Running a successful rental business is no walk in the park. It can often feel like a job with no start or end point. Being the boss can be incredibly stressful, especially when keeping up with all of the demands of each tenant. However, there a number of ways you can run a successful rental business without pulling your hair out. Here are some practical tips on how to run and operate a rental business the right way.
Find and Keep the Right Tenants
The easiest way to run a rental business is to find the best occupants and make sure they stay. Turnover brings about a number of problems for renters. Finding new occupants is difficult and time-consuming—often forcing a landlord to ignore the issues of other occupants. Don’t scratch your head wondering how to be a good landlord; monthly email surveys can often be a great way to get an idea of how happy your tenants are with their renting experience. Tenant feedback is the best way to figure out how you can improve your services. Once you find a quality occupant, do everything you can to find out what will make them stay. Be sure to utilize online applicant screening tools the find out if they are going to be a good fit.
Sometimes turnover can’t be helped. Companies move employees to new states or relationships turn sour and people move out. These days, just about everything is done online (including apartment hunting). Make sure your listing is on every major real estate website you can find. The more exposure you have, the higher the demand for your rental will be. You don’t want to settle on a tenant or a price—maximizing your advertising efforts will prevent either of those things from happening.
Hire a Maintenance Person
Let’s face it, rental properties require a lot of upkeep and repairs. Some of these tasks can be handled by someone with minimal experience, but bigger projects like plumbing and wiring require some real expertise. You have enough to worry about—leave the general maintenance and repairs to a dedicated professional. Your tenants will be much happier with the speed and quality of their repairs when you bring a professional on the team.
Stay Modern with Renovations
It’s always a good idea to stay modern with appliances and other features in your property, like countertops and cabinets. If you have a tenant moving out, take a month to install that new dishwasher or hardwood floors. Renovations can drastically increase the amount of money you bring in from your rental units. It’s a long-term investment, but it’s one worth making. You might be surprised to find out how much marble countertops, heated flooring, and updated furniture can increase the value of your property.
The first thing you should do when starting a rental business is create a separate banking account. Not only will this protect you from a legal standpoint, it will make filing taxes easy and help you keep important financial information in order. Using an online property management system is a great way to simplify record management and rental payments. Your younger tenants will love the ability to pay rent online or use direct deposit with their bank. Taxes will be a breeze when all of your financial records are stored in a program that handles everything for you.
Know When to Expand
Never grow complacent with your rental business, always look for ways to improve and expand. Keep your eyes peeled for new properties you can purchase for below market value to fix up. Have you heard of flipping houses? You can do the same thing but instead of selling the property when you’re done, rent it. It might not yield large financial returns fast, however, the long-term gain can be impressive. When expanding, it’s always best to move slow and be cautious. Never invest in an area that you aren’t close to—don’t buy property in Nevada if you live in Oregon.
Simplifying your work as a landlord is the best way to improve your overall ability to perform as an exceptional landlord. Enjoy a more relaxed and stress-free lifestyle when you implement these simple tricks into your rental business.