Alert Solutions Blog

Delinquency Dilemma? 6 Tips for Reducing Late Rent Payments

Posted by Tara Gibson on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 @ 18:03 PM

If you’re in the business of rental properties, you’re likely well aware of its advantages and challenges.  

The property management industry can be lucrative, and demand is healthy. As of 2016, 35 percent of U.S. residents were living in rental housing, and a Forbes article points to 6 to 8 percent growth in rental prices over the past several years.money-2212965_960_720.jpg

At the same time, late rent payments can be a serious problem for property managers. In fact, a recent study found 35 percent of Americans with credit records have been reported to credit agencies for nonpayment of rent, credit card charges, medical fees or other debts.

Fortunately, property managers can take several steps to reduce their chances of chronically late rent payments. Before tenants move in, preventatives might include the following:

  • Scrupulous Screening - Complete due diligence by setting income standards, running credit checks, checking prior landlord references, confirming employment, etc.
  • Preemptive Rent Payment Due Dates - Anticipate tenant issues ahead of time and set the rent payment deadline for a week or more before you really need the money to meet your own financial obligations.
  • Automatic Tenant Reminder Systems - Tools like Alert Solutions allow you to automatically send tenants reminders via text, email and/or phone, letting them know their rent payment date is coming up or has already passed. That helps ensure good tenant communication and saves you from many of the necessary awkward conversations when rent payments are late.
  • Electronic Rent Payments - In this digital age, many tenants find it much easier to simply send their rent online rather than writing a check, finding an envelope and stamp and locating a mailbox. Seek out an efficient property management software that can process online payments while taking care of many other administrative tasks.

Once tenants move in, landlords might consider:

  • Ongoing Tenant Communication with the Chronically Late - If you notice consistently late rent payments from certain tenants, reach out to them, listen to their reasons and consider solutions. Some tenants may need slightly different payment schedules according to when they’re paid, when they receive child support, etc.
  • Enforced Late Rent Payment Fees - Chances are your lease agreements stipulate when and how late rent payment fees will be enforced, but you haven’t always enforced them. If tenants are starting to take advantage of that leniency by surpassing deadlines — sometimes it’s human nature to disregard a rule that’s never enforced — you may need to be stricter about adding such fees. Just be sure you enforce the rules fairly and consistently among all tenants.

Late rent payments can put a serious dent in your ability to turn a profit on your rental properties. Call Alert Solutions at 800-929-1643 to learn more about how our tenant communication system can help keep tenants informed.

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Topics: tenant communication, tenant notifications, property managerment

Promoting Your Property to Prospective Tenants – Strategies to Get You Renting Today

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, May 25, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

Gone are the days of putting a ‘for rent’ sign out front and hoping it gets noticed. Property managers today have a clear advantage with the ability to market to their prospective tenants. There are certain strategies worth learning to help you promote your property more effectively. 

Here are 4 strategies to help you promote your property to the right prospective tenants.

  1. Create a Strong Online Presencefor rent.jpg
    For most property managers, the reality is that an online presence is required for a successful rental business. Posting to rental sites is the most common component of an online presence,
    but you could also consider developing a website. Websites give your property
    an “image” while building credibility and trust with your prospective tenants.


  2. Harness the Power of Social Media
    For little cost, you can easily create a social media account that allows prospective tenants to learn more about your listing, see property photos, and find contact information. The most popular social platforms for property managers are Facebook and Instagram. With 98% of tenants utilizing mobile devices during their rental search, you can’t afford to not be in this space.

  3. Develop a Referral Incentive Program
    Always consider how you can utilize your current tenants to win new tenants. Step it up by incentivizing your current tenants with rewards such as a cash prize or discounted rent for finding you a referral. Have a tenant communication system in place so that you can alert your current tenants to different referral promotions.

  4. Become a Trusted Source
    Stand out from the property management crowd by positioning yourself as an industry leader. Send out a monthly tenant e-newsletter with helpful information and resources for your local market. A monthly e-newsletter is also a great way to stay in touch with your current tenants and increase tenant retention.

Alert Solutions helps property managers provide personalized tenant communications instantly via multiple communication channels. Download our tenant communication best practice guide to learn how you can increase tenant communication and market to prospective tenants.

