It’s easy to see why so many real estate investors gravitate towards large rental properties. After all, the more units a property contains, the more income it will be able to generate. However, managing such properties is considerably more challenging than managing smaller single-family rentals. Between delegating maintenance tasks, settling disputes between tenants and processing rental payments, anyone who invests in a large rental property certainly has their work cut out for them. So, if you’ll soon be investing in your first large rental property, you should take the following tips to heart.
Hire a Dedicated Property Manager
Managing a large rental community essentially places you in the role of small-town mayor, meaning you stand to benefit from cutting-edge municipal software. With hundreds – if not thousands – of people impacted by your decisions, you’re going to need all the help you can get. This is where a dedicated property manager can prove invaluable. As the title indicates, a property manager is someone who takes point on every facet of property management. Interacting with tenants, processing maintenance requests and managing onsite staff are just a few of the important tasks a property manager attends to on a daily basis.
If you regard managing a large rental property as a full-time job, a property manager will essentially serve as your co-captain. However, if you have a day job that’s unrelated to real estate or other rental properties to oversee, a good property manager will act as your proxy and make important decisions in your stead. While you’ll still have final say, your property manager will be entrusted with a variety of responsibilities, so it’s imperative that you hire someone you can trust. Furthermore, even if you trust your property manager implicitly, it’s still in your best interest to check in with them on a daily basis to ensure that things are running smoothly.
Don’t Keep Tenants Waiting
Unresponsive landlords are among renters’ biggest pet peeves – and it isn’t hard to see why. After all, if someone is experiencing a pressing maintenance issue or having trouble with another tenant, it’s only natural that they’d expect a prompt response after reaching out to their landlord. Regarding tenant complaints, concerns and feedback as unimportant can result in reduced renter retention rates and negative feedback all over the web.
In the interest of avoiding such outcomes, make a point of responding to all tenant communiques in a timely and professional manner. Under no circumstances should you keep a tenant waiting more than one business day for a response. Even if you don’t have an immediate solution to their problem, you should at least let them know that their message has been received. Furthermore, every tenant should be given a phone number and email at which you can be reached during business hours, as well as a number to call in the event of after-hours maintenance emergencies. All landlords should be effective communicators, so if you’re lacking in this department, consider placing tenant communications in the hands of your property manager.
Make Maintenance a Top Priority
As discussed above, renters don’t like to be kept waiting – and this is doubly true in the case of maintenance requests. Since some maintenance problems can compromise a property’s livability, it’s in your best interest to treat every maintenance request that comes your way with importance. The longer maintenance issues are left alone, the more serious they’re likely to become. And while certain issues are more pressing than others, it’s strongly recommended that you process and attend to all maintenance requests in an expedient fashion.
Among other things, this entails hiring enough maintenance personnel. Depending on the size of the property, staying on top of maintenance may require you to hire a full-time maintenance staff. The more dedicated maintenance personnel you have on hand, the faster you’ll be able to take care of maintenance requests – and the happier your tenants are likely to be.
A large rental property stands to make you a small fortune every month – provided, of course, it’s effectively managed. Unsurprisingly, managing properties that contain dozens – if not hundreds – of units can present quite the challenge to landlords with little experience in this area. While managing such a property will certainly involve a lot of on-the-job learning, it helps to enter this new endeavor with some practical advice at your disposal.