucrative services you can provide. View them not only as tenants but also as a ready market of consumers. One thing that’s guaranteed, for instance, is that tenants will definitely do their laundry.

Despite operating for 70 years, the laundromat industry is seemingly never getting old. As a matter of fact, it’s considered recession-prove, is set to continue growing from its current $5 billion annual revenue. All simply because everyone likes clean clothes.

So take advantage of this and install sufficient coin-operated laundry machines that will adequately serve your tenants. And don’t worry about a consistent flow of customers- because no one will load up their laundry to drop in a commercial laundromat, when they have good laundry machines in their apartment building.

Get a Real Estate Agent License

Rent is a bill that’s only enjoyed by property owners and their corresponding managers. Tenants hate periodically paying for properties that they’ll never eventually own. That’s why every single one of them is pretty much aspiring to be a homeowner in the future.

The bulk of them won’t be around forever. As a matter of fact, the average age for a home buyer is the U.S. is 33. Well, of course, this means property turn-overs in the long run. But, it could also translate to a stable source of income if you’re calculative and strategic.

Bond with your tenants during their stay within your properties. Combine that with a real estate license, and you’ll have a good chance of making a handsome commission every time they are on the lookout for properties to buy. They will come in broods, especially if you sufficiently comprehend their needs, and consistently provide a fresh list of new listings. And closing a deal should be comparatively swift, because most prospects prefer working with professionals they’ve connected with over a long period of time.

Of course, you might be worried that this could eat into your management business. That, however, should only concern property managers relying on outdated systems. Implementing a transformational automated system like Property Matrix will substantially free up your time, allowing you to undertake other income-generating ventures

Conclusion

We’ve only mentioned a few solid opportunities that are open to property managers across the board. With the current dynamism in the American real estate market, there are plenty of other options for both managers and owners. So feel free to share some of the most exciting ones in the comment section.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

While some may argue that winter is a pretty exciting period because of the December holidays, one thing is clear- the weather is pretty hard on everyone and everything, including property. Going by data published by the Insurance Information Institute, winter comes second in property damage after hurricanes and tornadoes. In the U.S. alone, property owners continue to lose about $1.2 billion per year, owing to snow, ice and freezing temperatures, all of which are pretty rough on different property elements.

Something as simple as frozen pipes, for instance, could set you back thousands of dollars if mitigating measures are not implemented on time. According to The Hartford’s analysis of winter over five years, the average claim for damaged frozen pipes is $18,000. And that’s only if you’re lucky enough to have insurance.

If plumbing repair costs that much, imagine the full invoice if damage extends to the roof and possibly the wall- especially in cases of hail storms and collapsed trees.

Well, sadly, that only addresses repair costs. You stand to also lose rental income from tenants who decide to move out into more hospitable properties. So, in the end, it may not be such an exciting holiday after all.

To make matters worse, both Farmer’s Almanac and AccuWeather predict that the 2017-2018 winter will be extra awful, with above–average snowfall and chilling temperatures of negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit. We may witness extensive property damage, possibly more severe than yester winter seasons.

You can minimize damage and save yourself thousands of dollars by following these property maintenance tips:

Piping

Piping has always been particularly susceptible to damage under low temperatures, because of the fact that water expands as it freezes. Pressure gradually builds up as water approaches its freezing point, and some pipes ultimately block and burst.

If your property is vacant, it’s best to block the flow of water from the mains, and subsequently drain all the pipes. Keeping them empty ensures that there is no water to freeze and passively sustain tension.

For occupied units, advise your tenants to always keep their heaters on, even when they leave their houses. The Insurance Information Institute recommends an optimum thermostat temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit to heat air, which in turn conventionally passes heat to the pipes.

Since heat may not ideally extend to external plumbing, insulate all the pipes you consider vulnerable. This will limit the amount of heat lost, and minimize the corresponding water freezing rate.

Roofing and Gutters

With above average snowfall expected in December and January, there is bound to be excessive buildup on snow on roofs and gutters. This will not only block the flow of rainfall, but also exert extra weight on the roof, which could gradually damage shingles, and underlying trusses. Weak roofs with extra-long truss spans may even collapse after sustained pressure.

Unfortunately, there’s only one way to deal with this. Roof rakes with telescopic handles should be regularly used to push snow off the roof and gutters. While it may sound simple, this task requires experienced contractors with special hoisting equipment.

This maintenance procedure should be most frequent on roofs with the lowest pitches, especially in areas experiencing increased snowfall.

Landscaping

Landscaping is arguably the most commonly ignored property element when it comes to maintenance during winter. Many property owners, managers and residents only bother with this during summer and spring- because, why would you concern yourself with landscaping when it will be covered by snow?

Ironically, that’s precisely the reason why landscaping should concern you. As ice forms on the edges of bushes and limbs of trees, there could be resultant hazards that could threaten property and its occupants. Increased snow weight on the branches could break them, consequently sending them straight towards the house. Melting ice from the bushes on the other hand, could drip on the walkway, creating a slip and fall hazard.

To avoid such occurrences, all branches hanging over the property should be cut off before winter sets in. Additionally, snow buildup on bushes should be regularly cleared to minimize chances of a slip and fall.

