Future of Contactless Rentals

As we’ve talked about with Work-From-Home business styles might affect the future of home buying, we think that digital age and the current events will affect the future of rentals. From marketing, to tours, to property management, there may be a stronger emphasis on “contactless” rentals where the entire process of finding and attracting tenants will be remote. Managing properties may rely more on third party companies as well as even securing payment. Today we’re going to talk about a few aspects that may change as rentals move towards being contactless between tenants and property owners.

Contactless Marketing

Much like with regular home-buying, property owners can take advantage of video/virtual tours, allowing future tenants to explore the layout and size of the space. Using a phone or desktop, some virtual tours allow for a 360 degree walkthrough and even take measurements of the space to comfortably see if furniture will fit from the comfort of home.

In addition, AI-driven rental apps can help property owners free up valuable time while advertising. Chatbots with AI learning are able to answer common questions and inquires from potential tenants, as well as receiving valuable feedback on their experience. These apps can then keep track of rental logistics to help manage potential interest, advertisement systems, as well as help schedule in-person appointments that coordinate with a property owner’s or property manager’s calendar.

Application Process and Screening

Finding and screening for qualified tenants is always a struggle between contacting references and getting appropriate documentation. With some of the same AI-driven apps that can answer questions for potential tenants, they can help manage the application process by reminding those that have applied to turn in required documents. They can send missing document notifications to potential tenants on your behalf and let you know once all the proper documentation in ready.

These same apps may be used to check references by texting or emailing previous property managers about a potential renters. This once again helps property owners free up valuable time in checking references. In addition, much like what we see on AirBnb and other short-term rental sites, longer-term rental properties may give property owners the ability to see ratings/reviews that other property mangers and left about potential tenants from previous rental experiences in the future.

Property Management and Payments

For existing or new tenants, many of these apps may even be able to help with property issues, scheduling maintenance, and managing tenant communication. Many property owners already use property management companies that help with common issues, but the growing use of these kinds of apps can be appealing for the younger generation as well as those who are practicing physical distancing. Plus it allows property owners who manage their own properties to have their communication centralized to one app managing texting and emails.

In addition, tenant payment can be more centralized using apps to help tenants pay deposits, rent, and other fees associated with the property. Apps can set up automatic payments and send notifications to tenants to either remind them of upcoming payments or notify them of late payments. These notifications can then be set up to let property managers know if payments have been received or not.

For future generations, contactless rentals may become more and more the norm as technology becomes more advanced. Hopefully these new apps help not only protect people during times when physical distancing is important, but also for added convenience of both potential tenants and property owners.

You can always each out to the experts at the Real Estate Store to find out more about real estate!

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My brother Jack and I co-own The Real Estate Store. I grew up and live in Scarborough, ME. I became a real estate broker in 2005, but Real Estate is a family business for us. We are second generation Real Estate Brokers. My experience working with apartments and with residential construction has given me insight into cost-aware construction and green construction and design.

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