Savvy people are always looking for opportunities to grow their money. And while there are plenty of simple options – like stocks or bonds – they don’t always yield the same big returns as a real estate investment.
Investing in rental properties allows you to enjoy two layers of returns. First off, you’ll presumably enjoy the appreciation of the underlying asset as time passes and real estate values increase. Secondly, you’ll get the opportunity to earn residual income through monthly rent payments.
But there’s a reason more people don’t opt for rental property investing over mutual funds – it takes time and effort. From finding the right properties and screening tenants to collecting rent and handling maintenance, being an investor/landlord is anything but passive.
Having said all of this, managing a couple of rental properties doesn’t have to be as excruciating and time-consuming as many make it out to be. Thanks to the growth of automated tools, apps, and software solutions, you have the opportunity to streamline many of the tasks and challenges that have traditionally been problematic for landlords.
Try These 4 Solutions
It helps if you think of yourself as a construction worker on a job site. In order to be successful and accomplish the tasks you’re assigned, you need the right tools. And when it comes to which tools you select, you have plenty of options.
As a landlord, the right tools will allow you to accomplish tasks with greater accuracy and efficiency. Here are some technologies to consider placing in your belt:
- Property Management Company
Let’s begin this list with something that’s not really a piece of technology, per se, but is arguably the best solution on this list: an actual property management company with living, breathing people.
According to Green Residential, one of the top Houston home rental agencies, 83 percent of landlords using property managers find that tenants pay more rent. Roughly 77 percent say that they’re able to retain tenants for longer periods of time.
While it’ll cost you a premium, hiring a property management company is the ideal way to streamline time-consuming tasks without compromising the “human touch.”
- Property Management Software
You came here for a list of technologies, so let’s move on to some of the leading options on the market.
While they lack the human element, property management software can help you manage your properties more efficiently through comprehensive platforms that assist with accounting, rent collection, maintenance coordination, and more. There’s no sense in listing all of the options here – as there are plenty – but do your research and find one that fits your needs. Most offer free trials to help you get familiar with the program.
- Online Rent Collection
There’s nothing worse than having to chase down late rent payments from tenants. They’ll give you every excuse in the book to delay payment for a few days. And in some extreme situations, they’ll simply refuse to pay rent – which leads to costly and frustrating eviction battles.
One of the best ways to mitigate the frequency of late rent payments is to accept online payments through a platform like Cozy. It’s free, easy, and limits the excuses tenants have. After all, it’s hard to say a check got lost in the mail when payment can be made with the click of a button.
- Automated Tenant Screening
Tenant screening is extremely important. With the right method in place, using resources such as AAOA, you can weed out problem tenants and secure responsible renters who are more likely to pay on time and take care of your property. But if you handle it manually, you’ll discover that it sucks up a considerable chunk of time.
Enter automated tenant screening solutions – such as MyRental. With a service like this, you pay a fixed monthly cost and get access to information like eviction history, previous address history, terrorist alerts, multi-state criminal checks, credit reports, and a comprehensive tenant score.
Streamline Your Property Management Efforts
Anyone who tells you that real estate investments are completely passive is lying. While there are certainly ways to streamline day-to-day tasks – as discussed in this article – you still need to be heavily involved.
Hopefully this article has provided you with some food for thought on how you can approach your rental property investments in the future.