There are a lot of tasks to stay on top of as a landlord: tenant screening, lease signing, maintenance, rent collection, the list goes on.
Traditionally, landlords would often hire property management companies to handle the bulk of the responsibilities. While property management companies are still a viable option for landlords, there’s an alternative that has become increasingly popular in recent years: property management software.
But with several property management options at your disposal, is software the one you should be using? Keep reading this article to decide if you should switch to software for managing rental properties.
One of the biggest drawbacks of hiring a property management company is the high cost. On average, a property management company quote will be between 8 and 12 percent of your monthly rent revenue. Furthermore, many companies charge additional fees for extra services, onboarding, evictions, renewals, and tenant placement. Needless to say, hiring a property management company is a huge expense.
Property management software, on the other hand, is comparatively inexpensive. Each platform has a different pricing model, so when choosing your software, it’s important to pick one that gives you the most bang for your buck. Some platforms charge you based on the number of units you manage, some charge you based on the number of features you have access to, and some are even completely free to use.
Landlords like property management companies because they’re able to reliably cover every aspect in the property rental business. Property management companies have large teams with specialized personnel who know what they’re doing.
With that said, when you hire a property a company to manage your properties, you inevitably become removed from your properties and tenants. Some landlords are fine with this, but others want to be in the know about their properties.
Using software for landlords allows you to remain directly involved with your tenants and properties without having to manually stay on top of all the tedious legwork. You’re able to manage your business entirely on your own.
Software is highly efficient thanks to all the features it offers. With software, landlords can stay on top of all their property manager duties with ease.
Here are some of the most helpful tools property management software has to offer:
- Tenant Screening – Software gives you all the resources you need to conduct thorough tenant screening. You can access credit reports, eviction histories, and criminal records directly from the platform. You can also accept rental applications online, which makes the application process easier for you and prospective tenants.
- Rent Collection – Collecting rent the old-fashioned way (cash or paper checks) can be a pain since it involves aligning schedules with tenants and making extra trips to the bank. With software, you can collect rent digitally via debit card, credit card, or ACH payments, which makes receiving payments so much easier. Furthermore, online rent collection offers helpful tools such as auto pay and automated late fees.
- Lease Management – With software, you can get your leases signed electronically, which saves so much time compared to printing out hardcopies and coordinating schedules with your tenant or sending the document back and forth through the mail. Digital lease management also allows you to create reusable templates, which makes drafting your lease agreements easier. You also never have to deal with storing hardcopy documents in file cabinets, your lease agreements are automatically and securely stored online, where you and your tenants can access them anytime.
- Maintenance Management – Unfortunately, maintenance is an unavoidable part of owning rental properties. Software makes maintenance management as painless as it can be. If your tenant runs into a maintenance issue, they can send you a ticket right on the platform with photos and a detailed description of what’s wrong. From there, you get a notification and can begin the process of resolving the issue.
Hiring a property management company may make sense for your business if you own a lot of properties and don’t live near them.
In most cases, though, using property management software is your best option. It’s affordable, it allows you remain involved in your business, and it provides you with the tools to stay on top of all your property manager duties without having to hire anyone else or spend tons of time on tedious tasks.