rental property business

How Technology Can Help Improve Your Rental Property Business

By Patrick Freeze

There’s a lot to juggle when you’re a landlord—especially if you own more than one property. Fortunately, the technology humans have access to today can really streamline business productivity and efficiency, saving property owners time and money in the long run.

Let’s take look at a few key ways technology can improve your rental property business.

Paperless Processes

Besides the fact that finding places to store hardcopy paperwork is a pain all by itself, the process of filing, organizing, and finding paperwork can be a time-consuming disaster. Even the most organized people can accidentally misplace a piece of paper from time to time. If that document ends up being an ever-important lease agreement, you could find yourself with plenty of headaches, particularly if you’re dealing with a problem tenant.

By going paperless, you:

  • Eliminate the need for tons of physical storage space
  • Don’t have to worry about natural disasters or unexpected accidents (think fires, floods, and hurricanes) wiping out your documentation
  • Can access cloud-based storage from anywhere in which you have internet access
  • Avoid deciphering illegible handwriting on prospective tenants’ applications
  • Can quickly forward important documents to tenants when needed
  • Will undoubtedly save yourself tons of time in the long run

Of course, by going paperless, you also quickly cut out the extra costs associated with old-school office work, such as paper and printer ink. The little costs can add up quickly; updating your processes to a paperless way of life will give your budget a little boost.

Online Maintenance Requests

Simply put, keeping track of your tenants’ maintenance requests and the history of calls to every property can be a nightmare. When you employ an online system, in which your tenants can easily log in to log their maintenance requests, you’ll simplify your life tenfold.

For starters, this type of system is convenient for your renters, which is a very marketable bonus that people look for these days. Online requests can be submitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week (even on holidays). Beyond these benefits, you’ll be able to prioritize the importance of requests and plan your days in a fashion that enables you to meet urgent needs first, while planning an efficient route from one property to the next for items that don’t require your immediate attention.

Online maintenance logs also provide easy ways for you to access the history of complaints and maintenance tasks, so you can make informed decisions about renewing a tenant’s lease, scheduling professionals to inspect certain aspects of your property, and budget for major expenses that may be coming down the pipeline.

Online Rental Payments and Tenant Ledgers

Clearly, the Internet has its benefits in the property management world. Offering your tenants the ability to pay their rent online seems like a perk to them at first. But when you factor in the accounting implications it can have on your business in a positive way, it’s really a selfish indulgence you should absolutely put into play.

The convenience of online bill pay is an obvious benefit. Your renters don’t have to worry about mailing a check on time (or figuring out how to find an actual check in the first place). This option means there’s no excuse for late payments because your online office never closes. On the business side of things, think about how much easier your life would be if you could pull up your tenants’ ledgers at a moment’s notice when they’re disputing their payments. With an online dashboard, they’ll see the same thing you see, so there’s very little room for argument if someone didn’t pay their rent.

Want to make it even easier for your tenants to pay their rent? Consider employing an app. Everybody’s on their mobile phone these days. By offering an app, you’ll speak a payment language many of your prospective tenants are more likely to understand.

In today’s world, it’s all about leveraging the technological tools you have at your disposal to optimize efficiency and minimize frustration. As a landlord, this works on both sides of the lease, enabling you to cut down on unnecessary wastes of time while ensuring your tenants enjoy a rental relationship that’s focused on their needs. When you have happy tenants, they’re more likely to stay longer, rate you well, and refer their friends. When used correctly, technology in the property management business is simply a win-win.

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Patrick Freeze
Patrick Freeze is the President of Bay Management Group, which manages about 4,000 units in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The company is overseeing more than $700 million worth of real estate as of October 1st, 2018.

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