Rental properties can provide their owners with a steady stream of revenues over time. As a result, it is no wonder that a lot of people are interested in becoming landlords. However, it is important to note that being a landlord is a full-time job, meaning that if someone is serious about it, they need to make sure to look into how to become the best landlord that they can be. Here are five habits that landlords need to learn sooner rather than later:
1. Enforce the Rules
Good landlords understand the need to set clear rules about what is and isn't permitted, which should be enforced to the best of their capabilities. This is because tenants will push the boundaries on what is and isn't permitted, meaning that if landlords are too lenient in this regard, they could end up pushed around by said individuals. Suffice to say that is not an effective way to run a business, which is why landlords need to be learn to be tough on their tenants when that proves to be necessary.
2. Practices Tenant Screening
Tenant screening is one of the most important processes that landlords must master. Yes, an unoccupied unit is a non-productive unit, which is why landlords have strong incentive to fill up unoccupied units as soon as possible. However, if they accept applicants without checking to make sure that said individuals can be trusted to live up to their promises, they could end up regretting it. For that matter, landlords should use the same scrutiny on their contractors as well as their employees because what said individuals do will have a very real impact on how they are perceived by their tenants as well as their potential tenants, meaning that they need to be sure that said individuals can be trusted with their reputations.
3. Builds a Sense of Community
As stated, unoccupied units are non-productive units. Due to this, landlords want to keep their tenants for as long as possible because that means shorter periods of time in which they are losing out on potential income. As such, the best landlords will seek to build up a sense of community in their rental properties, which can help make their tenants happier and thus more inclined to stay for longer periods of time. Granted, building up a sense of community can be a serious challenge, but it is nonetheless doable so long as landlords are willing to hold events as well as carry out other activities that are helpful for said purpose.
On a related note, the best landlords are very responsive to their tenants' requests. This is important because tenants are much more receptive to landlords who treat their issues with seriousness because it makes them feel that they are valued. Something that tends to make them more willing to stay for the long run instead of running for other rental arrangements as soon as possible. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the issues that cause tenants to contact their landlords can be very serious in nature, so much so that delaying can actually result in higher costs. Never mind the very real damage that can be inflicted on a rental property's reputation in the eyes of both tenants and potential tenants, which can happen in little more than an instant in an age in which pretty much everyone carries phones with built-in cameras.
5. Won't Slack Off Because the Problem Seems Far Away
Finally, landlords need to learn to be thorough. There are a lot of things that need to be done to keep rental properties running in tip-top shape for the foreseeable future. However, most of these things don't seem like immediate problems, meaning that landlords might be tempted to put them off by coming up with one excuse or another. Unfortunately, doing so would be a grave misstep because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, meaning that what seems unimportant can contribute to worse consequences down the road. For an excellent example, consider how skipping maintenance checks can cause landlords to miss out on potential problems with systems, thus increasing the chances of an unexpected breakdown that will come with incredible tenant unhappiness as well as very high repair and replacement costs.
Written by Garrett Parker
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