A comprehensive guide to managing your rental property
Are you planning to put your property out for rent and don’t know what to do? Or, are you already letting but finding it hard to keep tenants and profits?
Whether you are starting a letting business or trying to improve an existing one, you have to double down on optimising your property management. Your management quality will significantly affect the outcome of your home rental business.
What is property management?
Property management involves the process of overseeing the operation, control, and maintenance of a property be it commercial, residential or land real estate. The method indicates the need for property supervision and monitoring.
The activity covers the maintenance of equipment and tooling, including assets used for the building and repairs.
Property management also involves rental management systems, activities, and resources. It deals with tenancy, maintenance, accountability, control, utilisation, responsibility, and disposition.
The job of a property manager entails advertising your rental unit, screening tenants, managing interactions with tenants, arranging the lease agreement, conducting inspections, and assistance when your tenant moves in. The manager is also tasked to account for proper billing and collect rent.
If you are a property owner who is new or struggling in the letting business, the most vital area you need to improve on is your property management. This is a compilation of management tips that can improve your performance and the earning capacity of your rental property.
Here are FIFTEEN TIPS for managing property effectively.
- Have integrity.
- Hire a management team.
- Qualify your tenants.
- Be a master of security.
- Secure the right contracts.
- Be legally authorised.
- Safety as a top priority.
- Be disaster-ready.
- Customer service is vital.
- Communicate with your tenants.
- Aim for long term tenancy.
- Comfort is important.
- There are no shortcuts.
- Hire a property management agency.
- Have excellence in everything.
It doesn’t matter how excellent you market your property when it and its parts are lousy. The first step to putting out your house for a rental is to ensure that it is built well and is rent-worthy.
Keep in mind that you can be put to jail if a tenant has a building hazard-related accident and is injured or dies.
Do not forget that you are dealing with lives and basic, crucial necessities with this business. Follow the regulations for standard living conditions and prepare your property with solid integrity.
Hire a management team.
When you are letting several spaces or an entire subdivided building, you will kill yourself by doing everything on your own. Do not go solo and hire people who can do certain activities better than you could.
Most property owners are not experts in management, and whether you have the knowledge or not, the time you spend on management won’t suffice for the massive amount of work resulting from having multiple tenants.
Have a tenant relationship manager, an accountant, a legal specialist, a marketer, maintenance and utility expert, and security officer. You must also have receptionists or customer service responders divided into shifts to cater to requests, inquiries, and any-time emergencies.
Qualify your tenants.
Background check your tenants. Beginners may think that this is awkward and a violation of privacy, but remember that you are allowing strangers to live in your house or building.
You don’t want an arsonist, psychopath, thief, or child molester in your property. You wouldn’t also want to be swindled by a scammer or con artist.
Screen applicants for the security of your letting business.
Also, you can screen tenancy applicants in a way that you can find the person who values your property more than others and will pay better. Find out who has the preferences closest to your property’s specification, and that person will be glad to pay a premium.
Be a master of security.
You have to place security in the core of all your activities. Make sure that your business is secure for you, and living in your property is safe for the tenant.
Ensure that you are doing everything legally to save yourself from potential penalisations. All the paperwork has to be completed and safety precautions in place.
People will want to stay in properties that are well mitigated from crime. Security, more than a need, can be considered a feature that will attract more customers to your property – people will pay premiums for excellent protection.
Get the latest technology, including surveillance, early detection of fire, alarms, locking systems, and others.
Secure the right contracts.
When preparing your terms-of-agreement, contracts, and regulations, do not skip the details. Iron out the specifications and ensure security for all involved parties in a tenancy.
State reasonable courses of action when eviction comes about. Have provisions and consequences when guidelines are breached.
Be clear about accountabilities and ensure that your client understands all tenant responsibilities when living in your property.
Optimise your contract and secure yourself from prosecution, penalisation, or imprisonment.
Be legally authorised.
