Monday, March 5, 2018

7 Tips to Collect on Apartment Locator Invoices Faster

Apartment locating can be quite lucrative if you are leasing enough. As an independent contractor, your income is virtually limitless. The problem with apartment locating is that getting the client into the apartment is only half of the work. Collecting on invoices can be time consuming and costly to your overall business. Especially, if you are fronting an incentive cost or agent commission for those who have agents working for them. Collections can take just as long if not longer than getting the client in the apartment in some cases. I have 7 tips that are sure to get you paid quicker and with less hassle.
Getting apartment locator invoice paid
Tip 1 SEND THE INVOICE MULTIPLE WAYS. There is no more sure way to get an invoice to the property than by multiple avenues. I email, fax, and snail mail every invoice. No, you will not upset anyone by covering your basis. Besides, if they would let you know that you received it then you needn’t send any more.
Tip 2 MAKE SURE THEY RECEIVED THE INVOICE. A follow up call a day or two later to ask if they received the invoice is vital. If you wait for 30 days just expecting them to have it and find out later they didn’t get it somehow, then you have to send over a new one and then follow up again later, so frustrating.
Tip 3 PERSISTENCE IS KEY. When you call a property, there are typically only 1 or 2 people that can answer questions about locator invoices, the manager, and maybe an assistant manager. If you do not reach them then leave a message with whomever you speak with and ask for an email for that person. Email them asking for confirmation of receipt and/or status of the payment for your invoice, then follow up in a few days to a week. I try not to pester them too much because after all, they are paying my bills. I will follow up with the property on day 31 if they are a 30 day pay, or 61 if they are a 60 day pay, etc… If I leave a voicemail and/or send an email I will follow up anywhere between 3 to 7 days. If I speak with them then I will give them a couple weeks to later depending on what was communicated.
Tip 4 FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. If they tell you they do not pay for 60 days and you know they have the invoice and have submitted it to corporate, there is no need to bother them before day 61. If they tell you to submit an invoice to a specific system using a specific font, at a specific time then do it. Don’t give them any reason to kick back your invoice. Some of the properties have very specific guidelines that were set up by upper management. It will only hurt you if you do not follow directions.
Tip 5 BE KIND. Always be kind to whomever you speak with at the property regardless if it is your 20th time to call about getting paid. The person you are speaking with most often is not the one paying your invoice, and they could be useful allies when it takes a long time to be paid. Even if you are frustrated with the property, getting agitated or angry will only cause more problems and result in your getting paid slower. You know that saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”? In this case the NICE squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Tip 6 KNOW WHEN IT IS TIME TO CALL CORPORATE. If you have done everything above and you are sitting at 90 - 120 days and not able to get the manager to answer or respond then it is time to go to corporate. If they do not pay until 90 days do not call corporate at day 91. Give the company's system a chance to do what it is designed to do. With that said, there are times when you know you are not getting anywhere with the property and it is time to call corporate. You can find the corporate number online, do not ask the property for that information. Ask for the accounts payable department, and they will often time have someone who deals specifically with the property you are trying to collect from. Once you are able to speak with them always remember to follow tip #5.
Tip 7 KEEP GOOD NOTES. It is extremely important to write yourself notes on properties in order to remember how long it took to get paid and who you had to speak with in order to get it done. Keeping a blacklist of properties and managements that don’t pay is a huge time saver by itself. Having experience and being able to remember certain management companies will allow you to shave significant time off the next collection.
Take these tips and make your own system that works best for you. With it, you should be collecting on your invoices much faster and more effectively in no time. Here at Spirit Real Estate Group we offer to do the invoicing for you through our apartment locator sponsorship program. If you really just want to focus on leasing apartments then please allow us to work for you. There is just a $15 invoicing fee that is deducted once payment is received and all parties are paid out including incentives if you happen to do those. If you have more questions please head on over to the or give us a call at the number posted above.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Real Estate Licensees looking for Broker Sponsorship

There is a new trend in the real estate employment side of the business, and that is because apartment locators are fed up with the ridiculously high broker splits. All while the only difference is the broker generates the leads and the agent uses what is provided to them. But what about the agent that can generate his or her own leads? At that point the only thing stopping you from starting your own business is the brokers license, and Spirit Real Estate Group is the answer. We have almost ten years in the business and we know what it takes to build and grow a successful apartment locating business.

Your leads will be your leads, and also any excess leads can be placed in the lead market where you can sell them to other agents. So now you can earn income on growing your lead generation as much as possible, all while earning income on your own leads. There is a monthly fee of $99 and with that you will have access to our client relationship management software, agent training and intuitive business structure which is designed for everyone's success. Then a $15 per invoice (which is deducted once payment is received) will cover the entire invoicing process, property relations including compliance and vendor agreements. It also includes incentive disbursement and the customer service involved with it, should you have that as an option for your clients. This service is tailored for apartment locators and as a bonus to the service we provide training with web development and up to date search engine optimization in our monthly training and newsletter programs.

There is no reason to keep providing brokers the massive splits within this business structure anymore. Work from home, and at your own pace, and supplement your own leads with leads from our lead market. We also have a hierarchy structure to be able to move up and rid yourself of the monthly fee, and potentially become a branch director. We will provide you the tools to grow, and use apartment locating as a stepping stool to having a successful career.

Apartment Locator Broker Sponsorship
Bryan Bjerke
Principal Broker/Owner
Spirit Real Estate Group, LLC

Friday, July 12, 2013

What to expect with rental history problems

In this post I am going to explain what you are in for if you have rental history problems and are unsure why you have been declined at a property that you were interested in.

