You've got to love technology

You've got to love technology
Date Published: January 10, 2014

After two years of trial and error my real estate office is finally paperless. It's been one of my New Year's resolutions for the last 10 years. Instead of loading our year end business into file boxes we just had to make sure that we were securely backed up in the cloud.
My goal for 2014 is to have my property management business paperless as well.
The greatest resistance has been with my accountant. It seemed that every property management program that I looked at wasn't compatible with her QuickBooks.
My intentions must’ve been very powerful because a wonderful all inclusive property management program fell into my lap.
The online property management program is called AppFolio.
The online demonstration made purchasing the program irresistible. The only hesitation I had was getting my accountant to sign on.
After including her in a second online demonstration we bought it.
Our training program starts Friday.
If all goes as planned I will be running my property management business from my iPhone or my iPad.
The way that my property management business is set up now, tenants mail checks, drop checks off and they sometimes leave cash.
My assistant logs in the rental payments as she receives them. She then prepares the payments for a bank deposit. She handles late fees and maintenance issues. She writes ads for vacancies and posts them on various sites including craigslist.
I generally show the properties, take deposits and applications and complete the leases.
If everything goes as planned the vacancies will be advertised on hundreds of sites with a single click.
Potential tenants will be able to complete an application online. Within 60 seconds from completion the applicant will be screened for credit, eviction and criminal history.
If the applicant is accepted the lease will be generated from the same program.
Rental payments, whether they be check or cash, can be made online or at a local 7-11.
The rent payments will be posted to the appropriate accounts via a barcode.
The program includes a private tenant portal. Each tenant has the ability to enter an online maintenance request.
The maintenance request will go directly to whoever is designated. My contractor will act as a triage. He can decide to make the repairs himself or delegate the repairs to another appropriate contractor.
My contractor will have his own portal as well. All of his charges to property management and payments to him will be made through the same program. Amazing!
I can click on the App at any time and get a “real time” snap shot of all the properties including account balances, vacancies, income, expenses as well as over -all property performance.
This time next year I hope to be telling you that my personal business life will be paperless.
You gotta love technology!
Sue Thompson is the owner of HomeTown Realtors in Auburn. She can be reached at seesue@mac.com, or at www.homedollarsandsense.com.