For most landlords, reducing expenses and maximizing profits is the ultimate goal. To achieve this goal, staying on budget is important. With monthly energy bills being one of the costly expenses that landlords and property managers have to deal with, finding the cheapest energy rates is just as vital. However, there are other strategies you can implement to reduce energy consumption on your property, besides taking advantage of decent rates. As a landlord or property manager, you may need to discuss with tenants about the importance of cutting energy consumption. Most of them will be open to the idea as, energy consumption tends to be in their (tenants) hands, in most cases.
Hire Professional HVAC Maintenance Services
As the HVAC system gets older, its energy consumption gets higher and higher. Having a professional check and maintain the unit could just be the best way to cut its energy consumption. A professional will carry out a thorough inspection of every part of the system, including air filters and ducts, to ensure it remains energy efficient.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
One of the worst mistakes tenants do is forgetting to switch off the HVAC system after use, leading to wastage of lots of energy. Installing a smart or programmable thermostat will help to prevent this problem as the system will go off automatically as programmed. This does not only help tenants to control energy consumption, but it is also a modern aspect that pulls tenants to your property.
Install Clotheslines for Air Drying
A standard clothes dryer consumes thousands of watts an hour; hence, it is important to scale down the equipment usage. Installing a clothesline to allow tenants air dry their clothes is a simple yet a great way of reducing dryer-related energy costs. Plus, it helps to extend the life of the dryer.
Fix Draughty Doors and Windows
Windows and doors are used on a daily basis, and as such, they are prone to wear and tear. Draft issues are one of the most common problems experienced with doors and windows. If the windows or doors are allowing air to escape through cracks, it would mean increased energy consumption, which puts a strain on the HVAC system. As a property owner or manager, it is important to conduct routine checks just to give your property a clean bill of health as far as draft issues are concerned.
Being a landlord may be time-consuming and stressful, especially when trying to manage an embarrassment of property on your own. You will not only be dealing with tenants and legal matters, but also managing your investment property and well-being of your houses. To avoid all these commitments, it makes sense for you to entrust someone else with the responsibility of taking care of your property. Let’s take a peek at how landlords benefit from property managers.
Tenant selection is no easy. It involves conducting background checks to know the previous behavior of the tenant and understanding their level of responsibility. This process calls for due diligence and needs time as rushing things could lead into getting a wrong tenant, who may not pay rent on time. Property managers have what it takes to filter tenants and get it right. They will conduct a rigorous background check before they can rent out your property.
Conflicts between landlords and tenants are not only a common phenomenon but also very stressful. If not resolved in time, they could adversely affect your property profitability. Property managers have experience and expertise dealing with such conflicts while, at the same time, protecting your financial interests.
Living without the worry of property maintenance and repairs is the dream of every landlord. Unfortunately, you can’t escape this responsibility as a landlord. Like any other property, rental property undergoes wear and tear, over time. The wear and tear will even be faster if you have reckless tenants. To save yourself the trouble of property maintenance, you will need to appoint a property manager.
Getting a good tenant is more difficult than you could imagine. So, when you get one, it is important that you don’t lose them unless it is absolutely necessary. If your tenant gets disgruntled with the quality of service, there are high chances that they will move out of your property. Vacancy rate will definitely rise when you’re taking longer than normal to fix a drainage problem, air conditioner, electricity problem, or any other property related problem that affects the tenant. A property manager will ensure that these issues are promptly dealt with, leaving your tenants satisfied.
Frees You Up
This is perhaps the most obvious reason why you will want to appoint a property manager. From communicating with tenants to marketing vacant houses to coordinating repairs and maintenance – not to mention a dozen other tasks – it can be overwhelming to handle all of them and pay attention to other personal commitments. With a property manager, however, you will have all the time in the world to attend to other tasks as they handle all issues related to your property.
Whether you are an interior designer or you are a first time seller, staging your home can make or break the sale, and can enhance or increase the value and appeal to potential buyers. Here are some hacks and tips for staging yours, or any home, which will help save money, time and that will help make the process as efficient as possible:
- Stage the most focal areas; if you are short on time, cash, or both, make sure to focus on the areas which are the most visible, focal and ultimately crucial to buyers. The rooms known to be the most appealing and focused on for buyers include the living room, master bedroom and the kitchen.
- Make the space relatable but not overly personal; it is essential that buyers can see, visualise and picture themselves living in the home. From cooking dinners to watching movies to a cosy bedroom, a buyer has to be able to imagine their lives in the space. This means removing traces of your own life, including family photos, etc. You can easily use things such as ikea couch covers to help make the space more open, de-personal, yet still inviting.
- De-clutter; get rid of clutter which doesn’t add value or appeal to a room. This doesn’t necessarily mean throwing away your belongings, but perhaps packing up nick nacks, toys, extra décor, and games, etc. Space looks bigger and more open with less stuff in it. If you have a garage, try putting extra things in there, or use it as an opportunity to purge your belongings.
- Tidiness does not equal cleanliness; make sure to grab your bleach and all your favourite cleaning products, and make the house sparkle and shine. Tidying is no replacement for cleaning; there is no substitute for walking into a genuinely clean home. This means the tasks you may have been putting off for a while, such as cleaning the fridge, vents, or curtains, etc. Investing in a professional can take the guesswork and effort out of it.
- Neutral is better; if you are investing in furniture, or décor, etc. for the sole purpose of staging, go with neutral colours such as black, beige, or grey, etc. Pick colour schemes and shades which go well together. These pieces can also be easier to use in different or multiple spaces, generating a better return on investment, or sold if you no longer need the furniture after staging your home.
- Practice a walkthrough; have a friend or family member come and walk through and give you a fresh set of eyes. This can provide you with valuable insight and feedback to help with last-minute touches. This can also help when you are so far invested that you may not be able to remove yourself and see the space objectively.
Renovating your house is like breathing a new life into it. It serves to rekindle that excitement spark, which usually goes away as a result boredom that comes with a prolonged stay in a familiar environment. Yes, a long stay in one environment is enough to make even a paradise lose its charm. Besides the charm it brings, renovation upgrades increase the value of your property, making it easy to sell it at a premium, if you want to. As a property owner or manager, here are some renovation ideas you could invest in to turn your home into a perfect haven.
Spruce Up the Garden
Do you see an outdoor space with a garden around your house? That is a nice place to read a novel, a newspaper, or even relax and unwind after a hectic day. Thus, you will need to spruce up the garden to make your outdoor space more appealing. This is especially important in spring as it eliminates any signs of winter damage. You could start by cleaning up the entire garden to get rid of all dried leaves, flowers, twigs, branches, and any other winter leftovers. You can then prepare the soil and plant your crop, which could be your favorable vegetables.
Renovate the Patio
Your patio will definitely lose its appeal if it is not renovated. Being an outdoor space, the patio is so vulnerable as it takes the hit from destructive elements, such as sun rays, rainfall, and wind. Flowers and plants are what forms your patio’s life; hence, they will need special attention. Sweet flower scents create serenity in the area, making the space perfect for relieving stress and unwinding. Adding a water feature such as a bird bath will help entice the birds into the patio, adding beauty and life to it. The addition of a canopy, a rug, and some matching colorful cushions makes the patio even more appealing. You could go a notch higher and decorate your patio with an embarrassment of tiki torches, drum tables, sculptures, and Chinese jars. Ensure that the chairs and tables are well repaired or replaced as needed.
Renovate the Garage
Perhaps, your garage has sustained some serious beating from the stored junk and needs renovation. Putting it in order could be a tiresome task, but it will be worth all the hassle. Of course, the clutter-filled space can be used for other purposes. You will first need to remove all the junk from the space. Check the garage floor for any cracks and repair them as needed. Repaint the walls to give them a new look and install proper lighting for good ambiance. Check every part of the garage to ensure it is up to the mark.
