Today we dive into the importance of having a strong tech stack for managing rental properties.
From software that handles screening and maintenance requests to listing apartments on Facebook Marketplace, we cover it all.
Plus, we shared some virtual tools that have become more popular during the pandemic, like video walkthroughs and virtual tours.
And if you’re in the market for a new tech tool, we’ve got you covered there too. Whether it’s Notion or Microsoft’s GPT, we’ve got some great suggestions for you. So be sure to tune in and start building your portfolio with the best tech tools out there!
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Speaker A [00:00:00]:
Hey, what’s up everybody? Welcome back to the podcast. Dan, I got some bad news for you, bro.
Speaker B [00:00:05]:
Speaker A [00:00:05]:
I was on the YouTube scrolling through the comments, through just the field of comments that our lovely listeners leave. Thank you for that. And I found one that I have to bring to you. Somebody told us that this is the worst podcast they’ve ever heard.
Speaker B [00:00:23]:
So my mom?
Speaker A [00:00:24]:
Yeah. So keep your mom off the YouTube. She is our worst critic. She’s so hard to please.
Speaker B [00:00:29]:
I mean, she’s critical.
Speaker A [00:00:31]:
Let’s try and make up for it today. Let’s try and bring a little bit of value to the listeners. In under ten minutes, we have a new timer over here. So now we know we will not go over.
Speaker B [00:00:41]:
We probably still will.
Speaker A [00:00:43]:
Yeah, don’t hold us to anything. Okay, so let’s talk about tech stacks, because tech is sexy, and as you’re out there building your portfolio, you’re going to need to rely on softwares and tools to help manage the systems because it quickly gets crazy. So we’re going to share some of our systems, some of our tech stack that we use here at Invictus that maybe you could use in your own operations and then maybe give some ideas of other tech that you could use that maybe we don’t use, given where you might be in your process. So let’s kick off. What do you think? What is the top tech tool that we use internally?
Speaker B [00:01:21]:
Do you think the top top tech.
Speaker A [00:01:24]:
In no particular order except for this.
Speaker B [00:01:26]:
Is the top computer. I don’t know the top tech we would use. I could tell you one that’s been huge in the last couple of years, which was actually very surprising to me on the leasing side, which is Facebook Marketplace. I mean, that has got to be the biggest lead gen tool they’ll use to rent apartments. Now. It’s always been like apartments.com or Craigslist, but there’s something about the Algo and Facebook where when you list something, you get pummeled by leads. Hundreds of people, not all good, but if you can respond quick, if you’ve got somebody on the ball who’s responding quick, they can get some good qualified leads. So maybe out of 100 responses, you.
Speaker A [00:02:10]:
Might get three or four if you’re just starting off. If it’s just you, you can use chat bots with Facebook to then link them back to Google forms that they automatically pre qualify themselves, which then populates to a spreadsheet, and then you can reach out to them. So you can get hundreds of candidates coming in that you only see the people who actually qualify on whatever your terms might be. And it saves you a ton of time when you reach out to them to call that way, you know, like, does this person actually have the credit score that they need? Do they actually have the budget to be able to afford this? Because a lot of people on Facebook, you’ll get a lot of people that will just apply to everything and they are just horribly not qualified.
Speaker B [00:02:48]:
I can almost guarantee you a bot is going to get you flagged, though. Facebook loves flagging accounts, so you got to be actually really careful with that.
Speaker A [00:02:54]:
A bot for what?
Speaker B [00:02:56]:
You said a chat bot. You can have a bot hooked up and responding to people.
Speaker A [00:02:59]:
Yeah, if they initiate the message, if they initiate the conversation, if you just use a chat bot to spam and solicit.
Speaker B [00:03:06]:
But if people do that, Facebook’s good at flagging you and then they’ll down regulate all your posts and that is a nightmare. Actually sit there and respond to people.
Speaker A [00:03:16]:
You can do that, but Facebook actually has internal chat bots that you can.
Speaker B [00:03:19]:
Oh, it’s a Facebook thing.
Speaker A [00:03:20]:
You can link directly into it.
Speaker B [00:03:22]:
Speaker A [00:03:22]:
Okay, so there’s tons of tools that allow you to do this.
Speaker B [00:03:26]:
Have you done that?
Speaker A [00:03:27]:
Yeah, this is how on my recently.
