As a landlord, one of your top priorities should be figuring out how to streamline your business. This idea encompasses many techniques that should ultimately take work off your plate, and make your rental business less time consuming and more profitable.
Coming up with efficiencies and other ways to streamline your business won’t just help you. It makes it much easier on your tenants if they know what to expect from their interactions with you. Renting from a landlord who has poor communication and organizational skills is exhausting, and can be extremely frustrating when tenants need something done and their landlord is nowhere to be found.
Instead of letting your rental business take up all your spare time, put some effort into streamlining it, so more can be done using less of your free time.
Wondering Whether You Should Hire a Property Manager?
We’ve talked at length about when landlords should take steps towards hiring a property manager. One good indication that you need help is if you live far away from your property, or have several rental units that are eating up your spare time.
Hiring a property manager is generally a cost-effective way to manage your rental property investments. However, it isn’t a silver bullet, and should be done in conjunction with some of the other streamlining recommendations we’ll make today.
With a great property manager on your side and a business that’s organized and streamlined, you can turn your focus from active, hands-on management to passively reaping the rewards of your investments.
Streamline Your Rental Business with These Helpful Tips
With the help of technology, good habits, and great communication skills, you can create a thriving rental business that doesn’t conflict with your 9-5 work or family time.
Here are some of our best tips for how to make that happen.
1. Set Clear Expectations with Tenants
From your very first interactions with tenants, you can help yourself out immensely by setting realistic expectations. If you don’t, you’ll likely hear from them more often, as they won’t know whether it’s normal for you to take a day or two to respond to maintenance requests and other communications.
When tenants move in, you should provide them with a document or email listing all of your expectations, and what they can expect from you in return. This facilitates a better understanding between each party and helps alleviate misunderstandings and miscommunications moving forward.
2. Schedule Inspections and Maintenance Ahead of Time
To ensure your property remains in good repair, every landlord should schedule regular inspections as well as routine maintenance on important things like the home’s furnace and roof. Otherwise, small issues could build up without you or the tenant noticing, leading to a much larger repair bill down the road.
To streamline the regular inspection and maintenance process and make it easier on yourself and your tenants, schedule all visits to each of your properties in advance. If you’re able to hand tenants a notice every January listing the proposed dates for inspections and maintenance, you’ll save yourself a lot of time. Plus, you can potentially negotiate a better rate with a contractor if you opt for back-to-back visits.
3. Use Good Accounting Software
Instead of struggling on your own or potentially paying an accountant thousands of dollars every year, invest in some accounting or bookkeeping software. This software, which is available from companies like QuickBooks or FreshBooks, is simple and easy to use, and allows you to take control of every financial aspect of your business.
You can set automated reminders, catalogue expenses by category, and see everything on one screen, simplifying the process of paying bills and tracking expenses. Plus, the automated reports make it easier to make smarter and more well-informed financial decisions about every aspect of your business.
4. Set Up Online Bill Payments for Tenants
If you’re able, set up a way for tenants to pay their rent and applicable utility bills online. Almost every professional management company offers this service now, and it’s a great way to ensure that you need to do almost no work to receive and deposit each months’ rent payment. This can be done simply through Interac e-transfers, or through a dedicated payment portal like RentMoola.
5. Use a Tenant Portal
A tenant portal is an incredibly useful resource for landlords to have. At Goldmar, our tenants can log in any time to view rent receipts or communicate with us or their landlord. Maintenance requests are easy to approve and schedule, and it also gives our tenants a place to log any complaints they may have that need to be resolved.
While creating a dedicated tenant platform might feel like a huge job, the truth is that with the help of a developer or coder, it’s easy to put together. The initial investment is worth it when you factor in the hours it will save you in the future. If you’re looking to attract younger tenants, a portal is also a great way to stand out from the crowd.
6. Take Advantage of the Cloud
Have you fully explored the possibilities of the cloud for your rental business? It’s a great way to ensure that your documents remain secure and accessible at all times. By storing important data like your tenant’s private information on the cloud, it keeps it much safer than it would be if it was stored on an insecure home network, or in a haphazardly organized filing cabinet.
Don’t wait until you’ve had a security incident to take advantage of cloud storage opportunities. A simple plan from Apple or iDrive only costs a few dollars a month and brings irreplaceable security and peace of mind.
Still Swamped? Bring on a Property Manager.
If you’ve adopted all of our tips for streamlining your rental business and are still overwhelmed by how much you still have to do, you may want to think about hiring a property manager. They can help by taking routine work off your plate, giving you the freedom to think about the big picture and plan the future of your real estate investments with confidence.
To hear more about what we can offer both our landlords and tenants, get in touch with a property expert from Goldmar Property Management today.