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Self-viewing Tenancy Technologies: A boon and bane for busy, overworked landlords

DIY landlords, across Maryland, are busy and overburdened with both personal and property management challenges. As a result, when it comes to showing rental units to prospective tenants, like elsewhere in the State, property management in Anne Arundel County MD is a challenge. How do landlords ensure they host prospective viewers, especially if they own multiple properties that are geographically dispersed?

Self-viewing Technology to the Rescue

Typically, landlords (or their reps) accompanied prospective tenants during showings. This ensured that there were direct lines of communication between both parties. However, over the 2-year course of the pandemic, both tenants and landlords have become more skeptical about in-person viewings and showings:

– They require more coordination efforts between the parties

– Enhanced safety protocols made it more cumbersome for in-person viewings to occur

– In some instances, additional pre- and post-viewing cleansing might be required, especially if there is a multi-member party inspecting the units

Consequently, the process of property management in Anne Arundel County, like in many other jurisdictions, has also evolved – viz. property viewing. Today, DIY landlords have a new tool to help them in this predicament. They use self-viewing software and tools to aid them in their showings. With due authentication and ID verification, the technology allows renters and tenants to gain secure, one-time access to the property. Once completed, the property is secured again, and the one-time pass-key disabled.   

For absentee DIY landlords, the use of such technologies isn’t risk-free.

Hidden Perils of Self-Viewing

While self-viewing technology has its benefits, it does require both tenants and landlords to be extra tech-savvy. And, if cameras are installed in every room, that’s no guarantee that property damage may not occur in blind spots. DIY property management in Anne Arundel County MD, using remote monitoring during showings, also makes the entire viewing experience very impersonal – like a soap opera watched by people not in the room. That may distract renters from seeing the true potential of the home.

The software and related technology, also has additional costs. Installation, maintenance, support, and licensing fees may make the viewing process less cost-effective. And, technology is only good if the unit is vacant – since prospective self-viewing tenants may not be welcomed – unaccompanied – if there are others living in the unit.

Finally, what if the prospective viewer has important questions about certain aspects of the property. Traditionally, the accompanying property manager addressed those concerns immediately, which likely resulted in an immediate yes or no decision by the renter. Sure, prospective renters may hold follow-up consultations with the landlord. But, by then, the renter may have viewed another property a few doors down, and made their decision because an in-person viewing process allowed instantaneous answers to their concerns.

Bridging the Gap

One “hybrid” approach, to bridge the gap, is to use a reputed firm that provides services for property management in Anne Arundel County. The “hybrid” aspect comes from the fact that the property manager is there in-person, but the landlord isn’t. However, the landlord is still in the loop with the process remotely, and receives a complete debriefing on each viewing, from the property manager on the ground.  

Having local representatives to manage and organize viewings results in better viewing outcomes!

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