Landlording: How to Use Technology to Streamline Your Rental Property Operations
Technology is revolutionizing the way landlords do business. While landlords have traditionally been very hands-on, technology lets landlords take a step back. They can put more things on autopilot than ever, and it’s never been easier to be a landlord than it is now, thanks to technology. Technology makes it possible for you to shift your focus from time consuming activities to focus on highly critical ones, such as monetizing your property to its fullest extent! Here’s how you can use technology to streamline your rental property operations:
Keeping your books current is critical to monitor the flow of cash within your property investments, as well as the taxes due or owed on your business. While people used to print out every little thing and keep track of each and every receipt, technology is changing the face of accounting. For instance, you can scan in receipts via accounting apps, and you can seamlessly sync your business accounts via accounting software. Quickbooks is the accounting standard for small business, but there are many software solutions available for property management that are much easier to work with and offer a “per property” accounting. Some of the software solutions are Propertyware.com, Builduim.com, Appfolio.com, Rentmanager.com and many others. All of the solutions I mentioned, will certainly make your bookkeeping and accounting easier, plus give you lots more options.
3. Online Bill Pay
If you haven’t already set up an online bill pay option for your tenants, then now is the time to do so! You can either offer EFT payments or an online billing center. Setting up a website with a billing center could be the single best thing you do for your business this year!
4. Rent Notifications
Virtually everyone uses text messages to communicate these days. Push notifications can easily be set up online, and this form of communication offers an extremely high open rate. Send notifications when rent is due or late to keep up with your clients. You should still send a hard copy notification of serious notices! The software solutions such as Propertyware.com, Builduim.com, Appfolio.com, Rentmanager.com and others will give you the options for online rent collections, credit card processing, and tenant portals.
5. Online Marketing
Print media isn’t necessarily dead, but online marketing is a phenome. Virtually every industry has seen huge boosts in sales by using online marketing, and you should take advantage, too. Use social media, Craigslist, and other websites to advertise your listings. You can even post digital classifieds on most newspaper websites today! One of the best web sites that I use is Postlets.com. It will syndicate your listings to over 25 real estate search engines for FREE! Sines including Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Yahoo Homes, MSN Real Estate and many more.
6. Online Scheduling and E-mail
We’ll put both of these in the same category for now. Online scheduling and e-mail can both make it extremely easy for you to schedule maintenance to your property, set up a date with a business associate, or schedule an appointment with your lawyer. Using virtual communication is fast and convenient, and it can open up time to focus on other areas of operations! There are two companies that have been proven to be reliable, interface with your property management software that offer online scheduling of your properties. It’s ShowMojo.com and Rently.com. Check them out, they both offer a great solutions to help you faster and easier rent your property. Both of them also syndicate to other sites as well thereby giving your properties even more exposure.
There are apps for everything, and you can have one, too! Have a digital app created that lets your tenants’ login, view their accounts, make payments, request maintenance, and more! For smaller landlords, Cozy.co does a great job with rental applications, tenant screening, background check and rent collection. There are many more apps available out there, you just have to look for them.
By implementing a few smart applications or some new software, you can completely change how you Streamline your rental property operations. Technology is truly making Landlording easier than it has ever been! If you aren’t already doing at least some of the above listed things, then it’s time to start thinking about how you can use technology to streamline your operations.
Marina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Realty & Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out at www.alhpodland.com. You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube, Bigger Pockets and REI CLub and LinkedIn.