You enjoy the experience of being a landlord, especially the income generating part of it. However, if you don't have the time to enjoy the money, what's the point? Your property management duties take up a lot of time, especially when you're starting out. You've got technology on hand to help you work smarter and more efficiently, such as accounting software, work order management, and electronic document signing.
1. Accounting Software
Filling out your taxes with income generating properties is quite a different experience from filling out a 1040-EZ. If you come from a wage earner's background, getting help with bookkeeping and taxes is a must. QuickBooks is a common accounting software that is loaded with features and grows with your business. If you prefer app-based software with a lower learning curve, try Expensify. It automatically uploads pictures of receipts (taken with your phone) and syncs that expense amount with the app and supported accounting software.
2. Cloud-Based To-Do List
Is your property to-do list scribbled down on a piece of paper you lost in your car? Step into the modern era by using a cloud-based to-do list, such as Wunderlist. Cloud-based solutions are hosted on third party servers, so you can access them from any device with a web browser. You write your to-do list once and it's available and synced on your smartphone, desktop, and tablet. Wunderlist allows you to create multiple to-do lists, so you can sort your tasks by category, property, or another organizational system.
3. Work Order Management Software
Work order management software, such as LandlordStation's tenant portal, allows tenants to send maintenance requests online or via mobile. Work order management software streamlines the process on getting tenant problems handled, since you don't have to check your voice mail for requests or keep paper copies of which property is having issues. In addition, if it's easy for the tenants to report problems, they're more likely to let you know when something is wrong instead of ignoring it.
4. Electronic Document Signing
You found the perfect tenant, but their work schedule isn't working with your availability when it comes to document signing and drop off. Electronic document signing takes care of this issue by allowing the tenant to sign it online. You use an electronic document signing service to upload your lease agreement and add marks that show where the tenant needs to sign through their software. Once that's squared away, you can send the document to the tenant's email and they are directed to the electronic document for their digital signature and completion of the lease agreement signing. If you already have your lease agreement typed up as a document, the only extra work you need to do is sending it through the electronic document signing system.
5. Automatic Backup Software
You deal with valuable documents as part of doing business as a landlord. If you store everything on your local computer, keeping everything backed up is essential. You don't want to leave data redundancy up to chance, so use an automatic backup software so you always have your data available. Some backup software also saves the data off-site, so you are safe even if your computer is damaged or destroyed in an accident. Some backup software options include Carbonite, Seagate Backup Plus, and Microsoft Backup and Restore.
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