No matter how cynical you are, the New Year always represents a fresh start, a clean slate, and an opportunity to begin anew.
Here is a list of five resolutions that all property managers should make. None of them are difficult or require an immense amount of work (especially for those that have prepared their office for year’s end) and all of them would bring rewards throughout 2011.
- Research New Technology. Take the time to investigate the latest technology and see how it could improve both your resident retention rate and employee morale. Are your residents always asking to pay their rent online? Do your employees grumble when they have to take time to go to the bank to deposit their checks? Do prospective residents complain when they don’t have access to property photos and floorplans? Take a few minutes and see what software is available for property management. You may be pleasantly surprised by the number of features you can implement, and the relatively mild impact the cost will have on your profit margin.
- Be more proactive. If you’re aware of what’s going on at your properties, you can often head off potential issues before they become a costly, time-consuming crisis that requires a lot of time and even more money to resolve.
- Offer something that your competitors don’t. This can be as simple as a quarterly newsletter or a monthly resident get-together. Residents like to be aware of what’s going on inside their own community. Apartment communities especially can be lonely for new residents. A community barbeque can introduce your residents to their neighbors, while providing them with a vested interest in keeping their community safe. Studies have shown that a tight-knit community is more likely to be a safer community.
- Start the new year off organized. That means starting that bank reconciliation as soon as the statement arrives. File that 2-foot tall stack of leases you have on your desk, and keep them filed as soon as you receive them. If you absolutely hate filing, consider purchasing document management software that allows you to store all resident information on your computer, releasing you from the piles of paperwork that currently inhabit your desk.
- Become a better manager. Stay active in the property management community. Take a class. Become certified. Learn more about the industry that you’ve chosen as your profession. Whether you manage 10 properties, 200 homes, or 20,000 units, a good manager will always attract and maintain the type of resident that property owners are paying you to find.