Whether you’re new to the business or you’re an experienced landlord, managing property is a challenging occupation, to say the least. It requires a serious commitment to protect investments, constantly stay up to date with all regulations, and stay on top of the potentially dozens of tasks that need attention. To put it simply, it’s not a job for just anyone. It has to be treated like a business in that one must create systems to run things smoothly, improvements should be made to the model consistently, and customer (tenant) service must be taken with the utmost seriousness to maintain a good reputation. As daunting as managing properties can be, there are some great tips to make things easier.
Proper Tenant Screening
This one may seem a bit obvious, but even some experienced landlords can get in such a rush to fill a vacancy that they fail to screen the potential tenant as well as they should. Credit scores are pretty much always checked, and it’s generally agreed that a score under 600 is bad. However, no matter how badly one might want to fill a vacancy, there are other things to check.
Having a potential tenant provide proof of steady employment is of equal importance to the credit check. After all, someone with poor credit and a job is still in a better position to pay rent than someone with good credit who is currently unemployed or not making enough to afford the area. It’s a good idea to collect rent references as well. If they have a good word from previous landlords, one can rest much easier. Taking the time to collect as much information as possible about a potential tenant can save a great deal of future headaches.
Strategically Increase Revenue
It’s likely that any landlord’s absolute dream come true would be to keep great tenants who take care of the property, pay rent on time, and who stay long term. Unfortunately, this is not a possible reality. Turnover will happen, and this can leave a landlord with unknown repair expenses and, of course, vacancies. Because of this, it’s necessary to figure out ways to increase revenue.
One way to do this is by offering additional services to tenants (things like landscaping, laundry, and easy parking services). Some tenants will be willing to pay a bit extra in rent for the convenience. Making regular improvements to the property can both entice tenants to stay and allow for increased rent. It’s important to be careful about renovations, though. Thorough planning and research should be done to ensure the expenses of the renovations don’t outweigh their long term worth.
Let Technology Do the Work
Thankfully, in the digital age, there are many options for software programs that can do much of the work typically left for landlords. Even better, there are ways to obtain free landlord software, and the benefits are tremendous.
One of the greatest benefits of landlord software is the fact that it can handle most of the marketing stress. With the simple upload of property details, landlord software can post properties across rental sites focusing on the property’s location, so nearby potential tenants will be aware of the property and its advantages.
This software can also be used to keep timely communication with tenants. Rent can be paid through the software, and direct conversations with tenants about potential issues will be possible even if the landlord isn’t onsite.
Of course, possibly the biggest benefit of all, is that landlord software can create a backup of all tenant information, insurance information, and important documents in one location with a user-friendly interface. While no automated system can or should totally replace separate research/marketing efforts or physical storage options, it is one of the best possible tools to make day-to-day operations run smoothly.