Property Management 101 – The One Thing All Landlords Should Do
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Today we’re gonna talk about the one thing that landlords should all do. Now, we gathered a poll of all our landlords and our experience and investors and our property managers and figured out what’d be the one thing that we should tell property managers and we got overloaded and so we came up with three. So hopefully you’re okay with three big tips that all landlords should know.
First big one that we always talk about and that we always hear, thoroughly screen and background check your tenants, your future tenants movin’ in. Huge red flags that can come up with that process that can avoid longterm repercussions down the road.
Background checks include, you know, a credit check, criminal, you want to look at their rental verification history, look at their revenue, make sure they can actually afford the place.
The big one, the rental verification issue, that means physically call the previous landlord or landlords and see how this renter was.
Were they late on payments? Did they trash the place? Were they a nuisance to the other neighbors around the area? That’s the biggest clue we get and make sure it’s the true previous landlord.
Sometimes they’ll slip a friend in there or somethin’ like that where you’ll call. So you always wanna make sure it’s truly the landlord that they, their previous landlord. That’s a huge indicator of how they’re gonna be as a tenant. They usually, tenants are what they were before, they’re gonna do the same unless you kinda set up that process and change them in that way but it’s very difficult.
So always look for previous landlord, check how the history was, see how they did. Second thing, establish proper communications and expectations with these tenants. Be responsive, set those expectations from the beginning. Line it out, this is what I expect from you, I expect you to water these plants, I expect you to this, I expect you to pay rent online at this date and this is how you pay it. If you’re late, this is what’s gonna happen.
Set the expectation if you’re gonna visit the home a lot. If you’re gonna be there to do mid-lease inspections, maybe, or, you know, twice a year or every quarter, set those expectations so they’re aware of it and preparing for it. Being responsive goes along with that. If you’re super ultra responsive, usually that’s killer.
That’s the best way to do it. But life gets in the way, we understand that’s hard to be super responsive but be as fast responsive as possible. Especially when there’s a huge maintenance issue or emergency maintenance.
That’s the time to shine. We love those opportunities ’cause we can shine in those times to really help ’em and facilitate the repairs quickly and we went over the tenants really, really quickly on those, those decisions. Key thing for that as always is make sure your, also with that, you always want, just do the right thing.
You know, if you mess up, make it right. If there’s an AC out in Arizona and it’s 120 degrees outside, fix it as soon as possible or get them to a motel or bring in some coolers. If they’re freezin’ in Minnesota and the heat goes out, bring in space heaters, bring blankets, get them a hotel. Do the right thing by them. Even if you don’t know exactly what the best way is, do what you think is best.
Might not be the exact law, you know, to the I, but, to the dot to the I, but just go out and do it as best you can. Usually when you try hard and show effort, the tenant’s gonna recognize that and work with ya. But if you do the right thing by them, hopefully they do the right thing by you and you’re kinda, that synergy’s goin’ forward.
Big key though is always be responsive, if they send you an email, try to return it as fast as possible. If they send you a call, call them back as soon as possible.
The next thing, lot of investors don’t do this especially if it’s your first investment, but set up metrics or benchmarks of key things that you wanna hit or that your competition or your other competition is your other landlords in the area. How are they performing?
We like to call it performas and we do those every year to analyze it, to really review how we did and what things we need to change. If we’re, for some reason, gettin’ less revenue than the next, the properties next to us we need to figure out why.
Now this is very normal in the multi-family when you have a big plus, you know, 50 plus unit community. But for single family investors, sometimes they don’t do this and it’s key thing we think to set metrics that work. You always measure yourself and set goals.
Do the same things for your investments. Make sure you set those, we call ’em performa or key metrics, with revenue minus expenses or whatever you wanna perform on, how fast you get the house rented, days vacant, things like that, maintenance request. You can always set these key metrics, get that data and compare it.
Zillow Research has a good comparable tool that you can do, Home Union has great data that you can see and see what your competition’s doin’. Talk to your fellow investors in the area, see what they’re doin’. If you have that data and you have these benchmarks, if the economy starts changin’ or metrics start changing, you’re able to identify those really quickly and adapt to it and you’ll be in the forefront of the changes.
So we love that, we do that with all of our owners every year, it’s a great tool do that with yourself, perform it yourself, we can give you some worksheets, call us, contact us, we can help you with that. Big thing with all those again, be responsive to your tenants, set expectations, build your performance which is awesome and do a thorough background check. That’s really, really important.
We live by that and die by that. But hopefully you can figure those out. If you have any questions or you need help doin’ all this, we’re pretty much experts. I don’t wanna say it, I don’t wanna gloat, but we’re experts at this, we can help ya out, find the tenants and help you set these benchmarks and performas.