Have you just bought (or are about to buy) your first investment property?
Becoming a landlord is an exciting business venture, but it can be difficult to get the process down on the first go. Running an apartment building, rental home, or vacation rental is serious work. Here are a few tips to help you make sure you make the most of this opportunity.
Get the Help You Need
If you’re a first-time landlord, you probably won’t already know the ins and outs of managing an investment property. The good news is that there’s help. There are plenty of ways to get the help you need to keep your property running in great shape. For example, if you own an apartment building, you can hire a property manager. They’ll handle the building’s day-to-day needs, and you stay in charge of big decisions.
If you’ve purchased a vacation rental, a management company can make a big difference. Since most people buy vacation rentals in areas they’d like to travel to, it’s difficult to be there in person to support travelers who stay in your rental. Vacation rental management companies can provide 24/7 local support, as well as facilitate cleanings and maintenance between stays. This will help you land great reviews and secure more bookings than you might be able to on your own.
Check for Necessary Upgrades
When you’re getting your property ready for rent, make sure you check every aspect of the building that might need upgrades. Not only will this make it more appealing to renters, but it will also save you money in the long run. Take your HVAC system, for example. If it’s not working properly, your tenants will be uncomfortable in the hotter and cooler months of the year. However, you also put your property at risk. Insufficient heating in the winter months can lead to burst pipes, which can be expensive to fix and cause serious damage (cleanup costs could go up to $50,000).
Ideally, you’ll catch an issue like this during the inspection so you can negotiate the price down with the seller. Installing a new furnace averages $4,341, and a furnace could run over $10,000 for an electric type, so you can justify a lower price. If the problem comes up after you’ve already purchased the home, however, it’s best to get the issue addressed right away. After all, you don’t want to put your tenants or your property at risk.
One of the most important skills a landlord can have is strong communication. The relationship between a tenant and landlord can easily become a rocky one. However, this isn’t good for either party. The best landlord-tenant relationships are those characterized by mutual respect and open lines of communication.
Make it clear that your tenants can come to you with issues, and that you will listen and respond appropriately. This doesn’t mean you must address their every whim, but you should communicate what changes you will make, as well as the schedule.
For example, if a tenant has a problem with a slow-draining sink, but you’re unable to fix it for several days, let them know. Although they might be unhappy that there’s a delay, they’ll be informed and able to work around the issue. This is just one example of how, even when you’re not able to take care of the issue immediately, you can make sure your tenant stays informed and knows you’re on top of things.
Running an investment property is hard work, but if you’re willing to put in the effort it can pay off. The extra income you get from your investment can supplement other investments and help you build your wealth. By taking the steps above for your first investment, you can tackle future properties with confidence.
Guest Blogger: Katie C. Thank you for sharing these tips with our audience!
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