I need some guidance. I recently inherited a property that I plan to convert into a few rentable apartment units. A friend of mine, who’s a realtor, said the process isn’t as simple as it sounds, and that there’s a great deal involved in being a successful landlord.
Everything I read emphasizes using caution when it comes to marketing and finding ways to simplify administrative duties. I also found many articles warning that it’s a bad idea to form personal relationships with tenants.
Are there specific technologies I could use to help run the property? Also, what about interactions with tenants? Are there any tips I should have?
Your friend wasn’t kidding about the challenges associated with property ownership, especially if you plan to divide and rent its space to different tenants. There’s a great deal to learn when it comes to property management. You have to remember that you’re essentially running a business, with physical space being the main product. Every business has its unique challenges.
Forbes contributor, Sarnen Steinbarth, published an informative article highlighting practical tips for first-time landlords. That’s an excellent place to begin your research. His first suggestion is to avoid cutting corners when it comes to documentation. While that might seem rather benign at first, you’d soon realize that the repercussions of not doing so are often serious. Another important point is becoming efficient with administrative duties, such as posting notices and collecting monthly rent. You’d be surprised at how many landlords rely on manual processes and activities, which are cumbersome, time-consuming, and prone to more human error.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of technologies designed to simplify property management. Staff writers at Upkeep Media did you the favor of writing the definitive guide to property management software. They claim the guide contains everything you need to know. That’s a bold promise. Suffice it to say that property management software streamlines and automates much of the work traditionally done by hand. That frees you up to do more important things, such as communicating directly with current and prospective tenants. It’s also critical to remember that software has the advantage of latent tracking and reporting. In other words, understanding business growth and pain points by the numbers won’t be as difficult.
Since your real estate business is only in its infancy, you have to be careful when it comes to selecting the right property management software. It might be tempting to purchase one with the most features and capabilities, assuming that you’ll tap into them immediately. That’s rarely the case. There’s a delicate balance to strike. You want landlord software that can meet the demands of today, while also being flexible enough for tomorrow.
You might find it easier to consider what other professionals have said about the market. Software Advice has a list of relevant solutions, many of which have several customer reviews. They curate plenty of pertinent data, which could aid your decision-making process regarding price, size, rating, features, etc. Don’t forget to tap into other resources, too. The best approach is cross-referencing a potential product across several credible channels. Having another perspective is key.
“Your house becomes a home when you fall in love with it.” – Erin McLaughlin