With advancements in technology, the majority of people today use their computers and mobile devices for online bill payments and communication purposes. It's hard to go one hour in a public place without seeing a multitude of people looking at their phones and other electronic devices. You can make things easier for you and your tenants by establishing an online portal that can be used to make rent payments, request maintenance and repairs, and communicate with you.
Online portals are one of the features of property management software. Not only will it make things easier for your tenants, it can also help you keep track of everything in the office. Here's how and a few tips for a smooth transition.
Tenants can make their rent payments online
In a perfect world, tenants would send in their rent checks on time and none of them would bounce. However, since the world is not perfect, you may sometimes hear excuses from your tenants that the checks may have gotten lost in the mail, or they didn't realize they didn't have enough money in the bank. Give your tenants the ability to pay their rent using an online portal through a property management software system. That way, they can't use the excuse that the check is in the mail and you won't have to deal with messy return-check charges and late fees.
You can chose what types of payments can be made through your portal, such as debit cards, credit cards, and/or checking accounts. However, since this does constitute a change in your lease agreement, you'll need to give your tenants enough notice to make the changes in their rent payment routines. It's also a good idea to take a look at the landlord-tenant laws in your state to make sure you give your tenants enough notice.
Tenants can make repair and maintenance requests online
One thing that can be a huge problem is when tenants don't immediately tell you when something is wrong in their rental unit, or you aren't available to answer their phone call. Your tenants may call and leave a voice mail that is too garbled for you to understand. One way to alleviate these problems is by giving your tenants a way to request repairs and maintenance through your online portal. That way, they can send in their requests (or complaints) without having to play phone tag or call after business hours.
On your end of things in the software program, you can set it to alert you immediately via a text or email whenever someone uses the portal to request for repairs or maintenance. You can also use the software program to forward the requests to your contractors who handle such emergencies, like your plumbing contractor for an overflowing toilet. By forwarding the requests directly to the contractors, it can help cut down on any miscommunication.
Tenants can be updated with notices
Use the online portal to update your tenants with any notices you need to give them. For example, if you have a parking lot at an apartment complex scheduled to be repaved, you can place a notice directly on the dashboard of the portal to inform your tenants of any changes they need to make in their parking routines.
You can also use the notification area to provide interesting information for them, such as discounts they may want to take advantage of if they pay their rent ahead of time, or changes in the local bus routes that may affect them. The best part about using software to give important notices is that you will have a record of each time your tenants log into the portal.
For more information on property managment services, go to websites like the one linked to in this sentence.