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February, 2017Archive for

PropertyWare – A Great Property Management Solution

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

ProWare offers great advantages for operating your multifamily and residential properties. Even for a single family home investor the tool offers great advantage. $20 per month covers up to the first 10 units. And with training available as pre-recorded videos on the web, you can get up and going for little more than the monthly charge. Perhaps more important, choosing ProWare is a great way to set yourself up to scale your property management capability.

I believe ProWare offers a great comprehensive set of features. However, from my perspective, some features are especially compelling for users who are considering a property management system. Specifically, consider the following:

  • ProWare’s web based service is available anytime anywhere. Literally, if you couldn’t afford a computer you can get started simply with the monthly fee for the management system. All you truly need is a handheld scanner and access to the Internet. Even a terminal at your local library could do the job. Perhaps just as positive, ProWare has a disaster recovery site, provides offsite data backup, and uses the industries leading data security and protection capability.
  • Cost stands out as a tremendous feature. You can implement ProWare for $20 per month and serve up to 10 units. The cost for 100 units is $125 per month and for 150 units is $175 or $1.00 per unit. In other words, almost any property can afford ProWare.
  • ProWare offers great add on modules. ProWare will support ACH, Debit charges, and credit card charges creating a fully web ready service capacity for your tenants through its EPay service. ProWare offers background and credit check and integration. ProWare offers integrated advertising management with the ability to upload property photos and to advertise on your website, via Craigslist and more.
  • ProWare integrates with Quickbooks. This means working with your accountant will likely be seamless and the cost contained.
  • ProWare allows scanning and attaching communication with residents, to or from vendors, from contractors, and more by allowing attaching documents to units, buildings, and much more.

ProWare offers a windows like interface that almost any employee, manager, or owner can become familiar with in a matter of days. In short order, you are able to meet your total management needs with a minimum infrastructure while you know you are supported by the very best network and data protection, security and support. As an investor a ProWare supported project can be relied upon. As an operator, the software will meet your every operational need.

Getting The Most From Your Investment: GO Zone Property Management Options

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

INTRODUCTION

In Part 1 of this series, we went over some of the basics for getting a tenant into your newly purchased GO Zone property. In this article, we will go into more details on the options you have for getting that tenant and, more importantly, starting that cash flow as soon as possible.

As you may remember, there is a lot involved with getting to that first rent check. All the marketing, potential tenant due diligence, and then management of the tenant after they get into the property can be very taxing on an individual.

RENTING FROM LONG DISTANCE

All the previous discussions are further complicated depending on how far you live from the property. Take it from me, trying to do all the lease-up work and property management yourself from a long distance is an all consuming task; one which I do not recommend to anyone who has other obligations (i.e. a life). More on this shortly.

PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY MANAGERS

Enter the professional Property Manager. Typically, a property manager gets paid for both the lease up of a property, and also on the management of the tenant once in the property. During the lease up, property managers spend very real dollars advertising the property and thus they typically can command a lease up fee. In many locations (both inside and outside of the GO Zone), this typically equates to a charge of 1/2 of the first month’s rent.

In addition, a management fee is also received by the property manager on a monthly basis and is a percentage of the monthly rent amount. For long term leases, this averages in the 10-12% range. Note that the actual management fee can vary widely depending upon the area where the property is located, the type of property, etc.

OPTION 1: DOING IT YOURSELF

If you are like the overwhelming majority of GO Zone investors, you most likely do not live near your GO Zone property. In this situation, as a property owner and a real estate investor you need to think hard about taking on the property management task yourself.

With the Internet, you may be tempted to do some of the marketing on your own. However, there still is the need for the local presence on the ground for showing the property to potential tenants, getting contracts and agreements in hands, reviewed and executed, and for knocking on the door when rent is late.

In addition, if you are new to real estate investing and new to rental properties, it is probably not a good idea to try this on your own from a distance. It is usually recommended that you try your hand at self property management in your own back yard first before even considering the task of doing this long distance.

