The Road Ahead: Organization

Organization, what organization?

Now that I have three properties to take care of and my Masters is out of the way, it is time to get serious about organizing my tasks and time. Up until now, I have done as little maintenance as possible to the properties because my schedule and budget didn’t afford much of an investment. However, this-year, I need to get serious about scheduling various activities.

First comes our marketing campaign. The worst thing about renting to students is that they tend not to be repeat tenants. Once their 12-months are up, its on to bigger and better things, and that brings the potential of vacancies. To counteract this trend in 2007, we will begin an integrated marketing plan starting in the first week of January. In past years, we have left the advertising too late into the spring, and I feel we lost many prospective tenants. More on the marketing plan tomorrow.

Furthermore, two of our properties are in need of some capital investment for repairs and upgrades. Property 1 needs a fresh coat of paint inside, some new carpeting, some drywall patching, a new screen door and a new railing. The railing and door are already purchased, so the only remaining task is to schedule their installation. The problem being that I don’t know whether I can find someone willing to do it in the winter. I may just leave the drywall and painting until later in the year because they are not pressing. Plus, we can always use a new paint job as a carrot for potential renters who are sitting on the fence. I don’t think carpeting is in the budget for this-year, so it will have to wait.

Property 2 is in fairly good shape, however, I was there yesterday and am quite concerned about the 2nd floor washroom. Some water has leaked around the tub, and has rotted the sub-floor slightly. I caulked up around the shower doors, which should stop the leak, but to repair the floor will require nearly a complete bathroom reno. In the spring I’ll need to get some estimates, right now I have no clue how much it could cost. Otherwise, property 2 is in good shape, but could use a bit of paint if there is money.

So, how will I get organized? I posted previously about using Monkey GTD, which is a variation on TiddlyWiki using the GTD principles to keep track of upcoming tasks, appointments, reminders, etc. It is really a great system. You can host one on the web over at TiddlySpot making it accessible from anywhere you can find an internet connection. There is built-in security for protecting your information, and if-required, multiple people can edit the same wiki. Here’s a screenshot of my Rental project:

My Monkey GTD Rental Project

Lastly, I plan to use Quicken to better keep track of my rental expenses in 2007. I think this will help me visualize where money is going, and how I can reduce expenses and increase profits. To keep track of tenants I intend to start using iiProperty. It is free, and should help me take better care of tenant information.

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Part of the writing project over at BiggerPockets.

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