5 Ways Property Managers Can Set Themselves Up for Success

Today is going to be awesome. As usual, while on m...

Today is going to be awesome.

As usual, while on my commute to work, I put on my headphones and listened to my music on shuffle. And a song from my favorite band, Green Day, came on. And then another Green Day song. And another. Older stuff. New stuff. Dookie stuff (which is arguably the best stuff). There were other songs from other artists mixed in, but for the most part, I got to listen to my favorite band play my favorite songs, making my normally dull commute (dare I say it?) enjoyable, and setting me up for a great day.

“Wow,” I thought. “How lucky!”

But then I realized: It wasn’t luck. I probably have about 15 of their albums, plus random singles and live tracks, on my iPhone. That’s…well, I can’t do that math, but that’s a lot of songs. To misquote Effie in The Hunger Games, the odds were totally in my favor that I’d get a run of my favorite songs, setting myself up for a great day. Instead of filling up my phone with songs I’m “supposed” to have such as The Beatles (overrated!), I put a ton of songs on that work for me.

Woo, apartments! Yeah!

Are you similarly setting yourself up for success in your apartment community? Here are some strategies for getting the apartment equivalent of a long run of Green Day songs on your commute.

Deal with maintenance requests quickly and efficiently. If a resident reports something wrong, have the maintenance team fix it quickly, and fix it right. That might mean spending a little extra, but a brand new whosiwhatsit or electrical thingy (the preferred, technical terms) will end up lasting a lot longer than a quick patch-up job, which will lead to fewer things breaking down the line. And when the requests are dealt with quickly, residents are a lot happier.

Let residents know right away about changes that will affect them. Are you changing the way residents can pay rent? Is the lawn being treated so residents can’t go on it? Did you rent out the parking lot to the high school marching band at 4 a.m. so they can practice for an upcoming parade? Let residents know as soon as possible. That way they can plan accordingly, and there will be less confusion and fewer complaints while it’s going on, and ultimately things will run smoother.

Find out if residents are going to renew as early as possible. Send your residents their lease contracts as early as you can. Let them know how much the rent is going up, etc. And allow them to renew their leases as early as possibly as well. That way you’ll know in advance if they’re staying, or if they’re not. And if they’re not and you know in advance, you can start preparing the ad for the apartment, and getting a cleaning crew, and everything else you’ll need to turn the apartment around, so when the residents leave, you’ll be ready. That way the apartment hopefully won’t stay vacant while you get everything in order.

Hire the best people. Hiring an employee with more experience might cost you more, but they’ll know how things work around the community a lot faster, which will save you time and money on training. On the other hand, don’t be afraid of a ‘greener’ employee, who won’t be burned out on the job and might come in with great new ideas. A great staff will help operations at the community go much smoother and take a lot of pressure off your shoulders.

Have a masseuse on hand. Speaking of pressure on your shoulders… I mean, you want the best day possible, right?

What else can you do to stack the deck in your favor at your community?

-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor