In the world of property management, it’s inevitable you’re going to have conflict. Many investors get into real estate and believe they are in the property business, but you’re not in the property business – you are in the people business – and having good people skills will be essential to your success.
Working in the industry of property management, I get the opportunity to speak to a lot of owners. Hignell Property Management manages a wide variety of real estate, but often I find myself talking to single-family home owners who are renting out their homes for the first time. They call a little nervous, a little afraid, and have no clue what the process is to rent out their home. Here’s a little about what to expect when renting out your home for the first time.
There are two types of renters in this world: those looking for fully furnished rental units, and those that are not. The former are typically people like foreign exchange students, traveling nurses, traveling construction workers on a short term job, etc. For these people it makes no sense for them to lug a couch, desk, table, and chairs all the way across the country, just to pack up and leave three to six months later. The type of people looking for a fully furnished unit are probably only going to stay for a matter of months and then jump on a plane heading to their next destination. They want to arrive with their suitcase and nothing else. They don’t want to have to bother with putting PG&E in their name, waiting for the cable guy to show up, and they definitely don’t want to deal with unloading a moving van with a massive amount of furniture.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” We have all heard this catch phrase, but few of us are really taking planning seriously. Whether it applies to our nutrition, retirement, or our investment property, planning takes time and brain power. At our company we manage many large multifamily complexes and homeowner associations. Around November of every year you can hear the groans from the managers as they dive into the numbers and reports to get the necessary info to put together the next year’s budgets for the properties. Is the roof going to last another year? How much do we spend on landscaping? Can we negotiate a better rate with this vendor? All these questions come up as I peer into the offices of the managers sharpening their pencils and getting their numbers right.
Nobody wants to be the mean guy. As humans, most of us have an innate desire to please people and get on people’s good side. We want to be accepted and liked by those we interact with. It’s just human nature. So, what happens when you’re a residential property manager and a prospective resident asks you to make an exception when they don’t qualify financially for your unit? What happens when your resident shares a sad story of why they are late on their rent? Do you make an exception? Should you be the proverbial “nice guy or gal?” My simple answer, for the most part is…no. Do not make exceptions. Here’s why.
You have probably heard that there are three rules to real estate: Location, Location, Location. The same is true with where you buy your Chico or Redding rental property real estate. When deciding how much to charge for rent or where you can buy a great rental property you need to first look at location.
Turning over a rental property is probably one of the trickiest parts of rental property management. You need to coordinate move-out dates, maintenance, marketing, cleaning, inspections, possibly remodeling and a whole host of other variables. No doubt this takes skill and finesse to nail down a fool proof strategy to turning over rentals. In this blog I’m going to talk to you about developing an excellent strategy that works for your Redding or Chico rental property.
In the late 1980s there was an amazing TV show called MacGyver. MacGyver was a secret agent that would solve all kinds of problems using random things he had around him. He would start car engines using a bubble gum wrapper and some duct tape. It was fantastic to see his creative solutions to save the day.
Sometimes Redding & Chico rental property owners can be a bit like MacGyver. Instead of calling a plumber to fix a leaky pipe, they will instead use some duct tape and bubble gum to save the day. The problem is that when maintenance work needs to be done, you need to do it right and do it quickly. Many properties have what we call deferred maintenance which are maintenance issues that are left undone.
In my small town of Chico, as well as all over California, the rental property market has been on fire. Currently we have never seen such high rents with such low vacancies. As a matter of fact, I’d be willing to say in our 60-year history, it’s never been quite as good as it is now. Rents are up and vacancies are very low. At the moment, the vacancy rate over our 1,500 local units sits at .56%, and this is after we raised all our rents and built 56 brand new apartments. Pretty amazing!
Most readers of our blog are holding anywhere from one to 20 rental units. However, there’s a growing movement of apartment developers who are building brand new luxury apartments with well over 20 units. For those of you out there who are planning on building brand new apartments there will come a time when you will need to lease them up. If you self-manage your properties, you should know there’s an art and science to doing a lease up well.
If you’re just popping into this blog you may have noticed that this is a series of blogs about how to sell your rental units to prospective residents. If you missed the first two, you can check them out by clicking below:
As a real estate investor, you know that time is of the essence. Typically, most investors I know are highly leveraged. They have a mortgage to pay every single month, and the bank doesn’t accept any excuses as to why you’re late or a month behind. Renting out your Chico or Redding rental property fast is important, and it’s something not every investor thinks about with a new investment.
In the previous blog post I talked about the importance of not just showing your properties, but selling your rental property to potential residents. I can’t underestimate how important this is. Any company that goes out of business, or loses money does so because they didn’t sell enough of their products or services in the quantities necessary. Selling is an important skill no matter what business you’re in and it’s something that we can all improve on.