I know it, and you know it — owning rental properties can be very rewarding. However, managing and making profit from rental properties is easier said than done.
Whether you are dealing with troublesome tenants or pricing conflicts, these dilemmas can be serious trouble for both management and profitability.
Without further ado, here are 7 must-do tips to keep rental properties managed and profitable!
1. Treat Your Rental Property Like A Business
Even if your rental property is “side” income, it is still necessary to treat your property like any other business. You will want to keep landlord-tenant relationships professional, stick to your rules, and have thorough records of your finances.
Another part of conducting your rental property like a business is to adhere to all federal, state, and local laws. That way, you’ll be able to maintain a good reputation within the industry and stay out of legal trouble.
2. Create and Follow A Tenant Screening Process
The quality of a landowner’s tenants will make or break their experience as a landowner. That’s why it’s important to find tenants that will cherish the rental as if it was their own. That’s where creating and following a tenant screening process will come in handy.
When creating a screening process, your goal is to discard the bad apples and look for cooperative tenants that will pay on time. For starters, create a list of desirable qualities that each tenant should have.
Have potential tenants fill out a tenant application to obtain relevant information like name, reason for moving, income, employer information, landlord references, and so forth. Make sure to ask the right questions since that will give you the best insight on your potential tenants.
With this information, you can now filter applications until each tenant gets your seal of approval. Ideally, you will create a screening process that filters out people who can’t reliably pay your rent, have criminal histories, or have bad rental backgrounds.
To save yourself thousands of dollars in avoidable repairs and maintenance, create and then make sure to stick with a tenant screening process. Don’t make any exceptions!
3. Have A Written Rental Agreement
Communication is everything when it comes to a successful tenant-landlord relationship. By creating a written rental agreement, you not only establish your expectations but also protect yourself in legal situations. What happens when a tenant breaks equipment? What happens if tenants break your rules? With all your expectations stated and clearly outlined in your rental agreement, tenants have no excuses and become liable for their own actions.
With a signed written rental agreement, you have more protection in court too. Why? A written rental agreement is concrete proof that you and your tenant actually did come to an agreement. Sometimes, an oral agreement just isn’t enough in the courtroom.
4. Embrace Technology to Assist
Technology can assist to save time, effort, and money. Local rental catalogs aren’t the main way potential tenants find homes anymore — the internet is. Create a listening on a service like Trulia, and a rental vacancy problem will be no more.
Of course, your listing itself needs to be attractive and appealing to potential tenants. Make sure to take clear and flattering photos of your rental property and include relevant information. Relevant information includes monthly rent price, address, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, amenities, and anything else tenants should know. You should also announce your requirements and what tenants you desire in the listing as well. By doing so, you come off as more professional and reliable.
Another way to embrace technology is to collect rent online. Not only is online rent collection more efficient for everyone, but it’s also more secure. There’s no need to run and chase down your tenants anymore, and they can pay whenever is most convenient for them. The easier it is to pay, the more likely they will pay on time. Plus, checks have the potential to get lost or stolen in the mail — online payments don’t have that risk.
Embracing technology is a win-win for all parties involved!
5. Get Landlord Insurance
Landlord insurance isn’t cheap. But, it offers total coverage for your rental property and potential law-related fees. While landlord insurance is more expensive than homeowner insurance, you may be able to get a discount. Discounts may be provided for first-time customers or if you belong to a specific organization.
Check with your insurance provider for any special deals before committing to landlord insurance. It might surprise you how much you can save.
6. Routine Maintenance Periods
Getting into the practice of routinely performing maintenance on your rental property can save you money and keep tenants happy. Routine maintenance is necessary to prevent more costly repairs from needing to occur. Establish clear communication between you and your tenants so that you know exactly what needs to be done.
In general, you will want to cover a few areas routinely. Hire a professional for pest control, water pipe monitoring, and emergency equipment check-ups. When your property is maintained regularly, you may also raise rent prices if necessary.
One thing to remember is that maintenance should always be done with your tenants in mind. Coordinate with your tenants so that they are not disrupted from their day-to-day lives because of said maintenance.
7. Hire A Professional Property Manager
Whether you’re new to property management or simply don’t have the time to take care of your properties — a professional is available to help. Professional property managers focus on the day-to-day components of property management. Their tasks include daily maintenance, checking in with tenants, tenant screenings, rent collection, and more. In the long run, having a professional property manager will save you time and money.
Even more, some property management fees and expenses can be tax write-offs as well. If you’re looking for quality and professional property managers in the Saratoga area, look no further! Intempus Realty offers trained property managers that will help your rental property flourish and be the most profitable.