Property management can be either incredibly time consuming and difficult or relatively easy. The key is doing the little things the right way. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to manage a few small houses or a large number of apartment complexes, there are a few small things that can cost you a lot of wasted time. Fortunately, by understanding where your time is going and what you can do to improve your standard operating procedures steps can be taken to address these issues. In general, there are two basic areas to focus on, the property and the tenants.
On of the best things that you can do to make property management easier is to stay on top of maintenance issues and repairs. If you do not complete repairs immediately, not only will you have to talk to tenants about the same thing every day, but the tenants can also gain the right to withhold rent payments as well. In the worse case scenario, they can even sue for injuries or move out without needing to give notice.
Along with making needed repairs, you should also do what you can to create a secure premises. Not only will this protect your tenants, but yourself as well. Even simple things like exterior motion lights, well maintained landscape, and the like can go a long way. Along the lines of creating a safe property, you also need to protect yourself with property insurance. A good insurance plan will protect you and your properties from lawsuits as well as damage from fires, storms, theft, and even vandalism.
While taking care of the residence is important, a majority of property management is dealing with tenants. Because your tenants will determine how easy or difficult your property management job will be, it is important to always screen them. A poor screening process will likely create problems like tenants not paying rent on time, tenants not taking care of your property, and much more. Once a tenant has passed your screening process, make sure that you get every agreement in writing. Even if the lease is only a month to month arrangement, it needs to be on paper. You also need to document (with tenant signature) when you do things on the property like make repairs.
By creating a friendly, yet professional atmosphere with your tenants, you will not only benefit from long term tenants, but also during any disputes. Nothing will soak up your time and money faster than a lawsuit. Anytime that there is a dispute, you should try to deal with it internally first and through the legal system second. In most cases, tenants will have no problem coming to some sort of agreement.
Property management doesn’t have to be difficult, but it often seems that way. Normally, this is because the standard operating procedures have not been designed with efficiency in mind. Fortunately, by knowing what is most likely to require your time, you can take proactive steps to become more efficient in your daily routine as well as how you deal with all aspects of the property management process.
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