As a landlord, you’re pulled in different directions every day.
You have to handle tenant requests, keep up with important business documents, market your properties to find new tenants, and more. If you don’t have the right technology in place, it can get overwhelming fast.
So today, we’re going to talk about 7 ways you can use technology to save time, streamline your business, and find more high-paying tenants. That way, you can stop stressing and start making your rental property business more profitable.
How to Use Technology to Improve Your Rental Property Business
1. Cloud storage
In the not-too-distant past, landlords didn’t have the option to store important documents online – they had to keep up with and organize the physical copies. It’s easy to see how that could be problematic. If a natural disaster occurred and the documents were destroyed, the landlord’s rental property business could be in serious trouble.
On top of that, it can be difficult and time-consuming to keep track of tons of paperwork and create complex filing systems.
That’s why cloud storage is essential for landlords.
Cloud storage just means storing your important documents and files online. You can still keep physical copies, but having backup copies online makes it much easier to stay organized. Plus, cloud storage gives you peace of mind – you can feel confident knowing that your documents are stored safely, regardless of what happens to the physical copies.
If you’re not using cloud storage, now is a great time to start. Try Dropbox, Google Drive, or another online cloud storage option.
2. Online marketing
“For Rent” signs are still effective, and using the newspaper to advertise your property may land you a few prospective tenants. However, if those are the only two marketing methods you’re using, you’re missing on a major opportunity to land high-quality tenants: online marketing.
Here are a few ways you can use online marketing to rent out more properties:
- Post your properties on Craigslist, Zillow, and other online listing sites. Make sure you include lots of photos of your properties and a description of each property’s amenities. You’ll also want to include information about the amenities in the local area based on your ideal renter. For example, if your property is in Bel Air and you want to attract student renters, you could mention that Harford Community College is nearby!
- Build a website and use it to market your properties. You can use a content management system like WordPress to create a landlord website with all of your property listings. Be sure to place a contact form on your site so interested potential tenants can easily reach you.
- Get active on social media. If you have a website, you can share it on social media along with photos of your properties. Use hashtags to make it easier for potential tenants to find you, and interact with the people who engage with your posts.
3. Video/photo editing apps
To market your properties effectively online, you’ll need high-quality images and videos. Fortunately, most smartphones can take high-quality pictures and video footage. Try these editing apps to make your media look even better:
- A Color Story – This free photo-editing app makes it easy to brighten up your pictures and make them look like they were taken by a professional.
- VSCOCam – This is another free photo editing app with tons of features to help you make your properties look attractive to potential tenants.
- Magisto Video Editor – You can use this app to edit and share the videos you take of your property.
Remember, you should always take photos of your property (with timestamps, if possible) before a new tenant moves in. That way, you can keep track of the property’s condition and fight back against false tenant claims about its condition if necessary.
4. Project management
Any self-employed person can benefit from a good project management system, and that especially applies to landlords. After all, landlords must schedule and keep track of many events, including property showings, tenant meetings, and maintenance appointments.
Here are a few project management options to consider:
Google Calendar is free, so you may want to start with that and upgrade as needed depending on your specific business needs.
5. Accounting software
Let’s face it – tax season can be tough for anyone running a business. If you don’t keep good records of your income and expenses, it’s even more of a hassle.
That’s why you should consider accounting software to help you stay on track year-round. There are lots of options available, but one good option you could use is Freshbooks, which is cloud accounting software for small business owners. Freshbooks makes it easy to see your income and expenses at a glance, and that information can help you budget and plan for the future.
However, you can also use something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or something more robust like Quickbooks. It depends on the complexity of your business finances and how much you are willing to pay for accounting software.
6. Online bill pay for tenants
When you have multiple tenants, it can be a hassle to collect rent payments in person and travel to the bank to deposit the money.
It’s worse when you live far from your properties – you definitely wouldn’t want to drive from Harford County to Montgomery County every time you needed to collect a payment!
Why not save yourself the hassle by using an online bill pay system?
With online bill pay, you can simply give tenants login information and allow them to pay their rent through an EFT (electronic funds transfer).
You can even ask them to set up auto-pay to cut down on late rent payments. If they are hesitant, incentivize the auto-pay option by offering to lower their monthly rent a bit if they sign up.
7. Technology for your properties
If you’re interested in attracting higher-paying tenants, consider adding helpful gadgets to your properties. Here are a few examples:
- Remote security cameras – These cameras allow you to view live footage of your property from any location via a mobile device.
- Smart smoke detectors – These monitor the quality of the air in your property and alert you if a fire is detected.
- Smart burglar alarms – When you install these, you’ll be notified immediately if a break-in occurs at your property.
As you can see, these amenities could help you attract better tenants and charge more for rent due to the safety advantages. On top of that, safety features give you peace of mind so you don’t have to worry as much about your tenants and properties.
All of the options mentioned in this post can help you improve your rental property business, but if you still feel overwhelmed with unwanted responsibilities, consider partnering with Bay Management Group.
We can help you get the best possible return on your rental property investments and relieve you of many tasks so you can turn your business into a source of more passive income. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today.