You know how cumbersome it is to collect rent, file contracts, or rent out units. And we’re not yet even talking about irate tenants because you’ve lost track of their service requests. It can be challenging to keep your tasks straight if you are dealing with them manually.
But there are platforms that can help you do those jobs seamlessly and also provide tenants with a portal for service requests. Hemlane is a good example. This property management software has all the tools you need to oversee your properties remotely and keep their occupants happy.
However, you have to consider whether it meets your requirements. In our review of the pros and cons of Hemlane, we take a look at its key features, such as advertising syndication and request management. We also discuss their benefits and areas that could be improved. In the end, you will understand how the system works and if it, indeed, can help your business.
Some issues stand out among the rest when it comes to property management. In one study on the top property management challenges, 15% of managers find it hard to increase revenue. In the same vein, 14% of respondents in the same survey said that damages to property and unexpected maintenance are troublesome. But the biggest issue the study noted is keeping the right staff.
Perhaps the taxing job of a property manager discourages talents. Collecting rent is just one of the many tasks that also include maintenance, screening tenants, and budget planning. These are cumbersome, true — when done manually.
Source: Unicom Teleservices
But with the help of software, more property managers are finding it easier to handle the daily grind of their work. More critically, technology can help them manage their finances with reports about their profits and losses.
In this guide, we take a look at one such software. Hemlane brands itself as an all-in-one platform, including a reporting suite and a set of maintenance management tools.
To determine whether Hemlane lives up to its claims, we examine the key features of the platform. We also point out some areas where it can improve on, as well. But before we head to the pros and cons of Hemlane, let’s have an overview of the software.
Hemlane is an all-around property management solution. It is specially designed for property owners or managers who need to oversee rentals in remote places. With this, they can make sure that everything is in tip-top shape for the next vacationers or occupants.
But helping ensure that properties are clean and well-maintained for the next or current tenants is not all that Hemlane is capable of. To keep spaces occupied, reaching out to potential renters in places where they may look is important. That is why this software has a one-click property advertising tool (we will talk more about this later).
When it comes to selecting qualified individuals or groups, Hemlane gives a hand, too. It comes with an application processing module as well as an integrated applicant screening capability.
However, Hemlane is not only meant for the use of owners or managers. It does have a tenant-facing portal, where lessees can view the status of their repair/maintenance requests. Aside from these, they can manage their payments on the same window for convenience.
In line with that, Hemlane assists owners and managers in reminding tenants about their rental payments. The process is automatic, so you do not have to worry about sending emails or text messages.
These features and more are the reasons why Hemlane has made it to the list of top key players in the global property management software market for 2019.
Finding renters for your remote properties can be hard. As an owner, you have to manage listings on different websites, making sure that you check them regularly for inquiries. You have to ensure that details are up-to-date, too, to avoid confusion with potential lessees.
This is something that Hemlane can assist you with, as it connects with 30 rental property listings websites. Among these are Apartments.com, Zillow, and Trulia. This is advantageous for you, as this is one of the must-have features in property management software. Whenever you have updates on any of your properties, one edit will do since Hemlane takes care of updating your listings across all websites. What’s more, it only takes a single click. That is definitely an advantage, but what does Hemlane offer when it comes to measuring advertising performance? The property management software tracks how your ads are doing on every site. This means that you can see which ones provided the most views, inquiries, and conversions so that you can focus your efforts on them.
A hundred inquiries, but only a few would genuinely be qualified. How are you supposed to check them thoroughly to make sure they are good tenants?
One way to do this is to have interested parties submit their applications via the Hemlane application module. You can ask them relevant questions such as whether they have pets, vehicles, liquid furniture, bankruptcies, convictions, and evictions. These answers help you pre-screen tenants so you can begin filtering applications. Thus, you can concentrate on applicants that meet your qualifications later on.
When you have drawn up a shortlist, it would be time to make a thorough background check. Hemlane has the tools for that, too. It goes through the eviction database to verify whether applicants have been evicted before or not. And to keep the neighborhood safe, it investigates if probable tenants have convictions or if they are registered sex offenders. That is not all there is to the background check. Since you need to have a steady cash flow for the upkeep of your properties and related expenses, your tenants should be able to pay you on time. You can establish that by running a credit check. The process is easy and fast; you can also share the results with applicants to maintain transparency.
