The real estate industry has traditionally been slower to embrace technological advancements than many other fields. In the past decade, many industries have changed for the better thanks to technological advancements including media, transportation, communication, and retail. Many have said that real estate is immune to this change, and better without it, however, technology is actually making it easier and cheaper than ever to invest in real estate. Here are a few ways that integrating technology in your business can help you stay organized and save you money.
There’s no need to clutter your office with endless filing cabinets full of paperwork. It’s now easier than ever to scan old documents and let your computer do the filing. Even lease agreements can be created and signed through word processors which means no printing and no need to make an incoming tenant come into the office to sign. Storing all of your documents in the cloud means every document, text-message, request, rent payment, employee manual, email, and every other interaction can be accessed by anyone in the company with a click of a mouse.
Along with keeping normal paperwork on file, this allows for an easy way to keep track of your properties’ maintenance records. For example, if before a new tenant moved in you had to clean a property’s carpets, you could log that in your records. Then if you decide to invest in the cleaning on your properties, you’ll know that that one doesn’t need its carpets cleaned. You can also log things such as checking smoke detectors, plumber visits, filter changes, etc.
Faster Rental Information Flow
In the past, setting a rent amount would be based on the memory of property managers and local investors. Now, you can find a rental estimate using different websites as data points. To find tenants, managers would have to put a listing in the local paper or hope to spread information by word of mouth. Now, there’s tons of sites you can use to find tenants such as Zillow, Craigslist, and Apartments.com which generate interest to anyone from anywhere. When tenants find your property and like what they see, they can do a 360 tour on their computer or smartphone and even schedule a showing with the click of a mouse.
No Need for an Off-site Office
Huge, expensive offices and large, all-hour staffs are now a thing of the past. Since all important documents are on the cloud, anyone working on-site can easily access them from their smartphones. Because of this, property managers can spend all of their time on the actual property and give more individual attention to their tenants. Even if someone’s not available, there are 24/7 emergency numbers tenants can call if they have a maintenance emergency.