How to Manage a Property Remotely
We’ve previously discussed tips on managing a rental property when you live out of state. Since then we’ve all faced the challenge of conducting both our business and personal lives in a socially distant, remote, fashion. Property Management is certainly no exception to this necessity. Moving forward and flourishing despite remoteness requires an effective online strategy and willingness to adapt to the times.
Remotely managing properties is certainly nothing new. The disparity between real estate markets encourages out-of-state investors to maximize their profits by investing where properties are less expensive. While Frontline Property Management manages properties across the Dallas Fort Worth & surrounding areas, our clientele reaches the coasts. We know a thing or two about what it takes to successfully gain a profit from distant properties.
Here are the five most important things you can do to manage your property remotely:
1. Set Up Advertising & Remote Viewing / E-Tours Online
If you’re not already advertising online, you are missing out on the #1 way that tenants are searching for properties. Although a well-placed, corner-lot property is going to get a lot of street views and calls from curious potential renters, placing an ad online or listing it in a conglomerate rental site will ensure that it’s viewed by as many people as possible no matter where the property is located.
A feature that is becoming more requested is the availability of an E-Tour. Pictures don’t always convey the depth of a space (although you should have wonderful photos!), and out-of-town renters, those quarantining or social distancing, would like to get the feel of an in-person viewing from the comfort of their current residence. This is made possible by taking a video of the property as if you were giving your standard tour. Take this opportunity to highlight the best features, but feel free to be as thorough as you like – they can always fast forward!
Of course, you may rarely get to your property in person, so taking a video may not be the most convenient option for you. In that case, there are companies that now specialize in remote viewing. With remote viewing, your listed property can be accessed by potential clients in person without you having to be there! For the health and safety of all involved, potential residents are able to register their information and set up touring times online, and then give themselves a tour by using a temporary code that changes with every viewing.
2. Automate Your Processes
This is a painstaking but critical process that will be the foundation of your entire operation. There will be times when you will want to pull your hair out, but every little detail is important here. Automate every process that you possibly can, from setting up your Chart of Accounts and accepting e-payments to making your entire application process can be done online. Create template letters for your prospect and tenant communication, and streamline all of this information with the proper property management software. Your future self will thank your past self endlessly for this once it’s set up! This virtual checklist will make sure that nothing slips through the cracks and that all of your Ts are crossed and your Is dotted. More importantly, it means that your property can be managed from absolutely anywhere!
3. Set Up E-Document Signing
Why wait for snail mail when you can have a lease or other paperwork signed almost instantaneously? And already in a format that’s easy to back up and distribute? Creating E-Documents has (literally) never been easier. There are several companies competing to help you create your documents, so choose the one that works best for your needs and create the templates that can can then easily send to your tenants, vendors or anyone else you need to have a signed agreement with!
4. Maintain Your Property
The heart of your property management business is the property itself. Without a well-maintained property, it doesn’t matter how glossy your photos are, or how well-worded your ad is. When the tenant crosses the threshold, their first impression matters. More than that, the ongoing maintenance of your property is vital to its health and continued success as a financial asset. This means not putting off small jobs that may turn into bigger issues. Handling this remotely means that you will need to have a trusted maintenance company or person on-hand, but also that you need to trust in your tenants when they alert you of an issue. Because you are not able to view the suspected damage in person, you will need to rely on a trusted source. That’s where your vendor relationships and also the proper tenant screening comes in handy! Consider these people to be your business partners, and you are all working together to have a smooth housing experience.
5. Invest in Your Property: Hire a Property Manager
Your rental property is not your home (at least, not yet) – it’s a financial investment. Treat it as such by spending smartly and investing in the right places. A property manager is the absolute best way to manage your property remotely. They are the hands-on, boots on the ground, eyes on the prize person that coordinates every step of the renting process. A property management company like Frontline has decades of combined experience, multiple departments, and everything you need to successfully manage your property. When you hire a Frontline Property Manager, you are not getting only one manager, but the entire team behind them! Your time, energy, and health are investments that you want to make in yourself, not spend on your property. The peace of mind alone is worth the investment.
Let Frontline Property Management do all the heavy lifting, detail sorting, and the in-person necessities so that you don’t have to!