Property Management - Keep Your Tenants Happy!
By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Jonathan_T._James]Jonathan T. James
When people think about being a landlord, the first thing they think about is having to play a collection agent in their spare time. The second thing they think about is repairing damage done by nightmare tenants. The one thing they usually do not think of is all the time they are going to spend fixing things in their rental units. This is an oversight that usually takes people by surprise, and if not addressed, could lead to serious problems in the long run.
Think about all the work that you have to do on your own house on a monthly basis just to stay even. There is always yard work, small repairs, painting, the list could go on and on. Now multiply that work by the number of units you own, and the resulting work load could drive some people into a state of depression!
The point is, owning rental property is more than just buying a building and collecting rent...and these things must be considered before hand. The good news is that with just a little planning, these issues can all be addressed in a timely manner, with a minimal amount of hassle.
If you are the handy type, you may want to save money and try to make most repairs yourself. If you only have one or two rental units, this shouldn't be too hard to accomplish. However, if you own more units than that, and you have a day job, you will quickly find yourself in over your head. In that case, it would probably be wise to seek help, either in the form of a property management company, or a maybe a family member who would like to help.
Just remember, customer service is key; any maintenance request or work orders should be addressed within 24 hours of receipt. If this is not possible, you should contact the tenant in person to explain what solution is, how long it will take, etc. At this point you essentially become a customer service representative, and you want to make your customers happy!
Once you own a rental property, I would suggest building relationships with local trade companies, and possibly setting up accounts with them. I highly recommend finding a reputable plumber and keeping him on speed dial, because that is someone you will probably be calling once every few months! Another trade service I would try to align yourself with is a good, reliable appliance repair company. Even if you plan on making repairs yourself, you have to get parts somewhere, and a good relationship with the local Maytag Man could save you a lot of money in the long run.
One of the most time-consuming parts of owning any property is yard work. Grass needs to be cut in the spring and summer, leaves need to get raked in the fall, and snow needs to be shoveled in the winter. Like I said before, with more than one property, you are going to need some help. You can always hire a landscaping company to take care of all those things, but you will have to pay for it! However, there is another way to get those jobs done cheaper, and all it takes is a little supervision.
For forty bucks a month, most kids will do anything; just remember that they need to be directed and always check their work. You could hire your children, or maybe you have nieces or nephews looking to make extra money. If you think outside the box, you can get the job done and save money, and who doesn't like that?
By maintaining your property and practicing good customer relations with your tenants, you will keep those tenants happy; happy tenants equals a happy landlord, and that always leads to a pleasant atmosphere. A good atmosphere is critical to keeping your rental units occupied! The less turnover you have, the more income you generate, which is never a bad thing. By respecting your tenants and maintaining your property, you will create a place where people want to stay, and a stable tenant equals a stable, reliable income.
Jonathan James is the proprietor of http://www.learntorent.com, providing tips and strategies for making money from rental properties. To learn more about the realities of owning rental property, go to http://www.learntorent.com now!
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Property-Management---Keep-Your-Tenants-Happy!&id=7005472] Property Management - Keep Your Tenants Happy!