MANAGE A BUY-TO-LET PORTFOLIO
There are many benefits to managing your rental properties remotely. This approach offers you a great deal of independence and is especially useful if you travel a great deal for work or pleasure. Gone are the days when you had to be on-call at all hours and forced to keep your properties within reach at all times! Remote property management will also afford you a little more reach and allow you to extend your portfolio to locations much further afield. So how can you keep all of your properties under control without being present at all times? The quick homebuying consultancy Property Solvers have a few tips.
CAREFULLY VET YOUR TENANTS
Every landlord knows that they need to be very careful when choosing the individuals to whom they are willing to lease property. However, this goes doubly for property owners who are not always going to be close by. You need to know that your tenants are financially stable and trustworthy enough to keep up to date on rent without prompting and will treat your property with respect. Credit checks, rent guarantors and carefully curated contracts should all be considered, particularly if you’re going to be managing your property from further afield. You should also draw up a watertight deposit protection scheme, as this is a legal obligation for all landlords.
FIND A GREAT PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICE
If you run your portfolio through letting agencies, you may find that they also offer property management services. These can include anything from undertaking inspections to handling repairs, taking charge of rent collection and lease renewals, handling tenant arrears and ensuring that you are always in compliance with your legal obligations. This option may cost a little extra, but it may just be worth it for the ease and peace of mind it could offer.
USE APPS AND PROPTECH SOLUTIONS
Is there nothing smart devices can’t do? If you are considering a more independent means of taking charge of your properties remotely, you can now download a full complement of applications to your phone or tablet in order to keep track of everything. From seeking out new tenants and arranging viewings to taking inventories, managing your finances, keeping track of any rent that is owed, insuring your property, undertaking inspections, investing in a new property and even decorating your existing portfolio – all your duties can be managed from one device. You can also invest in software that will help you manage the ongoing maintenance of every property. It’s important to ensure that you keep all of your tenants’ personal information – such as their bank details – completely secure if you decide to use apps and software.
You could hire a trusted individual who is based close by to manage your properties if you’re unlikely to be around for long periods of time. In a way, this is a similar approach to the use of property management services. Where it differs is that it enables you to handle the finances and logistics yourself from afar (perhaps using the apps we mentioned above). Meanwhile, one or two organised and responsible individuals are tasked with undertaking the “hands-on” elements of property management such as maintenance and liaising directly with tenants. It’s a very flexible approach, as you are in charge of who handles which aspects. Remember, if you decide to hire anyone as part of a company, it’s important to have the correct insurance cover and contracts in place. Make sure you’re doing everything legally before you decide to pursue this method.
BUILD A TRUSTED NETWORK
Try to find maintenance specialists that you’ll be happy to use time and time again. This way, they’ll be familiar with the properties you manage and there won’t be any hand-holding required when it comes to granting them access or informing them of the location of whatever needs fixing.
Just because you won’t always be close by doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep in touch with your tenants. Not only will this make them feel safe, secure and cared for, but it will do a great deal for your peace of mind as well. It’s very reassuring to know that each person currently housed within your properties will tell you immediately if a problem arises. It serves a practical purpose too. Keeping your tenants up to date regarding important matters such as the dates of maintenance visits (particularly if they’ll need to be present) is an easy way to ensure that things run much more smoothly. Ensure that you have at least two easy means of contacting your tenants at all times – and they should always have your up to date contact details – or those of anyone else managing your property – to hand as well in case they need to make contact urgently. Consider all of the above advice as you build your portfolio as a remote landlord. Once you have your process set up just right, all of your properties should be far more straightforward to manage – no matter where they are!