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Does Your Multifamily Building Need a Community Message Board?

Maybe you’ve heard other property managers talk about them, maybe you use one yourself, or maybe this is your first time hearing about them. Community message boards: the most underrated, rewarding feature a property manager could offer.

But what exactly is a community message board, what are the benefits, and should you be taking advantage of one at your properties? Read on to find out!

What Is It and What Are the Benefits? 

Think of a community message board as your building’s own exclusive social media platform, where residents and management can interact online. The key differentiator between a traditional platform like Twitter or Reddit, and a community message board like ManageGo Engage, is the exclusive community access. Ideally, your message board is only accessible by your residents through a resident portal, giving them a unique opportunity to digitally interact with their neighbors.  

But why is this so beneficial? Here are our top 4 reasons:

1. It builds community

It seems as though neighbors are increasingly less likely to share a laugh with each other in lobbies and hallways, but all hope is not lost! If they’re good for one thing, digital forums are fantastic mediums to build a community. Just a simple app gives residents a low-stakes, enjoyable way to interact with their neighbors.

You may not care whether or not your neighbors are friendly amongst themselves – but we challenge you to consider the importance of a well-cultivated community. For renters in 2024, a sense of community is amongst the top value-drivers of a multifamily rental unit. In a nutshell, investing in ways to build community, like a digital message board, will set yourself apart from other properties – increasing prospective renters and helping to retain current ones.

2. It encourages resident engagement

An engaged resident is a resident that’s connected to your property – all the better for their chances of becoming (or staying) a long-term renter with you! On a digital community message board, residents can buy, sell, & trade, find nearby babysitters, dog walkers, & house cleaners, and even promote personal events & gatherings. The possibilities of engagement are endless, and it’s advantageous that you cash in on this type of connection.

3. It’s an effective means of communication

A community message board is a stellar place for both resident-resident communication and resident-staff communication. Forget the olden days of paper flyers in elevators and level up by using this tool for digital announcements. Whether you’re promoting an upcoming event, reminding residents of building rules, or notifying them of changes to office hours or common areas, a message board is your most effective way to keep residents in the loop about what’s happening in their community.

Should You Use One?

The benefits are crystal clear, but you may still be questioning whether it’s necessary for your own multifamily property. If that’s you, consider these three indicators:

The Size of Your Property

Does your property host tens of residents, or hundreds? It matters when looking at whether or not community message boards will be a success at your buildings. If you manage a humble 10-unit building without a robust amenity & event lineup, it may not be a worthwhile investment. If, however, you manage a huge property with hundreds of units with lots of property happenings, a community message board makes a bit more sense. With a larger property, you’ll have more to talk about with residents, and more residents to engage with the platform. 

The Demographic of Your Residents

Any type of communication software is going to be best embraced by digital natives, and may not be so successful with older generations. You might have hundreds of units, but if you’re building a senior living community, this tool is probably not for you. If, however, your renter base consists largely of students, Gen Z, or Millennials, your chances of success when implementing this technology skyrocket. Luckily, nearly half of all U.S. renters are under the age of 30, so there’s a fair chance a community message board is applicable to you.

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Resident Needs

Do your residents often come to you asking questions like “where’s the lost and found?” “can I put up a promotional flyer?” or “when’s the next resident mixer?”? If so, the solution is right in front of you. Chances are, if your residents are asking questions that can be answered on a community forum accessible from the phone in their pockets, it’s a sure sign you and your renters will benefit from its implementation. 

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

Want even more? Get your fix and follow our socials for all the latest property management tips, tricks, & trends!

How to Cater to the Top 5 Resident Priorities In 2024

As renters’ needs shift, so do their priorities when apartment hunting. It can feel like a bit of a roller coaster as a property manager trying to adapt to the ever-evolving expectations of residents. But sit tight, cause we’ve taken note! Read on for the top 5 resident priorities in 2024 and expert advice on how to cater to them at your multifamily properties.

1. Price & Value for Money

For a majority of renters, the first thing they’re going to prioritize when looking for their next home will be price – and they won’t just settle for any unit that falls within their budget. While current market trends and the necessity of making a profit will place limitations on what you’re willing to charge renters, there are ways you can increase the perceived value of your property, without touching price. This could be as simple as a fresh coat of paint or upgrading small appliances like microwaves. The more you can do to refresh your units, the more valuable prospective residents will view them, and the more likely they will be to rent from you!

