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Our Blog

Bold Property Management

  • 03/23/2015

    Is Your Property “Too Dated” for the Current Market? by Bryan Ives

    Staging a model apartment for maximum impact is about more than just throwing around a few couch cushions and dressing the dining table. Trends change frequently. Remember all the turquoise and white chevron patterned pillows a few years ago? Outdated.
    Oh, the chevron pattern is still popular. But, today you’ll get more nods with a black and white motif or by moving the pattern to the floor and drapes.
    Here are a few tips to help you get the staging right, if you’re not wowing your prospects.

  • 06/05/2014

    Why You Shouldn’t Use Excel As Accounting Software

    Why You Shouldn’t Use Excel As Accounting Software

    First, let me confess that I love Excel. Having used Excel for years, I’m fully aware of its strengths, and will continue to use it to create spreadsheets, graphs, and tables. But for some unknown reason, there is a small group of property managers that continue to extol the benefits of using Excel as their primary accounting software.
    I have to admit that this has me stumped. The accounting software of today in no way resembles the awkward software of yesterday. Today, most software products are designed with the end-user in mind, and include easy system navigation, intuitive data entry screens, and system tutorials to make it easy to learn your way around the system.
    If you’re using Excel to run your property management business, you may want to consider the following:
    Excel’s Primary Functionality is NOT Accounting – Excel’s primary function is creating spreadsheets, not processing transactions, or producing financial statements. Yes, it can be used for those things, but typically with accounting software; not in place of it. As a result, users will spend an inordinate number of hours entering Excel data manually, because it does not have the capability to share data. So anytime your tenant pays rent, you’ll be posting that payment in your checkbook, your accounts receivable journal, and your tenant record. With regular accounting software, you post it once.
    Propensity for Errors Increases – The lack of a central database and no double entry accounting system in Excel also means a lot more repetitive data entry. And each time you have to re-enter the same data, the likelihood of making an error increases dramatically. Also consider that without the safeguard of a double entry accounting system, it’s very easy to end up with out of balance accounts.
    Lack of a Reliable Audit Trail – Accounting software has become valuable to business owners because of the ability to ensure that data is accurate and secure. Excel offers no such protection; meaning that formulas can be changed, entries accidentally (or purposely) deleted, and transactions erased, all without leaving a trace of the original entry behind.
    Ease of Use – or Lack Thereof – While it’s fairly simple to create spreadsheets in Excel, making it a functioning accounting program requires another level of skill that most Excel users will never attain. Creating an invoice, printing a statement, or processing a financial statement in Excel can take up valuable time, while accounting software allows you to create those items in minutes.
    While Excel will continue to provide a valuable benefit to property managers, it can provide many more benefits and less headaches by using it for what it was designed to be.

  • 06/04/2014

    3 Ways to Help Your Residents Pay on Time

    From a behavioral vantage point, there are several effective ways to empower residents to pay their rent or lease payment on time, month after month. Here are three that work.Other than filling vacancies, there are few topics more important for Property Managers than how to make sure your residents pay their rent on time and securely.

    1. Motivate residents from the start by making the payment process simple, seamless and “unforgettable”. While you’re telling applicants they’ve been approved and need to pay the first month’s rent and security deposit, offer and teach them a system that lets them pay online.
    Or if they prefer, encourage them to have the monthly rent automatically deducted from their checking account on a predetermined date that suits them. If that doesn’t work give them the option to use cash or money orders to pay rent each month, which I’ll explain in a moment.
    This is why I encourage property managers to use a built-in, complete payment platform for accepting rent payments using all of the above. One that fits this description is the payment platform used by Bold Property Management.
    You know from your experiences during the week when rent payments are due that any system that streamlines the process will save your office time and money. Plus if you are making it easy for your residents to pay any time, any day of that week, you’re removing most excuses for late payments.
    Since the payments are automatically entered into AppFolio Property Manager, your staff avoids the time-consuming effort previously spent entering rent checks or money orders. With a complete payment platform there’s no need to enter data in multiple systems, and no tedious paperwork.
    If you use a system where application fees and rents can be paid by credit card or using an E-Check you teach residents from the get-go how to easily and safely make their payments. You might even offer a monthly email or snail mail reminder program, yet you’ll avoid that with an auto-pay system.
    Residents who pay other bills online will quickly catch on to an online tenant portal where they can pay their rent using a credit or debit card. Take the time at the beginning of the relationship to show them how to use it.
    2. Consider the needs and circumstances of all of your residents. For example, almost 1 in four U.S. households doesn’t have a credit card or even a debit card. As a result they use cash or money orders to pay rent each month.
    With a service like AppFolio’s Electronic Cash Payments you offer a solution to these residents while reducing the risky business of accepting cash or money orders in your property management office.
    Normally there are security risks for the residents who pay in cash or with a money order. They may try to mail their payment or travel to your office during business hours. Or, there are the risks associated with dropping a money order in an after-hours drop box.
    Also, by giving your residents a secure way to pay rent in cash at 7-Eleven and ACE Cash Express locations you give them another secure option. This service is completely built into our property manager software, which also avoids manual data entry and eliminates the risk of theft or late payments.
    3. Offer an incentive for your residents to select one of these payment options. For example, tell them at the end of the first 12 months they’ll receive a gift card or free movie passes.
    If you educate them on the advantages of using the E-Check system which is easy to use and free, this incentive idea will pay for itself with the saving of your time and eliminating processing costs each month.

