Traits of a Profitable Landlord
If you’re looking to improve your profitability as a landlord, but you aren’t sure where to start – begin by assessing your “landlord personality traits” listed below.
Level- headedness. Landlords and their tenants tend to have a lot of tension in their relationships. Both the tenant(s) and the landlord may feel that the home or apartment is “theirs,” and rightfully so. While the landlord legally owns the property, ownership rights are essentially forfeited when they lease out the unit and collect rent from the tenant. So no, you cannot barge in whenever you feel you must “check the pipes.” Even though they are leasing a space from you, borrowing it from you, you should always respect the privacy of your tenants and have a little bit of trust when it comes to having them occupy your space. If you are happy with the tenants and would like them to renew their lease, and possibly give you a good reference down the line, remember that your tenant also has rights of his or her own, and you must respect them. Do your best to keep your emotions in check.
Organized. I once had a landlord that kept her payment history on a napkin, on the wall. She was far from organized. Profitable landlords must learn an organizational system – whether that is electronic files, excel files, or paper files – there should always be a trail and a copy of every document. Keep records of leases, taxes, all payments received and paid out, and insurance. The more organized you become, the easier it will be to dispute an argument should one arise. It’s also not a bad idea to keep a schedule of intended visits to your property – that way both you and your tenant are aware of maintenance checks, showings, etc. which may save some cash in the future.
Don’t be nice. This one is difficult to master. I’m talking to you, landlord who lets your tenant go three months without paying rent because you fall for their sad story. I’m not saying you have to be rude, but your role in this relationship is not to be a friend to your tenants. Nice people do not get ahead. You can, however, be relatable. We’re all human, and sudden and unexpected financial problems do arise. Learn to replace your niceness with confidence, reliability, and fairness. If the lease states “no pets allowed” and you notice dogs in the yard, do not ignore this lease violation. Puppies are cute, but so was your new carpet before it was a training pad. If you’re stern on the rules and fair to your tenants, they will respect you and your property.
Awareness. This may sound pretty standard, but it is extremely important. Potential tenants are interested in the location and surroundings of their potential new home. Find or research nearby bus lines, restaurants, school districts, just to name a few. Know your area well, and have an idea of what your tenants might be looking for. Cater your pitch to the various demographics you may encounter - a family with small children is likely to be interested in different amenities and features of the neighborhood than college students.