ManageGo Is Expanding

At ManageGo, our top priority is providing the very best solutions to property managers and their residents. We believe that the best way to do that is by seeking innovative and exciting ideas that make property management easier, in addition to providing residents with the ultimate experience. It’s what we’ve always done, and we’re not slowing down now! Whether it’s new solutions like Leasing (which we just released this year) and Accounting (coming soon!) or exciting new partnerships, we’re always working on what’s next.

When it comes to partnerships in particular, we’ll have a lot to announce in the upcoming weeks. Recently, we secured four partnerships that will give ManageGo clients exclusive access to brands that will enhance property management and even the resident living experience. Through our partnerships we can help you explore and evaluate new opportunities that can make life more enjoyable or even more convenient so there’s more time to do the things you love, whether you’re a property manager or resident. 

Did you think ManageGo could get any better than this? Just wait a few more weeks until we launch our new partnerships and you get to encounter the ultimate experience through various top-rated brands that we consider to be the best of the best.  There’s so much to announce, we’re really excited about what we’ll be sharing and the opportunities we’ll be able to offer you and your residents, and we think you’ll love what’s coming. So stay tuned to join the celebration and make sure you don’t miss a thing — the industry’s best all-in-one tool for smarter property management is about to get even smarter.

ManageGo’s Quarterly Enhancements

We’re well into spring now, and summer will be here soon!  While that’s one exciting thing on the horizon, we’ve got a few exciting things that are already here.  Let’s take a look at a few ManageGo improvements that are new in Q2:

Leasing

Many of you have requested it, and now it’s here: you can now import pre-existing leases to ManageGo!  Just upload PDFs of your leases to bring them into our system.  This will make it even easier to transition to ManageGo Leasing and take your leasing process digital.

Lease renewals have also been made easier — there’s now a Renewal button for existing leases that transfers data from an existing lease into a renewal, making the process simpler than ever.

Packages

Our Packages feature now supports tracking numbers.  That means that, when you add packages to the system, tracking numbers can be entered as well, either by typing them manually or with a USB barcode scanner.  You’ll also be able to search packages by tracking number, putting more information at your fingertips than ever before.

Accounting integration

Great news for cour Yardi clients who have API integration:  payment notes will now be posted to Yardi.  You’ll now be able to see any note your residents attached to their payments directly from Yardi.  That’s not all — Tenant Invoicing is now available for Yardi API clients, bringing that fantastic feature to even more users.

Engage

Residents can now reply to Engage posts without logging into ManageGo.  There’s now a link in email notifications for new Engage posts that allows residents to reply quickly and easily.

There are also a number of smaller bug fixes and improvements all over the platform to keep things running smoothly.  

That’s it for now, but make sure to stay tuned — we’re always working to improve, and we’re sure to have more to announce soon!

3 Most Important Rules To Enforce In A Community Swimming Pool

Having a swimming pool at one of your properties can be a great asset.  They’re popular among residents and can provide great fun for residents.  However, pools do come with some responsibility.  You need to make sure that anyone using the pool stays safe, and the best way to do that is by posting and enforcing some rules.  You probably already know some of the most important swimming pool rules (like no running and no glass), but there are others worth considering.  Here are three rules to think about posting at your pool:

No pets

Not all pools have this rule, but it may be worth putting in place.  Animals in the pool can be unsanitary, and it can be harmful to people with allergies.  Pet hair can also cause pool filters to clog and not function correctly.  Even if you love pets, it may be best to require that they stay away from the pool.

Pool capacity

Even when pools have a posted capacity, limits on the number of swimmers often go unenforced.  That could be a serious mistake; capacities are posted for a reason, and exceeding them can pose a significant safety hazard.  Having too many people swimming in close proximity can be dangerous, and it also has the potential to cause tempers to flare.  You can avoid that by posting a capacity for the pool area and making sure residents stick to it.

Limits on guests

One sensible way to reduce the number of people in the pool while still making sure as many residents as possible can use the pool is by limiting the number of non-resident guests anyone can bring to the pool.  Limits of 2 or 3 guests are relatively common and may help alleviate unwanted crowding around your pool area.

When Tenants Want To Break Lease: A Guide To Early Termination For Landlords

Leases are designed to last for a specific period of time, and when they’re signed, all parties are hoping that everything goes as planned for the entire lease term.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way.  Sometimes, a situation arises where a resident wishes to terminate the lease and leave early.  You’ll need to be prepared for these situations so you can act appropriately to be fair to the tenant and follow the law while still protecting yourself and your business.  Here are some common questions you might have about early lease termination:

Do I have to let a resident break their lease?

