How landlords can use technology to overcome challenges

Published on 5th August 2019 by Laura West

The property sector is often fraught with difficulties and challenges for letting agents and landlords alike. However, technology does not need to always be overly expensive or complicated to become the solution to your problems.

The housing market contains a number of hurdles for landlords and letting agents who manage a property portfolio. The larger this portfolio becomes, the greater these hurdles become. With more investment properties, it becomes more crucial for landlords to efficiently and thoroughly manage not merely their portfolio, but all the additional factors that come with it. This will include choosing service providers, accessing finance, resolving issues with tenants and managing accounts.

Technology and property management software is often the solution that many letting agents and landlords turn to in order to optimise and streamline the management of the processes which they must face. However, the technology which is adopted does not necessarily have to be costly or complex, which means that good management and success in the sector can be more easily achieved than many believe.

As a landlord, access to finance becomes crucial. Most landlords will at some point seek to renovate their properties in order to increase both the potential rental yield and the value of the property itself. For example, access to second mortgages or home improvement loans can be crucial.

With the rise of mortgage calculator tools, primarily through mobile apps and websites online, it is much simpler for property managers and landlords to calculate how much they could borrow, based on their current individual circumstances.

Owning a large portfolio of investment properties is a significant undertaking, but managing these properties is an extremely complex challenge in itself. The greater the number of properties which must be managed, the greater the amount of challenges which you are expected to face. Therefore, there are a number of reasons for businesses to implement technology and property management software.

Common problems and challenges for landlords include managing property repairs, maintenance and damage, and liaising with freeholders and leaseholders as well as property portals and estate agents. Onboarding new tenants is also a landlord’s responsibility, as is overseeing legal paperwork and contracts, paying and managing service providers, including gardeners and builders, and managing payments from tenants.

Each one of these challenges, as well as many others which could arise, require specific and thorough attention to detail. As the portfolio grows, and the number of investment properties increases, which is the aim of many landlords, the management requirements and potential problems for landlords are amplified.

For example, a landlord who owns 20 properties will in turn need to produce and manage a minimum of 20 contracts. There will also be at least 20 cases of potential maintenance, in addition to check ins, check outs and onboarding for a vast number of different tenants.

Property management software facilitates most of the laborious and time-consuming processes which come with portfolio and property management. This technology also allows all procedures associated with property management to occur in one place, using one tool or software solution.

For example, should one of your tenants encounter a problem with the property, instead of emailing or phoning the property manager or landlord, the issue can be noted by the tenant, taken up by the property manager or landlord, and then assigned to your contractor or service provider to then solve the problem. This system is a far more efficient and faster way to effectively manage all aspects of a portfolio of investment properties.

More efficient principles and processes in property management software can apply to all aspects of the property management job. From rental agreements and paperwork to managing repairs and rent payments, there is a software solution available to make the job simpler and more productive.

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