Success in property management boils down to maximizing efficiency. This becomes increasingly challenging for those who invest in real estate part time. How can you make sure all of the properties you own and/or manage are kept in tip-top shape when you’re also working another job? Believe it or not, it’s easier than you think. Here are five proven strategies that will help you make the most out of your time so you can get the biggest return on your investment.
Be thorough in your listings.
Include as much information as possible about your rental properties in your online listings. Even if seems inconsequential, include those details in your description. Doing so will save you from having to answer basic inquiries over the phone.
Being extremely thorough in your listings will also save you time by helping to weed out tenants who wouldn’t be a good fit. If someone is looking for an apartment that accepts pets, for example, and your listing clearly states that pets are prohibited, that person won’t bother applying in the first place. This should leave you with a better pool of candidates that more closely match what you’re looking for.
Screen, screen, screen.
Putting in a little extra effort before turning over the keys can actually save you a ton of time in the long run. The goal is to find high-quality, long-term tenants who will adhere to the rules, pay their rent in full and on time every month and – most importantly – stay put for the long haul.
By being extremely thorough with your tenant screening process, including running background and credit checks as well as contacting references, you’ll put yourself in a much more secure position for the next step, which is…
Focus on retention.
Finding new tenants is an expensive and incredibly time-consuming process. You can avoid this by first being selective with who you rent to, and then taking the necessary steps to keep your existing tenants happy.
You can start by locking in good tenants to long-term leases. You should also be sure to keep your rental rates competitive. Will there be times when a rent increase is necessary? Certainly. But you should always weigh your options. Sometimes keeping a good tenant on at a lower rate will actually save you time and money in the long run by minimizing vacancies.
And, of course, there’s the all-important factor of maintenance. Be a good landlord or property manager to the tenants you have and you’ll be rewarded with lower turnover and more time to spare.
Accept and encourage online payments.
If you are still manually collecting rent every month, you are wasting unnecessary time that could be better spent elsewhere. Enabling tenants to pay their rent electronically via a secure online payment portal will not only save you this precious time, but will also contribute to better cash flow overall.
Using property management software in this way can also save you time by automating payment reminders. Let technology do the heavy lifting for you. It’ll make your life infinitely easier and as an added bonus, you’ll make your younger, more tech-savvy renters happier.
Inspect your properties regularly.
Squeezing property inspections into an already jam-packed schedule may seem counterproductive, but in reality, it can actually be quite beneficial in the long run. Think about it. How much faster and easier will it be to address that minor problem you spot during an inspection now versus waiting until it worsens and develops into a major project?
For instance, fixing that leaky faucet will only take a few minutes of your time, but it can help you avoid more expensive and costly issues down the road, such as mold or water damage. Set up a schedule to space out inspections of each of your properties at least once a year. This will also keep your properties in excellent condition, which will ultimately contribute to higher satisfaction and retention.