Fireproofing

Believe it or not- winter is strangely the chief reason for house fires. Due to increased use of heaters during winter, more fire deaths occur in December to March, than in any of the other months of the year. And since social gatherings are particularly frequent during the holidays, a single fire could be more catastrophic compared to other periods.

With heaters bieng the prime causative agents, fireproof your properties by advising tenants to keep all flammable materials away from their heaters. Furniture, paper, curtains, and clothing should not be anywhere close to a heater.

In case of a fire, your tenants will definitely need smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. So install them accordingly, and have them checked and tested on a regular basis. Smoke alarm batteries for instance, should always be replaced once they start to chime.

The Golden Tip

With such extensive property maintenance procedures, winter is evidently a very hectic period for property managers. But, fortunately, you can relieve yourself the stress by making your work easier through a property management system that comprehensively encompasses property maintenance.

Property Matrix, for instance, will have you enjoying your holiday thanks to a holistic property maintenance feature. It lets you remotely and conveniently coordinate maintenance projects by different vendors, respond to tenant requests, and release payments without stepping away from your vacation.

 

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Customer retention is cheaper and much more beneficial over the long haul, compared to customer acquisition. Well, that’s according to an infographic published by Invesp. Take a second to let that sink in, and think about all the efforts you’ve directed at marketing and tenant acquisition, as opposed to tenant retention.

Apparently, and rather surprisingly, the bulk of companies fall in this category. According to that survey, 44% of businesses focus substantially on customer acquisition, while only 18% pay more attention to customer retention.

Of course that should not be an issue, especially considering the all-too-common argument that new customers bring in the new cash- but then again, consider this…the average probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%, while existing customers fall within the 60-70% range. Additionally, while 31% of new prospects would be willing to try new products, 50% of existing customers would not have a problem giving it a go.

All things considered, increasing your customer retention rate by 5% subsequently boosts profits by 25 to 95%. And this applies to all businesses, including real estate and property management.

Tenant retention is particularly critical because turnovers are expensive. In addition to lost income, you’ll possibly incur some repair and marketing costs, as you prepare property for incoming tenants. And that’s without mentioning the time that will be consumed screening new applicants, and negotiation corresponding leases.

So let’s look into effective ways you can minimize turnovers by increasing tenant retention:

Conduct Thorough Tenant Screening

Let’s kick off right where it all begins- tenant screening. If you don’t this right, you’re probably in for one very frustrating ride with a tenant, which may eventually end up in an eviction. If you decide to hold on to troublesome tenants on the other hand, you may have to deal with late rent payments, property damage, and multiple disputes culminating in court battles.

For a smooth and comprehensive tenant screening process, ensure you are managing it with flexible project management software like Property Matrix. In addition to employer references, criminal records, credit score and past landlords, pay attention to even the small details like reasons for vacating, cleanliness and overall organization. That will help you qualify only prospects who are cooperative and planning to settle for a long period of time.

Prioritize on Property Maintenance

At the beginning, vacating into new property is exciting for tenants. It’s like acquiring a new vehicle or furniture. Very pleasant at first, but the excitement gradually diminishes with time, as they get used to the property. Ultimately, a tenant begins perceiving you as some huge extortionist who’s persistently making insane profits from them. The property stops feeling like a home or business premise, and more like a system of capitalist walls.

Sadly, for most property managers, it only gets worse because they only contact tenants when rent is overdue. That’s why many tenants have such a bad view of property managers, and hope to vacate their properties as soon as possible.

One of the most effective ways to counter this effect is prioritizing on property maintenance. This not only improves material durability, but also consistently impresses tenants and reignites their excitement. They begin feeling like valued customers, and continue staying at your property with a more positive attitude.

To maintain a good tempo, coordinate all the maintenance activities through your property management system. Property Matrix, for instance, has all tools for maintenance request, speedy response, job allocation and subsequent payment remittance.

Allow For Reasonable Adjustments To The Interior and Exterior of The Properties

Of course property managers, in most instances, want to maintain the property in its new, original state. Making drastic changes means that reinstating the property during turnover becomes expensive and cumbersome.

But, people have different tastes and preferences. Put yourself in your tenant’s shoes for a minute- would you be okay spending years in a home with colors and décor you consider unappealing?

Being open to minor, reasonable changes to both the interior and exterior of the properties may increase the workload during turnover, but it’s definitely worthwhile to keep your tenants happy and satisfied with their environments. However, do not extend your generosity to permanent, irreversible property changes. Otherwise, you may wake up to find out that your tenant has moved a couple of walls, and possibly eliminated some windows overnight.

Master the Art of Tenant Relations

You’re in charge of the property- we all know that, and your tenant acknowledges it too. But, that’s not a license for being submissive to the property owner, and establishing dominance over your tenants. Property management, at the end of the day, is still a business. That means learning how to handle your customers, particularly in antagonistic situations.

Instead of handling a hostile tenant with contempt, counter them with an approachable tone and encourage them to negotiate. Working with a team spirit as opposed to a competitive one can make the difference between a successful and sour tenant-manager relationship.

