Do you need help managing your rental property business from afar? These 7 innovative solutions may be the perfect solution. For the most part, being a landlords is a very hands-on job, but it can be a challenge to fulfill your obligations when you’re miles away. Thankfully, technology is transforming multiple industries including marketing, public relations, and of course, real estate. Hence, this article highlights 7 ways to leverage technology as a long-distance landlord.
Common Challenges of Long-Distance Rental Ownership
· Limited Service Providers
A challenge long-distance landlords often face is knowing the right service providers. If you buy a rental in a town you’re unfamiliar with, determining the best repair people can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a local property management team with a reliable contact list.
· Late Rental Payments
Many landlords still have to physically remind their tenants when rent is due. However, that can be a problem when you live several miles away. Thus, it’s not uncommon for long-distance property owners to struggle with timely rent payments.
7 Ways Technology can Help Long-Distance Landlords
1. Attract Prospective Tenants with Online Marketing
Take full advantage of the digital age by utilizing online marketing to attract more prospective tenants. By listing your properties on online listing sites or social media you can expand your reach and use technology to save time. Additionally, you can even create a website for your property.
2. Use Virtual Tours for House Viewings
Many people look forward to seeing a house physically before commiting to an application. However, commuting to show every potential renter your unit can be a challenge depending on it’s location. That’s where virtual tours come into the equation. By creating a hyper-realistic 3D or video tour of your house, you can host viewings from anywhere in the world.
3. Open Online Applications
Instead of picking up a physical application form to show interest, you can send prospective tenants online copies. After following the appropriate link, they can fill in their necessary information, upload documents and send it back to you. Besides, this method also reduces paper consumption and creates an easily traceable digital record.
4.Use Tenant Screening Software
You can use technology to streamline your tenant screening process as well. With Google meet, Zoom, or other video conferencing tools you can schedule an interview to ask essential questions before consideration. Further, you can adopt the use of tenant screening software to perform the necessary background and credit checks. Thus, you can narrow down responsible applicants before signing a lease.
5. Install Smart Security
Apart from the added safety, smart security also makes long-distance accessing the property easier. It might not be easy to hop on a plane any time there is an issue at the property, but you can bypass that with a smart lock. These tools allow you to grant entry to specific people with the right passcode, such as a maintenance vendor. Moreover, you can always change the password between tenants, instead of undergoing the expense of changing the locks everytime.
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6. Opt for Automated Payments
As highlighted earlier, on of the biggest issues long-distance landlords struggle with is late payments. However, when you opt for an automated option, you can help streamline the process for tenants and encourage on-time payment. Instead of sending a barrage of text messages, set up an e-payment system that allows tenants pay their bills conveniently with their smartphone.
7. Introduce Tenant Portal for Better Communication
Absentee landlords can be a great annoyance to tenants when they have complaints. Although nothing beats establishing a face-to-face relationship, you can make the most of the situation with a tenant portal. Most property management software offer this feature, as well as others, to improve landlord-tenant communication. Thus, if you have tech-savvy tenants, this option would be a great place for them to lay their grievances.
Benefits of Working with a Local Property Manager
· They Can Assist with Filling Vacancies
One of the most significant benefits of hiring a local property manager is that they can help you find tenants. Vacancies mean negative cash flow, so it’s best to fill them up quickly. Expert property managers often have adept experience in marketing, screening, and placing the right tenants. More so, some top companies even offer a guruantee if the agreement doesn’t work out within a specfic period.
·They Can Manage Tenant Complaints
Another benefit of hiring a property manager is that you have someone that can handle all tenant complaints. Instead of dealing with every trivial tenant demand, they would be the first point of contact to resolve the issue.
· They Have a Reliable Network of Service Providers
Finally, property managers have a wide network of service providers at their disposal. From cleaners, to electricians, and plumbers, they often know the best contractor for any rental-related job. That saves you the trouble of sourcing for the right help when your property is a location you’re unfamiliar with.
There’s no reason to sell your rental when you have to relocate, or miss out on the chance to invest in a more lucrative market. We hope our outline of the 7 ways technology can help long-distance landlords shows you it’s do-able. With online payments, virtual viewings, and others, supervising your property from any location can be a breeze.