Running a successful rental property business seems like managing a never-ending list of “to-dos.” First, landlords and rental property owners must deal with collecting monthly rent, screening prospective tenants, and trying to keep tenants happy. Then there are unexpected events to take care of like emergency repairs, tenant disputes, or the lengthy process of evicting a tenant for lease violations.
Real estate software can streamline many day-to-day chores of being a landlord. Automating tasks like rent collection, tenant screening, maintenance requests, vacancy listing, and accounting can free up much of your valuable time. The result is you have extra time to dedicate to the core of your business.
For many landlords, switching to digital tools to run a rental business may seem like a huge learning curve. And some may have concerns about security, data processing, or using mobile apps for rent collection or property management.
This article looks at seven ways your rental business could profit from using real estate software solutions.
Why Use Real Estate Software for a Rental Business?
Real estate software simplifies many recurring tasks you must care for as a successful landlord. But beyond this, there are other incredible benefits. Property management software allows you to access your data securely from any device. In a way, it’s like taking your office with you wherever you are.
Another compelling reason to switch to digital real estate solutions is collaboration. For example, suppose your rental business has a small team. In that case, everyone can access the specific information they require. This removes the need to send emails and reminders.
However, software for real estate companies also makes it easier to connect with tenants, listing agencies, and property managers. Just think how much easier it would be to send bulk messages to tenants about upcoming maintenance—or automatically listing a vacant apartment when the lease is soon to expire.
Seven Ways Real Estate Software Can Make Your Rental Business More Profitable
Property management is a multi-faceted job that requires mastering several skills. So, the more you can use software to automate tasks, the more time you have to run a profitable business. Here are seven tasks you can assign to real estate software.
1. Processing online tenant applications
Property management software saves you time because the entire application process is online. All documents in the rental process can be stored digitally and signed electronically. This means no more mailing applications, meeting with tenants in person, or manually processing forms.
One of the benefits of online rental applications is that they remove the risk of human error. For example, information from the rental application automatically populates into the lease agreement. In addition, electronic forms ensure that tenants don’t accidentally leave required fields blank or use scribbled handwriting that is illegible.
2. Tenant screening services
Screening tenants is a crucial landlord task because it’s the only way you can find excellent tenants. However, if you have ever screened a prospective tenant manually, you know how time-consuming the process can be.
The function to screen tenants can be part of the digital rental application. First, the potential tenant approves the required background checks like their rental history, credit report, and criminal history. You then receive the report in no time at all. And based on this, you can accept or deny their online application.
3. Accepting and tracking maintenance requests
Real estate software helps you keep on top of maintenance requests. Keeping rental units in good order and promptly processing service requests is vital for keeping tenants happy.
How can a property management tool keep you organized? First, the tenant contacts you via the app, and you can send the request to the appropriate contractors. Then through the app, you can stay in contact with the contractor and tenant about timelines. The beauty of this system is that everything is in one place.
Landlord software applications also save valuable time because you or the contractor don’t have to assess the issue in person. Instead, the tenant can take a photo or video of the damage and send it through the app.
4. Advertising vacancies
Delays in filling vacancies can eat into your profits. However, if you use a suitable property management app, you can automatically list vacancies on several rental listing sites at once. Because all the information is stored in the software, there is no need to continually compose new listings whenever you look for a new tenant.
5. Online rent collection
Rent collection apps help simplify the rental process because they make it easy for tenants to pay rent online. Landlords who get tenants to switch to online rental payments find that they have fewer late payments.
Here are several reasons why a rental payment service can help you collect rent on time:
- Tenants can set up recurring monthly online payments
- Tenants can make debit card or credit card payments
- Some payment apps report on-time rental payments to the major credit bureaus
- Landlords can send reminders before rent is due
Rent collection apps also give landlords payment controls during an eviction process. For example, you can block a partial payment from a tenant facing eviction. This option prevents the bad tenant from derailing the entire process, ultimately costing you time, resources, and money.
6. Integrated accounting software for landlords
Rental property management software helps you manage all aspects of running a rental business, including keeping financial records in check. For example, accounting software for landlords automatically includes rent payments, mortgage payments, contractor bills, and debts. The handy accounting features immediately give you easy access to your financial data.
There is also a space-saving benefit to using real estate software. Cloud-based software means you don’t have to physically store hundreds—sometimes thousands—of files in an office. This protects the files from getting stolen, lost, or damaged.
7. Data analysis
Data analytics is a way that real estate software can make your business more profitable. Analytics gives you insights into the real estate sector that you could never get if you relied on keeping paper files and processing rent checks. This could give you tremendous leverage to beat the competition.
Some ways that landlords and rental property owners can benefit from analytics include the following:
- Automated valuation tools
- Revenue optimization
- Property prices indices
- Cluster analysis to identify rental performance in specific areas
- Maintenance management and cost analysis
- Expense tracking
Real estate management software is invaluable for any successful landlord or real estate investor. The good news is that many rental management software solutions are free for landlords and tenants.
Giving you options to automate laborious tasks saves valuable time and resources. In addition, tenants find the rental experience more enjoyable when they can use an app to make online rent payments, send service requests, and build credit history.
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7 Ways Landlords Can Benefit From Real Estate Software is written by Remen Okoruwa for www.biggerpockets.com