Having a Rent Estate™ portfolio can be a serious long-term wealth builder. Indeed, it's true that owning property is often one of the most important stepping stones in the path to achieving your American Dream. However, it can also be problematic; if you don’t keep things in order personally and professionally, you may find that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew!
When you follow the advice of a Professional Landlord when it comes to Chesapeake property management, you will be well on your way to holding down a successful holding! These tips apply whether you have one property or ten, so that you can be the best landlord you can be—and see the profit that comes with it.
1. Set Boundaries and Stay Professional
If there’s one rule for landlords to remember and take to heart when it comes to Chesapeake property management, it is this: you shouldn’t get too friendly with your renters.
Now, let it not be said that you can't be polite or even form good working relationships with your residents—but at the end of the day, your rental property is a business. That said, it's generally wise to avoid accepting friends or family as potential tenants: this can quickly get uncomfortable if boundaries are crossed, and the rent is consistently late.
You may be wondering what’s wrong with being close to your tenants: as much as people enjoy friendships, it’s risky in business. It’s always best to maintain impartiality and professionalism when dealing with your tenants. If a conflict ever arises—or even worse, you face an eviction—you'll be able to approach it without bias.
2. Craft a Lease That Holds Water
Many ready-made lease forms are floating around the internet:
- They may appear to have all the “right” things on them
- They promise to deliver what you need in terms of legal security
- Some might even be free!
However, don’t use these pre-fabricated freebies for your leases.
- Leases are legal documents and require an expert to look over them to ensure they are written up properly.
- Often, these free leasing agreements put landlords in hot water and strip your bargaining power.
- A lease that is not enforceable isn't a position you want to be in before a judge!
Whatever your policies are on such things as landscaping, maintenance, inspections, and so on, make sure you have put it in writing. You don’t want your tenants to be confused or expect something that you may not provide. Additionally, you don’t want your tenants to neglect caring for something because they think it’s a task you’re going to do. If you have everything spelled out clearly in your lease, then the tenant will know what to expect and can act accordingly.
Your lease is your opportunity to craft a legally binding document that protects you and your Chesapeake rental. If you elect not to work with Chesapeake property management when drafting a lease, please consider hiring a lawyer well-versed in rental law. This is vital for not only your protection, but also that of your property!
3. Find Your Bullseye Rental Price
Correctly pricing your rental property is crucial to having a profitable investment. You really can’t pull a rental amount out of thin air and hope that it will be the right price: you need to know what amount is appropriate considering several factors. The area, the economic conditions, the size and type of house, the amenities you offer, and what other homes are going for in that area all have a part to play in finding your bullseye price.
If you don’t price the home just right, you stand to lose revenue:
- If you price it too low, you’ll undercut your earning potential
- Pricing it too high can also pose a problem in the form of long vacancies.
Either way, you lose money. A rental price analysis is the most accurate method to determine what you should charge for your rental property. It also helps you find your ideal tenants when you set your rate according to your bullseye price.
4. Screen Every Potential Renter Equally
It’s essential to get the best tenants possible in your home: once you have a renter settled into your investment property, you don’t want to regret that placement. Turnover costs a landlord more than just money—it eats into the time you should be spending with your family.
A thorough screening process helps you avoid:
- Tenants who are habitually late with the rent
- Renters who don't take good care of your investment property
- Dangerous "Professional Tenants" that can tank your return on investment.
Thoroughly screening your tenants is the only way to make sure you have the right people in your property at the right time. Plus, when you fail to screen each applicant to the same extent, you open yourself up to the dangers of bias.
No screening process is perfect, but doing nothing is not an option if you want to be successful. With the right screening procedure in place, you can dodge most situations that are the stuff of landlord nightmares.
5. Keep up With Your Upkeep
Dropping the ball when it comes to managing your maintenance is one of the top tenant complaints with Chesapeake property management. Deftly fielding tenant maintenance issues is one of the best ways to increase the overall satisfaction of your renters!
- When you carefully investigate your potential maintenance providers, it pays off for you as an investor.
- Issues that are resolved quickly for your renters lead to happy tenants, lease renewals, and less vacancy.
- However, keep in mind that any contractor you work with should be licensed, insured, and bonded.
Maintenance and property upkeep extend beyond a leaky faucet or troubleshooting a temperamental oven. Your rental home also experiences seasonal cycles as well! This is where seasonal property maintenance comes into the picture.
It's easy to forget about the seasonal upkeep and care of your property with everything else that landlords have to focus on. However, this cyclical maintenance is just as crucial to your success as the everyday repair request!
At Renters Warehouse Hampton Roads, we find that one of the best tools landlords have at their disposal for tackling recurring projects like this is by putting organization to work for you! That's exactly why we offer landlords access to our FREE Seasonal Maintenance Checklist. When it comes to the work you face in the course of owning an investment property, having a list and checking it twice can make all the difference!