Efficient Growth: When Should Landlords Look For Software?
September 12, 2017
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When Should Landlords Look For A Property Management Software Option?
Purchasing a rental property is a fantastic way to invest your money. If you own a single unit or even just a handful, the challenges of marketing, maintaining, and managing your rentals may be minimal at first. But as with any lucrative investment, positive returns lead to additional purchases, and you can quickly find yourself with a time-consuming and headache-inducing portfolio. As your business grows, it’s crucial to focus your attention not simply on growth, but efficient growth. An excellent way to untangle your management life is to adopt management software.
Additional Reading: Using the 1% Rule When Expanding Your Portfolio
Simplifying Tenant Management
For the majority of landlords, the most labor-intensive part of the management process concerns actual tenant relationships. Collecting rent, running checks down to the bank, sending communications back and forth, recording payments, and of course, handling maintenance requests consumes most of a landlord’s day-to-day. Fifty years ago, you’d have little recourse other than hiring someone to do it for you. But things have changed. Now, simple and inexpensive management tools exist that can take much of the burden of management off your plate.
With the help of the right kind of software, efficient growth is possible. You can automate email reminders of upcoming rental payments to your tenants. You can offer your tenants an online portal from which they can submit payments with just a couple of clicks, enroll in automatic debits, and view past rental submissions. Store your lease or any other relevant documents online so you don’t have to keep answering questions because they lost their copy. And while there’s no software in existence that will repair a hole in the wall or replace an A/C filter, the right program can assist in that communication, tracking maintenance requests and sharing pictures/video to make the diagnosis even easier.
Additional Reading: Online Rent Payments: Set a Course for Modern Renting
Choosing the Right Fit for Efficient Growth
The typical landlord lifecycle goes as follows: you started with a handful of units that you primarily managed in your head and on various scraps of paper or Word documents. As your portfolio grew, the most difficult task became tracking funds, generating a P&L, filing taxes, and just generally managing your books. So you researched and settled on accounting software, maybe QuickBooks, Sage, Timberline, and it worked great. At this point, you likely had 20 or 30 units, and you still pretty much knew all your residents by face and name. But as you continued to add properties and units to your portfolio, the actual tenant management became more complex and time-consuming. Residents were as good as strangers, and you couldn’t remember which conversations you had or which lease was about to expire.
In this scenario, upgrading to full-featured property management software could help you simplify your tenant management process, but it also comes with its own headaches. You’ll need to give up on that accounting software you’ve spent plenty of time configuring and learning. And at your size, you’ll likely be forced to pay an arm and a leg for a package that includes a great many features you don’t even need. So while it can solve your problems, it may create plenty of its own.
Tenant management software, on the other hand, maybe a perfect fit. Tenant management software separates property management into two categories: tenant management and business management. Your accounting software handles your business management (financial reporting, revenue, expense reports, etc.) and your tenant management software handles the tenants (screening, maintenance, rent collection, and more). The features are designed specifically to assist you in ways that make sense, keeping costs down while offering your tenants a more professional experience.
If you’re ready to learn more about how tenant management software can help you achieve more efficient growth, we’d love to chat and show you what Innago can do. And if it turns out you need a more comprehensive solution, we’re happy to point you in the right direction. So feel free to reach out and let us know if you’re interested in getting started with a 100% free account.
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