Self-Managing Property? Here’s Some Advice!

Managing one property can be daunting. As a matter of fact managing 10 properties is almost easier than managing one. You may be asking why?

In my “niche” management business of SFR’s and Townhomes, I have “systems” in place. I use a software called Quicken Property Management which was created for small to mid-sized operations. One of the features of this product is a report which at a glance lets me know the deposits,cash flow and itemized repair expenses. With one property to manage, software is laborious and not usually worth the time to input data. But with 20+ SFR’s it makes life easy. Another “system” I have in place is a group of professional handy-men on call. I know which one does priced-right painting and which one is  great at plumbing. All I need to do is text one of them, give them the address and they are there. Since I have worked with them and know they’re honest, my tenants have no problem letting them come in when they are not home.

If you want to try your hand at self-management, don’t ever sign a lease with a tenant unless you have done the following-

1.Tenant Choice:

Of all the things you need to do, prioritize choosing your tenants carefully. This may take more time in showing, researching fair market rental value and knowing your competition. But it is one step which will make your life easier and your legal expenses non-existent. Advice For Tenants


2.Check Previous Landlord (and previous-previous Landlord)

I am still really surprised when my tenants move and I never receive a phone call from their new Landlord. I always call their previous Landlords and ask 2 simple questions: Was the rent paid on time? Were there any disturbances or major damages? Good tenants usually don’t change overnight. People do lose jobs, go through a divorce and have medical problems…but their obligation to pay their rent is always met. Newbie Landlord


3.Read Tenants the Riot Act on Day 1

Don’t be a pal. Be friendly, but make your status as the manager known. Reiterate that late rent is unnacceptable, and after 2 late rents, they will be issued a 30 day notice to vacate. You would be surprised how many tenants don’t realize that late rent jeopardizes your client’s investment.


4.Clean and Repair Property:

Don’t expect a good tenant to live in sub-standard housing. Make sure the place is in move-in condition. I do a walk-through with my handy man and make sure it’s cleaned, painted (or touched up) and all appliances are working. It doesn’t have to be newly renovated, but delivering a dirty unit tells your tenant: I don’t care about you.


Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to management success!


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