How Can Landlords Use Technology?
The property market is fraught with challenges and hurdles for landlords to overcome and the larger a landlord’s portfolio becomes, the greater the challenges become.
With more properties in a portfolio, it becomes increasingly important for landlords to properly and efficiently manage not just their portfolio itself, but everything else that comes with it. This includes their accounts, any issues with tenants, access to finance and choosing service providers where necessary.
Technology is unsurprisingly the solution often turned to, being able to streamline and optimise the management of almost every process a landlord or their portfolio manager will need to face. Excitingly, the technology used, does not always need to be overly complicated or costly, meaning that success and good management in the property industry are easier to come by than many people may believe.
Access to Finance and Calculators
As a portfolio landlord, or even as a landlord of just a couple of properties, access to finance is crucial. Many landlords at one time or another will seek to renovate a property or a collection of properties in order to improve both the value and potential rental yield of the property or properties in question. Hence, access to the likes of home improvement loans and second mortgages is key.
Part of the process of applying for any form of property finance in the UK is the initial calculation by the prospective borrower in relation to the type of finance they may be eligible for and how much money they can borrow altogether.
With the advent of mortgage calculators, mainly via websites online and mobile apps, it is easier than ever for landlords and property managers to calculate, based on their current standing, how much it is possible to borrow and for what purpose. Although any ultimate decision with regards to borrowing money and finance will be made by underwriters at the lenders offering the funding, online calculators can be very accurate.
Furthermore, these calculators can be surprisingly accurate, assuming the data entered, to make the decisions is accurate and honest.
Property Management Software
Owning a portfolio of properties is one thing, but managing properties is an entirely different challenge. The more properties a landlord owns, the greater the number of challenges you will be expected to face, hence the need and requirement to utilise property management software and technology. Common challenges and problems include:
- Managing tenant payments
- Managing and paying service providers (such as builders and gardeners)
- Overseeing contracts and legal paperwork
- Onboarding new tenants
- Liaising with estate agents and property portals
- Liaising with leaseholders and freeholders
- Dealing with any property damage, maintenance and repairs
Each of these challenges (amongst others which may arise) requires specific attention to detail and as the number of properties in a portfolio increases and so the portfolio grows in size, which is often a target of landlords, any problems and management requirements are amplified.
For example, it may be the case that a landlord owns 20 properties, which in turn means there will need to be at least 20 contracts, 20 sets of potential maintenance and so on.
Property management software allows many, or often all of the time consuming and laborious processes associated with property and portfolio management to be taken care of in one place, using a piece of software or technology.
For example, if a tenant has a problem with something, rather than having to phone or email someone, be it the landlord or a manager, the problem can be reported by the tenant, picked up by the landlord and assigned to a service provider or contractor to then fix the problem; this is a much faster and more efficient way to manage all aspect of a portfolio. Such processes and principles apply to everything from the paperwork and agreements to managing rent and repairs.