How to Go Paperless as a Property Manager
It is 2019 and you have the power, the tools, the critical mass of user adoption to move your project management office into the bright, green future. Usually routine and bad habits are all that hamper efforts to impact change so we are recommending 10 easy steps to make the paperless push as pain-free as possible (less painful than that alliteration anyway!):
1. Scan everything. Get into the habit of scanning all paper documentation as you get it. There are numerous scanning apps for your smartphone that make this task easy like Evernote Scannable or CamScanner. Other reliable options are Microsoft Office Lens or Scanbot available for both iPhone and Android. Alternatively, taking a picture always suffices in a pinch, ensuring a digital copy is on hand.
2. Use Digital versions of the paper products you may use regularly. Take advantage of the Notes function on your phone and/or computer or try something like GoodNotes which enables you to take handwritten notes, digitally, and annotate PDF documents on your computer or phone.
3. Use digital calendars to record all meetings, appointments and events. 2019 is the year to throw away paper notebooks and calendars!
4. Always ask for digital versions. Whenever someone wants to share a paper document, be the pesky one and ask for a digital copy. Eventually, it will become habit. Embrace the use products like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote for intra-office information, documentation sharing and multi-user collaboration.
5. Set aside one day every month for you and your team to purge paper. When considering what to toss, ask your self when was the last time you received any paper that couldn’t be scanned right away and disposed of thereafter? Modify your system accordingly so eventually this monthly purge becomes insignificant and unnecessary.
6. Find an alternative to cheque payments for rent. Not only is this a small way of eliminating paper, it is also a way to secure payments and create a digital trail. Employ software like RentMoola or avail.co or try the rent payment function built into liv.rent to request and accept payments from tenants.
Also, pay your vendors and contractors online to remain consistent with your green, paperless goals. This can be done simply using e-transfers or by using dedicated software.
7. Manage maintenance and repair issues digitally using an app like Avail.co that enables your tenants to create maintenance tickets day or night, upload photos of issues and receive a list of suggested/approved contractors to address the issue.
8. Store electronic documentation in the cloud (Dropbox, Google). This facilitates easy access and sharing of all, important documents related to property management from invoicing maintenance services to lease agreements. There is no reason these need to be paper.
9. Correspond by email or text only vs. traditional post. This is the easiest most obvious way to become more time and cost efficient.
10. Use an e-signature software like Docusign. This way leases can be signed easily and a paper copies can be avoided. Liv.rent facilitates lease signing using a proprietary, secure, encrypted signature collection function making this app even more appealing.
If you aren’t convinced, see our blog post outlining some very good reasons why you should be moving in this direction!