2. Safety & Security

Next up on residents’ must-haves is a feeling of safety and security. This one is rather self-explanatory. I mean, it’s their home after all, residents want to feel safe! While not every property can have 24/7 doormen or human security guards, there are a few enhancements you can make to make it feel safer around your buildings. Start by ensuring every walkway, stairwell, and parking area is well lit. If onsite security is out of the question, consider implementing technology such as smart security systems, smart locks, and secure guest key access and package management systems. Even just knowing these features exist around their home will add to residents’ peace of mind.  

3. Remote Work Amenities

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s 2024 Renter Preferences Survey, 45% of renters report working from home several days a week, if not every day. That’s almost half of all renters, and catering to this new development in the workforce is imperative. Properties with amenities that make working from home more enjoyable will inevitably have a competitive edge. First and foremost, this means prioritizing providing fast, reliable internet throughout your property. Take it a step further by transforming a low-use area into a co-working space for residents. Bonus: offer a complimentary coffee bar on weekday mornings in your building’s lobby. The possibilities are endless

4. Sustainability

The call for sustainability in real estate persists, and according to residents, it’s here to stay. If you haven’t already, it’s time to start implementing eco-friendly practices if you want to appeal to the modern renter. This can be achieved with simple changes like switching to energy-efficient appliances or with more complex commitments like leveraging smart technology to meet demands. However you decided to tackle the evolving issue of sustainability, make your efforts known to renters. 

5. Community

In a 2024 renter study, SatisFacts found that a sense of community was the #1 driver for perception of value among rental residents. Multifamily properties are more than just homes, they’re unique opportunities for renters to connect with their neighbors. Aside from communal amenities like co-working spaces and fitness centers, what else can be done to build community? Well, holding regular classes and events is a great start in bringing people together organically. Another one of our favorite community building tools is a digital message board

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

Want even more? Get your fix and follow our socials for all the latest property management tips, tricks, & trends!

3 Keys to Sourcing Reliable Maintenance Vendors for Your Properties

Maintenance is a make or break facet of property management…pun intended. Efficient, quality, and reliable maintenance work ensures that both your property and your residents are taken care of. But how can you know that your vendors are qualified, trustworthy professionals? If you’ve been in the industry a while, you’ll be the first to know it can be a challenge to secure the right workers for any given maintenance job. And if you’re new to the business, you’re probably wondering… “where do I even start?”

As always, we’ve got your back! Here are our three keys to sourcing reliable maintenance vendors for your properties. 

Know Where to Look

Your first instinct might be to type in the type of contractor you need into your Google search bar. But before you dive into that deep end, let us stop you there. Odds are, that general search will produce thousands of search results, and how can you know the one you pick will be a reliable, long-lasting vendor that’s fit for the job?

Our first piece of advice in finding maintenance workers is to lean on a trusted network of property management professionals. Word of mouth is almost always going to be a good bet, though you’ll definitely be working with quality over quantity. Further, you could seek out maintenance-specific job boards; though these aren’t often multifamily property focused.

A recent development to certain property management software includes job boards built-into maintenance platforms. This is by far the simplest, most reliable source for maintenance vendors in property management. For example, ManageGo’s brand new feature, Worksource, allows users to request quotes from local contractors straight from their maintenance tickets. In one place, your team can request job-specific workers that are trusted by property professionals. How much easier could it get?

Don’t Overlook Specialists

It might be tempting to hire one company to cover all maintenance needs, but property maintenance is a huge umbrella covering many areas of expertise. From pest control to roofing to electrical and plumbing, expecting one professional or company to excel in every one of these areas is unrealistic at best. When searching for contractors, make it a priority to search for specialists. In ManageGo’s Worksource, easily filter vendors by specialty, to guarantee your vendors reflect your needs.

Be a Great Employer

Just as you’re eager to hire great vendors, vendors are eager to work for great employers. Once you’ve managed to secure reliable contractors, the next important step is to keep them coming back to work for you. The best way to do that? Be a great employer! You (hopefully) know how to retain your onsite staff, but retaining contractors requires a different approach. Check out our three tips enhancing your vendor relationships to start off on the right foot with your new hires.

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

Want even more? Get your fix and follow our socials for all the latest property management tips, tricks, & trends!

How to Navigate Rental Applications to Secure the Best Residents

Thoroughly vetting applicants is a crucial part of running a successful rental property. Not only does it guarantee your renters are qualified, when done right, it has the power to help you secure the best-fitting residents for your property. 

But why is finding great fits so important? From more on-time rental payments and minimal property disruptions to lifestyle alignment, by finding ideal matches you set yourself up for increased retention, and ultimately, better ROI. 