Tenant Communication Guide

 

Topics: property management, tenant retention, tenant communication, tenant notifications, tenant satisfaction

Keeping Tenants Happy – 4 Tenant Communication Tips

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 @ 11:04 AM

The importance of tenant satisfaction should never be underestimated by a property manager. Happy tenants are more likely to renew their lease, pay rent on time, and even provide referrals to your vacant units.

One of the biggest indicators of tenant satisfaction is effective tenant communication. Here are 4 tenant communication tips that will help keep your tenants happy and your units full:

1. Two-way tenant communication is key. newtenant-1.png
Tenant communication is great - but two-way tenant communication is better. You
r tenants are all different, and likely have different preferences when it comes to how you communicate with them. Implementing an automated
tenant communication solution would allow you to meet the preferences of your tenants while engaging in healthy two-way dialogue that makes them feel heard.

2. Be proactive.
Make a point to not catch your tenants off-guard. If scheduling property maintenance or repairs that may affect them, let your tenants know ahead of time. Coming home to noisy or unexpected intrusions will quickly decrease tenant satisfaction. An automated tenant communication solution would help you save time when notifying tenants of maintenance or property alerts.

3. Ask questions and stay informed.
You may be the property manager, but your tenants are the next most valuable source of insight regarding your property. Stay informed of tenant satisfaction levels by communicating with them regularly instead of only when rent is due. If you are considering making upgrades or repairs, find your best tenants and ask for their opinion. This open line of communication will also help tenants feel more valued by you and thus, more likely to stick around.

4. Personalize the experience. 
Small gestures can make a big difference. Simply reaching out on a tenant’s birthday, congratulating them on a milestone, or remembering them during the holidays will make your relationship feel more personalized. If you communicate with your tenants in a way that makes them feel part of your community, your tenant satisfaction rate will drastically improve.

Alert Solutions can help you improve tenant communication by implementing multi-channel messaging. To learn more, download our best practice guide!

Topics: property management, tenant retention, tenant communication, tenant notifications, tenant satisfaction

Increasing Tenant Retention in a Rental Property – 5 Golden Rules

Posted by Sarah Autore on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 @ 11:03 AM

Managing tenant relationships can be challenging. One thing most property managers can agree on is that when you have a good tenant, you want to keep them around.

Tenant turnover is expensive, so it’s worth investing in strategies that will keep residents happy and increase your tenant retention rate.

If you’re looking to better understand how to increase tenant retention and boost revenue, consider the following guidelines:Tenantcommunicationtips.png

1. Maintain honesty and integrity with your tenants
Property management is a business, and therefore you should treat your tenant relationships just like any other business relationship - with honesty and integrity. Good tenants will stay with your property if they know they can trust you.

2. Respond to tenant needs quickly and efficiently
Tenants always take note of how long it takes you to follow up with them. Even if you’re swamped, it’s always better to acknowledge that you’re working on resolving the issue as quickly as you can. Tenants will remember if you were timely and accommodating -- and they’ll take that into consideration when it’s time to renew.  

3. Take all
tenant safety and health issues seriously
A minor repair is one thing, but a more serious issue that affects your tenant’s well being is another. If an escalated issue arises, tenant satisfaction will drastically decrease if you don’t follow through with the appropriate attention.

4. Put yourself in your tenant’s shoes
Be the property manager you would want to have. If you were in their position, what factors would you consider important in your renewal decision? Being considerate of these details will easily help you better understand the tenant and improve how you communicate with them.

5. Improve your tenant communication process
Research has proven that effective tenant communication will increase tenant retention and tenant satisfaction rates. Since property management is often a 24/7 business, keeping an open line of communication can sometimes be a challenge. Implementing a system that allows you to reach tenants anytime via their preferred communication method will enable you to accomplish all of the above guidelines and increase your renewals.

Alert Solutions can help you improve tenant communications by implementing multi-channel messaging. To learn more, download our brochure today!
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Topics: property management, tenant retention, tenant communication, tenant notifications, tenant satisfaction

4 Tenant Communication Best Practices All Property Managers Should Know

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Feb 02, 2017 @ 11:02 AM

Research shows that effective tenant communication plays a key role in tenant satisfaction and tenant retention. In other words, tenant communication is vital for a successful property management business.

