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Landlord Studio, Property Management

12 Tools To Help Landlords Streamline Their Rental Business

There are numerous advantages to self-managing your properties. Primarily though it’s a way to minimize your costs whilst ensuring your properties are managed to your demanding standards.

However, self-managing also creates additional challenges, it takes time and effort to deal with tenants and manage day to day tasks such as tracking income and expenses. Thankfully, there are numerous tools on the market designed to help you establish and manage a professional operation, maximize profits, and minimize the time input required.

The most common of these tools are things like tools for online rent collection and property listing tools. These though barely scratch at the surface of what modern landlords need and what is now available. Below we’ve assembled a list of the top tools to help you run your rental property business.

Filling your property

Vacancies can quickly become one of a landlords biggest expenses. Re-filling a vacant unit might not happen instantly, during this vacancy period you’re no longer receiving income, but your key property expenses, such as mortgage payments don’t just magically go away.

The right tools will help you fill your property fast and efficiently.

Setting a fair market rate

Charging too much rent and you’ll scare off potential tenants, charge too little rent and you’re leaving money on the table. To ensure your rental appeals to prospective tenants you need to first ensure that the rental price you’ve set is fair. There are many free and paid tools online to help you calculate the appropriate rent.

  • Zumper rent rate trends (Free) – Search for similar rentals in your area. On each listing post Zumper will show you the rate trends for the area and in some cases the specific neighborhood you are searching for.
  • Rentometer (Free/Paid) – Rentometer gives you a quick visual clue on where your rent stands compared to the local average.
  • Rentrange (Paid) – This will give you a personalized report for your rentals and is ideal for landlords who don’t have the time to do extensive research on all their properties individually (the minimum order size is 4 properties).

Marketing your units

Once you’ve prepared your rental with an appropriate rental price you need to get your listing in front of as many people as possible. There are numerous high traffic sites where you can get high-quality rental property enquiries. It’s worth pushing your listing to as many websites as cost-efficiently as possible to maximize your exposure.

  • Craigslist (Free) – Craigslist still gets millions of hits every day and many prospective tenants will search the site for rental listings.
  • Zillow (Free with limitations) – Zillow is arguably the largest rental listings site in the US. Your first listing is free, however, after that first listing expires you will pay as much as $9.99 per week for your listings.
  • Facebook Marketplace (Free) – Facebook has been pushing its marketplace now for years and is increasingly becoming a popular place for renters to look for a rental property.

Screening tenants

You want to be sure your tenants aren’t active criminals, have a clean rental history, and have an income to support their rent.

  • Landlord Studio (Paid) – Landlord Studio is a property management software which has a number of key features built-in. One of these includes a tenant screening service built into the software. Get a full SmartMove tenant screening report with a credit check, criminal background check, rental history, and more.

Signing leases

After 2020 we should all be looking at ways to move more of our businesses into the digital 21st century. Thankfully, there are plenty of document sharing and signing softwares. These enable you to reduce the need for face to face contact and increase business efficiency. Simply send over your document and get them signed and sent back in moments.

  • HelloSign (Free with limits) – The free plan allows for 3 free documents signing. However, upgrade to paid plans get unlimited documents.
  • Adobe Acrobat (Free/ Paid) – Adobe have a free version of their software which allows users to sign of pdf documents. If you want to be able to edit pdfs in any other way you will need to upgrade to a paid version.
notice to quit

Managing the day-to-day

Collecting rent

Paying rent is a pretty crucial part of being a landlord. However, it may (or may not) surprise you that some people still collect rent by cash. Collecting rent online is easier for both landlords and tenants, making it possible for both parties to easily track the rent payments.

  • Zelle (Free) – For tenants to send rent through Zelle, they will also need to be enrolled with Zelle pay. As such it’s a good idea to stipulate this as your preferred method of rent payment in your lease. Once both parties are enrolled tenants can freely and easily send rent payments.
  • Landlord Studio (Paid) – Rent collection through landlord studio comes with a small associated transaction fee starting from $1.25. This feature integrates with Landlord Studio’s suite of property management tools, allowing you to automate rent reminders and receipts, and automate your income tracking.

Additional features for landlords using Landlord Studio for rent collection include auto-pay, which allows tenants to set recurring payments, and control as the landlord controls the amount of the rent that is due meaning tenants can’t send through partial payments to derail eviction proceedings.

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Tracking income and expenses

  • Landlord Studio (Paid) – Landlord Studio is the premier income and expense tracking tool used by thousands of landlords in over 70 countries. Digitize receipts, connect your bank feeds and instantly generate professional reports and more. Additionally, you can manage your income and expenses through the app on your phone or from a desktop.
  • Google Docs (Free) – While not ideal, using Google Docs or some other spreadsheet software is a tried and tested method for tracking hour income and expenses. These spreadsheets are stored on the cloud and can be managed from any device. This becomes more difficult and time-consuming to manage as your portfolio scales but for one or two units this is a cost-effective solution.

Maintenance and repairs

Dealing with maintenance requests is one of the top reasons that landlords give up and turn to professional management. However, with good tools you can streamline this process and ensure your tenants receive the professional service they deserve.

  • Latchel (Paid) – Latchel is a tech-forward property maintenance solution aimed at helping streamline maintenance requests improving tenant experiencing and saving landlords the time and hassle that often come with rental property maintenance management.

Final Words

There are numerous solutions on the market to help you tackle the key pain points of being a landlord, whether thats managing your finances with a software like Landlord Studio, improving your maintenance management, or filling your vacancies fast with the best possible candidate.

However, everyone’s needs are different which is why we recommend taking advantage of the free trials softwares like landlord Studio offer to better understand their applications and decide whether this is the solution for you.

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Ben Luxon

Ben is an author and real estate enthusiast. His interest in all things entrepreneurial has led him to work with real estate professionals all over the world, distilling their knowledge into articles and Ebooks.

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