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How To Successfully Manage Your Rental Property

If you read last week’s blog, you’ll know that property investing is not a passive activity. No matter how you decide to manage your property - through a property management company or on your own - you will need to make optimal decisions to ensure you’re making the best return on your money.


We know that owning rental real estate is not without challenges but we also know that it can provide you with great payoffs if you’re willing to put in the effort. Whether you’re looking to become a first-time landlord or already own properties, the following tips will help you to find success wherever you might find yourself.


1. Think of your rental properties as a business.


We see it too often, somebody owns and manages one property but has no systems in place when it comes to screening tenants, keeping track of expenses, staying up to date with changing tenant laws, etc. It’s not hard to see how quickly this becomes quite the headache. Even if rental property is not your primary source of income, it is still important to treat it as a business. This will better equip you to stay in compliance with laws and regulations as well as protect yourself from liability claims. Ensuring you have solid systems in place will also mean you can better screen tenants, effectively collect rent, and keep your property well maintained.

2. Maintain good records.


Another important part of treating your rental properties as business is maintaining good records. This means that you have a system for tracking income and expenses. Just as you would with another business, you should also have separation between your rental property activities and personal bank accounts. Equally important, you need to have a system in place to maintain lease agreements and other important communications. A solution such as Landlord Studio allows you to track income, expenses, capture receipts, and more.


3. Manage your rental properties properly.


When it comes to managing your rental properties, it’s vital that you have an effective method for rent collection. There are a variety of digital solutions available that allow tenants to pay rent through an app or other online platform (i.e., Landlord Studio, Apartments.com, etc). Of course there is always the ability to accept checks but as a best practice, we recommend a dedicated rent payment app that is easy for tenants to navigate, secure, and provides you with proof of payment.


Beyond rent collection, another important piece of property management is ensuring you abide by landlord-tenant laws. Beyond that, you should also do what you can to keep tenants satisfied. This includes things like resolving disputes timely, keeping the rental property maintained, timely responses to tenant complaints, and more. If you manage your properties yourself, you need to be sure that you have systems in place to deal with these types of events as they arise (or to be proactive when it comes to property maintenance).

4. Take care to maintain your rental properties.


As a landlord, you must ensure there are no safety hazards (i.e., asbestos, lead-based paint, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors) that need to be dealt with. Beyond that, it is important to keep up with maintenance on and around your property. You’ll want to have a method for periodically checking in with the property to ensure everything is in order. This might include landscaping and lawn maintenance as well. It’s important to remember that even minor issues could cause tenants to be unhappy and increase chances of tenant vacancy. You took care to screen for tenants that would treat your property with respect. In return, make sure you keep the property safe and well maintained.


5. Don’t feel like you have to do it all yourself.


Rental properties might not be your full-time occupation. If that is the case, it’s likely you don’t have the time to be screening tenants, doing the bookkeeping, and playing the role of handyman (hello YouTube videos on how to fix a running toilet). Or perhaps you theoretically have the time to play the part of a full-time property manager but that means less time with your family or on your hobbies. Whatever the situation, you don’t have to feel like you need to do it all. Enlist the help of a property manager or build up a list of contacts you can reach out to when a maintenance request crops up. And if the accounting or tax piece of rental properties is what keeps you up at night, we can be your resource. We have filled all the roles of rental investing and understand the benefits of having somebody else in your corner!


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