If you run a rental business, you’re probably all too familiar with how difficult it can be sometimes. When things break or don’t go according to plan, it can be easy to get stressed out and discouraged. If you’re feeling like there is way too much on your plate and your business is more work than it should be, keep reading for some helpful tips on how to improve your rental business.
1. Hire a Property Manager
A property manager might not be an appropriate addition to every rental business but if you own a large enough complex or set of apartments, it might be a good idea to hire one. If you don’t already have a manager, your phone is likely ringing off the hook with minor and frivolous tenant problems. Not only will a professional property manager handle all of the minor issues that arise with tenants but they can also take care of maintenance and filling in vacancies.
2. Use Online Services
Are you sick of having to send notices and track down tenants who aren’t paying their rent on time? Incorporate a rent payment service into your business so that you have one less thing to worry about. These services can send out late payment notices and handle the bulk of responsibilities that come with collecting rent. Considering most millennials pay their bills online and almost half of the more senior population has switched over as well, your tenants might appreciate the ability to pay online.
3. Renters History
If you aren’t thoroughly checking your renter’s backgrounds, you could be letting tenants in that will only cause headaches. Don’t skip over the important step of checking out your applicant’s backgrounds. Have your property manager call previous landlords and tell them to ask questions like:
- Were there any major damages to the apartment after the tenant left?
- Was the tenant ever late on rent?
- Would you let the tenant come back?
Keep in mind that there is information that a previous landlords can’t provide without the explicit permission of the tenant.
4. Allow Pets
It might appear counter-intuitive but allowing pets in your units will actually make your life as a rental property owner significantly easier, as 68% of Americans own pets—that’s about 85 million families. If your apartments are experiencing a great deal of turnover, allowing for pets in your rental will give you the opportunity to tap into a market of people your competitors are sleeping on. If you’re worried about potential damage to your property, don’t stress. Your new pet-owning tenant is already expecting to have to put down a pet deposit. As a property owner, you can expect to get anywhere from $350-$1,000 depending on the number, size, and type(s) of pets.
5. Keep the Front of Your Property in Good Condition
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure the first thing a potential tenant sees is nothing short of perfection. Give your property manager all of the tools they need to fix any damages that accrue in addition to what they need for general maintenance.
6. Sell Units with Maintenance Problems
Keep track of all of your maintenance expenses with software or a spreadsheet. When a unit starts to accumulate too many needed repairs from age, wear, and tear—sell it. Any unit with 10% or more in repair expenses as a percentage of the annual revenue it produces isn’t likely worth the hassle. If you have maintenance staff, have them take a look at the unit and assess if problems are going to persist.
7. Look for ways to Expand
If your rental business is doing well, you should be looking for ways to expand. One way to approach expansion is to look for older homes that are selling for a lower price in a nice neighborhood. Fixing and flipping aren’t just for the darling couples on HGTV; you could be raking in the same kind of cash by doing the same thing. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of renovating a home, you can always work with an experienced flipper and arrange to be the buyer before renovations are made.
Don’t let your rental business drive you crazy! Use these helpful tips to make your properties a stress free endeavor.