If you’re managing property, or hiring a Woodinville property management company, then chances are you’ve seen ‘Online Tenant Portals” more than a few times.
What Are Online Tenant Portals
An Online Tenant Portal is a log-in for your tenants where they can log in to see rent, pay their rent, submit a maintenance request, view their payment history and balance, and even submit letters or forms, all from one login online. Usually, you connect your bank account or credit card or PayPal account, and then accept payments online, and receive all messages and emails via email or when you log into the management section of the tenant portal. Some options, especially custom ones, also include forums and bulletin boards so that you or your property manager can post rules, updates, news, and tenants can post items, such as “lost car keys”, or etc. The whole system is set up for the convenience of the tenants, who can now handle a lot of things on the Internet, instead of mailing checks, making a call, or writing a letter. Essentially, it’s cost and time saving, but also eco-friendly.
Why Would You Want an Online Tenant Portal?
For most landlords and property managers, a tenant portal may sound like an unnecessary expense. However, it is a very convenient one. If you’re thinking in terms of managing property yourself, then it offers you convenience in that you can collect rent online, check for complaints and maintenance requests online, and, otherwise go paperless with most of your client/tenant correspondence. This can be a huge timesaver, and especially great if you don’t have an office.
If you’re hiring a property management company, then the tenant portal is mostly for the tenant. In this case, tenants get the convenience of easily being able to submit a non-emergency maintenance request without a lot of hassle, paying all of their bills in one place, avoiding the hassle of a check being lost in the mail or stolen, and get to manage everything from home.
Getting an Online Tenant Portal
You can choose to purchase a CMS with a built in online tenant portal or have your web developer build you one. This will entail hosting the portal on your website or server, managing it, logging in regularly to ensure that it is updating properly, and so on.
Some Woodinville property management companies actually include the use of their own online tenant portal, which they will automatically set up for your tenants when you hire them. Usually this includes creating a specific login and area for tenants from each building that you manage, which allows them to offer convenience to your tenants. In most cases, this also allows them to collect rent more quickly, get help and maintenance out more quickly, and offer better service. This is ideal for you, because it means happier tenants. Unfortunately, not every property management company will have their own tenant management portal, but you can look for the ones who do before you make a hire.