That would be a fantastic tool for residents and staff...And if it could sync with property manageme...
Thanks, Julia! I don't mean it would be so specific like it would update the resident when each bol...

Training Trivia

In Property Management, the only true "Close" is asking for the deposit.

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Property Management

- Blog posts tagged in Property Management

Posted by on in Property Management
Not all property managers are accounting experts, but accurate and organized accounting systems are nonetheless a crucial part of effective property management. Luckily for those of us that don’t have a significant background in accounting, there are many helpful tools available to aid property managers in effectively handling their accounting practices. Software One of the most critical accounting tasks a property manager faces is the struggle to keep different properties’ finances separate from one another. This means that funds allocated for property A are kept separate from funds for properties B, C, and D and from funds meant specifically for the property management company itself. The second biggest accounting concern for property managers is maintaining consistently up-to-date accounting records. With money constantly flowing in and out of each properties’ accounts, it’s essential to remain on top of payments received and made. Property managers must be able to quickly and efficiently respond to property owners’ inquiries regarding payments or bills. Accounting software allows property managers to easily update payments made and received. It also allows you to see all accounts for your various properties, as well as the property management company itself. Property management accounting software also allows complete and organized records to be pulled at a moment’s notice, whether you need to review them yourself or want to send them out for a property owner’s review. Be sure to check out Buildium’s property accounting software, specifically tailored for property managers. Books In addition to having a software-based accounting system, it’s also...

Posted by on in Property Management
Well, let me start out by saying that as a new property manager with only two years under my belt, I'll take help from any source I can tap into, and that means Facebook is right there at the top of the list! Sure, I have taken a number of classes offered by my management company, as well as attending several different seminars, but these are only available in limited quantities, and during selective times.  What about needing help at 8:00am in the morning when Polly Prospect comes in with her two babies needing help because your competition locked her out of her apartment? Or when you are up late at night desperately thinking about how you can get that resident out, prior to their emergency eviction, as they continue to steal the electric outside via an extension cord? Is there a class for that? Is anyone available to help during those times?I have found that most times the answer is 'no.' It is during those stress-filled times when I tap into Facebook and try to decompress reading other people's problems, looking at happy family pictures, and playing silly word games.  It's fluff, right? WRONG!  When I first became a member of Facebook, it was for those exact reasons, however, I quickly learned just how valuable Facebook could be to my career.  It begins by friending your local apartment association; who do you see as friends? Do you recognize anyone? If you do, then friend them, too. Instant networking. Have a favorite...

Posted by on in Property Management
Determining a career path in the property management industry can be a challenge.  We start in one position.  We wind up doing really well at it and then it comes time for a possible promotion.  With a promotion, may also bring the necessity to demonstrate leadership qualities in one way or another.  The typical problem that pops us is that many professionals are not fully prepared for the roles they are being asked to take on.  Do we really know how to manage people?  Do we understand how to handle group dynamics?  Do we have the ability to make decisions we can stick by through thick and thin.  As we move through our career path it is so important to analyze ourselves and see what kind of leadership and management styles we have currently and ones that we can be developing.  Below are some examples.   The Visionary The visionary shares their goals with the group and team. They give clear direction of where to go but don't necessarily give directions on how to get there. They share information and impart their knowledge and experience onto others. The Visionary Leadership style can create a company culture that facilitates directional changes. Evaluate your team and determine if a visionary style would motivate them to think and work more independently.  Not everyone may be able to work independently.  Balance is needed when using this approach.  The visionary is focused on helping the group to reach a proper conclusion. The Coach Are you a...

Posted by on in Property Management
First impressions can either take you a long way or stop you before you’ve even passed go. And when it comes to clients (both potential business associates and potential tenants), their first impression of you may very well involve your office. While it’s not necessary to spend a ton of money creating a luxurious office setting, it is important that everything is functional and presentable. Following are some low-maintenance tips that will help you and your office put a professional first foot forward. 1. Clear signage.Your client’s first impression of your office may well begin before he even sets foot through your front door. Make sure that your office space is clearly marked from the exterior so that customers can easily identify it and start things off on the right note. 2. Showcase yourself.Your office is a great place to do some self-promotion. Lining your walls with professional looking photographs of some of your most appealing properties and any awards or certificates you have sends great visual cues to potential clients. 3. Make space.Even if your office is a small space that is occupied only by you, be sure that you have some sort of seating option for clients. This can be as simple as a single, comfortable chair on the opposite side of your desk. But it is important that there is a place—whether it be just a chair or a conference table—where your client can sit down and make herself comfortable. 4. Points for hospitality.Putting potential clients at ease and making them as comfortable as...

Posted by on in Property Management
You go to a fast food place, the receipt asks you to take a survey. You go to the store, the receipt asks you to take a survey. You go to the dentist, a survey shows up in your inbox the next morning. You stay at a hotel, there's a survey at your bedside. "What's it all for?" you might ask. The real purpose of any feedback program is to identify areas of strength in order to leverage them more effectively and also to identify weaknesses in order to improve. Rewarding proven success in improving the customer experience over time can be a great motivator for individuals and teams to get creative and take pride in their service delivery. However, too much focus on the reward aspect can place a team's focus on the wrong things and for the wrong reasons. Two recent personal examples: 1. During a recent stay at a hotel on an overnight business trip, I encountered a minor inconvenience in my room. It was a slight disappointment, but overall it was a pleasant and comfortable stay. When I returned home, I found a link to a hotel satisfaction survey in my inbox. I completed my survey, giving highest marks across the board with the exception of one small ding. I explained my minor disappointment in the comment box and also emphasized the fact that it really was very minor.  In less than 30 minutes I received a response from the hotel manager apologizing for the inconvenience...

