Congratulations on your first adventure into the property rental business. This could signify the start of great things for you.
After all, some of the world’s wealthiest people started out just like you, with investment properties. However, if you want to make any money at all in renting out real estate, you need renters.
Check out these first-time landlord tips to help you find the best tenants and keep them happy.
1. Research Pays Off
Don’t try to make your fortune from your first rental. As tempting as it is to charge top dollar for your rental, this tactic seldom pays off.
Nowadays, people are more price-conscious than ever, so an over-priced rental will stand emptier for longer.
Find out what other similar properties in your area are renting for and try to stick as close to that figure as possible. Fair pricing is one of the best ways to stay on good terms with your tenants.
You still need to profit from your endeavors though, so make sure you’re aware of all the costs involved in owning and renting a property. Some of the things to factor into your calculations include:
- Routine maintenance and repairs
- Relevant utility costs
- Potential Refurbishments
- Cleaning costs in between tenants
When you’re new to the game, you might want to consider hiring a property manager to take care of the nitty-gritty aspects while you’re learning the ropes. If you do decide to go this route, you should include their charges as part of your rental costs too.
Thanks to their experience and expertise, these experts know how to rent out your commercial property, home, or apartment to the best effect and keep your tenants happy.
Set up a rigorous screening process before you even see the first person. The standard minimum requirements for tenants are proof of employment, a background check, and proof of tenancy.
2. Keep Meticulous Records
Maintain a paper trail of all your dealings with your tenants. It’s the best way for private landlords to avoid misunderstandings and ill-feeling.
A clear and detailed lease agreement is the foundation of your future relationship. This document should include:
- The property details
- Rental rates
- Length of the lease
- Specific inclusions and exclusions relating to costs
Don’t download a template from the internet, or buy a standard lease. Ask a property lawyer to draw up this document. It’s well worth the extra expense.
One of the best tips for new landlords is to take before and after photos of your property in between tenants. That way, you have a record of any existing issues and you can deduct money from their security deposit for damage incurred during their stay.
3. Keep Things Formal But Cordial
Renting your property to family or friends is a recipe for disaster. You can’t evict them if they fall on hard times and you could also end up disagreeing on certain aspects of the lease.
It’s awkward doing business with family, rather steer clear of this pitfall.
You should set up specific office hours where you’re available for calls from your tenants. Don’t answer calls outside of these times, let your phone ring to voicemail. You can always call back in case of emergencies, otherwise, stick to your business hours.
As far as possible you should always maintain friendly relations with your renters, but don’t let the relationship get too familiar.
4. Actively Search for Tenants
Don’t expect tenants to find you by accident. You need to market your building, apartment, or house aggressively if you want it rented out quickly.
It’s a good idea to decide who you want to rent the property to before you do this. You’ll need to adjust your strategy depending on whether you want to attract the attention of families, students, or young professionals.
You can place ads in local newspapers, but the best way to advertise your rental is online.
Using this medium, you can post pictures and descriptions that appeal to your target market. For instance, if you want to attract families, you should make mention of nearby facilities, like good schools, that are relevant to them.
5. First-Time Landlord Tips For Impressing Prospective Tenants
According to ScentAir, 89% of people associate a pleasant smell with cleanliness. So, it’s worth taking a little extra time to get your property thoroughly cleaned and even use scent marketing tactics to make it even more appealing.
Some people recommend the smell of baking to create a cozy homely feel and make your potential tenants feel right at home.
Before people arrive to view your rental property, make sure everything’s in its place. Untidiness is a big turn-off for tenants and creates the impression that you don’t care what they think.
An interior decorator can give you good advice on any decor and furniture upgrades, or help you rearrange things in a way that appeals to modern-day renters.
Keep Up the Momentum
Property costs you money whether it’s occupied or not, so it’s important to do your utmost to fill yours as soon as possible and keep it that way.
By taking these first-time landlord tips to heart, you’re bound to get off to a flying start with your original rental property.
Don’t let the initial excitement fade. Your work doesn’t end when you find reliable tenants, you’re delivering a service to them, so make sure you keep relations positive and stick to your end of the bargain.
Renting a property is like running a business, so it’s all about delivering value while saving money. For more tips on how to pull off the balancing act between costs and service, keep browsing our real estate section.