There are approximately 2 million landlords in the UK, and many of these landlords must manage properties in a range of locations. Long-distance management of rental properties can be complex if you do not have the right tools. Whether you own a property personally or through a company, you’ll need to design a scaleable process that provides an appropriate balance between controls and efficiency.
Keep reading for a complete guide on handling long-distance property management, from security installations to better communication with tenants. This guide can help you mitigate the stresses of managing properties from a distance.
Tips for handling long-distance property management
Property investments can add to your annual income, but you must be prepared to face extra challenges when investing in long-distance properties. Here are some of our best tips for handling long-distance property management. Consider implementing these strategies and technologies for more seamless remote management of your properties.
Touchless and keyless access control systems
Touchless access control has several benefits for your property management. Touchless access control uses mobile access credentials in place of keycards or pin pads. Touchless and keyless access control is a cloud-based solution that opens the door for numerous integrations and remote operations, and real-time data monitoring. Some of the main benefits you can gain from finding the right door access control for your long-distance property management include:
- You will guarantee tenants first-time entry – touchless access control uses a Triple-Unlock feature to ensure your tenants enter on their first attempt. The device communicates with their mobile using WiFi, Cellular, and Bluetooth communication, which guarantees that the door will open on the first attempt. As a remote landlord, you cannot visit the location to open the door should your tenants be unable to gain access, so investing in technology that ensures entry on the first attempt is vital.
- You can remotely operate doors from anywhere – since touchless access control is a cloud-based system, you can operate door locks remotely using a mobile application or cloud-based control centre. If your tenants are locked out or lose their mobile devices, they can contact you, and you will be able to grant them access to the building without visiting the location yourself. This technology is invaluable for long-distance property management.
- Your tenants will have more convenient entry – this technology will impress your tenants. If your tenants need to enter the building while carrying groceries and their arms are complete, they can enter without having to present their mobile devices directly in front of the access reader. All they need to do to gain access is wave their hand in front of the access reader, which will trigger Bluetooth communication with their mobile device, granting them access. More convenient access control will increase tenant satisfaction, and you could improve your tenant retention rates.
Integrating video cameras and access control
One of the significant vulnerabilities with any access control system is the potential for third parties to intercept access credentials, keycards, and pins and use them to enter the building. By integrating video cameras with access control, you can verify tenants’ identities before gaining access to the building.
With a commercial video intercom reader, you benefit from built-in voice recognition, touchless access, and high-definition camera footage. You can view all of the information from your video intercom reader using a mobile application to perform real-time monitoring of access logs and video information from anywhere. Implementing this technology can ensure that your building is completely secure.
It can be tricky to keep accurate records of who has visited your properties without hiring a receptionist. To ensure you have correct records of visitors, you can integrate visitor management software with your access control system.
Having accurate records of who has visited your property is in your best interest from a security perspective. Any management book will advise the same. It can be instrumental in aiding in an investigation following an incident on your property, and you will have the personal details of the visitor who caused the incident – whether it’s property damage, theft, or violent crime.
Visitor management can also help establish a feeling of safety for your tenants. Suppose they know that building visitors must register with your visitor management system before entering the property. In that case, they have access to records of visitors should there be theft on the property.
Automated wellness verification
Automated wellness verification allows you to provide health and safety precautions in your building. Before visitors and contractors can access the building, they must fill out a digital form with information regarding their symptoms. If they are symptomatic, they will not be able to access the building, and the system will recommend them to take a COVID-19 test.
Arrange property inspections
One of the best ways to stay up-to-date with the condition of your property is to arrange property inspections. You would ideally like to know about any issues with the property before they are noticed by tenants, as they will become increasingly impatient. They will have to wait for you to enlist the services of a contractor and for them to complete the job, so it’s ideal if you can get the process started early.
By enlisting the services of a property inspector, you can gain insight into any issues or potential issues with your property and resolve them before the problem is exacerbated and your tenants begin to complain. You must have your property inspected at least twice yearly for any damage or health and safety issues. Taking steps to have your property checked regularly will help reduce the likelihood of health and safety hazards in your building. The courts may hold you liable if harm is inflicted on your tenants by any health and safety hazards in your building, so it is in your best interest to invest in regular property inspections.
Keep communication with tenants open
You need to know how your tenants are feeling, and they need an easy way to contact you should they need anything. Having open communication lines helps you maintain a positive relationship with your tenants.
If they need to be let into the building remotely, they can contact you with ease, increasing their feeling of safety and support from their landlord. They will also be able to make you aware of any financial issues that may affect their rental payments, and you can make arrangements for late payments accordingly.
Property management software
Consider investing in property management systems with built-in online payment portals and instant messaging. This will keep all tenant transactions stored in one place so that you can easily retrieve records in the event of a dispute. Property management software can help you to perform the following processes:
- Managing tenant payments – it can be overwhelming to keep track of tenant payments and records of upfront payments that tenants might make. With property management software, you will receive alerts when your tenants are late making payments. Your tenants will also receive reminders for their fees, which can help you to avoid rental arrears.
- Instant communication – by housing all contacts on one platform, you can ensure that you have records of all requests and agreements you have discussed with your tenants. Should your tenant have a dispute down the line, you will be able to find the conversation quickly and resolve the issue.
- Keeping track of contractors and maintenance requests – when you have a few contractors to manage, or contractors working on different properties, it can be pretty challenging to keep track of the various projects. By housing these maintenance tasks and the contractor status on a user-friendly interface, you will have a better awareness of each project’s progress.
Property management software can be a beneficial tool for all landlords, not just long-distance landlords. However, with the added difficulty of managing properties from a distance, you would benefit from investing in tools that help manage your properties, making things simpler.
Invest in marketing
One of the biggest challenges landlords face is keeping their properties filled and their vacancy rates low. If you have multiple properties to keep occupied, it may be helpful to invest in high-quality marketing that can help you to get the word out about your properties.
Email marketing, mobile-optimised websites, and creating content may be out of your expertise, which is why it may be prudent to enlist the services of freelance marketing services. It may also be helpful to use multiple-listing real estate websites like Rightmove, which will help you increase the exposure of your vacant properties and gain more prospective buyers.
Maintaining low vacancy rates can ensure that you get the best return on your property investments and keep your income stable. Effective marketing will help you keep your vacancy rates low and maintain a substantial income from your property investments.
Managing your properties from a distance can be a challenging task. However, with the rise of cloud-based technologies, remote management of properties has never been more straightforward or more accessible. With cloud-based security and building management technology, you will be instantly aware of any security issues in your building, and you will be able to respond immediately using a cloud-based control centre or mobile application. Consider investing in cloud-based solutions to ensure your long-distance property management runs smoothly.