As the holiday rush falls behind and people get back to their working routine, here comes the right moment for articles like this one. And if December is the best for reflecting on the progress made, January is all about fresh starts, long-awaited releases, and upcoming trends. I have prepared a detailed overview of the most important property management trends all landlords should know in 2017.
Paperless Rental Agreements
As the world goes digital, documents become paperless. As simple as that, the newest technologies make it possible to create, update, sign, and store documents online. If you haven’t gone paperless in your business yet, chances are good that you cannot even imagine how easy things can be. When there is a need to convince people to try something new, numbers work better than words. So let us input some digits into this text-dominated article. As far back as 2013, it was discovered that e-signing can save you around $20 per document. What’s more, it gives an 80 percent reduction in turnaround time. What a waste of money, paper, ink, and energy to keep printing and scanning, when there is a cheaper and more time-saving alternative available. Proceeding from all said above, it comes as no surprise that online rental agreements are called the next big thing in the real estate industry.
Major benefits: eco-friendly, easily-customized, helps you get those millennial tenants.
Online Rent Collection
Many first-time landlords think that collecting rent is the easiest part of the job, but it is far from the truth. There is a human factor involved, and it is known for making things harder to predict. Your applicants might seem like trustworthy and honest people, but it doesn’t mean they will always pay in full and on time. Chances are good that sometimes you’ll have to deal with overdue payments and uncomfortable conversations (no wonder why 66% of landlords say that property management is more stressful than a full-time job). The good news is that this year is about to scale the emotional load down. It’s expected that digital payments will become the new normal in the rental industry. Given this, you are strongly encouraged to give them a try. Apart from being convenient and secure, online rental payments are able to reduce stress load for everyone involved.
Major benefits: time-saving, secure, makes it easier to keep things organized.
Auction-like Rental Process
As the world gets increasingly competitive, rental industry reflects the trend. Perfect property listings are vying for applicant’s attention and tenants do exactly the same. Applicants want to be chosen, landlords want their properties to be in a high demand. Given this, it comes as no surprise that sometimes tenants are willing to pay slightly more to be picked, while landlords, under the circumstances, may choose among applicants based on custom offers.
While some people blame the trend for skyrocketing rental prices that are high in their own right, others try to wisely use it. It’s completely up to you to decide which rank to join, but the latter one seems to be associated with more perks and benefits. Not only can auction-like renting help you earn more (some applicants are always ready to pay extra money to be approved), but it can also help you choose among the most qualified leads. Think big and let your applicants compete not only in terms of the money they offer, but also in terms of their background, credit scores, and employment history. Give it a try and you’ll be rewarded with the most trustworthy and honest renters.
Major benefits: increased income, more quality leads, properties get their real market value.
Decentralized Real Estate
Introduction of blockchain technologies disrupts countless industries including the real estate. Blockchain-based startups like Rentberry offer the level of transparency and accountability that was never seen before. The technology provides an opportunity for secure peer-to-peer transactions by providing a clear mechanism of screening verification of landlords and renters. That allows eliminating the myriad of intermediaries: real estate agencies, brokers, real estate databases etc. And consequently, get rid of commissions for agents and property managers. There is no more speculation on the price, no opaque deals when terms are dictated by the brokerage. The decentralized real estate platforms connect the landlord directly to prospective tenants. That is a feature you are definitely want to take advantage of.
Major benefits: secure, cost-saving, increase transparency, facilitate trust.
The Sum it Up, Go Digital
Given all said above, it becomes clear that things are moving toward digitalization, speed-up, and transparency. As experts predict, as early as this year, the entire rental process will go online once and for all. Since the first attempts to disrupt the industry appeared to be successful, there’s no doubt that the trend will gain momentum in the years to come.
Technologies, if put to good use, can actually make the world a better place. And, by a good chance, the real estate industry is one of the first to experience the perks of digitalization. So put your best tech-savvy foot forward and catch on the trends described above.
Mariia serves as editor-in-chief and writer for the Rentberry and Landlord Tips blogs. She covers topics such as landlord-tenant laws, tips and advice for renters, investment opportunities in various cities, and more. She holds a master’s degree in strategic management, and you can find her articles in such publications as Yahoo! Finance, Forbes, Benzinga, and RealEstateAgent.