Nowadays, to be profitable in real estate it is not only critical to run your company through a streamlined system and process but to also layout quality virtual professionals that support your property managers and owners for easy hiring and implementation.
Establishing an efficient and productive method for collecting rent enables property management businesses to:
By consistently leveraging the attributes of a streamlined system and process, it essentially becomes easier to monitor monthly tenant transactions and operate at maximum efficiency.
Essential day-to-day activities that benefit from a virtual rent coordinator support include:
Before diving into why you need a VA for rent collection, here’s a brief look into what factors come into play for property owners or managers when choosing a method for collecting payments.
It’s important to mention that not every rent collection method is welcomed by all property owners and managers.
WHAT ARE THE FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A RENT COLLECTION METHOD?
Here are key factors you need to keep in mind as you seek your ideal solution.
NUMBER OF TENANTS/RENTAL UNITS
If you own or manage more than 10 rentals, you probably do not want to personally knock or ring each door to collect rent at the beginning of every month. You’ll want a more streamlined and efficient process to make sure no payments are overlooked.
DISTANCE TO INTERACT WITH YOUR TENANTS
Living a number of miles away from your rental properties (and tenants) may be a hassle to collect payments, even if it’s just for one door. You’ll want to opt for hiring a third party like a property manager or doing an electronic funds transfer.
DESIRE TO INTERACT WITH YOUR TENANTS
The number of rental units may not be a deciding factor when it comes to personally engaging with your tenants. You may want a more hands-off approach and so applying an electronic funds transfer or mail may be the option that meets your needs.
HOW COMFORTABLE YOU ARE WITH TECHNOLOGY
Technology may not be your strong suit, but that doesn’t mean you need to resort to outdated analog solutions such as going door to door for rent collection or getting a check in the mail. An easy fix is to outsource this task to someone with the knowledge and tools who can take over this aspect of the business for you.
Everyone’s needs are different BUT what if there’s a strategy that fits all needs and is accepted regardless of the situation?
Each method of rent collection can easily be solved through the implementation of a virtual rent coordinator.
Property Managers spend an enormous amount of time collecting rent. It’s what’s known as “the money dance”, where you have to hound your property manager clients every day, week, and month until they pay on time!
WHY DO YOU NEED A VA FOR RENT COLLECTION?
Just like any business, you need to make sure your finances are in order and that you receive your money on time and in full. Virtual assistants can help you with this by managing your rent collection process and ensuring that all payments go through successfully each month.
That way, your only obligation is sending out invoices and collecting online payments. You don’t have to worry about the rest of the process – instead, you can focus on making sure your tenants pay on time and as agreed.
HOW CAN A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT HELP YOU STREAMLINE YOUR RENT COLLECTION PROCESS?
Here are some of the ways a virtual assistant can help with rent collections:
1. Processing rental payments
A virtual assistant can organize and facilitate rental payments for you so that you receive them on time. They can also ensure that all deposits go towards the right accounts and that any other payment methods are organized properly too. This will save you countless hours every month as well as allow you to get paid faster.
2. Making calls to collect overdue accounts
Rental property owners will often want to call tenants personally or go see them in person. If this is something that you do, it’s better to let your VA handle this task for you. You can let your VA do this job by creating a list of people they have to call and the time they should do so. Your VA should also be able to schedule appointments when needed or set up meetings with tenants during their free time.
3. Sending rent payment reminder texts and emails
If you have tenants who need reminders of their rent due dates, it’s best if they get these reminders through text messages or emails rather than phone calls, which might not always be convenient for them. Your VA can send out these reminders if needed, and you can even include the amount that is due.
4. Delegate payment processing
Your first step is to outsource payment processing to a credit card processor, such as PayStand or Stripe. By doing so, you’ll save yourself time and hassle each month because these platforms will take care of all of the necessary behind-the-scenes work for you.
5. Delegate accounting tasks
If you’re using an online accounting system like QuickBooks Online (QBO), hire a virtual bookkeeper/accountant who has experience with QBO or another cloud-based platform so that they can help you with bookkeeping tasks as well as tax preparation.
6. Sending Invoices
The first task a virtual assistant rent coordinator can help you with is sending out invoices to your clients. If you have extensive experience in this area, then this process may not take too much of your time. However, if you’re new to invoicing or simply don’t have the time to do it yourself, then having a VA handle this task could be extremely beneficial for your business.
7. Screen Potential Tenants
Your rent coordinator virtual assistant can screen potential tenants and provide you with information about their credit history, previous landlords, and other useful details that will help you determine if they will be a good fit for your property.
8. Prepare Rent Receipts
Your VA can prepare rent receipts for tenants who pay in cash or by check instead of via credit cards or online payment services such as PayPal or Zelle.
9. Collecting from tenants who move out early
Dealing with tenants who skip out of their lease early is one of the most difficult tasks that landlords face. It is also one of the most important because it can be costly if you do not enforce your lease agreement. You may want to hand this task over to your VA for rent collection so that they can take care of it for you.
- Prepare Financial Reports
Virtual assistants are able to export well-structured reports to clearly illustrate how profitable your business is by tracking important records and figures.
By keeping an eye on your rent numbers you will be able to identify financial challenges early on and address them before they turn into pitfalls.
It also helps you identify areas of profit expansion—areas you might not have noticed without clear financial reports you can interpret easily.
A virtual Rent Coordinator can record transactions, send invoices, manage accounts, and prepare financial statements
When you think about how much time and money is potentially at stake, it simply makes sense to outsource these jobs to a Virtual Assistant. A VA rent coordinator understands the process of renting and can follow your specific processes to ensure that your tenants pay their rent on time.
For tips on how to best cut expenses and make your business run more smoothly, check out this roundup of HOW VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS CAN IMPROVE YOUR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICES | PART 1
TIPS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS AND MANAGERS LOOKING TO HIRE THEIR FIRST VA
Now that you have a system in place, you can let your VA handle the credit card payments so that you won’t have to. If you handle your accounting well and delegate key tasks to people that you trust, it is possible for home-based businesses like yours to perform as well as their brick-and-mortar counterparts—maybe even better.
As a property manager, you need to hire someone who understands the unique challenge and requirements of property management work but most importantly pick those who will culturally fit well into your business.
If you’re just getting started and don’t have much experience with hiring virtual assistants, it can be hard to know which candidates to choose. Once you find someone who has the skills you need for a virtual rent coordinator:
You should then begin to evaluate the personality traits and determine what works well for your business. Evaluate your VA’s personality in these ways:
- Does he/she communicate well?
- Does he/she follow through on things?
- Does he/she respect your time?
- Is he/she a team player?
- Does he/she do good work?
- Can you trust him/her?
HOW TO FIND VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS?
For most people, finding a virtual assistant (VA) is something that happens by word of mouth or referral. After all, it’s not like you can put “virtual assistant” on your résumé.
But if you’re willing to do a little legwork, there are some places where you can find virtual assistants, even if they prefer not to have their contact information made public. Here are four of the best ways to find a VA:
WHO SHOULD YOU TRUST?
The best way to find a good assistant is through a peer review from someone you trust and who has used that person’s services successfully.
Rocket Station is a leading business process outsourcing provider for innovative companies. We hire and train top virtual teams to help our clients launch an efficient, scalable & profitable business with an ultimate focus and goal to deliver a world-class customer experience’
With over 300 client reviews on Google, virtual referrals are on hand to satisfy any wandering mind. However, by scheduling a free discovery call you are in direct contact with experts in the field that address concerns while depicting how overall success would look like with the right company at your fingertips.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR VIRTUAL RENT COORDINATOR ASSISTANT FOR SUCCESS?
The first step is to document the process. Get a template in place. Make sure that you’re documenting absolutely everything.
A virtual rent coordinator can do things more quickly, accurately, and inexpensively than you are able to do them yourself. However, the only way that he or she can do this is if you provide them with all of the information they need in order to do their job correctly. That’s why it’s so important to have a complete set of documentation and step-by-step guides in place.
So document, document, and document!
Step 2 – This leads us to impose standard operating procedures (SOPs). The more detailed your instructions are, the better off your VA will be and the less time it will take for them to get up and running.
If you skip over a step or don’t have an SOP in place, how will your virtual rent coordinator know what else needs to be done?
You want to develop very detailed procedures that outline everything that’s going to be asked of your virtual assistant. For example, let’s say you want your virtual assistant to get your invoices out on time and collect rent from everyone who owes you money by sending out an email every Friday evening with instructions on what needs to be done.
The biggest mistake property owners and managers make when outsourcing is not training the person they are hiring enough before they start giving them assignments.
69% of executives aim to reduce costs and enhance productivity by improving their business processes. The use of procedures enables your virtual assistant to work without the need for you to be present. This can be very beneficial to you because it frees up your time to work on more important tasks and responsibilities.
Here’s an additional 5 THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN HIRING YOUR FIRST VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS. It goes further in-depth and is worth the knowledge when new to the virtual world.
Start streamlining your property management business and download your free copy of the Rent Collections Playbook