So how can you better navigate rental applications to ensure optimal outcomes? Read on for our step-by-step guide.

1. Utilize a Digital Application Software

No renter wants to show up to your office with a folder of paper documents in hand – and you certainly don’t want to sort through them. The first step to navigating rental applications with ease is to employ a modern rental application software. With the right software, you and your applicants will have one digital place to submit, organize, and manage all required information throughout the application process. Not only is this step practical in saving you time and improving efficiency, it also gives a great first impression to renters by providing them a seamless leasing experience. 

2. Set Application Fees

Vetting applicants requires time and resources from your team, and it’s likely you’ll want to be compensated for that. Before you send instructions to apply, be sure to set the appropriate application fees for both applicants and guarantors. This should be a self-explanatory process with the right comprehensive software. 

In ManageGo, easily set these fees under Settings > Rental Applications > Application Fees.

If you’re unsure about whether to set fees or not, read our blog for insights on how to make the right decision for your business.

3. Collect & Verify The Renter’s Information

Now it’s time to get the application started! Collect all the information you’ll need to make an informed decision, including (but not limited to) contact information, employment verification, proof of income, past rental history and references, pet and vehicle details, and anything else you think you’ll need to know. This is the step where you’ll be glad to have a robust software system to make requesting and acquiring this information a breeze. Once received, do your due diligence to verify everything. 

4. Run a Credit & Background Check

Credit checks simply verify a renter’s ability to pay rent monthly, while background checks reveal criminal histories (or lack thereof). These are important in confirming your applicants won’t be disrupting your cashflow or cause legal problems at your property in the future. It’s most common for property managers to pay to run these checks through third parties. On the flip side, all-inclusive application softwares like ManageGo may offer this service free of charge for an extra-seamless experience. 

5. Talk To Rental References

When collecting the renter’s information in step 3, don’t forget to ask for rental references. References are instrumental in verifying an applicant’s rental history and confirming they’re a favorable choice for your property. These conversations are a great way to find out about those residents who have a history of late payments, property complaints, or even evictions. If a past reference can vouch for your prospective resident, they’ll likely be a good pick for you, too.

6. Interview The Renters

Once you’ve reviewed all of the information collected about your applicant, it’s time to interview them directly. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but it’s a helpful measure that can help you confirm they’ll be a good fit for your specific property and unit. Check out our 5 Vital Questions to Ask Your Rental Applicants article if you need a jumping off point for your interviews!

7. Make Your Decision

At this point, you should have all the facts and figures needed to make an informed decision about your rental applicant. If they meet all of your rental requirements on paper, go the extra step in making sure their wants and needs align with your property’s offerings. By considering both your needs and your residents’, you’ll set yourself up for long-term success and retention.

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

Want even more? Get your fix and follow our socials for all the latest property management tips, tricks, & trends!

3 Essential Tools You’re Missing Out On In Your Property Management Software

With an all-in-one software solution that covers a huge array of bases in property management daily tasks, it’s more than likely you’re not using the technology in your hands to its fullest potential. With features covering everything including accounting, payments, maintenance, leasing, and concierge services, small but powerful tools within each are bound to fall through the cracks. Lucky for you, this article will highlight three essential tools you may be missing out on in your property management software. Let’s dive in!

Streamlined Messaging Tools

Simply managing the behind-the-scenes of your property isn’t enough to create a successful multifamily rental operation. Connecting and communicating with residents is crucial to retaining renters, which is why this is our first essential tool you should be utilizing in your property management software. There are three places you should look to when streamlining your messaging with residents:

  1. The Messages Tab 

Located in the main navigation menu of ManageGo, this feature lets you effortlessly mass message residents with pre-made templates, complete with personalized fields. This tool is more obvious thanks to its front-and-center location, but what you may have missed is the ability to customize your own mass message templates! In Settings under the Message Templates tab, click “Add New” to draft any custom mass message of your choosing to save and use for later. From new resident welcome messages to holiday office hours notices, use this tool to make communicating with residents simpler. 

  1. Maintenance Tickets

Instead of just closing a maintenance ticket, try sending an email along with it to notify residents of its completion. We love that this feature kills two birds with one stone, closing work orders and communicating with residents about their completed maintenance requests at once. By selecting the option to “Close ticket & send email,” you’ll have the chance to receive valuable feedback from residents about their maintenance experience with just the click of a button. 

