You’ve picked up your first investment property and ready to put up a listing among other houses to rent. Congratulations! So, where do you begin? While being a landlord might seem straightforward, there are many nuances to consider. If you want to forego property managers, here are a few tips to make you Landlord Of The Year.
Your Rental Isn’t Just A Side Hustle
This can’t be understated: your rental is your business. You may have initially bought a rental property for some extra cash on the side, but your rental is someone else’s home. It’s important to put systems in place so you’re not at a tenant’s beck and call every time something goes wrong. Landlording can be a demanding job, day and night. How do you tackle maintenance requests especially when you’re out of town? Do you know to put aside money for repairs every month? Are you collecting monthly rent by showing up at your tenant’s door?
These are all important questions that you should have proper solutions for. Because being organized is key. This is especially important if you’re looking to grow into this business. When you’re managing 10 or 15 or 30 houses for rent, you want to know that your systems are in place and work.
Screen, Screen, Screen
Property managers and landlords both fear the possibility of ending up with a bad tenant. No one wants to chase people around for rent and the last thing anyone wants is to evict someone. This is why the screening process is important. You need to weed out the bad apples from the good. There’s a reason why property managers and landlords run background checks and call previous landlords for a reference. This keeps the property safe and saves you a major headache, energy and money.
Once You’ve Screened, Keep Them Happy
Tenant screening is time-intensive, costs money, and is, frankly, not fun. Once you’ve found good tenants, it’s in your best interest to keep them happy. Why? Because retaining tenants is a lot easier than finding new ones. Treat them with respect, take their concerns seriously and get repairs done in a timely manner. You don’t have to likeyour tenants. In fact, it’s likely you won’t like some of them. But you do have to respect them because, at the end of the day, business is business. Your personal feelings shouldn’t come into play. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust your gut about whether someone is untrustworthy. But that doesn’t mean you get to discriminate against someone who happens to like your favourite sports team’s arch-rival.
Set Your Business Hours
If you don’t want innocuous texts at 9 pm, set some firm business hours. This doesn’t include emergencies, which you should be available for (that means providing an emergency number). For any other reason, though, they should know your business hours and stick to them.
Don’t Manage Your Own Property
This is for all you owners out there. It’s not likely you’ll see this point too often but being one removed from the property makes things easier. Landlords have to make hard decisions all the time and need to take the appropriate time to make the right one. It’s a lot easier to minimize confrontations and awkward conversations when you can use the owner as a scapegoat while also buying yourself time.
If you are an owner, consider getting a property manager. Pemberton Holmes Property Management knows how to take the stress out of the process while protecting your investment. Being a landlord can be tough work and it’s hard to juggle your own job with the responsibilities of a rental property. Let our property managers do the work instead. Contact us today if you’re ready to place your rental into experienced hands.