Landlording doesn’t have to be stressful. You got into this business to earn extra income, and that’s possible if you make the most of your time. In reality, you need to treat your rentals like a business — not a side hustle or hobby.
The people the succeed at landlording follow some fundamental principles, which include:
- Create systems and repeatable processes, i.e., automation
- Practice continuous improvement to help increasingly simplify their day-to-day
- Be firm, yet fair, with your tenants
- Maintain strict financial control over your organization and always know your cash flow
- Provide excellent customer service, which can lead to great tenant referrals
- Understand the rules and laws around landlording
- Know when to ask for and accept help
When you follow these simple principles, you’re well on your way to running an efficient, profitable business.
As for the landlording itself, there are things you can do to make your processes run like a well-oiled machine. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re drowning in maintenance requests or late rent payments. You want to avoid getting behind on responsibilities like the plague because it can be very time consuming — not to mention, incredibly stressful — to get back on your feet.
Simple Steps to Help Make Landlording a Breeze
Tip 1: Adopt Standards
Think of your properties like franchise restaurants. Every restaurant has a guidebook that spells out the color scheme, building materials and recipes on the menu to ensure each store is consistent.
Your properties can follow a similar equation. When you use the same paint color and brand, flooring material, and supplies for every single one of your homes, it makes your life simple. Reduce the number of decisions you need to make by sticking to standards that work.
Tip 2: Adopt a Pre-Screening Process
Time is one thing you can never get back. Processes are necessary to reduce the amount of waste you experience each month. That’s why it’s essential to adopt a pre-screening process that helps you weed out unqualified renters before they get too far in the process.
Tip 3: Always Perform Background Checks
On the surface, someone may seem like a perfect fit for your property, but you can’t know for sure unless you take the proper steps. Background checks are a must. These can help you understand any criminal histories and credit reports before you accept them as tenants. You can even require the potential tenant to pay for their service. That’s acceptable.
Tip 4: Adopt an Online Rent Collection Solution
Online payments are standard for nearly every service we use today. Why should rent be any different? Online rent collection solutions save you time and dramatically reduce headaches each month. A software can help you establish automated processes for invoicing, rent reminders, late fees, and maintenance requests without any additional phone calls, emails, or texts on your end.
Plus, your tenants will most likely appreciate the time savings on their end, too.
Tip 5: Try Out Multiple Skilled Trades People
Shopping around for plumbers, electricians or HVAC companies allows you to expand your network. You do this in your personal life, so why not apply this practice to your business. When you get pricing and options from multiple skilled trades people you’ll start to learn what it takes to have work completed, it also keeps people honest and helps you build a network for when you purchase more properties and take on more tenants.
Tip 6: Use Vacancies as Opportunities to Improve
When you lose a tenant, it’s the perfect opportunity to make improvements for the next customer. Pay close attention to any requests or issues that came in from that property. For example, if there were issues with water leaking during a storm or excessive mud upon entry of the home.
By making improvements based on previous living experiences, you can help reduce any potential issues moving forward. Being proactive pays off, boasting the potential to save you lots of time and money down the line.
Tip 7: Never Accept Tenants that Pay You Upfront Cash Right Now
A big wad of bills may seem like a great deal, but it’s almost always a red flag when it comes to renters. For any Breaking Bad fans, think of when Jesse Pinkman avoided giving employment information by paying for a few months of rent upfront. We all know what he was doing.
Plus, once you’ve committed to putting someone in your rental, it can lead to costly issues when things go south. Always avoid shiny offers and stick to your process.
As landlords ourselves, we understand what it takes to run a successful business. We’ve been in your shoes and want to help you succeed. If you’re looking for solutions to help you save time as a landlord, get in touch with our team today.