If you’re human, you likely have some bad habits. If you’re a rental property investor, you’re probably engaging in some bad habits there, too. For most property owners, mistakes happen. You learn from them. You change things up and move on in a better position. But there are always one or two processes, management efforts, or oversights that could be keeping you from being your best. And the more you continue in the wrong direction, the harder it is to cut the bad habit. Here are a few bad habits that aren’t new to rental property owners. And if they sound familiar to you, they’re probably costing you money.
1. Procrastination with Maintenance Bad Habits
Here’s a common bad habit. You receive a repair or maintenance request from one of your tenants. And you intend to respond and schedule the contractor, but things come up, and you get distracted. Next thing you know, it’s been a few days, and your renter calls again, this time frustrated they haven’t heard from you and still can’t flush the toilet. To break this bad procrastination habit, put a process in place with contractors you trust. Enable automatic responses to repair submissions, so your tenants feel heard. Then promptly schedule those contractors for immediate response.
2. Cutting Corners During Tenant Pre-Screening
Sometimes when there’s a vacancy, you feel the added pressure to get someone signed and moved in right away. And under that pressure, you have a bad habit of relying on your gut instinct about applicants, occasionally cutting corners when it comes to pre-screening. Ultimately, this habit will cost you substantially as you sign poor renters who pay late, don’t pay at all, or lead to evictions. Take the extra time you need to call the references, verify the income, and pull the credit report. Your bank account will thank you.
3. Rent Is Too Cheap Bad Habits
Some rental property investors assume the best way to attract tenants is to be the cheapest rent around. And that might bring the applications, but it won’t bring the quality renters you want. And in other instances, some investors are worried about increasing their rent rates for fear of losing tenants or being too high. Stay in tune with the market rent rates ongoing. Work in an automatic rent raise annually with new lease signers, so they know it’s coming. And remember, you can always enforce marginal, incremental increases regularly without overshooting your market or scaring off applicants. It’s easier to charge more when you provide more value, efficiencies, and conveniences, too.
4. Misaligned Communication
Are you telling your renters one thing and then confusing them with messaging in an email or mailer? Miscommunication happens and should be expected from time to time. But if there is continuous cluelessness among your residents, you could be the culprit. Revisit your messaging and communication strategy to make sure every piece of information you provide your renters is consistent. They should know, without question, what the rent is, when it’s due, what fees apply, and how to submit repair requests.
5. Still Not Allowing Pets
There was a time when most veteran investors would tell you to avoid the pet allowances altogether. But today, there are great tools to help you vet applicants and their pets, so you don’t have to worry. And those renters who have furry friends expect to pay more in rent or have pet deposits as part of their leases. Carve out a strategy that makes sense for you and tap into all the resources available that help reduce the risks associated with pet-friendly property ownership.
Do any of these bad habits sound familiar? If you need help breaking the cycle with your property, let PMI JCM Realty Group help!
At PMI JCM Realty Group, we’re always highlighting the absolute latest in rental property tips, along with emerging trends right here in Tampa’s real estate market. If you’re ready to drastically improve your landlord-tenant experience and bottom line, sign up now for our free webinar. It’s there you can find relevant strategies for rental investment success. It’s a must-watch webinar, too, with real-world advice on How to Streamline Your Rental Portfolio for Maximum Growth! Local property investors, both in Tampa and beyond, who are just like you, will always find something useful to apply.
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