You’ve done your homework and now you’re ready to dive into real estate investing. You may have even purchased the perfect rental property. It has just the right amount of bedrooms with a smart layout in a nice quiet neighborhood with reasonable property taxes. Now all you have to do is find the right tenant and start collecting rent. Although you’ve followed the plan to a T, have you considered what comes next? The biggest task any investor has is to plan, plan, plan. It’s not enough just having a decent rental property. You have to continue to plan every aspect of managing the property from maintenance to turnover to taxes. But you’re just one person! That’s where Norwalk property management professionals, like those at Real Property Management Southern Connecticut, are there to walk you through the process and remove the burden of constant planning off your plate, so you can focus on reaching the next step in your financial goals.
Understanding the Rent Cycle
Whether or not you decide to enlist the help of professional property management for your rental, it’s important to understand that kinds of major events in the rent cycle that can affect you financially. There are typically 8 stages in the rent cycle:
- Ensuring the property is Rent-Ready. Simply put, you’ll perform and inspection of the property and address any needed repairs or upgrades. Once the property is repaired and clean, you’re ready to move onto the next stage.
- Marketing. This is vital to limiting the time the rental remains vacant. Targeting the right audience will help you attract the most qualified tenants.
- Showings. Taking time to show the property to prospective tenants is essential.
- Tenant Screenings. Now that people have toured the property and have submitted an application, it’s time to screen the applicants to make sure they’re the kind of tenant you want living in your property.
- Lease Signing. Here it is imperative that you provide clear guidelines for tenant conduct and expectations while assuring your renter that you are committing to holding up your end of the bargain.
- Rent Collection. This is the stage every investor wants to ensure is running smoothly. This is the whole purpose of owning investment property.
- Maintenance. A necessary element of owning a rental is ensuring that it continues to function properly and that your tenants feel safe within the home.
- Renewal or Move-Out. The goal is to have tenants who want to continue renewing their lease. However, it is inevitable that they will someday move out which will initiate the rent cycle all over again.
The entire cycle can run smoothly when you have a detailed plan for how you will act at every stage. When you decide to partner with Norwalk property management professionals like those at RPM Southern Connecticut, you have the added benefit of access to resources and tools that help you navigate this cycle with confidence.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Planning ahead, mentally and financially, for things like regular maintenance or unexpected emergencies is vital to running a successful investment property. Here are a few of the most pressing items that are likely to hit your cash-flow reserves the most:
Emergency Repairs—Who knew that the last storm was going to do so much damage to the roof? Of course some kinds of major damage might be covered by your insurance but many items won’t be. That’s why it’s so important to set aside an emergency fund to cover those costs.
Pest Control—Try as you might, pests always manage to make their way inside your rental. Even the most meticulous tenants might experience an infestation. Our Norwalk property management team suggests conducting quarterly pest control inspections. You’d hate to find out you have an expensive pest problem (like termites, yikes!) that could have been avoided if you had caught the issue early.
Broken Appliances—Items like faucets, water heaters, heating and air conditioning units don’t last forever. They will need to be repaired or replaced eventually. Plan on setting aside a percentage of your earnings to save up for these items.
Tenant Turnover—Working hard to keep your tenants happy can translate into longer tenant occupancy rates. However, even the happiest tenants won’t stay forever. Job changes, schooling, outgrowing the home, or even purchasing a home of their own—are reasons they might leave. Every time you have a tenant move out, you will need to rent-ready for new tenants. Costs will vary, but things like new paint, new carpet, bringing the home up to code if necessary, and making any repairs from normal wear and tear can seriously add up if you haven’t planned for it. Budget for tenant turnover and you won’t feel the hit as much when you do receive that lease termination notice.
As the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Norwalk property management professionals understand how important it is to be prepared. Building maintenance, emergency and tenant turnover costs into your budget from the very start will set you on the path toward successful real estate investing. But why do it alone? Real estate investing has a steep learning curve and having professional help, especially at the beginning, is money well spent. In fact, you could save you thousands by avoiding costly rookie mistakes when you hire a professional property management company.
How Our Norwalk Property Management Team Can Help
At RPM Southern Connecticut, we educate our clients to expect the unexpected. We advise that you plan to spend the equivalent of approximately two months worth of rent per year on maintenance costs alone. By budgeting for the costs of repairs, rental owners don’t become overwhelmed when problems do arise. And partnering with RPM Southern Connecticut gives you access to substantial discounts on appliances, cleaning and repair services through our network of licensed contractors.
But helping you manage your budget is not the only service we provide. We can help you manage every aspect of the rent cycle. Although many property management companies offer the same core services, you’ll see the real value of a company in how they can differentiate themselves from their competitors. Each one of our property managers is highly trained and equipped to manage your rental in an efficient and professional manner. You can rest easy knowing that our team of property managers are capable of handling every aspect of your rental property needs by providing:
- Customized rent-rate evaluations to help you set a rent at the right price.
- Rent-Ready Assistance to help you get it ready for market.
- Targeted advertising strategies to attract the right tenant.
- Comprehensive tenant screenings to ensure you select the most qualified renter.
- Routine interior and exterior property inspections to keep you home in tip-top shape.
- Affordable remodeling and maintenance services to get the home back in working order.
- Risk management and eviction services for handling sensitive situations.
- Easy-to-understand accounting and maintenance reports to keep you in the know.
- Online rent payment management for owners and tenants to make sure everyone gets paid on-time, every-time.
Our property managers also have extensive knowledge of regulatory demands on investment property owners and can help you navigate the ever changing landscape of laws. With Norwalk property management team by your side, you can save valuable time and money.
Working with the Best Property Management Company in Connecticut
Every market is different and so are our clients! As a nationally trusted company, our services attract a wide variety of clientele. From homeowners looking to rent their primary residence to individual investors needing help with management duties for several investment properties, and even larger institutions seeking professional management of their residential real estate portfolios like investment firms, banks, mortgage lenders, and government entities; we work diligently for each and every one of them. Our focus is to ensure that our clients get the best return on their investment. With more than 25 years of experience in markets all over the country, we have access to the resources and technology needed to provide complete solutions to every Southern Connecticut property management need. Call us today and see how we can help you become a successful investment property owner!