When you’re just getting started as a new landlord and buying your first rental property, the learning curve is very high. There is an enormous amount of information to find, read and gather before you take the plunge. Some examples include doing a property analysis before buying, all aspects of managing your rental and how to deal with problems as they arise. All of the information you could ever need is available online but it’s time consuming to sift through it all to find the useful articles and true expert landlords that can help you along the way. It took me many years to find everything I needed and create a system for myself to keep my rental property business running smoothly.
What starts out as a difficult task though, soon becomes a joy as your confidence grows, your rental business grows and you see a significant increase in your net worth. Eventually you will know more about buying and managing rental properties than you ever dreamed possible. You might think at that point you’ll sit back and relax and let things take care of themselves for a while but that hasn’t been my experience at all. Even after many years of being a landlord and managing my rental properties, I still visit rental sites and blogs regularly both to find information and opinions or offer my own. I remember exactly what it was like when I was just starting out and all of the fear and uncertainty that I experienced. Now I use that to help and encourage new landlords that are just getting started, just as it was done for me in the past.
My best advice to everyone reading is to always keep learning. If you’re at the beginning of a new venture, it doesn’t have to be daunting. Buy one book, take one course, visit one blog…eventually it will start to feed on itself and then watch out! You’ll be unstoppable.
To your success!
Rental properties come with expenses. Some are big, some are small, some are expected and some come as a big surprise but there is always something that comes up so landlords need to be prepared.
Here are some of the more common expenses that a landlord can expect with their rental properties:
- appliance repair or replacement
- carpets, painting and floors
- extra mortgage payments if there are no tenants in the property for a month or two
- tenant gifts, tenant baskets
- yard maintenance
- major repairs like the roof or foundation
- garage doors
- furnace or air conditioning
So, why is it so important to repair and maintain your properties? First, your tenants are paying off your investment so they deserve to live in a property that is safe, secure and has everything in good working order. Second, a good landlord that responds promptly to requests for maintenance will be much more successful in building long term tenant relationships which are the cornerstone of a good rental property business. Third, looking after your properties will also add value to your investment as your property values continue to rise with these improvements, repairs and maintenance.
If you’re like most people, you likely don’t have a lot of extra cash on hand every month but that should never stop you from looking after your investment. Ignoring problems can and will lead to run down properties and a lower grade of tenant.
There are two key ways to overcome the problem of unexpected expenses. The first is to try and build a reserve fund from your monthly rents. If you have any surplus after your bills are paid each month, put this aside to cover these expenses. The second is to have access to credit. Putting a line of credit in place for these expenses will give you piece of mind that you can handle the unexpected and with interest rates so low, you can pay it back quite easily in small increments.
For new landlords, there are always fears and uncertainties when buying that first property. Anything that can be put in place to ease those fears is a good thing and will be so helpful in moving the dream into a reality. To your success!
This topic often comes as a surprise to new landlords. When they are trying to attract new tenants they think that low rent or other incentives will bring more prospects. The truth of the matter is that, low rent or not, everyone wants to feel safe and secure in their home. Especially when prospective tenants have children. Often times, given a choice between two rental units, tenants will choose to pay a little more if they feel their family will be safer in one unit over the other.
We live in a day and age where fear is very prevalent among us all. Our constant exposure to news stories and headlines coupled with the news maker’s focus on murder, violence, guns and all other manner of horrific death makes a lot of people very wary of the outside world. Things are usually not half as bad as we think but the constant focus on all the bad in the world leads us to believe that there’s evil around every corner. I could go on and on about this but suffice it to say, it’s only going to get worse as we are exposed to more and more ways to view this information. The silver lining in all of this is that it gives landlords a definite edge if they can dispel these fears by creating a secure living space for people.
So how can you set yourself apart and attract more tenants to your rentals, thus giving you more quality tenants to choose from? Start right in your ad, mentioning the safety and security of your house or building. Then make sure everything is in place to follow through on those promises. Have good strong doors, deadbolt locks, locking windows that are in good repair and extra reinforcement on ground level windows. Make sure hand rails are sturdy and put non slip adhesives in the bottom of your tubs. To ensure against fire, check that all smoke alarms are in working order, have any fireplaces inspected and take the extra step of providing a fire extinguisher. Make sure your property is well lit on the outside including motion sensor lights where needed. Add key locks to the gates in the yard.
Some of these steps may seem obvious and some might seem overboard but put them all together and they present a great picture to a prospective tenant. You are now a landlord that cares about their safety and you’re willing to take extra steps to show them that you care about their well being. When someone is out shopping for a place to live, seeing flimsy doors and windows and no attention to detail where safety is concerned, your place will look like a haven and a higher rent will seem trivial when a tenant feels like they and their family will be safe.
Do you have other ideas to make your property more secure? Feel free to comment on this post as I think this is an important topic and one that will be very helpful for any landlord looking to attract quality tenants.