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Can We Fix Property Management Turnover?

Can We Fix Property Management Turnover?
The multifamily industry has a turnover problem, but it’s not the resident turnover we primarily think of. The turnover problem is actually one that has been steadily growing for the last decade: property managers.  While many operators focus on resident turnover, losing a property manager can take a huge transitional toll on how a community functions. Property management turnover is costly and puts a strain on other onsite associates. Research from the National Apartment Association estimated 2019 turnover for onsite managers and leasing teams was 22.5% and 31.9% respectively.  So, why do property managers leave? While multiple reasons exist, delinquency management is one of the biggest factors - some of what we hear a lot is… “Managing delinquency sucks” - Delinquency is bad, and it generally means residents aren’t having a good experience. Paying rent late is stressful enough. Worse yet, property managers don’t sign up to collect bad debt. Who wants to approach an irate resident who is emotionally stressed because they are having trouble making ends meet -- or a resident who just experienced an expensive, stressful life event -- with a high-cost late fee? “Managing delinquent rent is time consuming” - Property managers don’t necessarily have the tools or time to understand the personal circumstances of each renter, and managing delinquent rent has become a huge part of the job that no one enjoys. The process of working with each renter is time consuming, taking at least a few hours a week per delinquent renter, at best. Property managers would pr......
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Chargebacks can cost you, but canceling credit card payments is not the solution.

Recently, a multifamily regional manager of a property in northern California reported to Domuso that they were faced with a loss of $15,000 in credit card chargebacks in a single month -  from two residents alone. One resident had disputed six months worth of rent charges and the second resident at the same property initiated a chargeback on several months worth of rent as well. As a result, the owner requested they stop accepting credit card payments altogether. However, another solution was found and the property was able to continue to accept credit card payments while removing all of the risk from future potential chargebacks through the use of digital certified funds.   This, unfortunately, isn’t an isolated incident. In the overall market, one study found that in 2019, 81 percent of individuals admitted to filing a chargeback out of convenience and a considerable percent of the dispute cases were lost. While it is less common to see chargebacks on rent payments, they are a fairly common occurrence on rental application fees and other property add-on services.   Even for a single property, chargebacks can have a marked effect on net operating income while taking a material amount of time for property managers to resolve. However, those that have moved to modernized rent payments platforms have been able to smoothly move past them.  “Managing credit card chargebacks are a thing of the past for our properties,” says Carrie Briggs, VP of marketing and revenue management at FPI Management. “By having a provider that ha......
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Payment Technology - You’re Not Asking For Enough

Payment Technology - You’re Not Asking For Enough
Let’s admit it - when it comes to payments in the multifamily housing industry, evolution seems to have stopped a decade ago. In the age of ApplePay, Venmo, or Square, you are still spending an inordinate amount of time processing personal checks and money orders. Deep down, everyone knows rent week costs real money, and a lot if it. In personnel time, mistakes, fraud… you name it.  No one likes to admit out loud that manual payment processing is nothing more than wasted time, that clerical errors happen with what could be considered an alarming frequency, or that blank money orders in high denominations are an inevitable temptation to give in to. In this day and age, technology should serve you better. It does everyone else. What’s worse, in this process of standing still, you are also alienating your own residents. According to the US Census, two thirds of adults in rental housing are less than 45 years old. This demographic is extremely reliant on technology and always connected. Pew Research reports that 82% of adults less than 50 years old own a smartphone. 19% of these smartphone owners rely on this device for internet access. Both property managers and payment providers say they accept ACH payments, or online credit card payments, but are still not doing enough to address a glaring market need. If anything, most currently available solutions are increasingly disconnected from the market need. How do you bridge this gap? How do you get ahead? First, work within your own organization. The best ......
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