How can you, a new landlord, avoid the pitfalls and reap the rewards of owning a rental property in Santa Barbara, Goleta or Montecito? How can you dodge property management disasters and turn this into a profitable, hassle-free property ownership venture? The key is to start out on the right foot. Putting everything in place and being prepared will ensure that experience as a new landlord is a positive one. Sure, there might be bumps along the way, but if you are prepared, you’ll meet these challenges head on and overcome them.
- Follow the screening process. This should be at the top of your priority list. Don’t EVER take what a prospective tenant tells you at face value and hand them the keys. Be rigorous. Do all of your employment, reference and credit checks EVERY time on EVERY tenant. This is imperative for efficient property management and maximum return on your investment.
- Establish great tenant relationships. This is a very important step for new landlords because new tenants means a successful rental property business. Having good tenants prevents the “horror stories”. Establishing these relationships starts before you even meet your prospective tenants through advertising and screening and then carries on through the duration of their tenancy.
- Run it like a business. Owning a Santa Barbara, Goleta or Montecito rental property is a business and on organized landlord with systems and processes in place is much more likely to succeed than someone who is winging it. Some examples of these systems would include forms, your ads, your property information binders as well as filing and accounting systems.
- Use customized forms. When you’re just getting started with a rental property, it’s important to have your forms ready to go. These would include things like inspection reports, lease agreement and rental application. Many new landlords use generic forms that they find online thinking that one form is as good as the next and often times they don’t even understand everything that is written there. These are huge mistakes which will come to light when a lease needs to be enforced. Use customized property management forms to lay down your rules and regulations from the outset.
- Make security a priority. Most new landlords think that the cost of rent is the most important factor for tenants when they are looking for a rental. In actual fact it is security for themselves and their families that is the top priority. Many tenants are actually willing to pay a little more if there is great security in place when they rent and they know it will be ongoing.
- Make it easy for your tenants. When it comes to “who should do what” between tenants and landlords, conflict often arises unless it is clear from the start. The easier you make it for your tenants, the easier it will be for both of you in the long run.
- Use your head not your heart. This might be the hardest obstacle for anyone getting started with a rental property and property management in Santa Barbara and Goleta. As a new landlord or property owner, you’ll eventually hear a story or promise from your tenants, especially when if comes to late rent payments. Unfortunately, you’ll also figure out that most stories and promises aren’t true. To keep more money in your own pocket, it’s important to separate emotion from business and know your Santa Barbara and Goleta property eviction processes before you have to implement them.
- Prepare for bumps in the road. It won’t always be smooth sailing, even if you do follow these tips. Even with all of your systems in place, challenges will still come along in your Santa Barbara and Goleta property ownership. It’s how you handle these challenges that will determine your success.
- Save for a rainy day. Rental properties in Santa Barbara and Goleta cost money for repairs, maintenance and vacancies. If you don’t have a way to cover these expenses as they arise, your properties will deteriorate and so will your grade of tenant. It’s a slippery slope so it’s always best to expect expenses and plan for them ahead of time so your Santa Barbara and/or Goleta property ownership can be well maintained.