[Updated 8/5/2015]

As a property manager, you already know that owners depend on you to collect rent and disburse payments promptly. But, a good property management team proactively takes steps to make sure that owners earn the highest return on investment possible.

Achieving that goal is about so much more than just funneling a monthly check toward the owners via an owner portal. Capturing the highest rent potential starts long before a resident signs the lease.

Here are a few things to consider to help you determine if you’re really giving your owners everything they deserve and expect.

Are you attracting residents?

With an attractive online presence and a strong marketing plan, your property should always be filtering resident inquiries.

  • Does your website give potential renters enough information to entice them to want to know more?
  • How quickly does your team respond to an inquiry?
  • Can a prospect schedule a tour to view an apartment online?

If your property management website isn’t attracting potential residents, it may be time to update your information, add better photos, or consult with a professional content writer to get your Web presence in tip-top shape. Marketing strategies should work like a magnet — attracting viewers and holding their attention.

Are your rates competitive?

Do you really know your competition? Knowing the market in your area is imperative to delivering maximum rental income for owners. If you’re using property management software, you likely have access to real-time rental comparison tools. You don’t have to invest hours researching rent yourself, but you must tour nearby properties often enough to know when your competition adds new amenities or updates their property rate tiers.

Are you screening residents effectively?

Keeping your occupancy rates high is one way to serve your owners. But, having a full complex shouldn’t come at the expense of finding the right residents for your property. Warm bodies don’t pay the rent, so to speak.

If you have an unusually high percentage of residents that pay late or ask for extensions, take a look at your screening tools and approval criteria. Your goal should always be to attract the highest-quality resident — even if it means turning down a few applicants along the way.

Are you managing third-party relationships?

Maximizing revenue streams means managing expenses. A property manager who knows how to control expenses is a property manager that serves residents, owners and the management company wisely. Choosing contractors and hiring dependable on-site employees is as important as personally selecting highly-qualified residents. Contractors who aren’t reliable – or who don’t bill promptly — directly impact profits. Residents are less likely to renew their lease if they frequently have to wait “too long” for repairs and maintenance.

Leverage your property management software to help you vet contractors. Your annual bidding process should be an exercise that leads to partnering with exceptional vendors.

Are you making it easy for residents to pay rent on time?

Online resident portals allow residents to conveniently pay rent 24/7. But, if you only accept electronic checks, you might be slowing down the process. Could your company expand the type of online payments accepted? Naturally, you’ll want to explore fees associated with ACH deposits, third-party clearing houses or credit cards, but the fees may offset the delay.

Limited office hours are another reason residents cite for making late payments. If you’re not using an online portal, this might be a great time to explore that option.

A good property manager knows that maximizing profits should be an everyday goal, and not just something you focus on from the first to the tenth.

Additional Resources

5 Benefits of Managing Rent Collection Online

Tips for Successful Rent Recovery (Webinar Recap)