There are a variety of investment opportunities for people looking to invest. The stock market is the obvious choice, bitcoin is a popular choice as of late, and of course there is always an option to buy a property for investment and rent it out to tenants.
However, some people think their work is done once they put down the money for the investment home. They are sorely mistaken! Being a landlord might be a lucrative long-term investment but it also requires a lot of work to do it right.
Here are 6 ways to be a good landlord.
It sounds absurd to have to even say it but there should never be any doubt as to the safety of your tenants. If someone repeatedly smells gas, you call someone to check it. If there is a loose floorboard, do not wait until someone falls before you have it fixed. Being a landlord means taking responsibility for the well-being of your tenants.
If your tenant is calling you, it is probably because they need something. Do your utmost to be available for them and or respond within a reasonable timeframe. No tenant wants to have to chase down their landlord especially if it is regarding a burst pipe or something. And as we spelled out previously, you certainly do not want your tenant trying to fix it themselves.
Don’t be a "helicopter" landlord.
Often people rent our apartments which are adjacent or even attached to their own home. However, that doesn't give you the right to invade their property whenever it pleases you. If your tenant has company, don't go looking for an excuse to knock on their door to see who it is. If a large package arrives, don't pepper them with questions about what their most recent purchase was. Be friendly, but remember you aren't necessarily friends.
Provide a professional contract.
The same way if you were entering into an agreement with a new vendor at work, or buying an expensive appliance, provide your prospective tenant with a professional contact that you've had approved by a lawyer. Don't wait for a tenant to ask for a contact and say, "Well I guess I'll go download something off the Internet”. It is considered unprofessional not to have a contract ready for the tenant to review and sign.
No jokes about your caretaking abilities
If you ever have the urge to joke with a tenant about how you care or do not care, for your property, fight it with every fiber of your existence. Firstly, it is unprofessional. Second, nobody wants to even think they are renting from someone who does not care about their wellbeing. Word of mouth is still an immensely popular way to get information. If you are not the kind of landlord people want to rent from, word will get around town quickly.
Give them a warm welcome.
This is especially true if someone is new to the area. While they certainly scouted out the neighborhood you can be gracious and offer some tips from a "local" about where the best bargains are, which farmer's market has the best produce, and how to avoid traffic in town by using side streets. Print out an instruction sheet for appliances, alarm systems, watering systems or any other devices they may have to operate in the home. It never hurts to welcome them into "your" home with a nice bottle of wine or some chocolates. While renting a home to someone is a business relationship, it is still a relationship, nonetheless.
If you are investing in a property with the mindset to rent it out, you could also find a reliable property management company who will ensure its managed professionally and responsibly. But that’s a topic for another day!