Now is a fantastic time in property management. Remote property management is far simpler. And, it’s about time.
Tasks that used to consume time and effort can be expedited quickly without being physically on-site. The property manager no longer needs to dig into file cabinets for every question about a lease, or an owner contract, or a maintenance bill — as these functions are all now safely and quickly accessed remotely through email, cloud storage applications, and legally binding digital ‘signing services.’ It’s almost like property managing finally caught up with the world of apps.
No longer do we have to worry about misplacing our list of vendors, or clients, or emergency contacts. Everything is digitally accessed instantly. Even signing a lease can be done digitally with the automatic transfer of funds from a tenant’s bank with applications like Venmo or Zelle. All rent can be paid remotely by electronic transmission, thereby eliminating hours of work going through accounting books to log in the checks.
Maintenance control is also much easier to track. Managers no longer have to remember or go through pages of complaints from a tenant. Databases are better suited to maintain tenant complaints. Social media platforms for maintenance specialists provide the landlord access to providers, even in the most remote location. Remote landlords can negotiate when they are to arrive and when they expect job completion. Stored PDF files replace paper bills. Quick retrieval of these stored documents automates tax filing. These new platforms verify when the payments we made after the job concludes, and allow landlords to rank the service provider based on his craft.
Remote Property Management and Security
One of the most important aspects of being responsible for numerous properties is that property’s security. How do you maintain safety when a homeowner is away, or the home is otherwise empty?
A new batch of hardware and services such as Ring and Skyfall perform property management tasks which were until now, unheard of. These products offer the convenience, safety, and data security management expected of more expensive options. In many cases, the only cost to the landlord is the upfront cost of the unit. Ideally, these services can be used to protect and monitor property during offseason times when the unit is vacant.
Remote monitoring and cloud recording features of many cameras and other devices allow the manager a level of on-site security without being physically present. These devices may also provide an excellent visual deterrent to intruders. Stored video footage generated from these cameras is instrumental for security and police investigations, and even allow the vigilant landlord to speak to the would-be intruder before they enter the empty unit.
Instead of purchasing a traditional lockbox, and leave physical keys at the premises, technology allows the remote landlord the option to text a virtual key to anyone within seconds. This key can be programmed to only open at specified times and dates. Upon arrival, the visitor’s time would be recorded, logged with notification sent to the landlord. Also, some remote locks can secure themselves, as well as activate other devices once the visitor is inside.
More Now and in the Future
Even connected thermostats provide a landlord the capability to notify in real time the state of the vacant property’s climate control. Managers can activate and deactivate them remotely, on demand. This feature comes in handy for the remote landlord if the guest forgets to turn off the climate control inside a vacant unit, or if the landlord wishes to pre-heat or pre-cool the house before the arrival of a future guest.
These and many other examples are showcased in this website, which is dedicated to technology supporting the remote manager. I welcome your comments.