If you’re a landlord or simply an aspiring one, then you probably already know how hectic the business can get. Vacant spaces can feel like a ship taking on water, advertising can feel frustratingly ineffective, and the pressure of keeping up with all the property laws and resident information can be overwhelming. It’s a wonder anyone keeps these things in order. Or so it can seem. Despite all the difficulties, there are actually some very effective tools and strategies you can use to keep everything in place. The following are just a few ideas that can help you become more effective.
You might be amazed how much hassle can be saved by a simple filing system, especially if you aren’t an organized person by nature. This doesn’t mean just files kept on your computer, although you’ll want to save information that way, as well. There is a reason leases are still typically signed by hand in-person rather than a digital signature. Likewise, invoices are still typically sent in hard copy in addition to email. You’ll want a physical filing system to store all of this information. This will mean multiple file cabinets for your budget information, resident records, maintenance reports, insurance information, and anything else you may need quick access to.
Naturally, you’ll need to keep separate files for each property, so this will create a great amount of paperwork. It may be tempting to try and keep everything on hard drives, but you never know what can happen to electronic records, even with backups. You’ll want to keep physical copies of all your forms, organized by date and available to read at all times. It ensures you’ll always have quick access to anything you need and will also make you look more professional and trustworthy, and it’s impossible to overstate the value in that.
All that isn’t to say that you don’t need to rely on electronics at all. Naturally, with today’s technology, you’ll need to keep records of everything on your computer, as well. A quick search through your hard drive can be a lot more convenient than a dive into a file cabinet. Of course, you’ll need to apply the same strategies to your electronic filing that you do to your physical filing. This means keeping separate folders and subfolders for each category to conveniently narrow matters down by property, resident, and date. It will also be important to take advantage of landlord software available for all your needs.
With one simple account, it’s possible to handle the day-to-day aspect of your business with landlord software. These are automated systems that can advertise your properties, collect rent, and streamline your accounting information. They also work for your residents, so you always have a quick way to communicate to solve issues faster no matter where you are. The best part is that some features of these are free altogether, or they at least come with a trial for you to see if they’ll be useful to you. Even so, it’s hard to put a price on the ease of mind this software can provide.
Keep Things Safe
In addition to these filing systems on property and at home, it’s recommended to keep a safe with additional copies of all important documents, at least for the current year. This will ensure that you’ll have a copy of everything you need come tax season or to deal with the dreaded resident dispute. The safe could also double for keeping important personal items, thus increasing its value.
Like any business, keeping track of properties can become an overwhelming nightmare if you aren’t properly organized. Following these strategies will ensure this doesn’t happen and will increase your general effectiveness.