7 Strategies for Managing Rental Property
Landlords often make mistakes when it comes to managing rental property. First-time landlords have a steep learning curve, especially since there’s a lot involved and laws are constantly evolving. Below you’ll find tried-and-true strategies from RealConnect that can make rental property management a bit easier.
1. Take Professional Photos to Advertise Rentals
Since just about everyone has a smartphone, it’s common to take photos of a rental property on the fly. If you want to compete in a saturated rental market, you’ll need to take professional-looking photos. Keep in mind that prospective renters will be comparing your property with others and a picture is worth a thousand words. If you choose to use a smartphone to take a photo, make sure it looks professional.
Pro Tip: Be sure to take each photo in optimal lighting and use the highest resolution. Focus on anything that’s unique about your property and avoid less attractive elements.
2. Invest in Property Management Software
Managing a property is a business and should be handled as such. As a result, investing in property management software will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.
It can help you manage all aspects of a rental process, including taxes, collection of payments, lease signings, maintenance requests and so much more. You’ll also have a record of everything that happens, which is great if there is ever litigation.
3. Have Thorough Lease Agreements
There is never a reason not to have a landlord-tenant lease agreement. Even if you’re renting to a family member or a friend, you must always have an agreement. It’s for the protection of all parties involved and can save you money down the road.
If there is a misunderstanding about a matter, the agreement can often make things clear without having to deal with attorneys. It will also make it easy for you to recoup money owed in the event of a breach.
4. Screen All Prospective Tenants
Screening tenants thoroughly is one of the best things you can do. If you want to maintain a high occupancy rate, you’ll need a thorough screening process.
This will enable you to uncover issues like evictions and poor credit, which can be an indication of what might happen if you choose to move forward with the rental. It’s best to make a decision once you have all of the facts.
5. Make Landscaping a Priority
The appearance of your property’s exterior matters. Just like curb appeal was probably important when you purchased the property, it will be important when renting it.
There are minor changes that can be made to boost curb appeal, such as keeping the grass mowed and planting flowers. These are little things that can make your property more desirable to a greater number of people.
6. Promptly Address Tenant Concerns
Another good way to maintain a low vacancy rate is by addressing tenant complaints and concerns in a timely manner. Even if you don’t believe a particular complaint is warranted, it should still be addressed appropriately.
If repairs are necessary, they should be taken care of quickly. When tenants know you care about their comfort, they are more likely to stay for a longer period of time.
7. Provide Incentives to Extend Lease Agreements
The rental market is always changing. Sometimes prices go down about the time a tenant is renewing their lease. It can be worth your while to offer incentives, such as a lower rental rate for a longer period of time.
If a lease expires during a month where it’s more difficult to find another tenant, consider extending the lease without an increase. There is often a way to find terms that are beneficial for both you and the renter.
These are all strategies for effectively managing a rental property. You’ll find that it takes a lot of time and effort. In fact, it’s often a good idea to hire a property management company to eliminate the stress of dealing with issues that arise. Here are a few final tips for you to consider:
- Participate in every walk-through before move-in.
- Schedule preventative maintenance during vacancies.
- Comply with tenant screening laws.
- Require renter’s insurance.