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Why You Don’t Want Your Rental Property to Be Vacant (Besides the Obvious)

There’s at least one very obvious reason you really, really don’t want your investment property to be vacant: your bottom line. If your property isn’t bringing in any income, but is still costing you (mortgage and tax payments at the very least, although HOA and marketing fees are most likely factors as well), it’s not really doing its job of being a profitable investment for you.

Of course, there are some other, less obvious reasons why owning a vacant property is something you should avoid at all costs. Here are a few of them:

Future prospective renters will be hesitant to sign a lease

If the property has been vacant for any period of time, the first thing a prospective tenant will wonder is, “Why?” Even if you try to reassure them that nothing is wrong with the property or its location, it might be difficult for them to overcome that question of why the property has been empty. It’s just one more hurdle for you to jump as you try to convince them to sign a lease on your property.

Maintenance becomes much harder

When a home is being rented, the occupants (usually) keep it fairly well-maintained, at least in terms of surface-level cleanliness. They’ll also be able to inform you of any major maintenance needs, allowing you to stay on top of any problems that arise at the property. If the house is empty, on the other hand, it will get dirty fairly quickly, which could lead to bigger problems (such as pests). You’ll also have to do more deep cleanings before showings. Similarly, it will be harder for you to keep track of major maintenance problems, such as those that might arise with plumbing, electric, or appliances.

Ill will from the neighbors

No one likes their property value to decrease, and a vacant home can do just that to a neighborhood. Leaving your property vacant for too long could earn you some ill will from the neighbors, whether it’s directed at you or (even worse) any future tenants.

Potential for vandalism

An unoccupied property is a common target for vandals and thieves. Think there’s nothing to steal? Think again. Appliances, thermostats, and even light fixtures could all be taken by a burglar.

The utility conundrum

While you may be hesitant to keep the utilities on in a vacant home (thus increasing your expenses), turning them off brings its own set of challenges. If your property is located in a place with extreme temperatures, not regulating the temperature of the home through either heating or cooling can create problems in wood and drywall, which could lead to costly repairs. Also, most home inspections cannot be fully performed if utilities are not turned on, which could lead to delays in getting your property filled. And of course, you’ll have to pay reconnection fees to have everything turned back on.

For all these reasons and more, you want to do everything you can to keep your rental property occupied at all times. If you are having a hard time doing this on your own, consider using a trusted property management company like Real Property Management. We can help you find great renters for your property, but we can also handle payments, manage maintenance and repairs, and enforce lease terms and restrictions. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself as an investment property owner! Avoid vacancy at all costs: give us a call at 480-719-1243 today!

Using Paint to Make Your Rental Property More Attractive to Tenants

The paint job on a home — both outside and inside — is no small matter. Paint is one of the first things that people notice when walking through a home. Not only is it everywhere, but it also creates an atmosphere and feeling in the house like nothing else can. Similarly, a new coat of paint, with its flawless finish and new paint smell, will give a house a fresh feeling that will certainly be attractive to prospective renters.

Wondering how you can use paint to make your property the most enviable rental house on the market? Here are some of our favorite tips.

 

  • Give it depth outside. Using a single color on the exterior of the home can leave it feeling flat and lifeless. Use an entire color scheme: one that is attractive without being flashy and neutral without being boring. Make sure you check with your HOA first; they often have pre-approved color schemes that can be used on homes in your neighborhood.

  • Keep it neutral inside. While it may be tempting to use bold, attractive colors on your interior walls, the fact is, prospective tenants may not have the same taste as you. Stick with light, neutral colors in order to attract the widest array of people to your home. Off-white, light tan, or light gray are all good options for interior colors; do a quick Google or Pinterest search to find colors that are popular right now.

  • Leave it to the pros. You might hesitate to hire professional painters, but you shouldn’t. A good paint job will leave your walls looking flawless, while an amateur one could be disastrous. Invest a little bit into having your property painted by a respected company, and you’ll be happy with the result.

  • Don’t neglect the trim. Indoors, remember to paint trim, including baseboards and moulding, when repainting the home. Use a contrasting color (bright white is common) to create visual interest and appeal.

  • Consider giving your tenants options. Many renters bemoan the fact that they are unable to paint their walls according to their own tastes. While it might not be smart to let your tenants do whatever they want, it may be enticing to them if you are able to give them color options and paint companies they can use if they are so inclined to paint a wall or two.

The reality is: paint is a relatively inexpensive thing that can make a big difference in a property. Why not take advantage of that and use paint to make your rental home as attractive as possible?

