As the New Year arrives, everyone focuses on making personal and professional resolutions aimed at looking at the past and applying those lessons toward a better future. As a landlord, it’s a good opportunity for you to make some changes to improve how you run your business.
Making New Year’s resolutions for landlords is an effective way to list your priorities for your rental properties and identify areas that need your attention.
Here are 5 New Year’s resolutions for landlords that you can do to really make a difference in the coming year:
Resolution #1. Take time and spend money to find good tenants
Good tenants are the critical component of making your business a success.
Taking the time to find ones that will respect the property, pay on time and stick to the rules is imperative. Make the commitment to perform thorough tenant screenings on applicants to reduce the risk of getting into a contract with renters who won’t work out.
If you haven’t been happy with your current tenant screening process, it’s not too late to make some changes starting now. Also, don’t forget to make sure you do your homework when choosing a tenant screening company to handle your background checks.
Resolution #2. Say goodbye to bad tenants
Make the decision to stop tolerating bad tenants.
Tenants who are a drain on your resources, cost you money and bring down your business don’t deserve any more breaks in the new year. Getting rid of bad tenants will solve a lot of your problems, so be assertive and commit to action when they violate the lease agreement. Choose between non-renewal of the lease, notices to pay or quit when they are late, or notices to comply or quit when they cause trouble.
Resolution #3. Streamline landlord tasks
Your time is valuable, so stop wasting it.
Technology allows landlords to streamline many of the processes that used to take lots of time or lead to mistakes.
Maybe you are currently driving to the bank all the time to deposit checks. Instead, set up electronic deposits from the tenants to your bank account.
Maybe your residents are filling out maintenance requests by hand and dropping them at the office. Instead, update your website to include an electronic maintenance request.
Maybe you are still holding on to that cell phone you bought 5 years ago that is slow to text and doesn’t include handy apps like calendars, appointment reminders and GPS mapping. Instead, get a smart phone and simplify dozens of tasks immediately.
Choose at least one new way harness the power and convenience of technology and make your life a little easier.
Resolution #4. Review relationships with services and contractors
You need service companies and contractors you can depend on.
When you have a problem with your rental property, the service companies you work with need to be prompt, affordable and flexible. Whether it’s the plumber, exterminator or carpet cleaner, take the time to evaluate your current contracts, rates and other aspects. Then, make appointments as needed to renegotiate so that both of you are getting the best out of the relationship.
If you haven’t been happy with a service but are holding on out of some kind of loyalty, get tough and start shopping around for something better.
Resolution #5. Plan for quality upgrades
Never let your rental properties look run down or outdated.
Take a look at each property and determine what kind of an upgrade your property needs. Keeping your rental properties updated and comfortable has many benefits, such as attracting higher quality tenants and maintaining the property’s value.
Depending on your budget, you can look at new carpet, upgrading an appliance, invest in landscaping or something else that will boost the property value and each tenant’s overall happiness with the unit.
Celebrate the New Year by resolving to be a better landlord, a better businessperson and enjoy a better quality of life, because your well-run rental properties are full of good tenants! Happy New Year and good luck with your own New Year’ s resolutions.
What are your landlord-specific New Year’s resolutions? We’d love to hear them , so let us know what they are in the comments below. (Don’t forget to share this article!)