You might think that investing in rental properties is a great idea, and you’d be right! Investment properties are now more valuable than ever since demand for housing remains strong despite the pandemic-related crisis. At the same time, home prices are going up in some areas. For example, the average home price in Salt Lake City was up 22.5% in May, 2021, as compared to the previous year.
Once you’ve purchased a house, perfectly maintained it and moved in tenants, the journey is only beginning. The life of a landlord is full of challenges and responsibilities. However, at the same time, it’s a rewarding investment that will likely pay off handsomely in the long run. In order to be successful, it’s important to follow trends in the property management industry and apply new strategies to daily landlord activities.
Changes caused by the pandemic necessitated that most of us utilize digital tools every single day, and the landlord/property management industry was no exception. Following are some tips to help you understand the specifics of managing rental properties in the post-pandemic world. And yes, it’s all about online tools.
Online Rental Management Services
For property managers and DIY landlords, utilizing a robust property management system is a must. This was important prior to the pandemic and it still remains one of the most effective tools you can use to keep your rental business up and running. The benefits of property management software systems and maintenance management would seem obvious, but there are additional features that can help landlords grow their rental portfolios, and in turn, increase income. Such features include digital documents, financial reports such as an accounting dashboard, online rent payment collection, online rental applications, etc. Simply put, robust property management software should cover every aspect of rental management, starting from listing a vacant unit to conducting a move-out inspection. And one of the singular most helpful tools is online rent collection.
Adopting a system that allows for online rent payments has numerous advantages. If you’re still more comfortable putting your trust in traditional paper checks or cash, consider the following four benefits of online payments and you may reconsider:
Scheduling recurring payments saves you time and guarantees that a tenant will get an invoice on time and provide a timely payment.
Auto pay is popular with tenants as it helps them to avoid late fees. Auto pay uses reminders so that no money is withdrawn before an email has been sent to the tenant.
Connecting bank accounts
Many online rental management systems allow users to connect bank accounts, which helps in
keeping both personal and business finances organized.
Notifications and reminders
Automating notifications and reminders will take some of the workload off your shoulders. Instead of having to manually send out reminders or look up status updates, you can focus on other tasks on your to-do list without worrying that you might forget something or miss a payment.
Let’s now review some other trending online tools that are surely worth considering:
Online Communication Tools
Gone are the days of phone calls and text messages as the only effective means of communication. There are several other communication services for either team management or personal interactions that make it easy to share information.
As tenant-landlord communication is the key to a successful rental business, you should always stay in touch with your tenants during their tenancy and address any issues in a timely manner, especially in regards to maintenance problems. Fortunately, some rental management services like Buildium or TenantCloud allow tenants to attach images and videos to work orders and thus provide a better and more detailed description of the problem.
It makes perfect sense to choose one communication channel for all renters, so that all records are stored in one place and you always have the option to easily find any past conversations you need.
Online Rental Showings
Another property management trend that became very popular during the pandemic is, of course, virtual tours. Even as we begin to recover from the pandemic and return to normal, virtual tours can still substitute for traditional in-person rental showings. Due to video chat apps, you can record a video of every corner of your rental property and upload it on YouTube for your applicants. Posting virtual tours is an easy and safe way to attract prospective renters and show off your property.
Live video tours can also be a great way to conduct a rental showing using services such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, or FaceTime.
Whether you’re already a landlord managing multiple rental properties or you’re just getting started in the business, best advice is to research the market first and use all the tools available to make your business a profitable investment. Pay attention to trends within the industry, adopt those that suit you, and you’re likely to find success!