Below are 4 tenant communication best practices for you to consider, along with their respective benefits:Propertymanagementmoving.png

Best Practice #1 - Respond to questions and concerns in a timely manner.
Benefit - Prompt responses make your tenants feel valued and increases tenant satisfaction and tenant retention.

Best Practice #2 - Document all tenant dialogue that occurs.
Benefit - This helps to reduce tenant miscommunication and frustration. It can also keep parties accountable from a legal standpoint in the event of a disagreement.

Best Practice #3Communicate on a regular basis.
Benefit - Regular and consistent tenant communication reduces tenant turnover, according to Westwood Net Lease Advisors.

Best Practice #4 - Offer multiple tenant communication options.
Benefit -This accommodates tenants with different communication preferences - helping to make sure the information is received by all.

Alert Solutions helps property managers provide personalized tenant communications instantly via multiple communication channels including email, voice, SMS text messaging.

Learn about more tenant communication tips – download our Tenant Communication Best Practice Guide.

Download Now!

Topics: property management, tenant retention, tenant communication, tenant notifications, tenant satisfaction

Looking for the Best Tenant Communication Method? Here are 4 Options

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Dec 08, 2016 @ 11:12 AM

Property managers that have effective tenant communication quickly resolve issues and pave the way for higher tenant retention and tenant satisfaction. With all of the communication options available, it’s easier than ever for property managers and renters keep in touch on a regular basis.

Below, we review the plusses and minuses of four tenant communication methods commonly used by property managers and their staff.  Could you communicate better with your own tenants?multichanneloptions.png

1. Email
+ It’s easy to keep a log of dialogue that occurs back and forth, in case any issues come up.
- Email is such a popular tenant communication stream that important messages could get buries in the inbox.

2. Voice
+ A clear and consistent voice message is delivered to tenants each time, and can even be translated into multiple languages.
- If a call is not answered live by the tenant, this could result in a delay of notification if there’s a critical issue.

3. SMS Text Messaging
+ Studies show that 90% of text messages are read within minutes of delivery, ensuring tenants get the message as fast as possible.
- Not all of your tenants may have mobile phones or service plans that allow for unlimited SMS text messaging.

4. Snail Mail
+ This could be preferred for formal documentation such as leases or rent payment, or if tenants do not have mobile phones or internet access.
- Sending mail consumes paper, ink and postage that could otherwise be avoided through other methods of tenant communication. Plus, going paperless could possibly attract more considerate tenants.

Remember:  Regardless of which tenant communication method you prefer, everyone has a different communication preference.  A multi-channel approach with the help of Alert Solutions is the best way to accommodate all of your tenants and communicate effectively.

Downloaded our Property Management brochure to learn more today.

Ready To Go Digital? Click here to learn more.

Topics: multi-channel messaging, property management, tenant communication, tenant notifications

How Property Managers Can Meet Expectations of Generation Z Tenants

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 @ 10:11 AM

The next demographic age bracket following Millennials/Generation Y is being referred to as Generation Z.  Now nearing their early twenties, they’re becoming a strong focus for residential property managers who want to be appealing and competitive.

With rising expectations, property managers may need to update their business practices.  We’ve outlined a couple things to think about:GenZ.png

Online Presence is Important – Generation Z is agreeably more consumed by the internet, social media, and their mobile devices than the age groups before them. As such, property managers need to maintain social media accounts, mobile-friendly websites and sharp marketing to catch eyes and stay relevant.  You may even want to consider a mobile application and online rent payment capability.

Tenant Responsiveness is Key Younger renters are said to have an “I want it, and I want it now” mentality.  They expect quick turn-around on maintenance requests and prompt responses to questions and concerns.  This has to be instilled in your property management staff, too.  Property managers are also keeping up with two-way, multi-channel communication to accommodate these expectations.

Bonus Tip!  Keep your property management operations as transparent as possible.  Hidden fees or misleading policies could break the trust of your Generation Z tenants, as well as anyone else.  This makes it harder to retain tenants past their lease terms and maintain a good reputation.

Property management organizations are relying on Alert Solutions to deliver timely and personalized tenant communication.  Click here to learn more about how we can help you.

Ready To Go Digital? Click here to learn more.

Topics: multi-channel messaging, property management, tenant communication, tenant notifications

Consistent Tenant Communication - Are You Sending Mixed Messages?

