Any owner financing available?
When seriously considering making an offer on any rental property, you’ll always want to ask the seller if he will consider some form of owner financing – either in the form of a first mortgage, or possibly a small second mortgage. Any way you can increase your financial leverage on the property is going to help with your return on investment (ROI).
When you’ve made the decision to perform the management of your rental property yourself, know that the minimum maintenance walk-through schedule should be once a week. You’ll want to look for a few basic things on your maintenance checks. Some of these items, for example, include common area lights that are out, broken steps, potentially dangerous situations like a newly formed hornets nest on the front porch eaves, or on the back stairwell entrance, litter, cracked paint, rotting wood – especially on steps – rust as well; basically anything unusual or out of the ordinary that would detract from the appearance of the property, or is a danger.
In addition, make sure you have service contracts that include a provision for emergency service with an oil/gas/heating supply company; also a good plumber and electrician and carpenter as well. (But the plumber is the most important!)
How to keep your good tenants
Like any business, it’s much easier and much less expensive to retain your best customers than it is to get new ones. So too with rental properties. You can make your tenants happy if you simply are responsive to their needs.
This means acting quickly when they notify you of a problem. No heat? Get the boiler guy there immediately. A broken pipe? A leaking toilet? Get your plumber there in a jiffy as well. Basically, treat your tenants’ calls for action as you would if it were your own home.
In addition, make sure you have some form of regular contact with them. Once a month when collecting rents is fine. Being there for them during emergencies is also excellent. But otherwise, stay away from being too invasive or overly nosy. Remember, this is a business – and you best treat them like customers. Tenants are not your friends. But you must endeavor to foster a friendly relationship with them.
Also, make sure as part of your routine managing of the property, that you are performing routine maintenance on the building. If the appearance of the house slips, you’ll end up losing those good tenants very quickly, along with the benefits of good, steady paying, reliable tenants.
photos courtesy of eioba.pl, pplangger.wordpress.com, buttecounty.net