  • 06/03/2014

    Are You Managing Your Investment or Simply Collecting Rent?

    The decision to invest in property management ventures is often seen as a way to build a cushion for the future. Whether you assume a dual-role of owner/manager, or you provide management services to property owners, successfully managing your assets ensures the property lives up to your expectations financially.
    Turning your focus toward improving the tour experience, will help you successfully manage your assets during the leasing season. Here are a few details to keep in mind while you develop a tour that promotes your property’s unique lifestyle features.

    Make it Spotless and Bright

    Fine-tune your make-ready process. Often overlooked details can detract from the beauty of your properties. Overtime, ignoring dirt and grime could become a big –  and costly – repair job.
    • Thoroughly clean all vent covers, switch plates and interior air flow grills.
    • Replace dented, rusted and poorly fitting covers – don’t just paint over them.
    • Inspect light fixtures and fittings for damage.
    • Examine cabinet interiors and built-ins for paint spray. Remove or replace peeling shelf liners.
    • Clean window panes (inside and out) to allow ample sunlight to flood the interior spaces.
    • Adjust doors; clean sliding door and window mechanisms to ensure proper closure and easy operation.
    Showing an immaculate, beautiful unit creates a stellar first impression. Create a photographic record after the make-ready to document the condition and appearance of the unit. This protects your tenant and your assets.
    Although this step is especially important during the leasing season, your property can further protect property investments by establishing a semi-annual inspection. Discuss your make-ready goals with on-site maintenance teams, landscaping contractors, cleaning staff and renovation/repair tradesmen to be sure everyone is one the same page. During the tour tell prospective tenants your encourage reporting maintenance issues promptly.

    Embrace a Proactive Management Style

    Manage each unit as though you plan to live there; this perspective ensures you consider the best interest of the property owner and the tenant. Use creativity to go above and beyond expectations during the tour. To overcome objections, think “what would I do if I wanted to live here?”
    Do you have access to movers that specialize in moving large furniture pieces you could recommend – or better yet negotiate a price for tenants?
    Are you willing to allow a tenant to use a block and tackle to hoist furniture to the balcony instead of navigating tight stairwells?

    Liven up the Landscape

    Before leasing season arrives, take a tour of open spaces and inspect landscaping with a critical eye. Yard ornaments add interesting features, but too many – or poorly maintained – pieces detract from the overall appearance.
    Discuss options with your professional landscaping team or consult a landscaping architect for recommendations to de-clutter your open-spaces. Consider planting shrubs or low-maintenance ground cover in areas that perpetually develop bare spots.

    Partner with Excellence

    Choosing the right partners is essential for proactive property management. The cheapest tool isn’t always the best. Look for partnerships that add value to your property portfolio to maximize your cushion for the future.
    Bold Property Managment offers innovative solutions to protect assets for owners and managers.

  • 05/20/2014

    Welcome to the Bold Property Management Blog!

    We offer comprehensive property management and tenant services for Reading-Berks owners and residents. Backed by cutting-edge technology, we are able to offer comprehensive and cost-effective real estate solutions. We have the lowest property management fees in the Reading-Berks real estate market, and we are able to pass these savings on to our clients.

    Contact us today if you are interested in our extensive array of property management services. We can consult with you and begin managing your property as soon as possible. Renters can peruse our listings and discover whether any of them are a match! We help tenants and property owners alike make their real estate experience easie