What are seven habits of highly successful property managers? Buildium.com did a webinar to explore seven ways that property managers can better organize their daily routines while the chaos of property management problems rage around them. Here are the habits courtesy of Buildium.
No. 1 – Make Communication a Core Competency
“Create templates for everything, from emails to new tenants, notifications you send when people are late on rent, or common alerts. These can all be made into templates and used over and over. If you are sending the same information more than three times in a month, you need a template. Software can help you do this,” Lauren Mason, Field Marketing Manager for Buildium.com, said on the webinar.
- Deliver information in a consistent way each time.
- Send rent reminders that look the same each month.
- Send owner statements that look the same and are consistent.
- Are you reminding inspectors at regular intervals to do inspections with the same consistent message?
“Figure out ways to communicate with less effort,” she said. “For instance, instead of you compiling owner statements each month, use software that allows owners to login when they choose to see whatever reports they want. For tenants, allow them to submit a maintenance request online from their phone. And give tenants access to updates from the maintenance worker.”
No. 2 – Always Be Learning. Always Be Teaching
“When you are managing a property for someone, you are managing something that person considers as a key investment. Property owners want to feel a sense of security and assurance they are trusting their property to someone who knows property management and the local market inside and out. It’s on you to inspire that confidence,” she said.
“Get up to speed and stay current on all things related to property management – local rent rates, your state’s laws and regulations and general trends in the market place.”
Survey of property owners: What value do you expect from property managers?
- Gives me peace of mind knowing things are handled – 79%
- Fills vacancies faster with better tenants – 75%
- Collects rents, fees and handles accounting – 71%
- Lifts the burden of planned and unplanned maintenance – 65%
- A professional partner with industry expertise and knowledge – 58%
- Helps me increase my revenue and profitability – 57%
No. 3 – Create a Playbook for Growth
On the webinar, 78 percent said they expect to be managing more properties in the future than today, but how to they plan to connect with new property owners? Where are you going to get your owner leads from?
So, you need to know where property owners go to look for property managers.
- Searching the web – Two things to help yourself show up, with a great website and content, for long-term growth. Or short-term paid marketing search strategy.
- All Property Management – (a Buildium.com company) connects owners and property managers
- Other property managers
- My local real estate group
- Ask for referrals from a friend
“Responding to a lead within the first five minutes is important, because owners typically look for three potential property manager candidates. “Know what sets you apartment from your competition. Can your owners log in to your portal, for instance?”
No. 4 – Successful Property Managers Create Processes for Repetitive Tasks
“Document your routines to train new employees you may add to your property management team. Create checklists for each of the things you do repeatedly,” Mason said. Automate what you can also such as:
- Rental listings and syndication
- Payment reminders and late fee notifications
- Reporting for owners
- Maintenance updates and recurring task reminders
Successful property managers tips:
- Do an audit once a month
- Put together a checklist for anything you did more than three times a month
- Centralize – keep all your documents in one place, preferably in the cloud
“Over time you are essentially building a guide on how to run your business,” she said.
No. 5 – Use Technology to Stay Organized
“Everyone has differing levels of comfort with technology. Having a single platform everyone can access is an advantage. “Technology is the edge property managers can use to keep up with maintenance issues, finding good tenants and staying organized,” she said on the webinar.
According to a Buildium.com survey, 81% of owners think successful property managers should be using the latest technology.
No. 6 – Be Proactive
Two results of live polls during the webinar – courtesy of Buildium. “Inspect, insure and inquire before trouble hits. When you get ahead of things, it reduces problems,” she said.
Get proactive by:
- Having a recurring inspection cadence
- Require renters insurance
- Send out reminders to every tenant five days before rent is due.
- Enable recurring payments
- Send out surveys
“Catching a leak early saves time and money. Humans need reminders so send out reminders to tenants five days before rent is due. Software can allow you to set up automatic payments. Send out an annual survey to all tenants and owners once a year. Find out why tenants are staying or choosing to leave,” she said.
No. 7 – Successful Property Managers Keep calm and Carry On
“Property management is totally chaotic. Owners pay you to deal with their headaches. Chaos and stress can come from not having the right information at the right time,” Mason said.
- Put information in the cloud
- Optimize mobile communication
- Have a life
“Try to centralize information in one place where everyone can access anytime from anywhere. If information is in the cloud, it can be accessed by mobile anywhere anytime. Free up your time so you have the ability to do what you love,” she said.
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John Triplett is with The RentalHousingJournal.com which is an interactive community of multifamily investors, independent rental home owners, residential property management professionals and other rental housing and real estate professionals. It is the most comprehensive source for news and information for the rental housing industry. Their website features exclusive articles and blogs on real estate investing, apartment market trends, property management best practices, landlord tenant laws, apartment marketing, maintenance and more.