let’s talk : BEING A SUCCESSFUL LANDLORD
Over the past few months we have gone from “managing” one vacant unit to managing four occupied units! We have been fortunate and unfortunate enough to learn A TON in those few months. One thing that has really shocked us is just how many “bad landlords” there are out there. Our team has always been on the same page in that we agree that that will NOT be us. While we understand this is a business, and we will run it as such, we are in the business of creating a long-term sustainable business, and that means doing “good business”. I know I just used the word business a lot here but I want to get my point across, bad business does not sit well with me, and if you have ever worked with me you will know I use the term bad business vs good business a ton. It is our responsibility to make sure we are running our business appropriately and that any of the tenants living in one of our properties is living in a safe and clean environment. In order to hep support this, we needed to do some research on being a successful landlord. Let’s talk about that.
So, as we do, let’s talk Real Estate, let’s talk BEING A SUCCESSFUL LANDLORD…
Since I am a total newbie (ish), I scoured the internet to learn from other’s experiences on landlord-ing (we are making that a word now). Here are some of the main takeaways!
Treat Your Business Like a Business
So many people treat investing like a hobby and put their role as a landlord at the bottom of their list of priorities. They might manage the property on a whim, and without any systems in place… BAD IDEA. Build systems, automate processes, pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. This will help you grow and make managing that growth that much easier. Treat your properties like a business!
I am ALL about documentation, and building processes – ask my partners! It’s a ton of work up front, but I hope it will make everyone’s lives that much easier in the future.
Work to structure your leases such that they end and begin during a season where you will get the most tenant traffic. We are actually working on that with a couple of our units now! We are altering them so that they get on the local university’s schedule. In the area, students typically do June leases, so we are structuring one of the current lease renewals in such a way that will move them from their current January schedule into a June schedule. In order to do so, we are staggering their total rent increase for the year. This benefits both them and us; it staggers out their total rent increase so that it does not hit them all at once, it gets them on schedule with the rest of the market – so if they want to move out in June they will have so many more options for places to look at, AND in the event we need new tenants, we are now on the school schedule! TBD if this works!
Screen Your Tenants
It is SO important to know who is living in your property! NOT knowing about your tenants can lead to missed rent, costly repairs, and an overall business loss. We use a site called Rentprep.com to help us in the screening phase!
Reinforce Good Behavior
If you have a good tenant, keep them happy! It can be a lot cheaper to retain a tenant than to find a new one. Some ideas we have looked into are holiday gifts, amenity upgrades, etc. Just something to keep your tenant happy with living in your property!
Electronic Rent Payments
THIS MAKES LIFE SO MUCH EASIER FOR ALL PARTIES. We use www.cozy.co – thanks JF for setting that up for our team!
…and finally, this one may seem simple but…
Treat Your Tenants With Respect
Okay so this is a BIG one for me. Being a landlord means you are in the business of working with people, like actual humans. Make sure you treat your tenants as such. I know that may seem silly to say out loud but seriously you guys I have read so many horror stories of landlords just neglecting their tenants and the roof over their heads.
What do you all think?! What are missing here?! Do you agree, or disagree with our above list? We are always open to new suggestions!
Feel free to comment on the blog post HERE and let us know what YOU think!
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