Rental properties and 17hats
I’ve been using 17hats for my real estate company for several years now. I mentioned this to a friend of mine, Mariette Martinez, and she told me that I should write a blog post about how I use it because it was a great idea.
Accounting and real estate is also a niche of mine. I have been working in this industry for over 20 years. Not only as the accountant, but also the landlord. I come from a very unique perspective of understanding the pain points in owning property can be. The paperwork can be daunting. I am a firm believer in automating as many of the processes we can and having a mostly paperless office. This blog will show you the way I manipulated 17hats to work with the real estate industry.
We used to do our leases manually. Print them out at 10+ pages long from a word doc and mail them with a few stamps. It was a little over a dollar to mail each lease. And following up when the tenant did not return the documents was a phone call. Not much efficiency there.
Because I use 17hats in my accounting firm, I knew it had the feature where I could send a contract. The problem is the 17hats is it is not designed specifically for real estate companies. Actually, I believe this app is for companies that are photography based. At least that’s my assumption from its advertisement.
One day, I thought, "Could I use it for sending leases to my tenants?" There had to be away. I love automation and not having paper in my office. 17hats is a great CRM tool. With over 65 units, that’s a lot of paperwork!
Rental properties and 17hats: using the questionnaire feature
I started with the questionnaire because it is a great way to gather the tenant information and enter it into 17hats. The tenant does the work for you! You could even make this a contact form for your website. I love that you can make the questions required so the form cannot be submitted until all the required questions are answered. To create a questionnaire:
- Click on documents (left toolbar)
- New Questionnaire
Rental properties and 17hats: creating the lease
The lease is just a contract. You create the template as above. But click contract, new contract. What is different here is I used specific fields in the program to work to my benefit. For example, the "company" line in the client details, I used that for the monthly rental and security deposit amount on the new lease. I used the date of the project in the lease for the date of the lease being generated. You can get very creative in the uses of the fields that are not applicable to your specific business.
There was still a small bit of manual entry, but it is minor. The true value is in the power of the electronic signature and the ability to send the lease electronically. There is also a feature to remind you if the lease is not signed and you can give the tenant a drop dead date for when you expect to have their documents signed and returned. It is very easy to follow up. You can even save your boilerplate templates for the cover emails.
Last piece of advice: Be your own creative self!
The sky's the limit here in utilizing this tool for your business. Best part is that you can create as many businesses as you would like under the one subscription to 17hats. To see another post I wrote on real estate on how to close out the year, click here.
If you have any questions or would like to see a future video on another topic, please reach out to me on Facebook.