As a landlord, time is one of your most precious assets. Unfortunately, unreliable tenants, property-related issues, and a litany of related factors can eat away at your schedule and turn a profitable opportunity into a nightmarish obligation.
If you want to enjoy more of the good parts of being a landlord without all of the frustrations, you need to reclaim your time. Here are some specific ways you can do just that:
1.Hire a Property Management Company
Hiring a property management company is the smartest thing you’ll ever do. Yes, it’ll cost you a percentage of your revenue, but it’s money well spent. When you work with a top property management company, like Austin-based Green Residential, you get perks like:
- In-depth tenant screening
- Advanced property marketing
- Streamlined rent collection
- Professional quality photography
- Maintenance and repair coordination
- 24-hour repair and support line
- CPA on staff
- Eviction services
Every property management company offers slightly different services, but the good ones have one thing in common: they do the heavy lifting for you.
2.Reduce Tenant Turnover
If there’s one aspect of being a landlord that’s more time-consuming than anything else, it’s tenant turnover. Every time a tenant moves out, you’re forced to perform a laundry list of tasks. This includes conducting a property inspection, repairing issues, cleaning the property, creating a listing, screening prospective tenants, showing the property, signing a lease agreement, collecting a deposit, etc.
If you want to save time, continuity is key. Reduce tenant turnover through better initial screening, superior communication, and kindness. (Seriously, being a kind landlord who treats others with respect goes a long way in this industry.)
The best landlords figure out how to systemize processes to become repeatable, scalable, and easy to delegate. For example:
- Tenant screening. You have to get this part of the equation right, so why not develop a repeatable system that gives you superior results over and over again?
- Rent collection. Nothing causes headaches more than late or missing rent checks. If you can develop a system that prevents these issues, it’ll save you time, energy, and frustration.
- End of lease. Even with a high tenant retention rate, you’re still going to have turnover. People move, they decide to buy houses, families grow, etc. By systemizing the back end of the lease agreement (including move-out, inspection, and paperwork), the entire experience is much smoother.
You can develop a system for anything. And once you do, be sure to document it so that you can reference it and/or share it with an assistant in the future. (The real power of systems is unlocked through delegation. If you can pay someone less than what your time is worth, why wouldn’t you?)
4.Conduct Annual Property Inspections
Don’t wait for something to occur. Conduct annual property inspections and preemptively deal with minor issues before they become major problems. It’ll feel like a waste of time and money on the front end, but the long-term ROI is undeniable.
5.Answer Your Phone the First Time
Make a habit out of answering your phone the first time a tenant calls. This prevents miscommunication and keeps you from playing phone tag.
Feel compelled to silence a tenant’s phone call? Every time you see your tenant’s name show up on your phone, assume a pipe has burst and they can’t find the main water shutoff valve. That’ll get your attention!
6.Install Keyless Entry Locks
How many times have you had to swing by one of your properties or call up a locksmith because a tenant locked themselves out or lost their keys? It happens more than most of us would care to admit. But you can solve this problem by installing keyless entry locks. As small as this might seem, it can save you hours of time over the course of several years. That’s worth it!
Take Control Over Your Schedule
It’s your schedule – take control! By implementing these time-saving tactics, you can spend less time dealing with frustrating tenant problems and maintenance issues, and more time making smart investments that provide you with a steady flow of mailbox money. Put them into action and good things will happen.