Managing your own property isn't an easy job -- it involves maintaining your property, finding the right tenants, keeping them happy, and many other things. However, it is clearly worthwhile. In fact, real estate remains one of the smartest investments you can make. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to make managing your property easier and more lucrative. Here is a rundown of three property management secrets from professionals that you can use on your own rental property.
Cash, checks, and payments via bank card can be a headache to deal with on a monthly basis. Cash is cumbersome. Checks can be lost or bounced. Bank cards require a special machine that you probably do not have. The best option for easy handling of rental payments is a direct deposit from the renter's bank account to yours. It's automatic, hassle free, and only takes one consultation to set up. Even if you and your renter don't patronize the same bank, you can set up an automatic monthly transfer by conferring with a representative from each bank, either in person or on the phone.
When a home is lived in, things break. It's not always the tenant's fault, no matter how much you may sometimes wish it was. Tenants can and do call in anything from a leaking faucet to peeling wallpaper, which means that you are responsible for finding the right person to fix the problem without delay. You may not know who to call for each individual problem, and consistently finding new specialists can be time consuming and costly. Instead of guessing for each new problem, hire a jack of all trades right from the start. Use someone whose expertise and service you trust, perhaps the very same person you deal with when your own home needs repairs or maintenance work. By establishing this connection early on, you'll know just who to call the next time a tenant alerts you of an issue.
You already know that before your tenant receives the keys to your property, the two of you need to perform a thorough walk-through. The point of doing so is to document any small issues with the quality of the furniture, walls, appliances, floors, and so on. Is there a burn mark on the counter? Document it. Does the fridge make a funny whirring sound every 20 minutes? Document it. Maybe the carpet is stained in a small spot under the couch? Document it. This can be a somewhat tedious process, but if you skimp on it, neither you nor the tenant will have any proper records of the condition of the property prior to the lease. Perform inspections regularly so that you know where and how any issues originated. This way, you and your tenant can avoid confusion and hard feelings if you can't figure out who is responsible for the stained carpet or the broken refrigerator motor. It is best to schedule these inspections with your tenant on a three-month basis. Always agree on a meeting time before showing up at the property.
These are just three simple ways that you can take some of the headache out of leasing your property. With a little time investment up front, you can relax and enjoy more free time while you watch the rent payments roll in.
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