When you own and manage your own rental property, your to-do list of operational tasks and business strategies is long. You wear many hats as a Lehigh Valley property manager, and in order to be successful, you have to be efficient and cost-effective every step of the way. Luckily, there’s a host of technology, business software solutions, and innovations to make each of those tasks easier. The more you can learn to automate and streamline, the more efficient you can be. Here are just a few of the latest tech trends and solutions you should be using when managing your property.
Get Your Data in the Cloud
If you’re not yet leveraging cloud technology, at least for data storage, you’re missing out on key benefits. Cloud-based software, for example, is incredibly helpful when you need to review your resident’s contact information, payments, and agreement details from anywhere, not just tethered to a server or your desktop. Cloud solutions allow you to make decisions wherever you are and handle tasks quickly. It reduces operational costs in a big way, too.
Smart Properties Make Sense & Dollars
Consider adopting technology that transforms your property into a smart property. Smaller upgrades, like remote digital thermostats, can be great for keeping utility bills manageable and controlling property temperatures during vacancies, all from your mobile device. Other smart-home tech can be added gradually and as your budget allows, like smart appliances and smart lighting. These can be great features to advertise, as well, when attracting new applicants to your properties. And if you’re still struggling with traditional key management between residents, digital key solutions are game changers. Never dread lock-out calls, schedule contractors and walkthroughs, and stop overpaying for relocking and keying.
Security Technology for Residents & Property Managers
Improve the overall value of your rental property and make it more attractive to potential residents when you upgrade to some of the latest tech-infused safety innovations. From motion sensors, exterior lighting, property cameras, and security systems, you’ll have plenty of options from which to choose. Enjoy the peace of mind with increased safety provisions and know that your investment property is safe and secure. And your residents will feel more at home when they know there are layers of technology protecting their space.
VR, AR & Better Online Engagement
Virtual reality technology and augmented reality aren’t just for the video game industry. Businesses are quickly adopting new technologies that allow them to reach customers and scale. As a rental property owner, these technologies are must-haves if you’re building an online engagement strategy around your property. Incredible walkthrough videos and software that allows potential applicants to see the space and graphically stage it online are revolutionizing how people choose their living spaces. Of course, you don’t have to jump into the deep end of the pool with some of the more complex innovations. But whatever you can use, one tool at a time to improve your online engagement will have a significant and advantageous impact on your bottom line.
AI & Machine Learning
When you’re trying to market your property and looking to attract new residents, how you connect with them when they’re ready is key. And you don’t have time to figure out which inquiries online are just looking and which are ready to make a move now. That’s where AI and machine learning technology can help. Chatbots and auto-responses are thoughtful for responding to immediate inquiries and asking common questions. You can jump in when the engagement calls for it. But tapping into these automations will save you valuable time and continue to move your prospects toward the application process.
Property Management Software Galore
Every Lehigh Valley rental property manager needs to have a system. This system used to consist of files, paperwork, contracts, and calendars. And probably a slew of bright yellow sticky notes. But today’s investors are making smart use of property management software, whereby all of these functions and details are neatly managed in an easy-to-use dashboard. Not all property management software solutions are created equal, so know what you need yours to do before you start sampling. And ask for free trial periods when you can to allow yourself some time to experience it before you buy it. Scheduling vendors, sending resident rent reminders, and processing applicants are all simplified with many of these time-saving solutions.
Here are just a few property management software products to consider:
TenantCloud: This tool also offers an online payment feature, allowing residents to make quick and easy rent payments with a credit card, debit card, EFT, or e-check. It also comes with a “repairs and maintenance” feature allowing for streamlined management of vendors and contractor scheduling.
CondoControlCentral: As the name implies, this is a great option for managing multi-family units and condos. It includes robust communication features, so send reminders, follow up, and ask for feedback from your residents. It also has visitor parking notifications for managing parking spaces.
Mashboard: This tool is designed to help you find new properties to add to your portfolio and integrates with MLS, Auction.com, and off-market listings. It neatly compares various properties for sale by Cap Rate, Estimated Value, and Cash on Cash Return.
Rentec Direct: This solution can be a marketing magic wand when advertising your vacancies. List your property here, and it will be published on your website, and other top sites, like Zillow and Apartments.com.
iStaging: Having to stage properties, chaperone walkthroughs, and host open houses can be very time-consuming. This software offers virtual engagements of all of the above, with 360-degree experiences from any device.
Building Engines: This software automates information and workflows. More specifically, it focuses on communications, operational risk management, and maintenance.
Why Embracing Technology Matters
It can be overwhelming when you think about all the available tech out there. And it can get costly when you start buying subscriptions, hardware, and software. But don’t feel obligated to use everything all at once. Instead, review your most time-consuming and costly processes. From there, you can explore the available tech solutions to help. Adopt one or two at a time. Upgrade what makes sense and look for those that are cost-effective to implement, easy to use, and that have the ability to integrate into whatever tech you’re already using.
Look for these characteristics of any technology before you make a purchase:
Practical – for you, your processes, and your residents
Economical – for you, your processes, and your residents
Time-Saving – for you, your processes, and your residents
Cost-Saving – for you and your residents
If you don’t start looking to technology for your property management, you’ll soon be over-spending, over-extended, and out of touch. If you’re stuck doing things the old way, you won’t be profitable with your property.
Consider some of these must-have technology solutions as part of your strategy for managing your rental property. And if you’re still overwhelmed with navigating the latest, or you need help with other aspects of managing your Lehigh Valley portfolio, let Axel Property Management be your guide! We can help you make sense of every available innovation and help you choose which to implement. And we can oversee all those tedious tasks, and wear all those many hats, to see your investment grow.