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What is rental property management software?
Rental property management software helps real estate owners and property management firms list and market vacant properties that are available for rent or lease, manage tenants, collect rent, etc. It also records payments received from tenants and keeps track of expenses incurred on maintenance and other activities. This software category is closely related to the lease management software , real estate property management software , vacation rental software, and HOA software categories.
The benefits of rental property management software
A property manager's daily routine involves juggling tasks such as tracking rent payments, sharing rent receipts, screening applicants, listing vacancies, and managing tenants. Property management software automates many of these processes and minimizes manual intervention, saving both time and effort.
- Automated tenant screening: Property managers must screen tenants before renting to them. Present-day tools provide built-in capabilities to screen applicants based on predetermined parameters such as age, income, credit history, etc. Some solutions can even run background checks, comparing applicant details against different databases and raising red flags. All these capabilities can save property owners from bad tenants and help them avoid fraud and scams.
- Bidirectional engagement: Rental property management software is not just for property owners and managers. It also provides an interface for tenants to pay rent, communicate with landlords, submit documents, raise requests and alerts, and submit applications. This allows property owners to be informed of the tenant's concerns on a real-time basis and resolve them.
Typical features of rental property management software
- Tenant management: Manage activities associated with tenants such as room booking and unit assignment.
- Lease management: Monitor lease agreements and track renewal schedules.
- Tenant portal: A dedicated online portal where tenants can submit queries, pay rent and bills, and interact with property staff.
- Vacancy tracking: Track the vacancy and occupancy status of your property units.
Considerations when purchasing rental property management software
- Support for portfolio management: Property brokers and agents manage different types of properties, such as condos, vacation rentals, and commercial units. The software should support a user's entire portfolio.
- Ease of use: The solution should have an easy-to-understand interface along with intuitive navigation and simple dashboards. It's an added advantage if the solution offers a mobile app as well. Buyers should ask for free trials or demos to evaluate the interface and usability of any tool before making a purchase.
- Cloud versus on-premise deployment: Cloud-based systems save users the cost of installing infrastructure for hosting and software upkeep. These solutions are easily scalable, and the vendor handles software updates. On-premise options will require higher upfront investments, but will not incur recurring monthly/annual subscription costs. Scalability can be an issue and updates will be the user's responsibility, but on-premise solutions offer greater control over data and processes.
Relevant rental property management software trends
- Virtual reality (VR) will enhance user experience: VR implementation in the property rental domain is on the rise, allowing property owners and managers to create virtual tours of their properties. These tours provide prospective tenants with an interactive digital experience before renting the property.
- AI-powered chatbots to benefit rental property managers: The use of chatbots to assist potential tenants in their property searches is increasing. These chatbots provide interactive assistance and answer questions related to property requirements, square footage, leasing contract terms, documents required, etc. Chatbots can also assist with lead generation and lead profiling by asking questions such as: "Are you looking to buy or rent?"