  1. Books Accounting Platform

What’s one message you hate having to send to residents? Let us guess…rent payment reminders? Make use of two routes to avoid sending dozens of these emails each month. First, be sure to optimize your settings in your accounting software to automatically send rent bill notifications to residents each month. Customize the method of delivery and which day of the month reminders are sent to ensure timely payments. Secondly, go back to your mass messaging settings to create mass rent payment reminders to email to residents. With these two messaging tools in your back pocket, you’ll be sure to see more on time payments.

Seamless Maintenance Sourcing

You know your way around your software’s maintenance platform, from creating maintenance tickets and assigning work orders to creating custom task checklists. But what happens when you don’t have the right vendor for a specific job? You may scramble to get word-of-mouth recommendations or take your chances on a quick Google search. 

Or, you could secure contractors straight from your maintenance tickets. Yup, you heard that right. This is our latest favorite ManageGo property management software feature, and for good reason. You don’t even have to open a new tab to request quotes from local, reliable vendors that specialize in the work you need. Simply request a quote under any maintenance ticket, view and accept quotes from vendors, and seamlessly convert accepted quotes to Jobs manageable in the maintenance platform.

Robust Custom Reporting

You may be so busy taking care of the day-to-day tasks of running a rental property that you forget to check in on the bigger picture of your business’ performance – so don’t look past the reporting tools available to you in your property management software! Running reports to track your company’s financial health may be a no-brainer, but don’t stop there. Make it a point to generate reports across your divisions to gain a comprehensive view of your business in totality. With ManageGo, build robust, customizable reports on everything from maintenance, payments, and accounting operations to our entire suite of concierge solutions. With endless ways to customize these analytics, you’ll have endless opportunities to improve and boost your performance regularly. 

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

Want even more? Get your fix and follow our socials for all the latest property management tips, tricks, & trends!

How to Handle Emotional Support and Service Animals at Your Rental Property

Navigating the hairy world of pets at your rental properties can be a bit of an undertaking. From crafting pet policies for your lease agreements to making accommodations based on local and federal laws, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to welcoming pets at your rentals.

Regardless of your own pet policies, knowing the difference between emotional support and service animals, as well as the laws you must follow to accommodate them, is crucial to responsible property management. So, let’s start by breaking down the difference between the two.

Emotional Support Vs. Service Animals

While neither emotional support animals (ESAs) nor service animals are considered pets in the eyes of the law, there are important differences to note as a property manager.

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs)

ESAs are defined by the NYC Commission on Human Rights as an animal, protected by the FHA, that provides emotional support or other assistance to their owner in order to help treat symptoms of a disability. The main differentiator between emotional support animals and service animals is that ESAs do not require training to perform their assistance. 

Service Animals

Service animals, protected by the FHA and ADA, are animals specifically and often rigorously trained to perform tasks in order to provide assistance to people with disabilities. Contrary to emotional support animals, service animals perform a medically necessary service. For this reason, the lawful accommodation of such animals are much stricter than those of ESAs.

But what exactly protects renters and their furry friends? The Fair Housing Act! Here’s what you should know…

The Fair Housing Act (FHA)

Introduced in 1968, the Fair Housing Act outlaws the discrimination of renters on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, family status, or disability. Key word for our purposes today: disability. That means that in the U.S., property owners and managers are legally required by the FHA to allow both emotional support and service animals at their rental properties, based on the definitions we learned earlier. 

It’s important to note, however, that property managers are only obligated to make reasonable accommodations. For example, if a resident is unable to provide verification from a medical provider, or if the animal causes destruction to the property, the manager is no longer required to provide accommodation. 

What This Means for Property Managers

So what exactly does this mean for property managers? First and foremost, it means that you can’t turn ESAs or service animals away if all requirements are met – regardless of your pet policies (because remember, these animals aren’t pets). In the same vein, while you may charge fees to allow renters’ pets, you cannot charge pet fees for ESAs or service animals at your property. 

It’s also crucial to study up on what you’re legally allowed to ask residents who request accommodations for their ESAs and service animals to avoid noncompliance with the ADA. While property managers in NYC can’t ask owners for specific documentation, they do have the right to request verification from the renter’s service provider that they have a disability, and that the animal in question helps aid said disability. There are plenty of questions that are illegal to ask residents, so research the laws in the area of your property to avoid trouble down the line. 

Finally, be sure to save and organize all documents related to the accommodation of these animals at your rental property. From verification letters to amendments to leases, be sure you have a reliable place to store this information

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

Want even more? Get your fix and follow our socials for all the latest property management tips, tricks, & trends!

5 Winter Maintenance Tasks Not To Miss At Your Multifamily Property

Winter has officially settled in across the U.S., bringing with it colder temperatures, promises of winter wonderlands, and potentially hazardous conditions for multifamily properties. 

