By Geoff Ogden

At ClickNotices we are always thinking of ways to help our customers with their delinquency process. One of the steps you should add to your process is having phone calls with residents. It is imperative and makes for excellent practice to always maintain current contact records for your residents. Phone calls are much more personal that letters or emails, so having this contact number will allow the Property Manager to have the best opportunity in making contact. This contact information will provide the manager with all necessary means of direct communication to discuss services, emergencies, and lease information. In the case of a collection call relating to lease infractions on failing to pay rent on time, it helps to contact the resident on the phone. 

Following these tips will help supplement your delinquency process. 

State Your Purpose 

Why is this call being made?  State in the beginning of the conversation why you are calling. For example, are there any misunderstandings when rent is due? If so, go over the lease term and remind the resident that rent is due on the first, late on the second, and late fees will be assessed based on the State and County laws.   

Paint the Legal Picture 

Explain the late fees and legal fees exactly to the costs (any return check fees that may apply).  You must also explain the current and future legal actions that will be taken based on the status in the present time of the call. For example, what the future status will be at the time of the court date, gaining possession of the property, and the costs that will be applied to the WRIT of Restitution.  All these consequential areas are important to cover. 

End with An Action 

When completing and finalizing your phone call, you need to be direct. My philosophy has always been to have a next day resolve.  Meaning, they must pay today or by tomorrow.  I hold the delinquent resident to their responsibility under the lease term. (It is our golden standard of a document that Landlord & Resident are bound by).  If they don’t comply, then I take it to the next tier of resolve by enforcing that they must see me in person at the office, and detail why they are not paying me.  In our role, a good collector shall never apologize in making such demand. After all, we live by our lease agreement and hold the duty of enforcement of the asset we represent that is headed on the lease. 

Remember the End Goal: We Want Our Rent Dollars (Not Necessarily Possession of The Apartment) 

To many of us, a good collector in the Property Management business is one who resolves issues of habitual delinquent behavior with the resident.  The goal should always be to collect rent and avoid eviction. (Remember eviction is a dirty word and demonstrates a failure on both sides).  Thus, reducing the resident of being chronically delinquent.  It cost time, money and aggravation.  With these practices, you will be equipped to see a consistent approach in resolving your delinquencies at your properties.