Property Management Blog

Are you ready for the rental market of the future?

David Swaim - Thursday, June 7, 2018

Technology continues to quickly make inroads into today's property management world. It is no longer enough to simply list your rental properties with your local MLS, Zillow and Trulia as you wait for renters to find you. Technology and the changing expectations of millennials is driving more change in Phoenix property management. While young people previously rented just one or two properties before purchasing their first home, it is starting to become common for young people to rent a series of properties instead of buying.

There are a number of ways that technology and technology-savvy renters are changing rental markets throughout the country. Pricing models are becoming more dynamic. Like baseball tickets and airline fares, rental properties are trending toward flexible pricing to meet the market demand. More property management companies are recognizing that an occupied unit with a dependable, trouble-free tenant is more profitable than an empty Phoenix rental property or a troublesome tenant. Because of this, more companies are offering discounts and extra benefits for tenants with a stellar rental history or tenants who sign longer leases.

Screening Mechanisms Become More Holistic

Today, the average landlord or property manager already looks at pay stubs, a FICO credit score and a background check to decide if a tenant is suitable. Now, this process is becoming more holistic so that both sides can accurately decide if they are compatible. In some markets, tenants can create profiles to check their rental history and bring it with them. This can eliminate their need to provide a Social Security number for a credit check. These holistic rental histories may include a payment history, which is normally not reported by credit reports like TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. It may also include reviews of the tenant from previous landlords.

Wouldn't it be nice knowing that a previous management company thought your prospective clients were a delight? How convenient would it be to know at a click of a button that a tenant is a chronic complainer who is never satisfied? With the new profiles, you could perhaps also verify the phone number to make sure that it was never used in an earlier scam. This broader screening process could help eliminate the guesswork in deciding if the tenant is a good fit and creates a warm introduction between the landlord and the tenant.

Paperless and Mobile Access Trends Get Stronger

The modern consumer wants to have everything done online. Whether they are filling out an application, signing a lease or paying rent, they want to do it online. This has to be workable on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. It also means your website has to be mobile-friendly, up-to-date and searchable. Online, one-stop shops will soon take over.

In some cities, there are already companies that provide a single marketplace for all of their interactions. Landlords and property managers will be able to market apartments, condos and single-family houses from one online portal. The same portal can be used for paying rent, screening tenants and filling out rental applications. Social media networks plan to connect to these marketplaces so that managers can easily check the tenant's history with former landlords. The tenants will also be able to look up reviews from previous renters about the management's responsiveness to maintenance issues and more. We need to prepare for a new way of doing business!