Landlords trying to eke out a place in the rental investment market face an uphill battle. Staying on top of housing regulations, market data, property improvements, and vacancy rates can easily consume all 24 hours of your day if you let it.
Since the workload will only grow along with your success, you need to protect your bottom line by working smarter, rather than harder. Here are several tips to help you maintain a work/life balance while growing your business.
For every job duty you can imagine, larger companies have at least one employee dedicated to solely that job function. From marketing to social media management, raising awareness about your brand can legitimately be a full-time job.
Schedule set times every week to complete social media posts and limit the time you spend doing this. Use printing services to create handouts, flyers, car magnets, branded polo shirts, and more so that your rental business can be seen by the widest possible audience.
Plenty of companies offer drip campaign services such as newsletters, move-in or referral specials, or public notices. Think of the most common forms of communication with your current and potential tenants and find ways to automate routine messages. Be proactive in routinely sending out information that minimizes calls to your office for common activities like renewals, move-outs, and maintenance requests.
Outsource administrative functions
You need someone at your business who’s available to meet with current and potential tenants. But you don’t necessarily need a warm body in an office seat to take care of a wide range of administrative functions like accounting, payroll management, and contract management.
Are you still handwriting checks or struggling with the manual tray on your printer? Consider using a check mailing service for your payables; these types of services have the added benefit of consolidating important information at tax time for your accountant.
Whenever possible, take advantage of software offers which are specific to landlords. This can save you time and money rather than trying to shuffle papers into the wee hours of the morning. Tracking leads, obtaining rental forms, and completing your tenant screening using these cloud-based systems can increase your organizational efficiency while reducing time spent filing, searching for lost notes, or dealing with a coffee stain on a lease agreement.
Virtual assistants can also handle a wide range of business functions for you, including setting appointments, dispatching contractors, and even managing rental agreements and renewal paperwork. You can use a phone answering service so that your callers have access to a live operator if you’re out. Some companies use voice recognition and AI technology to handle basic requests for you via the automated system.
Though you might still be able to complete your own repairs and turnovers, there will come a day when your business grows beyond your capability or you need a licensed contractor to complete various jobs. You’ll need to consider whether you should hire a dedicated repair person or simply use independent contractors.
In any case, consider how much your time is worth per hour when determining if it’s time to hand over the reins of property maintenance to a qualified contractor.
Reduce your workload
One of the most basic ways to reduce your workload is to anticipate common questions and answer them ahead of time, either with an informative brochure/flyer or a website that has a comprehensive FAQ page.
Designing your workflow to address common issues or events proactively will keep your business running more smoothly, reducing unnecessary calls and emails as well as misunderstandings. Create templates and checklists whenever possible for common tasks so that your work is consistent and important details are less likely to be forgotten.
Growing your business doesn’t have to mean hiring a large team of employees right away. By being efficient, proactive, and wise about what you do yourself and what you delegate, you can be successful and still have free time to unwind afterward.