Just as with anything you do in life, being a landlord or property investor can bring you success or help flush your life savings down the drain. You didn’t step out on this journey to lose everything, did you? We didn’t think so.
So, as you move forward with your investments, there are 3 important things you need to pay attention to – the people you surround yourself with, your tenants, and your property maintenance. These 3 areas are what will determine whether you make it or break it as a rental property investor. Here’s how.
The People You Surround Yourself With
In business, there are a lot of people you are in contact with. These may include employees, contractors, accountants, an attorney, a property management team, and so forth. You have to do your due diligence and, of course, follow your gut to determine just how trustworthy these individuals are.
Think about the role they play in your livelihood. What happens if you have an attorney who misleads you on documentation, causing you additional legal fees and the need to take legal action? Or, what about an accountant who isn’t so well-versed in your line of work? There may be a few ways in which you can save yourself some money or increase your profits, but if your accountant isn’t someone who can help you do this, perhaps you need to take a close look at your relationship.
Never just pick someone to help you with your business. Do your own due diligence and talk to those within your network.
You are placing your property in your tenants' hands. In fact, you may even want to think of them as business partners. Would you just partner up with anyone to take care of business? We didn’t think so. There is a very good chance that you would look into the person before trusting him or her with your business. This should be the biggest motivator for you to do things right when it comes to tenant screening.
Choosing bad tenants could cost you in damage to your property, eviction fees (and other legal costs), and so forth. Don’t let yourself get to this point. Instead, tighten up your process for screening tenants to ensure you don’t end up with any bad seeds.
First of all, it pays to be proactive. When you buy a property, you should always have a trusted contractor go in to review the property. The roof, the air conditioner/furnace, the electrical, the water heater – these are all important items to look at. Why? Well, replacing them or fixing them could be some of the most costly work you would have to do on a property so it is worth knowing what you are walking in to.
Once you buy a property, be sure that you perform routine maintenance. Don’t just wait for your tenants to call and say something is wrong. Take care of the property by performing recommended seasonal repairs, such as checking for leaks, clearing gutters, and doing an AC check at the beginning of summer.
By being proactive you can catch problems in their early stages before they become a major – and expensive – issue.
There is plenty of money to be paid off of your rental profits – as long as you do things smartly. Be proactive with your maintenance, rent your property to some good tenants, and surround yourself with honest, trustworthy people and you will come out on top.
Marina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out atwww.alhpodland.com. You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube, Bigger Pockets and REI CLub and LinkedIn.