At Real Property Associates, we have been providing property management services to Seattle, Everett, Bellevue and all the cities and neighborhoods in between for 25 years. We’re taking a look back at how our industry once looked and all the ways that technology has changed our business and the property management industry.
Back in the Day
When we first started doing property management 25 years ago, we had one property manager and one bookkeeper. We were using a one-page lease in triplicate, and were collecting most of our rents through a drop slot in our front door. When the fax machine was introduced, that was revolutionary.
Flash forward to today, and our leases are all signed digitally. Over 80 percent of our rents are paid electronically. As a company, our management portfolio is up to over 2,000 residential units. This requires a staff of 12 property managers, 4 bookkeepers and 15 support staff who work to oversee this portfolio.
We have managed our growth and kept our owners and tenants satisfied by hiring great people and embracing constant innovation. Our property managers average over 10 years of experience in the industry. Our bookkeepers are hired as admins, then trained accordingly and promoted. Our maintenance techs are hired because they enjoy fixing things and are passionate about good customer service.
Owner Statements and Communication
As an owner in the past, you received your monthly owner statement and disbursement check in the mail. Today, all of your accounting statements and rent payments and work orders are available through your online portal. You can access real-time information 24/7. The same is true for tenants. They can use their online portals to set up rent payments and request maintenance.
Advertising and Marketing
In 1991, when your property came up for lease, we placed a sign in the yard, put an ad in the newspaper and waited for the phone to ring. Today, most of our advertising is done through an effective Internet advertising campaign. We include professional photos and video tours. We find prospective tenants who have seen the video tour are better prepared to make a decision when they arrive at a showing and are more likely to apply for the home.
Back in the early days, our move in inspection reports were handwritten and left room for dispute. Today, our move in reports include video and photo documentation and when a tenant moves out, we have the original photos to compare with the present photos. This makes for a more accurate and fair move out process.
As a company, we understand property management better than anyone else and we are always looking for ways to improve. If you are a current customer, we thank you, and if you’re looking for property management services, we hope you’ll contact us at Real Property Associates.