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac’s 2024 winter predictions, large parts of the country can expect freezing temperatures and above average snowfall. With this in mind, it’s time to prioritize winter maintenance before it’s too late and you’re stuck paying the price later. Here are our top 5 winter maintenance tasks not to miss at your multifamily property!

Inspect the Roof & Clear the Gutters

Now’s the time to check your roof for minor damage to avoid major damage later. Have your roofing inspected by professionals for cracks, loose shingles, and areas prone to water pooling. These small imperfections may be tempting to leave to deal with at a later date, but the expansion of freezing water in these areas is going to cause a much larger headache down the line. 

While you’re up there, take this time to clear the gutters of any leftover debris from fall. From fallen leaves to mud and gunk, any remains can cause water build up, resulting in damage to the gutters themselves, and eventually the roof.

Winterize Your Pipes

With temperatures quickly dropping it’s important to safeguard interior and exterior piping at your property. Drain and detach any outdoor hoses, hookups, and faucets to avoid damage from frozen water. Inside, avoid ruptures by installing insulation to pipes that have the potential of being exposed to the cold.

Service Your HVAC

Whether it’s extreme hot or, in this case, extreme cold, the last thing you want is your HVAC to be working harder than it needs to during a change in weather. With the forecast predicting below-average temperatures, it’ll be more important than ever to have your HVAC systems serviced to ensure they’ll keep residents warm all winter long. Not only does this help avoid failure of the machines from overworking, but regular servicing helps maintain longevity.

Trim Trees & Large Bushes

If you live in an area where snow and ice are the norm, don’t skimp on winter landscaping. Have the trees and large shrubs on your property trimmed wherever necessary by industry professionals. Heavy snow and ice on overgrown plants near buildings and walkways can cause property damage and injury to people. Don’t risk it!

Plan for Snow Removal

On the note of snow, be sure to plan ahead of time for its removal on your property. Do your research now  to secure a trusted vendor. This will save you the high costs of last-minute bookings and give you peace of mind that this pesky task is already taken care of. Don’t know any reliable snow removal companies around you? Make use of ManageGo’s newest maintenance feature, Worksource: a powerful new tool connecting property managers with qualified maintenance professionals.

Winter comes every year, and it’s rarely full of surprises. Now that you have a starting point with 5 common winter maintenance tasks, let’s implement them! Use a modern property management software to schedule recurring maintenance tasks ahead of time and stay on-top of seasonal jobs. Plus, keep track of your winter maintenance to-do with our downloadable checklist!

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

Want even more? Get your fix and follow our socials for all the latest property management tips, tricks, & trends!

Year-End Financial Strategies for Property Owners: Navigating Tax Season with Ease

As the year comes to an end, it’s time to review your financial performance and prepare for the upcoming tax season. 

Whether you are a homeowner, a real estate investor, or a property manager, you must have a clear and effective financial plan to optimize your income, expenses, and taxes.

In this post, we’ll share some of the best year-end financial strategies for property owners or managers and how you can easily use them to navigate the complex tax season. 

#1 Focus on your year-end review

The first step to achieving your financial goals is to evaluate your current financial situation. A year-end review involves analyzing your property’s performance and profitability over the past year and setting goals and plans for the next year.

Here are some of the key aspects you should review:

Review the financial statements and reports

Understand your income, expenses, cash flow, occupancy rate, rent collection, and resident turnover. Then, compare the actual numbers with the budgeted or projected ones and analyze the variances.

Review residents’ feedback and satisfaction

You should review your residents’ online reviews, ratings, surveys, and complaints. Assess the quality of the renter’s service and communication and the responsiveness and effectiveness of the maintenance and repair requests.

Identifying the areas of improvement and the best practices for resident retention and satisfaction will strengthen your financial position next year.

Review the condition and current value of each property

Look at the building’s age, functionality, appearance, marketability, and amenities to assess each property’s current value. Savvy property owners check that value with the estimated value after depreciation to assets if their depreciation model is adequate.

Graphic of home value

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Identify spending patterns

Review your budget and spending habits. Identify any areas where you are spending more or less than you should. 

For example, you may be paying too much for utilities, insurance, or taxes or missing out on tax deductions, depreciation, or capital improvements.

#2 Leverage tax deductions

One of the most important benefits of owning a property is the ability to leverage tax deductions, reducing the amount of tax you owe. 

Besides things like charitable distributions, there are many types of tax deductions that property owners can claim, such as:

Rental expenses

You can deduct expenses such as mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, repairs, maintenance, utilities, advertising, management fees, and travel expenses. However, you can only deduct the portion of the expenses allocated to the rental use of the property, not personal use.

