Ten years ago Matt Faircloth and his wife founded the DeRosa Group, which back then owned and managed two assets, a single-family home and a duplex. It’s since grown to 12 people managing over $5 million in residential and commercial assets in central New Jersey and the Philadelphia area.
The biggest lesson he’s learned? “The importance of tightening up our property management systems,” Faircloth says. He’s in the process of creating a property management manual that will include all of his group’s processes and procedures, forms and checklists, training and inspection procedures.
He recently wrote a column summarizing them called “The Landlord’s Ultimate 34-Step Property Management Checklist.”
We won’t go into each of those 34 steps, but will select a few, all of which have one thing in common: They can be handled faster, easier and more precisely through an automated property management system, like SKYLINE software from Anton Systems.
SKYLINE Property Management Solution for Residential and Multi-Family Properties is a comprehensive residential lease, tenant and property management solution with powerful general ledger and accounts payable accounting and reporting. It is used by thousands of residential property managers and owners to improve and control cash flow from operations, streamline operations and reporting and increase both bottom-line profits and property value.
Here are some of the items on Faircloth’s checklist where SKYLINE can help.
Attracting Tenants and Establishing Rental Rates
SKYLINE can help you build an amenities value package to stand out against the competition. It includes a built-in amenities-based pricing tool, which enables you to highlight the features your property offers offer rather than hiding them in your pricing. Select the amenities you feel are important to your market, then assign a value to each amenity. SKYLINE automatically adds this to the base rent for each unit.
New Tenant Orientation
This includes meeting with the new resident to complete the lease, get a security deposit and the first month’s rent, and then handing over the keys. All tenant information – including contact info, security deposits and rent, etc – should be input into your rental management system.
“Make a copy of all lease signing documents and mail them to the tenant within a week, so they have a copy of everything they initialed and signed,” Faircloth says.
SKYLINE makes the process easy with simplified applicant-to-occupant move-in processing. It comes integrated with a lease creation module that transfers detailed applicant information into an active occupant file with a single keystroke. SKYLINE Document Management then provides electronic storage of tenant and property files for quick and easy retrieval.
Chief among the factors that affect tenant satisfaction and retention is property maintenance and repairs. Every time a tenant calls in with an issue, create a work order to take care of it, Faircloth recommends, and assign each one with a priority.
SKYLINE enables property managers to easily create detailed work orders and schedule and track routine preventive maintenance tasks. The module dispatches both in-house and contracted service calls and records and tracks all job activity, including time and material expenses. It also includes a facilities maintenance and work order processing function with tenant Web-work requests, enabling tenants to submit requests online.
Once the order is completed, the system identifies whether the job needs to be billed to the resident or to the property owner. Billable service calls and fees are automatically posted into SKYLINE accounts receivable and accounts payable.
Additionally, SKYLINE’s Tenant Relations Management (TRM) module tracks and manages all past, present and future tenant interactions, which are automatically date and time stamped.
Creating template letters
Crafting library of letters you can use as templates – such as for lock outs, lost keys, noise violations or tenant renewals -ensures you don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” each time, Faircloth says.
SKYLINE’s Electronic Tenant function helps you automate the creation of tenant correspondence, late notices, rent statements and letters to tenants.
Needless to say, there are a lot more items on the checklist, just like there are lot more things SKYLINE can do to make property management more manageable.