I can’t tell you how many times at the beginning of my property management career, a prospective tenant called me and caught me off guard. I quickly learned that I saved 5-10 hours a week and rented more houses by being well prepared. These are my best tips.
1) Application forms
The property manager must carry at least 50 blank rental applications with them at all times. Very often, you will find yourself on the list for a new rental home and will not have any kitchen appliances. You want to have apps around the house so you’re not always rushing to your car during a show.
The property management company should also have the rental application saved on the computer in a format that can be emailed to their clients quickly. You don’t want to just send a fax or have the form picked up. This is very quick and painless.
2) At least 10 copies of blank leases
Very often, you will approve a tenant and will need to meet with them to sign the lease. Leaving the office at the end of the day, he completely forgets to print and bring the copies of the lease. Even the most organized person deviates. Having the blank lease on your car ensures that you never show up empty-handed.
3) Key tags
You should carry a small box of key tags so that you can label the keys you receive from the new listings / owners. In the past, you constantly forgot which keys belong to which properties and had to discard them. This means that the rent could not be rented until I could get a maintenance guy to change the locks. With just a little extra discipline and tagging the key as soon as you receive it, you will save yourself a ton of hassle.
4) Digital camera
You should keep your digital camera in the car as much as possible to make sure you are ready for the new lists. Half the time the new owners have cleaned your property and it is ready to go. By having the camera ready, you can simply take all the photos you need to advertise your rental on MLS or Craigslist.
5) Property management agreements
Like the lease, you should keep 10 copies of your management contract in your car. This will make preparing for a quote appointment much easier and less stressful. Bringing your camera, business cards, and the management agreement, you have everything you need to register the new owner. You also want to have the agreement in email format so you can quickly send it to the owners over the Internet.
6) Pens and business cards
It’s embarrassing not to have anyone on a list or on a leasing appointment. Professionalism is in the details.
7) Organizer to carry everything
You can purchase an organizer from Office Depot or Staples that can store all of the items listed above. Some people prefer a briefcase, but I personally use a black plastic box with hanging folders. Wear what suits you best, but have it all in one place in your car
Note: A prepared property manager will create an automatic task in Outlook or a daily planner to populate all items once a month. Getting organized is useless for your property management company if you don’t have a tracking system to make sure you stay organized.