Can you remember when going paperless was the new trend? Visits from the postman are becoming more and more infrequent and filing cabinets are almost useless.
The digital age has definitely made everything from communication to daily admin tasks much easier, less messy and more time efficient.
The new trend, however, is the smartphone age – where even your laptop is starting to gather a thick layer of dust. And it’s not just the ability to surf the internet with 4G from almost anywhere, but the surge in the use of smartphone apps.
This is especially great news for those of you who want to work on the go, including landlords.
We asked our network of professional landlords, who manage more than 800 properties and 4,500 tenants, which apps they find most useful in running their buy-to-let businesses.
Here are their recommendations:
Sounds like a simple choice, but not necessarily an obvious one. A lot of landlords are increasingly using this messaging app to communicate with tenants. It’s a very easy and cost-effective way of being able to message everyone at once, and when the double blue tick shows, you know the recipient has read it.
It’s also good to encourage tenants who live in shared houses to have their own WhatsApp group so they can stay in touch, whether it’s to arrange who needs to take the bin out or a trip to the local pub.
The Google Drive app is great for accessing files on the go. You can store anything from inventory checklists and PDF tenancy agreements to property photos and everything in between. You can even snap a picture of your receipts if you have an Android smartphone, and save them straight to the Drive.
It’s also easy to share files and as all updates are in real time, you know you’ll be looking at the right version. You can also see when changes were made and by whom.
You automatically get 15GB of storage for free and can pay for additional storage when your property business requires it. In addition, you can work on documents in the Drive by downloading accompanying apps such as Google Docs, Sheets or Slides.
A must-have smartphone app for landlords who are actively growing their property portfolios. Floorplans Pro is a user-friendly floor plan creation tool that lets you create plans in minutes.
The app can detect accurate room measurements, allows you to manipulate walls and create multiple versions. Files can be imported, exported and shared, and you can even see if the sofa you want to buy will fit, and pick a colour!
The features are endless, so the more tech-savvy the landlord, the more fun you will have with this app.
Especially useful if you have several properties in your buy-to-let portfolio, this app lets you track up to nine household meters, including gas, electricity and water consumption.
You can work out daily, weekly and monthly usage and costs, generate cost-tracking graphs and even compare your bills against other energy supplier prices in your area.
It allows you to import historical readings, which is great if you want to start using this app now, and has user configurable units if there are other things you want to measure.
No more printing, signing, scanning and attaching documents to emails to get the job done.
Docusign lets you prepare and send documents for signature and check on their status when you’re not in the office. And your tenants or contractors can legally sign documents from anywhere, making their lives easier too.
Many landlords are now using Docusign to send tenant applications and agreements, check-in documentation and inventory checklists, and registration receipts. You can also set a ‘signing order’ – for example, if you need to confirm that a Guarantor has sight of the tenancy agreement.