It’s strange to think how much technology has advanced over the years. From the way we watch TV to the way we make a simple cup of coffee, “smart tech” has completely revolutionised our everyday lives.
But these advancements count for more than just our leisurely activities. New technology in property management has made it easier than ever to become a successful landlord, too.
Renting out properties today is nothing like how it was done two decades ago. Landlords had to meet everyone slightly interested in their property because there wasn’t enough information in newspaper ads for potential tenants to make a decision on. Then there were issues with tracking payments and keeping an eye on maintenance once tenants were finally in place.
Landlords now enjoy a much easier letting experience, as tech has made managing properties more straightforward.
Let’s take a closer look at how these advancements have changed the game for landlords.
Arguably the biggest change technology has had in the rental sector comes from how landlordsfind a tenant.
Years ago, local newspapers and the bulletin board at work were the main methods potential tenants used to find a property to rent. However, the information they had to go off was incredibly limited. In today’s world, no one would answer an ad that simply said, ‘Room to rent, no pets, no children, £400 a month,’ and rightly so.
With the internet, landlords have an opportunity to really push the strengths of their rental properties. There’s room on a website to write a thoroughly detailed advert complete with pictures. This means prospects can get a much better idea of whether your property is right for them, so the enquiries you get will come from people who are genuinely interested.
In short, the internet has become one of the biggest time-savers for landlords all across the UK, but only if your online ad answers every possible question a renter might have. You should ask a lettings agent to help if you’re not sure what information you need to include.
It’s also great for conducting research. Many landlords look at property portals to get an idea of how much other landlords in their local area are charging in rent. This means they can set a more appealing price for their own property.
While keeping an eye on the competition is never a bad thing, you shouldn’t solely base your rental figure on what others are doing. After all, your property could have a lot more to offer, and you should always make sure you’re getting what it’s worth.
If in doubt, invite a lettings agent around for their professional opinion.
Managing Your Tenants & Property
Although you might not instantly think of cloud computing and accountancy software as Proptech, they have made it significantly easier for landlords to keep on top of managing their tenants and properties.
Back in the day, landlords had drawers full of documents and receipts in an attempt at keeping their rental properties in order. In truth, the amount of paperwork they had to keep hold of actually made it harder to stay on top of what was coming in and what was going out and for what reason.
With accountancy software, landlords can now keep a much better eye on their finances. They know what maintenance bills they have paid and can even schedule on-going transactions if necessary.
More importantly, there’s an electronic record saying exactly how much rent they have been paid and when the money has gone into their bank account. This means tenants can’t falsely claim they have paid their rent when they haven’t, as landlords have documented proof to say otherwise.
Cloud computing has also made things easier for landlords. This is because they can keep their tenancy agreements, inventory lists and update reports all in one place without having to wade through endless amounts of paper to find the one thing they’re really looking for. They can even share these documents with tenants and business partners so everyone involved can stay in the loop.
Of course, you still need to have a head for figures and logistics to truly understand if your investment properties are paying off. For anyone looking to make a passive income without having to worry about these details, you should hire a lettings agent to handle them for you.
What About the Future?
We’re not fortune tellers at Philip Ellis (we’d be winning the lottery every week if we were), but we do like to keep our fingers on the pulse when it comes to scouting the next big thing in Proptech.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have definitely come to the forefront, as it gives landlords the chance to review how their rental property will look before they start changing elements for tenants.
As for your property’s construct, more and more technology is being implemented into making homes eco-friendly. Over the last couple of years, solar panel bricks have been making great strides to save on energy bills, which would massivelyreduce the costs of being a landlord if you decide to include bills in your rental figure.
There’s no saying what tech will or won’t be big in the future, but it always helps to know the current trends. An experienced lettings agent will be able to advise you on what Proptech you need to implement now, so make sure to speak to one before putting your property up for rent.
Does Technology Solve Everything?
As much as we’d like to say new technology will solve all of your property management issues, there will still be many times where gadgets and software won’t be able to replace the expertise of a lettings agent.
Technology helps us massively when managing properties for our landlord clients because we use it in conjunction with our years of experience.
If you have a property you want to put on the rental market, we’ll provide you with a free valuation and answer any questions you might have about implementing tech as part of the process.
Till next time…