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How Landlords Are Using Smartphone Technology to Save Time, Increase Profit, and Reduce Turnover.

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    This guest post is brought to you by Ed Barone, Co-Founder RentRedi Inc.

    The Rise of Smartphones

    Taking advantage of the rise in smartphones and utilizing mobile app technology is helping landlords to improve communication, create a formal process for applications, payments, and repair requests, and allow for oversight of management and maintenance personnel.

    According to Statista, the number of smartphone users in the United States is estimated to reach 237 million in 2018.  That number is also backed up by Pew Research, showing that 94% of those 18-29, 89% of those 30-49, and 73% of those 50-64 own smartphones.

    Those numbers will undoubtedly increase each year as smartphones become more affordable and as the younger population ages.

    Why It Matters To Landlords

    With 54% of apartments turning over each year, making the rental process easier and improving communication will save you real dollars by reducing turnover.

    1. Pre-Qualify:  Use a system that allows potential renters to prequalify with a few targeted questions, such as the number of occupants, income, income assistance, pets, guarantor income, and credit score.  This will save you countless hours, as you can determine if the prospect is a match prior to showing the unit. 
    2. Application:  Allowing potential renters to submit an application from their phones will speed up the process and provide you with an on-screen application and documents that you can view from anywhere. 
    3. Tenant Screening:  Once a tenant applies, you should be able to send back a request for a credit report, criminal and background check.  According to Transunion, 70% of tenants pay for the report, so look for a system that is set up for tenant-paid screening. 
    4. Mobile-submitted payments:  Allow your renters to submit mobile payments with ACH (bank account and routing number) and credit or debit card.  Typically ACH is only $1 to $3, and funds are deposited by the merchant bank directly to your operating account. 
    5. Mobile-submitted maintenance requests:  Look for a platform that allows tenants to use their phone to submit maintenance requests.  This gets the request to you faster and in a professional manner that you can share with your maintenance personnel.  The best platforms will allow the tenant to take a video of the situation, allowing you to see important details, such as where water is leaking and the amount of flow, so the severity of the situation can be immediately assessed. 
    6. Notifications:  Use notifications to really get your tenant’s attention.  Notifications do not require that the renter has the mobile app open.  Notifications will pop up on the user’s phone as long as the phone is on.  You can use notifications to remind a renter of a past due amount, changes in garbage pickup, or any other important notice.  Look for a system that allows notifications to all tenants in a building, saving you time when sending information that applies to all.

    Remember that tenants are always happy on move-in day.  It’s their new home. The relationship you build over the subsequent 12 months will have a large effect on whether the tenant renews.  If they renew, it can save you thousands of dollars (the cost of paint, touch up, cleaning, listings, lost rent if the unit sits vacant, meeting with potential tenants, etc).  Good use of a mobile-friendly management system will help to create satisfied tenants, reduce turnover, and save you time and money.

    For more information about RentRedi and how they have incorporated mobile tech for landlords visit http://www.rentredi.com

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