[Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the conclusions from the category product review series for the small landlord property management software sector. It answers two of the questions posed in the introduction. Originally published in the Geek Estate Mastermind.]

How are property management software companies impacting the small landlord business model?

Vendors are making it easier to start or continue operating as a DIY. Certainly, a trusted partner to handle the payments, screening, and marketing makes grokking the operation of a rental more feasible for newbies and part-timers. A small monthly vendor fee (or free) is replacing the model of paying 5-10% of monthly rent for a full suite of services. The time to money trade-off is worth it for many.

Are online rental applications becoming mainstream or are they still mostly on paper?

It depends on the definition of “mainstream.” Digital signatures for documents of all types is still growing in demand. Search inquiries for rental applications continue to increase year over year, according to Avail. Thousands of landlords will screen their tenants online this year. Online rental applications are becoming the only way forward as both demand and adoption increase rapidly.