Property managers are jacks of all trades. From screening tenants to addressing concerns and managing maintenance, there are no two days alike in the life of a property manager.
The past year has introduced new challenges in areas like social distancing, sanitation, and higher delinquency rates for unpaid rent. Here are some property management tips in 2021 to help you navigate a post-COVID-19 world.
Communication is Key
Communication is a crucial skill for a good property manager. Your role is to communicate with tenants to keep them up to date with new policies and simply to create a sense of community.
Keeping lines of communication open also gives tenants an opportunity to express their concerns or submit complaints. Listening to concerns and suggestions for improvement is something that helps you provide more value for your tenants.
If there is one piece of property management advice in 2021 that you need to apply, it’s seeking new ways to communicate. Here are some options to explore:
- Keep regular office hours so tenants know when and where they can find you.
- Upgrade your bulletin board with a color-coded system to improve visibility.
- Use social media to share updates and create a sense of community on digital platforms.
- Create an email list or use text alerts to share important information.
- Develop a set of best practices for handling conflicts and complaints.
- Think about automating some communication. You can, for instance, use a digital platform to collect rent and send automated reminders.
Presentation is Everything
Tenants have different priorities in a post-COVID-19 world. You should prepare for new questions and concerns about things like cleaning, sanitation, and social distancing.
Remember that presentation is a key element for attracting new tenants and keeping current tenants satisfied. Look for ways to make the property look cleaner, and don’t hesitate to make sanitation efforts more visible to tenants.
Don’t neglect things like decor, art, or a fresh coat of paint to keep up with new home design trends and make units more appealing to potential tenants.
Get Your Listings Noticed
Getting your listings noticed is one of the top property management tips in 2021. Here are some methods you can use to fill vacancies quickly:
- Craft eye-catching titles that highlight the unique perks your property offers.
- Hire a professional photographer to take high-quality photos of your property.
- Keep your description short and straight to the point. Use bullet points and white space to help users who are on mobile read this content.
- Update your listings to discuss new concerns and discuss the measures you’re taking to protect tenants from COVID-19.
- Make your listing unique by using an engaging tone and letting your personality shine through.
- Identify the best platforms for getting your listings in front of potential tenants. Ask how new tenants found your listing to get a better idea of which platforms generate the most leads.
- You can create different versions of a listing and use A/B testing to see which title or which copy results in the most leads reaching out to you.
Create a Process for Screening Tenants
Screening tenants can reduce turnover and lower your delinquency rate. One of the most important property management tips in 2021 is to develop a well-documented process you can use to screen tenants.
Here are some of the steps to follow to screen tenants:
- Ask the tenants to fill out an application. Include personal information, details about employment, and financial information.
- Find out who will live with the applicant. These people are co-applicants and should pass a background check.
- Obtain a written authorization to perform a background and credit check.
- Ask for referrals, ideally from previous landlords. You should also contact the tenant’s employer.
- Schedule an interview. Prepare a list of questions to get a better idea of the tenant’s personality and lifestyle.
- It’s best to document this process so you can be consistent with the questions you ask. Fair Housing rules require you to treat every tenant equally.
Use Data for Better Property Management
Data is a valuable tool for property management. It can give you better visibility over processes like marketing or customer satisfaction. Here are a few ideas for using data:
- Invest in an analytics solution to monitor the results of your different marketing campaigns and calculate their ROI.
- Track costs with accuracy. Reviewing costs linked to maintenance and other activities can help you spot areas where you could reduce spending.
- You can use data to screen tenants. Look at some data points for tenants with the best longevity to figure out the ideal income requirement for your screening process.
- Use qualitative data by creating a feedback survey. It’s a great way to assess whether tenants are satisfied with the property and identify areas that you need to improve.
It’s Time for a Skills Assessment
You’re no stranger to the fact that property managers need to possess a wide range of skills. With technology becoming more common in property management, it can be difficult to keep up with all the skills you need to master.
It’s time to perform a thorough assessment of your skills. Be honest with yourself and list the things you’re good at. Identify the areas where developing your skills would be useful and think about outsourcing some tasks so you can focus on the things you do best.
You need to develop an effective system for documenting all your activities. Documenting everything can come in handy in situations like legal proceedings, and having well-documented processes will make you more reactive when you need to adapt to a changing situation.
We recommend creating a detailed maintenance plan, a roadmap for growth, a tenant screening process, a tenant transfer policy, and a framework for dealing with delinquent tenants and evictions.
If there are important tips for property management we learned from 2020, it’s that you need to turn sanitation into a well-documented process and have a go-to plan for possible future lockdowns.
These property management tips in 2021 will help you keep up with new trends and adapt to the new expectations and concerns of your tenants.