In this article, I’m going to take a deep dive into the physical organization of your office.
Before I get there, I want to make sure you understand why organization is the difference between a thriving property management company and a struggling landlord.
Why Organization Is Crucial For Your Property Management Business
When your business is properly organized you gain independence. You have the ability to leave your company for a few weeks to go on a vacation. The ability to enjoy your time at work, knowing everything is under control.
Having an organized business allows you to relieve stress and anxiousness because you know every situation is being handled according to plans.
You won’t need to worry about whether all your tenants will meet your screening criteria.
You won’t need to worry about whether that repair was taken care of.
You won’t need to wonder “Did I ever call that lead back?”
When everything is organized, you’ll rarely feel overwhelmed.
Without organization your business growth is limited.
There’s only so many properties you can manage, only so much growth you can handle, only so much income you can make.
This guide is going to teach you exactly how to go about getting organized.
I’m going to walk you through how to get all your thoughts out of your head and into computers, spreadsheets, and software.
No matter what country you’re located in, your government requires you to pay taxes. In order to know how much money you owe in taxes, you need financial reporting, which means an accurate Profit and Loss statement.
Being organized allows you to be more profitable. By having proper record keeping you’ll be able to know exactly what’s making your company a return on investment and where you’re wasting money. You’ll be able to set proper budgets, take advantage of tax planning, prepare detailed reports for your clients, and much more.
When you’re able to know exactly what’s making you money, you’ll know precisely how your property management company is performing.
When you’re organizing your property management company remember these reasons.
Once you’ve set up processes in your company, organizing your business will become much easier.
This will allow you to spend your time growing your business rather than working in the operations of your business.
So let’s get into it.
Here is exactly what you need to get your property management company organized.
9 Items Your Property Management Company Needs For Better Organization
Whether you work from home or have a company with hundreds of employees, you absolutely need an office.
Your office can be a 2nd bedroom in your house, an area in your living room, or in your garage (don’t underestimate the power of garage offices!).
It honestly doesn’t matter where it’s located but you absolutely need a specific location where you can keep your property management company in order.
If you don’t have a specific office space, you’ll struggle to keep your company organized.
1. File Cabinet
While the world is moving digital, there is a still a TON of paperwork involved with running a property management company.
You’re going to need a file cabinet to make sure you keep all the documents related to the rental properties you manage.
Remember, you have access to privileged information about your customers (both owners and tenants). It’s crucial that you keep this information secure. So make sure you buy a file cabinet with a lock to prevent theft.
You’ll also need folders to keep the information for each rental property organized. You’ll want a separate folder for each of the following categories:
- Insurance Information
- Purchase Documents
- Monthly Financial Reports
- Bank Statements
- Invoices and Receipts
- Tenant Complaints
- Records of Maintenance
- Miscellaneous Information
By using this system, each rental property will have its own folder file, which will allow for easy access to information.
If you need records of tenant complaints about the rental located at 24 Sunset Drive, you’ll know exactly where to look.
By having this set up properly from the start of your property management business, you’ll be able to handle a larger volume of rental properties when the opportunity arises.
Pro Tip: Whenever possible, you should scan your hardcopy files and make a backup copy in digital format. This will save you a ton of stress if ever a file is misplaced.
2. Desk Tray
Your desk tray should serve as a place that contains anything that is in need of immediate attention.
In the day-to-day operations, you’ll receive dozens of pieces of mail, phone calls, emails, and more. If you try to remember everything in your head there’s no doubt you’ll become extremely overwhelmed.
Use the desk tray to collect everything in your company that requires your attention in the near future. Once you’ve dealt with the item, make sure it’s filed away in your file cabinet.
3. Key Box
If you plan to run a successful property management company, you better have a good system for keeping track of the keys.
Imagine calling up one of your clients to let them know you can’t find the keys to their rental property. Good chance you won’t be managing that property for very long.
Get a secure key box where you can store the keys for each rental property. Keep the key box in a central location in your office that all your property managers can access.
Be sure to label each key so that you know which property it belongs to but someone outside your company would never know.
DO NOT write the address on the key. If ever the key’s lost you’ll be very happy knowing that the stranger who finds it doesn’t know which address it belongs to.
4. Google Drive
We live in a digital world. You’ll constantly have forms, documents, and invoices sent to you digitally. So, you need a digital storage box.
Google Drive is a great place to keep all your digital documents. What’s great about Google Drive is that you can also allow other members of your company to access the documents.
Similar to your filing cabinet, your Google Drive should be arranged into folders for various categories.
You’ll want to have the following folders:
- Standard operating procedures
- Insurance documents
- Signed contracts
- Pre-formatted Forms
- Miscellaneous Info
By having a digital storage box, all team members can access these files wherever they’re located.
If your employee is out showing a property but can’t remember the applicant criteria, they can easily access this information through Google Drive.
By having this setup, it will allow you to scale your property management company much easier.
5. Bill Payment System
As your company grows, you’ll be managing a lot of properties. You’ll need an adequate system for keeping track of all the bills that need to be paid and which property they’re associated with.
Ideally, you should keep track of this information in a central location where the applicable staff has access to it. We like to use Google Drive at our company.
Using Google Sheets you can create a spreadsheet for each property and their associated bills. You can then share access to this spreadsheet with the property owner and with the applicable staff who are responsible for handling the bills.
On your spreadsheet, you should be tracking all the bills that need to be paid and have a column that you check off once the bill has been paid. You should also have a column for the check number and date the bill was paid.
6. Tenant Contact Information
Whether you’re managing 50 doors or 1500 doors, it’s important you keep a directory of all the tenants’ names, emails, phone numbers, addresses, and contracts.
Once again, we recommend using Google Sheets to do this. This will allow you to access the information while you’re on-the-go. It will also allow your employees to access this information from wherever they are for the day. If they need to go visit a property, they can quickly pull up the Tenant contact information spreadsheet and find out the names of the tenants who reside in that property.
7. Dedicated Company Email Address
This might sound like a basic feature but we see so many people who mix their personal and business email address. If you want to run your property management company like an efficient business, it’s important you keep your personal emails separate from your business emails.
By having a dedicated email address, you aren’t tied to your business email. Checking email at all hours of the night, when you’re on vacation, or out for dinner isn’t healthy or productive. Your time management skills are extremely important if you want to grow your property management company.
78% of people check their email frequently during the course of the day. Think of how many hours each week are lost to checking your email. It takes your brain 15 minutes to get into any state of deep work. You’re going to have to restart those 15 minutes each time you pause to check your email.
If something is extremely important, they’ll call you!
8. Property Management Software
If you’re only managing a few doors you can use a simple spreadsheet system. But you’re planning on growing your company!
If you’re going to be managing a large number of properties, you need a proper software to keep track of rent payments, maintenance issues, applications, and more.
There are a number of property management software companies to choose from. If you’re just looking to get started with a property management software, read this post.
9. Property Management Website
An effective property management website is a necessity for any company serious about their growth and remaining organized.
Your website can be used to obtain rental applications, showcase property listings, generate leads for your business, answer frequently asked questions from rental property owners, and much much more.
We build property management websites made to help your business grow. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us and find out more information about how our property management websites are made to help you grow your company.