Category Archives: Landlord Articles

Help With Property Management Programs

property management programsMany property managers are frustrated with their software, because it is confusing and difficult to use. Others find it difficult to get assistance with their property management programs.

Some property managers are reluctant to utilize property management programs and software for a variety of these reasons. The two primary reasons a property manager might be reluctant to use such software are cost and a lack of familiarity with technology. The latter resistance will be the focus of this posting. If you are a property manager who is reluctant to use property management software because you’ve never used such a program before, that’s understandable. Perhaps you’re using an older program and don’t want to go through the hassle of learning a new one. You might be not only comfortable with the way you do things now but successful as well. Whatever your aversion to the latest property management programs, it can be beneficial to understand that as the programs have advanced, so has the ease of their use. Here are some of the ways these programs are developed and sold to be as easy to use as possible.

Simple Interface

It is true that the latest property management programs have a more diverse set of capabilities than ever before. This seems intimidating; however, the user interface of the most modern software is easier to navigate than ever before. Generally, the newer the software the easier it is to use. Your old software is probably more difficult to use and less capable than newer versions. Thus, the investment of time required to learn the new programs might be smaller than you think, while the return on investment might be higher than you think.

How-To Guides

As the rise of the internet has made more information available than it ever has been before, the ability to effectively communicate this information has also developed. Businesses who sell property management software include how-to guides with their products that make them easy to learn and use.

Customer Support

A good property management software company will go a step farther than a how-to guide by providing live customer support for those who purchase their products. If you find it difficult to learn things by reading manuals, having an expert walk you through your issue can be an effective alternative.

Tenant Management Software Issues

tenant management software issuesMany property managers invest in tenant management software. If you already use such software then you are well aware of the benefits in efficiency that it can provide. If you have made the decision to investigate purchasing using the software for the first time, it can be helpful to understand some of the issues other property managers have had with the software. This might seem counter intuitive; however, researching the issues others have had will make it possible to make an informed purchasing decision that mitigates or eliminates these possible issues. Here is a look at some of the more common complaints.

Number Of Units

Certain tenant and property management software limits the number of tenants and properties that it holds. This can be an issue for property managers who work with hundreds of tenants at a time. One solution is to buy more software; however, some software companies offer upgraded versions of their software designed for property managers who manage large numbers of units and tenants. This is something to investigate before buying.

Affordability

As with any product, the cost of software is going to be an issue for some people. Property managers interested in purchasing software should keep in mind that there are many affordable property management software options that perform essentially the same functions as higher priced software.

Connectivity

Some tenant management software  is offered as a basic version with the option of purchasing additional features that enhance the capability of the basic software. To avoid confusion about what you are buying, it can be a good idea to talk directly with the company selling the software to ensure that the software you’re purchasing will be able to perform the functions you need it to. Many property managers need their software to be able to connect with other apps, documents and software like bank accounts and IRS documents. All of this is more than possible, just talk through your specific situation with a software provider ahead of time.

Benefits Of Property Management Software

Benefits of using property management softwareThere are still a lot of people using spreadsheets to manage their property. Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of property management software to your bottom line.

The benefits of using the internet to find an apartment are obvious. It is much more efficient to use various kinds of social media sites and rental apps to find the perfect rental unit for your situation. The internet makes things easier not just for the renter, but for the landlord as well. After all, for every tenant finding it difficult to locate the perfect place there is probably a landlord finding it difficult to locate the perfect tenant. The internet has made it much easier for both parties to find the perfect match. Once the process of finding an apartment is over, there is still work to be done to maintain a quality rental situation. There is the process of paying rent and resolving any issues that arise related to payments, repairs and other common rental situations. This process, the relationship between a tenant and landlord after the rental agreement has been signed, has also been improved by the internet. Tenant software and property management software compatible with the internet have made things much easier for tenants and landlords to work together in a number of ways. Here is a look at a few benefits of property management software.

Paying Rent

Tenant software allows property managers and landlords to collect rent from tenants automatically. This is obviously a benefit for them, but many tenants find it much less stressful as well. Instead of writing a check and sending it to their landlord each pay period—a process many younger people renting for the first time have never even done before—new software allows these tenants to have their rent payments transferred automatically from their bank accounts to their property managers.

Work Orders

Because the software is compatible with the internet, it allows data to be quickly tracked, stored, sent to and utilized by property managers. This is beneficial for tenants in a number of ways, including an easier work order process. Tenants are now able to fill out and send electronic work orders, which can be automatically sorted and prioritized. Electronic work orders mean tenants have their maintenance issues resolved quickly.

Check out this Great New eBook for Landlords

Tenants.com Landlord eBookTenants.com has been making big inroads in the Internet buzz world. They have been consulted by Realtor.com and Trulia.com for opinions and articles that affect tenants. They also have valuable information for landlords. Now, they have just released a new eBook for landlords called “What ALL Landlords REALLY Need to KNOW“.

This 30 page eBook is full of helpful information for landlords, property managers and owners of rental property. We liked it so much that we have provided a link so that we can share it with the Tenant File social media followers.

To get the eBook, just click on this link.

When we come across helpful information for property managers, we want to share it, and hope you will do the same.

Happy Landlording!

 

 

Does Your Lease Cover Enough? Check out these ideas!

What Extra Clauses should you add to Your Lease Agreement?

mediatorMany times a basic lease agreement is not enough. There are many other important clauses that many landlords tend to neglect, yet in a dispute they may become very important. Below are some examples of clauses that can be added to your lease agreement.