Real estate is big business; it seems as though just anyone can succeed in this market. However, those who venture into it will tell you that it is not an easy business. It is an industry which requires a lot of keenness and attention to detail. One has to have their ear to the ground for the latest trends that property buyers are looking for.
Here are some of the critical issues you should have in mind when looking to develop a property.
Access to Major Road Networks
Roads are the most popular means of transport used to get around in most parts of the world. Road convenience, thus, becomes a significant factor which people looking for real estate property consider. A real estate location should be situated either close to main roads or with good feeder roads. While this is not a problem in most parts of the UK, distance should be given thought too. People want to avoid tiring journeys, especially when they have to commute every day.
Security and Safety
It goes without saying that people will always be concerned about their safety. Safety is a general term which comprises of several aspects. Threats of terrorism may be a considerable concern, but people also care about smaller crimes such as break-ins and robberies.
Places with a lousy history of neighbourhood relationships will often be avoided by buyers. Child molestation claims are also a sure factor in chasing people away. Developers should dig up such statistics before deciding to invest in a particular area.
The internet is no longer a luxury. People place it high on the list of facilities they want to have in a property they are buying. In the current age, people often work from home and need an internet connection to do so.
The internet is also a great security feature and can be used in medical emergencies too.
Developers should thus invest in areas with robust internet services, and where buyers can have several providers to choose from.
Access to Amenities
Within a residential area, people want to be able to access basic amenities such as water, electricity and shopping centres with ease. They also want their children to be in a position to find good schools. Over and above that, there are recreational facilities such as swimming pools and parks, which can be high selling points too. Real estate developers need to look beyond the necessary amenities and invest where there are recreational facilities also.
Mistakes are part of life, and we all know that, but some mistakes can be very costly. A mistake on your property could mean spending money and time pursuing tenants or even dealing with lawsuits filed against yourself. Here are five property management mistakes you must avoid to cushion yourself against these headaches.
Failure to Appoint a Property Manager
Property managers are the masters in the game. They understand every aspect of property management, right from vacancy marketing to drafting tenancy agreements to maintenance. They also know how to handle tenants professionally – it is uncommon to find a property manager engaging in a heated altercation with tenants. Unfortunately, many landlords decide to manage their property on their own for fear of paying a property manager. With a property manager, you will likely get everything right from the word go.
Forming Friendship with Tenants
While friendship is important, it can ruin your business. What will you do if your tenant-cum-friend requests for a time extension for paying rent because he had a funeral just the other day? Your relationship with tenants should be purely professional and courteous.
Failure to Screen Tenants Properly
You have built some nice rental apartments, but they have been vacant for six months now. A potential tenant comes knocking and you’re quick to rent out. Wait a minute, you could be wrong. You don’t have to be desperate for tenants as this could lead into getting a bad deal. You will need to vet the tenant thoroughly to ensure they have the ability to pay rent. What is the point of renting out to someone who cannot pay rent?
Property managers are human beings, and as such, they have their own limitations. In fact, there is no guarantee that you will get a property manager who will be a perfect fit for your property. However, there are certain qualities that a good property manager must embody. Here some of them:
Forget about educational knowledge learned in class; experience is perhaps the most important attribute to look at when hiring a property manager. You can know the property manager’s level of experience by looking at the number of properties they have previously managed and the number of years they have been in the business. An experienced property manager will have local real estate regulations and laws at their fingertips.
It doesn’t matter how experienced a property manager is, their job can turn stressful at times, just like any other job. Just imagine how stressful it can get dealing with unruly tenants and behind-the-schedule contractors! This is where the manager’s patience will be put to test.
Exceptional Communication Skills
A property manager deals with different people, including tenants, investors, landlords, etc. As such, proper communication skills is very important.
Other important qualities for a property manager include tech savvy, ingenuity, professionalism, and organizational skills.