These days, businesses are all but required to offer online options for their clients. This trend is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in the property management industry. Renters today want to be able to handle their housing needs quickly, efficiently and at their convenience. As technology has advanced through the years, investment property owners have seen great benefits from giving tenants the option of paying and communicating electronically. Not only do these options cut down on potential miscommunications, but they also encourage regular, on-time payments and prompt reporting of maintenance issues.
Offering today's top technology to renters often begins with providing them with an online tenant portal. Through the use of a tenant portal, residents are able to securely log in to their accounts, make payments and submit maintenance requests. Just like everyone else, renters have busy lives – many don't have time to come by the office during business hours. Allowing them to handle the business surrounding their rental through their own personal online accounts helps eliminate disruptions to their daily lives as well as make communication and processing payments a breeze for both sides.
Online Rental Payments
So, what kinds of things do renters want to be able to do through their tenant portal? One major thing is, of course, paying rent online. As millennials continue to make up the largest percentage of renters in the US, property management companies must keep up with this tech-savvy generation and offer them the options that fit into their day-to-day lives. The leading property management companies will have functions that allow renters to pay online using their credit/debit cards or electronic checks. Some tenants may even opt to schedule auto-payments, lessening the chance that property owners receive late payments. Online payments are not only a great perk for tenants, but they are wonderful for landlords and property managers - they decrease the amount of paper that must be dealt with and eliminate the possibility of losing checks and other headaches that may come along with collecting physical payments.
Submitting Maintenance Requests
Tenant portals aren't just great for electronic payments, but they also make the process of submitting and receiving maintenance requests go more smoothly. By allowing tenants to submit maintenance requests online, property managers are able to receive a description of the issue directly from the tenant in their own words. Electronic communication options can also allow tenants to submit photos of the repair in question, painting a clearer picture of what type of work order needs to be scheduled. If a maintenance request isn't particularly urgent, requiring tenants to come to the office to submit the request can lead to delays in repair needs being reported and potentially create a bigger issue than what initially existed.
Technology isn't just great for payments and maintenance requests, but by and large, it makes communication flow more easily. Nearly everyone today has a smartphone which gives them the option of sending and receiving emails and texts from wherever they are at any time. Having email and texting options available for tenants is a great way to ensure clear, prompt communication. Not only does it instantly provide a record of such communication, but it allows for efficient communication that can't always be achieved by a phone call. Texting and email capabilities also serve as a great way to remind tenants of maintenance and other appointments and receive confirmation that appointments will be kept.
Technology Options for Prospective Tenants
But what about prospective renters, what kind of technology do they want? Simply put, rental-seekers today want to be able to independently search for properties and submit their rental applications from home. Having a user-friendly website that provides the option for people to search for properties and narrow down options by their search criteria increases the amount of online traffic your investment property receives. Rental applications usually require the submission of supplemental information, something people don't typically carry around with them. Allowing prospects to apply at home gives them the ability to complete the application at their own pace and allows them to attach the additional required information right from their computer, phone or tablet.
Overall, providing leading-edge technology for renters and prospects greatly benefits property owners. With the ease of submitting payments and communicating online, tenants are much more likely to hold up their end of the contract. Though some of these options may be difficult to provide if you're self-managing your investment property, the use of tenant portals has become standard in the property management industry. If you're searching for a professional property management company, inquire about the technology options they offer. Choosing the right property management company, one that is able to provide all of the online options today's renters are seeking, can have a great impact on your investment's bottom line.
You can learn about all the technology options Sweyer Property Management offers to its owners and tenants here.