Being a landlord can be prosperous and exciting, but it can also be hard work. If you are already actively working as a landlord, either full time or as an extra source of income, you are already aware of your responsibilities involving property maintenance. An element of customer service is also involved, since you’re dealing with tenants who you want to maintain a good relationship with. Because most rental laws favor the tenant, being a good landlord is in your best interest.
On the other hand, taking on the role of a landlord can mean being woken up in the middle of the night during a tenant’s crisis. You may have already encountered this type of situation, such as a tenant in a panic about a broken appliance or a leaky faucet. The responsibility to fix your tenants’ home repair issues, or outsource them to someone who can, ultimately rests on you.
Chances are, if you’re a landlord, you’ll have to put your handyman abilities to the test at least once. These are the minor inconveniences every landlord expects to encounter every so often. But whether you’re a full-time landlord who has been in the profession for decades, or you fell into the role accidentally after you chose to rent out an investment property, the most challenging aspect of the job is likely to be the paperwork and all the time consuming number-crunching. Here are some of the best tools to make your job less stressful.
Property management software
One benefit of living in the digital age is having a plethora of landlord software at your fingertips. From rent calculators that can help you figure out the market price of your property, to online rent payment platforms that allow both tenants and landlords to digitally manage their money, to property maintenance software that allows you to document every situation that occurs, the busy landlord who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time collecting data on paper has many options.
The key to keeping tenants is happy is being reliable and willing to hear them out when they have problems, and landlords who use software to digitally document issues when they arise, set dilemmas to different “priority levels” to separate the emergencies from the minor inconveniences, and store photos of damaged property tend to be viewed as more responsible and trustworthy than those who slack off.
Property inspection apps
Inspection apps are becoming the new norm for landlords, especially those who manage several properties. While a professional should always be hired for an initial inspection, you can use a property inspection app on your smartphone to do small inspections after tenants move out.
They generally include tips for walk-through inspections and offer you a place to create a checklist. Some apps have a built-in camera feature so you can instantly take photos and store them for future reference.
A document manager
For landlords who are pretty good at paperwork, iCloud or Google Docs might be suitable. But if you struggle to keep track of all the documents related to your rental properties, become easily overwhelmed by paperwork, or routinely forget to keep paper copies, installing document management software can help make your job far simpler.
If you’re still keeping paper files, it might be time to ditch the old ways and make the switch. Digital documentation of leases, move-out checklists, eviction notices, and more are becoming much more common.