Are you a new landlord who’s trying to be as successful as possible? Many people think that becoming a landlord is easy. In reality, there’s a lot of work involved when you’re first starting out.
Many new landlords make a lot of mistakes along the way, but you don’t have to. Keep reading for our quick tips about becoming the best new landlord that you can be.
1. Pick The Right Tenants
When you’re a new landlord, you might struggle with finding new tenants. You might even make the mistake of trying to fill your vacancy without screening tenants at all.
Most tenants are going to be responsible, but there are bad eggs out there that can make your landlord experience challenging. You want to avoid having any problems or causing problems for your other tenants.
But how do you do this?
Always screen your tenants and make sure that you have good requirements for tenancy. It’s a good idea to be flexible with those requirements, but setting them ahead of time may ward off problematic prospective tenants.
So what should you include?
Make sure that your tenants have reliable income or enough money in the bank to support their time in your rental property. You can check this with pay stubs, bank statements, or even proof of stipends for college work.
While rental history is helpful, keep in mind that some tenants may be new to renting because they’re young or they’ve always owned a home.
You can run background checks on your tenants to make sure that they’re safe for your rental unit, but make sure that you keep fair housing laws in mind.
2. Learn Marketing Skills
As a new landlord, you need to brush up on your marketing skills if you want to keep your rental properties full. While you can hire professional help, it doesn’t hurt to know the basics when you get started.
Make sure to take great photos of your property for your marketing needs. Tenants want a clear view of what the unit looks like, so grainy or otherwise unclear photos won’t attract them.
Know where to place your listings. Sites like Zillow and the Facebook Marketplace are great places to start. They get a lot of visibility and they make it easy to make the price of your property clear.
Also, consider asking tenants (once you have a few) to advise their friends and family members to move in. You can offer small incentives for this powerful word-of-mouth marketing.
3. Keep Up With Maintenance
Becoming a landlord might seem like a “set it and forget it” investment option, but in reality, you need to keep up with your property if you want to retain your tenants.
Many landlords make the mistake of only offering maintenance when they get maintenance requests. While you should respond to these requests quickly, it might be even more important to do routine maintenance.
When you do routine maintenance, you’ll have happier and more comfortable tenants. You’ll also avoid many future maintenance emergencies by taking care of the problem before it happens.
4. Establish an Air-Tight Lease
Your lease is everything when it comes to being an effective and successful landlord. It’s a legally binding contract, so whatever you put in writing when your new tenant signs it will be the law of the land throughout their tenancy.
Even great tenants can get confused by strange wording or inconsistencies in your lease.
Consider what you want from your tenants. Make sure that your lease isn’t too restrictive to attract new people. While the housing market is hot right now, tenants won’t move onto your property if they think that your terms are unacceptable.
Do you want to have noise limits? Are you going to allow pets? How long can visitors stay with your renters?
These are all things that you need to put in writing before you have your prospective tenant sign the lease. If this is your first time writing a lease, have a professional help you. This will ensure that you’re doing everything by the book and you aren’t breaking any laws.
5. Renovate Wisely
All good landlords know that it’s important to renovate your property before you rent it out, but make sure that you’re doing it the right way. Not all renovations are necessary (or even important).
You want your property to be livable. This is the baseline for your renovations. If there’s any serious damage to the property, you need to deal with that first.
Then, start adding upgrades and amenities that make your property more appealing. Depending on your budget, you may be able to add extra bells and whistles to make yourself more competitive in the market.
Updated appliances, plumbing, and flooring might seem unnecessary, but in reality, these things will save you money in the long run and attract more tenants.
Don’t feel obligated to go overboard with fancy renovations, especially for your first rental property.
6. Invest in Property Management Professionals
When you become a landlord, you won’t have the professional know-how to be successful right away. There’s nothing wrong with that. You can hire professional property managers to help you out.
They can handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes work that comes along with being a successful property manager. They can help you find and screen tenants, market your property and even establish good leases.
You can leave all of the hard work in the hands of people who know how to help you out. What’s not to love?
Becoming a Landlord? Use These Tips
Becoming a landlord is exciting but there’s a lot of work involved if you want to be successful. Make sure that your tenants stay happy and your property stays in good condition and you’ll have a great future ahead of you.
While you’re at it, seek out the best property managers around.
If you’re a property investor in Memphis, we want to help you manage your rental properties. Contact us so we can start working together today.