Tag: Property Management System

Property Manager Online

Many customers can now have access to online reports from their property manager online reports to view their online statements, progress on various projects and overall status of a property or a unit. This is a huge time saving tool and if managed properly can actually improve customer service to tenants while reducing the overall cost of managing the building. But not all property managers are providing online information for their tenants or their owners of the properties that are being managed. Their focus is on property management and avoiding added investment in costs that are not deemed to be beneficial from a return on investment perspective. However the more competitive property managers are considering this latest technology innovation. it is up to you as owners and tenants to place some pressure on these property managers to improve their online services

Property Manager Online – Up To date Reports

Superintendents can also update reports online to provide a status to their owners, as well as to the tenants to show them when various repairs will be made and what projects are ongoing. For large companies this is particularly useful information especially when tenants call to find out about the status of their project. They can logon to the online site and review the latest status about issues they may be concerned about. The same applies to owners and other interested parties that have access to the system. There would be many less phone calls as a result.

This saves everyone a great deal of time. Reports are automatic and people only need to discuss details if there are questions on any updates. This is customer relationship management for property managers and owners, CRM in short for PM. Large apartment buildings with many units and property managers managing many dispersed buildings will find they can save a lot of time by being online and reporting information quickly and easily.

Using Smart Phones Online

Even smart phones are being used to do updates and trigger reports. As long as you have a data connection or Wi-Fi connection, smartphones and tablets can be used to create updates as well as view results online. This is particularly important for providing immediate answers on site or during a phone call based on a report you can pull up on a smart phone.

We are writing this report using a smart phone for this post about online property management. In fact we are using an iPhone, using the dictation Siri feature to dictate the text of this post. It is an awesome feature and could be used by superintendents as well as owners to update reports and results of repairs or projects.  There is no need to type, just dictate your status update!

This is the way of the future for this industry and others. If you are not already using online reports, with access by tablets and smartphones it’s time to get on the bandwagon. Significant savings can be achieved as well as significant improvements in communication between owners property managers and tenants. Although there may be an initial up front cost to get started and you may also want some customization, there will be a net savings overall with better customer relations thrown in which can be invaluable.

There may be some resistance to using these new tools by the property manager or the onsite superintendent. Once they learn that it can actually save them time and communicate more easily,  they will be willing to quickly adopt online property management techniques. We also find that the larger companies are more likely to embrace these new technologies as compared to small rental companies. They simply do not have the resources to devote to developing, implementing and managing online property management systems. If you are a renter, this might be something to consider when it comes to renting a property.


Property Management Online

Property Manager OnlineAs with all businesses these days, the property management business is also going online for both employees as well as tenants and investors. Property Management Online is a major trend that is impacting all businesses and if your property manager is not heading in that direction it is time to find out why. You could be receiving much more up to date information in real time that also decreases costs over all and allows the owners to keep closer tabs on just about everything.

Online Information for Investors

Investors can look at all of the reports on line regardless of where they are simply by logging on a server or CRM system that the property management company will provide access to. They will be able to see their income statements, expense statements, and all reports. The modern property management online company is now providing these kinds of services. In addition they should be able to review work orders and the status of these orders. In situations where there are multiple investors or owners, a limited number of people may have access to ensure security and privacy levels are maintained. For example the board members might be the only ones with access or someone who is designated the job of keeping tabs on the property manager.

Online Information for Employees

Property management employees can also update the CRM system so that management can review the results, work orders that need to be completed and the status of all of these work orders. All of the information associated with an apartment or facility that is being rented can be viewed online making it easier for everyone to understand what is happening.

This also provides a record of the activities associated with a particular unit. At one glance all work orders for a given unit can be reviewed and the history of the work completed can be viewed. This is a good way to determine if a rental unit has had more work than others completed. The same applies to common areas or the outdoor facilities. It is information that many owners and investors find helpful, but for property managers it is invaluable to them. This information helps them do their jobs better and reduces the cost to manage the building over all.

Corporate memory has long been relied on to manage apartment buildings and town houses as well as commercial properties. There may have been lots of paper records available for someone to dig through, however when it came to finding out what was really going on, you spoke to the superintendent of the building. He or she could always provide anyone with an up to date report of just about everything that was happening.

But what happens when the superintendent leaves for whatever reason. He or she may have retired, or have been let go. All of the real time corporate memory goes with them and this can be a large problem if there are also no accurate records to fall back on. There are many small invoices for repairs that need to be accommodated and if there is no record of them how is anyone really other than the tenant supposed to know.

