Category Archives: New User Questions

Work Orders: A Landlord’s Biggest Headache

One of the biggest challenges involved in being a landlord is keeping track of work orders. You have to connect tenants with contractors and ensure that the job gets done in time and the workers get paid. With so many tenants and so many contractors, there’s a lot of room for mistakes, and a lot of landlords make them. If you look at online reviews for apartment complexes and leasing offices, one of the most common complaints in negative reviews is a problem with work orders. They didn’t come in on time, or it took several calls before a response, or the order wasn’t satisfactorily completed. And organizational mistakes could also jeopardize your relationship with contractors. It’s essential for your business’s reputation to keep on top of your work orders.

Tenantfile makes that easy with our property management software. Our Work Order Program has everything you need to keep track of all your repairs and maintenances. It’s fully integrated with the other Tenantfile programs, so it can pull email addresses, phone numbers, and other information about each tenant. Each work order allows room for detailed information for your records, including supplies lists. Our program provides customizable listings of your work orders so you can keep track of each order’s status. We make it easy to print checks from the program to speed up delivery to the contractors. When the work order is completed, our landlord software generates automatic work order reports for the tenants, the contractors, and your own records.

With Tenantfile, you’ll never forget a work order again. We offer some of the best property management software out there, and this is just one of the many helpful tools available in our library. We also offer direct pay software, tenant screening programs, word processor software and much more. For more information, check out the Tenantfile website today.

Money, Money, Money

In any lease agreement, probably one of the most important things is the issue of rent. How much rent will you be collecting? When will you collect it?  How will you collect it?

As we’ve talked about in the past, pricing is relative, so that part of your lease doesn’t require as much of your own personal preference as do the other parts. Once you’ve set the perfect monthly rent, you need to set up a date with your tenant when it’s due. Usually, this date falls at the beginning, middle, or end of the month, not just any random date. Choose this date and tell your tenant to make sure that they are financially prepared for it. As a sort of safety blanket, you can give your tenants a 2 or 3 day grace period to pay without being subject to a late fee.

After figuring out how much your tenant is paying you, and when, it’s time to figure out how they will be paying you. At this day in age we have all sorts of ways to pay people insmoney tantly, allowing you to have lots of options and choose what’s best for you. We all know the classic payment method: checks. Checks are easy because mobile banking now allows you to cash them instantly, but they still require your tenant to bring them to you. Online payments are great because they’re pretty quick for both you, and your tenant. An online system works well when you have a lot of tenants. Another way that people transfer money that’s becoming quite popular is via mobile apps. Mobile apps like Venmo and Square Cash have made it possible for people to transfer money to each other almost instantly. Though this is still fairly new, it may be something you want to consider.

 

Expanding Your Business

As a property manager, you always have toooons of room to expand your business. But, the question is, how do you expand?

property management

Before anything, make sure you have a stable and organized property management business. Imagine if you have a house that doesn’t have a stable structure, do you think it’d be a good idea to expand it? Probably not. This same thing applies to business expansion. Without a stable facility, expansion isn’t in your best interest. Make sure your business is stable and that you have a good team, and good tenants.

A huge component in expanding your business lies within social media. A while back we talked about harnessing the power of social media for real estate, and as a property manager, the same tips are applicable to you. Using social media will give you followers beyond your tenants or direct business partners; it’ll let more people know what you have to offer and how they can get in on it. Maybe you can create a specific hashtag that your tenants can use to share your site across social media platforms, like Facebook, or Twitter.

Once you have maintained a strong and stable property management business, it may be time to physically expand your business by adding more properties. If you have the financial capacity to expand and have planned accordingly, look into similar properties that you can see as good investment options. Or, if you want to branch out of the property management route you’re currently taking (residential or commercial) and see what other kinds of properties would also work in your area. It’s really important to research the specific market that you’re working with and see what the needs are so that you can find a property that meets those needs.

 

Get Your Property Summer Ready

Whether you are new to the property management game or have been managing properties for years, a little help is always welcomed. The Tenant File property management software is an innovative program that helps to simplify your property management system. Although our rental property management software is very user friendly, we know that any new software can be daunting at first, so we provide industry leading support to help new users get started and comfortable with the program. Our property management expertise goes beyond just software know-how and we love to offer up advice whenever we can. So let’s talk seasonal maintenance…

It’s already June which means summer is upon us. If you haven’t already started summer maintenance tasks on your rental property, you should probably think about doing so. Completing these seasonal tasks as early as possible will ensure that summer is enjoyable for both you and your tenants. Here are some key tasks you want to be sure to check off the list this summer:

You may want to start inside the units and work your way out to the exterior. Make sure your tenants keep cool all summer long by scheduling cleaning and maintenance services for the air conditioning systems. It’s probably a good idea to leave behind some interior filters for the AC systems so your tenants can change those on a regular basis. For units with ceiling fans, tighten loose screws and adjust the direction of the fan blades to achieve optimal cooling. Finally, checking the windows and doors for air leaks, and sealing leaks if necessary, will ensure maximum energy efficiency.

