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5 Budgeting Quick Tips to Alleviate Budget Season Headaches

It’s nearly budget season — are you in budgeting shape? As multifamily dives into budgeting and forecasting exercises, apartment operators need to do all they can to make the process as smooth as possible. A pain-free budget season may seem out of reach, but you can make it happen.

How can apartment operators increase income and reduce expenses? And how can they protect against rent loss and maximize asset performance?

To get started, be sure your organization knows these key pointers:

  1. Ditch Budgeting Spreadsheets
  2. Avoid Copying + Pasting Standard Budget Items
  3. Implement “Bring Your Own Device” Team Policies
  4. Assign Roles & Responsibilities Involved in Budgeting
  5. Look at Historical Budget Data

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5 Pointers for a Smoother Budget Season

1. Abandon Spreadsheets
Who has the time and patience for spreadsheets? Who wants to write variance explanations to your owners every month? This budget season, ditch redundancy and manual data input to save your organization from costly mistakes and budget variances. Multifamily is in the thick of a technology revolution, so utilize integrated software programs like MRI, RealPage, ResMan, and Yardi that improve accuracy, streamline budgeting, and enable you to more effectively forecast.

2. No More Copy + Paste
When tasked with creating budgets for multiple properties, it might seem like copying and pasting standard budget items from one year to the next would be effective. You already know the expenses fit within budget. But that Control C + Control V might actually lead to missed opportunities to save.

For example, long-term contracts for technologies like printers, mobile-first technologies for maintenance and resident apps are one area where savings can be found. With the influx of more proptech into multifamily comes the influx of options. Today suppliers are becoming more open to extending 12-month contracts instead of 7-years or even month-to-month contracts which over time could positively impact your budget’s bottom line.

3. Engage BYOD
Why pay for mobile devices when your teams already have their own? “Bring your own device” policies are gaining momentum in multifamily as it offers the opportunity to save budget, reduce IT burdens, and offers teams the comfort of using their own tech devices. Stipends for new personal technology are often less costly than purchasing new devices.

4. Designate Roles & Responsibilities
To effectively collaborate with key stakeholders, designate responsibilities from start to finish. This means coordinating across all team members involved in preparation, routing, approvals, and distribution to the right personnel. This will ensure visibility and improve collaboration for a smoother budgeting process.

5. Compile Market Data Research
As with any budgeting and forecasting exercise, look at historical budget data by property and monitor current market and submarket conditions (e.g., marketing, demographic, and economic changes) that impact leasing, retention, and profitability.

Multifamily Survival Guide for Budget Season

To help apartment operators further prepare, we’ve put together a guide on how to survive this year’s budget season. With a focus on how to reduce bad debt and drive NOI, the survival guide covers:

  • Key goals for budget season teams
  • Ways to budget around uncertainty and mitigate risk
  • Important questions to consider before starting
  • Pro tips from leading operators

Ready to optimize your budgeting process? Get the 7-Step Survival Guide to Budget Season in 2021 by filling out the form below:

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Learn how to streamline your team's budgeting & forecasting