Under normal circumstances, landlords encounter tenants who don't pay rent on time or in full. This predicament has become more serious in the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic where nearly one-third of apartment renters didn't pWhile some tenants will need to regain employment before they can pay rent again, many renters are perfectly able to pay rent. ay rent the first week of April.
To support receiving timely payments, landlords are using the following online tools.
1. Online rent collection software
If you're using PayPal or a similar program to collect rent payments, there's a better way. PayPal will get you paid, but it's not built for landlords and it won't help you track rent payments. Instead, try using software specifically designed for landlords.
Most rent collection applications come with a variety of tools for tracking rent payments, issuing late fees automatically, and sending out notices. This technology is the reason property management companies like Green Residential are able to serve all of their clients without missing a beat.
There are plenty of software programs to choose from – Capterra.com has a huge list of rental software that includes customer reviews and links to each company's website. Some applications show big promise. For instance, Buildium is at the top of the list with 4.5 stars and 1,400 reviews.
2. Scheduling software
Scheduling software benefits everyone, including landlords.
Use an electronic schedule to keep track of rent due dates
Keeping track of rent due dates is easy when you have one tenant or rent is due on the same date for everyone. However, that's not usually how it works. There will always be some tenants who require unusual due dates based on their pay schedule or other circumstances. For instance, some tenants pay rent on the 12th of each month or on the first Friday of each month.
Utilizing scheduling software gives you a heads up regarding when a tenant's rent is coming due. If the rent doesn't arrive on time, you can promptly send out a notice. Without scheduling software, you may not even realize when a tenant has missed their due date.
Schedule all maintenance and repair appointments
In today's busy world, it's hard to keep track of every scheduled phone call and appointment without using some kind of software application. Unfortunately, missing an appointment means losing your tenant's trust.
Landlords who follow through with their promises earn more trust and have a better chance at keeping tenants long-term. Lingering maintenance requests are one of the most common complaints tenants make against their landlords. If you say you're going to make a repair, schedule a date and make that repair. Using an electronic calendar makes it effortless.
Schedule all yearly inspections
Hopefully, you're the kind of landlord who checks in on their property on a regular basis. It's not uncommon for landlords to perform yearly inspections to make sure their property is in good shape.
Scheduling software eliminates the burden of having to remember when a property is due for inspection. For example, if you perform yearly inspections, schedule your inspection dates for all properties for the entire year. Set an alarm to go off a week in advance to remind you to give proper notice to your tenants.
3. Online tenant screening services
You need to screen your tenants' credit and perform a background check even if you only have one rental property. Not screening tenants is a quick way to get yourself a tenant with a history of eviction and/or property destruction. You don't want to find out about a tenant's past the hard way.
A tenant with a minimum credit score of 650 is more likely to pay their rent on time and in full. A tenant without a history of eviction – and with solid references – is more likely to take good care of your property.
4. Online listing services
To get a pool of good tenants to choose from, an online listing service will help you reach a large number of potential tenants. However, you may want to skip listing on aggregate sites like Zillow. Your listing may not reach the right people, and interested people may never get a response from the listing agent due to an influx of spam messages related to the property.
Miscellaneous apps can help, too
All of the apps listed above will help you maintain your landlord duties. However, any apps that help you stay organized will contribute to keeping your best tenants and getting paid on time.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer, and researcher. A graduate of Iowa State University, he's now a full-time freelance writer and business consultant. Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, and Forbes.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he's also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter (@LarryAlton3), at LinkedIn.com/in/larryalton, and on his website, LarryAlton.com. Read Larry Alton's Reports — More Here.
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