In my line of work, I run into some people on an almost daily basis who want to be an investor/property manager. And while I quietly listen to their pie in the sky pipe dreams of wanting to manage property themselves, it is not something that is for everyone. However, if you think you can travel down this road successfully, here are a few tips that might help.
1. Get a good credit checking system
When dealing with renters, it is important to know their history. Do they pay their bills on time? Do they have a steady job? Can they make the rent every month, or are you going to have to chase them down? What is their risk of eviction? Do they have a criminal history? All of this is important. If you want a good site to help you, I recommend the tenant background search site. Prices range from $19.95 to $32.95 per tenant – which you can charge as part of their application fee so that you (as the landlord) don’t take the loss.
2. Know the law
Landlords need to be up to date on what they can and cannot do. They also need to be aware that the only thing in real estate that is constant is change, thusly they need to make a commitment to educate themselves on any new data that comes down the pipe from the real estate industry.
3. Be methodical with your documentation
Document everything. Conversations, emails, texts, phone calls, complaints and take photographs of damage or repairs to the property. You never know when you will need to use this information, so when you do opt in to take on managing your own property, be prepared to spend some quality time in front of your computer, with a file for each property you manage.
4. Don’t be afraid to spend some time in court
Everyone in our office who dabbles in property management spends some quality time in court, which is where documentation comes in handy. Typically, most renters will not have a lot of documentation – particularly when evictions are necessary – making your ability to go in front of a judge with a lot of documentation even more important.
Managing rentals yourself is difficult for most folks. However, if you are organized, prepared for the worst and not afraid of a few court dates, it can be done, and it can be done successfully. Whatever your choice, good luck and God’s speed!
More from This Contributor:
Four Reasons You Definitely Don’t Wait to Wait to Sell Your Home
Welcome to Home Remodel Heck: Navigating My Way Through a Homeowner’s Insurance Claim
Three Things to Look for in a General Contractor