There are a couple of meanings behind the syntagm “digital landlord.” However, today we’ll focus solely on one of them. If you’ve browsed the term in relation to the real estate game, you’ve knocked on the right door. On the other hand, if you were looking for an article related to the broader meaning of the abovementioned syntagm, you’ll want to hunt for info someplace else. We’ll show you just how to get started as a digital landlord. Once you’re done reading it, you’ll be equipped with some valuable real estate tips. Therefore, stay tuned!
Wait, what (or who) is a digital landlord?
Before we begin, let’s try to dismantle the confusion we might’ve created in the opening lines. Here we’ll try to figure out what (or better: who) is a digital landlord by providing you with the two common definitions of the term.
The non-real-estate definition
Outside the real estate world, a digital landlord represents a person or an organization/business that owns or runs a good amount of online digital property or assets. We’re talking about websites, apps, social media accounts, etc. All of these are used to generate revenue via various forms of monetization, such as advertising or sponsorships.
This definition of the term is mostly used in relation to the world of so-called digital real estate (where domain names are seen as property, for instance).
The definition we’ll stick to today
And here’s the “real estate” definition: a digital landlord is a person who utilizes technology to manage their properties. This might include everything from remote security measures to handling various types of property management software.
Now that we’ve cleared things up let’s see how you can use technology to your advantage as a landlord. Thus becoming a so-called digital landlord, that is!
How to become a digital landlord?
As a (digital) landlord, there are many ways you can utilize various technological advantages of the modern age to streamline your operations and boost your tenant experiences. Essentially, it’s all about increasing your general efficiency when managing a rental property. Here’s how to get started as a digital landlord and use technology to your advantage!
#1 Utilize property management software
Probably the first thing you’ll want to consider is using property management software to automate various tasks associated with being a landlord: rent collection, tenant screening, maintenance requests, and so on. If you were to check the online offer, you’d see that there are a lot of options to choose from. Therefore, you’ll have no trouble picking out software that fits your needs and budget.
#2 Offer virtual property tours
Needless to say, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything (and real estate’s no exception). For instance, virtual meetings almost replaced talking to people in person for quite some time. Now that the pandemic is over, things have gone back to the way they were, but many COVID-19-related trends choose to stay. Virtual property tours represent one of the trends mentioned earlier. As a landlord, there’s no need to look down on this fact: technology can help you save some time by showing your property to potential tenants.
How do virtual property tours work in practice?
If you’re wondering how these tours work, here’s the thing: they enable your potential tenants to enjoy a full view of your rental property without actually having to be there in person. First, you’ll need to record and edit the footage of your rental to include background music, text overlays, and other extras to make the tour more engaging. For instance, imagine if you were a tenant and wanted to move your home office and relocate your workspace with ease. Besides browsing the web for home office relocation tips, you’d additionally want to see whether there’s a room inside your new place to accommodate your office inventory. Also, you can use various tools like 360-degree cameras (in order to enable your prospective tenants to navigate the tour virtually) and video conferencing software.
#3 What about online rent payments?
That’s right, by providing your tenants with the option to pay rent online, you’re able to make the best of your rent collection process and simplify it. You’ll save both time and effort. Imagine you have a couple of rental properties and have to meet with each of your tenants to collect rent money. It doesn’t sound like fun, right? Therefore, you can utilize various rent payment platforms (for instance: Zillow Rental Manager). These will help you offer this option to your (potential) tenants.
#4 Rely on online communication with your tenants
Instead of relying on phone calls or in-person meetings in the digital era, you might as well use email, SMS, or various messaging software to communicate with your tenants. Why’s this so important? Well, unlike with phone calls or in-person meetings, by communicating with your tenants digitally, you’ll be able to keep track of your conversations and provide faster responses to any of your tenants’ requests.
#5 Use tenant screening software
Once you’re “on the hunt” for new tenants, you, of course, want to opt for people who are responsible and reliable. To help you with this, there are many tenant-screening software solutions (such as Cozy). By using the abovementioned apps, you’ll be able to verify your tenants’ credit score and history, criminal background, rental history, and so on.
#6 Lastly, let’s talk about accounting software
Needless to say, keeping track of finances related to your rental property can be quite a challenge. However, there’s a way to make that whole ordeal a lot easier. Manage your income and expenses with ease by introducing accounting software to your routine. These apps will help you stay organized and keep track of tax obligations. Speaking of taxes, check out the biggest tax benefits of real estate investing.
Final words on the subject
Dear readers, these were our thoughts and suggestions on how to get started as a digital landlord. Hopefully, now you’re well aware of how to implement some technological advancements to boost your efficiency when renting out your property to tenants. By following the abovementioned tips, we’re sure you’ll have no trouble managing your rental property in the digital age. Until next time!