Property Management Tips For Long-Distance Landlords
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Hi, Benton Cotter here, helping making your rental investment successful.
Today we’re gonna talk about property management tips for long-distance landlords. Now, we actually have lots of long-distance landlords. About half of our clients live outside of the state their rental property is located, and so we get a lot of feedback from our landlords, what they want, what they desire, and what they need, and so we wanna go through some couple things that we have discovered.
First thing is always, if you’re a distant landlord, you need a local presence, somebody that you trust.
My friend, a family member, a property manager, whoever, a Realtor, whoever you can find that you actually trust, and what they can do, they can keep tabs on your property, eyes on the property, basically. We like to, if it’s a neighbor, that’s always perfect.
If you moved away, and know some neighbors there, and that’s always great, ’cause they can check on, see if there’s any late-night parties. They can see if the lawn is maintained, see if there’s trash everywhere. They can kinda get a sense of who’s coming and going, and that’s a great way, where they’re not really spying on your property, they just happen to see what they’re, they see things around them, so it’s always a great thing to have.
If you don’t have a neighbor, get a property manager, get a Realtor, get somebody you trust. They visit the property, you could have them do the inspections. We just wanna be, eyes on the property is key, so they know what’s goin’ on, just so you can see some staff. It’s not like they’re goin’ there every week, we don’t recommend that.
We want tenants to feel like this is their home and they can have some privacy, but definitely drive by, scheduled inspections, things of that nature. Big thing for that is like, the key, all right, let’s say the tenants lost their keys. If you have a local contact there that can come unlock the door, things like that, or a vendor needs to show up, or the tenant can’t be there, things like that can come in really handy for you, and something you kind of really need.
Second thing is, keep in touch with your tenants. I don’t leave ’em in the abyss, alone, especially if you’re out of state. See how they’re doin’, maybe every few months, you send an email, just checkin’ in, see how you’re doin’, and anything that they can improve upon, or things you need, give ’em that communication dialogue open.
You wanted to always check on ’em, be mindful of their time, obviously you don’t wanna be prying, but you definitely wanna have constant communication with them. A good thing we always like to do, or for your landlord, I like to do, send holiday cards. That’s always a great, easy way, touch, just let them know you’re there. We like to sometimes send gifts, I’ll send like a year-end gift to ’em.
Usually it’s a gift card, and I’ll write a note on it, just to make sure, “Hey, we’re thinking of ya, “we trust ya, we appreciate ya, “and then here’s some things for ya.” So it’s a great way to kinda keep that dialogue goin’. Again, you don’t wanna overdo it, you don’t wanna be too much involved, just enough to let them know that you’re there and you care for ’em.
The big thing, though, we always like to do, obviously, we’re a property management company, we love property managers. We think that’s the ultimate source where you can combine all these things we talked about, and also, they can be, you know, your general contractor, they can help with the construction rehab, they can vendor everything, they can rent collect. They can do all the things that are pretty much essential for a tenant, especially being local.
It’s hard when you’re out of state to rent, unless you do the online thing, which there are great, some tools that you can do that, but also, we can kinda step it above if you ever need to go through evictions or anything like that, and local presence can handle it.
Just be careful who you get. You definitely, you wanna find someone that you trust, and it’s hard sometimes, I know property managers out there, but find one you trust, that you feel like they’re gonna take care of you, and they’re gonna have eyes on the property is key.
They’re gonna know what’s gonna go on, maybe source their vendors, see how good their vendors are, because they’re gonna be the ones facilitating the work for ya. If you have a couple vendors that you like to use, give ’em to them, but hopefully, they should be able to source a lot of vendors, because they have a lot of work goin’ through ’em, and so, we were the ones, I don’t know how many work orders we go through.
I think just in Arizona, we go through 50 to 100 work orders a month. Through all of our entities, we’re probably doin’ four to 500 work orders a month, so that’s a lot of vendors, a lot of work. We should be able to kinda source through those and find the good ones, so that’s always a good one to have that, and make sure that the property manager is transparent with ya, so you know what’s goin’ on with your property.
It’s hard when you’re out of state, you wanna know when rent’s collected, if they’re late, if they’re, have a huge maintenance request. You kinda wanna know these things, but also, you don’t wanna be overloaded with them, that’s why you have a property manager, so just be, make sure they’re transparent with ya. We like to do portals, we give a lot of notifications, and a lot of information on our portal, where they can log on anytime and see what’s goin’ on with the property. It’s more passive, whenever they wanna see it, they can look at it.
If they need more information, they can contact us, but key is, make sure they’re transparent, you know what’s goin’ on with your property. Sometimes we’ve seen where we take over a property, and they had a property manager, but it’s been two months with no rent collection, and so we get right on it, and those are kinda rare cases, but you gotta watch for it.
You gotta find somebody that you trust, so as long as they’re transparent, they can build that trust with ya, and then you can have that peace of mind that they’re taking care of everything. We feel like we do a great job with that, we actually have local portfolio managers in every area that are actually overseeing your property, eyes on the property.
They’re the ones that source the vendors, get the agreements, they can even source the property to help you find a property to buy, and invest in, so a lot of tools there.
Contact us if you need any, have any tips, or helps, or if you’re in one of the areas that we’re not there, we can help you find a great property manager. We’ve been in the industry a lot, we can kinda sense who’s good, who’s not, even help you find a local, trusted agent as well. It might not be a property manager, but someone that we know, and trust with our own properties.