Apartment management can feel like youíre in the rodeo. Itís a decidedly up and down job. As soon as you solve one problem, another one throws you up in the air. How can you solve your apartment management problems and have a smoother ride? These six tips can help simplify your property management.
1. Stop Being a Revolving Door
You like meeting new people, but you could do without a constantly shifting group of tenants. Why do your tenants move in and then move out, leaving you with an apartment to market and new tenants to screen? Developing a better tenant screening process that involves reference, criminal record, and financial checks will help you reduce the number of problematic tenants.
2. Check Your Properties Regularly
You look at your properties during move-out inspections, but do you really look at them while tenants are in the properties? Doing a regular inspection will not only help you spot problems with tenantsí standards of care, it will also help you find problems like minor leaks or aging appliances. These problems could become large and destructive if you donít deal with them quickly. A proactive inspection can save you headaches in the future.
3. Create a Process for Paying Bills and Receiving Funds
If you have a few apartments, life can begin to get complicated when youíre juggling multiple repair bills or trying to keep track of whoís paid the damage deposit and who owes you money for last monthís rent. Create a process for collecting rent and other fees, and for paying your contractors. Property management software can be ideal for this, but there are other steps you can take to help with this. Even something as simple as making a note in your calendar to check about rent payment on the first of every month, or using a spreadsheet to track projects that have been completed in each apartment (along with and the contractors and costs) can help. With a thorough process, youíll feel like youíre on top of these essential details.
4. Develop a Go-To List of Contractors
The furnace has broken down on a cold week in December. Who are you going to call? Calling every furnace company in the city wonít necessarily yield the best results. You donít know if that company has a strong reputation or does shoddy work. Create a list of reliable contractors so that youíll know who to contact if your tenants have a crisis.
5. Make Rules and Ask People to Follow Them
According to Rentpost, ďapartment management essentially means YOU are the HOA.Ē Being a rule-maker and rule-enforcer can feel mean and difficult. You donít want to knock on an apartment door and let those inside know that they need to find a way to keep their dog quiet. However, as the landlord, you need to carry the burden of being the rule-maker and enforcer. Rules help all of your tenants feel secure and equal. Make this simpler by being very clear about the rules up front. Give new tenants a copy of the rules, and never give a tenant access to a property without having that person sign a contract.
6. Simplify Your Property Management With a Management Company
If you donít have time to deal with the details of property management but you love the idea of having an investment property, you need a property management company. Check with the company to see if it can provide the suite of service you need. Management companies can help you market your apartment, screen tenants, handle move-in, move-out processes, and deal with problems as they arise. Theyíre your eyes, ears, and hands on the ground.
Are you looking for property management solutions? Lori Gill and Associates is a Seattle property management company, and weíre here to help you solve your management problems.†Connect with us†to help you with marketing, tenant screening, and much more.