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Should You Be a Landlord?

If you are having trouble selling your home or another property, renting it is an excellent way to make a profit, take advantage of tax benefits, and ensure the property’s maintenance. When considering a career in investment property ownership (aka being a landlord), make sure your personality, strengths, and passions match the daily expectations and challenges you will encounter.

Landlords need the right skills, knowledge, and interpersonal abilities to succeed. Property management is more about managing people than properties.

People Skills

To manage people and properties professionally, you must have passion, intuition, and a keen sense of fairness tempered with diplomacy.

Property managers and landlords are frequently on the phone solving problems for owners and tenants, attending property showings, making presentations at Realtor offices, and providing customer service. Helping people solve problems must be your passion. If you do not have the skills to manage people, they will manage you, and you will have an unsatisfying job.

Organizational Skills

When you are not on the phone with clients, tenants, or your lawyer, you are collecting rent, researching and approving applications, documenting tenant complaints, dealing with homeowners associations and local laws, and replacing smoke detector batteries.

When an owner or tenant summons you to court, or when you are in court evicting tenants, you must be able to immediately put your hand on any document. Bookkeeping is not for the faint of heart either. If not done correctly or in a timely manner, you can open yourself to liability, lawsuits, and big losses. If you are not well organized, you lose credibility, lose clients, and lose money.

Entrepreneurial Knack and Business Skills

As a landlord, it’s imperative to be smart and careful with other people’s money, property, and trust. You must make the right decisions based on your business needs, your customers’ needs, and your local, state, and federal laws while trying to ensure your profitability.

Your business will only be successful if you manage your relationships with other businesses that support yours: plumbers, electricians, lawn care professionals, painters, and carpenters. You will interact with these people every week, and your reputation is only as good as the last job you did.

Real Property Management Excellence is the nation’s leading property management business. We know how to find qualified and responsible tenants for your property. We know how to care for your property and guide you in selecting the best tradespeople for the job.

Property manager passing keys to his new tenant

Preparing Your Home to Be a Rental

Here are some thoughts to consider before you rent. This list will help you prioritize your efforts when turning your home into a rental property.

Remove all of the stuff you have been storing in the property. Generally, if personal property is in the home or on the grounds, it is considered part of the lease and subject to tenants’ use. Think about what you want or need to leave for tenants’ use.

Clearing out nonessential clutter will improve the appearance of the property for advertising photos and will make it look better for showings.

Once all of your stuff is removed, begin the cleaning process. You may need to hire professional carpet cleaners and a house cleaning service to get the work done is a reasonable time. Dust bunnies, dirty windows, and soiled carpeting will turn off most responsible tenants and give you a reputation as a slumlord.

An immaculate home will give the most positive impression, attract the best renters, provide the highest rent, and will be the easiest to evaluate when the tenants move out.

Your property should be as attractive from the road as possible, and minor inexpensive cosmetic touch-ups will enhance your property. Clean out the weeds from the flowerbeds and fence line, trim the grass, and wash the siding.

Painting the entryway walls and oiling the woodwork will add an attractive sparkle to your home and make it appear new and bright.

Try to imagine looking at your home for the first time. Would you want to live there? Are there curling shingles on the roof, broken windows, leaking faucets, peeling wallpaper, or door locks that do not work?

Make sure that the appliances, heating and ventilation systems, and plumbing fixtures check out and are clean.

The easiest way to make sure your property is rent-ready is to hire an independent licensed home inspector. The inspector should be aware of your plans about making the home into a rental property. He will then assess all systems of the property to make sure they are up to code. This assurance will be welcome news.

Your rental property is an important investment and source of income. If a kitchen fire or storm damages your home, it may become uninhabitable. Landlord insurance coverage helps provide income while the property is being repaired or rebuilt. You can add policies or riders to pay for debris removal, tree and plant replacement, and even fire department charges.

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When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

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