Time is one of the most valuable commodities, yet landlords seem to consistently run low on their supply, whether they’re driving around to meet tenants or spending hours fixing a leaky roof. In either case, there are many ways to save time in 2019, ensuring that you get everything done with enough time to relax at the end of the day. Keep these tips in mind if you find that 24 hours is just not enough time to get it all done.
Don’t Waste Time With Unreliable People
Meeting new tenants or contractors at the property can be a waste of time if they don’t show up. Unfortunately, this is a reality for landlords, but it doesn’t need to be a time-suck if you make one small change:
“When making an appointment with tenants to show them a property, tell them to call you fifteen or thirty minutes beforehand to let you know they’ll be there. Inform them if they don’t call you, you won’t be at the property to show it to them,” suggest experts at Green Residential.
Another tip: “If you have an office, have the tenant come there, and you can travel to the property together. This can significantly cut down on wasted time, which, for a landlord, is extremely important.”
Don’t meet with every renter who responds to your ad. Instead, have a phone screening first. With a simple list of questions, you’ll quickly weed out the tenants who would be a good fit and the ones who won’t. Check out this well-rounded list of questions from LawDepot if you don’t have your own yet.
Outsource Your Laundry
Laundry is a necessary evil, and for a busy landlord, it can also be a huge time-suck, especially when it’s the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day. The good news is, you can take this task off your to-do list once and for all by using a wash and fold laundry service, available at most laundromats. The convenience is undeniable, as CD One Price Cleaners explains:
“Once clothes are washed, dried and folded, an email notification is sent letting you know that your clothes are ready for pick up. Clothes dropped off by 10am are ready for pick up by 5pm. You’ll find everything nicely folded and ready to put away.”
When looking for this service in your region, consider whether they offer text or email notifications and same-day service, which makes your life even easier.
Upgrade Rental Appliances
Maintenance is likely one of the most time-consuming tasks for a landlord—but what if the property needed maintenance less often? Experts at Tenant Verification Services suggest a simple way to make this possible:
“Self-cleaning ovens and washers that don’t break down every other month are time-savers. Often, landlords look at cost comparisons when shopping appliances. Don’t forget to factor in time spent dealing with multiple repairs of substandard appliances. New is not always the answer, but durability and ease of repairs should come into play.”
Make a list of what needs to be updated and align that with your budget. Invest as you can to spend less time on maintenance.
Digitally Manage Your Tenants
Tenant management can be time-consuming—collecting rent checks, answering questions, and more. Luckily, there are a number of apps available to you that make this aspect of your job easier and more streamlined. A tool like AppFolio automates various tasks with a wide variety of features, including:
● Application screening and management
● One-click vacancy posting
● Online leases and payments
● In-app accounting
● Automated late fees
This app charges monthly, per unit that you’re managing, but there are free options available as well. Capterra runs through some of the most popular unpaid options.
Use an App to Track Spending
While tracking your own personal spending is important, knowing where money goes for your property is critical as well. This not only ensures that you stay on budget for the month, but you can assess quarterly spending and make a plan for how you to spend less, save money or make better financial decisions for your property in the coming months.
However, managing your budget can be a timely task, especially if math is not your forte. Save yourself the headache and time and let an app do the work for you. A recent review of the 10 best budget apps found that MoneyWhiz was best for managing multiple streams of income (great if you have multiple properties, or are a landlord in addition to working elsewhere full-time).
If you have a lot of regular expenses, use an app like Dollarbird instead, which is structured like a calendar that shows all upcoming expenses in a glance-and-go format.
Do a Pre-Move Out Walk-Through
To save yourself time and your tenant money, do a walk-through of the property one month before they move out, showing them all the things they need to fix to keep their security deposit. This gives them a chance to get their money back, and will ideally reduce the amount of time you need to spend preparing the property for the next tenant.
Learn Better Time Management Skills
Ultimately, if you can hone your time management skills, a busy day will be more productive and successful without getting that dreaded burnout feeling. RentPrep suggests that landlords learn the following time management skills:
● Use lists and prioritize them in order of need and importance.
● Use your morning effectively.
● Focus on one task at a time and group smaller ones together.
● Minimize interruptions.
Use these tips to save time this year while maintaining your stellar landlord reputation. When you learn how to manage your tasks more effectively and let digital tools streamline your tedious work, you’ll have more time for the things you love and spend less time running around.
Author Bio: Jessica Thiefels has been writing and editing for more than 10 years and is now a professional freelancer and consultant. She's worked with a variety of real estate clients, and has written for Forbes, Inman, House Hunt Network, Homes.com and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.
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