Every investor who chooses to put their money into the real estate market wants positive cash flow. This is the best case scenario. They meet with real estate agents, run the numbers, make an offer, and wait for the returns. But it’s not that easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it. Fortunately and unfortunately, many factors play important roles in determining the success of a rental property. If you do it right, you’ll be sitting pretty. You do it wrong, and it could turn into a money pit. Atlanta residential property management company, Specialized Property Management, has gathered data on the most common mistakes that real estate investors make, but are avoidable.
Preparing the Property
You’ve closed escrow on your rental investment property, and now it’s time to prepare it for a tenant. If you purchased a turnkey property, your list of preparations would be minimal. But if it’s a fixer-upper, you’ll be spending a lot of time and money getting your property rent-ready. During the rental preparation process, Atlanta residential property management teams follow a thorough checklist, and we recommend you do too.
- Rekey the door locks
- Replace or clean flooring
- Inspect all plumbing for leaks (including flooring and walls for any water damage)
- Replace light bulbs or light fixtures as needed
- Test all appliances and window coverings to make sure they operate safely and correctly
- Check countertops and cabinetry for any damage
- Hire professional cleaners
- Don’t forget about curb appeal. It’s the first thing potential renters see when they pull up to the property. Remove any weeds, mow the lawn, and show a little TLC to the flowers and trees.
Pricing the Property
It’s at this point that many investors make a critical wrong turn. You want the highest rent price for the market, but if your rental is priced too high, your property will sit vacant for too long. Every day your house sits empty, it’s money out of your pocket. Atlanta residential property management companies play an essential role at this step in the process. At Specialized Property Management, we take pride in our market analysis research to ensure your property is listed at a competitive price that gives you great cash flow but also gets the property rented quickly. We compare square footage, amenities, location, rental guidelines, and rules. On average, our vacancy times are shorter than other management companies.
Leasing the Property
Everything from marketing to showings to placing a tenant needs to be done with careful consideration. The last thing landlords want is to approve an unqualified tenant that ends up costing them legal fees from an eviction or property damage. Our professional Atlanta residential property management team has the highest standards when it comes to leasing and tenant screening. Clients can expect professional communication and viewings of the property from our staff. We require that every applicant who is 18 years and older fill out an Application to Rent and submit proof of income. Specialized Property Management goes to great lengths to verify employment, check rental history, and conducts credit, background, and criminal checks on applicants. Our staff keeps all communication professional and polite to avoid any negative tenant interactions or high turnover rates. We’ve found that when we treat our tenants and property with respect, our tenants return the favor.
Inadequate Rent Collection Process
Collecting rent payments is something Atlanta residential property management companies and private landlords do every month. So why dread the inevitable if there’s an easier way. Specialized Property Management utilizes Automated Clearing House deposits. That means your rental money is submitted and transferred electronically from bank account to bank account. Homeowners get paid faster and more securely than ever before. At Specialized Property Management, residents pay rent online through their tenant portal. We’ve found this process helps rent payments arrive on time.
Poor Rental Property Selection
From the get-go, we suggest you do your research to know where you want to purchase your rental property in Atlanta. Residential property management teams can help you remodel a house, but they can’t change the location that it’s in. Consider the location of your property, and if you can afford it, single-family homes tend to appreciate better than condos. Pick a house that is located near good schools and surrounding neighborhoods with quick and easy access to major roads. Fenced yards are good selling points, along with an open and general floor plan. Houses with funky floor plans tend to be quick turn-offs for renters.
Know the Laws
Atlanta residential property management companies are required to know the housing laws. But some companies are either not up to date on the laws or are simply negligent. Specialized Property Management follows all state and federal housing laws carefully to limit liability. We carefully document with date and time stamps all maintenance requests, tenant interactions, and any accommodation requests. We seek legal advice when dealing with Unlawful Detainers to ensure the eviction process is carried out legally.
Residential real estate can be a profitable investment if handled correctly and managed well. New investors often underestimate the time and knowledge it takes to manage a property. Avoid headaches, hassles, and costly mistakes. Call Specialized Property Management today to learn more about our comprehensive list of services and put our professional team to work for you today.