Every rental property owner wants to manage their properties as smoothly as possible, but considering the many factors that come into play, that may be easier said than done. Even experienced landlords will tell you that there will always be one or two hurdles to overcome. Fortunately, it may be hard, but it isn’t impossible. The trick is to set up a system that streamlines your day-to-day rental operations. By doing so, you can reduce the headaches that come with rental ownership and secure real estate success.
In this post, we’ve put together the industry’s top secrets to help improve how you run your South Florida rental property.
#1 Screen Tenants Strictly
Ask any experienced rental owner, and they’ll tell you that strict tenant screening is an extremely important part of your operations. It’s non-negotiable to subject every prospective tenant to a tried-and-tested screening process. To do this, you’ll need to conduct a background check, credit check, employment check, criminal record check, and more. This will allow you to spot red flags and dig deeper into your tenant’s details.
For example, if an applicant claims to be employed but you’ve never heard of their company before, you can call their employer to verify. By taking the time to really get to know your potential tenants, you can protect your property and other people. Remember, as the property owner, you are responsible for your tenant’s actions – if they commit violations (or worse, crimes), you may be held liable in court. Strictly screening your tenants can also save you from having to deal with evictions down the road.
#2 Ask for Feedback
Feedback can help you improve how you run your rental property. First ask for feedback from tenants who’ve turned down your property, particularly if you haven’t been able to fill your vacancy yet. Ask why they decided not to rent with you – maybe it’s because the rental rate is too high, the property doesn’t come with the appliances they want, or the rent collection is too inconvenient. Armed with their answers, you can then implement certain changes to increase your property’s appeal.
Then, turn to your current tenants for suggestions on how you can become a better rental owner. Chances are, they’ll have a lot to say, including some bad things, so try to be open-minded. Acknowledge their feedback, but don’t be so easily swayed by what they say, either. For instance, if they say you’re too strict, that doesn’t mean you should loosen your policies. This will only put you, your property, and other people at a risk. Try to come to a compromise instead.
Your current tenants can also provide suggestions on how you can improve your property. Perhaps they’d rather have smart appliances such as smart thermostats to save money. Or perhaps they’re hoping for you to get rid of the pool for their children’s safety. Listening to your tenants can help you improve their lives – they’re the best people to ask about these things because after all, they’re the ones living there.
#3 Create a Directory
How long does it take you to find your contractor’s contact information? Do you recall the name of the company you hired to repair your roof a couple of months ago? If it’s taking you too long to find these details, consider creating a directory. The directory should contain all details, including addresses, company names, numbers, etc.
Sort your contacts by their specialization so you can quickly access their details in case you require their services. For instance, in case there’s a flood in your rental’s basement, you can immediately flip to the “plumbing” section of your directory. However, if you’re working with a residential property management company, they will likely have their own directory which you can request a copy of.
#4 Take High-Quality Photos of Your Property
Many landlords make the mistake of taking photos of their property only once. It’s what they use to market their people for the first time, and what they reuse to market it when the property is vacant. What’s wrong about this is that it does not show your property in its true state. Over the years, you will have to conduct improvements such as repainting the walls, repairing the floors, etc., and these must all be mirrored by your marketing materials. Otherwise, you may end up misleading your prospects.
With that said, always take new photos of your property. And not just any photos – eye-catching photos that are sure to entice people. By uploading good photos, you’ll be able to grab the attention of more potential tenants and show your property in the best way possible. You can partner with professional photographers and property stagers, or have a property management firm handle it for you.
#5 Use Social Media
While you must list your property on typical sites such as Apartments.com, Realtor.com, and the MLS, you must also use social media. There’s no doubt that your tenants will use listing websites to browse rentals, but they’re more likely to spend more time on social media sites like Facebook. You shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to show up on their Newsfeeds. Plus, having a social media presence lets your prospective tenants vet you. That way, they can be certain that they’re comfortable renting with you and your property management company.
#6 Hire a Property Management Company
Property management fees are not an unnecessary expense. In fact, partnering with a residential property management firm can save you more money in the long term. That’s precisely why experienced property owners choose to have their properties managed by a third-party company. They know that the company brings a lot of invaluable benefits to the table. From screening tenants to ensuring legal compliance, they’ll make sure your property consistently sees success.
Grow as a Landlord With Luxury Property Care
If you’re a first-time landlord who’s looking for a company that can offer guidance in all aspects of property management, get in touch with Luxury Property Care. As experts in residential property management, we’re here to do everything for you and be your helping hand as you get the hang of things. For full-service property management that exceeds expectations, call us at (561) 944 – 2992 or fill out our contact form today.