Managing your rental property is not as simple as it seems. There are many financial, legal, and interpersonal factors that come into play when managing any rental property. With rents on the rise and vacancy rates hitting historic lows, it’s more important than ever to find ways to maximize your rental property.
It’s not just about having an apartment that’s ready to be rented. Managing these properties also takes a lot of time and effort, so you want to make sure that you’re not neglecting any other areas of your business.
Here is a guide to help you manage your properties so you can keep them occupied all year round.
Learn Everything About Your Property
The first thing you want to do is make yourself familiar with your property. The more you know about it, the better you will be able to accommodate tenants. When was the last time someone painted the walls? When was the last time you took care of roof repairs? How long has it been since the gutters were cleaned out?
Knowing the answers to those questions will help you determine if those repairs need to be done before a tenant moves into your property. You also want to take exterior photos of your property and walk through the entire building with a pad and paper, noting all damages.
Hire Estate Managers Who Can Communicate With Tenants
Getting someone who can communicate with tenants is very important. That’s where estate managers come in — they are professionals who help you manage and maintain your properties so that you don’t have to spend time doing it.
They are generally available 24/7, can work on your schedule, and make sure to keep you updated with regular reports about the status of your properties. They can utilize real estate accounting software to manage the property’s income further simplifying your work. Estate managers are also good for reaching out to prospective tenants early in their tenancy journey.
Set Prices & Expectations
Far too often, young investors undercharge for rent. They think if they charge a lower amount, they will attract more renters and generate more revenue. While this is true, it is also true that you’ll end up attracting the wrong kind of tenant and spend more time and money evicting him or her.
Instead, consider raising your rents to a price that is more market-friendly. It may take some time for your rental rates to catch up, but you will attract better tenants and reduce the amount of work you have to put into managing your property.
Be Rental Ready
Before you can begin renting your property, there are many things that must be done. You have to have the unit professionally cleaned and painted. And you must make sure that it is up to quality standards so you won’t have any problems with your new tenants.
If there are any repairs needed, do them first, before you show your property to potential renters. You also want to make sure that the unit is stocked with all of the necessary supplies, like dish soap and toilet paper.
This will help reduce complaints later on when your new tenant moves in and realizes there isn’t a sponge or a plunger in the bathroom.
Have a Rental Agreement With Your Tenants
Having a written rental agreement will help you both, later on, should there be any problems. It is best to have an attorney draft this for you, but if that isn’t possible, there are many great online resources available to offer free leases.
The lease should include the start date of the tenancy, how much rent will be charged and when it is due, and provisions for payment (like utilities). It should state the amount of the security deposit and whether any interest will be paid on it.
The lease should also cover other issues like who is responsible for repairs, how many people can live in the unit, and what happens if your tenant violates the rules.
Understand The Rental Law In Your Neighborhood
Many investors are surprised when they get a violation notice from their city or town. They did not realize that the town has its own set of laws regarding rentals. When you buy your rental property, ask about any specific rules for renting in your neighborhood before you hang up the “For Rent” sign.
That way, you’ll know what to expect if you get a violation, especially if it is your first time renting out your property. If you ignore the violation, you’ll likely get another one later on. This can become an expensive headache for you over time, so make sure to act quickly.
It is important to be organized when managing your rental properties. That’s how you can increase your profit and grow your real estate business.