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4 Ways Landlords Can Be More Productive in 2021

Nov 21, 2020 by Aly J. Yale
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There's nothing worse than wasted time. It eats into your profits and stunts your business' growth -- and it's pretty frustrating, too. Think back: As a landlord, how much time did you waste this year? What about your tenants? Chances are, it's plenty.

The truth is, there are just a lot of small, time-consuming tasks landlords have to take on. Those impact your overall productivity and, in the long run, your bottom line, too. Fortunately, 2021 is a clean slate. Want to minimize wasted time and up your productivity in the new year in managing your rental property? These four tips can help.

1. Get on board with digital rent payments

Forget knocking on doors or driving to the bank to cash checks. If you really want to save some time and hassle this year, consider offering online or digital payment options for your tenants. That might mean signing up for a rent payment platform, such as RentRedi or Cozy; a credit card processing tool, like Square (NYSE: SQ); or just telling your residents to send payments via PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL), Venmo, or another virtual method. (Just keep in mind the fees some of these may come with.)

2. Streamline your inspections

Property inspections take up tons of time -- especially if you have several properties. But letting them slide just means more maintenance, repairs, and damage in the long run.

Fortunately, there are tools that can help streamline your inspections and help you be more productive in the process. RentCheck, for example, is an app-based tool that guides residents through self-inspections and then sends you a detailed report of the findings. It also sends out reminders -- at move-in, move-out, annually, or whatever schedule you like -- to ensure your inspections are always up to date.

According to the company, in just March through August of this year, the app saw 3,200 tenant-completed inspections, saving landlords a whopping 48,000 miles in drive time (not to mention countless hours of manual inspection time, too). zInspector is another similar tool.

3. Install keyless smart locks

Landlords and property managers waste countless hours responding to lockouts every year. Every time, you have to head to the hardware store, make a copy of the key, drive to the property, and let the tenant in. And often, it's at inopportune times of the day (or night, usually).

By installing a keyless smart lock, you eliminate such hassle. With most models, you can simply reset the lock code from your mobile phone, giving the tenant access to the property easily, quickly, and from wherever you are.

4. Automate your reminders

If you're spending time sending out reminders for rent, lease renewals, inspections, or other items, it's time to make a change. There are plenty of property management platforms that can automate these processes (and often ensure more on-time rent payments and renewals, too). Some options even allow for online maintenance requests -- another way to reduce wasted time and increase your productivity.

The bottom line

These four tips aren't the only ways to get more productive. The best strategy is to write down every task that feels too time-consuming, wasteful, or menial. Are there any tools or technologies that could handle those tasks for you (or maybe just lighten the load a bit)? How could you reduce the burden of those to-dos and free up more time for what you do best?

Don't be afraid to outsource some of the tasks if needed. Bringing in a virtual assistant, property manager, accountant, or other helpful partner are all good ways to increase your productivity (not to mention capacity) as a landlord.

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Aly Yale has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends PayPal Holdings and Square and recommends the following options: long January 2022 $75 calls on PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.