Owning rental properties comes with a plethora of responsibilities. Between marketing your properties, screening tenants, collecting rent, and managing maintenance, you’ll quickly find that your hands will be full if you attempt to stay on top of everything manually.
In the past, landlords would hire a property management company or an individual resident manager to manage their rental properties. While these options are still available, there’s a new player on the field: property management software.
Is property management software your best option? This article attempts to answer that question.
Tenant Screening Tools
Arguably the most important asset a landlord can have is a great tenant. A great tenant will consistently pay your rent on time, refrain from damaging your property, and be respectful to your neighbors. To find these tenants, you must screen all applicants thoroughly.
Property management software provides you with easy access to all of the tenant screening tools you’ll need: credit reports, eviction histories, and criminal records. Furthermore, by using software to accept rental applications online, you can easily receive personal information from prospective tenants, such as proof of income documents.
Digital Lease Signing
Hardcopy lease agreements are one of the biggest hassles of managing properties manually. Printing long documents, sending them through the mail or coordinating meetings with tenants, making copies—it adds up to a lot of needless work and can prolong the process by days or even weeks.
With software, you cut down on lease turnaround exponentially, so you can fill your units and generate revenue sooner. Property management software allows you to create and use templates, which lets you finalize your leases in minutes before sending them to your tenants in-platform. As soon as it’s sent, your tenant can begin reviewing the lease and sign the document electronically. When everything is in order, the document is automatically and safely stored online, eliminating paper usage.
Online Rent Collection
Even though rent collection is one of the most basic property manager duties a landlord has, it can end up being one of the biggest inconveniences if you’re collecting rent the old-fashioned way via cash or paper checks. Coordinating schedules with tenants and making extra trips to the bank can be frustrating, especially if you have multiple tenants.
With online rent collection software, tenants can pay rent remotely with credit cards, debit cards, or ACH payments. You no longer have to do anything to receive your rent payments. Furthermore, features like autopay and automated late fees reduce the likelihood that tenants will miss rent payments.
Better Tenant Communication
One of the more underappreciated benefits of using software for managing rental properties is how it improves tenant communication. If landlords are lackluster communicators, tenants become frustrated. Maintaining good tenant communication helps ensure their respect and cooperation.
With software, your tenants can quickly and easily notify you when they run into a maintenance issue, so you can begin resolving it immediately. You can also send automated and personalized reminders to tenants whenever rent is due, a maintenance ticket has been resolved, or a lease agreement is coming to an end. Some software is even equipped with an in-platform chat system that allows landlords and tenants to maintain a continuous line of communication without sharing phone numbers.
One of the nicest things about property management software is its affordability compared to property management companies.
Landlord software gives you access to all of the above features and more at a relatively low cost. Each platform has a different pricing model, with some charging you based on the number of units you manage while others make you pay for the features you want. There are even platforms you can use for free.
Managing your rental properties using software for landlords is undoubtedly the best property management option in today’s landscape.
Landlord software provides you with a number of useful tools, like online rent collection and digital lease signing, that do the bulk of the legwork for you.
It can also save you thousands of dollars compared to hiring a company or resident manager. Furthermore, it allows you to stay directly involved with your tenants and properties without having to spend the time to complete your landlord tasks manually.