Managing a property is a great way to make income, but it’s also possible to make costly mistakes or end up with a bad tenant you can’t easily get rid of. With the right tech resources, though, you can avoid most of these issues and make a smooth start as a landlord.
Online screening tools
Screening your tenants is a must these days, and the best way to do it is online. Using online tenant screening lets you connect with the largest number of potential tenants, get the fastest results, and weed out people who could potentially be a problem.
With screening, you’ll be able to see whether a potential tenant has a job, what their general financial situation is like, if they have ever caused issues at a rental property before, and whether they have any concerning criminal history.
The temptation is always to get a property filled as quickly as possible, but if you put the wrong tenant in there, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. You could end up spending more getting rid of or cleaning up after a bad tenant than you would have letting the place sit empty an extra month.
New landlords often make the mistake of focusing more on cosmetics than on the solid bones of a place. Premium flooring, electric car chargers, and gorgeous off-lighting in the bathrooms are great, but splurging on these fixtures should never take priority over regular maintenance.
If you fail to keep up with maintenance chores, you will experience a big, expensive problem at some point. You may end up having to keep the place empty for months while you fix the mold from a roof leak or clean up from a sewer line break. You might also risk alienating the highest-caliber tenants who won’t stay in places that aren’t kept up.
Making a maintenance schedule for weekly, monthly, and yearly upkeep will help you plan for and spread out all the expenses. Templates are easy to find, and you can even use one of the great apps available on the App Store or Google Play.
As a landlord, you have to be able to put out fires quickly and expect the unexpected. If there’s a serious problem, your tenants need to be able to reach you at any time. Using a virtual assistant is a great way to keep up.
This could be as simple as getting familiar with Siri so you can ask your phone to set your reminders, send messages, or do a search for “iPhone screen repair near me” when you drop your phone or a new tenant calls in a panic.
If you want something that can do a bit more, there are a number of free apps that can work as a personal assistant, and most are available for iPhone or Android phones.
Your relationship with your tenants is a delicate thing. On the one hand, you aren’t friends and this is a business relationship. On the other hand, there needs to be a certain level of trust between the parties. One of the best ways to keep up a good relationship is simply to keep in touch.
Respond when your tenants reach out and occasionally be the one who initiates the communication. Give your tenants different ways to reach you while also being clear about how quickly they can expect a response.
There are a number of services you can use to help you automatically send texts just to say “hello” and keep in touch. You can also use these to automate alert reminders about upcoming maintenance or showings. With open and honest communication, you’ll build a landlord/tenant relationship that will be profitable to everyone involved.