Making new year’s resolutions is a tradition many of us partake in. As a landlord or property manager, don’t forget to include your rental business in your new year’s resolution list.
Set aside some time to create goals for 2018. Whether you are hoping to make more money off your rentals next year or you are hoping to gain more time back, creating a list of goals will help you reach a better place by the end of 2018.
While your list might look a little different, the following are some of our top ideas for new year’s resolutions for your rental business.
#1: Learn How To Market Like A Pro
One of the best ways to turn a better profit and avoid evictions is to learn how to market your property better in 2018. Whether you feel your current marketing plan is weak in certain areas or you simply haven’t ever taken the time to assess your marketing, do so today.
Create a goal list for learning how to market better over the next year so you can tackle any new vacancy with a solid game plan.
For example, in 2018, focus on improving the following:
- Learn how to write a compelling listing. Focus on what features will interest your local renter demographic the most. For example, are you marketing towards a heavily college influenced market? Be sure you include items in your listing that will appeal to this sector of the market.
- Highlight tech features. One of the most talked about trends in the rental market is the increased demand for technology in the home. From smart thermostats to USB outlets to smart home monitoring systems, be sure you include any tech features in your property listing.
- List your property in more places. The more eyes on your listing, the better chance of qualified renters applying. Utilize our free one-click listing to easily post your property to dozens of websites at once.
- Commit to stating criteria clearly. One of the best improvements you can make to your rental marketing is to have clear criteria defined before you start the application process. This will save you time as it deters unqualified tenants from applying.
- Improve your photo gallery. Take the time in 2018 to improve any photo galleries that are either outdated, low-quality, or incomplete. If you aren’t good at taking photos, hire someone who is. Photos will go a long way in an increasingly digital world towards marketing your property for you.
#2: Improve Your Communication Skills
Poor communication is one of the biggest contributors to issues between tenants and landlords. In 2018, commit to better and clearer communication between you and your tenants. Make sure you open up the lines of communication and that you are accessible.
While you need professional boundaries that protect you from tenants abusing the open lines of communication, you also need to be easy for your tenants to communicate with. When your tenants feel like they cannot reach you or that you will respond irrationally to their requests, they will simply stop telling you about what is going on at your property.
Let your tenants know the best ways to reach you and at the best times. Then, commit to responding in a timely fashion to tenants. Be firm but fair with tenants. Treat them with the same respect you want.
If communication is an area you struggle with, reach out to a local mentor and seek help on how you could improve. Not only will improving how you communicate with tenants help your rental business, it will help you grow personally as well.
Make a clear plan of action, such as:
- I will let tenants know the best ways to reach me
- I will foster open lines of communication between my tenants and myself
- I will commit to responding within 24 hours to non-emergency tenant requests
- I will take the time to listen to my tenants’ complaints and try to understand them
- I will be firm but fair with tenants
#3: Spend More Time Doing What You Love
Landlording is one of those “part-time” gigs that can rapidly take over your entire life. If you look back on 2017 and see a pattern of expending too much energy on your rental business, make a commitment to spend more time doing what you love in 2018.
Make this goal possible by becoming a more efficient landlord. Utilize technology to your advantage and think of ways to streamline your processes.
Pick some of the following efficient tips to help free up more time for doing what you love:
- Make the application process faster by switching to an online rental application. This will cut out the time needed to print, fax, email, or snail mail an application.
- Set up open house property showings for in-demand rentals. This will save you from showing the property 20 times to individuals. Instead, ask everyone to arrive during a set period of time. This not only saves you copious amounts of time, it also gives potential applicants a sense of urgency.
- Find a reliable handyman. If you can build a relationship with a contractor or handyman that you 100 percent trust, you will save yourself a lot of time on repairs and maintenance. Find a contractor who can be your first call for most repairs.
#4: Protect Yourself & Your Renters
If you currently don’t encourage your renters to purchase insurance, start doing so in 2018. Many landlords are now requiring renters insurance as it provides peace of mind to both renters and landlords.
Look into the benefits of renters insurance and consider making it a requirement starting in 2018. With plans starting as low as $8/month, most renters will be able to afford at least a basic plan.
For your renters, an insurance policy will help protect their belongings, cover them against lawsuits, and medical expenses due to injuries on the property.
For you, the landlord, renters insurance will provide you with both potential gap coverage for your own deductible and will promote better communication between you and your tenants. When your renters know they have insurance coverage, they are less likely to lie to you about damages to the property or incidents that take place.
Make 2018 the year you protect your investments and renters through quality insurance.
#5: Get Organized
One of the best ways to ensure your rental process runs smoothly and that you protect yourself in the case of legal issues is to keep your rental business organized. If you see flaws in your organization, commit to a better plan for 2018.
Being more organized could be as simple as using an online tool like Google Calendar to ensure you don’t miss appointments or as complex as overhauling your methods for tenant screening.
The first step in becoming more organized is to carve out time to critique each aspect of your rental business. Look at the following processes and tasks during this assessment:
- How you handle the marketing process?
- How organized your property showings are?
- What could be smoother during the application process?
- How organized your tenant screening process is?
- What could be improved during the lease signing process?
- How well you handle initial walkthroughs as well as final walkthroughs?
- How organized you feel like your tenant communication is?
Bonus Tip: One step to better organization is being prepared with the right forms. Check out our Ultimate Landlord Forms Pack to ensure you have all the documents you need to landlord like a pro.
Keep The List Going
This list of resolutions is by no means exhaustive. As you enter the new year, take the time to think about what you want to see change in your rental business. Use this list as jumping off point and keep adding on to your resolution list.
2018 can be the most productive year for your rental business yet if you take the time to commit to bettering yourself and your business.
From our team here at TurboTenant, Happy New Year and happy landlording in 2018!