Many of our clients own rental properties and while they can be a great investment opportunity, some people find the burden of managing properties simply too overwhelming. What I have learned is that a person’s mindset and personality can help determine whether they are good candidates for being a landlord. Property management is not for the faint-of-heart, but a steady demeanor (and the ability to wear many different hats…from handyman to bill collector) can prove invaluable.
One solution to easing the burden of being a landlord is to hire a professional property management company. However, if you’re up for the challenge, and with the right tools, the life of the multi-tasking landlord can be streamlined significantly. So I have done a little searching, and put together a list of online resources that may make the life of a landlord just a little bit easier!
Each site has its advantages. Some offer comprehensive management tools, while others specialize in a specific function. So, if you’re thinking about using one of these resources, I recommend that you check them all out and see which tool(s) make the most sense for you.
Here is what I found, in no particular order:
Specialized Sites – These sites provide a specialized type of service
Background checks and screening for prospective tenants.
This site provides a wide-range of comprehensive (nationwide) tenant screening reports including credit information, criminal records, and other public records information. They promise to get reports within one hour during business hours, and same day service after hours and weekends. They offer several price points in their reporting depending upon your budget and the level of screening you’d like conducted.
Smartmove uses a prospective tentant’s credit history and a criminal background check to provide a “tentant risk score” and sends a customized leasing recommendation directly to you. Full credit reports and eviction reports can also be requests for an additional charge.
Electronic Payment Services
No more “the check is in the mail!” For a small fee, this online payment service will handle all transactions electronically including rent payments and deposits, effectively eliminating the need for paper checks. It will also send out email reminders to tenants.
Comprehensive Sites – These sites provide many different services in a one-stop-shop
With a mission to make the process of renting “simple, secure and intuitive,” this end-to-end rental management software/website covers everything from tenant screening to on-line payment services in a no-nonsense, conversational style.
This site provides a higher level of organization and management. It is designed for landlords who manage one or many properties, in addition to professional property managers, apartment buildings and homeowners associations. It includes “all the tools necessary to manage and track unlimited properties and tenants.” It provides tenant screening, online payments, as well accounting and expense tracking services. Rentec Direct has three service levels, including a free “Basic” service for anyone just getting started as a landlord.
Another site providing high level, multi-unit property management software. In addition, to online payments and screening, this site also offers lease tracking, accounting, maintenance request organization, e-mail templates, and the ability to create your own owner/tenant portal.
Want help sorting out these options? Give us a call at Hardworking Capital 760-340-3277. We can get together and help find the best solution for your situation.