Also if a tenant was asking for something to be completed in their unit and was turned down for some reason, if there is an online record of this a new superintendent can look at the records and make a decision on better information, rather than just listening to the tenants side of the conversation. There might have been a good reason the request was turned down by the previous manager.

Tenant View of Online Property Management

In some cases tenets of property buildings apartment buildings will also be able to log on the CRM system and view the status of work orders associated with their unit only and any common areas of the building. This provides him with a status update and helps to manage the expectations associated with the apartment.


Property Management Systems

Property Management SystemsProperty management systems can make a huge difference in terms of both managing multiple properties and providing information to your clients. Information at your finger tips has been the desired approach for some time for most property managers and owners. With property management systems that are available online or on your smart phone, many property managers can now answer questions instantly using their smart phones that are connected to the property management systems online. Access to rental contracts, work orders, setting up tracking lists and much more are not only available to the superintendent, but also to the management team responsible to manage the overall set of property investments. These sorts of applications save a great deal of time which in turn saves money.

Property Management Systems – Server based

These systems have come a long way from the time they were run on local computers using DOS systems. They now run on servers that can be accessed from almost anywhere remotely from systems that are located at the actual rental building on a wireless basis, from home and from smart phones that are carried by the local property manager superintendent. Imagine you have a tenant with a problem in their unit. Not only can you log the problem immediately, provide a status when it is assessed and issue a work order to have the issue dealt with right from your smart phone. When the problem is resolved, it can be reported, pictures taken, transmitted and closed using a smart phone application and all information is available to management and their customers.

Modern property management companies are adopting this software and providing their employees with the latest capabilities to their customers or clients as well. Now they can provide online reports that management has reviewed to their clients as well. This changes the total relationship with the customer and the tenants and makes it much easier to manage all properties.

Dealing with Property Owners

Property managers also must report to their owners and to the investors that have invested in the property that they are managing. This is extremely important if they are to retain contracts, year over year based on relationships with the owners and providing real time summaries and answers to their issues. Providing up to date and accurate information regarding rents collected, expenses during the month and a year to date comparison to the budget are the usual kinds of reports that most investors will look for.

The annual report is also one of the most important documents that is produced by the property manager. It may be subject to an audit and may also provide the information needed by owners to file their income taxes. This information must be accurate and meet all federal tax guidelines otherwise owners could end up paying more tax than they would normally have to pay.

Some condo boards and property owners will request that these reports be audited to satisfy themselves that all transactions are accurate and allocated appropriately. This provides a sense of confidence to the owners and the investors that their assets are being managed properly and that funds are not being used inappropriately. The tax department will also look on claims etc more favorably as well when a year end annual statement has been audited.

Property Management Systems – Tenants

Many people who are living in rented apartments are dissatisfied with the way their buildings are being managed. They may report that some item needs to be repaired and then nothing is done. Not only is it not corrected, there is no record of any report being made. This is typical of the older antiquated systems which do not have online access and paper or someone’s memories can simply be lost or forgotten. With an online system using smart phone access, reports can be completed immediately,  with pictures taken and then the item can be easily tracked.


Property Management System

Property Management SystemA property management system must have a many features that help the property manager. They help manage the rent of the units they are managing but many other activities around the property. They must  keep track of all cash flows which include rent income and expenses. All work orders that are associated with the property for repairs and maintenance that need to be completed are included. Some owners want a lot of detail so they can review how costs are being managed and others do not. This is something that can be used by the property manager to differentiate your business from other competitors.

Property Management System – Information Readily Available

They must have these reports and information available should the board call for the information or the board asks for an audit of all cash flows and expenses. It is common for an audit to be completed every year to assure the owners that all cash flows are correct and that owner policies are being adhered to.

As a property manager you always need to be prepared to provide all of the information as needed. An excellent property management system will allow you to meet your own property management needs as well as the owners of the buildings that you are managing.

Reporting should be excellent as well so that the manager can quickly tell how many units are rented at what rent level, who is coming up for renewal and how much money is being spent on each unit. Units that are triggering a lot of unnecessary expenses should be flagged in some manner so that they are brought to the attention of the property manager immediately. Sometimes there are a lot of incidental expenses which by themselves are not very expensive, bit over a year can add up to more than expected.