It depends on the reason they want to leave early.  In some situations, like if the resident needs to relocate for a military or other government job, they may be allowed to leave without penalty as long as they provide you with 30 days notice.  

In other cases, you may not be required to allow the lease to be terminated, but it might be the right thing for both parties.  For example, if a resident loses their job, they may no longer have enough income to pay rent.  In a situation like that, simply allowing the resident to break the lease may be easier and less expensive for you than entering legal proceedings, as well as being better for the resident.  Use your judgment to determine whether you should allow the tenant to leave early, even if it’s not required.

What if none of those situations apply?  Can I keep charging rent as per the lease terms even if the resident moves out?

In general, yes, but it can depend on laws in your area.  In most areas, you’re legally required to try to find a new resident for the unit — so you can’t just collect rent and do nothing.  As long as you’re looking for someone to fill the unit, it’s usually OK to continue charging rent, but know that there may be limits to how long that can continue (meaning that you might not be able to keep collecting rent until the end of the lease).  Once you find a new resident, of course, the former resident won’t have to continue paying.

Residents who are breaking their lease may want to help you find a new tenant.  That’s usually fine for all parties, but you’ll need to make sure to carefully screen anyone they might find.  You don’t want to just trust your resident, who might be looking to just find anyone who can fill the unit and ease their financial burden, to find a good resident without any additional examination.

Is there anything else I should know?

One more thing to keep in mind is that it’s usually a bad idea to keep the resident’s security deposit to help cover rent payments still owed to you after the lease is broken.  Remember, you collected the security deposit in case of damages to the unit; if you use the security deposit to put toward rent payments, you won’t have anything to take from if there are any damages.  It’s better to treat the security deposit and any remaining rent payment totally separately.

How To Set Rental Application Fees

If you manage rental properties, you’re almost certainly familiar with application fees already.  Still, it’s important to talk about them, since they’re an important part of the application process and, consequently, of your business.  Here are a few tips to help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your rental application fees.

Make sure to specify that application fees are non-refundable

You don’t want there to be any confusion regarding refunds for application fees.  Make sure any applicants understand how the fee works and that they won’t be getting the money back.  That way, you’ll hold onto the funds and avoid creating potential trouble for yourself down the road.

Consider the role credit and background checks play in your screening process

If you use a third-party service to conduct credit or background checks on your applicants, they’ll probably charge you a fee for their services.  Make sure to take that into account when deciding how you should set your fees.  Do you want to include that charge in your application fee?  Do you want to charge applicants the screening fee separately?  Do you want to cover this fee yourself?  Keep these questions in mind and set your fees appropriately.

Know who you want to charge application fees to

Not everyone charges application fees to every applicant.  Some property managers do collect a fee with every application, but others only charge their top candidate.  Some say that the best practice is to charge an application fee to only those you plan to seriously consider approving.  No matter your choice, make sure to stick to it as you receive applications.

Know your local laws about application fees

Some cities and states set a maximum on the amount that can be charged in application and screening fees.  It’s your responsibility to know whether there’s a limit in effect in your area, to know what that limit is, and to not exceed it.  You can check with authorities in your jurisdiction on this if you’re unsure.

How To Collect Rent Without Worries Of Late Payment

Every property manager wants to make sure that all of their tenants are able to make their payments  — after all, that’s how they make their money!  Online payments are easiest for you, but not for all of your residents.  Some people simply aren’t comfortable with technology and won’t want to pay online.  So what can you do?  Here are 3 great potential payment methods that don’t require any computer use by your residents.

1. Paper checks by mail

Checks may have experienced a major decline in use, but they’re still the preferred rent payment method for many residents.  To some people, it’s the simplest, most straightforward mode of payment.

One potential problem with checks is handling them on your end as a property manager.  It can be a real pain having to manage, keep track of, and deposit checks yourself.  That’s why ManageGo offers to do the work for you with our Lockbox service.  Let your residents send checks to us, and we’ll automatically upload the checks to our online platform and deposit the funds to your account electronically.

2.  In-person collection

In-person rent collection can definitely offer some benefits.  It’s a sure way to remind anyone who forgot to make their monthly payment, and when you collect a check or money order in person, you won’t need to worry about when or if it will be delivered by mail.

If you do perform any rent collection in person, know that you shouldn’t accept cash payments.  It’s impossible to document them properly, and that can lead to trouble if there’s a dispute about a payment.  If you have any residents who do prefer to pay in cash, ManageGo’s MoneyGram payment option is a great alternative.  Your residents will get to pay cash, and you’ll get full documentation and the convenience of easy electronic deposits.