First off I am an apartment locator and I have been in the market for over 7 years and I have specialized in helping people with second chance issues for all of those years. Dallas/Fort Worth has hundreds of thousands of apartment homes, of those less than 100,000 are corporately managed and of those apartments there are about 2000 apartments that are willing to work with people with broken leases, evictions, or property debts.

The degrees of what they will work with are anywhere from debt paid in full to working with three rental history problems with no age restriction. As you can imagine there are very few apartment that will work with three rental history problems, and even less that will work with a rental history problem combined with a felony. Ultimately time is your friend in any case. The older your past problems get, the more apartment communities will work with your situation.

In any given major area in the metroplex, I can provide a list of ten or more properties to someone who has a broken lease over one year old. For an eviction it would need to be more than two years to get the same result. Anything less and your results are not going to be very many. There are properties out there that will work with someone going through an eviction, but you have to be willing to pay at least one months rent as a deposit, and your selection will be limited. Also the area will greatly affect your options, the bigger and more populated areas will have more options than the far reaching suburbs. The higher end more expensive areas will have less to no options compared to a suburb that is dense with apartments, that is fifteen or twenty minutes away from urban living.

Higher deposit is the key, the properties that work with broken leases or evictions negate the risk by taking on a higher deposit from the renter. Almost every second chance properties is going to have a higher deposit when you have any kind of credit or rental history problems. This should be expected around one months rent as a deposit when you go to a second chance property. Some will offer specials but very few right now in the given market, so just know going into it, you will have to come out of pocket in order to get approved for an apartment.

So in summary:

  1. There are thousands of apartment that will work with second chance issues.
  2. The less you owe and the older the rental discrepancy gets the more options you will have to choose from.
  3. Be open to an expanded area, and try and include a large city; Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington
  4. Expect to pay a higher deposit, and know it could be around one months rent.
As always I hope this information was helpful, and if you have more questions or would like free help finding an apartment, please go to

Bryan Bjerke
Spirit Real Estate

Friday, July 5, 2013

Second Chance Apartment Update

The market has turned in favor of the landlord over the last couple years and I think that it is going to change soon. With the amount of new properties coming online in the next year there should be an over abundance of units available, which is good new for all future tenants. Rents may take a while but once occupancy starts making its way back to 2008 numbers we should see them go down for he first time in a couple years.

This is also good news for second chance apartment seekers. With lower occupancy also means there is lower criteria. I think by 2015 we should have a large growth in second chance programs at properties. The same rules apply with 2nd chance issues, the further it gets in your rear view mirror the better. The properties will start by accepting property debts, and broken leases. Then some will accept evictions and in some rare cases they may start accepting more background issues.

Felonies I am noticing are extremely hard to place, in most cases I am having to refer my leads to the private rental market because either the felony is too new(less than 7 years), there is more than one, or it is in tandem with another issue like a broken lease or eviction. On the bright side I do have a new tool which has given me about 50% more properties than I had before, with more accurate information.

If you are just wanting to look around without being bothered by locators, then here is a few pages with some properties to look at:
Second Chance North Dallas
Second Chance Garland
Second Chance Mesquite
Second Chance Arlington
Second Chance Fort Worth
Second Chance Irving

But if you would like free listings and you are wanting to get a search going with a pro that has been specializing in second chance searches for almost 7 years, call me at 214.396.3888 or register on

Bryan Bjerke
Spirit Real Estate

Monday, February 27, 2012

Finding an apartment that accepts criminal background

Due to the economy there is a growing trend of tenants not being able to pay their rent. Which subsequently has created a market for Second Chance apartments. This is when a community allows these rental history problems, usually with a larger deposit involved. The clients are given the chance to still lease an apartment, and there are some pretty nice apartments with very large management companies who do allow a second chance.
There are varying degrees of difficulty in finding an property with rental history problems. Among those are three factors involved with rental history problems that will either open or decrease your selection. First off is how many do you have, the less you have the better for obvious reasons. Second, is how old is the rental history problem, the less in age it is, the more of a struggle it will be to find you a apartment. From experience, I would say it needs to be at least 6 months old, but the older it is, the more properties you will have to select from. On a side note, if you can get a run of good rental history of at least 6 months then that will open up many more options. Third and final, is the amount owed on the rental debt. This one is a double trouble issue, because in most cases it has made it to your credit report as well and it is affecting your credit score. If you owe more than $1500 on a rental debt then it will decrease your choice of apartments. If you can pay off the rental debt, then you will only have the rental history problem to deal with and it is considerably easier to find a nice apartment.
As an apartment locator, I have noticed a trend of apartments allowing some bumps and bruises on rental history. Issues as small as owing a small fee to a property, to as much as a client having 3 evictions. As a tenant you should avoid being evicted if at all possible, because unlike credit history which clears after 7 years. A rental history problem, like a broken lease or an eviction, can follow you around for over 10 years. Which does decrease the selection of communities you can qualify for. With that being said if you are reading this, you probably already have an issue and are looking for a way to move forward. Well I am here to tell you there is a light on the horizon, and there are "A" list  apartments that you can get approved at. At, you can get started in finding a property that will approve you.
With a background, there are a different set of rules that govern the communities, and those have a few factors as well. First is the charge, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, and what it is related too. The more severe the crime, the less apartments you will have to choose from. The apartments have different rules as to what they can accept. Second is the age of the crime, apartments generally want you to be 5 years past the end of your probationary period, but if this is not you, there are properties out there that will take more recent. The number of offenses is pretty cut and dry, they will take a couple misdemeanors, but with felonies if there is more than one you are going to have a hard time unless they are real old. Finally, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, if it is against a person, i.e sexual, assault, robbery, or worse... There is only one that I know of in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, out of 300,000 communities. I think its best you look in privately owned townhomes, because they do not check background.
Good Luck, and I hope this was informative.
Bryan Bjerke
Spirit Apartment Locator - Allen, TX