“We are an instant society,” Linda Liberatore, founder and president of SecurePayOne, started out in her presentation on saving hundreds of dollars each month by making simple adjustments to your property management strategies. “Did you ever see [the way people act] when they do not have internet?” she continued; “They want it fixed. Well, your tenants are the same way.”
Liberatore went on to make the argument that in our “instant society,” that need for speed can actually translate to huge savings in your rental real estate portfolio if you know how to leverage the software and technology that are available to real estate investors. She noted despite the fact that property management is a $73 billion industry, that industry is still in its youth and, as a result, many mom-and-pop landlords, to whom Liberatore refers as do-it-yourself or DIY landlords, actually decimate their bottom lines by trying to force their rental portfolios into systems designed to manage hundreds or even thousands of properties.
It’s All About the Tools
“It’s all about using the tools that are right for you, and usually those tools are much less expensive than the big operating systems anyway,” she said, noting that Google Docs and other free management systems may be integrated to perform the same basic processes for which many software agencies charge hundreds of dollars a month. For example, Liberatore suggested putting all projects into an online calendar and then working off that calendar to create a timeline that sends reminders to all parties involved in the property when a task is coming up.
“You’ll often find that you could actually have two or three different service providers in a location working more or less concurrently,” she pointed out. This saves time and money because it keeps vacancies shorter and lower. Liberatore also recommended a tool called Trello, which essentially helps investors build “mini whiteboards” for their notes. Google calendar also helps manage tenant requests and basic management needs by allowing you to set up a variety of reminders that will keep tenants in the loop about when a contractor is coming to address a maintenance issue, when rent is due, and when notice is due if they are planning to move out.
“You don’t have to go high end,” Liberatore concluded. “Just working on the right scale and making sure you have everything scheduled and as automated as possible can save you serious money each month.”
Linda Liberatore presented her strategies in detail at the Think Realty National Conference & Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 14-15, 2017. She is also a Think Realty Resident Expert. Her first course focuses on buy-and-hold strategies.
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Carole Van Sickle Ellis is the editor-in-chief for Think Realty Magazine. You can reach her at email@example.com.