How Property Managers Can Cut Costs
This post is by guest contributor Sierra Bouchelle from Quinn Property Solutions, Inc.
When you’re in business for profit, it makes sense to lower the costs whenever and wherever possible. Oftentimes, a little research is all you need to successfully lower your expenses, be it for office supplies or insurance. Check out these areas in your business to see if you can reduce costs.
Do It Online
Pay your owners via ACH payments (direct deposit) versus a paper check. The cost alone for the stamp, check, and envelope/label typically outweighs the cost of an online transaction. Clearly this varies between financial institutions, so you need to do your homework. Be sure to ask about monthly fees and per transaction fees before agreeing to this form of payment. You also must consider if this method of payment is convenient for your owners, as they are ultimately the ones you want to please.
Get quotes from advertising agencies, newspapers, websites, etc. and better yet, use free online listing tools, such as Zillow. When asking the advertising representatives about their fees, ask about discounts or specials, and don’t forget to negotiate! Oftentimes near deadlines, firms may be more willing to lower the cost of your advertisement. Office supplies can also be expensive, especially if each office or employee can dictate and have authority to order or purchase what they want. Try to condense your office supply list to please everyone, but also to ensure you don’t end up with 500 boxes of paper or sticky notes. A great way to save on office supplies is by joining rewards programs that many chain stores offer, or to join a bulk shopping warehouse. Most of your favorite brands can be found at your warehouses like BJ’s Wholesale and Costco, and usually there are coupons, too.
Beyond the material things like checks, stamps, paper and pens, you pay for your staff. Ideally, you are compensating them at a rate agreeable to the both of you, as well as offering other benefits as available through your firm. The number of your staff may determine what benefits you are able to offer, such as health insurance and private office spaces. If you offer appealing benefits such as paid time off, accrued personal time, health insurance, and flex time, employees are more likely to stay with you. The best way to find out what it would take to keep your employee(s) is to ask them! One way to do this is to schedule private meetings with individuals to check on their job satisfaction. Annual reviews offer a wonderful opportunity to ask not only about job performance, but about the personal fulfillment that your staff is receiving on a daily basis in their role.
Finding and training staff has an expense all its own. Watch the cost rise if you have to repeat the process numerous times over a year. In most situations, it is more economically responsible and favorable to both you and your staff member to resolve any concerns that is making them want to find employment elsewhere. It’s not always a pay raise; sometimes it’s as simple as offering more flexible working hours, an increase in vacation or personal days, or something like moving someone’s desk or office location.
I recommend exploring your options when it comes to cutting costs. Remember to have an open mind when taking a look at which areas you can reduce spending.
Sierra is the Office Administrator for Quinn Property Solutions, Inc. in Cecil County, Maryland. QPS offers experienced rental property management in addition to buying, selling, and leasing real estate locally.