Having multiple rental properties is a safe way to make money and obtain long-time prosperity. Still, managing those properties simultaneously as a landlord can be challenging, and the potential problems you encounter are often discouraging. It’s clear that the success of your investment depends on your property management skills. While professional property management companies can collect rent, screen tenants, and keep track of rental expenses towards a positive cash flow, why not learn some of their tips and manage your properties yourself?
Outline a strategy
Once you get into the business of investing in rentals, you can’t afford vacancies. So, in order to keep every rental unit occupied and cash flowing in, you need a solid stream of qualified tenants applying to rent your properties. In other words, you need an effective marketing strategy. Start by listing your rentals online and in print publications that regular nine-to-five tenants use when looking for their next home. Also, the way in which you present the property plays role in attracting the desirable kind of tenant. Remember to highlight the features that make your properties stand out.
Eliminate undesirable tenants
While finding tenants is usually easy, finding the right tenants needs more work. Through a tenant screening process, you’ll be able to eliminate candidates and accept those that meet your criteria. The questions you need answers to include whether the tenants have a criminal background, whether their credit is good and income stable, the number of people that will be living in the unit, whether there are any pets, etc. if possible, reach out to their former landlord and find about their experiences with the tenants.
Take care of maintenance
If your rentals require a lot of work on a monthly basis, consider adding a full-time handyman to your payroll, who could handle these issues. In addition, when managing multiple rentals, you need access to other contractors such as a 24-hour plumber, electrician, and the air-conditioning specialists. Between the tenants, you need to redecorate the premises, so having expert commercial painters who can provide fast quotes and a spotless clean-up is a great advantage, whether it is the entire interior you need painted or just a few touch-ups.
Be on good terms with tenants
Remember that your rental properties are the home of your tenants. Unless you realize this early on and treat them as mere numbers on the spreadsheet, you’re making an already challenging task even more difficult. Be kind and civil at all times, and don’t discriminate against tenants based on their race, ethnicity, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, age, political viewpoints, etc. On the other hand, don’t become too friendly and don’t let your emotions get in the way of reason. If they are late with a payment, charge a late payment fee, so they know that is not acceptable.
Stay on track
When managing multiple rental properties by yourself, it’s often hard to stay on top of everything without a specific schedule for collecting rents, conduction inspections, and keeping up with the maintenance. This schedule needs to include payment schemes, as well as the best time for visits. Regular visits show management presence as well as enable landlords to speak directly with tenants and ensure problems are solved at a faster rate.
The road to stress-free multiple rental management starts with the right strategy that attracts the right kind of tenants, with the screening eliminating the undesirable ones. Regardless of the tenant quality, multiple rental properties can breed unexpected problems, so make sure you have contractors/handymen who’ll be able to fix the emergency as soon as possible on speed dial.
By Lillian Connors