How to streamline your property management process

Managing a property portfolio is a complex and time-consuming job. But the right tools and systems can make it a lot easier.

There’s a range of digital solutions you can use to streamline property management. From finding new tenants to solving routine maintenance problems and handling payments, you can improve almost every part of the process.

What does property management involve?

The property management process is as varied as it is complex. Typically, it involves property managers performing all the duties of a landlord and then some, says Kaycee Miller, a marketing director at Rentec Direct. This includes the following tasks:

  • Finding and screening tenants
  • Setting and collecting the rent
  • Raising rents to match market rates
  • Managing complaints and enforcing lease terms
  • Maintaining and repairing the property
  • Communicating with the property’s owner
  • Handling taxes and insurance

The sheer number of tasks property managers are responsible for means they’re often spinning multiple plates at once. That’s why streamlining the property management process is so important.

How to streamline property management

The property management process might be complicated, but there are plenty of ways you can use technology to streamline it. Below are four of our favorite methods.

Save time by running virtual viewings

In-person property tours are a time-consuming part of property management. You might have to show a property to dozens of people before you find a suitable tenant.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, virtual viewings have now become a standard part of the renting process. You can create a virtual tour by simply using the camera on your phone or a tool like Matterport.

The benefits of virtual tours are huge, says Mariia Kislitsyna, editor-in-chief at Landlord Tips. A virtual tour saves everyone time, gives more renters access to see the listing, and is much safer given the ongoing concerns about the pandemic. It also makes an excellent impression on renters who expect a modern renting experience.

Centralize communication with a portal

Managing emails and other messages between landlords and tenants can be a real headache for property managers. Instead of wasting time trying to stay on top of email chains, SMS messages, and phone calls, centralize your communication instead.

There are dozens of software platforms that collate all your email, texts, and calls into one place, arranging them in chronological order and separating them by property, landlord, and tenant. This streamlines the communication process and makes it easy for you to pick up where you left off and work out whom you need to speak to next.

There are plenty of great options to choose from, says Brian Carmody, the president and COO

Right Height Manufacturing. In particular, he recommends Buildium, Yardi Breeze, and TurboTenant.

Use online payments to collect rent

Forget rent deposit boxes or going door to door to collect checks. Online payment systems have outstripped these methods by leaps and bounds — to the point that they’re a must for any property manager.

Rather than tenants having to write paper checks, solutions like Zelle and Landlord Studio let them pay their rent by credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Tenants can also set up recurring payments through these platforms so they never forget another rental payment again.

Plus, property managers can use them to keep track of payments each month. Integrated dashboards and reports make it easy to see at a glance who has paid and who hasn’t.

There’s a lot to love about online rent collection, writes Scott Gibson, a staff writer at RentDrop. Not only does it save you time and make collecting rent significantly easier, but it’s also a secure way to send and receive money, and it collects and processes payments faster.

Automate processes with Jotform

With Jotform’s selection of online form templates and automated approval workflows, property managers can automate significant parts of the property management process.

For instance, you can use online forms to digitize the tenant application process. Rather than sifting through dozens of handwritten forms, you can see every application at a glance automatically in Jotform Tables.

You can also use online forms to standardize the property inspection process. That way, you eliminate paper forms and ensure you don’t miss a thing when inspecting properties. You can even combine this with a Jotform approval flow template to make sure the right people get a notification whenever an inspection is complete. That means no more chasing team members or forgetting to notify landlords. 
Get started with Jotform today for free.

Photo by RDNE Stock project

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