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HMW #139: 3 Outdated Property Management Things You Can Stop Doing

alan corey landlord long-term rentals new investor property management scaling tenants vacant properties Jan 31, 2024

Read Time: 5.25 minutes

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You self-manage your rental properties to save a few bucks, but you are you winging it like the other mom-and-pop property managers out there as well?

I can identify 3 things you are probably doing that has you stuck in the 1980s-style advertising or sourcing tenants inefficiently.

Easily fine-tuning these 3 processes will give you more time back and make you more successful. We all want that, but is there possibly anything else you need?



Perfect! You'll get that too.  Let's get started.


Outdated Thing 1: Physical "For Rent" Sign in Yard

Get rid of this thing please!

 This sign does the following in terms of advertising your property:

  • Advertises you are a mom-and-pop that may be easy to take advantage of
  • Advertises your home is vacant and open to theft
  • Advertises to call you to ask basic questions

Nothing is more annoying than answering these same questions 10 times a day that are clearly stated and answered when you advertise online:

  • How much is rent?
  • Do you allow pets?
  • When is available?
  • What is the square footage?
  • What is your screening process?

Not only that, a tenant that is not looking online for properties is probably a tenant that is not really ready to move.  And that tenant may not have the technical savvy to do online bill pay or communicate through property management portals that you have set up.  

The ubiquitous "For Rent" sign invites time-wasters and technologically-challenged tenants, which you don't want to deal with as a property manager. Ditch this and get your life back.



That's right! And there is more to come.


Outdated Thing 2: Giant Ring of Numerous Keys

Get rid of this thing please!

Do you have key ring of all your different doors? Do you have a lockbox with a million different labels on keys? In short, are you cos-playing as a high school janitor? 

This is the outdated way of managing properties!

You can now get a plethora of digital key locks that have a landlord or contractor code, plus individual tenant codes as well. You'll also get notified if the lock's batteries are running low and need to be changed. Gone are the days of being locked out - your tenant or even you. And disrupting your day to meet someone with a key is no longer necessary.

And if you really, really, want a physical key like I (Alan) do. Then use a company called (not an affiliate or sponsor) that creates individual keys for all your tenants but provides one master key across all your properties.  They make key-changing super easy so you don't have to replace the whole lock and door knob, just the cylinder. I love it and it's reduced the keys in my life tenfold.

Is there anything you are really missing out on by having all those keys?



Okay, I stand corrected. Keep your key ring if you have a Kanye in your life. I should have made that disclaimer upfront.


Outdated Thing 3: Tracking Everything in a Spreadsheet

Get rid of this thing please! 

Yes, we want to track your incomes and expenses properly and correctly, but why do it manually in a spreadsheet or in a notebook? There are a variety of property management software programs that are free, low-cost, and/or super robust to fit all your wants and needs into a software that can do all the following on auto-pilot for you:

  • Screen tenants and do background checks
  • Auto-bill tenants their rent and late fees
  • Provide income statements monthly
  • Report and schedule repair vendors
  • Auto fill your tax forms for you

Many high-rated software solutions are under $50 a month and I promise you the time spent doing all these things yourself is worth $50 a month. Hell, you spend more $50 to relax at a spa for an hour after having to do all this manually. I don't recommend one program over the other because using any one property management software is better than none.

One you start, you'll never go back to the data entry in Excel ever again and you'll be a more confident and successful property manager and landlord because of it. 

Are you able to make these 3 simple changes to differentiate yourself as a modern landlord while making your life easier?



Excellent!  And I'm still down for joining you at the spa as long as you're paying.



  • The best tenants are looking for places online, be where they are
  • Unprepared time-wasting tenants love a random "For Rent" sign
  • Coded lockboxes and master keys are time savers
  • Property Management software makes life easy

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