Self-managing a rental property can be learned, but things get a bit more challenging when you manage more than one property at a time. And although rental properties are a great way to grow your wealth, managing one (let alone multiple properties), can be overwhelming. The more rental properties you own, the more tenants and tenant-related problems you have to deal with.
If you want to invest in multiple properties at a time, whether multiple one-unit properties or multiple multi-family properties, bear in mind that it won’t be easy. To guide you, our property management team has put together a few tips to help you get your multiple properties off the ground in no time.
1. List Your Property ASAP
You will have vacancies from time to time. Unfortunately, vacancies can ruin your cash flow, which is why you need to put your property up online immediately. The moment one tenant moves out, market the property online so you can find a replacement tenant fast.
One of the pros of owning multiple investment properties is that other properties can “offset” the loss in rent of vacant properties. However, this shouldn’t be your long-term strategy. It would still be better to fill all of your properties – that way, you can maximize your rental income.
When marketing your rental property, make sure to focus on the desirable features that your market will want. With the help of a property management company, you can identify what these features are.
2. Create a Maintenance Plan
Conducting maintenance on one property is time-consuming – if you add more properties to the mix, things can get more complex. In managing maintenance for multiple properties, you should prepare a maintenance plan. This lets you stay on top of repairs and ensure that every real estate investment receives the attention to detail it deserves. In other words, it’s one way to make sure that you don’t overlook any property’s particular maintenance needs.
As a rule of thumb, each property’s maintenance plan should include seasonal maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the gutters, repairing the roof, and so on. Don’t forget to plan for unexpected repairs, too. Have a network of vetted vendors whom you can call at moment’s notice, or alternatively, partner with a property management firm that can be on-site for these inevitable problems.
3. Screen Tenants Strictly
We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again – tenants can make or break your real estate investment. If you have trustworthy tenants whom you can count on to care for your property, pay their rent on time, and more, you won’t have problems. However, if you have irresponsible tenants who won’t pay on time, you’ll have problems day in and day out.
In managing multiple properties, you should start with a strict tenant screening procedure. Only sign a lease agreement with tenants with whom you are completely confident. Review their references very carefully so you can lower the risk of renting to the not-so-good ones. By renting to good tenants, you can avoid problems and in turn, oversee your multiple properties without any trouble.
4. Visit Every Property Regularly
Inspect the property from time to time. This will allow you to verify if your tenants have actually committed to what they agreed to do, as stated in the lease agreement. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to get a general idea of who your tenant is (particiarly if you’ve never met them in person, for instance, if you screened them via video conference), and see for yourself if your tenant is truly who they said they were.
It’s worth mentioning that although you own the property, you won’t be able to enter it at any time. You will need to tell your tenant why you intend to enter the property and wait for their permission to do so.
Are your multiple rental properties far from one another? Alternatively, you can visit the ones that are close to one another, and leave the others to your property management company. Or, if you have the time, you can visit the properties yourself – the travel expenses are tax-deductible, anyway!
5. Use a Tenant Portal
Managing multiple properties means managing multiple tenants. It’s going to be more challenging to give your tenant the time (and attention) they deserve. In the event that a tenant wants to file a complaint, they will have to figuratively get in line. By the time you receive your tenant’s complaint, it will have been too late.
You won’t have the capacity to handle tenant complaints, concerns, etc. As a result, your tenants will be dissatisfied or worse – they’ll sue you for your failure to deal with repairs in a timely manner.
To streamline the process, use a tenant portal where tenants can file complaints, concerns, etc. at any time. Not only does this cut the amount of time you spend communicating with tenants, but it can also put urgent repairs on priority. Tenant portals can rank repair requests according to their urgency, so you can easily determine which property to deal with first.
6. Stay Organized
Don’t lose track of your to-dos. When managing multiple real estate investments, you risk being so overwhelmed that you overlook your tasks. This results in dissatisfied tenants, failure to perform maintenance, and more.
To stay on top of your to-dos, use spreadsheets, folders, calendars, and so on. Do whatever you need to do, whether it’s writing down your tasks in a notebook or using post-it notes. These can make managing multiple properties a lot easier.
7. Work With a Property Manager
By far, the best way to make sure you give every real estate investment the attention it deserves is by partnering with a property management agent. If you can’t commit 100% of your time to property management, you need to get a property manager to assist you in managing your multiple properties. With them by your side, you’ll be able to sit back and wait as they collect your monthly checks for you.
Manage Multiple Properties With Luxury Property Care
Don’t attempt to manage multiple properties on your own. Let your partners at Luxury Property Care provide you with expert property management services. Our property managers will handle everything and do the heavy-lifting – you don’t need to lift a finger!