Careful on the knock, “no messing around” thing - diplomacy and tact is not in all managers vocabulary and it can escalate to an unhealthy level quickly if someone walks the park acting like an bill collector with an attitude. It can come across from the residents as aggressive and hostile when it’s not meant that way. I’m not saying it would go that way, but it tends to rather than not. But it can get you sued if your residents feel threatened. Making sure you follow all statute protocols for service is imperative, example would be like here in WA - you knock, hand to the owner, if owner is not home you ask them to close the door, you post the door with the notice, you take a photo of the notice being posted with TimeStamp App (very useful and free date / time app) and you certificate of mail it to them so they have a second copy when the throw out the posted copy. Then you have proof of mailing and a picture and you have a copy in file as well, you’re cool. They can come to the office, you can talk with them calmly and professionally and you won’t open yourself up to get sued.
The residents will talk without you strong arming them, they are more close knit than you will ever be a part of, but they will respect you more if you treat them with respect as well.
As far as when you send the notices, it must be proper protocol per your state laws, as close to the kill date of being late as possible to help you from not working every weekend. Track and maintain a list also of who is getting these notices and when you can evict per your state laws, my state it’s on the 3rd in 12 calendar months. It’s also helpful to calendar when you sent them, to whom you sent them, so when they come due to expire, you’ll have an at your fingertips list of who is going to legal after this process expires. Send those that didn’t pay by the last calendar day of the notice, on the following morning to your eviction attorney.
One thing I do that others don’t is I offer suggestions for moving bills for those that come to me complaining about their bill. I redirect them to understand that housing should be their paramount bill that they focus on every month, I provide city fliers for resources for financial assistance for food / utilities / etc and I also remind them that things like car payments and credit card due dates can be moved if you ask the creditor and you are on time. I work with my residents to find solutions without waivering on them paying me.
Firm but Fair should be the mantra of our managers. Also “Whatever you do, be nice” like in Roadhouse.