- Perhaps you've heard that working as a property investor is a great way to bring in strong side income.
- Maybe you've even had friends or family members buying more Norfolk rental homes and creating a full-time business for themselves.
- No matter how you get started in property investment, there are two key things: you want to have a good first experience, and you want to have trusted Norfolk property management by your side.
The first property sets the tone for your business, creates a stable base of your income, and teaches you so much about what matters to you as an investor—especially if you end up managing your first property alone.
Choose a Move-in-Ready Home
Starting off with a 'fixer-upper' may seem like a budget-friendly choice at first, but unless you're very experienced with rehab, it can be a budget killer very quickly.
A slightly more expensive (but move-in-ready) home is going to be much easier to list and find a renter for, while a wholesale or foreclosure property may take more time or more money than anticipated to get onto the market. Save yourself the headache and start your monthly revenue flowing with a sure-fire win as your first rental property. Once you've got stable cash flow, you can absolutely start considering properties that need more work over time.
It also helps if you have a Norfolk property management partner to help you run the numbers on any property you're considering. If you're a beginning rental investor, this can help steer you away from potential money pits.
Property Managers Help You Find Safe Shortcuts
Not everyone starts off their real estate investment journey with the advantages of property management services. At Renters Warehouse, we know these early-stage investors are missing out on laying a better foundation for success.
- Given that your early acquisitions set the tone for success, a property manager can help you build a solid foundation for investing from the start.
- They help you avoid common pitfalls and save time and money as you begin setting your own goals for your rental property.
- Their insights into what renters want, the Norfolk rental market, and the legalities of treating your renters well can save you from making costly mistakes.
- You'll also have help handling a variety of day-to-day tasks, from rent collection to rental property maintenance, leaving you free to start growing your portfolio.
See Details Like a Renter, Not Like a Homeowner
One factor that many early-career investors don't consider is that homeowners look for different things in a property than renters do. The factors that may have led you to buy your current home may not be the same ones that draw in your future residents.
- Both your Norfolk property management team and your own research can help you to recognize what features are common among the most desirable rental properties in your area.
- Renters are often looking for quality and affordability since they aren't necessarily planning on living in your property for many years long-term.
- By showing them how liveable and safe your property is, you convey the factors that they're actually looking for during their stay with you.
Pay Attention to Location Above Other Details
While a homeowner may overlook location because they are looking to create an oasis of their own, most renters are going to have a stronger tie to location. Key factors include proximity to public transit stops or to easy routes to drive to work or school.
If you find a property that seems like 'the real deal,' consider whether it is in a location where rentals move quickly on the market; your Norfolk property management team can also help you look into this. Location and price are top priorities to renters, so make sure—especially for a first property—that you factor this into your considerations.
Tenant Screening Is a Must—Not an Option
Once you've got your hands on a great rental property, the temptation may be to accept the security deposit and rent payments from anyone who is interested in living there. However, even when you're very eager to get that property filled, solid tenant screening practices pay off.
- You want to focus on finding renters with strong, clean rental histories and references and no red flags in their employment or credit history that are directly linked to not paying rent or to damaging property.
- By securing a great renter the first time—even if it takes a couple of extra weeks—you may start a relationship that saves you vacancy time down the road.
- You'll be glad when your tenant screening process spares you from someone that wouldn't be able to keep the terms of the lease for the whole year.
If you've found these tips helpful and you're looking for more resources to make your real estate investment experience worry-free, we've got some great FREE guides here at Renters Warehouse Hampton Roads!
Get started with our guide to real estate investing in the Coastal Virginia area to start strong.