You may be managing your rental property yourself, or you’re in the process today looking for a property manager, one that includes more and costs less.
As you may know, there are many things to consider when owning income-producing residential real estate. Today, however, we're presenting just 13 Considerations When Owning & Managing a Rental Property:
1. NARPM - the National Association of Residential Property Managers
If you are looking for a Property Management company, make sure they are members of NARPM. And even if you’re just managing your own property, consider joining. It’s about the education, the networking, the designations and learning how to navigate all the landlord tenant laws. With NARPM, you’ll have access to resources to get all your questions answered and to help you think of things you’re not even aware of yet.
2. Knowing what to charge for rent
This is about maximizing the amount of money you can charge for your type of property in your market. If you try charging too much, the property may sit empty for longer than expected. If you try charging too little, you may leave money on the table and that can hurt your cash flow.
The key here is doing a thorough Comparative Market Analysis. And this isn’t about making a few phone calls posing as a potential renter to your competitors. There’s a lot more to it than that.
3. Marketing the property
What is your plan to market your property? Do you have a system? There’s a lot more to it than just putting it up on Craigslist and hoping for the best. For example, we have a system at RentCare property management where we post your property on dozens of different sites, all at the touch of a button. The major benefit here is we will market your property where the ideal tenant is looking, and it’s not always on Craigslist.
4. Finding and Vetting a Tenant
Once you get some interest in your property, do you have an application process? And when you get those applications, are you looking into their financial history, rental history and are you doing criminal background checks? This is another one of those areas that if you have a system in place, it can save you time, money and lots of headaches down the road.
5. The Lease
Did you download your lease from some website online? Or is the lease like ours at RentCare, that's based on 25 years of experience and reviewed every year by an attorney that specializes in property management?
6. Move-in Inspections
These are critical. Document, document, document! Take pictures, record videos. It’s all about the details. We’re trying to avoid the “well, it was like that when I moved in” game.
7. Collecting Rent
Do you have a system for collecting rent? Is it easy for your tenants? Can they pay online? Or do you still live in the “checks in the mail” world? And, do you have an automated reminder system in place, as well?
8. Ongoing repairs & inspections
Do you have a network of local vendors? At RentCare, for example, with 25 years of experience in the area, we know what to look for and we’ve cultivated relationships with our vendors. We have vendors that go out of their way to respond to our calls. We trust they will give us an honest assessment. And trust like that doesn’t happen overnight.
And with inspections, you have to do them periodically throughout the term of the lease. This is about making sure everything is being taken care of and that your investment property will last for years.
9. Preventative maintenance
So important! And this isn’t just about air filters and smoke detector batteries. There’s SO much more than that. Having a thorough preventative maintenance program in place can save you thousands of dollars!
10. Lease renewal program
Do you review your tenant’s updated financial history. Their criminal history? Most owners avoid asking and answering this question: Do you actually WANT your tenant to renew? And, do you have automated reminders based on parameters in your lease?
11. Move-out inspections
Just like Move-in inspections, this is about paying attention to the detail. Document, document, document! "But, but,…that was like that last year!"
12. Handling Deposits in Escrow and Deposit disputes
This goes back to knowing the law. And if you don’t have access to resources, like NARPM, and if your lease isn’t really solid, you could get yourself in a lot of trouble. And, you could end up spending way too much money after-the-fact trying to navigate legal battles.
Look, evictions are horrible and expensive. They’re difficult for tenants AND for landlords. At RentCare Property Management, though, Evictions, backed by an attorney, are included in your management fee.
I invite you to take a look at RentCare Property Management. If you’re trying to go it alone and manage your own property, I’m very confident we will be able to actually save you money. Or if your current property manager doesn't have robust systems in place backed by 25 years of experience, please give us a call.
Thank you, and God bless.
Jason W. Hoyt
Director of Business Development
Member of NARPM