(*Disclaimer: Name changed for privacy.)

James* is a property investor in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia who owns several residential and commercial properties, which he rents out and collects monthly rental payments. Among the rental properties he manages by himself are two apartment units, two condominium units, a single-storey link house, a SoFo studio, and a commercial shop lot. That is a total of 8 rental properties to manage!

As a landlord managing properties by himself, James relied heavily on instant messaging apps like WhatsApp to communicate with his tenants, and using spreadsheets to keep records of his expenses such as rental payments, repairs, bills, and other financial obligations regarding the rental properties. Property inspection was done once or twice a year, which he would arrange in advance with his tenants to schedule a day and time so he could visit and inspect the property in person.

With eight rental properties to manage, in addition to his full-time job as the chief executive officer of an IT company, James struggled to keep track of issues that needed attention, damages that required fixing, and collecting rental payments that were overdue. He felt overwhelmed and considered hiring the service of a property manager, despite the high cost.

One day, he saw a real estate agent friend sharing on Facebook about a property management mobile app called Landlord123. Interested by the idea of being able to manage all his properties in a single app, he visited the Landlord123 website and downloaded the app into his smartphone. He also requested the tenant of one of his condominium units to download the app so that he could try out the various features within the app, including property inspection, issue management, financial reporting, and rental collection.

While using the Landlord123 app two weeks later, James was looking at the property inspection photos his tenant had uploaded for the regular monthly inspection update that he had set in the app. Upon closer inspection, he noticed something wrong with the built-in cabinet in the kitchen area. The ceiling above the cabinet had some dark markings and the top part of the cabinet looked a slightly different colour. He brushed it off as a trick of the light, and viewed the other photos with satisfaction. So far, the app had helped him save a lot of time and effort while at the same time keeping an eye on the condition of his property.

He decided to subscribe to the Starter package and added the remaining seven of his rental properties into the app to manage them, as well as requesting his tenants to also download and use the app. Three months passed and everyone was satisfied with the Landlord123 app, as it was easy and convenient for both James and his tenants to use. Then one day, while checking his properties via the Landlord123 app, he once again noticed that the stain on the kitchen ceiling had gotten darker. He decided to personally go and inspect the unit, and arranged it with the tenant. Upon arriving, he saw that the stain was caused by water stains, and that the moisture had started to affect the kitchen cabinet beneath it.

He immediately called a plumber to come and diagnose the problem. After a thorough inspection, the plumber told James that luckily he noticed early and the problem could be fixed in a one or two days at less than RM1,000, thus preventing further damage and incurring higher repair costs of nearly RM12,000. Thanks to the property inspection feature in Landlord123 and his sharp eyes, James had narrowly avoided spending a fortune to fix the leaking ceiling and replace the built-in kitchen cabinets.

This anecdote tells us that regular inspection should be done, whether you have one or a dozen rental properties. Handing of issues with WhatsApp can be messy and disorganized, especially if you have multiple properties to manage. A proper tool for managing rental properties like Landlord123 is ideal not only for landlords, but also real estate agents and property managers as it has user-friendly and efficient features to monitor, safeguard, and keep records of expenses.

Want to prevent heavy losses due to property damage by tenants? Download the Landlord123 property management app now to safeguard your rental properties!