Property investors: Three strategies to keep documents organised
Keeping investment-related documents organised can be a challenge, but there are methods to make it easier. For example, secure cloud-based software applications make it easy to store, share and even collect signatures on contracts.
There are also methods to organise paper documents like receipts and things that just can’t be turned digital.
For those curious about how to better organise their documents to stay on top of investments, here are some tips.
Use Box for secure document storage, sharing and signing
Property investors collect a lot of signatures from people, including tenants, sellers, buyers and other businesses. Where does one store those documents? Are signed contracts easy to find? How should those signatures be collected?
For an easy and secure way to store documents, share documents and collect signatures, Box is an excellent electronic document management system (EDMS). It’s perfect for keeping all those documents in one place and limiting access through secure sharing features.
Digital organisation isn’t a good idea without high security, and that’s why Box is so popular. For example, theu offer the following security features while organising documents:
Encryption Files will be encrypted in a Box account. Encrypted files can’t be read without the decryption key, which the user will have control over.
Prevent downloads When links to files are shared with other people, they can be set to prevent the file from being downloaded.
Collect signatures without downloads. Sending contracts and lease agreements is easy with Box. Recipients can sign and save documents without downloading anything.
Set links to expire To prevent unauthorised access in case of a future data breach or leak, Box allows users to set links to expire after a certain period of time.
Password–protect files. To add another layer of security, users can password-protect files.
When important documents are securely stored and organised with text-searchable tags, it will be easy to find anything that’s needed at the drop of a hat.
Use naming conventions
Naming conventions are the ultimate document organisation tool. A naming convention provides a consistent way to name files that makes them easy to sort and search for on a computer or in file sharing accounts.
For example, say an investor own three rental properties – applying a naming convention to the lease agreements would look like this:
If there were three files named according to this naming convention, they might look something like this:
The naming convention can be arranged however it makes sense. Maybe the year isn’t needed and there is a different piece of important information to include. Users can also put the year first to make files sortable by year, but if they’re using a tagging system they can always add the year as a tag instead.
For anyone who’s never used or created a naming convention, here are some ideas to help come up with one that best suits the needs of the portfolio.
Create a standard list for tags
Tagging digital files is an excellent way to get organised. The only problem is that it’s easy to start using different variations of the same tag. This will clutter up the system and make it hard to condense tags later on.
For example, say one day lease agreements are tagged with the term “lease” and another day, next the term “contract” can be applied. This will create two distinct tags, which will make finding documents harder: now it’s necessary to search for both tags to find all of the lease agreements.
Before starting with tagging documents off the top of one’s head, it’s best to create a list of standardised tags to apply to the documents, and then only apply those pre-defined tags. If there’s a situation where a new tag is needed, it’s important to create that new tag and immediately add it to the list for future use.
When a standardised list of tags is established, it’s possible to have other people tag documents without worrying about how they might choose to tag them.
Organised documents will keep things profitable
Profitability will suffer in the midst of disorganisation. Important documents can be lost track of, and when a businessperson can’t find the documents they need, they risk missing important deadlines. There’s a risk of losing clients and deals, and even being pursued in lawsuits this way.
Investment properties will be easier to manage when documents are organised. Whether it’s lease agreements, business contracts or lawsuit documents, keeping everything well organised will preserve profitability.
The editorial unit