Landlords and property managers have a difficult job that requires a variety of skills across multiple subjects. That said, it takes a lot to efficiently manage rental property.
For example, collecting rent and maintaining the bottom line makes financial knowledge a must. On the other hand, they may need to handle different repairs and fulfill maintenance requests on a daily basis, so home improvement domain knowledge is also a necessity.
However, it’s completely possible to manage rental property and avoid the pitfalls associated with the job. All it takes is preparedness and a little elbow grease. Here are some tips to help you avoid wasting time and avoid headaches when managing a rental property.
Top 6 Tips to Manage Rental Property for Landlords
Taking the following steps can help your day go smoothly including everything from handling rent collection to fixing the leaky pipe your tenant requested maintenance on. Here’s everything you need to know about managing your rental property efficiently.
1. Screen Tenants… Thoroughly
The key to any successful rental property business is long-term tenants and limited vacancies. All of this starts with renting to quality tenants that won’t result in high tenant-turnover or evictions.
The best way to ensure you get good tenants is to conduct tenant screening on all prospective applicants to reveal any information that might cause you to not move forward with their application. Here are some steps to take to ensure that you get the most out of your tenant screening efforts:
- Conduct a credit check.
- Ask for employment history.
- Research any criminal history of prospective tenants.
- Ensure that you have a detailed tenant rental application.
- Find out whether your tenant has any previous evictions.
- Require and follow-up with any previous landlord references.
However, before you get to move forward in screening your tenants, you’ll need to market your property to generate interest.
2. Advertise and Market the Property Effectively
You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to market your property effectively. In fact, you can get a number of interested tenants with a low marketing budget by working to deliberately market your property.
The internet is your friend here. Putting up an ad on the major rental listing sites like Zillow and Apartments.com can bring in a plethora of prospects. Be sure to include many pictures that show the property in its best light and all pertinent information. This is your chance to make a great first impression. We did recently write about the best websites to list your rental property on.
3. Stay Organized
Managing a property is a demanding job that takes careful scheduling and organization, that’s why it’s essential for landlords and property managers to have a streamlined method of organization. Here are some tips to keep you organized on the go:
- Make Your Smart Phone Work for You – Most smartphones come with built-in assistants who can make your life a lot easier. Using your voice, you can have your digital assistant set reminders, timers, schedule appointments, and more.
- Prioritize Digital Integration – If you schedule something on your laptop or tablet, that information should be available on your cell phone, as well. Pick a software or app that will work on all your devices seamlessly.
- Consider Document Cloud Storage – Landlords and property managers deal with a lot of documents. Save the trees and yourself a lot of headaches by using a document cloud storage system to easily store and search for multiple documents.
4. Be Educated on the Law
Above all, landlords and property managers need to be sure to manage rental properties in compliance with the law. If you are caught breaking any laws you may face legal action and consequences carried out by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity division.
As outlined in their Complaint and Investigation Process, landlords or property managers who are found guilty of breaking the law may be required to pay damages to tenants, undergo training, and modify their procedures.
5. Document Everything
To protect both yourself and your tenants, it’s imperative that you have everything well-documented. Anything from taking time-stamped photos of your property prior to new tenants moving in to sending eviction letters by certified mail serves as evidence that you have complied with the law.
6. Have a Rock Solid Online Rental Application
Everything starts with a great rental application. Your rental application should be as detailed as possible. This is your chance to gather all pertinent information about all prospective tenants so you can conduct a thorough tenant screen.
If you already have a tenant screening application, but it doesn’t ask the right questions or provide you with enough information to conduct your own review of the prospect — it may be time to revamp your application.
PreApprovedRenter allows landlords and property managers to customize their tenant rental applications for free. Not to mention, they provide hundreds of tenant rental applications to review and choose from. Their system allows tenants to complete their rental applications online and allows landlords and property managers to view their applications.
The best way to ensure that you can manage your rental property efficiently is to create a system with the right tools that work for you.
There is no single right way to manage a rental property. So long as your tenants are happy, your property is in good condition, and you are in compliance with local and federal laws — you’re golden.
Take the time to try out different tools that will help you get the job done, and stick with the one that fulfills all your needs and genuinely makes your job easier.
One of the first tools you should try? PreApprovedRenter is a Saas tool that helps landlords customize their rental agreements and instantly screen tenants. If you’re looking to save time and digitize your rental application then PreApprovedRenter should be your top choice.
Learn more about how PreApprovedRenter can help to streamline your tenant application process and save you time!