Speaker B [00:03:32]:
Speaker A [00:03:33]:
I’ve used it recently, but not for real estate related things. It was because the YouTube channel was blowing up and we’re getting so many messages coming in from people, so we were using that to link them back to the newsletter. I actually learned how to do this from Frank Kern, who’s like a prolific copywriter legend in the industry for the last 30 years. And he put out a course actually on how to link this. And it’s actually very slick, it’s very simple to do. You don’t have to be tech savvy at all. And it’s utilizing a lot of internal systems on Facebook.
Speaker B [00:04:04]:
Okay, give it a shot if you get flagged. Sorry, but Facebook with real estate loves flagging you. I don’t know why.
Speaker A [00:04:11]:
Fair. Well, real estate is considered a protected special segment, especially when you’re renting or selling an investment. And so you got to be really careful in how you present things in those because they’re considered what is it? Protected classes. So you do need to be careful, especially if you’re running ads. Running ads is a whole different thing that you got to be careful.
Speaker B [00:04:36]:
We’re advertising a unit for lease, so try at your own risk.
Speaker A [00:04:42]:
So I’m talking about when you’re actually running advertising spend on Facebook rather than because on the marketplace we’re just like making a free post, right? And it’s not necessarily boosted in any capital going towards raising awareness so listeners can take that and just run for free, like you would make a post on Craigslist.
Speaker B [00:05:01]:
Okay, my timer is telling me that we need to move on to the next one.
Speaker A [00:05:03]:
Cool. All right. What’s the second one?
Speaker B [00:05:06]:
Well, I mean, that was mine. What do you got?
Speaker A [00:05:08]:
I think the one that we probably use most internally, if you think about it from a hub for information is probably Dropbox. Dropbox is pretty much where we keep everything that we’re going to share externally. And then there’s also a lot of internal sharing going on there. The backup to that would be the drive. The drive is great because it allows some collaboration on resources.
Speaker B [00:05:32]:
And when you say the drive, you’re talking Google Drive.
Speaker A [00:05:34]:
Google Drive. Yeah.
Speaker B [00:05:35]:
Google Drive. Dropbox, though.
Speaker A [00:05:37]:
Love it. Yeah, Dropbox is great, but Google Drive is great for collaboration on pieces. So like, if we have a spreadsheet, we can all have it open, we can all be adding things. We can be sharing. And so I think that makes it very awesome.
Speaker B [00:05:50]:
Yeah, I agree. Another one I got is virtual tools. I guess all mine are leasing related. I don’t know why, but this is something people start doing a lot more during the vid. And we never fully lease a unit off of virtual Tours. But it is an amazing way to make sure that the people that actually show up to view a unit actually are interested. Because I’ve noticed some newer landlords, when they’re photographing units and trying to lease them, will use very flattering angles and edited photos. And then when people show up, the unit actually looks way different. But even something as simple as like a video walkthrough makes sure that people get a really good sense of what that unit actually feels like. So if they’re showing up, they’re actually interested. And you’re wasting a lot less of your leasing agents time.
Speaker A [00:06:36]:
I like it. What software do we use these days for actually running the property management side of things and leasing and maintenance requests and all that?
Speaker B [00:06:47]:
Appolio the good old app Folio. Good old app folio.
Speaker A [00:06:50]:
If you’re starting out, I don’t know if Apple would be the thing to start with. Depending on how big your portfolio is, there’s cheaper free options and inexpensive options that probably function better. I think there used to be cozy. I think that’s what I used when I first started. And then I think they got bought by apartments.com.
Speaker B [00:07:08]:
Yeah, I can’t remember where the number of units where it makes sense. At Apollo, I want to say their price point just starts at a unit number, like maybe 100. Yeah, don’t quote me on that. But you definitely want a duplex. It’s going to be way too expensive to use that Folio, but the barrier to entry is actually pretty low compared to, I think, Yardy and some of the other resources are way too expensive for you.
Speaker A [00:07:34]:
Yeah, you’re definitely going to want some kind of software, though, for handling things like the screening process or credit checks as they’re coming in on the application side. And then once they’re actually into the property, signing the lease, where they place where you can keep that information. You can have them set up their ACH for regular rent and get your security deposit. And then you can also handle like, maintenance requests. So find a portal. There’s a lot of options out there.
Speaker B [00:08:00]:
There’s probably more, too. We haven’t even looked for years. I’m sure there’s like, umpteen, million other options.
