Congratulations! Glad to welcome you to this job as a first-time landlord or property manager in the San Fernando Valley. It is an exciting job but may look intimidating at first. Don’t rush it, just take your time and you should be fine.
Every experienced landlord or property manager you see today was once a first-time landlord or property manager. Without a doubt, if you are open to learning and working hard, you will grow to become a great landlord or property manager. To make sure that this dream comes true, we have listed some things that you need to know as a first-time landlord or property manager.
Rent Should Be Your Priority
Remember that you are in this business to make money. Your only source of revenue in this business is rent. It makes sense, therefore, to make it your utmost priority. Put every measure you can into play in order to allow you collect your rent easily. These days with so many people favoring technology, it’s a great idea to cater to the tech-friendly prospects by accepting online rent payments or to set up an auto-deduct system.
Do everything possible to ensure you always get your rent on time. If a tenant cannot afford your rent, you may need to evict him after giving his some grace period. At LAPMG, we usually work with a tenant by calling and emailing them, and then if there is no resolution, it’s common to file the eviction the day the second month becomes delinquent. We’ve found that when tenants duck our calls and don’t return emails, that’s a bad sign, and we set up to move fast in those instances.
Take Tenant Screening Seriously
As a first-time landlord, you should prioritize tenant screening. This is the only way you can avoid delinquencies. Screening tenants will help you weed out bad tenants and locate the ones who will be able to afford your rent. Check a tenant’s income, his rental history, criminal history, and also ask for references. Conducting tenant screening properly will help you attract the best tenants.
Read and Understand Fair Housing Laws
To ensure you don’t face legal troubles, you need to educate yourself on fair housing laws. These laws can vary from state to state. Violating fair housing laws can have serious implications. Make sure you learn the existing fair housing laws in your state and how the law applies to your business. You can find info on this subject here, from NOLO Press.
Collect Rent Online
One great way to ensure you collect your rent on time is to implement online rent collection. Collecting rent by a check in the mail is outdated and very time-consuming. When you collect rent online, it makes it easier for your tenants to pay their rent and also makes it easier for you to keep your accounts in order.
Learn How to Market Your Property
One of the problems you are going to face as a first-time landlord or property manager is attracting tenants. When you enter the housing market, you may face stiff competition from other more experienced landlords and property managers. You may have to take some lessons in online marketing. You also need to learn various resources for marketing vacancies on your property. A good way to learn is to find a good blog to follow such as Los Angeles Property Management Group blog. Following a top blog for property managers and landlords will help you to learn fast.
Work With The Right Vendors
Now you are a landlord or property manager, you will be working constantly with plumbers, roofers, electricians, and other vendors. Make sure that you are working with the right vendors. You need to have their number of a speed-dial as you will be needing their service from time to time. Endeavor to create a relationship with these vendors to make it easier for you to use their services.
It’s not easy, and it’s not the quick road to riches that some would have you believe, but being in the business of providing homes to people is rewarding and unique, and can be profitable over the long haul. Enjoy the process!