It seems like everyone who’s ever rented has at least one landlord-based horror story to tell. The sad truth of the matter is that there are far too many bad landlords and not nearly enough good ones. However, not only will being a good landlord help you foster friendly relationships with your tenants, it can also prove beneficial to your financial bottom line. Any fledgling landlord looking to excel at their job would do well to possess the following qualities.
A Working Knowledge of the Real Estate Market
If you want to see success as a landlord, it’s in your best interest to invest in profitable properties in popular areas. Unsurprisingly, a property that’s located in an area with abundant housing demand is liable to generate more income than a property in an area with declining demand. As such, it pays to possess a working knowledge of the real estate market when seeking out rentals.
When determining whether a certain location is likely to prove profitable, have a look at local property values and rent prices, as this should give you a good idea how much rentals in the area are truly worth and how much they’re liable to rake in each month. Furthermore, take some time to research the size of an area’s population, projected growth rates, median income and the local job market.
If you experience with the real estate market is limited – or entirely nonexistent – reach out to a highly-rated real estate investment company. In addition to educating you on the tenets of good properties and favorable locations, seasoned experts will be able to definitively answer the question “Is it a good time to invest in real estate?”
Willingness to Communicate with Tenants
Being uncommunicative with tenants can hurt you in a number of ways. To start with, a lack of proper communication is liable to result in waning renter retention – and the more unoccupied units you have, the less rental income you’ll be making each month. Furthermore, a general lack of communication is likely to facilitate negative online feedback, which can lead to a reduction in the number of rental applications you receive. Lastly, depending on the types of tenant communiques you ignore, you may find yourself dealing with costly lawsuits and other legal consequences.
So, in the interest of keeping your tenants happy and your professional reputation intact, make effective communication a priority. For starters, every tenant should be provided with a phone number and email address at which you can be reached during business hours, as well as an emergency number to call in the event of an after-hours maintenance disaster. Secondly, make a point of responding to every voicemail, text message or email you receive from a tenant within the same business day it’s received. Should you find yourself unable to follow up with a tenant in a suitably timely manner, have a property manager (provided, of course, you work with one), maintenance person or other relevant party respond in your stead.
Dedication to Maintenance
Treating property maintenance as a priority can prove tremendously beneficial to both you and your tenants. The better-maintained a property is, the more livable it is – and the more likely it is to grow in value. On the flipside, a rental that receives little in the way of maintenance is liable to be plagued by a host of problems, many of which are likely to have a direct impact on safety, livability, tenant satisfaction and property value.
With this in mind, take care to hire dedicated maintenance personnel – especially for large multi-unit properties – and respond to all maintenance requests in an expedient fashion. Failure to do so may result in hefty fines, withheld rent payments, low renter retention and lawsuits. Given how large an investment a rental property is, failing to take proper care of your rental is extremely ill-advised.
It’s not hard to see why so many renters have acrimonious relationships with their landlords. For one thing, far too many landlords are inattentive to the needs of tenants and regard them as nothing more than sources of rental income. Fortunately, being a good landlord isn’t nearly as daunting a task as some rental property owners make it look. So, if you’re looking to distinguish yourself from landlords from whom no one wants to rent, put the qualities discussed above to good use.