Published Mar 06, 2024

Accelerate Single Family Leasing and Combat Rental Fraud

Managing Rental Properties

The rental housing market expanded over the past decade thanks to a growing customer category – the single family property renter. As waves of interest rate increases and property value inflation priced many potential homeowners out of the market, consumers (especially young, upwardly mobile professionals) re-defined their expectations. They settled for tenancy over homeownership. However, their aspirations for “big space” living, combined with a growing preference for remote work situations, resulted in increased demand for single family property rentals. These new single family renters present opportunities and risks. Finding quality, long-term renters is a property manager’s dream. However, dealing with credit risks, scams, and delinquencies is always a nightmare. In this blog, we show single family property managers how automated leasing tools alleviate current operational challenges, accelerate qualified lead conversions, and effectively combat rental fraud.

Single Family Rental

1. Automate for Leasing Success in 2024

Despite the economic headwinds impacting the housing market, at large, the single family rental property market offers a silver lining. 

Single family housing inventory is expanding, creating opportunities to capture new revenue from an expanding market of new renters.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently reported that single family housing completions in January 2024, were 2.8% above the number in January 2023. Fannie Mae reported a similar growth trend by projecting that 2024 single-family housing starts to be 5.7 percent higher than in 2023.

Single Family Rental Fraud

While this increased supply and demand bodes well for all involved, single-family operators still face operational challenges before achieving leasing success.

For instance, because the parallel growth in inventory and demand is likely to hold rental rates steady, operators must find new ways to strengthen their bottom line. Also, in order to maintain high occupancy rates, property managers must accelerate leasing velocity and convert more leads. All the while, inflationary pressures continue to constrain operating budgets and staffing shortages persist. Increasingly, property managers must “do more, with less”.

As a result, property managers are discovering that automation alleviates many of their current operational pressures and even offers the potential to achieve ROI gains.

“Leasing automation is the ultimate ROI enhancement,” Rently COO Andre Sanchez said. “It plays a key role in facilitating better, more personalized experiences for customers while moving them through the entire leasing process faster and more efficiently.”

 

By integrating leasing automation tools into their lead management, operators have seen conversion rates of 30 percent or more. In fact, often and ideally, by the time customers interact with a leasing associate, they are ready to sign a lease.

The decision to automate is an important first step towards leasing success. However, equally important is choosing which tasks to automate in order to still create a positive and engaging renter experience.

Managing Rental Properties

2. Become a Smooth Operator

In order to preserve renter engagement, while automating parts of the leasing process, it’s important for managers to optimize the entire renter journey.

Renters will hardly notice automations threaded through their journey if their cohesive experience is positive and smooth. In fact, by integrating multiple leasing steps into one seamless (frictionless) experience, automation benefits both renters and managers.

To increase leasing velocity, it’s essential for property managers to create an airtight “lead-to-lease” funnel that accelerates renter momentum and quickly drives conversions.

By using new and proven automated leasing tools, single family property managers can make sure to keep renters engaged and impressed during every step of the renter journey.

funnel leasing

3. Introduce your property with dynamic online listings

Not so long ago, property listings could be found in newspapers or posted on flyers in leasing offices. With the Internet came exciting new marketing possibilities.

Internet listing sites (ILS) offer an effective way to reach millions of online renters and maintain constant contact with the marketplace.

Automating property listings enables syndication across multiple listing sites, creating a strong multiplier effect for lead generation.

In addition, the ubiquity of mobile devices makes it possible for renters to see online listings from anywhere, at any time, with real-time notifications of property availability. According to Zillow (2022 Report), 74% of renters now search for properties online using a mobile device, and 60% use an app.

Online listings are your first point of contact with a prospective renter. Make sure your listing includes the automations to keep that renter connected and moving forward through your marketing funnel. For instance, adding rental criteria to property listings quickly identifies qualified leads and saves time by screening out unqualified prospects.

4. Quickly set a tour date with automated tour scheduling

Leasing professionals understand the challenge of managing countless leads and trying to schedule them all for property tours.

However, imagine being able to instantly respond to 100% of your online leads with an automated option to quickly schedule a tour directly from a listing site.  This feature is especially appealing to renters accustomed to on-demand experiences because it allows them to schedule and confirm a tour immediately after finding a listing that interests them.

Auto-scheduling tours accelerates leasing velocity by quickly moving your pre-qualified rental prospect from the initial interest phase to an onsite touring commitment.

In addition, by eliminating the time and hassle of manually arranging appointment logistics, your leasing teams can better spend their time on lead engagement at more important points in the renter journey.

Tour auto-scheduling saves property managers up to 30 minutes per requested showing. Multiply that by 100 showings, and you’ve just reclaimed a whopping 50 hours! That’s 50 hours your team can redirect towards other critical aspects of your business.

Rently Manager Portal

5. Show properties faster with automated tours

When a renter schedules a tour, an automation can offer them the choice of scheduling a self-guided tour, or an agent-led tour.

Self-guided property tours combine a user-friendly mobile app or web experience with property smart access devices like lockboxes or smart locks, creating a secure and independent property-viewing experience.

