Property managers in Australia charge 6-15% of your rental income monthly for their services.
Quick Fact: Eliminating property management fees can grow your rental income by up to 15%.
Understandably, taking on property management responsibilities with no experience is a bit unsettling.
Especially so when your financial wellbeing hangs in the balance.
Enter automated rental management solutions like Lodge.
Software solutions are crafted to help you take charge of your rental properties even when you have little to no experience in managing rental units.
They grant you total control over the entire management process without compromising your rental income, tenant’s wellbeing or property.
The best property management software lets you handle everything from listing vacant units to screening tenants to processing rental applications and onboarding new tenants.
With such comprehensive features, you should have no problem keeping all your properties fully occupied.
Here’s a detailed guide to help you rent out all your vacant properties with a professional flair right off the bat.
Get a Property Management Solution
Smart property management software such as Lodge lets you manage a rental property with the efficiency of a professional, even when you have limited experience.
Such management solutions automate most of the property management tasks to help you breeze through the entire process.
Property management software comes in all shapes and sizes, so be sure to pick one that suits your needs.
Pay attention to the monthly charges, pricing model and features the management solution provides.
Some winning features include lease agreement templates, automated rent collection, listing vacant units, tenant screening as well as management of repair and maintenance.
The best solutions integrate a centralised communication system that lets you send out emails, texts and notices to your tenants.
Research the Local Market
A proper grasp of the local market helps to inform your pricing strategy when listing a rental property.
Pricing too high scares away potential tenants while pricing too low leaves money on the table, an undesirable outcome in each case.
A detailed analysis of the local property market lets you price the property just right.
The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, lot sizes, square meters, amenities, days on the market and condition of the property are some of the crucial factors to consider.
Occupancy and vacancy levels and the amenities included with the house are the most influential factors when fixing rental prices.
A good grasp of the market lets you zero in on the most appealing features of your property or what you need to adjust to boost the rental income.
List the Property
Listing is your secret weapon in the quest to achieving 100% occupancy in all your rental properties.
A flawless listing not only attracts tenants quickly but also lets you maintain a waiting list.
To achieve such a feat, you must pick your listing platforms carefully as efficiency varies between sites.
You have the choice of paid and free listing platforms.
If your budget allows, you can include both paid and free listings; if not, stick to the free resources.
Ensure each listing includes an elaborate description of the property, features and amenities as well as beautiful pictures.
Your choice of images can make or break your advert.
Learn how to take professional grade pictures or hire a professional real estate photographer for the job.
Be sure to note the engagement level on each listing platform to gauge it’s efficiency, especially when paying for the service.
Increase your cashflow by self-managing your property.
Spruce up the Property
Three unfortunate things happen when a rental property falls into bad shape.
First, it registers a high turnover as tenants move out, feeling they’re not getting their money’s worth.
Second, high-rise properties register high vacancy levels as most prospects give them a wide berth.
Third, a landlord is forced to lower the rent for the property to get it off the market.
If a property is in relatively good shape, you can breathe new life into it with a fresh coat of paint, fixing the broken items and repairing damaged parts.
If the property is in a massive state of disrepair, you must carry out extensive renovations to increase its market appeal.
Start by fixing all the major systems in the house – plumbing, heating and electricity – to ensure they’re functional and in tiptop condition.
Next, update the toilets, bathrooms and kitchen as they are the most scrutinised areas in a home.
Be sure to update the walls and floors and replace the carpets to give the property a good shine.
Hold an Open House
Listing is only half the battle when looking to fill a vacant property.
You must show the property to prospective tenants to help them make an informed choice.
Holding an open house is the most efficient way to show a vacant unit.
Once a prospect responds to your listing, be sure to take their contact information and schedule them for the open house.
Consolidating all the showings with prospects on the same day saves you a considerable amount of time and effort.
You can ask the prospects to come prepared to complete the application form if they like the property.
Sometimes you might run into a tenant who’s willing to cut you a check and move into the property immediately.
At first glance, that might seem like a good deal, but onboarding a tenant without a proper background check is a terrible idea.
Resist every temptation to onboard a tenant without carrying out a detailed background check or screening them.
Skipping this crucial step is a good way to end up with a professional tenant out to wrangle free accommodation from you for months to come.
Luckily, modern technology like Lodge can help you carry out a detailed background check in less than a minute to help you make a strategic decision.
Review Rental Applications
Your ability to weed out unsuitable tenants paves the way for a smooth property management experience.
Problem tenants make up the bulk of property management nightmare stories, and you want to avoid them at all costs.
Creating a checklist of your ideal tenant can help you breeze over this particular task.
Credit score, income level, rental history, family size, occupation, financial stability, pet ownership, and criminal history are all factors to consider.
Requesting supporting documents such as financial statements can help you speed through this stage.
It also saves you from onboarding a tenant who looks good on paper but is drowning in debt.
Onboard the Best Tenants
Once you have narrowed your selection to the best tenant in the bunch, it’s time to complete all of the pre-move-in steps.
Make sure you do everything by the book and don’t rush through the onboarding process.
Have the tenant sign a lease agreement and a condition report.
Never hand over the keys to your property before the tenant pays the deposit, rent and bond.
If they pay by personal check, wait until the check clears to hand over the keys.
Be wary of tenants who pay by check but want to move in immediately as this may read trouble for you.
Once everything checks out, you can deliver the keys.
Be sure to update their information on your property management software and ask them to use its inbuilt feature to communicate with you.
Automate the Rent Collection
Property management software saves you the hassle of having to knock on doors to chase rent payments.
Advanced platforms like Lodge incorporate trusted online payment methods to help you collect the rent.
The system will collect the rent, issue the tenant a receipt and forward the money to your bank account.
The software also sends out reminders and notices if the tenant is running behind on rent, saving you the hassle of drafting endless emails.
It also lets you reconcile your rental income with the click of a button, making the entire process seamlessly efficient.
Take Charge of Your Rental Investment
You don’t need to hire a property manager to keep your tenants happy or grow your rental income.
You can take charge and manage your property with the flair of a seasoned veteran.
You simply need to update your knowledge of the rental property market and harness the power of rental property management software.
Coupling the two enables you to create a seamless system that will let you safeguard your investment and grow your rental income without neglecting your tenants.