I have amassed a mix of flip project and rentals over the past several years, all while maintaining my fulltime employment - it is not easy working 7 days a week. I am now taking on two more rentals and two new flips starting within the next month - all four units require major renovations... This leaves me in a management quandary. I must streamline my landlord process as much as possible, by automating where I can. I am a one man show.... A bit nutty when I am self managing and self GC'ing - with a full-time job and two kids under 4...
I just opened up a separate svngs account to be able to take electronic payments from my tenants - this will remove my monthly visits to the bank; a small win. I am also setting all of my utilities and debt payments to auto-pay to a credit card - this will reduce my monthly bill pay from many down to just one credit card reconciliation. I have also converted everything to QuickBooks Pro last year; this was a BIG help!
So my question to you my friends... What else can I do to streamline my daily tasks? My leasing process is not too cumbersome; I have a nice chest of document templates that I have created and repeat whenever there is turn-over. I am not sure if there are any efficiencies to gain there. GOt any ideas for tricks and tools that are being used to save time elsewhere?
Thanks for the help.
Delegate as much as possible to qualified, trusted 'others' - - your TEAM. This takes time to develop but worth the effort. They know you and you will know them - - look for the 'mom-n-pop', one-off tradesman that wants return business. If the company has a national presence, or even multiple locations, keep looking. I get responses all the time from them "and thanks for the work". Believe me, they will be honest and forthright with you every time.
I'm an absentee landlord and it's significant driving time to go on-site. I've reduced my involvement by trading dollars for work to 'buy back' my time. Thus, demand on my time has been reduced to:
- tenant selection (still from home)
- move-in & move-out inspections
- signing leases
But see, I'm a Buy & Hold investor.
If you're rehab/flipping locally, the the above can still be applicable
Thanks J Beard. I only purchase properties within 20 mins of where I live because I want to self manage. I feel that nobody has my best interests in mind more than me - and quite frankly, I enjoy it. I am buried in paperwork, which is what I am trying to reduce as much as possible. With all of the projects and properties, the utility billing has become insane. I only pay water/sewer form my occupied properties. However, I took a turnover in Jan and one in Feb and I just sold a flip and am in the middle of renovating a new unit for rental. So, there have been a lot of new utilities billed. My time was spend printing and mailing check after check. How do you handle the billing end?
@Joshua Vallario -- Glad to see you're using Quickbooks ... I also love it! I also use auto-payment (each month) where tenants get hit with an automatic late fee when they don't pay on-time.
Based on your processes, how are you managing your vendors? Do you have an easy way to track and communicate with them while they're doing the work? Based on your business, I'd almost see this as a huge value add.
Congrats on managing it all!
More and more the promotion of vacancies is on the internet. The workflow of applicant management to screening is a task that needs automation, since in some markets 8-10 folks can apply for a vacant rental. There is a applicant management task, pre screening task, open house task, and screening as well as acceptance task. And then the adverse action notice task so you don't receive a lawsuit. I understand this workflow intimately.
@Dana Dunford Thanks for the note. How do you charge an automatic late fee for late payment? What system are you using to do this? You linked your account to QB and wrote some sort of auto function within QB?
In terms of vendor management, I have been using the same team since 2010 - so we have a fairly seamless process. All of my properties are local which makes it easier.
Originally posted by @Joshua Vallario :
My time was spend printing and mailing check after check. How do you handle the billing end?
Grin; That's another beni of MFUs; one set of bills per address. I auto-debit as much as possible and then, only because the Loan Service Co can't get it together, I write physical checks for few accounts, like the mortgage, closing gas, electric after move-outs, but then too, I have a LL continuation policy to all Utils on and active between tenants to facilitate cleanups.
Then YE, it's property tax time and no way to do (or would allow even) auto-debit any Tax agency.
@Jeff B. Sounds like I just started implementing what you are already doing. Hopefully I notice some relief. We shall see. Thanks for the advice.
Congratulations! You have some good problems. I use NTN online for advertising my units, having tenants apply and screened/auto-approved. I also have my leases uploaded. The tenant applies, pays a fee (PayPal) is screened and decisioned. I email the lease. They sign and return. Pay rent/deposit online - separate account per property. Most all maintenance is their responsibility.
Hope this helps.
@Jeff Johnson Thanks for this. I am going to check this out.
@Jeff Johnson I just checked out NTN Online and it looks like the do tenant screenings. I didnt see where they were able to do the full scope of Advertising the units, lease processing, and initial payment receipt.
Did I misunderstand your comment above?
@Joshua Vallario - you may want to call them to discuss. I learned about the additional services once I opened an account. NTN Secure lease - advertise, accept online applications, track maintenance issues, accept rent online, and more. You can upload your leases - they have them there. They also have a mobile app. I hope this helps. I have been very impressed with them (I rarely say that).
I help run a small REIA and we just had a meeting on this topic. Here is the video of it: