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Finding high-quality renters to fill in your vacancy is both laborious and time-consuming. The decision to work with a tech-enabled property manager is a wise approach to rid you of the stress of the leasing process. They know the changing behaviors of homeowners and renters alike and respond to them with strategies that deliver a convenient and painless renting experience. 

Changes in circumstances would also cause changes in the way rental leasing is performed. For instance, some homeowners were cautious of opening their properties for showing or conducting face-to-face renter screening at the height of the pandemic. This made it difficult for prospective renters to find a home.

Problems like these have now been solved with the integration of technology in the leasing process. With automation, things can be done faster, more efficiently, and with less human intervention.  It’s no wonder that more rental owners are switching to the tech-driven approach over the traditional leasing method used by mom-and-pop property managers.

Tech-enabled property management companies like Poplar Homes provide contactless rentals that give owners and renters a smoother rental experience. Here’s a quick rundown of how technology makes leasing less of a pain and more of a positive journey that sets the tone for your rental business.

 

 

Onboard in a breeze

 

Onboarding your property and preparing it for listing are the first steps to leasing your property. More than just improving curb appeal, it’s about ensuring your property is up to code and meets habitability standards. It is essential to comply with these standards to avoid getting into potential legal trouble.

Poplar assists you in this step by providing a habitability checklist that helps ensure your property is move-in ready. You can then onboard your property on your Owner Dashboard by providing property details and uploading supporting documents. Once that is done, your home is now ready for listing. You can also make inquiries about Poplar’s services on the same dashboard, request a walkthrough to check your property’s condition, and even digitally sign your property management agreement.

 

 

Market Like a Pro

 

One reason why some listings don’t get much traction is poor marketing. Using bad photos, inappropriate property descriptions, under or overpriced rent, and lack of online promotions are some of the mistakes when marketing rentals the traditional way. 

A Statistica Research Department study shows that 98% of Americans use the internet to find a home. So relying solely on traditional marketing methods such as advertising on local papers, pinning flyers on public bulletin boards, or placing a ‘’For Rent’’ sign on the property’s front yard can attract fewer eyeballs to your listings.  

With Poplar, your rental homes are provided with info-rich descriptions, attractive photos, and a competitive rent price on its listing page. They are advertised in multiple trusted and reliable partner sites like Zillow Premium Network, Trulia, Hotpads, and Rentpath Premium Network, to name a few. This makes your listings accessible at any time to a broader market and in any geographic location.

Your listings also come with a 3D virtual tour that allows prospects to view your property from corner to corner using their desktop or mobile phone. It sets expectations on how the home would look and feel and helps avoid surprises during showing or move-in. The digital simulation can also prompt them to make inquiries about the property, helping to speed up their decision on your property. A Matterport study showed that properties spend 31% less time in the market when their listings include a virtual tool.

When your prospects have a question about your property after the home tour, they can course that anytime through an SMS that will be answered real-time by our AI-enabled chatbot, Ace. 

An automated leasing process takes less than 30 days during the peak season to fill in a move-in-ready home. That’s a massive leap from the average of 30 to 60 days to rent out a property the traditional way.

 

 

Manage Showings Through a Bot

 

Managing showings is another time-consuming task in the leasing process. This is difficult to track, from booking to confirming schedules or changing them at the last minute, especially when dealing with multiple showings.

With Ace, your prospects can easily book a showing via SMS, choosing between self-tour or guided tour. Self-tour is convenient to renters if they are only available during off-hours. A Zogby Analytics report says 27% of prospective renters prefer self-tour because it is easier to arrange within their schedule, and they don’t have to wait for an agent to become available. Ace will recommend a guided tour with our Fielders for homes that are not available for a self-tour. 

Ace will message your prospects to remind them of their home tour close to the date of showing. If they need to reschedule, they can do so with Ace as it can quickly make the change and even confirm the new schedule with them.

If prospects choose a self-tour, they will be provided with a one-time security code to access the home keys from a secure lockbox installed at the property.  The security code is only given upon system confirmation and verification of the renter’s personal information. 

After each successful showing, prospects will receive an SMS or email that asks them to share their feedback on the property to help fast-track their decision.

 

 

Screen Applications with Ease

 

When screening applicants, it is necessary to be thorough with background checks and verification of personal information to ensure the process weeds out those that do not qualify. Careful screening will help you avoid placing a bad renter that can lead to problems like late rent payment, eviction, or worse, damage to your property. 

A manual screening process is tedious and can be hard to track, especially with multiple applications. Carefully reviewing each application and the required documents attached to it, not to mention the credit and background checks, can take a long time and will extend the time your property sits vacant. Using a tech-enabled process will not only expedite the screening process for you but also for your prospects.  

Poplar’s digital process allows renters to fill out an application online and submit their documents on their dashboards, such as rental history reports, credit history, eviction history, and employment records. These are closely reviewed and vetted by a dedicated team of leasing professionals who then notifies you by email about qualified applications. You simply need to go to your Owner Dashboard to review qualified applicants and their documents for your final approval.

 

 

 

Review and Sign Your Lease Online

 

It’s time to let go of the lengthy back-and-forth over your lease agreement and review it when your traditional property manager sends you a copy.  Poplar generates a law-compliant lease agreement bearing your terms and those agreed with your renters, making it conveniently accessible to you online so you can review it any time, wherever you are. You and your renter can then sign the lease online on your respective dashboards. 

According to the Electronic Signatures In Global and National Commerce Act, it is safe and legally binding to sign a lease digitally. After signing, you will both receive a short call from our support team to welcome you and give a quick rundown of the next steps for the move-in process.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Finding a quality renter for your property is now a breeze with the intervention of technology. This also makes it easy to grow your rental portfolio even in remote locations. Such is an advantage not easily found with traditional property management.

Poplar’s tech-powered approach streamlines the leasing process to make it more convenient, efficient, and available 24/7—with as little human interaction as possible. If human assistance is needed, our support team is always available for you and your renter. 

With our automated leasing, you can experience a painless leasing journey, helping you give your investment property its best chance for success.

 

Lessen your burden and reduce your vacancy rate with Poplar Homes