Anyone who has been to a multifamily educational conference in the last few years will have noticed a common session.  Such classes go under different titles, varying in focuses on social media, viral campaigns, or even the latest and greatest apps to be familiar with, however, all promote the necessity technology is if managers wish to be successful with the renter nation of today.  The demographic of tech savvy applicants is expanding exponentially by the year, forcing a shift in what works when trying keep occupancy rates high.  This is why successful property managers are utilizing online technology to simplify the approval process. They have found the benefits in:

Offering Applications On a Website: For years now, the internet has become more of a necessity than just a convenience, to be successful in business.  With smart phones now accounting for more than 50% of all cell phones in the country, the internet is readily accessible by a significant amount of potential renters.  Having a website that advertises vacancies is only a part of the equation now.  Companies gain the advantage by offering their rental application online for people who don’t have time due to work, family, distance, etc.

Use a Digital Application in the Office: Many people still want to see a potential new home in person before they decide to make any decisions.  This doesn’t mean they are any less technology oriented, or even that they have more free time than others.  Another way to make an office more efficient is by considering having a rental application system that has background screening included. This will expedite the entire process by avoiding double entries when making a decision.

Allow Applicants to Pay Screening/Application Fees Online: Finding someone who keeps their checkbook on them regularly is like finding a pay phone – sure it still exists, but don’t count on it.  Offering a means whereby applicants may pay online using a secure method, provides instant satisfaction for all parties involved.  The payment is accepted or denied on the spot, the applicant has the flexibility to pay from locations other than the leasing office, and should any money need to be refunded it is already input to a financial tracking program, making transfers easy.

Clear the Waiting List: In the current renter nation, occupancy rates high enough to have applicants on a waiting list is not at all unheard of.  Being able to email an applicant, or multiple applicants, everything they need to get approved when a unit becomes available is the most efficient way to fill those vacancies fast.  The applicants who are still serious will make sure to complete an application as fast as possible to ensure they don’t miss out.

These are just a few of the reasons that the most successful managers are turning to online technology as part of their process.  Speed and efficiency are key components to any business, and being able to leverage those with modern technological conveniences creates a competitive advantage.  Keep an eye out for part two on the versatility given by offering applicants online tools for a faster, more convenient and overall more impressive rental experience.

About the Author

Ryan Green headshotRyan Green has been working within the real estate and property management industries since 2005, and presently serves as the Marketing Manager for CIC. He holds a degree in Business Administration as well as FCRA and Experian certifications. When not passionately educating the industry about tips and trends he enjoys traveling, and visiting craft breweries.

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