Recently, there has been a real cultural shift – offices have been abandoned now that we’ve been working remotely from home. This caused a surge of people looking for a decent space to rent – desirable for working and living.

To keep up with this demand, landlords are put under high pressure. Plenty of property managers have been forced to think about how they could do more with less. For most, automation is a key strategy. Landlords can thrive in turbulent times if they are equipped with an organized and streamlined system.

Here are 7 hacks to automate your landlord responsibilities. 

  • Listing

Reaching your target clients can be time-consuming if you are not using the proper tools. Rental websites like Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads let you post a thorough listing and help you find your perfect renter. You can also use Facebook Marketplace or create a Facebook page to organize your portfolio and update vacancies. Expanding your funnel increases your chance of being seen.

As a landlord, it is also your job to inform your leads about what you offer. Take eye-catching photos that highlight the best features of your property. Include upgrades, appliances, amenities, outdoor details, and nearby establishments. Have all the information available to potential renters. Make sure people can envision themselves living in the space.

  • Tenant Screening 

Every landlord wants to find the best tenants – one who will take good care of the property, pay rent on time, and properly give notice if any problems arise. But if you’re solely relying on conversations to evaluate your potential tenant, you’ll eventually run into some bad ones. That’s why a tenant background check is essential. Creating an application form curated to screen applicants, you’ll learn a great deal about the potential renter’s credit standing, rental history, and even payment habits.

Online forms such as Google Forms allow you to curate a questionnaire for applicants to fill in before the actual viewing. Several online rental applications also offer credit reports, background checks, and income verification – all in one place. Integrating this process not only enables you to screen beforehand; it also helps you save time instead of accommodating every house viewing request. 

  • Signing agreements

In making tenants and landlord agreements, using a generic form can be crucial. You need to have state-specific landlord-tenant laws in your forms and it must be at least lawyer reviewed. This document is legally binding and should explain the terms and obligations both parties have. Restrictions should also be clearly stated in this form such as, but not limited to: hosting parties, pets, and limit on the number of cars a tenant can park on the premises.

If you don’t have a budget to pay for an attorney to draft you a form, you can easily purchase state-specific landlord forms online. These forms are incredibly useful and valuable, thus investing in one is just the right way to do business. 

  • Maintenance Request 

Complaints are some of the things that can badly impact your renting business – blocked drainage, leaky faucets, and air conditioning problems are just some of the issues that renters often report. If a basic necessity for a shelter has been compromised, you are responsible for fixing it.

While it is important being on call 24/7 as a landlord, it may save you time if residents can submit requests through an app instead of calling in. One way to automate service requests is through a service request tool. Through this app, the landlord can automatically be notified once a request has been submitted by a tenant. The landlord then gets to do the work at the back end, coordinating with service providers. This tool keeps conversations and updates in one place -allowing for a smooth process that can help you deal with issues efficiently. Making quick response to issues reported a priority will encourage lease renewals and attract more renters.

Tip: Have a list of contractors, plumber, roofer, gardeners, and other service providers you can call if you have rental property issues. Have good relationships with them. This comes in handy when you need someone to help you with house maintenance especially if it is a matter of urgency. 

  • Collecting Rent 

Cashing checks or going to the bank to deposit cash collections can be a laborious task for a landlord given that one should also attend to the never-ending needs of his rental property. One simple and convenient way to automate rent collection is through a rent payment app. This eliminates manual transactions, allows flexible bank transfers, schedule rent reminders, and full accounting and tracking. You can choose from different systems available to collect on your behalf. Time spent physically collecting rent is now time spent to make better strategies on how you can improve your business. 

  • Late Payment Notice

Serving a late rent notice to your tenants can be daunting at times, but this wouldn’t be an issue if you have a ready-made template to present. You can find “Pay or Quit” notice templates available online. You can print or email this notice once you’ve included all the necessary details concerning the late payment. Always make sure to get a confirmation so you have documentation of the notice being received. 

  • Announcements

A solid presence is important if you want your tenants to stick around. You have to make a strong impression on your borders that you take your job as a landlord professionally. One trait a professional landlord should have is good communication skills.

Create a Facebook group to keep tenants in the loop. Through this group you can answer questions quickly, inform if there will be maintenance work, share guides like how to keep a pest-proofed home and post reminders. Remember, you’ll need to give your tenants proper notice should there be any changes in the space they are renting. Being transparent and establishing good relationships with your renters will help your business prosper.

We know for a fact that being a landlord isn’t easy. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with keeping your business profitable while keeping the tenants happy. Whether you have one or a hundred units to maintain, building a system and automating recurring processes will definitely take some of the pressure off. The more system and process you build the easier things will flow.

About The Author:

Kat is a Molecular Biology Scientist turned Growth Marketing Scientist. During her free time, she loves to write articles that will bring delight, empower women, and spark the business mind. She loves to bake but unfortunately, baking doesn’t love her back. She has many things in her arsenal and writing is one of her passion projects.