You may have heard that becoming a property owner is a great way to make money. And if you experience success as a landlord, that’s true. It’s not easy, however, to be a landlord--your work hours will be flexible, and that’s a perk--but you’ll also have to respond to issues on the evenings and weekends. If being on-call isn’t a deterrent, then you can start your career as a landlord one property at a time. Gain experience with something small and manageable, that you oversee in your free time. From there, start to grow. The more you experience, the better prepared you’ll be to handle future issues. For tips on how to do well with your very first property, check out the list below.
Renting a property, naturally, comes with quite a few legal requirements. Besides making sure you don’t discriminate, you also need to have all your paperwork in order. Have a lawyer review your lease and make sure it’s above board--and there are no loopholes that could hurt you in the long run. Make sure you get the proper insurance, too.
Make Things Easier
While there might be a lot to deal with regarding your property, you don’t have to make things harder for yourself. Take advantage of things like online rent payments, or a property website where tenants can email you. The website will make them feel like you’re ready and willing to address their concerns--but you can check those emails several times a day, instead of having to stay constantly available. Besides availability, you can make other aspects of the business easier as well. Do a quick photoshoot of a property before you rent it. That way, if something is damaged, you can prove it with little or no dispute.
There are a few things you can do to save money while you grow your property. Advertise a rental property for free, or find ways to list your property for free or inexpensively online. Making money on your property can be an uphill battle for a time, after your initial investment, so any ways you can find (as long as they’re ethical) to save your pennies, go for it.
While part of your success as a landlord will be your availability to tenants, you also have to remember to take breaks. You should try to respond quickly to requests and issues, but you should also have times when you’re totally unplugged from your business. Hire an associate to take over while you’re on vacation, and make sure your tenants know your office hours: there will be times when they can’t expect to reach you.
Make Your Tenants Smile
Happy tenants are tenants who will stick around, and it never hurts to have great reviews of your property online. Reward tenants for good behavior, like paying their rent on time, and keep the property in good shape. Quickly replace that broken dishwasher, and inform tenants of changes, like when the hot water has to get turned off for repairs. The more you communicate, the happier they’ll be.