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 13:08 PM

Tenant communication is very important for property managers.  When handled effectively, it improves satisfaction, retention and ultimately the bottom line. 

One of the most important aspects of effective tenant communication is diversification – reaching tenants through as many methods as possible.  But despite the benefits, property managers can risk a communication breakdown with multiple dialogues going on. 

We’ve put together a few questions for property managers to evaluate, as well as some best practices to avoid mixing-up messages:

Are All Messages Consistent?

  • Keep in mind: Although tenants have different communication styles and preferences, your message should be clear and consistent regardless of the way it’s sent. This avoids confusion and misinformation.  propmanagement.jpg

Do You Match Message Content to Channel?

  • If ‘no’: Consider separating informational notices from critical ones and communicate them in different formats. For example, SMS text messaging is better for urgent matters because the message is more likely to be read within minutes.  Newsletters and general memos are better suited for email, when tenants can catch-up at their own convenience.

Do You Keep Records of All Dialogue?

  • Why it’s important: Maintaining a record of all tenant communication helps protect both parties and establishes accountability. This includes written or photographic documents with date and time stamps.  Consider the use of a multi-channel notification system to help keep track of all communication - including when the message was received.

Looking for more tenant communication tips and tricks?  Download the Alert Solutions Tenant Communication Best Practice Guide.

Topics: multi-channel messaging, property management, tenant communication, tenant notifications

3 Tips to Make Tenant Communication More Effective

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 @ 10:07 AM

Effective tenant communication brings a lot of benefits to a property management operation. Top benefits include:

But what does effective tenant communication mean?  It’s simply the process of relaying information to get a point across.

Here are 3 tips property managers can use to have effective tenant communication: respropmgmt.png

1. Listen Actively and Follow Through Quickly. Chances are tenants only reach out with concerns, complaints or maintenance issues.  Anticipating these issues and resolving them in a timely manner makes the tenant feel like their voice is heard and understood.  If feedback is received, use it to the best advantage.

2. Manage Tenant Expectations.  Keeping expectations in check (for both tenants and property managers) can reduce a lot of misunderstanding and frustration.  One way property managers start this is by sending a standardized lease agreement that explains all lease details.

3. Identify Different Tenant Communication Preferences.  Not all tenants will have the same communication style or preference.  Be flexible and offer multiple tenant communication methods, such as email, voice broadcasting or SMS text messaging.  These options can make property management operations seem less commanding and more cooperative.

Alert Solutions has many other resources to help property managers communicate with their tenants more effectively.  Check out this blog post and download our Guide to Effective Tenant Communication.

Download Now!

Topics: property management, tenant communication, tenant notifications

Summer Tenant Safety Tips for Residential Property Managers

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, Jul 07, 2016 @ 10:07 AM

Summer is officially here!  You know what that means – there are some important safety considerations for residential property managers.

Whether it’s having a BBQ, lighting off fireworks, or relaxing by the pool, residential property managers need to instill safety and security to their tenants and staff.  Here are some tips:communitypool.png

For Residential Property Managers with Community Pools:
Of course, pools should be secured, chemically treated and tested according to local regulations and codes.  Children should never be left unsupervised around a pool and lifeguards should be staffed to keep a close eye on everything.

For Residential Property Managers that Allow Grilling:
Your tenants may have their own outdoor grills or share a communal one.  Regardless, educating tenants on safe grilling tips could cut down on mishaps.  For starters, grills should be cleaned regularly so there’s less chance of a grease fire.

For Residential Property Managers Whose Local Laws Permit Fireworks:
Even if they’re allowed in your city, county, or state, many residential property management companies forbid firework use on apartment complex grounds.  If so, make sure your tenants and staff are aware of these rules.  For the safety of everyone, property managers should report unsafe firework use to local authorities.

If none of the above apply to your specific residential property, there are still general tenant safety tips all residents should be aware of: keeping doors and windows locked, staying vigilant for suspicious activity, and so on.

Most importantly!  Make sure all of your summer tenant safety tips are effectively communicated using tenant-preferred contact methods.

Alert Solutions makes it easy for residential property managers to have an effective tenant communication strategy using the most widely used channels: email, voice and SMS text. 

Ready To Go Digital? Click here to learn more.

Topics: property management, tenant communication, tenant safety, tenant notifications

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