This is an article submitted by a guest author. Not all views expressed are those of AmeriFirst Home Mortgage or its employees.
Owning rental properties can produce a nice income, but the work to sustain them can easily become overwhelming if you are the landlord. You are only one person trying to keep your buildings maintained and your tenants happy. Here are four ways to manage your properties more efficiently as a landlord.
Make the Best Use of Online Services
Register a domain for your property company, and use it for promotion and for tenants. Provide a login area for tenants to make safe and secure rental payments using multiple payment methods, and provide for easy communication to be better aware of problems or issues they are facing. You can route forms filled out online to the right person in your employ as well as receive a copy in your email inbox. Maintenance requests can be handled in a more timely manner, and this keeps tenants happy and the rent paid.
Keep an Updated Calendar
Do not rely on your memory to get things done. Write all the things you need to do or check on a calendar that you review every single day. This can be an electronic scheduling calendar or one of those day-to-day planning calendars. Keep it updated, and keep notes. It is easy to forget routine things that need done when you are burdened with pressing needs that unexpectedly pop up.
Hire a Property Management Service
When most landlords get started, they find themselves doing almost all the work themselves. As your property holdings increase, you are going to reach a point where you cannot do it all. If you only own a couple of properties with a limited amount of tenants, you may be able to keep up on the painting, furnace filter changes, tree trimming, and other chores your tenants are not expected to do. However, some companies, such as Calibre Real Estate, know that as you acquire more properties, you will find that a property management service can take over everything from maintenance to collecting the rent. Consider the value of your time spent elsewhere when deciding on a contract with a property management services company.
Use Technology to Monitor Properties
If you are a landlord who owns houses, they may be spread out over a geographical area that takes a lot of your time to visit each place. You can take advantage of inexpensive outdoor surveillance cameras to remotely monitor the condition of some properties. Though you cannot place cameras inside homes or apartments, you can have them located at public access and common areas of some commercial and apartment properties. This allows you to look for things that need addressing without having to do a site inspection. Temperature and water intrusion sensors can also be used to give early notifications of potential problems. There are even remote power failure alarms that can help in notifying you if a tenant fails to maintain public utility service that is needed to keep your property from harm.
Automating many tasks that you need to complete on a daily basis is helpful. Instead of door-to-door rent collecting or hearing stories of "the check is in the mail," take payments online and perhaps incentivize it with a discount. Keep track of your properties using remotely-accessible technology where you can. When the work gets too tough to keep up with, hire a professional property management service. You can build the cost of this into the lease structure the year before you anticipate the need to outsource property management so as to not diminish your positive cash flow.
Author Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700