As every landlord knows, the last thing you want to have are tenants leaving because they have some gripe about their living accommodations or experience with you as a property manager. Finding a replacement tenant is not only time consuming, but also expensive. It’s not just lost rental income that’s at stake, but the hassle of repainting the apartment and spending money on advertising to find a new tenant.
The best way to avoid this– not surprisingly –is to keep your tenants happy by, as the marketing folks say, improving their “customer experience."
On the market today, there’s an array of products to choose from to help you do this. Some property management software is even free to use, so you don’t need to break the bank to offer a modern experience. The features you need are likely covered by a platform, but there are a handful that always make the running of an apartment building both easy and, more importantly, pretty much guarantee to make your renters happy.
The Changing Demographics of Renters
Today’s tenant is a very different person than those of just a decade ago. Many are millennials who grew up when tablets replaced baby rattlers, and when smartphones were considered one of life’s indisputable necessities.
These tech-savvy tenants expect things to be done digitally. That means everything, including their interaction with landlords. If you still only accept rent with a check and accept call-in maintenance requests, you might as well install a dial telephone and coal burning stove in their apartment because, to them, it's about as dated.
Property Management Software Makes for Happy Tenants
Here are some of the features offered by most property management software providers. They help streamline many routine tasks, organize them for easy access and help tenants interface with management in a simple and convenient way.
Rent payment online
Almost all financial transactions today can be done online, including paying rents. Virtually all of these software programs offer an easy means for tenants to pay their rent the way they want to: digitally.
Landlords no longer have to sift through the mail for checks or run to the bank every few days. Online rent payment is a “win-win” for everyone.
Automatic payments online
Better yet, you can offer your tenants an even easier way of paying rent by automatically deducting it from their bank accounts. This is the way many people pay their bills, particularly younger folks, so automatic rent deductions will align with the way they do things already.
Automatic online reminders
If a tenant needs a little nudge about paying their rent, automatic reminders kick-in and send them an email or text saying their payment is late. While this feature may not make tenants happy, it will certainly please landlords. And its better than pinning a note on the tenant’s door.
Automatic remainders are also used for more routine communications such as telling tenants that garbage is collected on Tuesday, that large packages shouldn’t be left blocking the mailboxes or that drum lessons must stop at 10:00 pm.
Pay rent with a debit or credit card
Our society is fast becoming a paper-money-less one. Many stores have already stopped taking cash. If you really want to make your tenant happy, let them pay their rent with plastic.
These are just a few of the features that property management software products offer that are sure to make your tenants happy campers. Remember: a happy tenant is much less likely to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Anuj has been in real estate for 4 years. He works in marketing at Innago, a rental management platform for small to mid-size landlords and often writes about various aspects of the industry. He loves learning and talking about real estate with other passionate individuals!