In movies and in real life, landlords are often hilariously depicted as the villain — collecting rent, increasing rent, imposing rules — when they’re really not bad people, obviously. Like their tenants, landlords have put in their earnest hard work and have been heavily hit by the effects of the pandemic. Here is a property management guide to help you implement measures to prevent foreseeable economic devastation, such as that brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ensure long-term stability
Some property rental owners are focused on the idea that rental income is the lifeblood of their business. Looking at it closely, it’s actually the tenants who are the lifeblood of the business. No tenants, no rental income. And for that, ensuring long-term business stability means finding the best kind of tenant possible.
The best kind of tenant is one with the capacity to pay on time, which is typically one who holds a steady job. Likewise, retirees would also be good candidates with their savings and pension. Make sure to check for references for good conduct and assess how they fair in the interview.
Exceptionally good candidates may even be given a special rate down the line, which establishes an amicable and hopefully long-term relationship. Getting good tenants is fundamental to avoid delays in payments and decrease vacancy and turnover rates. This also helps you maintain a healthy profit margin.
Build a good relationship with your tenants
Empathy with your tenants especially at a time like the pandemic is critical to maintaining a good relationship. It is always important to respond — not react — when there are delays in payments. Responding means thinking before you speak, instead of an immediate backlash that is brought about by stress or anxiety.
Proper communication in a difficult situation helps bring about a favorable solution. This also allows you to be more proactive, so you’re able to see problems before they arise and come up with a temporary solution with your tenants. Talking to your tenants will help you to get to know them more, and likewise, they will be able to understand your side of the problem.
Being more compassionate to your tenants’ situation also prevents tension from building up. Kindness goes a long way, and remember, potential tenants will ask about you. Treat your tenants compassionately and you may get great recommendations from your current tenants to future ones when the time comes.
Maximize your rental income
Telling your tenants that you will be increasing rent isn’t exactly the kind of news they want to hear, so be ready with a full explanation detailing the increase. Inflation, maintenance costs, upgrades, and other factors will affect rental rates, so increases are a natural part of the process.
Aside from directly adding onto rental costs, there are other ways to maximize your rental income:
- Lease storage space – Some tenants might need extra storage space, and if you do have the space to store big items, you can rent the space out. If you have a basement, a vacant room, and a sizeable garage or rooftop, all these can be used as extra storage space.
- Lease the rooftop or wall building for advertising – Having a firewall can be to your advantage, as some businesses are looking for ways to advertise their business in their local community or neighborhood. You can earn up to a few thousand dollars every month by leasing your rooftop and/or firewall for advertising.
- Switch to renewable energy – Renewable energy is quite the long-term investment with the cost of solar panels and the installation. In the long run, rental property owners can save on electricity bills while also being able to opt to charge their tenants by being their utility provider.
- Charge pet rent – If you do not allow pets and think you can manage allowing them into your rental property, then this might be a viable option for you. If you currently have vacancies in your property, you might finally be able to lease the space, as disallowing pets might be a deterrent for potential tenants. With pets come “pet rent”, and you can charge a deposit in the event of pets damaging hardwood floors, carpets, walls, and other items.
Get started with leasing your rental property
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen just as much job loss as The Great Depression in 1933, with economists saying the percentage of job loss is very close to what it was then. A year later however, it is time to look on the bright side, with vaccinations coming in and businesses slowly getting back to normal.
Implementing measures to maximize income adds a line of defense from financial distress and helps you make the most out of your current assets. Remember that you are not facing this alone and that help is around, especially from property management companies that are on the ready to lend a hand to rental property owners.
Sundance Property Management offers full-service property management services throughout the Midwest. Count on them to assist you in every step of the way, from marketing down to apartment unit maintenance. They can also provide property management tips that are unique to your situation.