In my first few months as a landlord, I was spending more time tracking expenses and charging tenants. I was naive back then, and later learned you can easily transfer utilities to tenants and have them pay for it. It was hard to track expenses and I had to store the documents and receipts painstakingly. In the past, I have used apps that helped me manage business while travelling. Thinking about it further, I realized that property management was very similar to traveling all the time. That was my Eureka moment. Why not help landlords track expenses easily from a phone and store digital copies of their transactions? That’s how it all started. Simplifying expense tracking and digitalizing receipts sounded like a huge problem until it occurred to me that in long-term renting, you don’t have to deal with such expenses.
Discovering what matters most for independent landlords
In the first few months, tracking expenses seemed like a lot of work. I had two long-term tenants and one through Airbnb. It didn’t take long to notice that the number of expenses was considerably higher for Airbnb. A few more months down the line, my first tenant was arrested for armed robbery and drug-related charges. You can read the full story here. That was my first tough lesson learned as a landlord -
In order to be successful as a real estate investor, I had to be good at picking the right tenants.
Our first pivot
We decided to put expense tracking on the back burner and address the immediate problem. We started with helping landlords attract, screen, verify, and onboard tenants. A lot of opportunities came with helping landlords market their properties. However, we had to learn the hard way that some companies monopolize the listing process and control that market. Will save that rant for another blog later. We allowed landlords to easily share their listings on social media and any platform directly from our platform. In spite of all the efforts from those companies with deep pockets, customers continued to use our application and screening tools. We even integrated e-leasing to enable users to sign leases without having to leave our platform.
Keep tenants longer
As a small landlord I truly believe in keeping tenants longer. Some large corporations do think that tenant turnover is an opportunity to increase rent. They have the flexibility to take the risk of onboarding bad tenants. Small landlords don’t have that luxury. We need to keep tenants longer. So we set our sights on the next major problem that landlords face - rent collection. The first of every month is always anxiety-ridden; “Do I remind my tenant? Should I wait till tomorrow?” Hence, we launched Automatic Rent Collection. Owners were able to set up EFT and Interac payments, and collect rent every month. The platform reminds tenants about rent payments and automates communication. We removed the need for those awkward conversations with tenants related to rent reminders or late fees.
Track everything, or pass it along
Maintenance requests are the biggest source of disputes between tenants and landlords. Documenting every maintenance request and ensuring that nothing is missed will help avoid such situations. DIY landlords like us don’t need a property management company to deal with small maintenance requests. That’s why we built a simple maintenance management solution that allowed property owners to manage all maintenance requests from mobile and from wherever they are. If you are annoyed by tenants’ calls, we even have a concierge service to deal with maintenance calls.
With Tenantcube, you can finally be in control of your rental properties on your own, saving around 10-12 % on management fees at the same time. We’ve even made sure to help you track your incomes and expenses, in order to reduce your tax spendings. No more stress doing taxes!
Take action today
We are seeing landlords use our platform and save tons of time and money. If you are a new landlord or a veteran, technology can help you organize your rental operations. Don’t spend an arm and a leg, you can do it all for $2/month. Let’s build a community and help each other to manage our rentals effortlessly.