Even when a tenant is late on rent payments, do not be condescending in any way. Make yourself the tenant’s ally and politely ask them why rent is overdue. If the tenant has been making timely payments in the past, it wouldn’t hurt being lenient enough to grant them additional time to remit payment. Think of that as perks for good tenants.

Finally, digitizing your entire property management system goes without saying. Relying on manual systems not only makes you look retrogressive, but is also cumbersome to tenants. Make their life easier and convenient by migrating to a cloud property management system, where they’ll be able to remotely make payments and lodge maintenance tickets.

We love hearing success stories on property management. So let us know other creative ways you’ve used to improve your overall tenant retention rate.

 

 

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Software Advice, a widely recognized provider of detailed software reviews, recently sampled 385 property management professionals, and established that while 53% are yet to switch from manual to automated computer-based systems, 28% have already done so, and 9% claim that they do not run their businesses on any system. It’s almost impossible to imagine managing properties without a manual or computer based system– but hey, I guess we’ll probably even start seeing cars running without wheels in future.

For now, let’s focus on the leading property management firms- those that actually understand the importance of running on a comprehensive property management system. When asked why they opted for computer based systems, the majority of the respondents said that they were attracted by increased efficiency. Gone are the days they were forced to rely on manual systems that were not only extensively erroneous, but also pretty hectic. Property management software provides instant access to critical information, and subsequently generates important reports that are relevant to tenants, property managers and property owners.

To help you streamline your operations as you implement a comprehensive property management solution, we’ll walk you through some of the most critical reports you should be getting thanks to your software.

Financial Reports

Let’s face it- Your business would pretty much be as good as a skeleton if you ran it without accurate financial figures and facts. In a typical property management firm, all decisions are usually directly or indirectly tied to financial reports. That’s primarily because they are the only reliable way to assess the precise position of a firm as far as profits and losses are concerned. Without comprehensive reporting, you’d be blind to your expenditure, incomes, and overall net difference.

A good property management system should be able to generate holistic financial reports emanating from all elements of your business. In addition to overall property finances, you should have the option of zeroing in on specific property units, and produce custom reports over a selected period of time. If you’re managing multiple apartment buildings for instance, you should be able to generate comprehensive reports on a specific apartment, covering all payments made and corresponding expenses incurred.

Additionally, the reports should also compare debit and credit items side by side, as they apply to a specific account, owner or property. These can be organized to include owner security deposit and affiliated balances.

Tenant Screening Reports

Good property management software doesn’t only apply to tenants who’ve already moved into your property. The process begins at the top, right at the foundational stage- tenant screening.

With the current boom in the U.S. real estate market, demand for rental property is progressively rising, particularly in cities and zones popular with millennials. Now, of course that’s a good thing for property managers- but it’s also means tedious tenant screening processes. While you could go the cumbersome traditional way of tenant screening, it’s always advisable to rely on accurate reports for informed decision making.

A solid tenant screening report should contain all information relevant to a tenant’s payment abilities and behaviors. That’s why in addition to criminal and background records, you should be able to organize and generate credit ratings and past landlord reports. And that will help you pick out the most qualified individuals.

Since federal and state discrimination laws require property managers to notify prospective tenants on reasons for disqualification, the resultant tenant screening reports will substantially help you defend your decisions.

Tenant Reports

These are reports that contain information specific to your tenants, according to their respective lease agreements. Since firm organization and lease arrangements across all states may not be the same, an ideal property management solution should have the option of customizing reports to uniquely fit your specific structure.

If you deal with both commercial and residential properties for instance, the software should provide the option of specifying type of lease in addition to associated properties. For effective revenue management, you should also be able to break down the reports into amounts paid and owed by respective tenants. Property Matrix is capable of extending such credit reports to bear cost details of maintenance works carried out on their respective premises.

Tenant reports are also very critical when it comes to planning for the future and possible tenant turn over. By showing move out dates for example, your firm should be able to plan for maintenance repairs, advertise the property, and subsequently get started on the tenant screening process.

Miscellaneous Reports

And finally, there are reports we call miscellaneous. Although they are not considered primary performance indicators, they are still critical in running and streamlining your entire property management business.

Take for instance an owners’ report, which contains details of all the active property owners, including emails addresses and phone numbers. It would definitely come in handy when you need to contact them in case of any concerns or queries. Such a report would even be more pertinent if it displayed additional information relating to respective properties- reserves, expenses, etc. That’s the kind of information you’d find extremely useful in analyzing the performance index of a specific group of units.

Another element which commonly falls within miscellaneous reports is maintenance. A maintenance report should provide a consolidated list of vendors, their contact information, plus maintenance works and their corresponding costs. These, combined with all the other reports, should help you critically analyze your business on a day to day basis, identifying both strong and weak points, plus establishing your overall performance against your projected growth.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

When it comes to real estate, buyers and prospective renters don’t just buy listings- they buy lifestyles. That’s the magic about real estate marketing. Unlike other industries that heavily rely on reiteration of data and specifications, real estate is all about creating a unique narrative of what it actually feels like living in that specific property you’re trying to fill.

