What Does Being a Landlord Entail?
Every landlord knows that the most crucial part of the rental cycle is your property’s turnover period: that hectic time between tenants where you’re expected to handle maintenance, leasing, and move-in as fast as possible while complying with all local, state, and federal laws. The task can easily overwhelm even the savviest of landlords, but when broken down and organized correctly it becomes routine.
If you had previous tenants in the property, then the turnover starts with conducting a thorough move-out inspection. Be sure to leave no fixture unchecked because any damages the tenants have left that you find will later translate to money out of your pocket. Going into each room with a checklist that reads something like “baseboards, ceiling, flooring, walls, etc.” will help ensure that nothing gets looked over.
Now that you’ve found everything that needs to be fixed with the property it’s time to execute. Timing is everything in this phase since it usually takes the longest, so don’t stress too much about saving every penny you can. Often time landlords will delay a job for several days and cost themselves more in lost rent income than they would save by getting “the best” price. Obviously big jobs require more diligence, but don’t sweat the small stuff.
This step should actually be done ahead of the move-out and maintenance phase. There is no secret formula to finding the magical price that will generate interest and leave no cash on the table, but there are tools such as mapliv.com that make comparing rates of similar properties easy. Every factor should be taken into account, including location, parking, and amenities.
You would be surprised how many more responses properties that are properly marketed get than those that have a block of size 12 text. Top dollar prices come from top dollar marketing efforts, which means that everything from the pictures to the description need to be at their best.
This is also the time to test your market research conclusions. Since the Bay is one of the most desired places to live in the United States, price is the most common interest deterrent. If you get little to no responses after the first couple of days, then dropping the price will likely insight more interest.
Assuming everything has been done properly up to this point, showings should be the easy part. Scheduling fixed times throughout the week and clearly posting them on the ad can save you from a lot of communication and coordination frustrations. Little touches such as opening the windows and lighting the property to make it seem spacious will add value to the potential tenants’ experiences.
Signing & Move-In
Once you have your lease in compliance with all local laws and regulations you are ready for all parties to sign and set a move-in date. Diligence is crucial to both the signing meeting and move-in inspection. Any line in the lease the tenant feels you snuck past them, or any preexisting ding on the baseboards you charge them for at move-out cripples your relationship and leads to a worse experience for everyone.
The stakes are at their highest during the turnover period, but the extra effort now can save you tons of headaches in the future. If only there was a transparent property management company that prevents all of those headaches…
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