Managing rental properties in Austin is never a boring task, and often comes with challenges that can make you wish you knew the secret to running a smooth business. The truth is, managing the properties you own is never going to be easy for two reasons.
One, if you’re not passionate about being a landlord, you won’t enjoy it, and two, you won’t have time to manage your investments and be a landlord at the same time. This is why most investors hire an Austin property management company to handle everything for them. If you try to do everything yourself, between screening tenants, collecting rent, and handling repairs, you’re not going to have much time to spend on the financial aspect of your business.
Although it’s certainly challenging, there are many ways to make your job easier. Figuring out how to be a good property manager and landlord is essential for a healthy bottom line because it greatly impacts the quality of people you attract and influences tenant retention.
Moving into 2024 and beyond, here’s what you can do to master the art of property management and get the high-quality, long-term tenants you want.
We have now reached a point where it’s impossible to avoid using technology to run any business, especially property management. Today’s tenants have grown to expect a high level of service from their landlords, and it’s not acceptable to fall behind on your duties and obligations.
Using certain types of technology can help you be a better landlord by building trust with your tenants and it can help you get things done faster and more efficiently.
Here are the top landlord tech tools available today:
- Online rental applications. When people are required to submit applications online, it gives you several advantages. They’ll need to fill out every spot on the form or it won’t process, you won’t have to deal with paper, and having a typed application makes it easy to read.
- Online rent collection. With few exceptions, most tenants love the ability to pay rent online because it means they don’t have to leave their house, write a check, or go to the post office. With online rent, you can set people up with automatic payments if they prefer, which makes it even easier to collect rent.
- Tenant portals. Having a portal on your website for tenants to submit repair and maintenance requests is vital. Most people don’t want to have a live conversation and prefer to submit online tickets. This process makes it easier for you and your tenants. Tenant portals can also be used to track issues with lease violations, complaints, deposits collected, and more.
- Remote showings. Even though the pandemic is behind us, many people still prefer remote showings. It’s actually convenient for you, too, since you won’t need to drive to a property just to give someone a tour. You can send them a video of a pre-recorded walkthrough and let them schedule a live tour if they need to see it in person.
- 3D virtual tours. Wherever you post your property for rent, having a 3D virtual tour will help you weed out people who are not a match. For instance, once someone engages in the tour, they might spot elements that don’t work for them. This is ideal because you don’t ever have to be involved. You will get fewer calls from people who would just walk away anyway, and more calls from people who are seriously interested in your property.
- Apps to manage your portfolio. If you own more than one rental property, there are a variety of apps that will help you manage everything about each one, including the property value, property taxes you’ve paid, the average rent for the area, and more.
Consider offering smart appliances
In a 2022 Rent.com survey, 82% of renters said they want at least one smart device or system in their home, although most don’t have any smart devices currently. Generally speaking, anyone around 30 years of age or younger likely grew up surrounded by technology their entire lives and have come to expect it to be integrated into their daily lives.
Smart appliances offer benefits to both landlords and tenants. For instance, smart thermostats can reduce heating and cooling bills, and smart locks can increase security. A smart coffee maker can brew coffee in the morning through an app before someone even gets out of bed, and a smart lighting system can be used to make it look like someone is home when the occupants are on vacation.
Focus on communication
Great communication with your tenants is timeless. It will always be one of the most effective ways to maintain a good relationship and keep them happy. Satisfied tenants are more likely to renew their lease at the end of the term and become long-term tenants. This is good for you because it reduces turnover and keeps your property occupied.
Getting satisfied tenants isn’t hard. All you need to do is address their concerns in a timely manner, handle serious issues effectively, and make sure they know you hear them and understand their concerns. When tenants feel like a priority, they will trust you and will be more reasonable if you need to ask them to stop doing something that goes against the lease. This decreases the chances of a minor issue escalating into something huge.
Hire a professional property management company
If you don’t mind managing your own Austin properties, these are just some of the ways you can make your job easier. However, if you’d rather spend your time doing other things, like building your business or connecting with friends and family, you need a property manager.
At Green Residential, we have decades of experience managing properties and taking excellent care of tenants for Austin property investors. We provide various services, including tenant screening, rent collection, repairs and maintenance, eviction services, and licensed home inspections.
Whether you need just a few things or a full-service property management package, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for a free property analysis to learn more about how we can help.