Qualified business income deduction for property owners

You may be eligible for a 20% deduction on your qualified business income (QBI) from your rental property if you meet certain criteria and conditions. QBI is ‌net income from a qualified trade or business, which includes most rental activities.

Real estate income

If you meet certain criteria and conditions, you can deduct the income that you earn from selling or exchanging your property. 

For example, you can exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples filing jointly) of the capital gain from selling your main home if you have lived in it for at least two of the last five years.

Tax-loss harvesting is another way to reduce your real estate income tax burden.

This process involves selling one or more properties at a loss to offset the short-term capital gains tax from selling another property for a profit.

Infographic showing tax-loss harvesting as a year-end financial strategy to help reduce tax

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The logic is that short-term capital gains are usually taxed at a higher rate than long-term gains, therefore improving your tax situation.

Leveraging the 1031 exchange as a property owner

A 1031 exchange is a tax strategy that allows you to defer the capital gain from the sale of your investment property if you reinvest it in another property of equal or greater value within 180 days. This strategy helps you avoid paying taxes on the gain and use it to grow your portfolio and wealth.

#3 Protect your assets

There are many factors that could affect your property’s value, income, or ownership, such as lawsuits, creditors, or natural disasters. 

Here are two ways to protect your assets from these potential risks and threats:

Reviewing your insurance plans

As part of an investment strategy, you should review your insurance policy and make sure that it covers your property from the risks you face, such as: 

  • Natural disasters
  • Theft
  • Fire

You should also check your policy’s limits, deductibles, and exclusions and see if you need to update or adjust them based on your budgetary constraints and risk tolerance.

Consider a real estate asset protection plan

Beyond the immediate focus on tax implications, savvy property owners may explore the strategic implementation of a real estate asset protection plan. 

This proactive approach involves fortifying real estate holdings against unforeseen challenges like lawsuits, creditors, or other claims that could threaten your ownership or equity, ensuring optimized tax positions and a resilient financial portfolio.

#4 Diversify your investments

Any financial advisor will tell you that diversifying your investments is one of the best ways to grow your wealth and achieve your financial goals. 

Here are some ways to diversify your investments as a property owner:

  • Invest in different properties, such as residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural, with different characteristics, markets, and demands.
  • Invest in different locations, such as local, national, or international, that have different economic, political, and environmental factors.
  • Invest in different strategies, such as buy and hold, fix and flip, or wholesale, with different objectives, timelines, and risks.
  • Invest in different vehicles with different structures, costs, and benefits, such as REITs, ETFs, or crowdfunding.
  • Invest in different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, or commodities, with different correlations, volatility, and returns.

For example, a property owner or manager in the travel and hospitality industry can buy used RVs as part of a diversified financial plan.

Buying used RVs as an alternative investment as a year-end financial strategy to help to diversify portfolios

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While this is a different type of asset to real estate and is subject to different market conditions, it can still cater to a similar market segment, allowing managers to leverage their industry experience and know-how.

#5 Make your life easier with property management software

Managing a property can be complex and time-consuming, especially with multiple properties and renters. 

Therefore, you need a system and tool to help you manage your property efficiently and effectively. That’s where property management software tools like ManageGo can help, automating many aspects of your property management processes.

Automated accounting systems can assist in organizing financial records, categorizing expenses, and generating reports, easing the burden of tax preparation the same way a financial professional would.

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Financial advisors and financial professionals are expensive, but business process automation tools can tackle many of the same tasks at a fraction of the cost.

Choosing the right business intelligence platform isn’t always straightforward, though. For example, you may compare BI tools like Looker vs. Tableau to see which suits your needs better, yet using them in tandem may make more sense. You could, for example, use Looker to model your data and Tableau to visualize and explore that data.

Additionally, automation can facilitate timely rent collection, expense tracking, and invoicing, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in financial management.

#6 Seek help from a tax advisor

As you can see, managing your property finances and taxes at the end of the year can feel like a daunting and complicated task in the best of cases.

Navigating tax season is much easier when you have a tax advisor to back you up and do proper tax planning, given your circumstances. 

Tax professionals can also help you take advantage of tax deductions you may not be aware of, such as those for a VA home loan, home office expenses, and more.

Should you accept crypto?

Many residents today are interested in paying their rent with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or another cryptocurrency, so consider accepting crypto if your occupancy rates are down. While this comes with high volatility risk, it allows property managers to tap into a younger market.

