How to Manage Your Rental Property Like a Pro

One of the few upsides of a divorce is the settlement. While nothing can erase the pain or bring back the time lost to the ordeal, you get to reap the benefits of the properties awarded to you. If you know how to make the most of your newfound wealth, you’re practically set for life. Many divorcees have turned their real estate into veritable cash cows, allowing them to lead an independent life.

You might not want to see your divorce attorney, but thanks to them, you’ll never have to work again. Lots of people have lived off their real estate earnings. Let’s say you own an apartment building. Every unit has the potential to earn lots of money. If you make a few choice upgrades, you can even attract higher-paying tenants. However, there are a few things you need to do before entering the world of property management. Let’s get started.

1. Pick a management style

Before anything else, you need to think about the kind of landlord you want to be. Do you want to be closely involved in the day-to-day management of your property? Or are you the type to cash the checks while delegating important tasks to other people? Whether you’re the passive or active type, you need to understand that managing a rental property is a huge undertaking.

As the landlord, property maintenance and tenant safety are two of your main priorities. There are laws in place that protect tenants, and you need to follow them to the letter. For instance, you’ll need to keep your rental property in good working order and perform repairs as needed.

2. Hire a team

Real estate is one of the most regulated industries in America. There are dozens of federal, state, and local laws on the books that tell you what you can and cannot do with your rental properties. You’ll also have to follow numerous safety and tenancy laws. You’ll need a team in place to deal with the legal and financial side of property management.

For instance, even tenant applications are regulated by law. You need to follow a strict set of guidelines when choosing tenants for your property. There are numerous laws in place that protect tenants and ban discrimination. If you run afoul of any of these laws, litigation is a distinct possibility.

It also helps to hire an accountant to handle the financial work. Real estate finance is notoriously complicated, and you don’t want to incur penalties just because you forgot to pay a certain tax or file a certain document. You need to get your books right if you want to survive in this business.

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3. Improve your value proposition

There’s a serious housing shortage across America, and home prices rise faster than people’s incomes. The demand for good housing is especially felt in urban areas. Urban population growth hasn’t kept pace with housing construction. That said, you shouldn’t become complacent and assume that your target market will want to live at your property.

If you want to attract the right clientele, you need to improve your property’s value proposition. Property upgrades and new amenities are always a worthwhile investment. For instance, if you want to target young professionals, consider adding a fitness center or even a swimming pool. You also need to make sure that every unit is fitted with new fixtures and appliances. You can’t charge a premium if the apartments haven’t been updated in years.

4. Get the word out

You won’t attract tenant applications if no one knows your rental property is on the market. One of your many responsibilities is real estate marketing. But buying a few Facebook ads won’t cut it. If you want to attract your target audience, you need to create a focused and engaging ad.

You don’t want people to skip your listings, so make sure to take good photos of your rental property. Hire a professional photographer if possible. The photos should also be accompanied by a well-written description of the property and the apartment unit. Don’t just list down the features. Create a story that puts the apartment front and center.

Of course, if you’re not confident in your marketing acumen or don’t want to do the job, you can always partner with a marketing agency to promote your rental properties. Consultants can cost a pretty penny, however, which will affect your bottom line.

The bottom line

Rental properties are the lifeblood of America’s cities. Most people can’t afford to own their homes outright, and affordable apartments ensure that anyone can live in the city. As long as you follow the law and take good care of your property, you won’t run into problems.

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