Between 10 and 11 million landlords manage rental units throughout the United States.
Are you managing a rental property? Are you interested in renting out a home or apartment for additional income?
If you're going to be a landlord, you might as well learn how to be a great one. Keep reading for some steps that will help you learn how to best serve your tenants.
It Pays to Be a Good Landlord
When you take the time to figure out what your tenants need and how you can be a good landlord to them, things work out in your favor. Here are some of the greatest benefits that come with taking care of your tenants:
Better retention: If you're a good landlord, your tenants will want to stick around, and you won't have to spend time and money finding replacements
More income: When you keep tenants long-term, you can also bring in more passive income from your property rental and run a more profitable business
Better reputation: If your tenants know you as a good landlord, they will be more likely to recommend your properties when another one becomes available
Don't forget, being a great landlord also means you'll likely deal with fewer legal issues. This saves you a lot of time and money, and it also helps you uphold a stellar reputation.
How to Be a Great Landlord
Clearly, it's worth it to learn what makes a great landlord. Here are some tips that will help you put your best foot forward:
The first step to becoming an excellent landlord is doing your research and understanding basic landlord-tenant law. Make sure you're learning about the rental market in your area, too.
Don't just Google "how to rent out my property" and hope for the best. Meet with a professional and learn the ins and outs of the laws before you start advertising properties and looking for tenants.
When you start looking for tenants for your properties, make sure you're prioritizing their safety.
Prioritizing safety, in this case, means making sure your properties are in good shape. This includes checking gas and electrical equipment for potential hazards, as well as installing fire and carbon monoxide alarms.
Remember, you're legally required to address these factors as a landlord. Failure to do so could land you in legal trouble.
A great landlord is an accessible landlord. There's nothing more frustrating for a renter than having a problem with the apartment (a leaky faucet, a broken washing machine, etc.) and not being able to get in touch with the landlord to get it fixed.
When you rent out your properties and meet with your new tenants, make sure they have multiple ways to get in touch with you. Give them your office number, cellphone number, and email address.
Respond to their phone calls, texts, and messages in a prompt manner, too. Don't leave them "on read" for days at a time.
Respect Tenants' Privacy
As a landlord, you must be accessible. However, when your tenants don't need you, you need to make yourself scarce. Respect their privacy and, if you need to enter the property to check on something, give them at least 24 hours' notice.
If your tenants think you're nosy or are frustrated because you're always hanging around, they're going to be less inclined to stick around long-term (which means you'll have to deal with the costs associated with finding new tenants). They may leave you negative reviews as well.
Offer Multiple Payment Options
If possible, try to offer your tenants multiple payment options. For example, you could allow them to pay with a check, with a credit card, or an online payment gateway.
When you provide multiple options, it shows your tenants that you're accommodating and want them to have a positive experience renting from you. This also makes it easier for you (and them) to avoid late payments. After all, if there are three different ways to pay rent, it's hard to make excuses for the money being late.
Speaking of payments, be wary of raising the rent on your tenants, even after their contracts are up.
Yes, you need to make money as a landlord. However, rent increases, especially when they're relatively large, may cause your tenants to decide to move away and not to renew their lease.
If this happens, then you'll have to spend extra money making repairs, advertising the property, and finding replacement tenants. In most cases, this will be more expensive than whatever you would have made by raising the rent.
You'll have a lot of paperwork to manage as a landlord. From contracts to utility bills, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the papers floating around in your office. Before you start your career as a landlord, make sure you have a good organizational system in place so you can keep track of everything.
Is staying organized not your strong suit? Consider hiring an assistant to help you stay on top of things and manage things like paperwork and appointments.
Make sure you have other professionals on your team, too. For example, hire an accountant to help you manage your money and have an attorney who can step in if you run into any legal challenges.
Work with a Property Management Company
Consider working with a property management company, too. If being a landlord is a side gig for you and you don't have time to do everything listed above, working with a property management company like this can help. You'll be able to ensure your tenants' needs are met, but you won't create more tasks for yourself.
Become a Great Landlord Today
Now that you know what it takes to become a great landlord, it's time to implement what you've learned. Follow the steps listed above and you'll have no trouble attracting and retaining tenants for years to come!
Do you want to learn more about property management and being a great landlord? If so, check out some of the other rental-related blog posts on our site today.