Whether you are an “accidental” landlord or you invested in real estate to generate passive income, there are a few best practices that every landlord should implement to ensure that the time you put into managing your properties results in the best possible return.
As individual landlords without the benefit of scale that large property managers enjoy, every vacancy, renter dispute, or maintenance issue can result in a significant hit to profitability. Luckily, there are easy steps you can take to avoid some of the most common pitfalls of the rental game.
1. Screen for good quality renters
For the same reason employers take the time to interview and screen applicants for potential jobs, you should do the same with your renters – you are entering into a relationship that in most cases will last at least 12 months and will be crucial for your investment’s financial performance.
Running a good quality screen will provide you with great insights on your applicant, including their rental history, credit worthiness, criminal background, and any past evictions. These are all leading indicators of your applicant’s ability to perform their number one responsibility – paying rent on time!
Relying on your lease agreement and security deposit is simply not enough. Any dispute with your renter will likely result in lost rent and potentially a vacancy. You want to make sure the person you are letting into your property will pay you on time and treat the property with respect, and screening is the best way to do so.
2. Collect rent on time
Studies have found that ~60% of Americans paid a bill late in their lifetime – and the top cited reason is forgetfulness. Using an online platform that bills your renters and reminds them when rent is due will certainly take care of any selective memory issues.
But that’s not the only benefit. Saving your renters a trip to the bank or the hassle of mailing rent checks by allowing them to pay rent online at the tap of a button will also help ensure timely payment.
A seamless online payment solution eliminates the stress involved in the process of paying one’s largest monthly bill. Automatic late fees provide an additional motivators for renters that still don’t manage to pay on time.
3. Maintain your property
Property maintenance is sort of like going to the dentist – regular check ups will enable you to take care of any issues early so that you can prevent them from becoming bigger problems. Maintenance is the same as cavities – treating them as they arise will likely be cheaper and easier to deal with than if left untouched.
You should also avoid relying on your renters to handle maintenance issues for you in most cases, as they might not always have the knowledge or your property’s best interest in mind to make the right decisions. If you do allow your renters handle an issue, make sure you send a professional and have them supervise instead.
4. Require renters insurance
Purchasing renter insurance provides clear and meaningful benefits to your renters – it protects them from liability and covers damage to their personal belongings resulting from unexpected events such as fires, burglaries and floods.
As a landlord, requiring your renters to purchase renters insurance is a no brainer – not only is it paid for by your renters, it benefits you by mitigating the threat of lawsuits, covering your deductibles, and giving you greater overall peace of mind.
Zuby empowers you to be able to maximize profits on your rental properties
Using the free Zuby property management app, landlords and property managers can screen renters with comprehensive background checks and credit reports, giving you a solid foundation for getting to know your renters.
It’s also free to collect rent on Zuby, so you can say goodbye to checks and trips to the bank. By entering your general lease information, Zuby creates automatic monthly rent payments for your renters. Payment receipts and automatic late fees mean you will be more organized than ever and collect rent on time more often than not.
Taking care of maintenance issues is now also easier as well, as Zuby takes on the process of finding qualified professionals for you. Simply let us know what the issue is and when you are available, and a qualified pro that can meet your schedule will contact you.
If you do decide to require renters insurance, you can let your renters know right on our app. Your renters can then purchase affordable coverage directly from Zuby, without ever having to talk to an agent.
Renters also love Zuby because it allows them to pay rent for free, split rent with roommates, and tap into the same network of local service providers.
So give Zuby a try today – it’s free to download and sign up!