Leveraging the Philadelphia 311 System

Leverage the Philadelphia 311 system to increase your equity, increase your rents & decrease your rental property vacancy!

Read the transcript on Leveraging the Philly 311 System with Your Tenants here:

As a landlord or property manager, we can use all the help we can get in making our jobs simpler and more efficient. One of the apps that makes my life a little easier is the Philly 311 app, a tool for reporting service requests directly to the City of Philadelphia. 

We use Philly 311 regularly in our property management company and have found it to be essential. In fact, we provide information on how to use it to our tenants as soon as they move in. Why? Well, because anything that’s going on in your neighborhood directly affects your equity. Everything surrounding your properties affects your rentability and, in the end, your bottom line! Getting as many folks as you can in your neighborhood to use the Philly 311 app only serves to leverage your property and make the most out of its value. 

We provide a link to the app to our tenants in their welcome letter, and we encourage them to use Philly 311 if and when they contact us with a complaint. When a complaint comes up, we log the issue on our app as well as through Philly 311 because the more people actually report something, the more traction your report will get.

In the app, you can submit photos to more effectively document your complaint. Any time you deal with the City of Philadelphia, documentation is everything, so photo evidence of your particular issue will help it get more attention. The app also connects to your GPS so that it will automatically know the location of the complaint, and you can add your own description as well.

One of the best features of the app is that it serves as a paper trail. Being the City of Philadelphia, oftentimes the issue will automatically be updated as “fixed” even if it isn’t. No matter which department you’re working with, you may encounter a situation where they say, “We fixed this,” but you know they’ve never even touched it. Let’s say you’ve reported the same issue three times and have continued to say, “Hey, you didn’t fix this. Here’s a photo showing that you haven’t fixed it.” These reports are time stamped, so the city will see that you’re submitting a current photo each time, and if the same case is reported three times it often gets expedited. Three is the magic number to get anything done in Philadelphia, it seems!

When it comes to ways to easily improve your property and your entire neighborhood, as a Philadelphia property manager I highly recommend Philly 311. Remember: your equity is not solely based on your own property!


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

View all posts by Joe White