by Mary Girsch-Bock –
With the New Year just around the corner, you’ve probably begun to think about your resolutions for the coming year. Why not resolve to tackle the issues that have proven to be your nemesis? While the list will vary widely from manager to manager, there’s likely a few things that all will agree would be of help in the coming year. Here are just a few ideas to get your list going:
· Spend money to make money. While we all know how important it is to spend financial reserves wisely, if you want to function efficiently and avoid costly mistakes down the road, invest some of those dollars in items such as better tenant screening procedures, more office efficiency, and better staff training. Investing in these items now will pay dividends later, with the ultimate result being better quality residents, a higher retention rate, and a well-trained staff that will help your property run more smoothly.
· Become more proactive with problem renters. Problem tenants are the bane of every property manager’s existence. For 2016, make a commitment to handle problem tenants proactively, particularly those that violate property rules. These tenants in particular will continue to drive quality residents away with their behavior. Putting them on notice immediately will likely cause them to pack up and leave. While no one wants to lose a tenant, their leaving will likely prevent a tenant exodus in the long term.
· Commit to being more organized. Property management requires a lot of paperwork. From the initial application, to the move-in walk-through, to the lease, to the move-out processing, and walk-through inspection; property managers are inundated with paperwork. This doesn’t even take other tasks such as bank reconciliations and personnel paperwork into the equation. Investigate the latest technology, such as electronic rent payment and online bank reconciliation processing, and find ways to reduce your paperwork load and free up staff from busy work to do what they were hired to do which is lease apartments and homes.
· Make a plan to increase your curb appeal. Let’s be honest – you can have the most attractive apartments to lease, but if the first thing that an applicant sees is overgrown landscaping, a ton of weeds, or scattered tree limbs, the odds of their renting an apartment or home is miniscule. While your apartment units or homes may be pristine inside, most applicants will not look past the landscaping and the rental office when looking to find a new home to rent.
Don’t let 2016 be a year of “should haves.” By focusing on the issues that are of the most importance to your properties, it won’t be hard to keep those resolutions.