The imaginary day in the life of an apartment manager looks pretty cush. You get to sit back and tell people what to do while you collect the rent.

In reality, the apartment manager wears dozens, if not hundreds, of hats. Your responsibilities include everything from the safety of the tenants to the building maintenance itself.

With so many jobs to handle and/or delegate, it’s essential that you find ways to get and stay organized. You don’t need to be a “Type A” personality to be successful. You can use these five tips to keep it all together like a pro!

1. Start a System for Your Paperwork

Although you can digitize a lot of your documentation, there’s still a hefty chunk that has to be done via paper format. How are you storing all of this information, especially since some of it needs to be secured?

A file cabinet with a lock is the first step to house the papers that have to be kept in their original format. Use labeled files for each tenant. To limit how many times you have to change the labels, you can go by apartment or unit number instead.

If you have multiple complexes in one office, invest in a different file cabinet for each one. This prevents accidental misfiling. It’s also smart to use color-coded folders to differentiate the complexes.

2. Go Digital Where You Can

Securing paper files is the most important first step. Once you have your system in place, you can start the process of turning half of that paperwork into a digital version.

Documentation of financial information is essential for your taxes. All of these papers need to be organized and easy to access, but they don’t have to be on paper.

Invest in a scanner or download a scanning app on your phone. Save files in PDF format instead of printing when you can. Take all of these e-documents and save them to a secure cloud-based program.

If you have to pay an annual or monthly fee for the storage, it’s worth it. You get the priceless peace of mind of knowing the files are secure and the ability to access them remotely.

3. Keep Your Desk Neat

A clutter-filled desk is the easiest path to mistakes. It’s a surefire way to misplace documents, overlook deadlines, and forget about tasks you were supposed to do.

Use office supplies, like desk trays and accessory organizers, to keep your desk clutter-free. Never leave the office at the end of the day without checking your in and out piles and straightening the desk’s surface.

That way, you always know what to expect for the next day, and you start the morning organized.

4. Have a Checklist for Moving In and Out

Some parts of an apartment manager’s job are always surprising. But others have predictable steps to them, like when a tenant moves in or out.

For these regular occurrences, it helps to have a checklist in place to remind you what your duties are. Another list for your tenants keeps you from having to answer a million repetitive questions.

There are a lot of minute tasks that you need to do or delegate, then verify, when tenants come and go. This checklist by LeaseLeads is one you can use or tweak for your own apartment’s unique needs.

5. Streamline Your Online Presence

If you want to be successful in a competitive area, having a website is a must. However, you don’t need to juggle dozens of software programs, from your accounting to your online site.

If you’re not comfortable with the intricacies of building your own website, you can hire a web designer to create it and keep up with it. Find someone who is familiar with bringing in features like:

  • Letting prospective tenants fill out online applications
  • Giving current tenants a secure way to pay their rent online
  • Showcasing the property through high-quality pictures and streaming videos
  • Listing FAQs in an easy-to-find format

All of these features can integrate with your other programs if you find the right CRM (customer relationship management) software. Don’t hesitate to pay more, if it’s a fair price, for a program that streamlines as much of your day as possible. The end result of the little extra cost will save you hours of extra time!


Taking the time to get yourself and your office organized will never be a waste. With these tips, you’ll be saving hours of inefficient work, giving you more time to do the other essentials of apartment management.