Looking for other ways to attract tenants? Real Property Management can help you market your property, prepare it for showing and leasing, and manage payments and maintenance once it is occupied. Don’t make your job as a landlord any harder than it already is; contact Real Property Management today!

Tips for Owning and Managing Multiple Investment Properties

Owning multiple investment properties can be hugely lucrative. While one property may bring in some supplemental income, multiple properties, if managed correctly, can be your livelihood!

Of course, owning multiple investment properties is very different from owning a single property — and in many ways, it’s much more difficult. There are specific challenges that come with juggling multiple properties, and it’s important to recognize them and have a plan for handling them, whether you’re just getting started, expanding your portfolio, or just trying to handle the many properties you’re already dealing with.

We’ve compiled a few tips specifically with you — the multiple property investor — in mind. These will help you in your journey to become a truly successful property mogul!

Get organized

Owning a single property can be tricky. Owning multiple properties can be downright overwhelming. Keeping track of maintenance, payment schedules, taxes, lease agreements, and so on gets very complicated, very quickly. Find a way to organize your documents, finances, and schedules so that your information is accessible to you when you need it. If you’re a digital person, scan documents as soon as you receive them; set up folders to keep everything organized on your computer; and schedule automatic mortgage and utility payments so that you never fall behind. It may take some time to find a system that you really love, but the hunt will be worth it! You could also consider hiring a property management company to do all the hard work for you.

Stay informed

It’s important to always be “in touch” with what your prospective renters are looking for in rental properties, as well as new ways to market or otherwise improve your properties. This becomes especially important as you purchase more properties and positive cash flow becomes even more crucial. Don’t fall behind and end up with no tenant, an outdated property, and no idea how to effectively market it. If you really want your properties to be profitable, stay informed!

Keep an eye on cash flow

Cash is king. It can be easy to get lost when trying to keep track of when payments will be coming in and going out, especially if you are managing payments for multiple properties. And as promising as your investment properties are, if your cash runs out, you’ll be struggling. If cash flow is becoming too difficult for you to handle yourself, consider hiring out. A well-trained bookkeeper would be extremely useful, or a property management company  could help not just with cash flow, but with other aspects of property management as well.

If you’re taking on multiple investment properties, you are probably an ambitious person who values success. Don’t let your goals go unrealized because you weren’t ready for the challenge of managing your properties! Instead, follow these tips to keep yourself on the path to profitability.

Real Property Management has been helping multi-home investors manage their properties effectively for years. Take the hassle out of owning, filling, and maintaining multiple properties by contacting Real Property Management today!

Before You List Your Property for Rent: A Checklist

Listing your property for rent is very exciting. It’s when things will (hopefully) start happening — you’ll start getting inquiry calls, scheduling showings, and meeting potential renters. In many ways, it might feel like your first big step toward turning your investment into a profitable venture.

Of course, it’s not actually the first step. Nowhere near it, in fact. There are many things that you should do before you list your property for rent. Here’s a quick checklist of some of the major things that should be done before your property is listed (in no particular order).

Perform any major repairs or renovations

Cracks, dents, broken doors, chipped paint, matted carpet — these are all things that should be handled before a property is listed.

Prep the home for showing.

Deep cleaning and staging should be ready in case there is immediate interest in your property.

Take great pictures.

Once the property has been renovated and cleaned, hire a professional photographer to snap some high quality photos for your listing. Viewers will be more drawn to your listing when it includes great pictures!

List the features.

Take some time to write an exhaustive list of your property’s features and upgrades. This will make it easier to write a descriptive summary of your property when the time comes to list.

Figure out the technicalities.

Rent amount, availability date, pet permissions, deposits, and other specifications need to be determined before your property is listed. Do some market research and do your best to make your property competitive, yet fair.

Anticipate questions.

What questions could a potential tenant have about your property? If you think of these questions ahead of time, you’ll be better suited to quickly answer them when they arise.

Plan for management.

Will you be managing your property yourself, or will you be leaving it in the capable hands of a property management company? If it’s the latter, make sure you turn to them and utilize their services to their full extent before you spend too much time listing your property yourself.

You might be feeling impatient to get your property listed and filled, but taking some steps before rushing into it will ensure that the process runs smoothly. Trust us, it is worth the extra effort!

If you’d like professional help listing, maintaining, and managing your property, contact Real Property Management. We can help with the hard stuff and leave you with a profitable investment!