Sure, of course it sounds relatively simple. Just a word play game, right? And maybe throw in a couple of colorful, perfectly rendered videos, and you’ll be attracting callers in no time.

Well, sadly, it’s not that simple anymore. In the current fiercely competitive real estate environment, marketing is progressively getting complicated. Even with the extensive online platforms, passing your message to the right audience takes time. That’s why filling a vacant property doesn’t happen overnight. You need not only a solid marketing strategy, but also some finesse when handling the whole process of tenant turnover, and overall marketing.

Here are a couple of solid tips to help you in this, and get your property vacancies filled quickly:

Keep Your Website Up-To-Date

The importance of a website in property management can never be overemphasized. According to a report published by NAR, 44% of home searchers eventually settled for properties they found on the internet. That number would definitely rise if we factored in both commercial and residential property renters. Thankfully, the bulk of property managers recognize this, and have consequently built websites to market their properties.

Everything looks rosy till we have a look at the resultant numbers- unfortunately, 72% of real estate agents and property managers are unsatisfied with the number of leads generated from their websites.

So, why are websites not as effective anymore?

The secret lies in the housekeeping- website management. How well is your site maintained? Keeping an up-to-date website, for instance, is just as important as securing an attractive office. Keep revising your list of properties, integrate supplementary features like property management systems, and see the magic.

Get Professional Quality Photos and Videos

Online property marketing is all about photos and videos. That’s the fundamental principle of creating a narrative of your properties. A well thought out photo can do justice to a typically not-so-attractive piece of property, just as much as a poor one can do injustice to an extremely gorgeous place.

While poor quality photos can be enhanced digitally, it’s always advisable to get photos of the highest quality possible. Leave Instagram filters to the amateurs, and get a professional property photographer to do the job. While at it, familiarize yourself with the specific elements of your property that prospective renters love most, and capitalize on them. Focus on not only outdoors shots, but also indoor, at different levels of natural and artificial lighting.

If you can afford to fork over a few extra bucks, a drone video would definitely discern you from the rest. After all, the main goal was to have an edge over the competition, remember?

Conduct 3D Property Scans

3D property scanning is the stuff of legends. While 83% of individuals claim that they’d want to see photos of properties they are interested in, we bet that almost 100% would be amazed by the capabilities of 3D property scanning. It’s by far one of the most effectual property marketing tools of 2017.

It works by stitching together three dimensional images of an entire house to create a single composition that a user can fly-through, even in virtual reality- consequently giving an actual depiction of the state of the property. It allows prospective renters to virtually tour a property from the comfort of their workplaces and homes.

To conduct a good scan, hire reputable professionals to assist you through the whole process. Ultimately, the final digital product will be in VR and 3D, which can be reused every time you need to fill that specific vacancy.

Build a Popular Blog

70% of individuals prefer knowing companies through their online content as opposed to paid adverts. So, even when you dedicate thousands of dollars to paid campaigns, your web content, at the end of the day, stands to generate more leads. The only downside to this is that unlike paid adverts that are developed and displayed to a wide audience in a matter of seconds, building an extensive readership takes time- months and even years. That’s probably why 54% of agents and property managers confess that they only dedicate an average of 5 hours to their websites every month.

Developing a popular blog is pretty straightforward. Create useful and trendy posts as often as possible. The longer you persistently deliver enormous amounts of value on real estate, the faster your readership will soar. To connect more with your audience, consider combining that with images, infographics and videos. This will gradually build a stable audience to market your properties not only within your website, but also on social media.

Integrate a Solid Tenant Screening System

Finally, once the calls start coming in, you’ll need a solid tenant screening system to not only qualify tenants, but also assure prospective tenants of your professionalism. A good way to do this is relying on a comprehensive information system like Property Matrix. It offers advanced tenant screening features that combine credit and bankruptcy reports, eviction history, identity verification, plus employment information, to help you make informed decisions on who you’re actually handing the property keys to. And the best thing about all this is…it’s totally free of charge.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

$39 billion. That’s the annual revenue of the U.S. property management industry. It sure looks good on paper, but you’d probably be surprised to learn that 30% of this goes to the top 500 firms.

So, where do the rest 79,500 firms lie?

The bulk of them are stuck at what’s arguably the most critical stage- getting their strategy right.  While property management may not be the simplest business engagement, one thing you’ve got to admit is, it’s not as complicated as manufacturing. Even the smallest firms have fair chances of outdoing large established businesses, thanks to something called the web.

According to a report prepared by NAR, 84% of both buyers and renters are heavily using the internet as their first step in their home searching process. If they can’t find your information online, you may be missing out on a huge chunk of potential business. Well, of course there’s the option of riding on a third party website like Facebook, but personal websites have proven to be considerably way more effective. Here’s why:

Growing and Managing Your Clients Through CRM and Contact Management

Getting tenants is not that simple anymore. With competition persistently growing, property management firms are now leveraging CRM and contact management tools in lead prospecting. And going by recent trends, both prospects and property management firms are happy with the consequent results. According to Nucleus Research, every dollar spent on such tools generates an average return of $8.71- super neat, right?

