10 Replies

What systems do you fellow investors put in place to automate/streamline your processes using software and other methods.  

As a franchisee i'm very fond of using systems in my line of work.  I'm referring to anything from: marketing (putting together and tracking marketing efforts), accounting and financials, payment processing, landlord responsibilities, keeping track of repairs, financial projections, tenant info. etc.

Thanks for your help!

Note:  Our operation is a small family run business, buy & hold investments for cash flow, 15 residential rental units.  Old fashioned, simple, but still works for us!  Not very computerized.

Policies and procedures, some written and some in my head.   

Forms, some are hard copy masters in notebooks and some are kept as computer files.

Tenant files are in hard copy form in a file cabinet.  Each file has two hole punch binder clips that hold papers.  Application process & correspondence kept on one side; Rental agreement kept on the other side for each tenant.  Also computer files kept of correspondence.

Rent register, hard copy columnar pad - still works for me!

Rental unit notebooks - each unit has it's own for keeping historical data about maintenance, repair and materials used.

Maintenance notebook for info on techniques and standards we use for materials.

Appliance record in a notebook.

Property purchase records in filing cabinet.

Vendor files in filing cabinet and some in notebooks.

Library of Landlording and Real Estate books on a bookshelf and some in an e-reader.

Archive boxes.

Quicken and Quick Books for financials and invoicing.

Almost everything on auto-pay.  Most purchases on a business credit card and the credit card is on auto-pay with our business checking account.

Key management: Keys on hooks, use of masterkeying for our bigger property.

Locking file cabinets, locking key cabinets, and locking office.

Telephone, Computer, Copier, Fax.

Travel Clipboard with Compartment for carrying documents for visits to properties.

P.O. Box at the post office (where we receive our rents) that is three blocks from our Credit Union (where we deposit our rents and keep our bank accounts).  Bank accounts:  Operations - checking; Capital Expenses & Reserves - savings; Security Deposits - money management.

Storage Locker at a mini-storage facility for tools, supplies and materials for property maintenance.  Organized by category.  Use of many shelves, buckets, and caddies.  Color coding: Purple-plumbing, Blue-cleaning, Green-landscaping, Yellow-electrical, Orange-Misc, Red-Carpentry, White-painting, Grey-special projects and PPE (personal protective equipment).

Thank you, @Marcia Maynard for your response. I've asked this question several different times in a couple of different forums and have yet to get a response. I'm interested mostly in the system real estate buy and holders use for accounts payable. Does anybody have any specifics they'd like to share with us who are trying to follow the e-myth but who aren't very good at re-inventing a wheel?

@Marcia Maynard  

 Hey thanks for your suggestions! I'm a millennial so I will try to keep everything on a cloud based service; however, your insights are very helpful.  Thanks!  

@Marcia Maynard you have some great systems in place. The 15 properties that you have, are they all houses or an apartment complex? Do you do the rentals on the side, when you're not working a full time job?

@Chance Cooper Thanks for the comment and for being active on Bigger Pockets! We now have 17 residential rental units, as we bought two more houses in 2015. Total to date: 5 SFR houses, 2 duplexes and an 8-plex. My husband and I both have full-time jobs. Our rental property business is in addition to that and part of our retirement plan. We've been doing this for 20 years. Take a listen to BP Podcast #83 where I share some of our strategies and landlording tips! All the best!

Did you find what you were asking for?

I may have what you are asking about. 

@Rachelle C.   Hello there. I know this is a older thread but I am looking for exactly what Greg was asking. Any information you might have on how you automate and streamline your process is really appreciated.

@Marcia Maynard Thank you again for taking the time to write out your detailed process. I am using alot of the suggestions you inputed. 

@Greg Barrett Thank you for starting the discussion. I'm curious to see if you were able to map out a process that worked for you? 

@Greg Barrett Probably not exactly what you're looking for but I wanted to mention that using an auto posting software to post on sm platforms for you, works great for marketing purposes. We use smarterqueue to recycle and post our evergreen content.

This year we started to use Cozy for some of our work. Still on a learning curve there.  We processed some applications and did tenant screening online with Cozy and it worked well. Next will be rent collection, then maintenance requests online.

Since we still have some senior citizens who don't get online and some tenants without bank accounts, we will continue to accept rent via mail or by hand, as best fits their needs. We live within two miles of all of our rental properties (17 units) so we're okay with that. Some of these tenants have lived in the same place for over 20 years. No need to force them to change their ways. Being flexible meets the needs of both our older and younger tenants.

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