3. Paper checks in a dropbox

Another option is to provide a dropbox where your residents can drop off a check each month.  This can be a convenient option because it combines some of the best aspects of checks by mail and in-person collection: a secure dropbox offers security and immediacy, like in-person collection, while also cutting out the need to visit every unit to collect payments, like checks by mail.  Keep in mind, though, that with this method, you’ll still need to handle checks yourself, which, again, can be a lot of work.

5 Ways To Enhance Your Resident Experiences

Modern renters have a lot of choices when it comes to where to live.  It can put property managers in a tough position — in a world where renters have such a wide variety of options, how do you make sure that your properties stand out?  Here are five of our favorite ways to raise the bar and enhance the resident experience to make sure you attract and retain residents:

1) Organize community events — Everyone needs a chance to relax and have some fun.  Why not give your residents that chance by putting together an event they’ll enjoy?  They’ll be sure to appreciate a game night, a crafting activity, or a movie.  Don’t be afraid to get creative and come up with some fun ideas of your own!

2) Provide multiple payment options — Not all payment methods are perfect for everyone.  Online ACH payments are great for a lot of residents, but some people will always prefer other methods, and it’s important to accommodate them too.  That’s why ManageGo offers property managers support for credit and debit cards, checks, and cash payments too!  That way, everyone can pay in a way they’re comfortable with.

3) Provide tokens of appreciation — Remind your residents that they’re important to you by giving them something to show you care.  It doesn’t have to be anything big; something small as a cookie can go a long way in letting someone know that they matter to you.  If you do like the cookie idea, you might even be able to get free or discounted cookies from a local bakery eager to promote itself to your residents.  It’s a win-win!

4) Help your residents stay engaged — Residents will love the chance to get involved and feel like they’re a part of something.  An online message board (like ManageGo’s Engage!) will let residents get to know each other and see what’s going on in the building, which can really help build a sense of community.

5) Use an all-in-one app — Renters today want to take care of all their needs online, and they want it all to be as easy as possible.  Letting them handle everything related to the building — whether it’s rent payments, maintenance, amenity bookings, event registration, or anything else — in one easy-to-use app like ManageGo will make things so much easier for them.  They’ll definitely thank you for it!

Introducing: Tenant and Unit Categories

Today we’re realesing a highly-requested feature: Categories for tenants and unit.

Categories come in handy for many different scenarios, here are some ideas:

• Allow amenity reservations for paying tenants: You can set up certain amenities to only be available to book for tenants that have signed up for a membership. Simply assign those tenants to a category called “Amenity members” and then set up the amenity to be available for them.

• Send a mass email to condo owners: When sending an email to residents, you can now choose to only send to specific categories, for example, condo owners vs renters.

• Share documents with sub-leasers: With our document sharing feature, you can now upload files to be seen only by certain residents that fit the category you select.

If you would like to take advantage of this feature, simply log in to your ManageGo admin account and set up categories under Settings > Categories, then navigate to the Units or Tenants page and select the appropriate category from the dropdown. If you have any questions, please call us at 212-300-7950 or email support@managego.com.

Q&A: Setting up building groups for easier filtering

Question:

“Our building portfolio is divided between different managers; when they go to the payments or maintenance sections, they only want to see their buildings. We know that one can easily select a list of buildings from the buildings filter, but it would be great to be able to save the filter for future use instead of filtering each and every time the page is refreshed.”

This week’s question by: Hamilton Group

Answer:

Hi,

We will suggest 2 different ways to solve your 1 question (complimentary of course!).

#1: Make use of the Building groups feature

This feature allows you to create a group with a custom name (e.g., Ben’s buildings) and select which buildings should be in the group. Now you can simply filter by the group name.

Click below to learn how to set up groups. (Spoiler alert: It is super easy.)

#2: Limit users’ access to only their buildings

If a specific user truly has no business with other buildings, consider restricting the user to only have access to the buildings they manage. No need to filter anymore. Ever.

You can click below to learn more about grouped buildings.

I hope this answers your question!

Feature Highlight: Scheduled and Recurring Maintenance Tickets

With our recent release of the new ManageGo interface, we’ve added a highly-requested feature to maintenance tickets.

You can now schedule requests in advance, and set up an automatically recurring schedule for requests. This is very useful for tasks that repeat themselves, like monthly or annual preventative care, asset inspections, permit renewals, and walk-throughs.

We made it very flexible and easy-to-use so you can get the most out of this new feature.

Another one of the features that we included adds a checklist option to all tickets. You can specify a detailed list of tasks to be done for a particular ticket, and follow along as they get checked off one-by-one. You can also set up checklist templates which you can drop into any maintenance ticket.