So, here’s the thing- CRM and contact management can only be effectually conducted from your website. You’ll not be able to collect valuable information like email addresses, phone numbers, and names, but also track subsequent interactions.  And if you want to make informed decisions on aligning your firm’s strategy, the tools will help you monitor growth and tenant acquisition, from where you’ll be able to tell strategies that are most effective in different property zones.

Creating a Funnel To Your Property Management System

Now that you’ve capitalized on CRM and contact management tools to qualify new tenants and property owners, what comes next?

A strategic property management firm doesn’t only focus on prospect acquisition. Consequent lead management is even more crucial because it forms the backbone of your business. A good website should help you establish a seamless link between these two, by directing both tenants to a property management system.

While you could create and embed your own system, it’s always advisable to leave the heavy lifting to the experts. Subscribing to third party property management software not only saves you the trouble and expense of building your own system, but also grants you unlimited access to a ton of features previously only available to large, established firms. And if you really need that extra unique feature, you might want to focus only on customizable software.

Establishing Your Firm As “Experts” In Property Management

The most difficult aspect about introducing your brand to prospective clients, is convincing them about your expertise, professionalism and experience in property management. Thankfully, your website will save you the trouble, because it takes an average of 50 milliseconds to make a first impression on a web visitor.

Of course this could also mean that you stand a fair chance of losing that potential client within the first second. That’s why it’s extremely crucial to build a professional website that not only stands out in terms of graphics, but also content. Establishing a solid content framework around your brand will considerably boost brand awareness, as more prospective clients continue acknowledging you as project management experts.

Reinforcing Your Property Management Firm’s Brand

According to Stanford’s web credibility research, 75% of internet users make judgments on various brands based on their site’s overall design. Websites are widely perceived to be direct reflections of businesses, and their corresponding goods/services. With a good site therefore, you don’t have to sorely rely on brokers to supply you with prospective clients. As a matter of fact, your firm can comfortably survive without their referrals.

To comprehensively reinforce your brand, your website should highlight everything that sets your firm apart from the competition, particularly the most established brands. A few clever words and strategically placed graphics could ultimately make a huge difference in getting ahead of the competition.

Sampling An Unlimited Number of Prospects

Imagine being able to host hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions of prospective clients in your office at the same time. That’s precisely what your website will do. The internet grants you a unique opportunity to sample billions of prospective clients, and your website provides the doorway to do just that.

In the U.S. alone, there are more than 280 million active internet users. Now, since it’s common knowledge that everyone has to live somewhere, that translates to millions of prospective clients from just one country. A larger-than-life billboard in the world’s business highway doesn’t even match up to 1% of that, in terms of potential brand exposure. The only limitation, of course, will be your website’s bandwidth.

A good bandwidth, coupled with a perfectly executed web marketing strategy could considerably boost your firm, and possibly even propel your brand past the 500 firms that are currently enjoying a third of the cake.

Previously, brand awareness was mostly dictated by a firm’s marketing capital. Websites have revolutionized the entire game, and it’s now more about your strategy and overall persistence.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Let’s be honest. The word “maintenance”, more often than not, carries a negative connotation because it’s mostly considered a liability. Every real estate agent wants to build an extensive portfolio and grow as much as possible without the added expenses that come with maintenance. However, and rather ironically, maintenance is actually an essential component of real estate management. As a matter of fact, it’s arguably as important and tenant prospecting and acquisition.

Apart from the fact that it’s one of the most direct routes to tenant satisfaction, maintenance is critical in preventing building decrepitude. Although it’s largely beneficial, it could also be your firm’s Achilles’ heel if managed ineffectively. That’s why the most established firms are relying on streamlined maintenance processes, built on cloud real estate management systems.

But, is it actually that serious? Why would you pay extra for a system, yet you could comfortably track orders from your ledgers? When did real estate management get so complicated?

Well, technically, real estate management is getting simpler by the day, thanks to comprehensive management systems. And yes, computerized maintenance management is the way to go if you intend to improve efficiency, grow your portfolio, and challenge some of the most established firms. Using a reliable system to track maintenance orders will benefit your firm in the following ways:

Provides Real Time Data Access

Property management, as you’ve probably recognized by now, is not a 9 to 5 job. It’s more like a full time engagement, since maintenance requests come through even in the middle of the night. So, unless you plan to eat, sleep and vacation in your office, you may be required to undertake duties remotely from time to time. And that’s why you need a cloud-based property management software that can track maintenance orders remotely from any corner of the earth.

Through real time data access, Property Matrix saves you the trouble of persistently calling the office and fellow maintenance workers to check on work progress. You can comfortably track orders on multiple locations at the same time, from the comfort of your bed. And since tenants can take pictures from their phones and attach them to their respective tickets, you don’t even have to personally inspect maintenance works.

Simple to Navigate and Organize

Know that feeling when you have a deadline to beat, tenants are screaming at you, and there’s a table full of documents yet you can’t find that one invoice required to process an order? If you thought that’s extremely agonizing, imagine sifting through heaps of files to locate a payment receipt that would probably save your firm from a potentially serious lawsuit.

