Pro Tips to Acquire and Manage Property Remotely

Managing a property portfolio is challenging at the best of times, whether you have one property or ten. But when you add distance into the mix, it becomes even tougher.

You might own property in another city to maximise your down payment and get more for your money, or you might travel a lot and be unable to visit properties in person very often.

Whatever your situation, there are ways to acquire and manage real estate remotely with ease, from working with third parties to utilising software, that will make your life that bit easier.

Work with a broker

Before you can acquire a property, you need to get your finances in order and run the numbers to understand precisely what you can afford. The real estate market is always changing and knowing what you can afford at the time of looking will help you narrow down your search.

Working with a mortgage broker over dealing directly with a bank will give you broader access to lenders and an overview of the market trends, as well as assisting you with any complexities to your situation, such as if you’re applying with bad credit or if you’re a contractor, which can make being accepted for a mortgage harder. It’ll make the acquisition process much smoother – something that’s certainly worth the investment during what is always a complex and stressful situation.

Use digital signatures to close remotely

Electronic signatures can often be used instead of in-person signatures, with the added benefit of convenience – especially when you’re handling a purchase remotely. Advances in technology, and developments in the legal system, mean that buying remotely is more attainable than ever.

Your agent will send over the contract and any documents required, you can sign them using an e-signature system and they’ll be passed back to your agent. Your attorney still needs a physical signature, so the agent works with them and will pass on any necessary documents before closing, so buyers don’t need to be in the same physical location for the transaction to be completed.

Install a comprehensive security system

Once you’ve found your dream property and gone through the legalities to secure it, you need to start protecting your investment before you begin the process of finding tenants. But when you’re managing a property remotely, you need to make the most of technology if you want to avoid security breaches.

Safewise explains, “In an attempt to minimize expenses, you might be tempted to terminate your home security monitoring service. That’s a mistake. No matter what kind of neighborhood or community your home is located in, it’s a prime target for vandals and thieves.“

Home security systems have come a long way, and there are options for all budgets which enable landlords to monitor their properties from any location while it’s vacant.

Smart security systems can also be used for the outside of the property for peace of mind for both landlords and tenants, preventing break-ins and damage to the property. But investors also need to consider safety within the property, such as carbon monoxide detectors which have digital alerts and smart locks which make self-showing easier.

Screen and verify tenants

Tenant verification is essential to ensure your property will be inhabited by someone suitable who will take care of it and pay on time. It involves verifying income and credit history to check they can afford the rent each month, as well as their criminal background to prevent taking on troublesome tenants who may lead to legal complications and a poor reputation for your property portfolio.

Most tenant screening services can be carried out over video conferencing software, so you don’t need to interact with the tenant directly but check fair housing laws before you begin this process.

Set up online maintenance tools

Maintenance of your property is tough when you’re not physically close by. But landlords can make the most of rental maintenance management software that makes it easier for tenants to submit maintenance requests at a time that’s convenient to them.

Remote landlords can look at any photo or video attachments sent over to determine the work required and evaluate how best to handle the issue without needing to be there in person. And they can send requests to trusted vendors and tradespeople to deal with the problem, tracking the progress through to completion. Providing you use reliable tradespeople, it’s a convenient and simple way of making sure the properties in your portfolio stay well maintained and up to the right standard.

Set up digital payments

Collecting rental payments can be tricky when you’re handling real estate remotely. But it’s an essential task and finding ways to ease the process and make it more convenient for everyone is key.

A digital payment strategy that automates rent collection, through a system like ClickPay or something similar, can reduce the hassle for both parties, which will accept payments in various forms such as debit, credit or bank transfers.

With online transfers, you can ensure the money will land in your account each month on the agreed date, without you needing to collect it in person or deal with paper checks. It streamlines the process through automation and makes it easier for everyone involved.

Final thoughts

Owning property in another region isn’t an easy task, but it’s certainly possible and is made much easier by forward planning and utilising tech. There are always challenges to overcome, but making sure the security and maintenance of the property are handled properly, and that you have thoroughly vetted each tenant before they move in, can put your mind at ease. It’s not always possible or practical to buy property where you live yourself.

With these tips, you can make your money go further and enjoy better rental yields without needing to be in the location permanently.

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Published February 2022

Michael

PropertyData team

support@propertydata.co.uk
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Transparent data promise

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

Averages shown are the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How do you know the square footage of properties?

We use proprietary technology to read the square footage of properties from agent floorplans. Although we cannot determine the square footage for all properties, we can usually get sufficient coverage. Agents are sometimes known to inflate square footage, and this should be borne in mind as a weakness of this data.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

Once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

You can customise the time period using the filter at the top of the view. The default time period is up to 9 months back from today's date. The latest data covers the period up to 2022-03-31, although some sales that took place before this date may still be added in the coming months.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

Averages shown are the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry, and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data provided by Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

How do you know the square footage of properties?

We match the Land Registry data to EPC data provided by the MCHLG. Due to the fact that not all properties sold have had an EPC and vagaries of addressing in the UK, we are not able to determine the square footage of all properties, but we can usually get sufficient coverage.

How often is the data updated?

The private paid data is updated once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month. The energy performance certificate database is updated monthly.

What time period does the data cover?

You can customise the time period using the filter at the top of the view. The default time period is up to 9 months back from today's date. The latest data covers the period up to 2022-03-31, although some sales that took place before this date may still be added in the coming months.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Room let listings on SpareRoom, the UK's biggest room letting website.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from SpareRoom, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded. Yields are calculated by comparing only properties with the same number of bedrooms, e.g. 3-bedroom properties for rent with 3-bedroom properties for sale.

What is the yield calculation used?

The calculation used is (average_weekly_asking_rent * 52 / average_asking_price), expressed as a percentage. It is a top-line gross yield, meaning no expenses are considered.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from Zoopla, Rightmove or Spareroom, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Yields are calculated by comparing only properties with the same number of bedrooms, e.g. 3-bedroom properties for rent with 3-bedroom properties for sale. For the SpareRoom data, hypothetical properties consisting of two to six average double rooms with shared bathrooms are used to derived average rent. For all sources, listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What is the yield calculation used?

The calculation used is (average_weekly_asking_rent * 52 / average_asking_price), expressed as a percentage. It is a top-line gross yield, meaning no expenses are considered.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

Once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

Zoopla Zed-index

What time period does the data cover?

The data covers transactions in the last six years

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The listings data is updated in near real-time. The Land Registry data is updated once per month when released, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

The price paid data shown goes back to January 2015. The listings data is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the calculations used?

Average sales per month are for the last 3 finalised months. Turnover is average sales per month divided by total for sale. Inventory is 100 divided by turnover.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The listings data is updated in near real-time. The Land Registry data is updated once per month when released, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

Where does the raw data come from?

We receive data on the extent and corporate ownership of all land titles in England & Wales from the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated once per month when released, typically in the first few days of each calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

This is an ownership snapshot - the data represents ownership as recorded by the Land Registry at the last monthly export.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

Where does the raw data come from?

We source different expert forecasts Savills, Knight Frank, OBR

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated annually when new forecasts are released, typically towards the beginning of the year.

How is the raw data processed?

We calculate a consensus forecast using a simple mean average.