Newer landlords and property managers face a number of difficulties within the business. Whether it’s commercial or residential work, there will always be potential for lot of landlord pitfalls, particularly to those who have a little less experience. Start off your business on the right foot by reading up about some of the mistakes that a lot of inexperienced landlords face so that you don’t end up a part of that group.
Newer Property Managers Prone to Landlord Pitfalls
No matter your property type or experience, ” all landlords must stick to industry rules and regulations to best serve their tenants and remain liability-free.” This can be trickier than you might imagine, depending on whether or not you remember to include certain details in your leases. Some of the other, finer details might be ones that you face on a less frequent basis, tasks that should require your full attention, but which sometimes don’t receive it.
One such responsibility is the property manager’s ability to thoroughly screen potential tenants and renters. We’ve discussed previously what might happen if this isn’t done, but the required effort isn’t always put in to this screening, anyway. You may feel compelled to undertake this process as quickly as possible to avoid wasting time and money, but acting too rapidly and without due diligence can bring further trouble down the road. After all, potential tenants may end up causing all kinds of trouble, including damage to the unit and making regularly-late payments.
An experienced property manager will “follow the local market.” This means that you should constantly be looking into the kinds of competition you have in the area and the kinds of things that they’re doing. It means you should keep up to date on industry trends so that you can most effectively market to renters and tenants and bring them in to fill vacancies. Even after you’ve been working in the field for some time, these things can also serve to advise you as to when it’s time to, say, offer incentives to prospective renters and/or to raise the rent of current tenants.
Remember that, as a landlord or property manager, there are a lot of services whose costs you are expected to cover. For example, “replacing an appliance or repairing a burst pipe.” You should always be prepared for surprise maintenance needs whenever they might arise, but in addition, you should be able to pay for the expenses associated with a vacancy if there is one. If you can’t afford the mortgage associated with that empty unit until it can be filled, then you’ll be in trouble (one of the mentioned landlord pitfalls).
It may seem like a no-brainer to some, but it could be something easily forgotten by others. Make sure that you “educate yourself on local fair housing laws related to advertising and direct communication.” Educate yourself as much as possible about these laws so that you don’t violate them and, more importantly, so that you can most effectively include everyone in the invitation to rent from you. Unless you want to have to deal with questions of discrimination and to work through the backlash from that, being open and accepting to all possible renters is your best course of action.
Finally, the prepared property manager always has a solid plan for marketing. The rental market for any type of property nowadays is fairly competitive as more and more people opt to live in rental spaces and professionals seek out ideal places to do business. If you want to separate yourself from your competition, then make sure that you have all of the best things. This means regular property maintenance, a modern website with high-quality images, and utilizing online marketing strategies to your benefit. All of these things together will give you a leg up on your competitors, something that is needed in the modern management environment.
There is clearly a lot of work involved in the work of both landlords and property managers. Staying on top of it all can seem incredibly time-consuming, and without any help, you may find yourself victim to one of many landlord pitfalls. If you “employ” a powerful software to aid you in this work, though, you’ll find it all the easier. That’s why you should look into SKYLINE Property Management and Accounting Software. SKYLINE offers a number of features for different kinds of properties so you can rely on its database of services for any issue that may come your way.