How to Run a Property Management Company
It all begins with an approach that is open and honest to a fault. If tenants aren't going to qualify, then don't waste your time or theirs in pretending that something good might happen. Keep to your qualification criteria, don't allow your gut instinct overwhelm your common sense, and don't misrepresent any of your facts. That will produce a solid reputation in a short amount of time.
Step #1: Develop Vendor Relationships
Without quality vendors to take care of your properties, they won't look as attractive to potential tenants and you'll struggle to meet the maintenance needs of a home. Consider hiring a handyman to be on your staff and network with local contractors to develop relationships that will help you get repairs done quickly. Landscapers, painters, plumbers, and other service providers are all necessary relationships to have.
Step #2: Always Run Background Checks
You need to screen every potential tenant to provide your property owners with the best possible renter possible. Some paid sites will let you access credit data and you can even go through the major credit reporting agencies on your own for a lower cost if you don't mind a bit of a wait. You'll need a relationship with a background check provider, however, to make sure a potential tenant is a safe renter.
Step #3: Check For Convictions
A search through public records can provide a wealth of information about a potential tenant. You don't need anyone's permission to check public records and you can even visit your local courthouse to check for arrests, liens, and judgments. A national service can help you access all public records from other addresses for a nominal fee that you can charge as part of the application process. Don't for get to check the sex offender registry, child abuse registries, and for felony records.
Step #4: Create a Solid Lease
There are a lot of leases that aren't very good out there right now. Make sure all of the details you need are in a lease so that there is no question of legality if you have a tenant who starts creating a problem for you. These three things are the most critical to include:
1. The amount of rent that is due each month.
2. When the rent is due every month and what penalties exist for paying rent late.
3. What the expectations of keeping the property in good condition happen to be.
Step #5: Know What To Do With a Problem Tenant
If your tenant fails to pay rent, what will you do? Do you have the quit notices for nonpayment of rent created yet? How will you handle an eviction process if it becomes necessary? By keeping records of everything, including client communication, you'll be able to handle any difficult situation to the best extent possible and protect your owner's interests.
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