The hell of rental property inventory

Who really "is in charge" of your overtimes and mess?

You do not just know, but you live with these challenges

Real Estate Agency

This article is relevant for you if:

  • You are a real estate Agency or Landlord with several properties;
  • Some of your processes have a mess, not fresh, not reliable;
  • You and your employees are completely overworked and unsettled with it;
  • You are working together for your software instead of it working for you;
  • You want to scale up but stuck with routine workflows;
  • You haven’t a clear business picture and dynamics;
  • Existing ERP systems are too expensive and not adjusted specially for your business

Whorehouse or warehouse? 6 the most common issues of rental property workflows.

1. No inventory tracking

It is quite astoundingly, but the statistics fact is that 43% of small businesses do not track their inventory or use a manual process.

I’m not sure how to be convinced in the following:

  • If something not stolen or damaged;
  • If it requires repairing or replacement or not;
  • If it already replaced or not.
  • When was it repaired and by whom?

So easy to count the significance of this problem in money just starting to make an inventory regularly.

No inventory tracking

2. Manual accounting by pen and note

Manual inventory could be ok when you managing only one object with a very short items list. But it looks like some area out of the real estate. I’ve never seen the apartment or even small rooms with 10 items of furniture and no more.

Manual inventory

3. The inventory or furniture list is not fresh

It should be quit struggling to understand the real situation with every rental unit if you manage it together with some other team members. I don’t say now about your brain memory accounting system :). Or about pen and paper. But even if you send your teammate the excel file to handle it, then how to merge it back with your local file?

Google spreadsheets could be an option for some first time. Because it works online and saved in the cloud. But it is not a much better solution. Because you never know who changed what and when.

Since your spreadsheet becomes bigger and bigger you should be waiting more and more looking for what you need there.

The inventory or furniture list is not fresh

4. Mismatch with other related workflows

Let’s look, how many different workflows could be related to the inventory process:

Inventory workflows
  • Suppliers requests for purchasing

    After the first general unit overview, you prepare the full request list to change or set up. Then you have to separate the whole request list by different suppliers. As an example, furniture for Ikea, electronics for Mediamarkt, etc.

    The request list for each supplier should contain the proper product name, article, price, and quantity. So it should be existing on your catalog at least.

    And you don’t send such a small request like one lamp only. You have to collect it or another way Inventory Forecasting helps you.

  • Warehouse request

    But before purchasing new items, you should be convinced if it does not exist in your warehouse. So, check it in the Warehousing system first.

  • Delivery of the Inventory / Furniture

    Managing the delivery from your warehouse, and from external suppliers could be stretched in time. Some of the suppliers provide the delivery to the unit directly or you should get it yourself. It requires extra forces to predict the date and time.

  • Assemblage and placement

    When the delivery of all things has been done it requires to set up and check if everything working fine. When you use some agency for this workflow you have to communicate them and arrange the date and time to provide them access.

  • Updating the Inventory / Furniture list

    After the installation or repairing it would be nice to reflect it in the inventory list to keep information fresh.

  • Cleaning

    The best way to provide property inventory regularly is cleaning. But it means that a responsible cleaner needs to have a fresh checklist for it. And if something damaged or not exists, then new process should be launched. The communicating with a tenant and regulation how it should be updated and who will do it.

  • Check-in / Check-out

    The normal process on the move-in date is creating an inventory report and having this signed by all parties (landlord and tenants). As every deposit taken by a landlord must be registered with an approved scheme, giving the tenants the right to dispute any deductions, a landlord must protect their asset by creating a proof of the initial and end condition of the property.

  • Advertising

    When you install the wash-machine in the unit, it would be nice to reflect it for all the ads channels you use. Or vice versa there is no need to mislead your future tenants if it is absent.

  • Customer-care

    The helpdesk department very often needs to see what is exists in the room when they get a new complain ticket.

5. A mismatch between software tools

Some parts of real estate agency workflows listed above or others you can have already covered by existing software tools.

  • CRM - convenient to guide leads through the funnel and close deals.
  • Warehousing - stock management and movement
  • Property management - check-in /check-out functions, caretaking, cleaning, safety in the rented property
  • Advertising - publishing of units, reflecting the free/busy days
  • Financing - invoicing, billing, managing deposits

And the most often situation we’ve met is the lack of integration between all of the listed tools.

  • CRM usually contains the contact information of tenants and landlords. But property management and financing need it also.
  • The Warehousing system should contain unit information, but property management and advertising need it as well.
  • The warehousing system and property management both need the whole catalog of all possible items and inventory/furniture lists.
mismatch between software tools

The worst case is when you make it as a copy-paste approach. I’m sure in a couple of months it will be impossible to sort out something in such a mess.

But import/export via csv-excel files is not much better. Very easy to generate duplicates in all systems. And if you are making it regularly weekly or even daily - you are not sure if something has been changed in other systems since the last update.

So what happens anymore!!! You’ve purchased the software tools to work for you, but you are busy to be working for it. Incredible!

6. No Inventory Forecasting

Some of the most complicated workflows related to inventory management are delivering items from many suppliers, installation, repairing, placement and arrangement all of this in time between all participants.

The easiest way to avoid such a mess is having everything in their own warehouse. But how do you strike a balance between optimizing stock levels and managing cash flow?

Inventory forecasting can be a powerful tool to help you do just that.

It is the process of calculating the inventory needed to fulfill future requests based on how much items you predict you will use over a specific period of time. These estimates take historic data, planned promotions, and external forces into account to be as accurate as possible.

Inventory Forecasting

The bottom line

  • Have you recognized yourself in these issues?
  • Do you know well the emergency situations?
  • Have you ever met the negative facebook messages of your tenants?
  • Ready to lose reputation?

Let's see how to coordinate all team members,
ensure the integration of different software,
and understand the overall picture of the business

Free webinar registration

Friday 27 Dec at 15 CET

Use-case - The inventory workflow real example of automation by scenario diagrams.

Your questions are welcome...

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