Apartment Properties Save Money with Document Management

While most apartment property owners continue to use paper for leases, certificates, reports and other documents, Michael Cunningham, managing editor for Property Management Insider, writes that using document management software can help apartment building owners save money and time.

Cunningham said with document management, property managers can save on space big time by getting rid of file cabinets and boxes of papers.

He said going paperless with document management could also reduce the amount of supplies a management companies buys per month, in that there would be less need for printer cartridges, folders, binders or paperclips.

In this same regard, Cunningham writes that building owners would gain an environmental edge by being able to tell customers that they run a paperless business. He said there would also be a big monetary saving on shipping.

A paperless office could also help employees save time during their work day, allowing the company to work more efficiently, he said. No more waiting at the printer, filing, making copies or getting rid of old documents. Companies would be getting all that time back for other things could be extremely valuable for any business.

Saving money and the hassle of out of date documents are two other big pluses of implementing a document management system. To roll out document management, Cunningham writes that property managers should go into it with both feet, sending old documents to be scanned and then shredded once they are in the system. He said not to worry about existing paper and use a hybrid approach with using both paper. Companies can continue to use their remaining paper resources, as they transition their operations to electronic documents. Camden Property Trust starting using online leasing at its office in 2006, according to Online News Editor for MHN Online Anuradha Kher.

Kip Zacharias, vice president of business services at Camden, said residents sign documents electronically or they email the documents to them. He told the news source that about 45 percent of the documents are signed electronically.

“We are now in the process of piloting renewals,” Zacharias said. “When you look at how physical documents are saved- in boxes and garages and God knows where else, electronic makes more sense.” Since going paperless, the company has been able to focus more on calling up leads and less on documents, he said.

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