As a property manager, you always have toooons of room to expand your business. But, the question is, how do you expand?
Before anything, make sure you have a stable and organized property management business. Imagine if you have a house that doesn’t have a stable structure, do you think it’d be a good idea to expand it? Probably not. This same thing applies to business expansion. Without a stable facility, expansion isn’t in your best interest. Make sure your business is stable and that you have a good team, and good tenants.
A huge component in expanding your business lies within social media. A while back we talked about harnessing the power of social media for real estate, and as a property manager, the same tips are applicable to you. Using social media will give you followers beyond your tenants or direct business partners; it’ll let more people know what you have to offer and how they can get in on it. Maybe you can create a specific hashtag that your tenants can use to share your site across social media platforms, like Facebook, or Twitter.
Once you have maintained a strong and stable property management business, it may be time to physically expand your business by adding more properties. If you have the financial capacity to expand and have planned accordingly, look into similar properties that you can see as good investment options. Or, if you want to branch out of the property management route you’re currently taking (residential or commercial) and see what other kinds of properties would also work in your area. It’s really important to research the specific market that you’re working with and see what the needs are so that you can find a property that meets those needs.
With hurricane season officially having started about a week ago, it’s that time where having your property severe-storm ready is a must. As a homeowner, you have a big responsibility to make sure that your home is prepared for the upcoming severe weather; investing time and money into preparing your home can save you lots later on. Your tenant will also be happy knowing that you’re making a point to keep them safe.
Before the actual storm hits, be sure that all things that you have outdoors that have a risk of getting damaged, or flying away, are secured inside. If you have a shed, or something that can’t be picked up and moved inside, anchor it to the ground and make sure it’s locked. As far as windows or glass doors, make sure your property is protected! If shutters are too pricy, plywood is also a good way to board up any windows your home may have. You should also be sure to check your rain gutters and keep them clean so water can flow through easily and doesn’t accumulate.
If your property is in an area that usually gets hit pretty bad by hurricanes, you should definitely consider getting hurricane insurance. Just like other types of insurance there are different plans to choose from so it’s up to you to decide what kind of coverage is best for your home.
It’s no secret that social media has come to be extremely embraced in many different facets of our lives. Because of social media, we hear news seconds after it happens, communicate with people from all over the world, and have endless ways to spread ideas. With all of this in mind, doesn’t it seem like you should be using social media to boost your real estate or property management business?
Social media is an awesome tool to get the word out about something to a lot of people at once. Social media is typically also free, so using it to your advantage has virtually no cost to you. Another great thing about using social media is the variety and flexibility that you have available. There are all kinds of social media websites and applications, that allow you to share and spread loads of different content.
As a property manager or real estate agent, you can use social media in tons of ways. For starters, you should have social media accounts for your business and post from them regularly to generate traffic and have a follower base. If you have a property for sale or for rent, post it on a social media site! Not only is this incredibly easy, but you also have the power to share it and have others share it as well. Maybe you’re trying to find a way to bring all your tenants together but you’re not really sure how…social media! You can create a post or event that will reach out to everyone at once.
Do some research about your target market and what the preferred form of social media is within that market, you’d be surprised at how far it’ll take you!
As a property manager, it’s your job to ensure that your residents feel happy and at home where they’re living. For a lot of people, this sense of “home” is largely based on how integrated they feel within the community. Depending on your property and residents, there are a few different ways you can foster this community feeling within your property.
If you have a property with a lot of units, and therefore a lot of residents, your residents may feel that they don’t know all the people living among them. To fix this, you can hold social events for residents to come together. You can have different dinners and barbecues for holidays and events throughout the year. A potluck would be a great way to bring all your residents together and have them all contribute to the night, giving it a more personal feel.
Another really great way to give your property a community feel is by having communal areas for your residents. If possible, you can have a community pool and sports areas where your residents can come together in their spare time. If a lot of your residents have kids, you can have child play areas and a playground for both the parents and kids of your community to come together. For properties with a lot of college students (or even millennials!), you can make work areas where residents can study, print, or just use the computer. You can even use this communal area to hold viewing parties for a big TV premier or awards show.
If your residents feel as though they’re truly part of the community within your property, they’ll feel more at home and more comfortable living there.
The listing of your property is one of the most important factors in getting people interested and drawing them in. Whether you’re a real estate agent, property manager, or just someone looking to rent out your home, you need to make sure you have a good listing that accurately represents your property.
Be sure to mention things that will draw people in, like a swimming pool or fireplace; these are things that aren’t common among all homes, so they make yours stand out. It’s also very important to use good language when writing up your listing. Writing “beautiful kitchen with granite counter tops and island perfect for entertaining” sounds significantly more appealing than just writing “granite counter tops and island in kitchen”.
