With the advent of the internet and the development of property management software, much of the rental business has moved online. Landlords are able to do much of their business from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. They rely on digital tools that make their daily workload a lot easier.
Online leases are an example of this. Using online leases minimizes turnover time and makes the process of working with your tenant much more flexible and convenient. You may be considering taking advantage of them and leaving paper leases in the past. This article will help walk you through any potential hold-ups you might be considering and convince you to get started by dispelling three myths about online leases.
- Digital Signatures Aren’t as Trustworthy or Safe
You may be concerned about how well a digital or electronic signature stacks up against a paper copy when it comes to security. Maybe you think that putting your files online means that signatures might run the risk of being vulnerable to hacking or forgery.
However, signatures that are acquired online are incredibly safe. They are arguably even safer than a handwritten signature, which can be replicated with a good eye and a steady hand. Digital signatures, on the other hand, are encrypted and use technology that verifies that a person is who they say they are.
Digital signatures create what is called a public key infrastructure (PKI), which acts as a sort of encrypted ID badge for the user. This means it is much harder to fake a digital signature. The encryption technology involved in PKIs also adds a level of security against hackers who may be on the hunt for sensitive information.
- The Technology is Complicated
If you are used to paper leases, the idea of digital technology that can host the process may seem intimidating. It may seem like adding technology to the process is bound to make it more complicated. The opposite is true, though, and taking advantage of these resources makes life a whole lot easier.
For instance, it’s more than likely that your existing lease agreements already exist as digital files, whether they are Word documents or PDF files. For most platforms, getting started with online leasing simply means uploading that Word document that’s already sitting on your desktop.
When it comes to the complex-sounding technology of digital signatures and PKIs, easily accessible platforms like Word, DocuSign and Adobe Acrobat Pro make it very easy to create digital signatures. There is no need to outsource the transition to a tech genius. You can do it all yourself.
- Leasing Online Isn’t Worth the Extra Effort
We have already talked about the ways in which, in the long run, leasing online does not involve a lot of extra effort. Let’s talk about the ways in which it is more than worth it.
Online leasing can be as easy as sending an email attachment to a tenant or interfacing with them through a property management software platform, many of which allow free online leasing. Compare this to the cost that both you and your tenants might have to pay sending a paper lease back and forth through the mail or meeting on the property in person. This is especially true if you have more properties and more tenants, as that cost will only grow proportionally and become even more of a hassle.
This flexibility is also bound to save you time, which is a precious resource as a landlord. Emails are instantaneous, and a back-and-forth between you and your tenant can happen in a matter of minutes. With physical leases, a tenant might need to wait for a copy to arrive in the mail, or they might have to travel to you in order to pick it up. Considering that they’re relocating to a new property, that might be far away from them. The ability to sign from anywhere makes all of this a non-issue.
Change can seem intimidating and hard, but the benefits afforded by online platforms are explicitly designed to make your life as a landlord a little easier. The internet has helped to make sure that landlords like you can manage a lot more with a lot fewer headaches. Following the trend of online leasing will help you to create a more secure and streamlined process that saves you both time and money.