Being a DIY landlord eats up a lot of your time. One way to get a big chunk of that time back is by moving your paper leasing process online.
When you think of all the steps involved, it’s no wonder that signing leases on paper takes time. You have to create the lease, email it to your tenant, wait for them to review it, print it off, schedule a time for them to sign it, scan it, and then provide them with a physical copy.
The process takes even longer if you have to send printed documents back and forth through the postal service.
When you move to online lease agreements, you can navigate your leases with a mouse click or a tap of your finger, have them signed remotely, and store them online. And they’re still legally binding.
Let’s take a closer look at how online leases can help you streamline the entire leasing process and save you (and your tenants) a boatload of time.
Quicker Lease Creation
Think about the time it takes you to create each new lease. Plugging in the tenants’ names, the dates, the property address or unit number, and any addenda for pets, extra services, parking, and so on.
Every lease is not the same. And with online leasing, they don’t have to be. You can create custom lease templates with automated fields that make the process a fast. Many platforms also provide templates that make the task even simpler and faster.
And if you misspell a tenant’s name or make a typo on the dates, most apps let you make edits and revisions up until lease signing—right on your phone or tablet.
Faster Lease Signing
Speaking of lease signing, what do when one of the tenants can’t make it to the signing? Or when you need to add a guarantor who lives out of state?
With online leases, these aren’t problems anymore. You can instantly send the agreement to all parties and get electronic signatures, even if the signer is on the other side of the planet. Signing online enables tenants to review their lease and sign it as soon as you make it available to them—no printing, emailing, or scheduling meetings.
Mobile signing makes renewals easy in the same way. Instead of getting your busy tenants to meet with you and sign a new lease, they can sign electronically and save time for both you and your tenants.
Online leases let you say goodbye to your overstuffed filing cabinet. Because your leases are signed and stored online, you won’t have to dig through a “creative” filing system to find the paperwork you need. Leases, addendums, tenant information, purchase receipts, and more are neatly organized and available to you from your phone or computer.
Your tenants can access some of these documents, too—depending on the access you grant them. That means they will never have to contact you to reference their lease again. Because everything is stored online, you also eliminate the chance that documents will be misplaced or lost.
You might think you need to be tech-savvy to implement online lease signing, but most property management software makes digital leasing simple and intuitive. Neither you nor your tenants have to be technology experts to use online leases.
And don’t worry about your filing cabinet; there are plenty of new uses you can find for it.
No More Juggling
Many landlords have multiple properties in different stages of the leasing process at the same time. As a result, keeping track of who still has to sign what lease agreement can be a headache. And if you’re having to get all of them to sign physical paperwork, it’s a time-consuming headache
Online leasing through property management software makes multiple leases easy. You can oversee the whole leasing process for all of your properties in one place. Rather than juggling multiple tenants, you know exactly which tenants have signed, received, and seen their lease—and which haven’t.
And online leasing also eliminates running back and forth to get missing signatures and initials. Most digital signing platforms won’t allow submissions until all required fields are filled in, so there’s less room for human error.
No one wants to take a tenant to court, but when you must, you don’t want to spend a ton of time getting the paperwork together. With online leasing, it’s all at your fingertips.
But will the court accept an online lease and electronic signatures? In a word, yes.
In 2000, Congress passed the eSign Act, which made digital signatures and documents equal to any printed document. Since then, multiple court cases have found that online leases are just as legally binding as their paper counterparts.
Whatever your reasons were for becoming a DIY landlord, being a slave to paperwork probably wasn’t among them. Moving to online leasing lets you break those chains and free up more of your time.
Not only will you create leases and get them signed more quickly, but you’ll have those legally enforceable documents will be automatically filed and easily accessible to you and your tenants.
There are many property management software packages that offer digital leases, along with a host of other beneficial features.