Last modified on February 28th, 2023
By Brittany Benz
Managing single-family rentals comes with a different set of challenges than managing multifamily apartment buildings. The physical distance between single-family rental homes alone makes them more difficult to manage, as property managers have to spend time driving across town to show units, address maintenance issues, and meet with residents and owners.
Relying on paper-based processes in addition to in-person interactions to get work done can lead to a lot of inefficiencies 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 can make it easier to manage your single-family rental units from anywhere. They can also help you meet residents’ needs and deliver a better customer experience. Read on to discover four ways your business can benefit from adopting a fully mobile system.
1.) Increased transparency
Transitioning from paper-based systems or limited software to a completely mobile solution instantly increases transparency. 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.
2.) Greater efficiency
With a mobile system, property managers don’t have to be in the office or at the property to facilitate repairs, answer questions from residents or owners, or do other tasks. They can easily carry out workflows from the field or even at home, so work gets done faster and more efficiently. 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 can pre-qualify more renters, which has been super beneficial for us and our owners and renters,” says Jenny.
3.) More flexibility for renters
Today’s renters expect to be able to access information, complete tasks, and communicate right from their phones. From ordering groceries via Instacart to hailing a ride with Uber, they want on-demand, mobile experiences. And interacting with their property management business is no exception.
Mobile-friendly property management software with powerful digital leasing tools lets prospective residents view units at their own convenience with self-guided showings or virtual showings. If renters are out of state, mobile tools make it possible for them to view units from afar, increasing your pool of qualified renters. And 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.
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.) More scalable
Finally, mobile-friendly property management software makes it easier for your team to manage more units because it provides them with more 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 by implementing them you can attract more business and scale your portfolio. In short, when you have everything you need to manage all of your single-family homes under one platform, growth comes naturally.
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, we surveyed our most satisfied AppFolio customers and learned that with our software, 88% simplified their technology stack and eliminated redundant tools.* To learn more about how technology is transforming the single-family 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