However, if you, as a landlord or property manager, receive rental payment transactions in cryptocurrencies, you must make sure to file your cryptocurrency taxes correctly. 

In this sense, you can use a crypto tax calculator to ensure you have the correct numbers and comply with tax regulations.

Deadlines to be aware of

As a property owner or manager, you must know the deadlines and dates that affect your financial and tax obligations and opportunities. Here are some deadlines and dates that you should mark on your calendar:

DateRelated formsDescription
January 16Form 1040-ES4th Quarter 2023 estimated tax payment.
January 31W-2Form sent to employees (if you have them) for their individual income tax return.
January 311099-NEC,1099-MISC, and 1099-KThese are forms sent to your vendors or contractors (if you paid them more than $600) and to your residents (if you received more than $20,000 and 200 transactions from them).
April 1Minimum distributions.Required minimum distribution due if you turn 73 in 2023.
April 15Tax day, file Form 4868, and make IRA and HSA contributionsNormal deadline to pay your taxes or to file for an extension to file your individual income tax return. It’s also the last day to make contributions to your retirement accounts.
April 15Form 1040-ESFirst quarter 2024 estimated tax payment due.
June 17Form 1040-ESSecond quarter 2024 estimated tax payment due.
September 16Form 1040-ESThird quarter 2024 estimated tax payment due.
October 15Form 4868Deadline to file your extended 2023 tax return.

Wrap up your year-end financial strategies

As you can see, there are many year-end financial strategies that you can use to manage your property finances and taxes and achieve your financial goals. 

Performing a year-end review of your assets and financial situation, taking advantage of all the tax benefits you’re entitled to, harvesting losses, and diversifying your investment portfolio are all great ideas leading into the end of the year. 

You’ll be on the right track to a better financial future through sane investment decisions, proper asset allocation, and applying the other strategies we discussed above.

If you seek good investment advice from a financial planner, plan everything ahead of time, and keep your business organized with the right property management tools, you’ll be able to enjoy a laid-back holiday season

The best part? You won’t have to worry about the risks of a volatile market or the IRS knocking on your door.

About the Author

Ryan Robinson is a blogger, podcaster, and (recovering) side project addict that teaches 500,000 monthly readers how to start a blog and grow a profitable side business at ryrob.com.

Top 5 Ways to Harness AI to Enhance Property Management

It might just be the talk of the century: artificial intelligence. No matter your industry or interests, it’s almost inevitable you’ve heard the fears that it’s coming for our jobs, if not total world-domination. While we don’t think it’s that serious, we do think its power is undeniable. But instead of letting it induce panic attacks around sci-fi scenarios, we invite property managers to consider how it could just be your new best friend. So what exactly is artificial intelligence, and how can you leverage AI to enhance property management?

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, is a computer simulation of human intelligence used to perform various tasks. Think, for example, chatbots mimicking human responses to resolve customer service inquiries on popular e-commerce sites. This is often executed through a machine’s analysis of data and ability to recognize patterns, resulting in the power to make informed decisions that imitate human decision making. So how can this technology be used to advance property management?

5 Ways to Harness AI in Property Management

Artificial intelligence in property management is just getting started, and the use cases are only going to expand exponentially. But if you’re just warming up to this new advancement in technology, here are five easy ways to make the most of it.

Transform Customer Service

Questions can occur at any hour, so why not give residents the convenience of 24/7 customer service? Useful for both current residents and prospective renters, set up a chatbot on your website or resident portals to provide users with answers to frequent questions about your property. Not only does this AI addition reduce workload for your staff, it also provides unparalleled customer service – building a sense of trust and reliability in your community.

Streamline Marketing Initiatives

Maybe you’re familiar with using chatbots for customer service initiatives, but have you considered using them to write marketing materials? Arguably the most exciting development in the last year is ChatGPT, a chatbot employing mass amounts of data to create meaningful responses to user directions. From writing rental listings to advertising copy and marketing emails, the possibilities are vast for property managers looking to streamline marketing operations. 

Leverage Software Automation

Reduce human error by…taking the humans out of it! Now we definitely don’t mean to ditch your staff – you still need them. But certain automation tools can help both staff and residents at your property. On the resident side, utilizing modern property management software with built-in automation can help you secure rent on-time, more often. For example, ManageGo’s payment platform sends automatic rent reminders to residents, and offers automatic payments – taking forgetfulness out of the equation. On the staff side, set automatic lease renewal reminders with ManageGo’s leasing solution to increase resident retention and ultimately, NOI.

