If you’re new to real estate investing, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of having to manage your rental property. The buying phase is stressful enough, but your responsibilities only grow from there! If you want to succeed, you’ll need to create a clear management plan to ensure that your rental operation will start out strong.
Different types of properties will have different needs, but you can handle anything with the right tools and information. Keep reading for four tips that will help you manage your rental properties like a pro.
For some property owners, moderating tenant agreements is the most difficult part of managing their rentals. While you may have heard plenty of horror stories about bad tenants damaging properties and giving their landlords a hard time, your experience is likely to be positive if you stay on top of tenants’ needs and communicate your terms clearly.
To keep things running smoothly, you have to screen potential tenants, set clear due dates and rent policies, and handle tenant complaints and requests. These steps will help you find reliable renters, keep your cash flow consistent, and ensure that everyone involved is happy and safe in their space.
Oftentimes, tenant complaints and requests will be related to broken or malfunctioning fixtures and appliances in their units. As the property owner and manager, you’ll be responsible for repairing or replacing those amenities.
To prevent hiring professionals with high service fees, you can learn to do a lot of these odd jobs yourself. Landlords with general knowledge of plumbing, electrical work, and household repairs can get away with doing a lot of maintenance work for little to no extra cost. Property owners can even deduct the costs of these improvements from their taxes, making this a really great way to keep your rental income high.
In addition to saving you money, choosing to DIY your minor maintenance tasks will help you build better relationships with your tenants. Not only will you be able to more closely monitor your properties and prevent long-term damage, but you will also be able to show your tenants that you care. When renters know that they can rely on you to help them out and keep their space in good shape, they will be more willing to do the same for your sake.
If you’re not the handy type or you’re investing in distant vacation rentals, you may prefer to hire out for maintenance and management services. To do so, you’ll need to keep track of your finances and make room in your budget.
There are plenty of ways to cut costs in different areas of your rental operation. If you’ve been renting for a long time and feel the need to outsource for a dedicated property manager, you could spend less on marketing or place a small increase on your rental fees.
If you’re just starting out and you want to ensure that you can afford management and maintenance services for your property, you can get financial help early on. You can apply for a loan or buy-in with a partner to lessen the burden of your initial property purchase. This is an especially smart option if you’re hoping to invest in a larger rental, like a multi-family or mixed-use property.
Finally, it’s an owner’s responsibility to keep up with property laws, landlord-tenant laws, and any other local laws that apply to your type of rental. You should check out your state’s legislation before buying a property and stay informed to make sure that you’re handling your rental the right way.
These tips will help you make sense of your responsibilities as a property owner and guide you to manage and maintain your rentals for the best possible return on your investment. If you adopt these practices and keep them up, you’re sure to be successful.