Monday, January 21, 2013

Goals for Property Management Companies

Since it's January and the start of a brand new year, we thought we'd take a few moments to help out fellow Chicago property management companies, and really just property management companies in general, by sharing some ideas on potential goals to set for the upcoming year.  There's no better time then the start of a new year to come up with some new, fresh ideas and goals to help start the new year off right.  Here are a few of our Chicago property management company's goals for the new year:

1- Improve communication between your property management company and tenants: A great goal for any property management company for the upcoming year is to improve communication between yourself and tenants.  Communication is key when it comes to the relationship shared between a property management company and tenants, so keep the lines of verbal communication open to the best of your ability.  Let tenants feel like they can come to you with problems and show them that you will work hard to help them when it's needed.

2- Maintain a steady income: As with any property management company, your goal as a retail property management company, condo property management company, or industrial property management company should always be maintaing a steady income.  Make it your constant goal to oversee all daily operations of your property management company in the most cost effective way all while maintaining a steady income.

3- Increase rental property inspections: If you have been putting off rental inspections over the last few months make 2013 the year to get back on track.  Increase rental property inspections this year.  Make periodic scheduled visits of your rental property to ensure that maintenance and rental standards that were set forth originally in the lease are being maintained.

4- Increase rents appropriately and competitively: In a previous blog we discussed increasing rents and this year you will want to stay on top of the ball with your rental increases.  When it comes to increasing rent, make sure you are increasing your rental rates appropriately and competitively within the standards of the market.

5- Work on a marketing plan: If your property management company's marketing plan crashed and burned last year, consider your marketing approach for the upcoming year (if you haven't already).  Develop and implement a creative marketing plan that will allow for financial gain, company growth and stability.

What are your property management company's goals for the upcoming year?  Share a few with us in the comments below or feel free to contact us.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Staffing for Property Management Companies

While many property management companies may be hurting for income due to tight rental markets and smaller budgets, the need for staffing will always remain the same.  As a Chicago property management company, we know first hand how difficult things can get and we also know how vital it is for a property management company to get creative during tough times.  Even when things aren’t tough it will pay off to truly analyze your budget in regards to your staffing.  Do you work for or own a property management company, a condo property management company, retail property management company or industrial property management company that is in need of new staff members but doesn’t have the budget to hire new staff?  That’s okay, you have options.  Here’s a few of our staffing tips for property management companies:

1- Assess your current staffing situation:  Take your current staffing into consideration first.  As a property management company, condo property management company, or retail property management company where do you feel you are lacking in the staffing area?  What job duties or roles aren’t being completed?  What jobs seem to fall through the cracks month after month?  After a good analysis of your property management company’s situation you should be able to compile a list of duties that aren’t being done that need to get done.  This will help you see where you are lacking and where you need some help.

2- Talk to your current staff first:  After you have assessed your property management company’s current situation, you should have a good idea of what job duties aren’t getting done that need to be done.  Sit down and talk with your current staff and let them know the staffing issues that you see and ask them for their thoughts on what they feel should be done.  They may have some great advice and may be willing to help out and take on some of those extra duties.

3- Consider cross-training: Cross-training your employees could quite possibly be one of the most beneficial things you do with your property management company staff.  Your bookkeeper may have great customer service skills and might be willing to fulfill both roles very successfully, but you won’t know unless you try out cross-training.  While many members of your staff are probably specialists in certain areas, there is nothing wrong with a little cross-training, however you must be realistic.  Not all members of your staff are going to be great at multiple jobs, so keep that in mind. 

4- Utilize your connection: Ask your friends, family and acquaintances if they know of anyone that may be able to fill the role that you need filled.  You never know, they may have someone in mind that can help solve some of your staffing woes. 

5- Determine your wants and your needs:  You may want another hand on deck for customer service, but perhaps what you really need is another maintenance staff member.  Determine the roles that can easily be taken on by yourself or a current staff member and hire someone for a role that absolutely no one else can fill.  Budget-wise you will thank yourself in the end. 

Looking for more tips on staffing for your property management company?  Feel free to leave us a comment below or contact us?  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Benefits of Moving Your Payments Online

Property management companies, whether you own or work for a retail property management company, industrial property management company, or condo property management company, typically have to take in many, many checks.  With so many of us going paperless these days the idea of moving your payments online probably seems like a great idea, and truly there are a lot of benefits to accepting online payments.  Here are a couple of the benefits to moving your payments online as a property management company:

1- Better security: The number one reason why you should move payments online is for the added security.  Each time a check is handled, whether it is being handled by your property management company staff or the post office, the odds of a loss or security issue are greatly increased.  Today online payments have become the most secure way to receive payments and withdraw money from your accounts. 

2- Added convenience for tenants: Your tenants are busy, aren’t we all?  Why not make receiving payments more convenient for them?  As we all know, paper checks are on the decline these days with less and less people paying using checks. Tenants are looking for more convenient, innovative ways to make payments these days, so offering them an easier way to pay is sure to please them. 

3- Fewer trips to the bank: Online payments will save both you and your tenants from frequenting the bank.  Payments that you receive online are obviously automatically received by the bank, which saves you trips to the bank and improves deposit security.  It definitely is the paperless, greener way to go. 

4- More efficient: Going paperless and moving payments online is a more efficient way to accept payments from your tenants.  Independent studies have been conducted on online payments and have suggested that accepting payments from tenants online will eliminate the number of phycical paper checks you receive which can save your property management company $2 in handling costs.  May seem like a small benefit now, but that $2 can surely add up in the end.  

5- More accuracy: Moving payments online can reduce the number of payment errors that occur.  Electronic payments can save your staff a significant amount of handling time and help reduce any errors.

Have your own experience handling online payments as a property management company?  Feel free to tell us all about in a comment below. If you have questions about moving your payments online feel free to contact us.