Here we share eight tried and tested landlord habits which will help you run your business more effectively – saving you both time and money.
1. Do one thing well
Rather than dipping in and out of lots of different property investment methods and strategies and not really mastering any, focus on one strategy. Learn it inside out, so it becomes the expertise of the business. For example, become the HMO expert, the buy and flip expert, or the student let expert in the North East. This expertise will help you run a more profitable business.
2. Keep ‘em peeled
Be on the lookout for good property deals – always look at the market, whether you designate 15 minutes a day or an hour twice a week (this should be part of your routine). Good property deals get snapped up quickly!
And if you haven’t already, build relationships so that people know you are the person to go to when something suitable comes up – with estate agents, investors and, other landlords. Join property networking groups and sign up to a landlords association.
Have a routine and stick to it. For example, tenants will pay their rent when you chase them, so stay on top of this. Don’t just hope they will pay – get a routine in place to check they have paid – or get a system to chase the payment for you.
Another tip, mentioned in a recent blog, is taking the rent on the same day every month for all your clients. By following this simple step, you will only have to reconcile once a month – leaving you more time to grow your business!
Also ensure you have a routine for working on your business. As you will see below, you do need to work on your business consistently – so have a routine in place.
On top of this, create a daily task list so you can focus on that first thing – be it a 15-minute search on Rightmove, calling five estate agents, checking social media, or posting some content on it. You can then move on with the rest of your day.
4. Keep recruiting new tenants
Always be recruiting new tenants. Even a few voids can cripple profits, so keep recruiting in new tenants even when you have no voids.
Ideally, you should build a waiting list or a database of tenants, and then as voids approach, you can email your list.
For more tips, please read our blog: How to recruit great tenants for your property
5. Don’t get overwhelmed with paperwork – digitise
Keep on top of paperwork. Landlords have a stack of legislation to comply with; contracts; inventories; and bookkeeping etc. It can be overwhelming.
Store, file, and create a system of paperwork or even digital documents, so you know where everything is when you need it.
Using a property management system such as Go Tenant! can help you access everything from the palm of your hand. Not only that, but it can save you time (and in some cases falling foul of the law) by automating processes, sending out relevant documentation via email to a tenant, and building a communication trail between you and your customers to avoid any misunderstandings.
6. Diary control
Don’t let anyone or anything else prioritise your diary. Make sure you get the best return possible from your time.
Ensure you work on your business. Set aside time to work ON your business not IN your business. For example, this could include working on marketing or systems elements to free up your time. Not painting or decorating to save some money.
7. Focus on value, not costs
A happy tenant is one who is getting value from the property in terms of the rent they pay, the facilities on offer and, their relationship with you. Focus on keeping existing tenants onside by attending to any repairs or other issues as soon as possible.
Similarly, when refurbishing a property, make yours stand out above others for the value it offers – you’ll attract better tenants.
That said, you are still running a business, so do ensure you that you keep on top of costs!
8. Check profits regularly
When you are busy with your property, and the rents are coming in, it may be easy to not worry about profits. But making a profit is the lifeblood of your business.
Regularly review your profits – every three months is ideal.
Understand where every penny is coming in and going out to.
Is there one property that is having a particular issue with the same thing (e.g. a boiler) for example? If the boiler is on its way out, replacing it sooner rather than later will overall save you time and effort.
And don’t let things like landlords or portfolio insurance regularly renew without first checking that you are still getting the most suitable deal for your needs. Shop around – or get a broker to do so on your behalf.
When you are systemised, book a holiday for some time in the next 12-18 months. This will give you enough time to make sure you iron out any niggles in your systems.
The key is to work towards being as passive as possible when investing in property.
Look to automate as much as possible (hint, Go Tenant is excellent for this!) or outsource it, so you can take a break from your business without worrying. In this way, it becomes virtually hands-free – so bringing in a passive income leaving you free to live your life.