In our lives, we play many roles in the housing market. We rent, we mortgage homes, and we purchase them — but how do we make the ultimate move, from lender to investor? Do we need certifications, or a particular accreditation, to become a landlord ourselves?
There has never been a better time to start asking this question. The financial sector has been experiencing an almost year-long economic boom, with the rate of US wages rising to their highest level in a decade and the construction industry thriving. With the market on your side, you won’t need a degree to become a landlord, but you will need the right toolkit. Here a few simple ways to get your head in the game, and your property on the market.
Understand your limitations
Becoming a landlord is an exciting step for your future. However, as with any new business venture, there are rules and regulations you need to be aware of before you search for your dream renters. Laws vary from state to state, so it’s always a great idea to look at your local government website for any restrictions which may be imposed on you as a landlord. If you’re in the mood for some extra reading, you could also check out the basics of landlord-tenant law in the United States.
It’s also important to get your head around the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing Rights and Obligations, just to make sure none of your requirements are inadvertently discriminating any third party from your rental application process.
Secure a property management tool
From accredited liberal arts degree programs to crunch-time courses, the rapidly growing online education industry offers a range of platforms to get you started in most industries. Today’s digital spheres of communication provide opportunities for you to not only understand your market, but also get ahead of your competitors.
Among a sea of options, you want to find a software application which encompasses all aspects of property management: ads, screenings, choosing your first tenants, etc. The right property management service will help you keep your most important information on hand when you’re on the go, with web and mobile access available as well. Your ideal software companion should help you create and manage your property listings, organize your rental pricings and track your clients from their first inspection to contract closure. You can download landlord software free and get started with the basics right away.
Keeping your clients
Once you’ve set yourself up with the right knowledge and equipment to build your career in property management, this final step is up to your renters. Residents will come and go as life dictates, but there are ways to go the extra mile to avoid a yearly cycle of extra fees and administration costs. Screening your candidates and regularly maintaining your tenants’ accounts in your landlord software will already place you in good stead. With the addition of some simple exercises of your best interpersonal skills, your first experience as a landlord could be a breeze.
Now, we’re not talking daily gift baskets and door-to-door dry-cleaning services, but there are a few easy techniques to keep your renters happy without breaking the bank. A housewarming gift on their first day, or the courtesy of addressing their concerns in a timely manner, could be all it takes to make a substantial difference in the long run.
With the time you take to understand your tenants’ rights, and your property management software at hand, retaining your clients can be just a few button-presses away.