It’s easy to make money as a landlord, right? You just sit back and watch those rent checks roll in. Wrong! For many, it’s a full-time job that includes collecting rent on time, finding reliable tenants, and making sure maintenance is done quickly.
Of the 43 million rental units in the U.S., 80% are owned by “small-asset” landlords—part-time landlords with a rental property or two who also have day jobs, according to Lucas Hall of Landlordology, a website with tools and resources for independent landlords.
Fortunately, a slew of websites, software, and other types of technology have made life as a property manager way more, well, manageable. Here are eight tech innovations making it a whole heck of a lot easier to be a landlord.
1. Online applications and background checks
Instead of requiring potential tenants to show up and hand you a paper application, there are many apps and types of software that help landlords accept online applications and do credit checks and background screening.
Rent Application is free for landlords, and charges applicants $10 to $20 for credit or background checks.
Package landlord solutions like Cozy (free for landlords, $25 to $40 for credit checks), Rentalutions (up to $50 a month), and Rentalfy ($9 to $119 a month) all include online applications and background checks, as well as assistance listing and marketing the rental unit.
2. Digital signature collection
Software like dotloop (up to $30 a month) and DocuSign ($10 to $40 a month) let landlords send leases and other agreements that need a digital signature. They can also store the signed documents for reference later. If you’re managing multiple properties, this lets you keep all your important documents in one place, and cuts down on the amount of schlepping you’re doing to get signed leases and lease renewals.
3. Digital rent collection
Processing payments is one of the biggest issues facing landlords. Thankfully, digital rent collection allows tenants to pay with their computer or phone, direct from their bank account to the landlord’s. Whether you’re using a general payment app like Venmo or a landlord-specific…