Leverage a Property Manager’s Job to Save a Landlord Money
Tech is KING. Leverage Technology to be your own Property Manager and Save Money.
Over the past 10 years, technology has provided a lot of tools to leverage the everyday landlord be able to manage their own rental portfolio and not have to pay a property manager to do so.
Question is…with these tools and the leverage provided, will your rental property be managed in a sustainable manner to the best of your bottom line and save you time, as the landlord, to put time and money towards it’s highest and best use.
Regardless, here are tools to assist landlords in the quest to save money on property management by hacking their duties via technology :
Hack #1 : FIND AN AFFORDABLE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
In the past five years, there have been all sorts of property management software to hit the market and save landlord’s money. Here are a few I recommend :
Pros : Own less than 75 units and this software is free. For as little as $9/month, accept payments via Tenant Cloud software. Tenant Cloud has a great interface and tenants can request repairs through the software. Syncing via Google Calendar is nice feature as well as providing signature towards lease formation.
Cons : Having to wait 3-5 business days for rent is way too long. We have experienced that it can take longer based upon holidays or if rent is paid AFTER normal business hours.
Pros : Market your rental listings and handle rental applications through this FREE software. Receive rental payments via the software as well as repair requests online as well.
Cons : Again, you have to wait 3-5 business days for rent to clear to your account.
Hack #2 : PROVIDE A 24/7 CALL CENTER
Perhaps the most helpful tool a landlord can provide their tenant base when trying to save on property management is to setup a repair call center that functions 24 hours a day / 7 days per week.
The call center should, ideally, speak english and spanish, and provide a means to walk the tenant through the problem to confirm if common sense is the issue or there is a true repair issue in place.
Here’s a few call centers I recommend that are both effective (operate 24 hours per day / 7 days per week) and cost effective :
For roughly $300/month, EZ Repair Hotline will provide a 24 hour hotline for tenants to call with repair needs. While a landlord starting out may not be able to justify this cost, this service can be very effective to the landlord ready to scale to the next level.
There’s also the option to provide just after-hours call center at a reduced amount. Operators will handle calls and troubleshoot the tenant repair request before issuing vendors.
While more expensive than EZ Repair Hotline, Supertenders is the gold standard of call centers. They provide a month to month contract, as well as a 24/7 hotline service, nightly service, or an all-inclusive service called “MaxTenders”. This includes 24/7 call center, bids and estimates, entering repair data into management software, obtaining investor approvals, and arranging appliance purchasing.
Hack #3 : Obtain a Property Management Inspection Software
It’s important to get into the rental property, sometimes every 30 days, to insure that the tenant is taking care of the home. Most property managers get out to the home once per year and may charge you for this activity.
With this in mind, if you are willing to put in the effort to inspect the property yourself or pay someone to do this activity on your behalf, paying for an inspection software can be an effective action.
Here’s a few inspection software providers I recommend :
The best part of this software is that it is FREE if you have five units or less. Then, for as little as $22/month, you can input unlimited properties into the software!
Zinspector provides the opportunity to take video, photo, move in/move out inspections, 360 degree panoramic photos, and integrates with Rentec Direct software. The opportunity to sync to Appfolio software or Rent Manager exists for a more expensive cost.
A solution our real estate office used for years was with Happy Inspector. A more expensive option than Zinspector, Happy Inspector has not evolved as well as Zinspector, but, does provide a better interface.
Reports can emailed to you or kept in the Happy Inspector cloud. You can choose between move in/out reports or quarterly inspections. The application is effective on both Apple and Android devices.
In Summary …
Being a landlord involves four primary issues : leasing, rent collection, inspection of property, and handling repairs to home. As a landlord, if you are able to leverage these duties to save you time at a nominal cost, then, find a way to crack the property manager’s code is on your horizon.
Feel free to leave comments to discuss how you may have been able to better leverage your time as a landlord and not pay for a property manager.