As any experienced landlord can attest, some rental properties require far more work than others. Whereas single-family rentals are fairly easy to manage and maintain, large multi-unit properties are a whole other beast entirely. So, if you’re thinking of investing in an apartment building or condo complex that contains hundreds of units, you’re going to have your work cut out for you. Before tackling the herculean task of managing a large rental property, make sure to familiarize yourself with the following pointers.
Hire a Dedicated Property Manager
If you lack the time or interest to turn managing your rental property into your full-time job, you’d do well to hire a dedicated property manager. The larger the property, the more crucial it is to have someone overseeing it full-time. As the job title suggests, this person will be responsible for tackling a plethora of managerial tasks that range from processing maintenance requests to mediating disputes between tenants. In short, every aspect of property management will be entrusted to this person, so when seeking out the right candidate, make sure to look for someone who possesses vast knowledge and experience with managing rental properties.
Although you’ll ultimately have the final say on all important decisions, your property manager will act as your proxy and make a variety of choices in your absence. However, this isn’t to say that you should be completely hands-off if you hire a dependable property manager. Checking in with your property manager on a regular basis and requiring them to consult you on certain types of issues can help ensure that things continue to run smoothly and reduce the chances of unpleasant surprises.
Hire Knowledgeable Maintenance Personnel
When it comes to small single-family properties, maintenance generally isn’t a huge concern. Although the occasional maintenance issue is bound to pop up with such properties, such problems are easy to keep track of and address in a timely manner. However, when dealing with properties that contain hundreds of units, you’re likely to find that maintenance is a whole different ball-game.
This is why it’s vitally important to hire full-time maintenance personnel for such properties. Depending on how many units you’re dealing with and the age of the property, you may find yourself fielding dozens of maintenance requests per day. With this in mind, make a point of recruiting dedicated maintenance personnel who are experienced in a variety of handyman disciplines.
In addition to being knowledgeable, your maintenance staff should be personable and courteous. Since they’ll be interacting with a wide variety of tenants throughout the course of their work, it’s only fitting that any maintenance professionals you bring on be polite and approachable. Additionally, to help ensure that maintenance requests are processed in a timely manner, consider investing in a good request tracking software system.
Be Sympathetic to Tenant Concerns
Unsurprisingly, many renters aren’t keen on the idea of providing passive income to people who regard their concerns as an afterthought. While it’s important to not let tenants walk all over you, this doesn’t mean that it’s okay to dismiss any problems they report out of hand. Needless to say, the less sympathetic you are to the needs and concerns of your tenants, the lower your renter retention rates are likely to be – and empty units aren’t going to make you any money.
For starters, tenants should be able to reach you or your property manager whenever they have a maintenance request or any other problem that needs addressing. So, in addition to providing them with a work phone and email, make sure they have a number to call in the event of an emergency. Secondly, take care to respond to every text, email and phone message you receive from a tenant within one business day, as this lets them know that their input is valued.
When exploring potential rental property investments, it’s important that size be taken into account. After all, the size of the property plays a large role in determining how much maintenance and upkeep the property will require, as well as how many tenants you’ll be dealing with. As any experienced property investor can attest, there’s a stark difference between owning a single-family rental and a multi-family rental. So, if you’re thinking about purchasing a property that contains dozens – if not hundreds – of units, make sure that you understand exactly what you’re getting into.
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