Last November, we had seven evictions in progress. This did not count several other late tenants that we were trying to work with and had yet to file evictions on them. With a little over 50 tenants, that means that around 20% of our tenants weren’t paying us. That just sucks!
To keep track of our income records, we had created a simple excel spreadsheet to log the incoming rents and the dates they were received. Check out an example of what we were using below.
Most of our tenants had not been trained very well and paid several days late consistently. This created a nightmare because each individual tenant file had to be referenced to find out detailed info about their lease and contact info. Because of everything else going on in the business, we were not diligent in collecting late fees. We had so many tenants that were in the process of being evicted, we did not pursue our late fees on the other tenants. I was thinking that if we did, it might alienate even more tenants.
I knew that something had to change. Once we put the intention out in the world, it did not take long for something to cross our path. One of our employees forwarded an email to me about some property management software called PropertyBoss. The clouds had parted and the lights shined down from the heavens! I downloaded the free trial and we were off to the races.
We ended up evicting 2 of the 7 tenants and today, we have ZERO evictions in progress. We have made far more in collecting late fees from our tenants than the cost of the software. We had more tenants pay early, on time, and online, than ever this month. We were in contact with all of the tenants more than ever over the past months because we had to get them all set up within the software. Every one of our tenants knows that if rent is not received by the 25th, late fees are do and will be collected. Each tenant can log into their account online and see when their next payment is due, what is currently owed, they can update their contact info, and submit a work order if need be.
And we have only scratched the surface in regards to the functionality of the software!
Over the years, one thing that I have learned is that property management must be handled with an iron fist from the get go. You train your tenants how to do business with you. If you give an inch, they’ll take a mile. Now that our property management software tracks everything for us, we can focus on enforcing what’s owed. All we have to do is log into PropertyBoss and see where everything is at. And it’s internet based so I can log on anywhere in the world.