Updated May 09, 2022.
Are you new to real estate investing? Well, you've come to the right place! Rentwell has been helping real estate investors build wealth through maintaining and appreciating investments, keeping turnover low, and cost-cutting innovation to support your long-term wealth since we got into this business! We love what we do as Philadelphia property management pros—and we've learned a lot along the way about how to succeed as a real estate investor.
We want to help every investment property owner find success, so here are some of our top tips for real estate investors in 2020 to boost your returns into high gear!
Practice Safe Text
Did your aunt's best friend's little brother use this lease, and everything turned out okay? They may have gotten lucky.
If you're not going to work with a property management company, we suggest getting legal help when it comes to your lease. The lease is the most important document in the entire engagement, so you want to be sure you're working with a legally sound one that isn't full of holes.
Dodge that swiss-cheese lease (try saying THAT ten times fast), hire a Philadelphia property management expert to lease your property, or hire a lawyer if you're going to go it alone!
Always Be Professional
You probably shouldn't be best friends with your renter, for more reasons than we can list in a blog post. Things get messy when personal relationships are involved. If you are dead set on renting to someone you know, you'll probably want to hire a third party to manage your rental so that relationship can stay separate from business.
Even if you're renting to a stranger, keeping things professional is always a best practice. You're an investor, and your best bet as such is to always stick to the lease. When you let personal relationships become involved, you'll want to make exceptions and let things slide—and that can be a dangerous practice for your long term success.
Set the Right Rent
Set your rent too low, and you'll find a renter fast, sure—but you won't make the most you can from your investment, which is why you're in the business in the first place. Set your rental rate too high, and your property will be one of the last ones on the market.
Setting a rental rate is a complex calculation based on comparable rents in the area, vacancy rates, distance to schools and amenities, and so on. Property managers like Rentwell are good at setting rental rates because they have a lot of local data to rely on—more than the average new investor would have.
When setting a rental rate, be sure to compare similar rental properties with similar amenities, and don't only look at what is on the market: look at what was recently rented, so you're not only comparing vacancies to your investment.
Check for Axe Murderers
You probably don't want to rent to axe murderers or identity thieves, but it can be really hard to tell from appearances unless they're, you know, wielding an axe.
Still, there are things you can look for with a good background check, so you don't end up replacing any doors. Your Philadelphia property management partner can help you—or you check out our great tips for renter screening in this blog post. In general, whatever you look for, you need to be sure to apply these standards across the board, so you are treating all renters fairly.
There are laws in place to ensure that renters get a fair deal, so you'll want to set your criteria before ever meeting with anyone. That way, you are basing your rental criteria on facts that make sense—not molding them to meet a particularly charismatic renter.
Keep up With Maintenance
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Do this between renters to be sure you're not missing your preventative maintenance.
There can be a lot to remember as an investment property owner when it comes to keeping up with preventative maintenance. Renters should look after your property when they call it home, but it's always a good idea to put a second set of eyes on things. That is why we inspect investment properties as often as we do! As your rental asset manager, it is our job to ensure your property maintains its value.
If you're not ready to work with a Philadelphia property management company like Rentwell, we understand. Many first time investors like to try to manage a unit on their own, not realizing how much work it can be. Still, we're here to help!
Download our free Seasonal Maintenance Checklist, and use it to schedule preventative maintenance and check-ins at your investment. Just remember, we're here, should you need us.