Landlords wear many hats during their tenure. These “hats” could include being a fix-it person, bill collector, or negotiator. Staying on top of issues can be a stressful but also rewarding career in the property management field. If you are considering entering the industry, here are 3 issues that you will want to prepare yourself for as you take on this industry.
Some of the busiest times in a property manager or landlord’s career are during the times when a unit is being turned over from one tenant to another. While this time gives a perfect opportunity to make improvements or repairs to a unit, it can also be a costly time.
When a tenant gives his/her notice that they will be vacating a property, it is imperative that the unit be filled in a timely manner. That means marketing or advertising the opening, ensuring the property is properly cleaned and vacated, and finding a suitable candidate to rent the space.
Remember, once a property is vacant, it is no longer making money and can quickly become a cash flow issue.
Strategies to keep your tenants happy include making maintenance a priority, ensuring that the rent rate is fair, and ensuring that your selection process includes looking for long-term renters who are financially solid.
There’s nothing worse than having to chase down your rent payments. Dealing with later payers or lack of payment entirely can be a huge cash flow issue that can become a legal one.
Strategies to overcome this include increasing communication with tenants about what your maintenance schedule includes. That way they understand the value of their payments. Another tactic is to make payments easy by having an online portal or payment system that can be done right at a tenant’s fingertips either through a computer or smartphone.
Toilets don’t always clog during work hours. Roofs don’t leak only during the day. Snow doesn’t only fall during the week. That means your job as a landlord is essentially around the clock all year long. That includes weekends and holidays and all through the night.
A strategy to handle the onslaught of maintenance calls is to have a list of reliable repair people, including plumbers and electricians, who can be called at any time of day or night to handle emergencies.
Some property managers have their own crew, but if you don’t you will want to build partnerships with local service people so you can maintain your properties 24/7.