OPTION 2: COMBO PLATTER 1

Here is the case where you would pay someone else to lease up your property, and then you manage the property yourself. For this, you may get a property manager, licensed professional or other lease-up specialist to go out and market your property, find a tenant, do the tenant screening, etc.

Unfortunately, not many professionals, rental managers, etc., want to do all this work and only get some of the front end funds. IF you can find someone to take on this portion of the front end business, you should really also consider the additional lease up time that may be required; especially if they are managing other similar properties where they also get a portion of the monthly rent that comes in.

The only time that this situation works well for all parties is if you know of a real estate professional (or other person) that already knows of a tenant and does not have an available property to put them in.

OPTION 3: COMBO PLATTER 2

In this case, you try your hand at doing the front end marketing and obtaining the tenant yourself. Similar to the above situation, You figure that you may be able to save on some front end marketing costs (i.e. 1/2 of the first month’s rent as the front end cost) if you can do it on your own.

However as previously mentioned, you not only need the local presence on the ground for the showing of the property and getting the tenant into contract, but there is still something to be said about meeting the (potential) tenant face to face as part of the screening and having someone who is geared up to do this on a day in and day out basis do this for you. The old expression of “Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish” comes into play here.

OPTION 4: PAYING SOMEONE ELSE

As implied by the above, this is where you let someone else completely to the front end work, get the tenant into your property, and completely manage the tenant and the property for you. As someone who is and out of state real estate investor, this is the most common path you will likely go down.

From the GO Zone property point of view, you do want to have your hands in the pot some to make sure that you are involved in the management process. This may be as simple as working closely with your property manager on screening criteria, final approval of tenants (if outside of your normal criteria for screening), etc. Make sure, however, that you are very responsive in this situation as time is critical with getting someone into a property.

When you hire someone else to completely manage your property for you, you are typically signing an agreement with them (usually for at least 12-months) that spells out all the terms, fee schedule, services offered, payment/rent collection and the transfer of funds to you (after expenses, etc.).

OPTION 5: LEASEBACK WITH BUILDER (SEE NOTE)

Remember that this article series is about getting your GO Zone property rented as soon as possible and getting cash flowing into your pockets quickly. While this option is not really a property management solution in the traditional sense, it definitely solves the issue of rent-up times.

I will point out again (as I did in the first part of this series), that you should not run out and start getting properties that are offering lease back just on that merit alone. Remember that as an investor, the property still needs to stand on its own and “make sense” before a leaseback offer is even thrown on the table.

Some property owners and builders may throw a long-term leaseback into the deal to sweeten things up and make the overall sale attractive. You need to ask yourself, how will the property rent out without the leaseback? Is this a situation where a developer may have excess inventory on hand and is offering a leaseback on everything to make the sale (and adding it to the pricing as well)? So as an example, condos on the beach in the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Without the leaseback these do not seem like a very sound investment based on the strong competition from the casinos for short term rentals and given the fact that the Mississippi Gulf Coast is really not a hot beach destination. In this case a leaseback does not make sense.

In the case where a builder of single family homes has 1 or 2 model homes that they would like to build, use as a model home, and would also like to keep that off their builder’s line, then offering a 12-month (with additional options typically) leaseback while building out that phase of the community makes perfect sense. Here you would only need to convince yourself that the community is where you would like to invest in.

Advantages of this option, other than the obvious cash flow from day 1, is that you do not have to spend any funds on marketing fees or even on property management fees since you are dealing with the builder directly.

Another advantage of this option is that if your tenant (i.e. the builder) is also using this as a model home, you have built in marketing for a home sale once the builder is finished using it as a model.

SUMMARY

There are many different paths and options for you to consider when trying to rent out and manage your GO Zone property including:

  1. Doing it all yourself;
  2. Having someone else find a tenant and you manage;
  3. You find the tenant and have someone else manage;
  4. Have someone else do it all for you
  5. Find the right leaseback situation

Whichever path you go down, make sure that you do your homework before the property purchase.

In the next part of this series, the author goes over the key point of finding the right property management group to help you with getting someone in your GO Zone property fast.

