Best Property Management Associations To Join

Membership in a property management association is the best way to make sure you have access to continuing education resources, industry news sources, and professional networking opportunities year-round.  If you’re not a member of any associations yet, here are a few that we recommend you take a look at.

National Apartment Association

The National Apartment Association is “committed to providing benefits and services that help you grow your business and increase your bottom line,” and they have a number of special resources for Independent Rental Owners (IROs) — anyone actively involved in both the ownership and the management of rental properties.

One especially noteworthy thing about the NAA is that you may actually be a member and not even know it.  Many local apartment associations are NAA affiliates, so their members are automatically eligible for full NAA member benefits.  If you’re a member of a local association, definitely check with the NAA to see if you qualify!

International Council of Shopping Centers

There are plenty of associations that are particularly suited for commercial property managers.  One of those is the International Council of Shopping Centers.  ICSC “promotes and elevates the marketplaces and spaces where people shop, dine, work, play, and gather as foundational and vital ingredients of communities and economies.”  They work to form connections, influence public policy, develop marketing, and much more, so membership is a great way for commercial property managers to get involved and make a difference.

National Affordable Housing Management Association

Anyone who manages properties or units in the affordable housing sector should take a look at the National Affordable Housing Management Association.  Their members gain access to benefits like the opportunity to build relationships with other members and with key government agencies, accreditation, continuing education resources, news publications, and more.  The NAHMA is organized into 20 regional chapters; contact yours to learn more about the potential benefits of joining.

Institute of Real Estate Management

The Institute of Real Estate Management describes itself as “an international institute with the learning, certifications, and networking that property managers need to take on real estate management’s most dynamic challenges.”  Membership is included with enrollment in any of IREM’s certification programs, meaning that signing up to learn more and grow your business through accreditation will grant you access to networking possibilities, leadership opportunities, and special members-only savings.  That makes IREM a great deal for anyone interested in growing in any area of the property management industry.

Measuring Resident Property Damages

Wear and tear is a phrase you’ve probably heard before.  But what does it mean in the context of property management, and why is it important to know about?  Take a look at this handy guide to learn more.

What is property wear and tear?

People use the phrase wear and tear to describe expected deterioration in the condition of the property due to normal use.  For an individual unit, that might mean things like fading colors or finishings, worn door hinges, or loose or dirty tile grout.  These are things that would always occur no matter who lived there or how well they cared for the apartment.

How is wear and tear different from property damage?

In contrast to wear and tear, which is expected to happen in the apartment no matter what, property damage that shouldn’t be expected to occur through simple normal use.  Relatively common examples of property damage in a unit are things like broken windows, missing or severely bent bathroom fixtures, or burned or badly stained carpet or floors.

Why is the distinction between wear and tear and property damage important?

The main reason to have a good understanding of the difference is related to financial responsibility.  Wear and tear isn’t the resident’s fault — it’s nobody’s fault, really — so it’s not reasonable to ask them to bear financial responsibility for it.  In the case of property damage caused by a resident’s abuse or neglect, however, a property manager or landlord has the right to hold the resident financially responsible and collect repair or replacement costs from them by fines or deductions from the resident’s security deposit.

How can I make sure my residents understand their responsibilities?

A walk-through inspection is the simplest way to make sure your and your residents are on the same page about what’s wear and tear, what’s property damage, what’s been caused by the resident, and what hasn’t.  Walk through the unit with the resident at move-in and again at move-out and discuss the condition of the unit in detail.  Use the move-in walkthrough to make sure everyone agrees on the state of the unit before the resident has lived there, and use the move-out walkthrough to make sure everyone sees eye-to-eye regarding any decline in the unit’s condition and who will be financially responsible for repairs.  By doing this, you and your residents can both be clear about your thinking and avoid later confusion and disputes.

How To Deal With A Fire As A Property Manager

It probably goes without saying that a fire at a rental property you own or manage is bad news.  Still, they can happen, so it’s very important to be prepared.  Here are a few things you’ll want to be ready to do if a major fire occurs at one of your properties.

Secure the property

When major property damage occurs and residents are displaced, the number of people who are around the property goes down and the risk of injury goes up.  That’s the perfect recipe for someone to trespass on the property and get hurt, which is the last thing you need.  Take steps to prevent it by securing the property against trespassers.

Talk to your residents

Residents, especially if they were home at the time the fire started, may have information about what happened.  They may have seen, heard, or even smelled something, and that information can be valuable.  It can help you determine the cause of the fire and aid in any investigations that may take place.

Determine liability

A major fire can result in a lot of unexpected costs.  You probably have insurance — and your residents probably do too — but the parties will need to make a determination on who pays for what and how much.  There can be a lot of money at stake here, so making the correct determination regarding liability is extremely important.

Help residents find new housing

If a fire has displaced residents, they’ll need to find someplace else to stay, at least temporarily.  You can help them with that — and depending on the specifics of the situation, you may even be required to.  There may be local organizations in your area that can help you with this process; if not, the Red Cross can also provide aid.

Best Ways For Tenters To Provide Proof Of Income

Proof of income is a key part of the applicant screening process for almost every property manager or landlord.  After all, you need to make sure applicants will actually be able to pay the rent before you approve them, right?  Because of that, you probably already know about all the most commonly requested proof of income documents — pay stubs, bank statements, and W-2s.  But these aren’t the only ways applicants can provide proof of income.  Here are a few less common documents that are still effective in allowing you to verify income.

Employer income verification letter

A letter from the applicant’s employer stating exactly how much they’re paid is an easy, straightforward way to verify income.  You’ll learn exactly how much the applicant earns right now directly from the source.  As an added bonus, the employer may provide additional information about the applicant and their standing at the company, meaning a letter like this can effectively serve as a bonus reference.

Tax returns

While W-2s are the most common tax document used for income verification, IRS Form 1040 can serve the same purpose just as well.  This form shows the applicant’s individual tax return, and, like a W-2, states the income on an official government document, letting you know that it comes from a trustworthy source.

Pension distribution statement

If you have any retired applicants, they should have access to a document called Form 1099-R.  This is an excellent proof of income document for retirees, since it shows all the applicant’s retirement benefits concisely in one place, giving you a full picture of how much the applicant earns in retirement.

Court award letter

Some applicants may receive court-ordered compensation that serves as a significant portion of their income.  In a case like that, you should be able to get a letter from the court verifying exactly what the applicant receives, either via the applicant or directly from the court itself.  You’ll be able to see exactly what the applicant is entitled to and confirm that they’ll be able to make rent payments reliably.

All About Managing A Rental Property

Happy residents are great.  They make your job easier as a property manager, they help bring a positive atmosphere to your properties, and they’re more likely to recommend the property to others, giving you a larger, stronger pool of applicants for every vacancy.  So how can you make sure you have happy residents?  Here are four tips to help you do exactly that:

1. Make paying rent easy.

Your residents might not want to pay rent, but most of them understand that they need to.  That said, you definitely don’t want to make it any more difficult than it needs to be.  Offering a painless process and multiple payment options (like you can with ManageGo!) will do a lot to take stress and pressure off your residents.

2.  Handle maintenance requests as quickly as possible.

Make sure you give your residents an easy and reliable way to contact you or your maintenance staff, and make sure that you’re helpful, responsive, and ready to solve problems when residents report an issue.  You can do this by providing residents a phone number or a monitored email address to direct maintenance requests to, but the best way is by utilizing an online maintenance ticketing system like ManageGo’s to keep track of all things maintenance-related.

3. Keep up with preventative maintenance and inspections.

The only thing better for residents than having your maintenance requests handled quickly is not needing to make them at all.  You can help facilitate that by making sure to stay attentive to preventative maintenance and inspections to catch potential problems before they turn into larger issues.  ManageGo can help you with this, too; we’ve got a lot of features, like checklists and recurring tickets, to help make these processes simple.

4.  Communicate effectively.

Residents want to be kept in the loop about anything that might affect them.  When you tell them about any news or changes worth knowing about, you’ll not only keep them informed, you’ll help develop trust, which is key to a happy and productive tenant-landlord relationship/

All About Condo Property Management

Do you manage any condo units?  If not, you might be wondering how different from multifamily rental management it can really be.  As it turns out, while the two have a lot in common, there are some important differences as well.  Here are three unique responsibilities that condo property managers face:

1. Different financial responsibilities

Both the condo board and the homeowners in the community rely on the property manager to look after the financial health of the property in both the short term and the long term.  The stakes and interests are a bit different, and a manager has to be prepared to manage that and fulfill responsibilities like preparing budgets, keeping track of statements, and advising the board on how to use funds.

2. Project management

Many projects around a condo community end up becoming the responsibility of the property manager.  These can range from small repairs to major construction projects, and may even include significant renovations to a resident’s home.  Condo property managers need to be ready to manage all types of projects and all of the people who might be involved in them, from residents and the condo board to third-party contractors.

3. Communication

A condo manager is often asked to handle many types of communication — whether that means delivering messages from the board to residents, bringing residents’ concerns to the board, or helping to resolve a dispute between two residents.  In this role, it’s important to have a good sense of how to work with people and deliver the right message.

Finally, if you do manage any condo units — or if you don’t yet, but you’re considering it — know that ManageGo is here to help.  Our features are perfect for any type of property, not just rentals!  We’re a complete, all-in-one solution for any condo property manager.

It’s Time To Go Pro

ManageGo x PurchasePro

ManageGo is excited to announce our partnership with PurchasePro. PurchasePro has teamed up with us to bring you an easier, more cost effective way to purchase supplies for your properties!

With PurchasePro, it’s easy to request needed supplies in the app; the request is sent to a supervisor for approval.  Once the supervisor has reviewed and approved the order, they can select the best price from many participating vendors before buying.

Why is this process so good?