When it comes to the exterior of your property there are plenty of preventative maintenance tasks that you can do every summer to keep your property in optimum physical condition, but we will just cover a few here. First, you’ll want to take a look around the outdoor walkways and paths. Fixing any damage or fractures will not only make the property more aesthetically appealing, it will also help to prevent possible injuries to tenants and guests. Next, you’ll want to inspect all the wood, wash the windows and clean the siding. Finally, cleaning and repairing the gutters is an important maintenance task that must be tackled regularly. Taking preventative measures like these to ensure that the outer surfaces and areas of your property are in the best condition possible could save you a lot of money in potential future repairs.

Here’s wishing you a relaxing, fun and sunny summer, from all of us here at Tenant File.

What are YOU doing to make sure your tenant is taken care of?

As a property manager, you have a lot of different things to deal with on a daily basis. Because of this, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of your tenants and their homes, and they may not be being taken care of as they should be. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your tenant is receiving the proper treatment and that any issues they have are taken care of. What can you do to ensure this?

work orderWell, one of the basic things you need to do is make sure that all of their maintenance and repairs are taken care. If your tenant comes to you with something that’s your responsibility to fix, don’t wait around for the problem to get bad and then handle it; take care of things as soon as they are brought to your attention. It may seem hard to keep track of so many things that you need to take care of, but we’ve got you covered. With Tenant File, we offer an optional Work Order Form feature (check it out here) that lets you keep track of work orders that your tenants have requested.

You can also send out a newsletter to your tenants! This may seem like a lot, but it’s not difficult to do and can save you tons of time in the long run. If you plan on being out of town, mention this in the newsletter so your tenants know to come to you before you leave. If a cold front is coming and there is a risk of pipes freezing, tell your tenants what precautions they should be taking. These kinds of things make all the difference and make your tenant feel that they’re truly being taken care of.

On To The Next One – Prepping Your Home

Prepping your home for your new tenant!

Your tenant has officially moved out and it’s time for you to prepare your property (and yourself) to find a new one. What do you need to do as far as the prepping process?

  1. Clean! Make sure your place is all cleaned up from your last tenant so that you’ll have a fresh canvas to work on.
  2. Paint. A fresh coat of paint makes all the difference in a room. Choose a standard color, maybe a beige shade, that will make the room look bigger and brighter.
  3. Take care of the floors. Once the painting in all done, make sure the floors are spotless. If the carpet has stains, get it steamed. If your wood floor looks dull, it may be time for a wax.
  4. Take pictures! You should take pictures of the home while it’s empty so you can document the exact state that you’ll be handing it over to your tenant in. You’ll end up taking pictures again when you’re staging, but these pictures won’t show the home completely empty.
  5. Staging. Staging is a very important step! Make sure your home looks awesome so that people will want to live there. We have some great staging tips here. Once your home is staged, take pictures so you can put it on the market.
  6. Listing. Having a good listing is one the biggest things that will affect your tenant search. Mention all the big things your home has to offer (pool, new kitchen, etc.) so that you can catch people’s attention.

These are pretty standpreppingard, but if you skip a step you may not be as successful in finding a tenant as you’d like.  Good luck!

 

Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Real Estate

It’s no secret that social media has come to be extremely embraced in many different facets of our lives. Because of social media, we hear news seconds after it happens, communicate with people from all over the world, and have endless ways to spread ideas. With all of this in mind, doesn’t it seem like you should be using social media to boost your real estate or property management business?

Social media is an awesome tool to get the word out about something to a lot of people at once. Social media is typically also free, so using it to your advantage has virtually no cost to you.  Another great thing about using social media is the variety and flexibility that you have available. There are all kinds of social media websites and applications, that allow you to share and spread loads of different content.

As a property manager or real estate agent, you can use social media in tons of ways. For starters, you should have social media accounts for your business and post from them regularly to generate traffic and have a follower base. If you have a property for sale osocial mediar for rent, post it on a social media site! Not only is this incredibly easy, but you also have the power to share it and have others share it as well. Maybe you’re trying to find a way to bring all your tenants together but you’re not really sure how…social media! You can create a post or event that will reach out to everyone at once.

Do some research about your target market and what the preferred form of social media is within that market, you’d be surprised at how far it’ll take you!