In the opinion of every property manager, the market for rental homes is absolutely fierce. So having a fabulous property that is well maintained is not enough. You need to have renters willing rent out your property. However, there are all kinds of renters available. And the segment of home renters does not only comprise of college kids and other youngsters. You may have a renter(s) as old as 65.
In order to get the demand over to your side, you can use the following methods:
1. Determine your targets
The type of tenants you need will depend on your property’s surroundings. If there is a school nearby, shopping malls, corporate offices, parks, and entertainment centers around your property, you will need to look for city dwellers and families.
Look for information like this to determine the kind of tenants you should be providing your services to. Now based on these details you can advertise your property in the localities where your ideal tenants are. If you are targeting city dwellers, don’t focus most of your promotional resources in the suburbs.
2. Make potential renters feel comfortable.
When you trying to rent out a property, it is important for you to get some information on the potential renters. The details you obtain about them should help you determine the whether they are trustworthy or not. But scheduling an interview with prospective tenants can cause them to feel awkward. So, make sure you maintain a professional yet friendly attitude with them. Let them know that this is standard procedure and once a few things are checked up on, then the coast will be clear.
3. Give people something to talk about
Word of mouth is a very effective way of introducing people to new things including property management services. Originally this method would take place on a small scale, but today with the existence of social media and the human network it has created, word of mouth has risen to greater heights. You can use this wide network to your advantage by giving your current tenants something to talk about.
It may be the immediate response to your tenant’s requests, immaculate homes or constant attention to detail. If they enjoy your services, they will definitely pass the word on to their friends and family members. Word-of-mouth publicity holds more value than any other form of advertising and promotion.
By following these simple guidelines you should be able to grab the attention of the right renters. This will ensure you don’t have to deal with vacancies for long periods of time and you do not have any issues once they move in.
Tenants will always have requests and some of these requests may be challenging for property managers and their teams. The entire schedule may get messed up or the request may be something that you just can’t handle. But either way you need to take your resident’s requests into consideration before giving them a yes or no answer.
You can use these tips when you are confronted by a situation involving resident requests:
1. Let them know you would like to help if it is within your capacity
Make it clear that you understand what is being asked of you. However, do not promise that you will take care of things without considering the request first. Tell the tenant you understand his needs and will do your best to help if possible. They may be asking too much out of you in terms of your money or in terms of your time.
You do not want the renter depending on you for too much or really that much at all.
Never give your residents false hope or even apologize for something that is not your fault. This will make the resident feel like your services are lacking in some way. If there are any legal or medical regulations or policies that prohibit you from fulfilling a resident’s request, let them know about it. Informing tenants that you have to maintain certain legal responsibilities and safety measures will prevent them from arguing with you.
2. Give them an alternative
Never say “no” directly to special requests from your tenants. See if you can offer an alternative before shooting them down. Consider a situation where the request of the tenant goes against the rules of the property owner. Inform the resident about the owner’s rules and arrangements and how his request cannot be facilitated. However, if the renter still urges you to reconsider, take it up to the home or land owner and ask him if an alternative can be provided or at least if they can meet the tenant’s request halfway. Providing an alternative will ensure the resident that his business is valued by the property manager.
3. Prepare your staff to deal with special requests
Special requests made by clients are always challenging, which is why they need to be dealt with in a specific manner. Device a standard response for various special requests that may conflict with the policies mentioned in the rental agreement. The standard response will ensure everyone on your team gives the resident the same response instead of different conflicting ones that could confuse him.
Remember you are running a business here. So keep your cool and don’t get into an argument with the tenant. Train your staff in such a way that they can handle these high pressure situations without breaking or cracking.
Now that summer’s ended, winter’s on its way means it’s time for property managers to get a head start in preparing for the holiday season. It’s time to do seasonal maintenance checks so that you can save money, improve the curb appeal of the property you’re managing, and keep the residents happy too.
Here are a few areas that you should look into during the end of the summer property upkeep process:
1. Check the insulation
Winter means cold weather is coming into the picture, so ensure the homes on your properties are properly insulated. Examine the exteriors of each property to see if they need new weather stripping or caulking. Also take a good look at the doors and windows to ensure they close tight enough to prevent cold air from getting in.
2. Clean the chimney and light the fireplace
If your properties have fireplaces, be sure to clean the chimney thoroughly to get rid of any dirt and debris. Clean the fireplace and liners too to avoid the buildup of soot and ash. In case of an electric fireplace always test it before winter to know if it is working fine or not.
3. Inspect the air flow
Dust is bound to build up over the summer months, so always clean your room fans, vents, baseboard heaters, dryer vents, and HVAC units thoroughly. It will help them work smoothly without blocking the airflow.
4. Service heating units
By turning on your HVAC unit you can make sure it’s in golden and suitable condition and can heat up the room in just a few minutes. Get a professional to service it so that it won’t fail the renter during the winter when needed most.
