Owing a property leads to multiple benefits, including stable rent payment, tax evasions, portfolio diversification, etc. But it also comes with a fair share of challenges along the way. As a landlord, managing a property is arguably going to be your biggest headache, especially if you are doing it for the first time. According to experts, the quality of property management will determine whether or not your investment will yield long-term returns.
If you are a landlord, taking note of the following tips will make sure you stay on top of the property management:
- Ensure Smooth Communication
Having open lines of communication with renters and vendors is essential. One way to simplify communication is by using online templates. For instance, you may design a range of templates for different purposes on your website. The templates may then be downloaded, filled out, and submitted by tenants. Maintenance request forms are the tell-tale example of that. Also, consider allowing renters to book appointments with you via the website.
- Prepare An Airtight Agreement
Devise a solid agreement that spells out exactly what each party’s obligations are and the consequences if the agreement is not followed. As a first-time landlord, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney in this situation.
You should also prepare a document for the new tenants that includes information on performing basic maintenance and general upkeep. Well-reputed property management firms like The Reality Medics help you get these basics down before you rent your property. A little forethought may landlords you a lot of money in the long run.
- Find Ideal Tenants
Finding the right tenant is hands down the most significant part of maintaining a property. That way, you will drastically reduce the likelihood of tenant/landlord disputes. Screening is a tried-and-true way to cherry-pick the ideal candidate to rent your property. If you are not well-versed with the screening process, here is how you should go about it:
- Obtain a copy of the credit report: Some state regulations permit landlords to charge prospective tenants for credit checks, while other states compel landlords to cover these costs. In either case, checking a prospective tenant’s credit history is a smart move. A tenant’s past credit history can be gleaned via a credit check, dating back seven to ten years.
- Look into the criminal background: A criminal history check on a renter might help you prevent placing your property or area in jeopardy. While a minor misdemeanor might be forgiven, a long criminal record should be a clear red flag.
- Verify income and employment: As a landlord, you should verify the applicant’s income and employment to ensure they can pay the rent and secure their job. The popular three-times rule is a good benchmark for revenue. For example, if the candidate has a gross monthly salary that is three times the amount of the rent, they can likely pay it.
- Contact the previous landlord: You should inquire if the renter has paid all rent and if the old landlord knows they are leaving. However, to acquire a true understanding of the tenant, one must go further than that. While you do not want to risk breaching anyone’s privacy, you may ask a few basic inquiries about the tenant’s daily habits.
- Prioritize Regular Inspections
When it comes to saving money on maintenance, staying on top of inspections will help you. Regular inspections serve as a reminder to your renters that you care about the upkeep of your units, and they need to do their bit to keep them in good shape. Besides, you will also be able to deal with problems as they develop, minimizing the need for costly repairs. However, before getting on with your inspections, make it a point to familiarize yourself with the local regulations that govern tenant privacy, which might entitle you to send an advance notice.
- Pay Attention To Filing
Even if you are aware of the need to safeguard yourself with legally binding lease agreements, having all the paperwork in the world will not assist you if you cannot find it. Inexperienced landlords frequently mistake not creating and maintaining a simple, easy-to-use file system that allows them to locate the information they need quickly.
Physical file systems are vulnerable to theft, fire, and water damage, making electronic filing systems the only viable alternative. Maintain your papers in folders that are properly labeled and organized. You may create a separate folder for each property and each renter.
- Keep Your Tenants Happy
Always strive to ensure the satisfaction of your renters. These measures will help assure timely rent payments, compliance with your property’s laws and regulations, and solid references when it is time to move out. Do not assume you have to invest a lot of time, energy, or money to ensure tenant satisfaction. Doing simple stuff such as keeping common spaces clean or doing small repairs without additional charges will do the job.
- Use Online Channels To Receive Rent Payment
It is unsafe for renters to mail cheques. Sometimes it could also be misplaced, or the bank account information might be compromised to make the matter worse. However, online rent payments are both easier and more secure than traditional methods. Following a well-documented study, 61% of millennials and 42% of older generations pay online payments. Tenants can even have their rent deducted from their accounts according to a predetermined timetable by scheduling their payments. Besides, rent is easier to track when collected digitally instead of via paper check or other means.
Over the past few decades, numerous transformations and developments have taken place around the globe. But one thing that has remained constant is real estate ownership. Even in this technological age, owning property remains one of the finest ways to generate money. Being a landlord may put you on the path to long-term financial stability and enable you to ditch the conventional 9 to 5 workday. However, it will require you to stay on top of property management. And the good news is that the tips listed above will help you become an intelligent property manager.