  1. It saves time – All supply requests and purchases can be handled from start to finish in just a couple of clicks, all right in the app.
  1. It lowers costs – By comparing pricing from multiple vendors with just a glance, you’ll always be sure you’re getting the best price.
  1. It minimizes stress – Features like streamlined invoices, easy access to purchase records, and detailed spending reports are always right at your fingertips.  You’ll never have to worry about finding the information you need ever again.

PurchasePro is the fastest, easiest, and all-around best way of buying supplies, and now they’ve partnered with us to bring their services to you.  This is definitely an opportunity worth taking advantage of, so give us a call and we’ll help you get set up!

What To Look For In A Resident Maintenance App

What To Look For In A Resident Maintenance App

What’s your maintenance process like?  Are you sure you’re getting the most out of it?  The answer may not be obvious.  It’s not always easy to see where you’re excelling and where you might be able to improve.  Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to assess whether your company’s maintenance operations are as efficient as possible.

How good is our communication with residents?

Communication with your residents is vital to success in maintenance.  For things to really work, residents need a way to report issues to you, you need to be able to ask follow-up questions, and everyone needs to respond in a timely manner.  It’s best to have a platform like ManageGo that allows you and your residents to create tickets and replies through the website, the mobile app, or email.  That way, everyone can reply quickly and stay in touch, no matter where they are.

How good is our internal communication?

Of course, the residents aren’t the only people you need to communicate with.  It’s important for you and your staff to stay connected throughout the maintenance process.  That’s why ManageGo allows you to easily make internal replies, visible to staff only, on the website and mobile app.  It’s also simple to create and send printable work orders for any staff member who needs a paper copy of the details.

How much time do we spend on recurring work?

Maintenance isn’t just about reacting to issues reported by your residents.  Sometimes, you need to be proactive and work to identify problems before they become a major issue.  This might include things like move-in/move-out walkthroughs, inspections, preventative maintenance, and seasonal work.  If you’re not careful, recording and managing tasks like this can result in a lot of extra, unnecessary work for you.  Avoid that problem by taking advantage of ManageGo features like checklists and recurring tickets to simplify things and streamline your process.

ManageGo moving into Atlanta and Los Angeles

After more than 7 years of success and growth in the New York City market, ManageGo proudly serves a wide portfolio of property managers in one of the most demanding real estate markets in the world.

This city and it’s people have provided us with an ideal market to build a user-friendly and feature-rich platform.

We are constantly looking to expand on our industry-leading features and streamline our user experience; with over 40 million renters in the US currently, we believe there is an opportunity for significant impact. Because of this, we are excited to be developing a platform that will not only improve the tenant experience, but also optimize the property management process.

Moving forward, we are excited to bring our tenant management platform to the rest of the country, starting with Atlanta and Los Angeles.

To do so, we have brought on two wonderful team members: Alison Thomas, who will be serving the Atlanta region, and Raquel McLaughlin, who will be operating in the Los Angeles region and serving all of California. Both Alison and Raquel will be working locally in their regions to ensure ManageGo can provide quality, in-person service to current and future clients.

 

Alison brings with her over 10 years of experience in the real estate industry, she has worked in various industry sectors, from construction to marketing. She also enjoys designing and renovating her own home in Atlanta. Alison’s expertise will be very valuable in helping property managers improve their workflow and tenants experience.

 

Raquel is an LA native who has worked in the real estate and banking industries for over 10 years. She is an avid dog-lover and was formerly the Animal Commissioner of South Pasadena. Raquel is most excited about attending the various events in the LA area – from the Apartment Association of Orange County to the LA Business Journal.

 

We chose LA and Atlanta to start because they represent two ends of the market spectrum. LA being one of the largest and most established markets, and Atlanta being one of the fastest growing markets.

America has seen rental markets grow, nearly across the board, in the past 10 years but both of these markets stand out among this growth. Los Angeles has the 4th highest percentage of renters in the country at 53.9%1, higher than every other major metropolitan area. Whereas Atlanta has experienced a 34.7% growth in it’s rental market since 2010, compared to a 28.5% national average 2. Additionally, being on opposite coasts, these markets will provide an opportunity to refine our product within a variety of scenarios.

Atlanta and Los Angeles are just some of the stops for ManageGo as we continue expansion to other areas of the country over the next year. We feel the tenant experience is underdeveloped compared to other technological conveniences available for every-day use.

The process of paying rent by check or submitting maintenance requests by phone or email is not only frustrating for tenants, but also increases the property manager’s workload. ManageGo provides a win-win solution for these pain-points through our tenant management platform.

ManageGo has been on the forefront of past industry advancements and we will continue to strive to provide a superior experience for tenants and property managers from New York, to Atlanta, Los Angeles and beyond.

🎉 It’s out! Our latest mobile apps are live and amazing

Say hello to the new ManageGo app! We’re introducing a completely new look to improve your online rent payments experience.

As part of this release, we have completely redesigned the app and upgraded it with a bunch of new features. We’ve also optimized the communication process between tenants and property managers with our maintenance tickets feature.

We’re excited to announce that this new release is now available to all of you! Just head to the app store and install the update.