Whether you’re a new property manager or you’ve been in the business for years, then you know the most important things about managing rental properties are maintenance and tenant selection.
Landlords who take shortcuts when screening potential tenants, skimp on insuring and maintaining the property or who fail to outline everything in detailed, written lease agreements can end up in serious damaging situations. There are simple and easy ways to manage a property that will help you to avoid any surprises. Check them out here:
1) Tenant Retention: Regularly categorize the tenants in your property as desirable or less desirable tenants. Make it a priority to encourage desirable tenants to stay. (Source: LightPath: Click here for More Retention Strategies)
2) Routine Inspections: In addition to regular move-in and move-out inspections, invest in formal property inspections twice a year to catch and major foundation, electrical or exterior damages before they occur.
3) Fast Quality Repairs: When damages occur, handle them quickly but don’t skimp on the quality of the repair. You’ll be glad you spent the extra money rather than having the issue re-appear after a short amount of time, costing you double.
4) Keep Records: The most important records you can keep are maintenance and facility records BUT other equally important records you need keep are your rent and late payment notices. Back up everything including emails and texts. *Enforce late charge and keep copies of payment checks, ID’s and licenses too
5) Cover Your Back: Insurance, insurance, insurance! We can’t stress enough how important it is to insure your property. There is a long laundry list of things than can happy such as tenant caused property damage, fires and more natural disasters. Not having homeowners insurance can sink you. Click here for recommendations on which company to go with.
6) Provide Security: Don’t let your tenants and property be easy marks for a criminal. Assess your property’s security and take reasonable steps to protect it. Often the best measures, such as proper lights and trimmed landscaping, are not that expensive.
7) Hire a Good Lawyer to be on call: All tenant notices, facility contracts and lease agreements should be legally binding. When problems occur (such as evictions) you’ll want to have an attorney that is familiar with your property and procedures so they can promptly address the issue, saving you time and money.
8) Utilize Online Tools to Save You Time: There are thousands of excellent management software tools out there such as Rent Manager and Property Ware (link to sites). Use them to your advantage to stay organized. This also makes backing up and keeping records much easier.
9) RRR – Raise Rent Regularly: As the market fluctuates so should your rent. Don’t regret finding out later that you could have substantially profited higher from your investment.
10) Focus on Referral Business: If you have a great tenant then chances are their friends and family members will also be great tenants. Always be humble, kind, and prompt and you’ll never have a problem receiving referrals. Notify tenants of referral benefits twice a year when moving often occurs such as in the Fall and Spring.
*Quick tip* Always keep a record in each property file of what paint was used and the date of the last paint job. Use the same brand and color paint on all your units. This makes blending touch-ups that much easier!
If you’re already in the rental business and are looking to sell, give us a call today for a free consultation.