3 Steps to a Rent-Ready Property [Infographic]

Thinking about renting out your property? There are a lot of considerations that need to be made before your property will be ready for a new tenant. The most important things to remember are to determine your needs first, to evaluate the condition of your property, and to document everything.

3 steps to a rent-ready property

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Working with a property management company eliminates almost all of this responsibility for you as the property owner. To find out how we can help you get rent-ready, and stay that way, contact us today!

Renter Placement vs. Property Management: What’s the Difference?

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Many property management companies, like Simply Residential, offer both property management and renter placement services. For this reason, we often encounter questions about what a homeowner truly needs in order to rent out their home — do they need a property management service, or do they just need someone to help them find a renter? The right solution can often be found by a quick discussion about resources. Essentially, if you plan to use a renter placement service, you’re taking all legal responsibility for that lease agreement upon yourself once the renter has signed it. Property management services are different. For example, at Simply Residential, we don’t charge for renter placement with a management agreement, and we take on all risk and liability from a legal standpoint by actually signing the lease with the tenant.

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There are a few more distinguishing factors between renter placement and property management that have helped our clients decide what is best for them. Let’s start with the basics.

What is Renter Placement?

There is more to renter placement than you might anticipate right off the bat. This service should include marketing your property to help get the attention of prospective renters, screening applicants through criminal background and credit checks, and ultimately choosing which renter will be best for your rental property. That is the extent of the scope of a renter placement service.

If you feel confident taking on legal responsibility, even in the event of an eviction, and are able to draft a solid lease, this could be a good option for you. Keep in mind, there are going to be maintenance needs and emergencies that will arise during the time you rent out your home, so be prepared for those situations as well.

What is property management?

Property management services can vary from company to company. When we talk about property management at Simply Residential, we’re referring to the services that we provide to our clients, and they may not be the same as another company’s services. Generally speaking, property management covers the services provided by renter placement and adds on maintenance services, rent collection, lease signing and renewals, and anything else you may request in the management of your property.

Ultimately, the majority of our clients choose to take advantage of our property management services for the peace of mind they allow. It’s good to know that someone has things under control in your rental property, especially when you have other things going on that require your attention. After all, being a landlord is a big job, and nobody likes late-night maintenance emergencies and tracking down tenants for late rent. Those are the kind of details we thrive on at Simply Residential.

If you’re curious to find out what services you need, take our new quiz! Otherwise, give me a call at 952-831-5300 — I’m happy to discuss options and services with you for a more personalized set of information.

Protect Your Rental Property by Being Proactive With Maintenance

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One of the toughest parts of owning a rental home is keeping your investment in good condition and looking good through the normal wear-and-tear of tenants. That’s why homeowners who rent out their homes will often perform basic upkeep tasks like painting and cleaning carpets between tenants. When faced with a property that isn’t rented, take that time to evaluate your property and determine what projects need to be tackled before the new tenants move in. Making a list of necessary repairs and replacements is a great way to keep this information organized and keep yourself motivated. If you’re using a property management company, making a list for them is a great way to hold their team accountable and keep yourself in the loop.

Who is moving in?

It’s often helpful for homeowners to consider who their usual tenant is or will be. For example, a three bedroom house is more likely to rent to a group — whether that’s a family or college students. A studio will more likely be rented by a single person. This information can help guide your decisions, because it will tell you how much wear and tear you can potentially expect. Each type of tenant will use a home differently and it will help you decide where it is important to spend money. Families tend to be financially secure, long-term tenants, but they can be damaging the property. After all, children aren’t known for their tidiness. If this is the case, consider replacing worn-out carpets with laminate creates flooring that cleans easily and is very hard to damage. It might not be worth the extra expense to put in hardwoods, since they can be damaged by kids. College students are notoriously hard on rentals, but some of the damage can be mitigated. Set the home up with hard to damage flooring like laminate or tile. Pins and nails can be a pain to fill in and students love to decorate their space, so put poster strips in the bedrooms and state in the lease that they are not to hang posters in the walls, only on the provided areas. Single professionals can be difficult in their own way. While they often are not as rowdy as their young student counterparts, they are often gone for large portions of the day, and sometimes even travel for weeks or over weekends. It might be wise to invest in a quality security system to make sure that the rental doesn’t suffer from damage due to theft or vandalism since the somewhat absent tenant can make it attractive to criminals.

What areas are used the most?

Take a look around the rental itself. How is it faring? Go back through your records and see if there is any one area that is a repeated problem. Sometimes putting a little extra money into one section of your rental property makes sure you save on costly repairs and service-workers later on. For instance, if the home is a family rental and the dishwasher keeps needing repair, it might be worth investing in a high-quality new dishwasher since families will inevitably use one heavily. Along the same lines, if the multi-family home keeps destroying the grass, try looking into a stone patio to minimize lawn space without minimizing the outdoor space for the families to use. If you work with a property management company, you will be able to bounce these ideas off of a maintenance specialist who can tell you whether or not you should invest in these kinds of changes.

When should you assess the property?

When a rental is empty, it’s a good time to truly assess its condition. Walk through and make a complete list of any and all cosmetic damages. Use all the appliances and make sure they are functioning properly. Note any plumbing or electrical issues that need to be addressed. If the property has a lot of damage, don’t simply blame bad tenants. Take a look at the quality of materials being used, and add it to the previously asked questions. If the home is not really set up to handle a large family, even though it’s attractive to them, make a note of that.

In a situation where the rental isn’t set up to withstand the market it attracts, you have two choices. The first is to screen tenants and select someone that will better suit the home. This can cause problems since it narrows the pool of potential renters and can lead to the property sitting empty. Or, you can make a budget, hire a contractor and re-finish the home with new materials that can withstand the tenants that the property attracts. With this option, you have to make sure that how much you budget will be absorbed into the rent to make sure you don’t lose profit, but rather gain it over time. Whichever one you choose, making the changes will make sure your rental looks good and wears tough for tenants to come.

At Simply Residential Property Management, we frequently advise our clients on how to get the most ROI for their rental property. We believe that there is no point in owning a rental property if there’s no profit to be made. If you have questions about how to improve your investment, or just want to bounce around some ideas, give us a call: 952-831-5300!