Taking a Holiday
How to Take a Holiday When You Do Not Have a Property Management Firm for Your Rental
Being your own boss makes it difficult to take a holiday. Even a sick day can set you back and leave your tenants in a panic if you don’t answer your phone immediately. But since everyone needs a break, especially overworked landlords, you can take time off and not regret it when you return to work by being organized and planning ahead.
Get Caught Up
Spend time before your vacation getting caught up on any outstanding projects. Process all tenant applications, submit renewal notices or sign any leases before you leave town. This way, you won’t have people calling about the status of a project, and you won’t have to take care of it when you get back.
To get everything done before you leave, you may find you have to delegate a few tasks. Figure out what needs to be accomplished, and choose who should do it. Then, you can concentrate on what can’t be delegated and just check in on the other stuff.
Create a Plan
Choose a time for your break when you aren’t in the middle of leasing or renewing leases, and avoid leaving when payment is due if you can. Choose the quietest time of the month, if there is such a thing, to reduce the impact your break will have.
Decide ahead of time who will take care of everything while you’re gone. It might be a friend who checks in, a maintenance company to take care of repairs or a call center to handle emergencies. You could consider hiring a temporary manager until you return.
Communicate Your Plans
You don’t have to tell your tenants you’re spending a week in Hawaii, but you do want to alert them that you’ll be gone for a specific period of time. Let them know you’ll be away from the office and have limited access to phone messages until your return date, and set that date a day or two after you get back to give yourself time to readjust.
Let everyone know who to contact if they need something while you’re gone. Give them phone numbers and specific instructions so they know what to do if something happens. It’s best to put this information in writing.
Don’t forget to communicate with vendors and let them know someone else is taking care of things while you’re gone. Also, give the people filling in for you the information they need so they can handle any problems that might arise. Show them where to find paperwork, phone numbers and a list of procedures to help them feel more confident about the job.
Unless you have a small rental business, you probably will want to check in at least once during your time away. If the people in charge don't have property management experience, they may face a situation they aren’t sure of and want to discuss it with you. Let your replacements know when and how they can reach you and what issues are important enough to interrupt your vacation. Set a time when you’ll check in with them for anything else.
While it might not be a dream vacation away from the cares and responsibilities of your rental company, you can still take some time off. Plan ahead, and show others how to deal with your absence so you can enjoy some much needed downtime and come back refreshed and ready for work.
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