Managing your tenants is a vital part of real estate investing. If you get this part right real estate can be very rewarding... But if you mess this up real estate investing can be very stressful.
You must maintain good communication with your tenants. Don’t be afraid to discuss concerns or issues with your tenants and encourage them to do the same with you. Discussing issues early and directly will go a long way in strengthening the landlord/tenant relations.
Here are a few tips to help you with your real estate investment rentals:
Be fair and reasonable. Keep the rent and any other costs at a reasonable rate.
Give tenants a reason for any changes you make.
Tenants hours can be chaotic so be understanding and make sure you keep lines of communication open.
For some tenants it is their first time in rented accommodation so spell out in fine detail what is expected and allowed.
Some tenants are challenged financially and are cost and value conscious so be clear with expectations.
Outline expectations at the beginning of the relationship-who does what and when?
Who will pay the utilities, take out the garbage, provide garbage bags/cans, mow the lawn, provide lawn mower, do the cleaning,etc
When is the rent expected, is an appropriate time to reach the tenant/landlord.
What is acceptable behavior, especially if sharing your home.
Show respect for your tenants.
Have written and signed agreements...This provides protection for both parties.
Tenants and landlords are governed by the Landlord and Tenant Board. Make sure you educate yourself and stay up to date on how the LTB works.
It's very important to have a written contract. There is no guarantee if there is no contract.
Have accommodations well maintained. Well maintained properties will advertise themselves.
Expect there to be repairs/maintenance/damage and budget for it.
Tour the premises at least once during the lease term. My company does it in the spring and fall (2 times per year)
Be a visible landlord.
Keep up-to-date regarding repairs needed.
Give written notice of interior inspections.
Keep the neighbors happy.
Stay informed about laws/by-laws/codes/LTB/Fire Code/Building Code/Health Code/ etc...These codes vary from municipality to municipality.
Be positive. It should be possible to work out problems if you take a positive attitude.
Being a landlord can be both profitable and enjoyable.
How you approach being a landlord will shape your overall experience.
Help tenants be good neighbors. Introduce your tenants to the neighbors when they move in.
Ensure that the neighbors know how to contact you in the event of a problem.
Know your purpose-what is your reason for being a landlord?To earn an income?For a tax write-off?To plan for retirement (or to supplement retirement income)?To provide housing for a post-secondary school student?To fill an inherited property?To create “financial freedom”!? etc
If all of this sounds like a lot of work you are correct. Managing your real estate investments can be time consuming. You need to decide if this is the best use of your time. If you do not have the time or desire to manage your rentals effectively I'd suggest you look at hiring a professional property manager to do this for you.
Coaching tip: When crunching the numbers on your potential real estate investments make sure you account for property management expenses even if you are going to manage the property yourself. That way if you decide you no longer want to be the property manager you can hire a company to take over for you and you property can cover the cost.
Most new real estate investors forget to calculate the management expense and when they look to bring on a manager their cash flowing investment turns into a negative cash flow deal and they are stuck.
Don't let that happen to you!
I hope this was helpful. If so, please share it with others you C.A.R.E. about...
Until next time always remember " The More You C.A.R.E. The Less You Work"
Your real estate-based wealth coach,
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