Millions of individuals around the world would like to try their hand at being a landlord; however, the position is not for the faint-of-heart. After all, when it comes to managing a property, you’ll be required to wear many hats all over the course of a day.
Whether you are a new owner or a savvy investor with years of experience, read on for the essential property management tips for 2020.
1. Get yourself organized.
First and foremost, if you want to improve your property management skills, you need to focus on getting yourself organized.
There is a good chance that you’ll be dealing with lots of paperwork on a regular basis (for example, rent payment records, eviction paperwork, and inspection paperwork). Therefore, this is a great time to start organizing.
By implementing an effective and efficient file management system, you will be much more likely to stay on top of your paperwork while needing to spend less time dealing with it.
In addition, you want to make sure you are regularly scheduling thorough inspections of your properties. If you don’t, there is a good chance you will void your insurance coverage and upset your tenants.
Inspections help maintain the value and structure of your property as they identify potential issues, ensure nothing illegal is taking place on the premises, and boost tenant retention.
Therefore, take the time to plan out when you will be scheduling these inspections. Generally, it is recommended that you conduct them every three months and have a professional inspector oversee them.
In many cases, it may be best if you make a home maintenance checklist by season.
2. Prioritize communication.
As a landlord, you want to continually brainstorm ways to be better at communicating with your staff, tenants, and the outside world. Part of your job is to be there when your residents need you, so make sure you are easy to reach.
Also, get into the habit of responding to questions, comments, and problems as quickly as possible. Your tenants expect a quick response, as it is your responsibility to provide the answers.
Similarly, people always want to be informed, so make sure to provide clients with regular updates on the property. Remember: every conflict can be resolved through adequate communication and an understanding of the core problem.
To become a better landlord, when having a conversation, make sure you pay attention to your body language and that of your conversation companion. By understanding the bodily cues that you are both giving off, you will be better equipped to manage the conversation. Generally, you want to hold a power pose while also making eye contact.
Speak slowly, clearly, and in a balanced tone. Together, these things will ensure you are in charge of the conversation but are still friendly. Additionally, always prioritize listening to the other person and then replying in a friendly and professional manner.
3. Appreciate your property.
In addition to paying attention to your tenants and other staff members, you also need to strive to appreciate the property in the same way.
From off-plan properties in Dubai to bungalows by the beach, the more you get to know and enjoy your property, the easier it will be for you to sell its merits to others.
Getting to know the property means understanding all the systems that operate in it and its unique quirks. It means paying attention to areas that need extra work and getting those sorted out fast. The more care and attention you shower on your property, the more that tenants and visitors will notice.
For the same reason, you want to ensure that your team members are also appreciative of the property and take pride in doing a good job. Unfortunately, if you hire people who don’t care and neglect specific details, it will reflect back on the property, making it harder to lease or sell.
You also want the tenants to appreciate the property, which is why it is crucial to develop a system to find the right occupants.
While each system will be unique to the property, you want it to make it easier for you to automate processes such as background checks, security deposits, and required paperwork.
4. Preventative maintenance is your friend.
Every successful landlord knows that preventative maintenance should be one of the primary focuses. The last thing you want is to have an expensive repair spring upon you that wasn’t expected. Therefore, you want to adopt a proactive approach of preventative maintenance instead.
Usually, when issues are dealt with early on, the cost to fix them is minimal. However, if you leave a small issue, and it continues to develop, you will quickly find yourself with a significant, costly problem.
Preventative maintenance reduces the chances of that happening because it guarantees that you will learn about an issue while it is still minor. In fact, most of the building issues you will deal with as a landlord can be prevented through proper maintenance.
For example, make sure you have professionals monitoring bathrooms for leaks and mold growth every month. To ensure the building(s) remain safe, the roof area should be regularly monitored, as should all electrical components. Plus, always keep a lookout for any signs of pest infestations as these can happen at any time and damage the building’s structure.
There is no denying that being a landlord is a challenging task, so you may want to consider working with highly professional property management services.
By outsourcing some work and responsibility to property management experts, you will quickly find that you have greater peace of mind while also maximizing your ROI.
When looking at potential property management companies, ensure you are opting for one with a renowned reputation and a long history of projects in your area. Additionally, you want them to prioritize customer service so you know you are leaving your property in reliable hands.
What do you think are the most crucial property management tips? Do you have any additional ones to add to this list? Which ones are you going to adopt this year?
Let us know your thoughts and any relevant experiences in the comments below!
Mark Tolland is the Founder and Managing Director at Abode Property, a boutique real estate brokerage ﬁrm providing top-notch, personalized services to discerning landlords looking to sell or let out their premises in prime locations of Dubai like Marina, Downtown and The Palm. The firm also advises global HNIs looking to rent or buy a prized asset in Dubai and prides itself on upholding high service standards, ethics, and accurate advice.