Thursday, August 28, 2014

Collections

One part of my job that I don't really like all that much is making collection calls. Every day we are supposed to call people who are 8, 18, or 28 days late - giving them a courtesy call to let them know that a late fee is going to be assessed on the next day. It seems every day there are several of these calls to make. We also need to contact people whose credit cards did not go through that are on autopay. It is usually either because they don't have enough money in their account, or they got a new card. We also need to keep in touch with people who are in lien status (past 30 days late, and they've been locked out of their unit), or auction status (past 90 days late, and they are scheduled for the next auction).

I admit that there are days I just don't make any calls. I need to be in the right mood. However, there are some days that I just get on a roll and I call a whole bunch of people. There have been times when I've contacted everyone on the late list - which could be up to 40 people or so. I often seem to have better luck emailing certain people, so I will do that if I think they prefer that method.

When I make calls I kind of assume that the person will not answer their phone. It's almost always a shock when they do. It also seems that unless someone is new and they just forgot it was their payment date, most people are on the list every month. Those people can tend to irritate me, especially if they gripe about the late fees or something.

When I first started I was scared to death to call people. Now it doesn't bother me near as much, but I still don't like doing it. I also used to have a hard time charging people late fees. I would waive them more times than I didn't. I am getting much better at sticking to them now though. Not sure if that's really a good thing or not. But if you're late, you're late.

One thing I do enjoy is watching my collections pie chart go down after someone has paid. Son-in-law Drew told me he likes to keep his collections down around 5% or below. That means only 5% of tenants are late (I think). So I work pretty hard at trying to do that as well. Last week I got down to 4.0 and I was pretty happy. But the very next day it shot up to 4.7. I am currently sitting at 5.2. 

So there's that. It doesn't help that I don't like talking on the phone, period. Oh well. I guess that's why they call it "work."