Managing a large property portfolio, whether residential, commercial or a mixture of both, is never an easy task. In fact, it’s literally a full-time job.
The good news is that there are technologies and services that can help to streamline the process, and ensure that you don’t have to spend every waking hour managing one crisis after another. Here are some great ideas you can use to address common issues.
Emergency maintenance is the bane of every property manager’s existence, but it can be cut down by implementing a thorough preventative maintenance program. Keeping on top of issues before they become critical can help to prevent the out of hours, now or never emergencies that every property manager dreads.
Accounting and Administration
Staying on top of who owes what, and when it’s due used to be a big issue for property managers, but thanks to digital accounting packages, most of those headaches are addressed in one neat package. If you’re not already using an accounting software package that handles everything from soup to nuts, and has integrated reminders, then you should get started as soon as possible.
Unlike emergency maintenance, which requires an upfront preventative program to mitigate and reduce, property damage is all about tenant choice. Tenants who have damaged other properties in the past will probably do so again, and can be weeded out before they ever get the chance, if you have a proper and thorough tenant screening process in place.
Resident or Neighbor Complaints
Complaints from other residents or neighbors about tenant behavior are another big headache for the manager of any large property portfolio. While this usually applies to residential properties, you may also find that it happens with commercial rentals as well.
Make sure that there’s a documented process in place to deal with complaints, and that your leases have watertight references to acceptable behavior rules. Consider adding a complaint page to your website, to cut down on calls, and free up your staff for other calls.
Again, remember that past behavior is a good indicator of what you can expect. Never skip the tenant screening process, and be sure to do a thorough reference check.
Late or Non-Payment of Rent
Finally, there’s the issue of late or nonpayment of rent. Steps that can be taken to streamline the rent collection process include automated billing and direct debit payments. You might consider adding a digital payment method, so tenants can pay easily online, using a debit or credit card, rather than requiring a check, which may become an excuse for late payment.
Past behavior is always a good indicator of a potential slow payer, and again, a tenant reference check can help to identify problem tenants, and the process of verifying employment and possibly running a credit check can ensure that tenants have the means to pay.
Verify and Automate
The good news for most managers of a large property portfolio is that most tasks and problems fall into just a few actual categories, and there are real steps that can be taken to streamline and speed up all the solutions.
Try to automate as much as possible, plan ahead, use available technologies to eliminate time consuming paperwork, and most importantly, know who you are renting to. Because there are very few actual surprises when you’re renting properties. Just events that you didn’t anticipate or plan for.