Compare that to a software that systematically organizes work orders and documents, allowing you to track and easily retrieve past maintenance records. Property matrix comes with a user-optimized navigation system that allows users to go through work orders with simple menu screens and dropdown lists. It’s even easier and less cumbersome on smartphone users, who can view all pending and completed work orders through a simple touch on their screen.

And if you thought it would probably cost your firm substantial resources to train a new user, imagine all the time it takes to teach a new worker how to organize documents on their respective trays and cabinets. Contrast that against the time it would take to learn navigating through an interface as simple as Property Matrix’s.

Guarantees Contractor’s Accountability

For quality assurance and streamlined property maintenance, most property management firms only rely on a handful of contractors. Even when you’re managing an extensive real estate portfolio, chances are, you’ll repeatedly hire that one plumbing company you’re already accustomed to. While this system is convenient for managers, tenants and contractors, complications may arise when you’re processing payments.

Tracking and following up individual maintenance works becomes difficult and cumbersome when you’re dealing with a single contractor, as opposed to many. Following up on works invoiced by different contractors is way easier than frustratingly trying to recall each maintenance order listed in a long invoice sheet, all supposedly handled by a single contractor. And that’s how property management firms end up being duped to pay for works that were not even ordered in the first place.  

However, with a solid property management system on the hand, you don’t have to jog your mind at all. Comprehensive information on every maintenance order is available to both tenants and property managers. As a result, contractors are only paid for works duly completed and approved by respective tenants and property managers.

Increases Overall Safety

An often overlooked merit of managing maintenance requests through a software system is the fact that it can substantially increase the overall building safety rating. By alerting respective agents and contractors when routine and emergency maintenance works are required, and subsequently allowing users to conveniently tract progress, software systems can help reduce, if not eliminate potential safety hazards.

For instance, a case of a loose stair handrail could be reported and subsequently escalated through a software system like Property Matrix. As a property manager, you could prioritize such a request, then follow up on it to ensure that the issue is taken care of promptly and effectively, consequently avoiding a potentially fatal fall. Over time, such simple management techniques could even help your firm reduce its insurance premiums.

The best about this all is the fact that software systems like Property Matrix are not just optimized for maintenance order tracking. They are built for comprehensively real estate management, taking into account issues like property marketing, tenant screening, and payment processing.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

By now, you’re probably aware that there are plenty of software tools out there for pretty much any type of business or office set up. That’s why techies are always encouraging businesses to go online, and literally forget dealing with actual paper files. Well, of course it all sounds good and rosy until you come to critically think of it…

Is there any actual benefit of going paperless, apart from the all-too-known fact of being eco-friendly? Considering all the computers and storage drives you’ll have to purchase, isn’t paperless significantly more expensive than paper at the end of the day? And most importantly, is paperless feasible in property management?

While converting from a paper-based to a paperless environment could be intimidating and confusing to a property management firm at the beginning, it’s exceedingly feasible, and could possibly be your most strategic move yet. Although only 3% of businesses have managed to go completely paperless, 28% of paperless firms achieved full ROI in less than half a year, and 59% did it in less than one year. Overall, 84% of such businesses achieved payback in less than 18 months.

Here’s exactly how paperless helps you achieve this:

It’s Actually Cheaper

While you may have to purchase a couple of devices at the beginning, paperless is considerably cheaper than paper-based systems. As a matter of fact, with a property management system like property matrix, you don’t need to get an extra computer at all. It can work just as well on your smartphone because it’s all cloud based.

Although the cost of a single sheet of paper is nothing compared to buying a computer or surfing device, paper costs add up quickly over a prolonged period of time. According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an average business worker consumes more than 10,000 pieces of paper every 12 months. That translates to more than $1000 per year on just papers alone, and about $10,000 for a small property management firm of 10 workers.

Improves Document Tracking

Have you ever postponed a briefing because you couldn’t trace an important sheet of paper? Or worse, has your firm ever footed deficits because account books were not adding up?

They may seem strange, especially if you’re new to property management, but these are all common scenarios in not only paper-based offices, but also poorly aligned paperless environments. Even property management offices with the most organized filing systems could have important documents mixed up, lost, or accidentally destroyed. And unfortunately, it never ends well for affected firms – if they don’t close shop after a major disaster, they may possibly, over the long haul, lose tons of clients.

Compare that to a firm leveraging an intelligent document management system, which not only automatically indexes files, but also generates custom reports on demand. If you’re worried about data security, leveraging a cloud-based system should do the trick.

Improves Tenant-Agent Communication

In the past, property management was all about making trips to your tenants’ properties. If agents received a dime for every trip made, they’d probably be world’s biggest tycoons by now. Then came smartphones, which pretty much revolutionized how agents communicated with their tenants, but still had one major weakness – tracing the paper trail could be difficult, particularly during disputes. That’s why till date, the bulk of property managers still prefer delivering paper notes to their tenants.

According to information from the United States Postal Service, a standard mail is delivered within two to eight business days. If you pay top dollar for the first class mail, it’s takes one to three business days. So you may have to wait double that time after sending your mail to receive a reply, and that’s only if your tenant replies urgently.

