The most successful landlords recognize the benefits of rent collection apps. Collecting rent online makes sense for property owners and tenants. Using apps to collect rent online help landlords maintain healthy cash flow and provide better customer service. Rent collection apps make paying rent straightforward for tenants, resulting in more on-time rent payments.
If you’re looking for a rent collection app, it can be challenging to know which is best. Some free apps can be just as good as paid-for ones. Some apps only allow you to collect rent and security deposits online. Whereas other rent apps have features that include processing rental applications, managing leases, and even listing vacancies.
In this article, you’ll find out about the essential features of the best property management apps.
Seven Essential Features in Rent Collection Apps
When it comes to rent collection apps, not all are created equal. As their name implies, these apps allow tenants to pay rent electronically. Besides collecting rent, basic rental apps usually allow landlords to collect security deposits and late fees. But suppose you really want to enhance your property management business. In that case, it makes sense to get a fully-functional rent collection app.
Here’s a list of the seven crucial features you should look for if you want to use a rental app to collect rent online.
1. Process Rental Applications
The best property management apps have features to manage rental applications online. Tenants can complete the rental application, and landlords can quickly process them. Online rental applications can also include features to pay processing fees and authorize background checks. Furthermore, relevant tenant information is automatically added to lease agreements.
2. Sign Documents Electronically
Choose a property management app that lets you eSign documents. It makes sense to keep property management records electronically. The eSignatures are legally binding and are just as valid as a personal signature.
The challenges of collecting rent during the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the benefits of switching to electronic property management tools.
3. List Rental Unit Vacancies
Let’s face it—vacant rental units cost landlords money in terms of lost rent and property upkeep. The best rent collection apps automatically list rental units that become vacant. The apps syndicate the vacant units to all the best rental property listing websites.
4. Reporting to Credit Bureaus
The feature to report rent payments to credit bureaus is a feature that only some property management apps contain. There are benefits for tenants and landlords by reporting rent payments to Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.
For example, knowing that rent payment history forms part of a tenant’s credit history is a powerful incentive for tenants to always pay rent on time. Many tenants also benefit from this as they can use rent payments to build a positive credit history.
5. Accept Maintenance Requests
Many rent collection apps have a feature for tenants to send maintenance requests to landlords. They can also attach videos, images, or documents so that you can see the issue. This not only saves you time from unnecessary inspection visits, but you also have full control over all maintenance work in your investment properties. You can even assign work to contractors and monitor progress through the app.
6. Communicate with Tenants
Clear and open communication is the best way to ensure excellent landlord-tenant relationships. Many rent collection apps have direct, in-app communication using push messages, SMS text messages, or email. So, you can send bulk messages directly to all your clients at once. Or, you could contact individual tenants directly if necessary.
7. Use Rent Collection Apps for Bookkeeping
One of the significant benefits of rent collection apps is the ability to simplify bookkeeping. Accountancy features in many apps automatically lodge tenants’ payments. But there’s more—you can also use the app to create budgets, track expenses, reconcile bank accounts, and keep track of bills.
The Importance of Staying Organized
Using a rent collection app is an excellent way for landlords to manage multiple properties. Apart from just accepting rent payments, rental apps help with all aspects of running a property management business. The best property management apps let you manage documents, property maintenance, and communicate with tenants.