Without a business license, fire-safety compliance, EPC or energy performance certificate, and other legal paperwork, you are not authorised to run a letting business.
Not only is authorisation a legal requirement but not complying with such is a disservice to your clientele and a threat to their safety.
You cannot market an unregulated property. People are looking for a secure, safe, and comfortable home to live in.
Safety as a top priority.
Keep your tenant’s living condition safe. Safety cannot be emphasised enough and many letting business fail because of the lack thereof.
Do not forget that your property, its furniture and furnishings are subject to wear and tear. You have to look into the lifespan of your building, its parts and components.
Maintenance is not just about repairing immediate damages but includes the outlook on the time-provided material decline.
We live in an era of unpredictable climate and natural disasters. It is a disservice to your tenants if you don’t put into consideration disaster-safety measures for your property.
Go the extra mile when it comes to safety in your letting. Your place has to be fire and earthquake-safe, and have an upgraded first-aid gear set, and if possible, a safe room.
Customer service is vital.
The quality of your customer service can make or break your relationship with tenants and how they deal with you.
Unhappy customers can become difficult payers. Without customer care in the core of your letting business, you might find yourself in a situation where you keep dealing with turnovers, not knowing that your service is the problem.
Profiting is secondary to service – payments are a result of the satisfaction that you provide. Hence, you have to focus on satisfying tenant needs as profits will merely follow.
Keep your tenants happy.
Communicate with your tenants.
Regularly solicit the opinions of your tenants. This way, you’ll know if they are satisfied with your services and their living spaces, and to what extent.
Knowing their thoughts will give you insight into how you can improve your services and spaces. Aside from the regular customer care enhancement that you can do from knowing your tenants and their needs, you will also possibly find gaps that you can do business out of.
For example, if you are letting in a more or less rural setting that is considerably far from the nearest grocery store, you can turn one of your spaces into an in-house mini-mart for your tenants’ convenience and extra profit for you.
Aim for long term tenancy.
Too many turnovers are bad for your business. When people are always coming and leaving your property, you would have to spend more time, money, and effort, in preparing new legal documents and residential compliances repetitively.
Constant turnovers will cost you plenty of money in advertising and marketing, and you could suffer severe financial loss.
To ensure long term tenancy, you have to make your property excellent and sage, pick the right tenants and have excellent customer service.
Comfort is important.
Many property owners are now joining the market, offering spaces to the same audience you might be targeting. Virtually all of you who are offering homes are doing everything that is required to provide standard living conditions and more.
The “and more” part is comfort. Proximity to general services like medical care, social services, and commodities can significantly raise a property’s comfort rate.
If your location is significantly far from these services, you can bring the services to your area. Fill the gaps and make a store, have an emergency vehicle, and more – be creative.
There are no shortcuts.
You simply cannot “wing it.” Letting requires hard and smart work, and you have to be patient, enduring, active, persistent, and intelligent.
Letting requires your attention, presence and personal appearance. The business entails compliances, paperwork, inspections, marketing, maintenance, dealing with contractors and suppliers, tenant management, and a lot more.
There are no shortcuts, but there are ways to make things more efficient and comfortable.
Hire a property management agency.
While it is wise enough to hire an in-company management team, you might have to train people from scratch, and it will be easy for you and your people to learn the wrong things and always make serious mistakes.
Your team can get by with a small property and a limited number of tenants, but if you have a significantly bigger building, you must consider starting with an agency.
An agency has experienced experts, cost-efficient but excellent maintenance contractors and suppliers, and streamlined systems and procedures that will optimise your letting business.
Hiring an agency is not a shortcut but a more efficient way to deliver and satisfy. Give the job to the experts.
Have excellence in everything.
Whether you are sourcing property management or doing it yourself, always put excellence in your equation.
Be an excellent landlord or hire an excellent agency to give your tenants an excellent living experience that will result in excellent profits.
Here’s an excellent offer: hire Regional Homes’ property management services. We are experts in marketing, maintenance, and customer service.
All you have to do is talk to us.