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How to Use Property Management Software to Reduce Costs and Save Time

February 17, 2022

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After careful deliberation, you chose a property management software platform. 

You know the benefits.  

You can’t wait to receive painless online rent payments streamline communication with your tenants. 

But you still need to know the best ways to maximize property management software. You need to understand the “how.” 

In this article, we look at how you can make the most of property management software to save time and money. 

Set Up Online Rent Collection 

The best place to start is by adopting online rent collection. It saves you and your tenants valuable time and effort. Instead of a tenant writing a check and mailing it, they can set up automated payments or pay with the simple click of a button.   

Online rent collection frees you from the burden of chasing your tenants around for overdue rent. Automated reminders and payments mean more renters pay on time. You spend less time tracking down late payments and no longer need to deliver hand-written checks to the bank.   

With most property management software, tenants simply enter their bank account or credit card information to set up rent collection. The streamlined process makes life easier for you and your tenants.   

Tenant Screening 

Any property management software worth its salt has tenant screening features. It should be a straightforward process to run reports and collect good data. You want the best tenants possible, and tenant screening features will ensure you get them. 

Your property management tool will give you access to critical information about potential renters, including national data on their criminal records, credit history, and past evictions. Some software solutions go beyond these features and help you manage these potential applicants. That includes collecting custom data (for example, the breed, weight, and age of their dog) and managing the status of various applicants. Some tools even allow applicants to upload additional forms as a part of their application, which is an efficient way to acquire bank statements or pay stubs.    

If you followed our suggestions for core features, your platform will ask the kinds of questions you need it to ask—both for your prospective tenants and for yourself. For instance, you may want multiple references. Your tool will be able to handle customization as needed.  

Tenant screening features save you money and time because great tenants don’t damage property, pay their rent on time, and communicate well. The less time you spend tracking down late payments or fixing property damage, the more time you can spend on tasks like advertising and improving your property. 

Lease Management 

Make sure to set up reusable lease templates through your software management platform. Most platforms assist in template creation, so that you can create the best templates possible. Working from well-built templates will save you tons of time. 

We recommend storing your lease agreements in the cloud. It helps with organization and saves you time. Filing away hard copies isn’t as reliable as the cloud. On top of that, you can keep everything in a centralized location, making important documents readily accessible to you and tenants at a moment’s notice.  

Some property management tools even help tenants complete lease agreements online. No need for dropping off hard copies or finding the time to deliver papers in person. The convenience makes the entire process better for landlords and tenants. 

Financial Reporting 

A valuable part of property management software when it comes to saving time and money is financial reporting. This helps you see trends in your own business and ways to increase revenue while lowering expenses. 

A good example of a report you should use is the profit/loss (P/L) report. P/L reports can help you identify areas to focus on to make more money. And it can show you places where your expenses increase year-over-year.  

Detailed, accurate financial reports pulled from reliable software will help you gather valuable insights on your properties and how to make sound business decisions. If you don’t know the specifics of your business, it is exceedingly difficult to save time and money. 

Tenant Communication 

Most property management software helps you communicate with tenants. Maximize this feature so that you stay out in front of maintenance issues, tenant concerns, and more.  

Tenant communication is a critical area to focus on. If you take nothing else away from this article, let the importance of communication be the thing that sticks with you. Take advantage of your platform’s mobile app to quickly respond to tenants and keep your proverbial door open.  

Tenant communication impacts your bottom line. If you make great renters happy, they’re more likely to stay even if you need to raise rent prices. Furthermore, you’ll find that better communication helps you prevent issues proactively, saving you time and money.   

Maintenance Management 

Nothing can make or break your business like maintenance management. Maintenance is one of the most difficult parts of being a landlord, but your property management tool can make it easier. Tenants can submit tickets through the platform, making it easy for you to manage and organize requests. 

Make sure you turn on notifications, so that you’re always aware when a new ticket comes through. And carefully consider giving certain kinds of access to maintenance workers to help them stay up to date with requests and mark tasks complete. Take full advantage of your software’s maintenance management feature and watch how much effort and money you save when you don’t have to chase down workers (and try to recall tenants’ requests by memory).  

Digital Document Signing 

A 2020 study by LunarPen found that electronic signatures (eSignatures) reduce document turnaround time by 80%. Digital document signing is vital to your operations because it saves time and effort, and provides additional security.  

Most property management software includes some form of digital document signing. The best programs expand beyond leases into other document types, enabling you to get signatures for parking addenda, pet agreements, and many other kinds of documents.  

With this feature, you do not need paper copies of everything. Storing documents digitally makes your life easier by putting everything in one place, safe from theft, loss, and coffee spills. 

Conclusion 

Learning how to use your property management software’s core features gives you a solid foundation for success.  

Features like online rent collection and maintenance management save you time and money. They improve your relationships with your tenants. And they allow you to focus on expanding your business. 

Explore and make use of all your property management software’s features and they will pay dividends for years to come.  

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