How to Manage More Properties Without Going Nuts
But if you do go nuts, go Macadamia.
If you’re a DIY landlord and you’re currently managing several or maybe a dozen properties, chances are you’re either burning the rope at both ends, or you’re reaching the end of your candle. There’s just so many niggling details to take care of! Now, you’re probably expecting this to turn into a sales pitch — give your properties to us to manage, let us deal with the stress! But we’ll give you enough credit to assume you know that’s an option at your disposal, and instead we’re giving away a few BIG tips on you can manage more properties efficiently.
BIG Tip#1: Keep Everything Online
One of the wonders of the modern world is that literally everything you need can be kept in “The Cloud,” that mysterious data-world that exists everywhere and nowhere at the same time. By combining cloud-based tools like:
- DropBox or GoogleDrive for data storage and management,
- Google Voice for phone and voicemail,
- GoogleDocs or Microsoft Office 365 for document editing,
- Google Calendar for scheduling, reminders, and logging time-in and time-out,
- And so on,
…you can completely weigh anchors and operate effectively from anywhere that you have an Internet connection or cellular service. And with a wifi hotspot (which includes almost every iPhone), you can have an Internet connection anywhere, which means the only time you won’t be in a position to respond to an emerging situation is when you choose not to.
BIG Tip #2: Use Property Management Software
Online property management software is a huge help for people trying to manage more properties. Royal Rose Properties is such a power-user of our management software, PropertyWare, that our head honcho was asked to give a presentation this past summer at their national gathering in Las Vegas. PropertyWare is overkill (and too expensive) for most DIY’ers, but there are numerous options available – just be sure you pick one that’s cloud-based.
BIG Tip #3: Hire a Virtual Assistant
Lots of people are nervous about hiring VAs, but the fact is that most of the stuff that gives you the biggest headaches — like keeping ads for vacant properties up on Craigslist or entering property and lease information in the cloud-based management software you just signed up for — can be done by a VA cheap enough that you’ll appreciate the time you’re saving. Invest a couple of weeks of effort upfront training them in exactly what you need, and you’ll find that you can handily manage more properties when the necessary-but-time-consuming tasks are off your plate.
BIG Tip #4: Screen Tenants Like Your Soul Hangs In the Balance
Royal Rose Properties attributes our success to two things: understanding what owners want, which presumably you as an owner already have covered, and screening our tenants very well. It goes like this: every excellent tenant you rent to is on average going to take up maybe an hour a month of your time, but every crappy tenant you rent to is guaranteed to average an hour a week, if not per day. Again, we’re talking about averages, but the time you spend calling on late payments, reminding them to cut the grass/shovel snow so you don’t get a city ticket, sending out eviction notices, going to court, addressing ticky-tack repairs, etc. all add up. The more you can avoid those tenants, the better off you’ll be.