Information for Owners from Property Management Systems

Reports also need to be available for the owner or investor of the building. Accounting reports showing the total income and expenses by all categories with bottom line summaries is usually the minimum that is required. These reports should allow drill downs to individual units that may have higher numbers than what are the average for advertising or repairs as an example. While paper copies are helpful, with today’s systems, online reports that allow browsing of the results and drill downs into more detail should be available.

Investors also want alerts for high expense, for rent renewal, for non-payment of rent etc. There are many items that should be tracked with property management software which helps the senior management team manage large numbers of units and stay on track with various issues. Weekly reviews and monthly reviews of all of the top line numbers with exception analysis should be the norm. A good property management system can help a great deal to make this process smooth, while providing the answers at the same time.

Complex Property Management Software

Property management software is becoming more and more complex all of the time. Property managers either must invest in training for their people to learn how to maintain and use these systems or they need to hire someone who knows your software inside out so they can deliver all of your needs. There is nothing more frustrating when the support people from the software company tell you that a feature or report is available, when your people should have been able to deliver these results from the beginning.

Software systems can be expensive, but they can deliver significant results. Invest in appropriate training for your system and utilize the train the trainer approach to keep everyone up to speed on all of the features. Once you have mastered their use, your customers will be impressed with the information provided and your attention to details which is enabled by the property management systems you are using. Invest wisely and use your customers requirements as a means to select the best system for your needs.


Property Management Solution

Property Management SolutionConsumers and investors are looking for a property management solution for their rental properties. They can always find some company to manage their property for them at various prices. These companies provide a variety of services. They include everything from renting their unit, collecting the rent, paying for advertising, managing the cash flow, paying for and managing repairs and upgrades if needed and so on. Many consumers like the idea of owning rental property as an investment. However they really do not want to have to deal with the details of renting and managing the property. This is where a property management solution comes in that can save you money and remove some of the headaches as well.

Property Management Solution and Rental Pools

One type of solution for multiple investors is a rental pool. This situation comes up when you have a condominium project that has the majority of the units owned by individual investors. It needs to be managed as a single properly to reduce the overall cost of the property management.

With a condominium, there is already a board of directors in place to manage the common elements of the property. All owners participate in the condo corporation. This board has nothing to do with renters or investor issues or with the interior of the units.

A rental pool must be established with a board made up from the investors. They have the responsibility of managing the renting of the units for the investors, interior unit cleaning and repairs and interfacing with the condominium board. This property management solution involves two separate distinct budgets, bank accounts and cash flows. There is also corresponding financial reports for both entities. It sounds a bit complicated, however if you keep both entities separate, a rental pool can work quite well.

Annual meetings are held for the rental pool where decisions are made with respect to rent increases and distribution of excess funds. The investors would be paid a monthly income from the rental pool. They would use this payment to pay their own personal mortgage on their units along with taxes. All other expenses for utilities etc would be paid either by the tenant or the rental pool if the unit is vacant for any length of time.

Do Rental Pools Work Well as a Property Management Solution

The answer is yes provided that there is a commitment by the investors to make it work and they follow an agreed structure similar to the condo in terms of bylaws, running meetings, electing board members etc. All investors must sign an agreement form that documents all of the bylaws and the way the rental pool will be operated.

As a previous board member of a rental pool and a condo board, my experience has shown that once a condo and rental pool are running smoothly, you never hear from the owners and investors. The single issue that gets everyone’s attention is huge increases in the monthly condo fees or a cash call to pay for some repair that is not covered or cannot be covered by the reserve fund. This is when owners get upset and it hits them directly in their wallet. With proper budgeting, an annual increase in the condo fees whether you need it or not will ensure that there is always enough cash to pay for whatever needs to be done. This also assume that you are making contributions to the reserve fund every year based on an engineering study of the life time replacement of various elements of the condo building.

A simple example might be the paving of the parking lot. If the engineering study suggest that the parking lot needs to be repaved every 10 years and costs one hundred thousand, then you had better be saving ten thousand a year to pay for this cost. A special assessment to pay for something that is known and planned does not go over very well with owners.

No Surprises

Property managers must communicate in such a way that there are no surprises for the owners. The same applies to condo and rental pool board members. If anything over communicate and let people know that the budget is going up by XX% and why. If you do it right, you may have all of the proxies at your meeting with few owners actually attending the meetings. Decisions are made efficiently and correctly such that they benefit all of the owners taking into account the practical issues of managing the building.

 


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