Tip #265: Virtual Reality
When it comes to managing rental properties, now you can post an ad from your phone, accept online rental applications, collect rent electronically, and automate bookkeeping. Tenants can text rental repair requests to you while you’re away from the office, and you can text your tenants every now and then just to stay in touch — “MHOTY, that’s the best excuse I’ve ever heard for not paying rent!”
But, not surprisingly, there are some serious drawbacks to running a virtual rental property business:
The information that goes into rental applications is much easier to fake online. Virtual tenants need to be checked thoroughly — in person.
Besides, you need to be able to recognize your tenants’ faces.
Legal documents, like lease agreements, eviction notices, and warnings require more formality than a text record or an e-signature. You have to follow the letter of the law, regardless of how antiquated those rules may seem.
You are more likely to miscommunicate when you are incorporating acronyms. NP could mean no pets — or no problem!
If you live on your phone, you need to take steps to secure any sensitive tenant data that you’re collecting or storing. Also, make sure you have a back-up plan — in case your phone gets wet while you’re repairing your tenant’s toilet, because you won’t be LOL then!
See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.
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