Modernized Property Management Solution for Landlords

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

Renting out multiple apartments, homes, commercial spaces etc, always involves a number of tasks and property issues. It can be quite confusing to keep track of all the details if they are not handled in the right manner. Achieving this is no mean task, but if you have the right administrative package, you will be able to eliminate lot of hassles that come with property management. Whether you are a letting agent, a realtor or a property manager, you can now use a modernized tool to help you maintain accurate records of your property details at the click of a button and also ensuring that your are legally compliant with the property laws at all times.

Property Management Made Easy

Managing numerous residential and commercial properties the traditional way is not only cumbersome but very time consuming. After all, keeping track of payments, contract terms, maintenance, taxation, etc is no mean task and these cannot be avoided either. Most property owners either assign their property management tasks to letting agents or a local real estate agent who continues to use traditional methods of book keeping. This way of managing properties involves some amount of risk and as a property owner you may not have complete control. Therefore, to ensure complete safety and transparency in the way your property is managed, it is better to use certified administrative software to help you stay in control of all the dealings, payments and other highly essential tasks related to your property.

Choosing Property Application Software

Certified and completely self sufficient property application software can ensure hassle free administration of your real estate business. There are different types of software to purchase from. While some are simple and straight forward, others will require you to install several other programs. Choosing the right property manager software is important, as it can save lot of time and effort. Instead of choosing a program that requires more hands to maintain your real estate records, purchase a tailor made software that will meet your individual requirements. In this way, you will be able to look after your homes and offices without the hassle of having to integrate several programs.

Purchasing the Program

There are some good online companies that offer customized accounting solution for letting agents and landlords. The highly advanced property management software links seamlessly into sage accounts in simple layman way. As much as it is important to buy a tailor made program, it is important to purchase it from certified online vendors. Such companies offer professional support and training to help you maximize the benefits of using accounting software in your real estate management. Some companies offer trial packages and even money back guarantee on their products. This can be a good opportunity for you to explore the program options before you find the right solution.

Property Management Technology & Training is Improving Efficiency

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Lots of people own properties that they rent out or sublet; management companies may own several properties that they rent out to entire cadres of customers, ranging from college students to people starting out their families in two and three bedroom apartments to rental homes. Atlanta Property Management is the best resource for discovering new possibilities.

Atlanta Property Management Technology has altered how property management is done, much the same way it’s altered every other aspect of modern American life. It started out with telephones and the ever so popular Rolodex, and then moved to spreadsheets to keep track of accounting issues. Later, cheap video cameras meant that on site security and premises control became much easier to arrange and coordinate, with video tape records replaced by digital video records and storage.

Now, the spread of pervasive networking, and changes in the fundamental communication parameters of all of these tools have altered the property management landscape again. What used to require sending bills or putting reminder notices in mailboxes has now been turned into automatic systems built off of conventional networking frameworks, and these technology & training options have made managing apartment complexes even less labor intensive.

With a properly arranged networked property management solution, you can have tenants (or board members) automatically notified when meetings are scheduled to take place; automatic funds withdrawals can help you handle the billing side of property management, and you can even use a hosted solution that will integrate the property’s web site with an online database to allow association members to put in requests for maintenance and repair issues.

On top of this, it’s also possible to monitor things like water bills for a series of units in an apartment complex, or unit by unit electricity usage, to see if there are potential problems down the road. There can also be a central, secure, repository for security data, from on site cameras and motion detectors, as well as logs for in-and-out access through a gate for a gated community. It’s not just the billing and record keeping that’s streamlined, but most aspects of property management that have changed dramatically with networked application development.

These even make selling a property easier (and give people buying a property a written ‘paper trail’ of ownership and maintenance done) which allows for fewer things to slip through the gaps on maintenance projects. Even better, the revolution in web distributed applications and data interchange mean that the technology and training side of this equation is minimal. It all builds off of interfaces that everyone’s familiar with, using web sites or cell phone applications; even iPhone applications exist to help with this. The nice part of this is that these applications are built not only to the specifications of management companies for property management, but they also take in the input of home owner associations boards to make sure that it meets all of the requirements of both sets of stake holders.