If you are a newbie in the property management business and are preparing to rent out your first property, you're probably wondering where to start. Should I look for tenants first, or is it more important to compare rental prices? How much time does it take to find decent renters? What if I don't succeed? These questions and worries are likely to arise when you're about to start a property management business. Don't panic - we have the answers.
Check out these five tips for newbie landlords:
1. Check the conditions of the rental
If you're going to rent out a newly built property, assess its overall condition and make sure the appliances are properly installed. Rentals that have already been occupied need to be checked from top to bottom. You should double-check smoke and heat alarms, pipes, power outlets, electrical devices, etc. Purchase additional appliances and furniture to make the rental look appealing in today's fast-paced rental market. But don't make a warehouse out of your rental. Get rid of things tenants won't ever need, like your old-fashioned bookshelf or that faded carpet you've been trying to get rid of. It's improbable renters will need your "vintage" belongings.
Related: Top 3 Useful Property Management Tips For The Long Distance Landlord
2. Market your rental
Advertise your rentals on marketing websites beyond your own to attract as many reliable prospects as possible. Not only will this bring new tenants, but it will also demonstrate that you're an experienced landlord keeping up with tech trends. Pay particular attention to providing quality pictures of the rental, because people are unlikely to consider your rental property if you post dark or blurry photos. Focus on positives: A great window view or insulated floor might be your gold mine. Also, don't miss the chance to sway your target audience with decor. A crystal vase or a flower pot may not necessarily influence the rental price, but decorative elements add coziness and comfort much appreciated by renters.
3. Screen prospective renters
Running background and criminal checks on prospective renters is a must. It's crucial to know who you're dealing with when it comes to business. It's much better to prevent expensive evictions and payment issues beforehand than to spend time and money to resolve them later. When screening applicants, try to be extremely accurate and require as much pertinent information as possible, including employment history and credit reports. References from previous landlords will give you a better idea of a tenant's personality.
Never skip tenant screening, even if you rent to close friends, as there is a lot at stake. True friends will understand that you're just doing your job, and it's not that you're concerned about their reliability. According to Joe Killinger, it's much more convenient to run a thorough tenant screening rather than evict a non-performing tenant and pay associated court costs.
4. Choose the best property management software
If you don't have a team to assist you in managing properties and making business-minded decisions, a property management software like TenantCloud can be your right hand. It'll help you keep everything organized and eliminate the need for additional services that offer financial management solutions or maintenance regulation. Landlords and property managers can benefit from property management software systems that keep track of income and expenses, monitor maintenance issues, and ensure tenants aren't late with rent payments (although even if they are late with rent, you can implement late payment fees within the lease agreement).
5. Conduct some research
Before you rent out your first property, do a little research on rental prices in the neighborhood. Compare your property not only to those of the same size, but also take a critical look at furniture, kitchen appliances, plumbing, etc. You're likely to win the local rental competition if there are schools, malls, or medical services close by. Tenants are good at apartment hunting, and perks like a 24/7 supermarket nearby are likely to draw their attention to your rental.
Are you a newbie landlord or have you successfully rented out your first property? Do you have any other useful tips to share? We'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic.:)