Incorporate Smart Tech in Your Buildings

IoT smart building technology can leverage AI to save money and increase efficiency around your property.  From light sensors that reduce energy consumption based on usage to temperature tracking that optimizes HVAC use, artificial intelligence can make a huge difference in a building’s efficiency and overall sustainability.  

Analyze Market Trends

Artificial intelligence exists thanks to treasure troves of data – making it the perfect tool to analyze market trends and use them to your advantage. Employing AI tools to analyze trends and make predictions in leasing, rent prices, and resident preferences can give you valuable insights that will give you an edge against competitors.

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

Want even more? Get your fix and follow our socials for all the latest property management tips, tricks, & trends!

Last-Minute Holiday Celebrations Guaranteed to Bring Cheer to Your Multifamily Property

Fa – la – la – la – wait. It’s December already? Time flies when you’re managing multifamily properties! While you were busy collecting late rent payments, scheduling annual winter maintenance, and closing out your Q4 books, the holiday season reared its head. Fortunately, we put together a list of celebrations that are guaranteed to liven up your multifamily properties, just in time for the holidays. Check out our top 6 last-minute holiday events to host at your multifamily properties!

Hot Cocoa Bar

Setting up a hot chocolate bar is a simple but effective way to bring warmth to your multifamily community! Grab the ingredients for traditional hot cocoa: hot water, hot chocolate mix, mini marshmallows, and garnishes like cinnamon sticks or candy canes. Set up a spread with the ingredients and necessary utensils in your building’s lobby or frequented community area, and let your residents enjoy! We love this one for its minimal planning, cost-effectiveness, and popularity amongst all age groups.

Ugly Sweater Contest

Don’t have the time or resources to throw a full-blown event? Don’t sweat it (it’s December after all). Host an Ugly Sweater Contest through your property’s social media accounts! Make a post on your social page, collect contestant photos, and let your staff vote for a winner. Make it worthwhile by partnering with a local small business, like the neighborhood coffee shop, to giveaway a gift card or small treat to the resident with the ugliest sweater!

Pictures with Santa

A classic for a reason, pictures with Santa is a phenomenal way to engage young families at your multifamily property. Hire a trusted Santa and set up a photo station in a large amenity space. Advertise in advance to maximize turn out and go the extra mile by setting out holiday-themed treats. 

Bonus: make it pet-friendly for extra-cute photos!

Sound Bath Yoga

Looking for a less-obvious event for your residents? Hold a sound bath yoga class in addition to your regular class line-up! A sound bath is a type of meditation that uses sound vibrations to relax attendees – a great way to de-stress during the hectic holiday season. This type of experience pairs well with yoga, which makes it a convenient way to spruce up a class you already have planned. 

Candle Making Workshop

Nothing screams holidays like the coziness of a pine-scented candle. Although a bit more intensive than other events on this list, with the sourcing of the right teacher, it can come together pretty easily! We love this event as it’s both a holiday-neutral celebration, and a great way for residents to hand-make a gift for a loved one during giving season. 

Pro-tip: stress the importance of candle safety during and after this type of workshop! You don’t want to be dealing with emergencies, like candle fires, during your winter break.

Holiday Trivia Night

Hosting a holiday trivia night is a fun way to liven up a multifamily community and get residents excited about the season. Gather a set of trivia questions (and answers!) from Google and print out blank answer sheets for your guests. Volunteer a staff member with a great hosting voice, or hire a local actor to bring life to the trivia questions. Not only is this event fun for all ages, it’s also a great way to learn about all the diverse celebrations that happen during the winter months. 

Bringing It All Together

Whichever events you choose to arrange, we recommend keeping two things in mind: 

First, simply hosting an event isn’t enough to engage residents. Consider the residents’ experience before, during, and after each event, and how that translates to meaningful engagement, and ultimately, retention. For expert tips on maximizing engagement, check out our recent podcast episode on multifamily events!

Second, convenience is king. Imagine going through all the trouble of pulling together a candle-making workshop, only for a few residents to turn up. Ask yourself: did we advertise the event thoroughly? Did we have clear instructions on how to RSVP? And did we make the process of signing-up as simple as possible? Having a comprehensive concierge solution in your back pocket will help you tick all these boxes, and ensure your events run as smoothly as possible.  

No matter your business goals, ManageGo has your back. Request a demo today to discover how our software solutions can benefit you and your unique property management needs. Or, connect directly with one of our experts and get started on your journey to better property management. Plus, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to explore the industry, get the latest company news, and be the first to know about special announcements!

Want even more? Get your fix and follow our socials for all the latest property management tips, tricks, & trends!