Real estate looks quite different than it did even a few years ago.
Cloud-based software, online rent payment portals, and other digital tools have moved rental business management to digital spaces. Remote working and housing trends have also contributed to the changing rental landscape in 2022.
If you’re wondering how to adapt to these changes, you aren’t alone. Managing a rental business in 2022 means you’ll need to try new things—and not all these things will work.
Maintaining a positive attitude toward technology and being willing to fail sometimes will help you endure hardships and acclimate to new digital climates.
Here are five habits of successful rental business owners in 2022 and how you can emulate them.
1. They have a strong digital presence.
Successful rental business owners are not resistant to shifting trends in digital media and online presence. Instead, they readily accept that many core rental business functions are faster, better, and more efficient when done online.
For example, renters in 2022 rarely search for properties in their local newspaper. Instead, they’ll scroll through listing sites on their smartphones or laptops throughout the day. By developing engaging rental advertising content and listing your properties on popular listing sites like Zillow and Apartments.com, you can increase your reach and accommodate digital trends at the same time.
Your property management software platform has many tools to help increase your business’s digital presence.
For instance, many platforms offer listing syndication features either for free or for an additional fee. Listing syndication allows you to write a single listing and upload it to multiple listing sites simultaneously.
Listing your properties and developing quality rental ads online is a priority of successful rental business owners.
2. They get regular feedback.
Successful landlords aren’t perfect. From time to time, they realize the potential to improve their policies, practices, or amenities.
For this reason, getting regular feedback from your tenants is a great idea. Often, tenants will give useful suggestions that clue you in on the aspects of your properties your tenants like and dislike. You can use this data to assess trends. If multiple tenants complain about the same problem, you might realize that this problem is not an isolated issue and should be addressed sooner than others.
You can also collect feedback indirectly from your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Your KPIs include stats and metrics that help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your business, such as your vacancy and occupancy rates. Remember that your KPIs are accessible and easily interpreted on property management software.
3. They collect rent online.
Successful landlords avoid cash and check payments.
Despite being a tradition in many older rental businesses, cash and checks come with many vulnerabilities. Paper payments are susceptible to misplacement, theft, and accidents, and they are less easily tracked. There’s no evidence that a tenant paid the amount they claim other than a hand-written receipt.
Instead, collect rent online through an online payment portal. Often, these portals are integrated directly into your property management software so you can collect rent, distribute late fees, and watch live accounting updates from one central hub.
Tenants are also free to pay with debit, credit, or ACH transfer and can submit their payments at any time or place.
4. They protect themselves from legal liability.
Great rental business owners make equality and fair housing a priority. Why? Because unfair or discriminatory practices could easily land you with a lawsuit.
According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to deny renters housing or treat a renter differently because of their membership in any protected class (race, sex, gender, religion, etc.). Fair housing laws especially apply to your rental applications and advertisements. The language you use must be precise, but it cannot mention any of the protected classes or infringe upon any of the rights outlined by the FHA.
5. They use property management software.
You likely already know that successful rental business owners use property management software.
Digital management is increasingly popular among property managers and landlords of all types. With features for online rent collection, lease signing, tenant screening, maintenance, and communication, property management software is the best way to organize your business and automate daily rental tasks.
Building Strong Rental Management Habits
Managing a rental business in 2022 requires significant flexibility and adaptability. From remote management to virtual tours and digital payment portals, landlords have their hands full with new trends in rental management.
However, by taking advantage of digital tools and resources, cultivating your online presence, complying with fair housing laws, and utilizing feedback, you can build habits that will make your rental business highly competitive in 2022.