  • Parking restrictions – how many vehicles (cars, boats, motorcycles, etc) can be parked at the residence?
  • Business use – can the tenants run a business? What kind? Is signage allowed?
  • Garage sales or auctions? Are you going to permit these? How often?
  • Change in status (any changes in the lease application, such as employment)
  • Subletting – is it allowed? How many residents? What notification?
  • Co-signer or guarantor – should you add another responsible party as a guarantor?
  • Partial payment – how is it handled and does it stop any legal proceedings?
  • Returned check fees – how are you going to handle returned checks? What fees?
  • Bankruptcy – what are you legal rights if your tenant files for bankruptcy?
  • Lease violations – what are your rights? What are the tenant’s rights? What jurisdiction?
  • Absence of tenant – what is the tenant disappears? Can you get into the rental?
  • Furniture lien – can the tenant possessions be taken? After what time period?
  • Increase late fees – can you charge additional late fees if the tenant is often late?
  • Judgment collection – who is responsible for the court costs and legal fees?
  • Utility bills – which one of you pays the deposit? What if the tenant defaults?
  • Emergency repair – what if you have to cut off the water for repairs?
  • Problem neighbors – how do you handle complaints?
  • Disasters – what if you can’t fulfill your landlord obligations because of a disaster?
  • Illegal activity – make sure you can take action against drug use, explosives, firearms, etc.
  • Quiet enjoyment – insure that the tenant music or noises do not intrude on other people’s rights
  • Smoking – make sure your rules are clear. Specify restrictions on illegal drugs.
  • Pets – how many pets? What additional deposit? What about additional cleaning costs?
  • Yard upkeep – Make sure your property looks neat and is safe. Protect any large trees.
  • Health and safety codes – Be sure your tenant doesn’t not violate these, and what your recourse may be.

There are other clauses that you may need to add. Just reflect upon any possibly situations that might arise with your particular rental property. With the right additions to your lease, it will help protect your legal rights and avoid future legal complications.

Article author:

Paul Toller works for W G Software, Inc. developers of the Tenant File Property Management Software. He has over 20 years experience in consulting and software development for real estate.

How Crowdfunding Has Permanently Changed Commercial Real Estate

Collect $1,100 in Monthly Rent From RioCan Real Estate Investment TrustBehind stocks, bonds and cash, commercial real estate has emerged as the fourth largest asset class in the U.S. over the last few decades. Among institutional investors, investments in commercial properties represent nearly 10% of their holdings.

When you look at the typical individual investor’s portfolio, however, there’s often a big hole where commercial real estate is concerned. In fact, for many investors, this particular asset class is a relative unknown. Previously, stiff barriers to entry meant that direct commercial real estate investments were only available to a select group. Fortunately, real estate crowdfunding is making it possible for a broader base of investors to gain access to this valuable segment of the real estate market.

Commercial Real Estate Explained

In the simplest sense, commercial real estate is any property that’s designed to produce income. That covers everything from apartment complexes and office buildings to shopping malls and industrial complexes. Commercial properties generate income in the form of rent paid by tenants and/or appreciation when the property is sold. Investors realize returns based on the property’s income, less any operating, financing and maintenance costs.

Where Does Crowdfunding Come In?

Historically, commercial real estate investments were the exclusive domain of private investors who had the right connections and could afford a five- or six-figure minimum buy-in. Some of the largest institutional investors in the world (including the Harvard and Yale Endowments) have sizable portions of their portfolio allocated to real estate and this has been a major factor in their superior investment performance. Unfortunately, individual investors have historically been excluded from this potentially profitable asset class.

Buy A Rental Property To Pay For College: Save On Taxes And Tuition With No Room And Board

With the cost of the priciest colleges now over $65,000 a year, and room and board costs increasing faster than tuition at many colleges, buying a rental property for your child and a couple of good roommates to live in can be a savvy college funding, tax and retirement move.

You can pick up all of the traditional tax deductions from owning a rental property, hire your child to manage the place and use his net income to pay for tuition with little or no tax, while the rent the roommates pay can help pay the mortgage. When your child graduates in four years, and he will, right? Then you can either hang onto the rental and use it as a retirement home once its paid off, or you can do a 1031 exchange, deferring the tax on the capital gain so long as you buy another “like-kind” property, possibly in a location you prefer to retire to.

Gene Rivers of Tallahassee, Florida, home to Florida State University and a handful of other nearby smaller colleges, is one of the truly outstanding real estate professionals in this country. Gene knows real estate and he knows the real estate business. So it’s no surprise that he is approached by 25-30 parents a year with kids going to one of the nearby universities who want to buy a rental property for their children to live in and rent a couple to some roommates. After all, Gene helped his own son buy a house that his son then lived in with roommates while going to college.

First, Gene says, the young college person has to be responsible enough to screen potential tenants or roommates, do a credit check if need be, sign agreements, collect the rent and not let the place fall apart. “Parents cannot be absentee landlords, Gene says. If your child is not the manager type that’s fine.” You just need to know that going into arrangement to avoid stress for your studying student and yourself. Know who the landlord is and what the responsibilities are.

 

Property Managers take notice: “Data breach prevention Is dead”

Property Managers should read this important notice from ‘The Hill’. It is a reasoned explanation of why your data on the cloud may not be safe – regardless of  precautions and promises from vendors.

It’s time that executives and information security professionals accept the fact that their companies will be breached and start thinking outside the box when it comes to data security. To be in denial of this truth is to not accept reality. Indeed, based on what happened last year, 2014 […]

Top 10 Emerging Trends in the Apartment Rental Process, According to J Turner Research

Landlords, it is helpful to know the current trends among renters. Here is an interesting analysis of how today’s rental market is changing this year and beyond.

J Turner Research examines the top 10 emerging trends in the apartment rental process for 2016. Washington, D.C. —As you prep for an even more profitable 2016, J Turner Research presents the top 10 emerging trends in the apartment rental process that can empower you to increase your closing ratios. […]