Networking is important in almost all professional fields. Most of the learning you will do will happen on the job, of course, but the most successful professionals also cultivate relationships outside of the workplace. As a professional, you can learn more about advances in the field, hear about new opportunities and have a chance to get feedback on your ideas.
If you are already doing this in the workplace, why not extend it to your work as a landlord? Networking is arguably even more important in property management. As a landlord, so much of what you need to know to be successful depends on local knowledge. Whether it is the specific rules and regulations of your city or the ins and outs of the local real estate market, experienced landlords have a lot to offer you. They have made the mistakes you are hoping to avoid and have experienced the success you are hoping to achieve.
What You Can Learn
While you can do your own research to answer important questions, a conversation with an experienced landlord can go a long way. Even in an informal setting, you can pick up lots of information on important questions. State and municipal regulations, connections with contractors, and tax tips can all come out of an informal conversation with another landlord.
State- and municipal-specific legal requirements trip up many new landlords. While it may not seem to make sense to you, you need to understand that Oregon’s eviction rules differ from Ohio’s. This applies to rules on rental advertisements, lease structures and more. Discussing these rules with experienced landlords will give you some insight on the specific requirements that you have to watch out for in your city. They can also alert you to enforcement trends, so you are particularly attentive to making sure your work meets all requirements in areas where it is likely to be checked.
Other landlords will also have great advice on contractors. If a person has been renting out homes for a long time in an area, they have most likely worked with nearly all the contractors on repairs and improvements. Ask for recommendations or feedback on the one you already chose. A quick conversation could save you lots of time, hassle and money.
Another landlord you meet might be an expert in making sure she does not pay any more in taxes than she needs to. There are many tax deductions that can benefit landlords, some of which you may not know about. Having a discussion with an experienced landlord can help you educate yourself, and they might be able to recommend a tax professional who can help you maximize your yearly returns.
Learn these things and more just by reaching out to other landlords and engaging them in conversations on their work. Start with landlords you already know and reach out to them directly. Ask to treat them to coffee or a drink, or see if they are available for a brief phone conversation. Many will be happy to offer support to someone they know.
If you do not know any landlords, reach out to local business groups like the Chamber of Commerce. Often these groups arrange networking happy hours or other social events. Go to the event and share that you are looking to meet experienced landlords. Many guests will be happy to help.
By reaching out to landlords you know and exploring opportunities to meet more, you will expand your network and your learning opportunities.
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