Being a property agent isn’t an easy job. You put in at least eight hours at work each day and chances are you’re on the phone even while you're at home. There are a multitude of tasks that you are responsible for. Since you’re busy with so much work, it is only natural for you to overlook a few things. Unfortunately, more often than not, it is trust accounting.
We take a look at some common trust accounting mistakes that property agents often make.
1. Reconciling once or twice a month
Most of the property agents reconcile their data only one or two times a month. Of course, that sounds like a legitimate thing to do. However, it makes it harder for you to spot discrepancies if any. It makes up for a wise choice to balance all your accounts at the end of the day. Sparing a few extra minutes for this each day will help in keeping you up to date with the latest data.
2.Not having specific policy in place
If you do not have a general or trust-specific policy in place, we recommend you get onto it immediately. Every property management faces certain unavoidable situations now and then when a property owner or a tenant puts your agency in an uncomfortable position. Having a detailed and formal policy in place will save you all the trouble or at the very least, minimise it substantially.
3. Not keeping regular backups
We are going to give you the benefit of the doubt by assuming that you do not enter all the trust related information manually. There are tons of software applications available that can make your job easier for you. However, like all technology and programming, it isn’t impossible for it to malfunction. Consider using cloud-based software to ensure your data is never lost or breached. If cloud technology isn't an option, you should keep multiple backups with you to be prepared in the event something goes wrong.
4. Hiring unqualified people to do the job
If you are a property management firm, then it is imperative for you to hire only specialised trust account managers. You probably deal with a lot of checks and numbers every single day. It makes up for a wise choice to employ a person who specialises in the field. This person should be capable of overseeing and managing your trust accounts.
Hiring unprofessional personnel can only make the job harder for you. Even what may seem like an insignificant mistake can put you in great trouble.
5. Ignoring fair trading
Fair Trading isn’t something that you can ignore. It is imperative for you to adhere to the rules and not to indulge in ‘questionable’ activities. One typical example of such instances is using the trust fund to pay for expenses that aren’t even allocated to that landlord. It is bad practice to pay for bills from funds that aren’t yours.
These were some of the common trust accounting mistakes that Property Agents or Property Management Firms often make. Avoiding these simple mistakes can significantly minimize errors and reinforce your image as a professional property manager.
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