We live in a digital age, and let’s face it – there is almost nothing you can’t do online. Chances are, you’re shopping online, reading the news on a mobile app, connecting with friends on social media, and streaming music. And so the experienced tenant would also like to conclude his rent payments, maintenance inquiries and rental contracts online.
But when it comes to running a rental business, many landlords still use outdated methods. There are even some tenants who still pay the rent by check. Even though almost everyone has gone digital, a large part of the rental market is still on paper.
Successful landlords recognize the benefits of digital rental applications. Not only do they make renting more manageable, they also streamline a whole range of other tasks. The more time you have free, the more you can concentrate on your core business.
As a landlord, why should you consider switching to one of the many rental apps on the market? This article explores the nine reasons your rental business should go digital.
Being a landlord can be fun – if you do it right
No matter how good you are at finding great rental property deals, you can lose it all if you don’t manage your property properly. Being a landlord doesn’t mean calling in the middle of the night, doing costly evictions, or bothering with ungrateful tenants on a daily basis.
Use of digital rental apps
There is a saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So you may think the way you run your business has worked for years. And maybe it has. But profitable landlords know the many advantages that the use of digital solutions offers for the operation of a landlord.
Also think about it from the tenant’s point of view. Hiring more Millennials and Gen Zers than ever before. Millennials make up the vast majority of renters in the country, according to a study by Pew Research. In addition, millennials are less likely to own homes than previous generations.
News reports also suggest that Millennials and Gen Zers are more likely to use mobile apps for banking, shopping, meeting friends, ordering a taxi, or dining.
But what happens when it comes to renting an apartment? They need to meet you in person, sign a paper lease, send you a rental check, and call you if anything needs to be fixed. Compared to the way these generations do their other business, a “paper-based” car rental company seems antiquated.
Let’s take a look at the many benefits for you and your tenants of using a rental app to manage your rental units.
1. Moving rent online is easier
The online rental direct debit is the most important advantage of a rental app. The best property management apps allow your tenants to set up automatic rent payments. They can also offer different methods of paying the rent – ACH bank transfers, eChecks, debit cards, or credit cards.
The advantage for you as a landlord is that your tenants almost never miss a rental payment. Because the transaction is digital, the money is in your bank account faster too. You no longer have to check the post office for rental checks, drive to the bank to deposit them, and wait for the check to be cashed. In addition, the best rental apps also charge deposits and charge default interest.
2. Online rental applications and rental agreements
Many digital property management solutions allow tenants to fill out applications online. This saves a lot of time because you don’t have to meet the tenant in person to collect the signed application or rental agreement.
This digital copy is easier for tenants to fill out and they make fewer mistakes. In addition, the online application can contain a tenant verification request, which will save you even more time. Another benefit of filling out a digital rental application is that information can be automatically included in the rental agreement.
3. Digitally sign documents
Digital documents with an electronic signature are just as legal as a paper copy with an ink signature. ESigning documents saves time, money and is more convenient than paper leasing. The entire process of filling out an application and a rental agreement can be done in a single property management app. Since you have a digital copy, you will never lose it.
4. Processing of maintenance and repair requests
One benefit of using a rental app to manage properties is that tenants can send repair requests. Using an app for these requests is the best way to keep track of maintenance. You can track inquiries, communicate with tenants, and even get in touch with contractors.
In addition, the tenant can send you pictures of the maintenance or repair problem. This puts you in a better position to prioritize the task.
5. Post job vacancies online with a digital app
Using a digital rental app can make it easier to advertise vacant properties online. For example, if you know that a property is going to be empty, you can share the information on websites with rental offers. So you no longer have to spend time manually displaying a free rental unit on multiple websites. The speed at which you can syndicate the unit’s details means you can typically fill vacancies faster.
6. Digital apps can accept flexible rental payments
One of the best uses of some rental apps is to accept flexible rental payments. Flex-Rent is a way of giving tenants the option of paying the rent in installments during the month. For example, you can have the rent collected on the 1st and 15th. Or you can work out a payment plan with individual tenants.
Of course, it is difficult to manage multiple entities with different payment plans. But since the digital mobile app takes care of the payments and any late fees, you don’t have to worry about it.
7. Chat messages make life easier for tenants and landlords
Instant chat messaging is also a tremendous asset to running a successful rental business. No more calls from tenants with a problem that is bothering you at an inconvenient time. You can send a direct message through the app and deal with it when you have the time. Or you can assign the task to an employee.
You also have a permanent record of the chat. Checking your chat history is a great way to clear up any misunderstandings about who said what.
However, chat messaging has another advantage: you can send instant messages to all of your tenants if necessary.
8. Report to credit bureaus
More and more landlords are using rental apps to report rental payments to credit bureaus. There are many advantages to doing this. First, renters can build their credit history by making payments on time. Second, you are also doing a service to the rental industry. When checking tenants, landlords can check for late payments when obtaining credit reports.
9. Virtual rental tours
Some digital rental apps allow landlords to offer virtual tours of a rental unit. The tour can include excellent photos and also a complete video solution. This allows you to showcase the best features of the device without taking too much time.
In addition, you don’t waste time with potential tenants who may not be serious about the apartment. You can even arrange a face-to-face live video and create an interactive experience for the tenant.
The use of digital apps for a successful rental business offers many advantages. Rental apps are so much more than just collecting rent online. You can offer your tenants a first-class service. In addition, property management apps can streamline many of a landlord’s daily chores.
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