Overall, the entire application processing workflow is seamless. It is also efficient, allowing you to decide quickly whether to accept a potential occupant or not.
Hemlane can act as a central repository of your property contracts and essential documents. With it, your documents are accessible whenever you need to look at them for verification or reference.
The same applies to photos. You can store and organize them on Hemlane so that you have evidence against tenant disputes. And while the application does not have document management software features, it does an excellent job of organizing documents and photos.
But storage is not the only thing the lease management module of this property management solution is capable of. It can also track the expiry dates of leases and informs you when renewal is needed. Because of this, neither you, your agent/manager nor your tenants have to rush with renewal agreements.
On top of that, the platform is powered by artificial intelligence. It utilizes this to track outstanding tasks for you to complete them as soon as possible. As a result, you can be confident that everything regarding leases is in order.
As mentioned earlier, tenants get a portal. They can use this even before they become actual occupants of a unit or property. As a matter of fact, they begin utilizing it when they lodged their application to rent. It is also the same place where they can keep track of the status of their application, as well as schedule showings.
Moreover, they can pay their rent through this portal. They can make things more convenient by setting up automatic payments. However, this feature has its hiccups. Tenants have reported that they had difficulties configuring the function at the start. Nevertheless, tenants can choose to pay via PayPal, one of the top 20 online payment gateway providers, Venmo, Zelle, or direct deposit.
You can be transparent with applicants and tenants through the portal, too. This is where they can access their credit scores as soon as your check is complete. What’s more, they can review the lease agreements from here whenever they need to.
The tenant portal has another purpose: to provide occupants space where they can lodge their repair requests. They can also add documentation such as pictures and videos to better illustrate their issues. Through this, you can streamline the way you handle repair requests. Either you, your managers, or your agent receive notifications whenever such requests come in for immediate action.
A lot of people now work on their mobile phones, and it has become critical for solutions to either have mobile screen-friendly sites or native mobile apps. In the case of Hemlane, it is the former. At the moment, it still does not have dedicated mobile applications for either Android or iOS.
Despite that, Hemlane’s functions are accessible, and it is not difficult to navigate its sections on smaller screens.
Yes, Hemlane has a module for repair requests. But how about finding people to work on them? If you do not already have service professionals you prefer, the support center can help. They can find the right individuals or teams to work on problems in units. They can even do maintenance work if you want them to. Because of this, you can be sure that your properties are immaculate for living.
Though it may not be overt, Hemlane does have artificial intelligence beneath the hood. It is at work whenever future tenants receive an email regarding their inquiry and property showing schedule. Because of this, you can engage them when they ask about your property even when you are not online to answer them personally.
Another situation where AI kicks in is when it provides recommended actions regarding tenants’ applications. This offers you advice on whether to accept a new tenant or whether to decline their interest. Through this feature, you can make quick decisions about applications.
Additionally, Hemlane uses analytics when tracking lease renewals and unit or property vacancies. It takes note of outstanding tasks smartly for you to complete them on time.
Getting started with Hemlane is easy. Once you have signed up, you can log in to your account and begin setting up properties, managing listings, and configuring the application form. The support team also walks you through the process. However, it must be noted that some users have remarked that some aspects of the cloud-based software were not communicated to them clearly. These include what happens when a potential occupant makes contact from a third-party site using email. Nevertheless, the support center of Hemlane is always open, and the customer service representatives are always eager to help.
The property management industry is a dynamic one, and trends change annually. For example, the use of AI is projected to intensify in property management software in the coming years. This is mainly due to redundant and mundane manual tasks being consolidated, streamlined, and automated.
You can also expect more innovative features soon with more research and development investments pouring into the industry.
Hemlane is but a reflection of such trends. When you use it, you can be sure that you are using only the best technology because of its use of AI in tracking user tasks, engaging potential lessees automatically, and suggesting actions for tenant applications. On top of that, it is continually working on enhancing the platform, by adding features suggested or requested by users.
So, if you want to enjoy a robust and future-proof property management software solution, it is a good decision to go for something like Hemlane.
Incidentally, property management software is just one of the many ways you can leverage technology. While you are at researching software, you may also consider other SaaS solutions for small business.
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