If you want to be a great out of state landlord the secret ingredient is finding great tenants. Now finding great tenants is the dream of every landlord and for good reasons, they make life easier. Just imagine if you have tenants that can think, and anticipate issues before they turn into headache producing problems for you!
Just think of how nice landlord-ing life could be if your tenants took action to avoid those problems, or alerted you to ways of solving such issues before they spiral out of control! No matter where you live in proximity to your rental property having great tenants and being able to manage them effectively is the key to your success. But there are a few things you can do to help increase your odds of success.
#1: Clear Cut Contracts
Having a contract that clearly communicates expectations of the tenant-landlord relationship is critical. Having a great contract in place can help you solve problems before they arrive, and help you resolve any more problems before they get out of hand. You’ll want to have an in-state attorney review your contracts since they’ll be more acquainted with typical tenant-landlord issues that you maybe familiar with where you actually live.
#2: Tools for the Job
Good communication is critical to managing an out-of-state rental property. Just about everyone has iPhone or other smartphone device, but your iPhone will now become your most important business communication tool. You can do everything from reviewing contracts, reviewing background checks, responding to tenant or property management company emails, you can even cash rental checks from your phone depending on who you bank with. You’ll also want to invest in a good laptop that can use your iPhone’s LTE internet connection so you have internet access anywhere, and at anytime. You don’t want to rely solely on wi-fi because if too many people are on it at once it can kill your internet speed, and time is money.
#3: Hire the Right Property Manager
The most important tip in managing properties out of state is to hire a property manager if you can afford to do so. You’ll want to interview a number of property management companies in your area and ask them how many “units” they currently manage. You’ll also want to know if they own any rental properties themselves. This could seal the deal if they own rental properties themselves, because they’ll understand what small details need to be reviewed so they don’t turn into major headaches.
Another critical question you’ll want answered when you interview property managers is how frequently they’ll have “eye” on your property. You’ll want to get a concrete answer from them about how often they’ll walk through and inspect your property. Some property managers will have no problem conducting a formal review of the property, others will try and “jack-up” the price of their services. From experience property managers that feel they need to increase their fees to do their job properly, aren’t normally very good at their jobs to begin with, so stay away and keep interviewing property managers till you find the right fit.