Owning a rental property can be a time-consuming endeavour. And despite popular opinion, after fees, taxes, maintenance costs, and mortgage payments, the profits at the end of the month can begin to look a little slim.
The savvy landlord though, knows that lots can be solved with the right approach and the right tools. In this article, we look at five key areas in which landlords can and are saving both time and money.
1. Avoid using a property manager
A property manager’s promise is that you won’t have to worry about a thing. They’ll take care of advertising the property, vetting tenants, doing property inspections and even organising maintenance.
On top of that, they meet with renters, collect payments, and deal with any issues that arise. Sound’s good, doesn’t it? Well, not so fast. First of all, a lot of what a property manager does is simply what many landlords don’t have the confidence to do themselves.
With websites like OpenRent one can quickly and cost-effectively list their property themselves on all the major portals like Rightmove, Zoopla. Plus when it comes to selecting the right tenant you can find out everything you need to know through your own simple process paired with a detailed tenant referencing report which will set you back only £20.
When it comes to choosing the right tenant you also have to wonder who is going to care more. The person who’s investment is on the line? Or a property manager who is managing a dozen other properties at the same time?
And the final argument is that a property manager’s services come at a steep cost, often as much as 10% or more of the monthly rent with additional fees on top. If you’re willing and able to manage your properties yourself, on the other hand, you can cut out the middle man and save thousands.
Automation is transforming many industries from marketing to logistics, manufacturing to insurance. It allows people to do more with less time. The right landlord software can help landlords automate repetitive tasks and regain their time.
For example, set automated rent reminders to chase up late rent payments from tenants. Create reminders for important appointments like a six months property inspection, or gas safety certificate renewal. Instantly, produce professional reports showing profit and loss, expenses, rent collections, and more.
Automation not only saves landlords time managing their properties but also helps reduce the margin for human error, and allows them to spend more time validating the numbers and analysing them for discrepancies and less time reconciling them.
3. Going mobile
Instead of having all the files stored on one computer or going really old school and using paper files – you can with the right software keep everything stored securely in the cloud. What this means is you can access (well organised) data and files from anywhere, on any device.
Plus, when you use an app like Landlord Studio, you can quickly update your accounts on the go, digitise and store receipts in the app, organise emails to your tenants, set reminders so you never forget important appointments. And you can do this wherever you are, whether that’s on a beach or on a bus. Going mobile gives you the freedom to ditch the office and truly manage your properties anywhere!
4. Better legal
Being a landlord comes with some legal responsibilities too. Which can – to put it mildly – cause some headaches of their own. You need a legally binding rental lease agreement, for example, that stipulates everything from the obvious and basic information around rent to your policies on smoking and pets and clearly outlines your policies around subletting.
Beyond that, there are inspection forms, notices, eviction forms, rent increase forms, transfer of title documents. And on top of all that, everything you do as a landlord should be done in compliance with the law – ignorance is no excuse.
Thankfully there are solutions: for fast legal advice and customisable legal documents you need look no further than Rocket Lawyer.
5. Better refinancing options (Habito)
The final item on the list is a slight curveball. If you’ve ever gotten a mortgage – and if you’re reading this you likely have – you’ve probably wondered why the process has to be just so painful. What twisted pleasure do they get from dragging the process out with such glacial efficaciousness? Getting a mortgage or refinancing is never a straightforward or quick process. And perhaps because of this, it’s an area that a lot of homeowners and landlords alike are overpaying.
In steps Habito whose sole raison d’etre is, with the power of digital innovation wielded like Gandalfs staff, to simplify the mortgage process.
The right tools will save you time and keep you better organised. As technology develops it is changing every aspect of the real estate industry from building to purchasing, managing to selling. Technology is making each aspect of real estate investing more efficient.
You no longer have to hunch over a desk late at night combing through paper files. You don’t need to keep boxes of receipts or build out complex excel spreadsheets that only a wizard could understand. It has never been easier to self-manage your properties and scale your rental business successfully.
- 5 ways landlords are saving time, money and hassle - 05/12/2019