A new year and a new decade are right around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking fresh about what to do differently with your rental property. With that in mind, let’s focus on a few New Year’s resolutions for landlords in 2020!
#1: Plan and Organize a Budget
Every seasoned landlord knows that the key to success is to plan ahead for everything, especially your finances. Appliances break, HVAC systems go down, and tenants move-out. And then there’s the money coming in that you need to organize and account for, from deposits to rent and other fees. Make your top rental resolution be to get your finances in order. Set aside a plan for building your maintenance emergency fund, organizing incoming payments, and for setting up long-term goals to maximize the profits and savings your rental brings in. Your rental property is a business and an investment, so be sure to put as much thought and time into planning for success as you would any other part of your life.
#2: Go Digital
The time of paper checks and forms is over. Make 2020 the year you push to go digital, from collecting rent payments to signing leases and submitting applications. There is also a ton of different property management software available where you can keep track of everything that has to do with your rental property, putting everything in one convenient place. Going digital also lessens your impact on the environment, so it’s win-win for everyone.
#3: Make Communication a Priority
Another one of the top resolutions for landlords revolves around communication. Effective and clear communication can mean the difference between a good and bad landlord-tenant relationship. Make communication a priority this new year by responding quickly and professionally to all tenant requests, even if the answer isn’t an easy one. The longer we avoid or delay communication, the easier it is for misunderstandings to occur and turn a bad situation into a larger problem. Make sure to communicate with your tenants as much as possible to ensure they’re satisfied with the property. You just might turn them into long-term renters, as a happy tenant is more likely to stay where they are.
#4: Resolve Maintenance Issues Immediately
Maintenance is one thing that no landlord can ever avoid. Things break or need to be regularly serviced to run properly and emergencies happen. While it can be easy to put smaller maintenance items on the back burner, leaving them for too long can lead to bigger and sometimes disastrous consequences. That being said, make 2020 the year you address all maintenance issues immediately. Jumping on issues as soon as they happen or even getting ahead of them by performing preventative maintenance not only saves you money in the long-term, it shows your tenants you care and can lead to a better and more effective landlord-tenant relationship.
#5: Stay Current on Market Trends
The rental market is always changing. Rents go up and down, so keep in mind you may not get the same rate in 2020 that you got in 2019. Each year brings a brand-new batch of potential tenants, all of whom have different wants and needs. That’s why keeping up with current market trends is critical. Research going rates for similar rentals in your area and be sure to look at it in a realistic way. Is your property up to par? Does it offer the same amenities and upgrades as others nearby? Be sure to evaluate your rental accordingly and set realistic price goals that align with the current market. Just because you got $2200/month last year doesn’t mean you’ll get that the next go around.
A new year brings new opportunities to improve your business, your life, and your rental property. Be sure to add a few of these resolutions for landlords to your list!