It’s easy to make mistakes as a landlord, and even experienced rental property owners find themselves making errors and bad decisions. The problem is that these mistakes can usually be expensive.
Today, we’re talking about some of the most common mistakes we come across, and how you can avoid the cost and the headaches that come with these issues.
Improper Rental Pricing
Your home’s rental value will depend largely on the market. You might have a specific amount in mind for what you want to earn in rent, but if the Lakewood rental market doesn’t support that number, there’s no sense in attaching it to your property. Take a look at what homes similar to yours are renting for in your neighborhood. Price your home competitively, otherwise it will sit vacant, and that vacancy cost will be far more damaging than bringing the asking price down by $50 or $!00 per month. Remember that the other factors that impact your price are:
- Size of the rental property
- Condition of the home
- Season/time of year
Don’t make the mistake of over-pricing. You’ll lose money and attract tenants who aren’t qualified.
Incomplete Tenant Screening
Maybe you’re the type of person who trusts his or her gut. That’s great, but your instincts don’t mean much when it comes to tenant screening. You have to screen each applicant thoroughly and consistently. Have a set of written rental criteria in place so you can demonstrate that everyone is screened against the same standards. Check income and employment, look for past evictions or criminal convictions, and always check landlord references. Not screening tenants is a big mistake. Don’t place someone in your property because they drive a nice car or you like talking to them.
Slow Response to Maintenance Needs
If you’re not responding to routine and emergency maintenance issues with a sense of urgency, you’re making a big mistake. Emergencies obviously require immediate action. When a tenant calls because the property is flooding or there’s no heat in the middle of winter, you need to take swift action. But, you should be just as responsive during routine maintenance issues. It shows your tenants that you care, and that will increase your retention rates. Immediate maintenance responses also lead to a property that’s better maintained. You want to protect the condition and the value of your asset.
Doing it All Alone
We think it’s a mistake not to hire a property manager. While you might think that being a landlord is as easy as finding a tenant and collecting rent, there’s a lot more to it. A professional management company can help you save money by reducing vacancy expenses, placing better tenants, and responding to maintenance issues with professional and licensed vendors. Your property manager has the tools and resources to screen tenants better, collect rent on time, and enforce your lease. Your investment property has the potential to do better, so let a professional help you.
If you have any questions about property management in Lakewood and the West side of the Denver Metro area or you’d like to talk about the mistakes you have made in the past and how to avoid them in the future, contact us at Assured Management. We’d love to tell you more.