As a landlord or property manager, wasting time is something that can cost you both time and money. Efficiency is key to staying on top of everything that you need to manage. Without it, things pile up and get missed. These are some of the biggest time-wasters that should be avoided.
One huge time-waster that masquerades as a benefit is having your tenants pay rent in paper checks. On one hand, they seem like a great idea. In reality, not so much. Checks can get lost in the mail, bounce, and take multiple bank trips. Because of these issues, it can be difficult to keep track of who has paid. It can get particularly difficult if different tenants have different due dates.
Online payments are immediate and easier for accounting purposes. With them, you do not need to worry about if a check is lost or not, and can avoid dealing with bouncing checks. Offering online payments can benefit you as well by being a high selling point for younger potential tenants.
Communication with your tenants can be difficult to sort out. Depending on the situation, inefficient methods of communication include emails, phone calls, and text messages. This may seem a little counterintuitive, but emails may be too formal for simple requests while phone calls involve voicemails and playing phone tag. Traditional text messages work, but there is no way to search through them or keep a record.
While always important, tenant communication is particularly needed when it comes to maintenance issues. This is where having a centralized communication platform comes in. Everything is stored in one place and is able to be backed up. In the case of repairs, instead of being a middleman for your tenant and a contractor, there are ways for the two of them to communicate directly while you still keep tabs on the conversation. Property management software can provide an excellent platform for communicating with your tenants. Find a software with robust communication features such as a web-based or app-based tenant portal and the ability to schedule individual or group texts to your tenants automatically.
KEEPING TRACK OF EXPENSES
Keeping track of both rent and communication is important, but what about expenses? These records are key for tax deductions and having an accurate view of your rental yield and cash flow. It can be draining to go through all of your expenses every month, especially with more team members than just yourself. The more people are involved with the expenses, the harder accuracy is.
There are ways to counter all of these issues, however. You can use a system that everyone inputs expenses into and that updates in real-time. This way everyone is up to date and there are no surprises at the end of the month.
UPDATED & DETAILED LISTINGS
Keeping listings detailed and up-to-date cuts down on having to answer questions from a variety of potential tenants. Including a variety of information gives tenants a better view of your property and gives them answers before they ask questions. In your unit itself, there are also several changes you can make to reduce the demands on your time. Hardwood or vinyl floors are easier to maintain than carpets, and you wouldn’t need to replace them every few years. Scheduling annual property inspections can also catch small problems before they turn into costly, time-consuming projects. Properly vetting potential tenants before you accept them can also save you many headaches in the long run.
Technology is one of your biggest assets in saving time. There are apps for practically every task you need to accomplish. The issue is that the learning curve or even the actual functions can result in slowing you down.
To combat the time-wasting aspect of using a new tech trend, figure out what problems each solution solves. From there, determine which one best fits your needs. If you need to try them out first, the majority of solutions are either free or offer free trials. If you aren’t sure where to start, there are hundreds of articles for you to look for guidance.
ORGANIZATION & SCHEDULING
The last time-waster in this article is a lack of scheduling and organization. There are a million things to do, but some are not as important as others. Organize your tasks for the day and define your priorities. Without having a plan for the day, tasks quickly start to feel overwhelming. After you decide what your priorities are, make a schedule for the day. Without a schedule, things can slip out of your mind and cause problems later down the road.
Being aware of time-wasting issues can help you to identify yours and lets you come up with solutions to them. Unnecessary projects or paperwork take time away from more pressing matters, but cutting down on time-wasters gains you control and relieves stress. You might even be able to finally take a vacation.