As a property manager, I am always looking for ways to spend less time in the car, especially in Los Angeles.
A vacant unit is always a big hassle for me, because that meant driving out to show units to sometimes flaky people who might not show up and might not even want the place. It wasn’t worth it. It’s a waste of time and gas. When I started managing Air BNB and VRBO rentals, it made it even more difficult as there were multiple guests per month and rarely did they check in or out on time!
Rule out the flaky people:
I came up with my own idea of remote showings. What I would do is: pre-qualify people over the phone. Ask about credit, income, employment, references, etc. If you have a somewhat keen intuition you can learn a LOT about a person’s character by simply talking with them via phone. Are they cursing in front of you? Are they using proper grammar? Are they listening carefully to you and answering your questions fully? Easy to talk and get along with? You can pick up so many red flags from people by simply talking to them via phone. After that, I would request tenants to provide me with a picture of an ID and a credit card beneath it. I would instruct them that they are in big trouble if anything goes missing (in a nice way of course!) After that, I would give them the lockbox code that has the front door key in it. I would then walk them through the unit via phone. I would stay on the phone until the key was back and locked in the lockbox. I NEVER had any issues with this. No one ever tried to come back and break in, etc. This process would take about 8 – 10 minutes and cost me ZERO dollars in gas versus minimum of an hour out of my day.
Still, it always worried me that people had the lockbox combo and COULD go back and break in. I came up with the idea to create a lockbox where I could change the combo from my computer every time someone used it. It was an ingenious idea I wanted to get patented. I am so innovative!
Two weeks ago a representative from the company Rentley.com called me. They already came up with MY innovative idea a year ago, LOL. Oh well!
Essentially they created a lockbox in which, to get the combo, tenants must provide ID, credit card info and fill out a waiver that if anything is stolen they will be charged! The lockbox uses a combo for exactly one hour then revolves. Not only that, tenants can get access to vacant units without having to call me. I can include the Rently link into my marketing ads that tenants can click on to get instant access.
Here’s what the lockbox looks like:
Check out www.rently.com for more information! The fees are very reasonable and is truly my favorite invention of the last 5 years!
Please remember TGN Property Management for all your management needs. We service all of southern California and manage single family residences, condos, entire HOA’s, small apartments, large apartments, commercial, commercial business and Air BNB and VRBO vacation rentals. Call today 310 623 2704.