5. Clear the gutters
If you don’t clean up the gutters, they will get clogged during the winter. It could result in warping, broken shingles, and roof leakage. So get those gutters cleared and cleaned by removing the twigs and leaves that accumulate in them. At the end, pass water through them to check for blockages.
6. Clean up the garbage disposal and kitchen sink
Get a plumber to check the garbage disposal and clean it up inside. Scrub the sink clean to remove any grime, rust, or stains. Also, check the rest of the kitchen for vermin and disinfect the whole area.
7. Clean up the bathrooms
Scrub the bathroom floors until they sparkle to get rid of mildew and bacteria. Clean every inch on the sinks, showers, tubs, and floors to disinfect them of any germs and to get rid of any dirt stains. Add an air-freshener to keep it from smelling damp.
If the renter(s) is supposed to handle some of these steps then you do not have to worry about those particular steps.
Once you’re through with the maintenance process, you can get through the fall and winter season business without worrying and without any major calamities or complaints.
If there is a problem with the property you are managing, you need to get it fixed ASAP to save time and money. But before you get to the fixing, toiling, and sweating, you need to figure out what the situation is. Ask the owner a couple of questions to get a picture of how bad the problem is, then prepare a solution for it.
Here are 3 problematic situations you could face as a property manager:
Situation 1: Discontented Customers
In any business, reputation means everything. So it is essential for you as a property manager to maintain it. In case of dissatisfied tenants, make sure you do everything in your power to reverse the situation. If you fail to turn things around and make them forget about their negative experience with you, they may inform other potential customers about it and this could affect business for you.
In case they hop on the Internet and blow up your Twitter page to inform others about your services and to disparage you, you can do a bit of damage control. Google your company name to find out what people have to say about your company. Identify the negative comments and respond to them. Own up to the mistake and mention the ways in which you have taken care of it.
Situation 2: Bug Issues
If you are dealing with bug problems, do not delay calling pest control! Insects like bed bugs and termites can affect the health of the people living on the property and the structure and integrity of the property. It will result in additional costs to deal both in terms of both finances and reputation. Get your property checked before and after your tenants vacate. This way, you can reduce the chances of vermin and pest issues.
Situation 3: Higher Percentage of Rent Skippers
Compared to the property management scene years ago, you have all the necessary tools to thoroughly screen tenants before giving them the keys to your properties. Ask potential tenants to provide you with details about their income, jobs, history as tenants and so on. If you find any details that could affect their ability to pay rent inform them of this and ask them how they plan on paying if they suddenly don’t have the finances to pay the rent.
If the renter or the potential renter does not have steady work or a consistent flow of income then they probably are not someone you want to deal with.
Prepare documentation that gives them enough time to come up with the money in case they are struggling financially. At the same time, put in clauses that will ensure you get paid, such as a third-party, who will pay the rent on their behalf should they fail to make a rent payment. This could be their parents or a relative.
Before you decide your other residential property can become a rental property and garner you a nice profit each month, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you take this plunge.
1.Your Rental Income is Taxable
If you think you will laugh all the way to the bank each month after your tenant pays, think again. You have to issue a receipt to your tenant for the rent amount that your tenant will use for his tax deduction. Even if he doesn’t claim a deduction with your receipt, as a landlord, you have to declare the rental income and pay taxes on it.
2.The Rent Amount will be Used for Expenses
Your property will require periodic maintenance, repair, and upkeep. This expense will come out of the rent. As a rule of thumb, you should set aside about two months of rent every year for maintenance and upkeep. Remember, you will have to paint, get the property cleaned and repair appliances after your tenants vacate. This expense too will come out of the rent amount.
3.You may not get the Kind of Tenants You Want
Depending on where your property is located and the amenities around it, you will attract a certain type of tenant. Well, whether you like it or not, you may not always pick up a tenant you like. At times, you may be forced to give your property to a tenant even if you don’t like him because it is better to rent out your property than let it remain vacant.
4.Tenants can be Hard to Evict
If you decide you don’t want a tenant any longer, you may find it really tough to evict him. Many tenants are well-versed with the laws governing them and you should know your rights as a landlord. So if you don’t have a valid reason for eviction, you are stuck with the tenant until the lease period expires.
5.Tenants can Leave Before the Lease Expires
Tenants can leave before the rental agreement comes to an end. This can be expensive, as you will have to once again get the property cleaned, repair appliances, and manage those minor repairs. Then your search for a new tenant begins. During this period, you will not generate any income from your property.
Since being a landlord can be tough, especially if you have to handle everything, most landlords tend to use property management companies. These companies make sure you get the kind of tenant you desire and will handle every aspect of your rental property, right from minor repairs and general upkeep to collecting rent and conducting a background and credit check on prospective tenants. A property management company offers you peace of mind and lets you enjoy the real benefits of being a landlord.