As a new landlord, you may feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities you have on your plate.
From preparing and advertising your property to bringing on new tenants, there are a lot of components to starting and running a real estate rental business.
Here are some tips and tricks for new landlords to take advantage of when it comes to property management:
Determine a Competitive and Reasonable Rent Rate
A miscalculated rent rate can be detrimental to your business. The rent rate for your property must be high enough to cover your business’s operating expenses and still bring you enough profit to make your rental business worthwhile. On the other hand, you don’t want your rent rate to be so high that renters are deterred from your property, leaving you with a costly vacancy.
Your rent rate must be both competitive and reasonable. The best way to nail your rent rate is to research properties in your area that have comparable square footage, features, and amenities.
Create an Effective Property Listing
If you’ve had the luck of buying a property with existing tenants, you’re in a great position because you get to start collecting rent immediately. Otherwise, you’re going to have to find great tenants to fill your units.
Knowing how to advertise a rental property is integral in finding a high-quality tenant quickly. The first step of marketing rental properties is creating an appealing listing. The listing is the very first thing a tenant uses to evaluate your property, so it’s important to make a good impression. Here are the three components of a rental property listing:
- Headlines – Your listing’s headline is what first attracts a renter to your property, so it must contain the most important information about your property, such as its price, the number of beds/baths, and the location.
- Photos – Pictures are the most important factor when tenants are deciding whether to move forward with a property, so it’s crucial that they’re high quality and abundant.
- Descriptions – These contain more in-depth information about your property, such as a complete list of rooms, amenities, your pet policy, and your contact information.
Prioritize Your Property’s Curb Appeal
While making necessary repairs, improvements, and renovations to your property’s interior are obvious tasks you must complete before you start renting it out, don’t forget about curb appeal.
Curb appeal is how your property looks from the exterior. When a prospective tenant visits your rental, your property’s curb appeal is the first thing they’ll take note of. For this reason, you want to give the exterior plenty of attention. Stay on top of landscaping, repaint the exterior of your building, add greenery and color, and make sure the property is well lit in the nighttime. Even if the inside of your unit is great, you don’t want to lose a potential tenant because of lackluster curb appeal.
Use Property Management Software
Traditionally, it was common for landlords to hire individual property managers or rental property management companies to help landlords complete their regular tasks. In the age of the internet, however, there’s another option: property management software. Property management software gives landlords several tools to be able to remotely and efficiently complete necessary tasks.
With access to credit reports and eviction/criminal history records, you can perform thorough tenant screening on applicants. With online rent collection, you can collect rent remotely without having to coordinate schedules or make extra bank trips for cash/check rent payments. With automated late fees, you don’t have to manually track down tenants when they miss a rent payment. With maintenance management, tenants can easily submit maintenance tickets which you can start addressing immediately. With digital lease management, you can make lease templates and sign leases electronically.
Not only does property management software provide you with all these tools, but it’s also much cheaper than hiring a person or a company. Some property management software platforms, such as Innago, are completely free. And as opposed to hiring someone else to manage your units, you can remain involved with your properties and tenants without having to do a ton of legwork.
There’s a lot that goes into running a rental business, and as a new landlord, you may not know where to start. If you follow the tips discussed in this article, you’ll be better prepared to take on the responsibilities your business requires.