Gone are the days when property owners only turned to the classified ads section in the local newspaper to market their properties. Now most of the activity happens online, from attracting leads to securing good tenants and handling maintenance requests, which eventually translates into increased productivity.
To stay on top of the game, property managers need to play their cards right. They have to know their market well, take advantage of today’s technologies to streamline the leasing process, and implement clever marketing strategies to support their businesses. Chances are you’re already doing all of that, especially if you’re running a successful rental business. But if you’re reading this article, it means you’re striving to do better.
Find out which segment of your business could use some improvement by consulting our checklist below:
#1. Are you exploiting the true value of the digital environment for leasing your properties?
Like it or not, the world has become a huge marketplace where digital communication is the key. People love to be online; they search for rental apartments on multiple sites, not just Craigslist, because they like having options; they check reviews and compare prices to make sure they choose wisely. Once they find something that they like they expect to be able to apply on the spot. This is when a prospect portal such as the one provided by RENTCafé can be of real help. By integrating technology and mobile solutions into your leasing efforts, you can easily accept and verify applications, run background and credit checks, and approve renters, all from one convenient place online.
#2. Are your residents offered the possibility to pay rent online?
If you cling to the good old policy that requires renters to pay their dues exclusively by a cashier’s check or money orders, you could be missing out on some quality tenants. Good tenants usually work long hours, have busy lifestyles, and look for convenience in their choice of apartments. The ability to pay rent online would definitely be a plus for this type of renter.
#3. Do you have a good system in place to track, respond and follow-up on maintenance requests?
Good upkeep and repairs keep residents happy which in turn translates into higher renewal rates and better chances of gaining trusted referrals. By using digital property management tools you can ease request processing times and allow your staff to provide timely assistance. All with a few clicks and a proactive maintenance team. Remember: happy tenants = long-term tenants.
#4. Are you monitoring your online reputation?
This is a sensitive area and one that undoubtedly requires your attention. Consumer reviews can take you up or bring you down, depending on how you tackle the issue. When is the last time you googled your property’s name to check out mentions? Or skimmed Yelp for reviews about your community? If the feedback is positive, good for you! It means you’re doing things right. Don’t forget to thank tenants for providing feedback and become a user yourself of the medium they used to voice their opinion, be it social media or other networking sites.
As for bad reviews, they are bound to appear at some point; maybe you evicted a tenant for not paying rent on time or for bringing in a dog when you clearly advertise a “no pets” policy at your property. Do you think these guys will have nice things to say about you? It’s important to clarify any issues as soon as they come up; do what you can to fix the situation and try to learn something from it. But more than anything, be honest, and let people know about your commitment and care.
#5. Is your property priced right?
When it comes to attracting and retaining quality tenants, proper pricing is oftentimes the most important detail. Rent increase is repeatedly cited as one of the top reasons why residents decide against renewing a lease. This is where clever tech tools can make a world of difference. Yardi RENTmaximizer, a dynamic revenue management system built into Yardi Voyager, allows property managers to optimize revenue by pricing leases based on factors such as the company’s real-time inventory, traffic, and market conditions. According to Yardi, RENTmaximizer clients gain an average 2-5% lift in net revenue over market.
Did you check them all? That means you’re doing it right! With a sound marketing strategy that includes digital applications, approvals and renewals, plus full online resident services and a responsive staff, you have every chance to succeed in the rental business.
Have you got any other tips for beginner landlords? Feel free to share your insights in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: PropertyShark is part of the Yardi family of companies.