Once upon a time, investing in the stock market involved ticker tape and a lot of phone calls. Today, most investors reach no further than their pocket for up-to-the-minute market updates, portfolio valuations, trading capabilities, and analytics. The property management industry is only now beginning to complete a similar transition, and many real estate investors are likely still unaware of the new online possibilities available to them.
Imagine logging into your own safe and secure property management dashboard with access to features that can include:
- Comprehensive financial reports - for single properties or your entire real estate portfolio
- Property photos, including property inspections and at move-in
- Tax reporting information
- Rent collection and payment status
- Expenses and maintenance activity
- Inspection details
- Property status
- Lease details
- Rental history
- Communication archives
- And more…
This isn't a wish list. Some of the largest and most progressive property management companies in the country are currently advertising benefits like these to their clients. This type of "client portal" is still far from the norm for the roughly 280,000 property management firms operating in the U.S.1, but adoption by smaller firms is likely to continue, in much the way online portfolio access trickled down through smaller investment and advisory firms in past decades.
New Capabilities = New Possibilities
Beyond the obvious benefits of having ready access to the dashboard of information described above, being better connected to your real estate investments may open new possibilities for investors:
- Better remote management may make investors more comfortable in buying non-local properties, effectively opening new markets for investment. Whether you live around the corner or across the country, online access can now help keep you connected and on top of your real estate investments.
- Feeling more informed and having easy access to tools and reporting may also make the prospect of expanding your real estate holdings less daunting.
- These new capabilities and ready access to information may finally tip the scales for those investors who still manage properties themselves.
The Internet is littered with "Top 10 reasons to hire a property manager" articles. Few, if any, of those articles include "online access to property management tools" in their lists, and the reasons they do list typically roll up into three fundamental rationales for hiring a property manager:
- Maximizing the profitability of your time
- Maximizing the profitability of your investment
- Added security and peace of mind
The property management dashboards now offered by a growing number of property managers support all three of these fundamental goals.
If your views on real estate investing are evolving, explore the possibilities. Your financial professional can help you assess the potential benefits and how your portfolio could support the change you have in mind - all in the context of your specific risk tolerance, income needs, and investment performance goals.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial professional prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
Investments in real estate may be subject to a higher degree of risk which can include, but are not limited to, declines in the value of real estate, potential illiquidity, risks related to general and economic conditions.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
1 2018 Property Management Survey by iProperty; https://ipropertymanagement.com/research/property-management-industry-statistics
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