Wouldn’t it be nice if you could automate your entire life and all of your landlord duties? That dream could become a reality in the not-so-distant future, but automating your life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
For example, you wouldn’t want an AI bot to write your rental listings. What if your properties have distinct features? A standard rental listing won’t do those properties justice.
Property managers from Los Angeles explain that writing a good rental listing description begins with a captivating title and includes brief, descriptive sentences. You won’t get captivating descriptions from AI.
You Can’t Automate Being a Great Landlord
Landlords can benefit from automation, but it’s critical to maintain a balance and not get distracted by technology. Much of being a good landlord relies on maintaining a personal touch in your tenant relationships.
When a tenant has an issue, like a leaky roof, they don’t want to leave a voicemail and have a robot schedule the repair. They want to talk to their landlord live, explain the problem in detail, and work out a convenient time for repairs.
Being a great landlord requires personal interactions with your tenants. If you automate all of your landlord duties, you’ll eliminate personal interaction. Without personal interaction, you can’t build strong rapport with your tenants. Without rapport, your tenants are less likely to treat your property with care and take their lease obligations seriously.
Why Landlords Favor Automation
Most property investors prioritize profits. Automation provides an opportunity to maximize profits by reducing time spent getting involved in minutia. For landlords focused on building wealth, automation is a blessing. However, it’s also a curse.
The more landlords rely on automation, the less personal interaction they have with their tenants.
Automation Is Good for Technical Landlord Tasks
Although automating your landlord duties is mostly a bad idea, you can automate your technical tasks. For example, it’s easy to use software to collect rent online and have tenants request repairs. This streamlines your duties. However, you still need to have some personal interaction to confirm appointments and discuss issues in-depth.
There’s nothing wrong with using automation to manage paperwork and other back-end tasks. For example, it makes sense to use automated invoicing software, apps to track your expenses, and apps to manage each property’s history of repairs.
Automation is a great way to manage the administrative aspect of being a landlord and can support your wealth-building real estate strategy. It’s just not a good way to create and maintain tenant relationships.
4 Landlord Tasks That Can’t Be Automated
There are several things that make a good landlord, including a mix of character traits and actions:
1. Listening to a Tenant’s Concerns
Tenants want to feel heard, and that’s not something technology can offer. They don’t want to talk to a voicemail or send a text message to a robot when they have an issue. Tenants want to communicate with their landlord personally.
2. Being Compassionate
When a tenant needs an extra week to pay the rent, you can show compassion by having a personal conversation. Without that personal interaction, an automated rent collection system will penalize the tenant as if their circumstances don’t matter.
While no landlord wants excuses for late rent, sometimes tenants legitimately need a break. Being compassionate will help your tenant feel less anxious and stressed about being late with the rent.
3. Revisiting and Customizing the Lease
Compromise and leniency can go a long way with a tenant. When you have a tenant who wants to adjust the lease, that requires a personal conversation. As a human being, you can extend compassion and understanding by changing the lease terms when appropriate.
Automating this task wouldn’t be possible, since robots would lack the human connection and compassion needed to compromise.
4. Reviewing Reasonable Modification Requests
The only way to automate reasonable modification request approvals is to create a form that a tenant fills out that has definite yes/no answers for each question. You can’t factor open-ended questions into the formula to create an automated decision.
Since many reasonable modification requests require an in-depth look plus a possible supporting letter from a physician, this can’t be automated.
Avoid Becoming an Automated Landlord – Keep Your Personal Touch
Technology will make your job easier as a landlord, but keep your personal touch with your tenant relationships.
Save the tech for back-end tasks. Life will be better for both you and your tenants when you make yourself personally available.