6 Things Landlords Should Do Going Into 2022
The past two years have brought a new set of challenges for landlords and property managers. Increases in rules and regulations as well as market fluctuations were just two of the many new issues that have faced property managers in the past few years.
Moving into 2022 there are some things landlords and PMs should make a priority to ensure this year goes smoothly and we can continue to rebound from a very challenging past 24 months.
Plan Repairs and Maintenance Now
Do you want to renovate any common areas in your buildings? Put on a new roof? Do things need to be painted? If so, it is important to plan these projects now so that when the time comes to get started, you’re ready.
Construction materials are expensive right now due to low supply, so if you are planning to renovate your property this year, consider buying in bulk in order to enjoy some savings. Having things lined up before your project begins also keeps you organized and on track to finish quickly.
Another benefit of planning your projects ahead of time is that it gives you a chance to give your tenants a heads up well before work gets done, which allows them to make any arrangements they may need to in order to accommodate the project.
This will keep your tenants happy since they can plan things in advance as well, and aren't surprised when your service providers show up out of the blue to start doing work.
If the past two years have taught us anything, it's that you never know what is going to happen. That’s why it’s important to not have all your eggs in one basket when it comes to your portfolio, since you never know what could happen and what the future holds for the market of that asset.
Diversification of your portfolio helps to protect you from any sudden changes in the market, which is crucial for your peace of mind and success as a property manager or landlord.
Instead of focusing solely on condominiums for example, consider investing in shorter term rentals with things like Airbnb and multifamily residential units. Doing this will protect you from one of these markets getting hit hard in 2022.
Although you can't predict the future, you can set yourself up to be protected no matter what 2022 throws at you.
Reevaluate Your Rent
Rent has seen a huge amount of growth this year which means more money in your pocket as a landlord if you play it right. If you have leases that are about to expire, consider reevaluating what you are charging for that unit, since the market price could be higher than it was when you signed your most recent tenant.
Making sure you are getting an at or above market price for your rental ensures you are making the most profit you can out of the unit.
If you are having trouble figuring out what the market rent is for your unit, the best way to figure it out is by looking at similar units to yours and see what they are charging.
Look for units of a similar size to yours in the same area, if they are all above what you are charging, you are most likely not getting enough from that unit and it is time to increase the price.
Start an Emergency Fund
If the last 24 months have taught us anything, it’s that you always need to be prepared for unexpected challenges. If you haven't already been doing so, strongly consider saving up an emergency fund that you can turn to if you have something come up that you didn't see coming.
You should save enough to be able to cover any unexpected maintenance costs, as well as a few months of vacancies. This will help protect you from unexpected challenges that are bound to come up over the course of a year, and will also protect you from changes in the market that could hurt your ability to rent out your unit.
Build A Relationship with Vendors
Having a good relationship with a number of preferred vendors can be a huge help and make managing your rental properties much easier, especially if you have multiple properties under your care.
Finding quality vendors who you can rely on to do a good job can sometimes be a very time consuming and stressful process. That is why it is important to build a good relationship with a few vendors so that you can easily call upon them when you need some work done.
Having a list of preferred vendors will keep you from having to call around looking for the best person for the job who may then come by and do the work incorrectly. If you have a list of vendors you know you can rely on to get the job done right for a good price, you will be set up for success going into 2022.
Re-evaluate Your Tenant Screening Process
Having a tenant that does not pay their rent on time or causes excessive damage to a property can have huge consequences on your bottom line. This is something that in today's market many landlords cannot afford to have happen and that is why the tenant screening process is so important.
Moving into 2022, you need to make sure your screening process is thorough in order to ensure the tenants you bring in won't cause any problems for you down the road. There are certain things that you need in your tenant screening process that will help to avoid problem tenants.
The first of which is a credit check, a credit check gives you an idea of the tenants ability to pay their rent on time. If they have a high credit score, they will most likely be reliable and pay you on time every month.
The second item, arguably the most important, is to require a few referrals either from past landlords or a past or current employer. A strong referral especially from a past landlord will show you that this person will be a good tenant to you as well, pay their rent on time, and respect your property as if it were their own.
Having those two things as staples in your tenant screening process will help you avoid problem tenants that will cause you headaches and hurt your bottom line.