If you are looking for information, where is the first place you go? Your computer, your phone, or your tablet? Regardless of the device, it is the internet that comes to mind immediately when someone has a question or inquiry about something. The days of looking topics up in the encyclopedia or checking out books from the library are in the past. Almost anything that a person needs can be found on the internet, which is located in the palm of their hand most hours of the waking day. Orlando property managers who utilize technology to its fullest are unlocking the doors to an efficient and trouble-free work life. In 2020, potential renters are more interested in what they can find now, rather than in two hours from now. This is why the ability to list available rental houses online and foster communications with potential prospects is invaluable for property managers and landlords. Once again, generating efficiency to keep everyone happy.
Virtual reality is not just for video gamers anymore. At Specialized Property Management Orlando, we are happy to offer 360-degree virtual tours of our available rental properties. Still images continue to assist renters with picturing themselves in the space prior to taking an in-person look, but virtual tours can be most effective in allowing prospective tenants to get an understanding of the space, square footage, layout, and truly picture themselves living in the property. Virtual tours give the viewer the perspective as if they are walking through the home. Prospective tenants have the capability to guide themselves through the property, in and out of each room or living space, up and down the stairs, and get a sense of the surroundings without actually being there. If they want to get a better look at a room, they can turn around and re-enter at any time. Virtual tours save time for both Orlando property managers and renters. If a potential renter does not like the virtual tour, it saves time for both parties. No in-person appointment is made, no time is wasted, and the renter moves on to the next property. If the potential renter does like the tour, property managers can feel confident that an in-person showing of the property will prove to be efficient and promising with someone who is truly interested in renting the property. Say goodbye to the days of spending endless hours giving routine property showings to people who are only mildly interested in the house, only to find that it does not fit what they had envisioned in their minds. Virtual tours can be especially beneficial for renters who are moving from out-of-area and need to secure a living space prior to arriving in Orlando. They can feel confident securing a rental house after taking a virtual tour, because technology is so advanced, that it truly does feel like you have walked the property in person. Having virtual tours as an option for renters to view sets Orlando property managers and landlords apart from the competition. The sense of professionalism that comes with a virtual tour is unmatched.
Rental Applications and Screenings
Perhaps the most telling information regarding whether your rental property will be successful is who occupies it. Tenant applications and screening standards can set a property manager up for success or doom. Rental applications are very telling and can provide property managers with valuable information about whether the applicant is reliable and responsible. Applications provide property managers with personal information, family information, rental history, employment history, monthly income, credit, and background checks. A study conducted by TransUnion found that landlords screen an average of two applicants per rental property during peak rental season which encompasses the months of April through August. Property managers who are screening applications by hand and having to meet up with prospective applicants who want to return applications can save hours of time by using technology. Online applications can allow prospective tenants to enter their own information into the property management software, saving hours of time for Orlando property managers and eliminating errors. The ability to use online applications also eliminates identity theft. Landlords no longer need to dispose of stacks upon stacks of papers, all of which have social security numbers and personal information literally written all over them. There are multiple online resources for rental applications, and it is one of the many advantages of using a property management company. Specialized Property Management Orlando is proud to offer online rental applications to tenants because it saves everyone time and allows for the most efficient processing. It also forces compliance with all fair housing laws. When applications are submitted online, landlords are unable to visibly see the applicant, which reduces discrimination based on race, age, sex, familial status, and religion. Fair housing laws should be at the forefront of property managers and private landlord’s minds, whether they accept in-person applications or online applications. Avoid costly mistakes and do not discriminate. Know the housing laws and treat everyone equally.
Online Rent Payments
The receiving of rent payments is the top concern amongst Orlando property managers, and for good reason. If a tenant doesn’t pay, they don’t stay. However, the removal of the non-paying tenant can cost thousands of dollars in court fees, loss of rent, property turnover costs, and lawyer fees. Once the ability to pay rent online came into existence, landlords reported that they were more likely to receive online rent payments, and tenants were more likely to pay. This is likely correlated with the option to autopay. Autopayments for rent eliminate human mistakes and forgetfulness. ACI Worldwide reported in 2017 that 61 percent of Millennials pay bills online, while 42 percent of older generations pay their bills online. Online rental payments also take the monotonous work out of accepting a paper check, logging that you received it, signing it, and driving it to the bank to be deposited. Online rent payments save time, energy, cut down on the number of evictions due to nonpayment of rent, and allow landlords to be more efficient with time. Help yourself by allowing online rent payments. It will be one of the first questions that Millennials will ask an Orlando property manager.
Online Maintenance Requests
When was the last time you picked up your phone to make a phone call and verbally speak to someone other than your mom? Probably at least a few days ago. A survey conducted by Bank My Cell found that most people do not like talking on their phones because it is too time-consuming. They find that checking all the boxes of being polite, such as saying hello, goodbye, and having an actual verbal conversation with someone on the phone simply takes too much time compared to a simple text that can be sent. A straightforward, cut-to-the-chase text is the preferred method of communication with the younger generation in 2020. It is due to this lack of personal interaction from Millennials that landlords and property managers must adapt to their preferred method of communicating, as the large majority of the rental market is made up of Millennials. Specialized Property Management has accepted online communications from tenants for years, and it has proven to be one of the many advantages of using a property management company. Landlord and property management firms want tenants to report needed maintenance, but they also need to make it easy for their tenants to do so. Online maintenance requests are a quick and easy way for tenants to communicate with Orlando property managers on their timetable and at their convenience. Maintenance that goes unreported is likely to turn into a bigger and more expensive problem, so it is in the best interest of landlords to accommodate residents by allowing tenants to access to them through text message, email, online requests through a tenant portal, and yes, even the old-fashioned way of making a phone call or putting it in writing and hand-delivering the maintenance request to the manager. Online maintenance requests allow tenants to communicate their needs at any time of the day or night, no matter where they might be at the moment.
Why Orlando Property Managers Must Incorporate Technology
The best answer as to why property managers and private landlords should incorporate technology into property management processes is to boost efficiency. Technology allows people to do tasks in a minimum of half the time than certain tasks used to take. Sometimes even shorter. The world is adapting and changing with technology, and property managers need to keep up with the times in order to accommodate tenants and better serve them. The use of technology allows rental property owners to reach hundreds of more viewers when it comes to listing a rental property for availability and speeds up the processing time for application reviews and acceptance, online rent payments, maintenance requests, and more. Technology allows Orlando property managers to be limitless. For more information on how Specialized Property Management Orlando can help you stay technologically advanced, call us today at (407) 682-3355.