Biggest Mistakes that St. Roberts Landlords Make When Renting out Their Homes
System - Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Today we’re talking about some common mistakes that landlords make in St. Roberts and surrounding areas. If you’re working with a property management company, you’re already taking really good steps towards preventing these mistakes. A good property manager has the same goal as you: to do whatever they can to get your home rented. Some of our homeowners never intended to be landlords. But perhaps they’ve had to leave the area with military orders or they are renting out their property after they were unable to sell.
Changing Your Mindset
Switching from a homeowner to a landlord can be difficult. You’re looking at what was once your dream house and you have to start looking at it as a landlord. It’s not your house anymore; it’s now an investment property. So you’ll need to treat it that way. For example, a fence is important. All of our tenants are looking for a fenced backyard. Fences contain animals and children, so it’s a desirable amenity. A lot of homes don’t have fences, so if your property has been vacant for a while, you need to think like a landlord and not a homeowner. Put up a fence.
Not Updating the Property
While you were living in the house, you might have done some minor damage and there might be scuff marks on the walls or worn carpet in high traffic areas. If you’ve been renting it out for a few years, you’ll also need to make some repairs. Previous tenants probably left normal wear and tear. Address those things and make smart updates and upgrades. This will help you can get your home rented, and it’s a mistake to ignore the need for new carpet or fresh paint.
With the updates you need to make and the preparation that goes into renting out a home, some landlords wait too long to make improvements. A lot of the tenant movement happens in summer, between June and August. This is particularly true in those areas so close to military installations. It’s referred to as PCS season. That’s when most of the move outs and move ins happen. If you have a tenant or a new property that’s going into the rental market in May or June, you’ll get the most traffic in those months. So make sure it’s ready for the market sooner rather than later. It will help you rent.
Overpricing the home in the hopes that you’ll get a little more rent is also a mistake. You want to price competitively, and even offer a move in incentive. Make those decisions as quickly as possible to help your visibility. You want more people to see the home and take advantage of the incentive. Don’t wait for September or October because your volume of tenants is smaller in the fall and winter.
These are just some of the common mistakes that local landlords tend to make. If you have any questions about this blog, or you’d like more information about how to avoid these mistakes, please contact us at Century 21 Prestige.