Compare that to a paperless system which not only delivers your note instantaneously, but also maintains a thread for subsequent tracking. A tenant can raise an issue even in the middle of the night, and have it delivered to a vendor immediately. It’s that simple, clean, and stress free.

Facilitates Business on The Go

While most businesses operate within the standard 9 to 5 working hours, property management is a full time job. You may be chasing after due rental payments at 2 pm in the afternoon, then coordinating projects with vendors at 6 pm in the evening, before advertising a vacant property at 10pm right after dinner. And that’s pretty much a typical schedule for a property manager.

Now, imagine doing that on a paper-based office. You’d be carrying heaps of files from your office, right into the subway, and possibly to dinner too. On a paperless system on the other hand, your smartphone or tablet replaces the heaps of files. You’ll even be able to coordinate a maintenance project in Seattle, right from a beach in Miami.

Still Not Convinced?

If these pointers are not convincing enough, consider this…As a tenant, who would go for – a firm that constantly delivers notices through your mailbox, or one that simply send emails or texts straight to your phone?

Or rather, as a property owner, who would you work with – a firm that delivers heaps of property reports to your desk, or one that simply emails you custom reports with clear, understandable graphics?

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Ok, let’s admit it. Sometimes, even with your best efforts, things may fail to work out between a tenant and you. Being a good and honest landlord, unfortunately, doesn’t shield you from bad tenants who fail to honor their rent payments, damage property, or disrupt other tenants.

Of course we all wish tenant screening was completely foolproof. But, unfortunately, even tenants with the highest qualification scores and best intentions may struggle to pay rent from time to time. While this is heartbreaking, especially if you have a good relationship with a tenant, you simply can’t put them up free of charge. It may seem harsh, but it’s just business, and just like any other, your main priority is protecting it.

While evicting some tenants is just as simple as asking them to leave, the bulk of them may resist, forcing you to go through a formal eviction process. To manage this appropriately, you have to follow the right legal channels, otherwise you risk locking yourself in a civil suit, and probably damaging your reputation as a property manager or landlord.

Here’s a brief, but comprehensive guide to assist you:

Don’t Take Matters into Your Own Hands

According to the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA of 1972), and the corresponding state tenancy laws, it’s illegal in every state to take matters into your own hands, regardless of the tenant’s actions. Even if your tenant is physically damaging your property, causing extreme nuisance, or threatening to kill you, hiring a couple of Hulk Hogans to evict him/her would not go down well with the court. Your tenant is pretty much immune from eviction until you follow the due process.

Well, of course this can be frustrating since you own the property after all. But, the law is supreme.

Ensure That You Have a Valid Reason For Eviction

Now that the law requires you to follow the due process, you need to first establish concrete and valid reasons for eviction. Otherwise, you risk losing a protracted legal battle, which could possibly force you to compensate the tenant for anguish and harassment.

Some of the widely acceptable reasons include:

  • Health and Safety hazards
  • Breaking health, occupancy or noise laws
  • Extensive damage to property
  • Violation of tenancy agreement
  • Failing to pay rent

Going by the U.S court system’s overarching rule of “innocent until proven guilty”, your claim against the tenant requires documented proof as evidence. And that, of course, would be very simple and straightforward if you’ve already implemented a property management software, since it would only be a matter of generating past reports.

Try To Evict Amicably

It’s always a good idea to start with diplomacy, to save yourself all the time an energy which would be spent in court. As a matter of fact, the court system encourages this, especially on trivial issues which can be arbitrated by third parties.

One of the best ways to initiate a problem resolution conversation with a tenant is to invite him/her for a coffee, just to ease the tension and allow for a heart-to-heart chat. To keep it professional however, use an “understanding but strict” approach to explain all the eviction reasons. This works in most cases, particularly when tenants get to understand the possible repercussions of a court case. Only few individuals, for instance, would be willing to hold on to the property, after you make it clear that a formal eviction process could ultimately hurt their credit scores.

Issue a Formal Eviction Notice

Nothing says “we’re serious” better than a formal eviction notice. So, if your tenant is still uncooperative at this point, draft a notice outlining all the reasons for eviction, plus the corresponding ultimatum on the days the tenant is expect to vacate the premises. Thankfully, there are state-specific templates you could use for this, to ensure that the notice is legally comprehensive.

At this point, if the tenant owes you rent, chances are the notice will whip them into shape, and they’ll move to clear all the amounts owed. But, if nothing changes within a week or so, you should proceed to file a court case.

File a Court Case

This is usually the last resort, but completely necessary if all the other steps have failed. To file the eviction case, proceed to your local courthouse and present proof that you have given the tenant sufficient time to move out (eviction time varies with state). After paying a fee, the court clerk will set a date for your hearing, and subsequently issue your tenant with an official court summon on your behalf.

At the court hearing, gather and present all documentation relevant to your claim. If your tenant has rent arrears for instance, you may need to have not only the payment records, but also the lease agreement, any bounced checks, and a copy of the eviction notice, plus proof of receipt.

