4 Reasons Why Your SFR Property Management Business Needs Mobile-Friendly Software

Last modified on March 7th, 2024

Having mobile-friendly software has become table stakes for today’s property manager. This is true whether your property management company focuses on single-family home rentals or manages a mixed portfolio that includes boutique multifamily (MFR) properties. 

When you’re managing single-family rentals (SFR), the physical distance between homes can make it time-consuming to show units, address maintenance issues, and meet with residents and owners. 

Of course, there are also challenges that come with managing a mixed portfolio and the different characteristics and locations that come with dispersed MFR properties. Even smaller footprints require investments in time, resources, and technology to juggle the multiple demands of your property management business

Either way, it’s key to be as efficient as possible. 

Relying on paper-based processes in addition to in-person interactions to get work done can lead to a lot of wasted resources and take time away from your team — time that could be better spent focusing on creating a great customer experience or growing your business. 

Mobile tools make it easier to manage your property management company from anywhere. They can also help you meet residents’ needs and deliver a better customer experience. 

Why Your SFR Property Management Company Needs Mobile-Friendly Technology Solutions  

Today’s property manager has more to keep up with than ever before. With the ever-shifting real estate market dynamics, staying on top of SFR current trends and remaining competitive can be time-consuming. One way to lighten the load is making sure your property management software is saving not wasting — valuable time. 

Read on to discover four ways your property management business can benefit from adopting a fully mobile system.

1.) Mobile-Friendly Property Management Software Leads to Increased Transparency 

Transitioning from paper-based systems or limited software to a completely mobile solution instantly increases transparency across your teams. With a single system of record that you can access from anywhere, it’s easier to track things like maintenance repairs, move-ins/move-outs, and lease renewals. When all of your data is at your fingertips, you can also keep a pulse on how your properties are performing and make better-informed decisions.

Additionally, your owners can view reports and communicate with your team within minutes, which builds trust and satisfaction. The more credibility you have with your current owners, the more future owners you can attract with referrals. 

Jacqui Luberto of ONE Family Property Services agrees. As the owner of a property management company with over 235 single-family rentals across five counties, Jacqui relies on software, among other things, to stay focused on delivering exceptional service and experiences. She shares: 

“The ability to provide different reports for different owners is so important…we’ve reduced many issues for everyone. And when we reduce issues, we increase happiness.” 

2.) Streamlined Tech Stack Solutions Provide Greater Efficiency

With a mobile system, property managers don’t have to be in the office or on location to facilitate repairs, answer questions from residents or owners, or do other tasks. They can easily carry out workflows from the field or at home, so work gets done faster and more efficiently. 

As SFR property managers know, this is especially valuable when juggling properties that are spread out across a large area. Anytime you or your property management business’s team members visit one of your SFR properties, technology is needed to stay connected and efficient. 

For instance, if one of your property managers is onsite and notices something that needs attention, they can create a work order right then and there instead of calling it in to someone in the office or making a note to follow up later.

Along with mobility, automated features that are built into the software can free up team members from having to manually enter data, verify information, or return phone calls. As a result, you can fill vacancies faster and maximize revenue.

As a case in point, Jenny Stephens of Nebraska Lifestyles Property Management, who manages over 900 single-family and multifamily rental units, has been able to fill vacancies faster since adopting a mobile solution. 

“We premarket our future listings using the vacancy posting tool in AppFolio. It allows us to publish an upcoming vacancy through the website and on rental listing sites. With the click of a button, everything is published everywhere. It allows us to premarket effectively and efficiently ahead of time. This way we can pre-qualify more renters, which has been super beneficial for us and our owners and renters,” says Jenny. 

3.) Mobile Options Mean More Flexibility for SFR Renters

Today’s renters expect to be able to access information, complete tasks, and communicate directly from their phones. From ordering groceries via Instacart to hailing a ride with Uber, residents want on-demand, mobile experiences. And interacting with their property management company is no exception. 

Mobile-friendly property management software with digital leasing tools lets prospective residents easily find information for a new home, adding an extra layer of convenience to their rental property search. 

This is useful when prospects are “on the go” and seeking floorplans and photos, or scheduling a showing, whether it’s guided by a member of your leasing staff, self-guided, or even virtual

If renters are moving from out-of-state, digital tools help make it possible to easily view units from afar, increasing your pool of qualified prospects. And since over 55% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, ensuring that these experiences are also available to renters on their tablets or smartphones is critical. 

The benefits don’t stop at prospects — when residents can get information and submit requests from an app on their smartphone, they don’t have to come into the office to renew their lease, pay rent, or ask questions.

AppFolio customer Tami Simeona of Two Seas Property Management further explains: 

“At my previous company, I had to wait for renters to email me photos or go and take them myself, and then go back into their paper files and check if we made the repair before. And then I would have to call the vendor, re-explain everything, and then schedule a time for them to complete the repair. It would take hours, if not days, to complete a work order. Sending a work order out now with AppFolio takes me five minutes.”

Using a cloud-based system, residents can self-serve and request maintenance repairs, conduct mobile inspections, renew their lease, pay their rent, and more, all from their phones. This eliminates the frustration caused by not having these options available and enables your team to provide a great customer experience, which ultimately boosts resident retention

4.) Fully Mobile Software Is More Scalable for Your Property Management Business 

Finally, mobile-friendly property management software makes it easier for your team to manage more units because it extends their bandwidth and the ability to complete tasks from anywhere. 

As we mentioned earlier, mobile tools are also desirable to both prospective renters and future owners, so implementing them helps your organization attract more business and scale your portfolio. In short, when you have everything you need to manage your single-family home rentals under one platform, growth comes naturally.

For example, when Michael Mintz of MD Squared expanded his inventory, AppFolio’s user-friendly software made the new acquisition and onboarding process both less daunting and more seamless. 

“We purchased a company back in December. They were on one of these older systems. We trained them on AppFolio, and literally, within a few weeks, everyone was up and running and understood how to use AppFolio, and they loved it. It just totally transformed how their business worked, both for the employees and the clients.”

The Results Speak for Themselves 

You can see that mobility comes with many benefits, from increased flexibility for renters to greater efficiency for your business. A fully mobile property management software like AppFolio can provide the tools you need to bring your workflows online so you can streamline your processes and deliver a top-notch resident and owner experience. 

In fact, when we surveyed our most satisfied AppFolio customers, we learned that with our software, 88% simplified their technology stack and eliminated redundant tools.* 

“Before my business started using AppFolio, we were really old school and used Excel…As we grew, a lot of things just became challenging, and I knew I needed a program that helped my business stay organized…Automating this process within AppFolio has definitely given us a leg up on some of our competitors.” — Joseph Colaluca, Strive Realty 

To learn more about how technology is transforming the property management industry and how you can effectively scale your portfolio, download our free growth strategies playbook below.

*April 2021 TechValidate survey of 500+ satisfied AppFolio customers

Single-family rental growth strategies playbook


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