Provided by AppFolio
Owning or managing multifamily property in the Los Angeles Area has not been easy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the strictest lockdown measures have taken place in the City and County of Los Angeles, and throughout California. California now has the third highest unemployment rate nationally, greatly impacting residents’ ability to pay rent. In addition, new regulations will create additional challenges for rental property owners and managers to contend with.
Due to the tough multifamily market in the Greater Los Angeles Area, rental property owners and managers have no choice but to seek creative solutions to boost their net operating income or “N.O.I.,” including through more efficient maintenance workflows and utility management. This is where technology can help.
Use Online Maintenance Tracking Tools to Ensure Maintenance Requests Are Logged and Follow-Up is Well-Documented
After nearly three years of deliberation, the Los Angeles City’s Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance is under consideration by the Los Angeles City Council and some believe that it is expected to pass in the very near term. The proposed ordinance defines illegal harassment activities, such as “failing to perform and timely complete necessary repairs and maintenance required by State, County, or local housing, health, or safety laws,” and toughens civil and criminal penalties for property owners who violate the ordinance. Owners may be subjected to penalties of as much as $15,000 for infractions.
Since a delayed response to a maintenance request can have severe consequences and possibly result in claims of tenant harassment, it is more important than ever to have streamlined, reliable, and well-documented communications with residents. Maintenance requests of all kinds must be addressed right away, and modern property management software offers solutions to track your residents’ requests and provide timely follow up. Make sure to select a system that supports all mobile devices and allows for photos to be uploaded directly from a smartphone. This streamlined approach to property management and communications with residents reduces friction and lag — elements which can have costly consequences and result in accusations of tenant harassment.
Recover Ever-Rising Utility Costs
Utilities are expensive and subject to unforeseen and highly variable rate increases, but many property managers are not passing these costs onto their residents. Through utility management, recovering utility costs can be simple and painless.
For example, the Utility Management feature within AppFolio Property Manager automates utility billing by processing the property’s utility bills and streamlining payment. Next, the utility costs are allocated to the different residents, either via submeters or a Ratio Utility Billing System, so that they can pay for their share of utilities through their resident portal. Automated data collection and analytics uncover usage spikes, monthly variances, allowing property managers to catch and fix issues faster and spend less time doing manual analysis. By charging residents based on utility consumption or with Ratio Utility Billing Systems or “RUBS,” residents have an incentive to reduce their utility usage.
While it has been a difficult year for Los Angeles Area real estate professionals, recent data should bring hope to the Area’s property owners and managers:
While Los Angeles’ economy is amongst the last to “come back,” it is coming back slowly. According to Marcus & Millichap’s 2021, First Quarter Los Angeles Multifamily Market Report, the Los Angeles metro area has experienced a 2.6% growth in employment since last year. As employment rebounds, so should rent collections. Now is the time to invest in modern property management technology to future-proof your business.
Founded in 2006, AppFolio is a company that offers powerful cloud‑based property management software that property managers use to get their work done from anywhere, maintaining business continuity and keeping connected to their teams and customers. AppFolio is a different kind of property management software, and the company is laser-focused on its customers and their success. AppFolio works tirelessly to develop intuitive technology that really works. Explore why AppFolio is the last property management software you’ll ever need. For more information, go to: https://www.appfolio.com/.