Self-guided tours offer managers significant time savings by eliminating the need to travel to and spend time on-site. In addition, self-guided tours increase overall touring traffic by 25%boost lease conversions by 2% and reduce a property’s time on the market by 75%.

Originally designed to accommodate the 42% of renters preferring tours outside regular business hours, self-guided tours have widespread appeal. The ability to tour when convenient, combined with managing the entire process from a mobile app, resonates well with modern renters and property managers alike.

While self-guided touring has become a popular option, some renters still prefer the personal interaction of an agent-led tour. For these renters, automations also exist to streamline their experience. For example, when scheduling their tour, renters can directly sync to an agent’s calendar to find an opening and make a reservation. This eliminates time-consuming staff coordination.

homes.rently Single Family

6. Combat rental fraud with automated rental screenings

Single family rental properties are a serious investment, and it’s critical for operators to find renters with the financial stability to meet monthly payment obligations. Avoiding the drama and cost ( $7,685 per instance!) of evictions is a priority.

However, identifying high-risk renters is often a real challenge:

High Risk Renters Stats

   Source: NAA

Furthermore, the average renter screening process takes anywhere between 4-10 hours per rental application. In addition, 72% of property managers also noted the extra time and attention required to make sure that their rental forms meet the guidelines of the Fair Housing Act (FHA). This is all valuable staff time spent on just one leasing task!

It should come as no surprise, then, that automating the applicant screening process to activate multiple verifications at the same time, is a major time-saver.

It should not be complicated or stressful for prospects to tour and apply to rent a property. Similarly, it should be easy for managers to collect applications and identify quality residents. The smoother the process, the better the experience for everyone involved.

7. Rently’s unique leasing automations

Years ago, Rently recognized that leasing automation has the potential to greatly benefit both renters and property managers. Based on real-world implementations, Rently saw that automations create an enjoyable renter journey, streamline leasing operations, accelerate lead-to-lease conversions, and enhance security. Therefore, Rently successfully integrated leasing automations into every step of the leasing lifecycle, from listings to leases.

Rently Listings, our company’s increasingly popular ILS receives 10 million visits and facilitates 3 million self-guided tours each year. Rently Listings is the #1 lead generation tool to reach today’s tech-savvy renters who want to tour on demand. 

Rently Listings helps millions of renters find smart home properties that offer self-guided tours. Conversely, Rently Listings provides property managers with immediate exposure to a giant universe of renters who desire to tour on demand.

Rently Listings also automatically syndicates to more than 30 other listing sites. Therefore, property managers save hours of valuable time because they no longer have to manually upload/update listings to multiple sites. They can simply use Rently Listings to update all their listings, on all sites, at once!

Rently Listings automatically syndicates to the following ILS:

homes.rently Syndication Partners

In addition to creating a listing platform that quickly drives prospects to smart home properties, Rently also offers groundbreaking, automated renter security and screening features. These save property managers hours – even days – completing the due diligence required to ensure quality tenants.

Even before a rental prospect enters a property for a tour, Rently completes a stringent ID verification process and ensures that prospects match the rental criteria set by a property manager. As a result, only qualified and verified renters gain access to properties.

Similarly, Rently’s screening automations also support post-tour leasing steps. For example, Rently automations prompt prospects to submit an application immediately after they tour. This engages renters at the peak of their interest and increases the number of applications submitted.

Once applications are submitted, Rently’s screening empowers managers to do their best due diligence. By combining six critical renter screenings into one automated process, Rently’s screening saves time and eliminates the hassle of verifying renter information with several third-party service providers.

Rently’s Screening auto-verifies the following renter data:

  • Government-issued ID and selfie photo are matched, using facial biometrics before a self-guided tour
  • Top fintech partners verify income documents, pay stubs, and W-2 forms
  • TransUnion applies ResidentScore criteria (rental industry specific) to verify credit ratings, bankruptcy, eviction, and criminal records.

These automations expedite the screening process so that renters receive faster responses and managers accelerate lease signings.

Transunion ResidentScore Data

Finally, Rently also offers a unique approach to data centralization and cross-platform integration.

From Rently’s centralized data dashboard, property managers are provided a single view of their property’s leasing automations. From there, they can track lead status as they make their way through the marketing funnel and engage with renters, in real time, at critical moments. In this way, automations allow managers to focus on what really matters – building relationships and closing deals.

To further maximize its value, the data collected by Rently’s leasing automations is easily integrated across popular PMS platforms. This is accomplished thanks to open APIs and customized plug-ins, such as those for Appfolio and Buildium.

Conclusion

Whether managing a small or large portfolio, single family operators benefit by using automated leasing technology to optimize operations, create a frictionless renter experience, and screen out high-risk rental prospects.

For Rently, automation is a leasing enhancement. It’s how we help property managers streamline time-consuming tasks and simplify operations to achieve larger business goals.

We see leasing automation as helping (often understaffed) property management teams move renters through the entire leasing process faster, while still creating a personal and positive experience.

For more information, watch our recent  webinar.

 

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