Posted by on in Property Management
Time is of the essence in the property management business. Let’s face it, there are just never enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished. So, for many, the notion of taking time out for training and other sorts of continued education (whether it be about real estate rules and regulations or maintenance tasks) seems like a nice idea, but also completely unrealistic. When considering such matters, though, it’s important to apply a bit of foresight to the decision-making process. Following are just a few examples of common property management scenarios where spending time up front might just save you a whole lot of time (and sometimes money) in the long-run. Computer and Software Training Incorporating financial and record-keeping software into your property management program can save you a ton of time in the long run, whittling formerly drawn-out tasks such as rent collection, payment recording, and maintenance tracking down to just a few clicks of the mouse. But installing new property management software and learning how to navigate it can be a daunting prospect. Taking time to learn the ins and outs of navigating office software that automates tasks and keeps electronic records is always time well spent. You’ll literally save yourself hundreds of hours down the line. Learning Basic DIY Tasks Having a stable of good repairmen to call when the need arises is crucial to keeping your tenants happy. And, certainly, you should always call in the experts when it comes to major or complex repairs. But...

Posted by on in Property Management
As each year goes by, more and more people utilize iPhones and BlackBerrys. With all of this instantaneous email access, communication skews a little more toward email all the time. Certainly, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing—but it is important to evaluate which situations are most appropriately handled with email and which ones call for a good old-fashioned phone call. Phone: Making a connection. It’s basic, but it’s worth noting—if face-to-face interaction isn’t possible, a phone call is the next best way to make a lasting first impression. Emails are great for a lot of reasons, but they do not allow for the voice inflections and dynamic back-and-forth that phone calls offer. When you’re dealing with a new client or discussing potentially tricky matters, a phone call is often the best route to take. It personalizes interactions and allows you put more personality behind your words. Not only do phone calls allow you to sell yourself, but they can also provide a valuable first impression of potential tenants and may help you determine whether or not they are the type of renter you’re seeking out for your property. Email: Documenting information. Emails are great for record keeping. When it comes to dealing with vendors, accounting issues, and legal matters, emails create a clear trail of regulations, promises, deadlines, and other important information. As noted above, tricky situations should be handled with a phone call, but it pays to follow up with an email reiterating key points when specific information is disseminated....

Posted by on in Property Management
Over the months, we’ve discussed the value of many different types of technology: websites, Twitter, and social networking sites like Facebook. But one thing we haven’t yet looked at is YouTube. Have you considered including YouTube videos into your online marketing strategy? Well, here are a few reasons you might want to. Save yourself some time. Photographs are a near-essential part of any rental listing. With a text-only listing, it’s often difficult for would-be renters to distinguish from one property to the next and, therefore, your units are at a disadvantage from the start.  But even photographs are sometimes misleading. Based on angling and point of focus, it’s possible to (either strategically or inadvertently) make a rental unit appear much different than it actually looks. Videos allow potential tenants to obtain a more realistic feel for what a given unit really looks like. As opposed to photographs, videos can provide a potential tenant with a realistic vision of the layout of a unit, its size and, if you’re feeling really ambitious, exterior and building features. Providing this sort of “advance preview” means that you can save yourself a lot of time by paring apartment showings down to those who are really interested in putting in an application on your unit, saving you a lot of time in the long run by allowing you to hone in on serious potential renters. Show off your stuff. Because videos inherently provide a more all-encompassing, realistic preview of your units, they allow you to demonstrate...

Posted by on in Property Management
As of today, April 22, 2010, all contractors that work on pre-1978 homes and may disturb paint through their work MUST become a Certified Renovator and the firm they work for must become a Certified Firm through the EPA.This rule affects painters, carpenters, plumbers, handymen, restoration companies, property management firms that do their own repairs.The EPA is fining $32,500 per day per violation and they are serious about enforcement.  If a building takes out a permit for work you can bet your are on a list for enforcement personnel to stop by to make sure the RRP Standards are being followed. [video: 433x300] To learn more visit:

Posted by on in Property Management
Juggling and staying on top of the frequently changing federal, state, and local laws that apply to rental housing is one of the trickiest tasks you’ll have to master as a property manager. At the top of the list of housing regulations you must abide by are equal housing rules and regulations as determined and enforced by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO). As always with rules and regulations, it’s imperative you stay on top of regulations as they’re subject to change. With that in mind, following are some basic equal opportunity housing rules and regulations that every landlord should be aware of. The Civil Rights and Fair Housing Act mandate that landlords may not discriminate against potential tenants based on their race, color, familial status, or handicap. It’s important to note that, under the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to refuse rent to families with small children, based on that fact. (For more information and tips for renting to families with kids, check out our previous blog post.) The Equal Credit Opportunity Act also applies to landlords, as it makes discrimination unlawful “with respect to any aspects of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program.” Additional anti-discrimination rules apply to those properties that have received federal funding. For instance, under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, HUD enforces...