Today’s technology makes it easier than ever before to manage your rentals without ever setting foot on their property. You can collect monthly rent payments, make repairs, conduct lease agreements and more regardless of your proximity to your rental property, as long as you know how it’s done. Below are several ways you can manage rentals from anywhere.
Hire A Professional Property Management Company
When you can’t be in the same area as your rental property, you can hire a professional property management company to take on most of the landlord responsibilities. These companies collect rent, make sure occupancy is at its fullest, see to maintenance and repairs, and give you regular updates on the property itself. The downside to hiring a property management company is they typically charge between 8 and 12 percent of the monthly rental value.
Aside from the fee, you should strongly consider hiring a management company if you own more than one rental property or if you own a multi-rental property such as an apartment building. Take the time to interview several companies and get referrals from those who meet your requirements before making a decision.
Manage Smaller Rental Properties Yourself
If you own a smaller rental property such as a two-family home, or if you decide to rent the house you lived in after moving away, you can manage it on your own without hiring a property management company. Here’s how you do it from another location.
Know When To Delegate
If you trust one of your tenants, offer a monthly rent reduction to act as a point of contact between you and the other tenants. Alternately, you can appoint a close friend who lives in the area to play this part – just make sure he has a written authorization from you to act in your absence.
Build A Maintenance Network
Since you can’t be at your rental property to make repair and maintenance decisions yourself, make it a point to enlist the help of trusted professionals to make repairs and conduct maintenance as needed.
Keep Lines Of Communication Open
Make it clear in the lease that tenants are not to make repairs themselves or hire anyone to make them without prior authorization from you. State that they must contact you for instruction when something needs attention.
Furthermore, take the time to periodically contact your tenants to make sure everything is okay. Listen to what they have to say and address their concerns as necessary to keep the lines of communication open and to maintain happy tenants.
Make It Easy For Tenants To Pay Rent
To make it easier on you and your tenants, consider using an online rent paying service to collect rent. This way, you don’t have to wait by the mailbox for rent payments, and your tenants don’t have to deal with the hassle of a slow mail service.
Make Sure Your Insurance Is Up To Date
This goes without saying, but making sure your insurance is up to date is important. It not only protects you from liability should someone get hurt on your rental property, it also covers the cost of equipment breakdowns and damages caused by fires or floods.
Take Advantage Of Video Messaging
Not all tenants will be comfortable with video messaging, but for those who are, take advantage of it. Using Skype, Facetime or some other video messaging service, get visual updates on your property and inspect repair requests in real time.
You don’t have to live in the same neighborhood, or even the same city, as your rental properties. You can manage them from anywhere in the world using the tips listed above.