Be specific in your listing! Putting all the necessary information saves you the hassle of dealing with tons of phone calls from people who have to ask you things about your listing, and also makes it easier for potential tenants to know what to expect when they look at your property. Be clear about the number of rooms and bathrooms, as well as things like the square footage of your home; make sure you have the details that you know people will want to know.
Pictures are also a huge part of the listing, don’t think that because your wrote a detailed description you can omit the visuals. Make sure you have pictures that look good and “flatter” your property. The pictures shouldn’t be too edited otherwise they don’t really give an accurate image of your property and can be misleading to people once they go see it.
You want your listing to make people say “WOW! Now this is something I need to check out!”, so be sure that you this is what you’re conveying!
When you’re going through the process of making a lease agreement with a new tenant, it’s imperative to be clear on who will be living in your property. Many times people will sign a lease without telling their new landlord that their family member or significant other will also be living with them, which can later cause problems. When writing up your lease, make it known whether or not your tenant is allowed to have roommates, and what rules they have to follow as well as any additional financial obligations that may come up.
If you’re okay with more than one person living in the property (which is typically the case), make sure you’re aware of how many people it’ll be so the lease can be based off of that. You may also want to make the lease so that all of the tenants sign it, so that you know that they’re aware of the rules and guidelines they need to follow while living in your property.
In the event that your tenant doesn’t tell you about their secret roommate, it’s up to you to reach out to them and tell them that they’re going against the terms stated in the lease, and what the next steps are to better the situation. If you’re okay with your tenants roommate, you have the opportunity to add more to the lease as well as increase the price of rent. This may seem unfair to your tenant, but it’s the best way to guarantee any problems arising in the future.
We recently talked about the importance of maintaining your property even when it’s vacant (check it out here); but before you start planning that maintenance, it’s important to make sure you’re not neglecting maintenance that needs to be done while your tenant is in the property.
Neglecting maintenance and repairs can not only end up being very costly, but it can also pose a big safety risk. If you notice some wiring that looks slightly frayed, change it! Waiting for the problem to worsen is never a good idea; in a case like this a fire could start and be extremely dangerous. Neglecting any sort of repair automatically creates a problem that’s just waiting to worsen. If you start to notice the flooring on one side of your attic going bad, you shouldn’t wait for it to collapse to change it.
It’s also important to constantly be checking up on things like alarm systems and fire/carbon monoxide detectors, and making sure the property has a working fire extinguisher at easy access to the tenants. By checking up on small ‘repairs’ like these, you’re potentially saving the lives of the your tenants.
Neglecting maintenance isn’t entirely always the fault of the landlord; as a tenant you should inform your landlord whenever you think something needs to be repaired. If your landlord doesn’t know about a problem, they’re not going to be able to fix it.
So, your tenant just moved out and you still haven’t found a new one and your property is vacant…sounds like the perfect time to stop maintaining your property, right? Wrong!
In fact, you should take advantage of your property being empty and do maintenance that can’t be done when it is being rented out. Use this time to paint walls, steam carpets and wax tiles, and perform more prolonged repairs, like fixing a staircase. These are things that you can’t do on any given day because people and furniture will get in the way. You should also continue checking that your smoke detectors and alarm system (if you have one) are in working order since they won’t be put to use as much as they normally would be.
Maintaining your property when it’s vacant is essential in finding a new tenant; if your property looks nice, people will be more inclined to rent it from you than if it looks unkempt. Consistencyis key in maintaining your property, you should always keep up the regular maintenance even if no one is living in it. Little things, like mowing the lawn and raking leaves, really impact the appearance of your house and can affect how they feel about. Consistent maintenance also shows potential tenants that you’re a good landlord. Consider someone is interested in your property and views it on multiple separate occasions and notices that the garden always looks nice and the bathrooms are always clean; they’ll feel that you’re a good landlord and will take care of problems that may arise.
So, you’ve fixed up your property and now it’s time to put in on the market and find a tenant to rent it out to, the only question is: what pricing strategy should you use to maximize your income?
Pricing is relative, meaning that you should set your rental price according to the area, type of property, and the cost of investment. It’s important to do research on what similar properties in your area are being rented out for to make sure that the price you have in mind isn’t too high or too low based on what you have to offer. You also need to consider the income level of the people living in the area where your property it; you can’t set a crazy high price if most people in the area have low incomes, because you won’t find tenants. The cost of investment you incurred is also an important factor in determining how much to charge for rent because you want to make sure that you’re not selling yourself short and that you’re actually maximizing the income potential for the property.
Once you’ve done the research and have a general idea about how much you want to charge for rent you can employ a few other tactics to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your property. You should always make sure to set the price a bit higher than the desired amount you want to leave a little wiggle room for negotiation (people will always want to go lower, not higher). You should also consider ending the price with with an odd number instead of with ‘.00’. People would rather pay $3,995 instead of $4,000 even though the difference is tiny. This also helps when people are searching for properties and want to search for a property under ‘X’ amount because it’ll allow your property to fall under that window.