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What’s a Digital Landlord? Learn the Good and the Bad

You might’ve heard the term “digital landlord” thrown around in Southern California real estate investing circles and wondered what all the fuss is about. 

Learn what's a digital landlord in Oceanside, CA.

It sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Using technology to take control of your rental properties, whether they’re just around the corner or three states over. But what’s a digital landlord, and what does it entail? 

Until now, many landlords believed they had to stay close to their rental properties in case of an emergency and to keep an eye on their tenants. 

With the great innovation and advancement of technology and software, digital landlords are popping up around the globe, managing hundreds of properties no matter where they’re located. 

So, what’s a digital landlord? And what types of tools are making it so easy for them to manage properties and earn rental income worldwide?

What’s a Digital Landlord?

A digital landlord is a property owner who harnesses the power of technology to manage their rental properties from virtually anywhere. 

Imagine being on a beach vacation and still being able to address tenant concerns, oversee repairs, or even screen potential renters. Sounds like a futuristic fantasy, right? But it’s a reality for digital landlords. 

With the right tools and software, they handle most aspects of property management without needing to be physically present. However, as with any significant change, there’s a mix of benefits and potential obstacles to consider.

3 Benefits of Being a Digital Landlord

The life of a digital landlord comes with many attractive benefits.

1. Manage Out-of-State Rental Property 

Arguably, the most enticing advantage is the freedom to manage properties irrespective of their location. Imagine expanding your property portfolio to include attractive properties out-of-state or even in another part of the world. The opportunities for growth are tremendous!

2. Flexibility 

Digital landlords enjoy an unparalleled level of flexibility. Do you want to travel for a month without worrying about going to your rental property to repair something? Or maybe you found a great job opportunity in another state and want to move without giving up your rental properties. 

Your property management tasks can travel with you, courtesy of the array of digital tools at your disposal.

3. Autonomous Management 

Being a digital landlord means you’re the captain of your ship. You control every aspect of your property management. From screening potential tenants to collecting rent to coordinating maintenance requests – it’s all in your hands.

While this may seem intimidating at first, once you get the hang of managing properties on your own, digital landlord tools will make it much easier. 

5 Features Digital Landlords Look for in Technology and Tools

Tools and technology for digital landlords in Oceanside, CA

As a digital landlord, you’re going to rely heavily on various tech tools designed to make your life easier.

1. Tenant Screening 

Various digital platforms enable you to screen potential tenants effectively. You can access their credit history, verify their income, and even check references from the comfort of your home.

2. Online Rent Collection

Thanks to digital payment platforms, gone are the days of dealing with checks or cash. Your tenants can pay their rent online, a convenience that you and your tenants will appreciate.

Some online collection platforms will even send automated reminders to your tenants that their rent is due. 

3. Tenant Communication 

With numerous apps and platforms available, staying in touch with your tenants has never been easier. Be it addressing their concerns, answering their queries, or notifying them about upcoming maintenance; swift communication is just a few clicks away.

You’ll never miss a message or forget to answer someone either, which can be common when relying upon text or email. 

4. Repairs and Maintenance Coordination 

Coordinating repairs and routine maintenance can be a breeze with digital tools. You can keep track of requests, find reliable local contractors, and even oversee the work without setting foot on the property.

5. Electronic Signatures

When using landlord software, you may have access to premade lease templates to send to tenants. Many programs offer digital signature software so that with a click of a button, you and your tenant can legally sign the agreement. 

How Much Does Being a Digital Landlord Cost?

Becoming a digital landlord might sound appealing, but it’s crucial to consider the associated costs with all of these tools and software. 


Property management software subscriptions aren’t cheap. You’re looking at anywhere from $50 to $250 per month. Over a year, that cost adds up and could cut into your rental income.

Remember, this is just for you to use the software and doesn’t include extra fees or services that you may need. 

Commissions and Fees 

While online rent payment platforms provide convenience, they do charge a fee. Often, these platforms take a cut of up to 3% per transaction (for 7% more you could hire a property manager), which could slowly erode your bottom line.

Listing Fees 

Planning to list your property on popular platforms like Zillow or Apartments? Be prepared to pay listing fees. These fees vary, but it’s another cost that you need to factor into your budget.

While you may be able to upload your listing automatically through digital landlord software, the listing fee typically is not included. 

Learning and Managing Tech Tools 

Don’t forget that time is a valuable commodity. Learning to use all these tools effectively and staying updated with the latest digital trends is time-consuming. 

And what if you’re not tech-savvy? The learning curve could be steep and frustrating.

Oceanside Property Management That Saves Time & Money

Landlord enjoying the freedom of Oceanside property management.

The allure of being a digital landlord might be powerful, but it’s not without its challenges. 

The costs, the learning curve, and the significant time commitment can be intimidating. This is where an Oceanside property management company, like Scout Property Management, comes in.

Imagine having a professional team that takes care of all those duties you would be juggling as a digital landlord. From tenant screening to rent collection to maintenance – we handle it all. 

Plus, with our expertise, we can often prevent small issues from becoming big, costly problems. 

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars a month on different types of software, fees, and commissions just to manage everything yourself, you could hire a professional property management company to work with you one-on-one to maximize your earnings while maintaining your property. 

It’s an option that could save you time, money, and a lot of stress while boosting your ROI. 

Request your free rent analysis today to see how much your Oceanside, CA, rental property can earn each month! 

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