You need to be on the internet! At least, that’s what everyone says – I find for those running businesses though, this is just another ‘thing’ they have to worry about. Obviously if you are reading this blog, you already have some notion regarding this – you may have even taken upon yourself to run a blog for your business or try developing a community based website to support your neighbors. I think what can often be overlooked is the benefit of fully integrated online solutions – mostly what I am referring to is having a web portal set up for your tenants.
Before I begin, I just want to say this isn’t going to be a blatant sales push for Propertyware – obviously this is Propertyware’s blog, and one thing that Propertyware does specialize in is easy to use web based portals for your tenants (and fully integrated online solutions for managing a property). I just want to talk in general about the benefits while managing a property in using one of these tenant portals.
The obvious benefit of course is the ease of use for your tenants. A well made tenant portal system will allow tenants to easily log in, pay their rent, and do other important activities such as create maintenance requests. The unknown for many people I think is why this is such a big thing. Afterall, can’t they just as easily put a check in the rent box and call you or walk by your office if they have a maintenance issue?
I think there are two main things at play here. First off, “people” in general would rather not talk to other people or interact if they don’t have to. This is why the anonymity and ease of the web is such a powerful tool. It’s in people’s nature to avoid conflict, and any time you have an interaction with other people you bring up the risk of having a conflict. I’m sure there is some extensive research on the behavior of individuals with respect to this concept – but I can tell you, from working with locally based businesses the least often used form of interaction with the business ends up being the phone (one of the main reasons having a website that gives the proper information is critical).
Secondly – we have to consider the influential factor that is ‘the home.’ People who rent with you have developed a ‘home’ on your property – and made it feel like theirs. Everytime they have to interact with you or your business, they break the illusion. This isn’t really something that will prevent people from calling you, stopping by your office, or dropping a check in the rent box – what I’m saying here is that you can help provide a more seamless experience for your tenants by limiting interaction. Help them make the home theirs.
All of these add up to a system which makes it easier – and potentially more enjoyable – for your tenants to do what is necessary. Some of the most important things to your business is that your tenants pay their rent, and that you keep the property in good shape. This means a system which smooths both of those processes is going to be a valuable system to you as a property manager – and it is something that you should seriously consider for your business.