January 08, 2019
Tips to be a Successful Remote Landlord
There’s good money to be made renting properties, as it offers the two-pronged allure of steady income and an appreciating asset. But being a hands-on landlord isn’t always possible. Landlords are often remote, in another part of town or a different town altogether. Sometimes, the person has invested in a property and then due to a new job, had to relocated to the other side of the country. And, in the case of some vacation rentals, the landlord may even be in a different country!
Marketing a property, signing leases and retaining tenants becomes significantly more difficult when you aren’t nearby. Figuring out how to run your properties remotely is critical to the success of any landlord.
Determine if You Need Boots on the Ground
Landlords aren’t always eager to hire a full-service property manager, especially if they are trying to avoid extra fees. However, you will need someone to show your available units and perform move-in and move-out inspections; someone who is conducts themselves professionally and is personable.
Outsourcing this might be worth it as showing the apartment and inspections are the most hands-on, labor intensive parts of the job. If you know someone in the property business looking for extra income, this could be a good fit. Whether you hire a property professional, family member, friend or a neighbor, the bottom line is professionalism and trust,
If you only have one or two properties, and long-term tenants, you might be able to avoid hiring someone by arranging a tax-deductible trip to your property when the unit becomes available. That said, most long-distance landlords need some help on the ground.
Since you won’t be on site, getting technology to help you run your business will be paramount to your success. Modern landlord apps enable you to advertise your property, accept applications and arrange maintenance and repairs all without physically being at the property.
As well, as you are not on site, property application solutions (like Property Vista’s) allow you to collect rent online. Not only is this of huge appeal to your tenants, but it eliminates paper checks. Landlord apps feature tools for marketing your property and communicating with tenants. With the ability of both residents and your acting agent to upload photos of needed repairs, you’ll be able to more easily keep tabs on the condition of your investment.
Screen Your Tenants
Quality tenants are the not-so-secret ingredient to successful property leasing. High turnover kills your ROI. So, never, ever skip following up on references or screening your tenants. One ounce of prevention could be worth $10,000 of cure. Ensure that all screening abides by local and state laws and is compliant with Fair Housing laws.
Choose Your Vendors Carefully
The repair person you hire is often viewed as your proxy. Therefore, your maintenance people need to be friendly and do a good job. But it can be hard to know who is trustable and who isn’t from miles away. Read online reviews before hiring someone, and don’t base your choice on price alone. See what sort of guarantees are included.
Your maintenance portal will also help you. Once a repair is done, the tenant can be sent a reminder to rate the quality of the work and how satisfied they are with the repair. If one vendor keeps coming up short, it’s an indication you need to find someone else.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Just because you are 200 miles away doesn’t mean you can’t easily communicate to your tenant. Ongoing interaction with your residents builds relationships and helps forge long-lasting tenancies. From welcome letters sent just after signing the lease to timely updates and regularly scheduled inspections to holiday messages, consistent, open communication is critical to running an efficient and profitable business. Communication/tenant portals make it easy to interact with one another and keep a digital record of all communications, so everything is transparent.
How We Help: If you’re looking for a landlord app that is a self-sufficient system of automation and acts like your trusted partner, talk to us. Property Vista shoulders the load of organizational duties so you can follow up on leads, manage your properties and interact with tenants – all remotely. Check out our prices and book a demo.