Speaker A [00:08:05]:
Definitely don’t do it from a spreadsheet in the back of a napkin, which some people do, where they’re just I don’t even know how they collect checks. I would recommend never collecting checks, if possible from renters and just go ACH from the beginning as much as possible. What other tech we got?
Speaker B [00:08:25]:
I mean, those are the two big ones I wrote down trying to think other tech.
Speaker A [00:08:31]:
Another one that we use a lot from like a playbook standpoint was Notion. So that’s where we keep all systems and processes across the company. Just another easy collaborative tool. And again, you could use the drive. We’ve used it before for this. I think Notion is a little bit better though, from a search functionality, so I find it easier to find things in there than in the drive, especially if you have multiple team members because the drive can be confusing depending on how an owner of a document saves the document.
Speaker B [00:09:01]:
And the drive is confusing regardless. Yeah, the interface blows.
Speaker A [00:09:04]:
Sorry Google, what do you recommend instead?
Speaker B [00:09:08]:
Speaker A [00:09:09]:
Speaker B [00:09:09]:
Speaker A [00:09:10]:
What about for like, collaboration?
Speaker B [00:09:12]:
Speaker A [00:09:14]:
Can you collaborate within Dropbox and have the same document open at the same time?
Speaker B [00:09:18]:
No, that’s where it’s finicky. That’s where a single spreadsheet in Google could suffice. But it still blows because spreadsheets on Google suck. So Google just needs to figure it out. You can’t navigate it intuitively.
Speaker A [00:09:30]:
Interesting. Have you played at all with the new Google Sheets AI that they’ve rolled in?
Speaker B [00:09:35]:
No, I’m not.
Speaker A [00:09:36]:
Have you guys played with the Microsoft Explorer or Edge? I guess I call it now, microsoft Edge with Bing in it.
Speaker B [00:09:44]:
I have been trying to just get that away from delete it for so long. It always finds a way to pop, keeps coming back. I have an Apple now, so I don’t have to deal with that. But I remember when I had a Windows PC, it was my nightmare when it would open and anything would open, an Explorer or Edge.
Speaker A [00:10:00]:
One of the really cool things that they did recently, which I’m kind of impressed by, is they integrated GPT with Bing. And so I’m not a fan of the Edge browser. However, having it open in another tab just so that you can have the chat GPT linked directly in the search bar, which then makes the GPT link to the internet so it can do live internet searches of like, hey, go look at this competitor or this thing and write this bit of copy. I find that really interesting actually. So good job to Microsoft for that because no other reason would I ever want to use Edge.
Speaker B [00:10:35]:
That reminds me of something. This is something we’re not doing yet on the leasing side, but a lot of people have been playing around a lot with chat GPT, and I think there’s going to be a huge obviously there’s tons of stuff you can do with that. But just writing the copy for a listing is something that you could just plug in, like, five bullet points of data and get a really good, well written listing so that your leasing agents don’t have to try to muddle around and mess around with it. They just click three buttons, spit something.
Speaker A [00:11:03]:
Pretty out, and Chat GPT is the ultimate tech.
Speaker B [00:11:06]:
Oh, God, we should have just left the episode of that. Totally. Chat GPT for all things.
Speaker A [00:11:11]:
Another one. As you start to scale and you have employees that we use is Gusto for internal payroll and health insurance. I think they also link directly through there, so that’s a thing. Do we not use Gusto anymore?
Speaker B [00:11:26]:
We do, yeah, we had an incident a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, I think we did a podcast episode about things. We purposely didn’t call out our payroll provider, but if you want to connect the dots, go back out, listen to Hell Week. We use Gusto, so you can connect the dots if you want.
Speaker A [00:11:45]:
Do you got another one you’d recommend for payroll?
Speaker B [00:11:48]:
I’ve only used two. I’ve used Paychecks and now Gusto. And I will say Gusto is a lot better than Paychecks. But yeah, they had a well, I don’t want to go off on a tangent on Gusto. It was significantly better than Paychecks, though, from a customer service standpoint. Right on.
Speaker A [00:12:03]:
So that’s some of the tech stack. I bet if we spent a little bit longer, we could come up with a couple more, especially on the marketing side. We use a lot of tech these days in terms of the back end production process, but hopefully this gave you guys some things to think about, some tools, some resources that you could start implementing into your workflow. So, as always, we appreciate you being here. We’ll catch you guys in the next episode.
Speaker B [00:12:29]:
Speaker A [00:12:41]: