Managing your rental property can be a rewarding experience. But it often comes with challenges, especially when you need to provide your renters with customer support whenever they need it. Renters call you for many reasons, from pre-tenancy inquiries to maintenance and other concerns during tenancy.
To avoid frustrating them, responding to their calls and taking action on their inquiries or requests is necessary. But it is not always easy to respond each time they call on you, regardless if you’re a newbie or a veteran in the rental business. Even if you’re able to take all their calls, there could be other issues that are beyond your ability to address immediately.
Working with a property management company with 24/7 support for homeowners and renters would be a good strategy for your rental business. Not only will you and your tenant benefit, but it also lets them know you take their concerns seriously and want them to have a comfortable stay on your property.
24/7 Support is a Homeowner’s Lifeline
There will be countless interactions with renters, from when you list your home to when your residents move out. It’s essential to provide your residents with customer support, especially during their tenancy. When they are comfortable in your home, there’s a bigger chance they will stay longer, helping ensure you have a steady stream of rental income.
Here’s how customer support frees you from the hassle of directly addressing renter issues while keeping you in the loop.
Bridges Communication Gap
Remote landlords account for 47% of homeowners, according to a Buildium 2021 industry report. Being located away from your rental properties makes it difficult for you to respond immediately to renter concerns. The difference in time zones, quality of communication lines, and lack of immediate access to services you need to address renter issues can also affect your response.
“My landlord doesn’t pick up my calls even during the day, and I don’t know why.”
“My landlord gives me the runaround on when he will repair my broken toilet.”
“I have a move-in concern with my landlord, but he hasn’t responded back, causing me delay.”
“My landlord is rude. He goes irate when I start discussing repairs he’s promised to do.”
Your property manager bridges the communication gap between you and your renters. Whether they take round-the-clock live calls or interact via AI-enabled tools, they can make fast direct responses, classify the urgency of the concern, and take quick action as needed.
Poplar Homes’ 24/7 AI-enabled bot Ace answers leasing inquiries and helps prospects book showings
Showings Can Curtail Your Personal Time
For DIY owners, booking a home tour with prospects and making yourself available for every showing can be challenging. You need to set aside time for the lengthy back-and-forth in scheduling home tours, especially if you and the prospect are both struggling to find a common time. If you can’t be on call any time of the day and any day of the week for this, your vacancy could last longer than you want.
Virtual Tour is now a standard and convenient option for potential renters, especially during this pandemic era. It lets prospects virtually interact with your property, giving them a better look and feel of the home without both of you needing to be on-site. It will also allow renters from out-of-town to view your home at their convenience.
Multiple prospects can make virtual tours at any time. That means more eyes on your rental, a faster way to fill in your vacancy, and reduced vacancy costs for you. However, creating a virtual tour for your home can be time-consuming and prohibitively expensive.
Property managers who understand the value of digital marketing tools usually have virtual tours and digital floor plans to offer prospects a complete home viewing experience. These will not only highlight your listing but also set it apart from competition.
Tenant Screening Mistakes Can Get You in Trouble
Your goal is to find high-quality renters—those that will pay on time and take care of your property as their home. Doing tenant screening yourself, however, is easier said than done. Checking credit scores, employment information, rental history, and other parts of tenant screening require a careful eye and a lot of time and energy.
Any mistake you might make when screening applicants can land you a bad renter—they may turn out to be habitual late payers (or may not pay rent at all) or can cause damage to your property. That would mean loss of rental income and cost for any maintenance or repair if your property were damaged. Worse, you may end up spending thousands of dollars if you need to evict your tenant later on.
It’s critical to follow laws such as the Fair Housing Act. When qualifying renters on your own, you must avoid any form of discrimination against renters based on their color, race, nationality, gender, religion, disability, and familial status. The Fair Housing Act covers only the minimum protection, so you will need to find out if there are other protected classes in local and state laws.
Your lease also needs to be Fair Housing-compliant. If you choose to DIY your rental lease preparation, you must understand Fair Housing laws in your area. It would be in your best interest to consult a legal expert to check your lease for any violation or non-compliance with the law to avoid stiff penalties.
Take note that civil penalties for violating the Fair Housing Act can reach up to $16,000 for the first violation and $37,500 for the preceding five-year period, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Apart from the Fair Housing Act, there are other laws concerning credit reports, criminal background checks, maximum occupancy, among many other things. You must find out what they are and familiarize yourself with their rules and regulations. You will also need to learn the local, state, and federal laws to ensure you are fully compliant.
Property managers make it their business to know rental laws. Their tenant placement process will abide by state guidelines and federal housing laws, from listing to screening to lease preparation. You’re assured your lease complies with local standards and the latest rental laws and regulations.
Be worry-free with tech-enabled placement services
If you’re willing to take on all the challenges of tenant placement, take the key points mentioned above as a guide for you. If you want a successful rental business but don’t want to deal with all the work, getting the help of a professional property manager will be your best option.
Property managers have vast experience and deep insights into the rental market, so you can rely on them for a complete tenant placement service to fill in your vacancy quickly. Those who leverage the power of technology like Poplar Homes can give you a better experience using innovative tech and automation with contactless rentals.
Poplar Homes can fast-track tenant placement with chatbot-assisted on-demand bookings, online renter applications, and quick but thorough screening, including background check, credit check, eviction history, employment, income verification, and landlord references.
Doing your own tenant placement can give you a sense of control. If you can swing all the busywork it requires to land you a high-quality renter successfully, this could be a practical option for you. But if you’re doing all the work involved but miss out on something or inadvertently make a mistake, you won’t achieve the results you want, and it may even cost you.
Property management professionals have the deep knowledge and experience that you need to take the burden off your shoulders. With Poplar Homes, you get full-stack, tech-enabled management of your property from leasing to tenancy, using data and expert knowledge and insights to maximize your rental profit and set you up for success.