If the case turns out to be a hard nut to crack, especially if the tenant lays out a strong defense, you may need to consider leaving the heavy lifting to a competent property lawyer. While this may cost you a buck or two, you’ll ultimately save yourself time, and enjoy the peace of mind on having an expert handle the matter.

Evict the Tenant

As long as you hold a legitimate claim against your tenant, the court will probably rule in your favor, and order the tenant to move out within 2 days to a week, depending on your specific state legislation on eviction. In the event that the tenant rejects the court order and maintains occupation after the stipulated eviction time, you have the right to seek additional help from the Sherriff’s department. They’ll eventually storm into the property, and drag out the tenant’s possessions. Not a favorable outcome, but definitely necessary to reclaim your property from a troublesome tenant.

  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Let me take you back to 20th century’s property management for a minute…Property managers are walking from door to door, frantically knocking and collecting rent payments in ‘cash’. Unfortunately, it’s not going as smooth as they had previously hoped.

Although some landlords and managers stereotype renters as fiscally irresponsible people, one thing is sure- a bulk of tenants lead very hectic lives. A typical day might include waking up on time to drop kids at school, rushing to work, running a couple of errands during lunch time, before winding up with  evening meetings and extracurricular activities. Of course it’s understandable that rent may actually be last thing on such a renter’s mind. That’s why the 20th century property manager, in our case scenario, may end up with quite a couple missed payments. And that translates to additional trips to renter’s apartments, not to mention consequent frustrations.

Strange as it may sound, there are many property managers stuck in the same cycle. While they may not be actually knocking on tenants’ doors, they are facing pretty much similar challenges. They are forced to consistently follow up on payments on a monthly basis, with tenants giving excuses like:

  • “I’m sorry. I forgot..”
  • “The bank is too far…”
  • “I couldn’t find time to pay..”

Well, while some of these excuses are already a bit cliché, many tenants are genuinely worried about time and convenience of payment. Although timely rent payment cannot be guaranteed, providing a convenient system helps improve response and compliance.  And that’s exactly where the 21st century system of online payment comes in.

So, let’s see why you should implement an online payment system:

Tenants Prefer Online and Electronic Payments Over Cash

Whoever said cash is king must have had a poor understanding of consumer behaviors and preferences. According to a 2014 TSYS online survey, cash is the least preferable form of payment. While 43% of Americans would choose to pay via debit cards, 35% prefer credit cards, and only 9% are comfortable with cash.

Well, who wouldn’t prefer paying via a smarter, simpler method, as opposed to looking for a wallet, counting the cash, paying, and then recounting change all over again? Cashless forms of payment mean less paper lying around, increased security and stress-free automated payments. That’s why Property Matrix has integrated both debit and credit cards, consequently granting tenants exactly what they love.

Increased Security For Both Tenants and Landlords

Paying via cash is gradually being considered as ‘suspicious’ because of the relative anonymity it grants its handlers, as opposed to online transactions, which leave digital trails. While online payment systems are also threatened by criminals who use stolen identities to infiltrate burgeoning cashless systems, cash is still substantially less secure.

Tenants who withdraw rent cash through ATM, for instance, are particularly vulnerable of skimming attacks, which have grown tremendously over the last couple of years. Data released by the FICO Card Alert Service shows a 546% increase in ATM skimming from 2014 to 2015, affecting both bank and non-bank ATMs spread out across the U.S.

And if, on the other hand, you’re worried about cashless fraud, you might be pleased to learn that online payment systems are increasingly marrying technological intelligence with human intelligence to boost overall security. Systems are now leveraging a knowledgeable human activity review to support machine learning that tracks and blocks anomalous changes.  

Rent Can Be Paid Remotely

By now, you’re probably aware of how hectic it might be tracking down tenants who are hard to contact. While some may be frequent travelers or extremely busy workers, others are just hard to come by. We all know that type of tenant who’s never around. Checks in probably a day or two in a month, then vanishes for weeks. Collecting rent from such a person, of course, could be a nightmare- unless you’ve already implemented an online payment system.

Online payment, especially when automated, allows tenants to pay rent from just anywhere, including space. An astronaut at a space station can pay his rent thanks to automated invoicing and subsequent deduction from his account, without even having to keep tabs with the whole process. It’s that simple and straightforward.

All Payments Are Easy To Track

One of the most trying and frustrating times for any landlord or property manager, is being pulled into a payment dispute, especially when you don’t have reliable records to help settle the matter. While some disputes arise from malicious tenants attempting to evade their bills, a bulk of them are caused by poor record keeping. Failing to issue a payment receipts for instance, could result in confusion about the trail of rent payments made every month.

The best way to save yourself from such headache, especially when you’re dealing with multiple tenants, is having them pay online. You’ll be able to look back to every tenant’s payment history, paying keen attention to amounts paid, and amount still owed. Tenants can also log in through their portal to track a detailed breakdown of their payments, in terms of charges incurred, rent paid, and other utility payments. In the long run, such a systematic system of tracking considerably reduces the chances of any payment disputes.

Evidently, a comprehensive online rent payment system is not only beneficial to landlords and property managers, but also tenants. So, if you’re yet to leverage one, now should be a good time to start implementing Property Matrix in your property management firm.

 

 

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview