If you want to become a successful landlord, you should know that all good landlords have nine traits in common.
When it comes to renting out a property, there’s a big difference between just being that property’s owner and being a successful landlord.
If you want to be a rental property owner but you don’t want to deal with managing the property, you may want to consider hiring a property manager, because being a landlord involves more than just sitting at home and collecting rent checks. A good landlord knows how to communicate effectively with their tenants and sense their problems before they become problems.
That being said, here are the nine traits that commonly make a good landlord:
- Organization. No tenant wants to hear that their landlord has lost their rental agreement, or worse, their rent payment. A good landlord is well-organized and can access and reference any documents they need whenever necessary.
- Being able to keep timely maintenance. Obviously, repairs will need to be made from time to time, so getting them done quickly and doing preventative maintenance is essential to being a good landlord. Maintenance issues are one of the most common complaints tenants make, so you need to stay on top of them. If your work schedule is too busy, it might not be in your best interest to manage your property yourself.
- Respectfulness. Obviously, no tenant likes a landlord who’s rude, condescending, or judgemental. A good landlord cultivates an atmosphere of respect by acting with complete professionalism, keeping their distance, and being kind and honest.
- Trustworthiness. Tenants aren’t stupid; they’ll be able to tell if you cut corners. They have to be able to trust what you say, and likewise, you have to show that you trust them. You can’t be constantly checking whether they’ll pay their rent on time or do what they’re supposed to do. It’s not naive to think that at some point someone may try to take advantage of you, but you have to trust your tenants.
- Reliability. A solid presence is way more important than you realize. Many landlords end up becoming absentee landlords, and that’s when their properties become run-down. Your tenants need to know that they can rely on you, so answer the phone when they call and remember to call back if you’re unable to. Also, remember to follow through when you make a promise.
- Transparency. Tenants should always be aware of what’s going on with your property, so don’t try and hide things from them. If there’s a mold or pest infestation, they have a right to know. If this kind of thing happens, just explain what’s going on and how you’ll fix the problem. No one likes to hear that their home has a problem, but they’ll respect your honesty and integrity by trying to solve the problem quickly.
- Being able to keep an appropriate distance. Your new tenant is not your new best friend, so keep an appropriate and respectful distance from their lives. Even if you share the same space as them, it doesn’t mean you need to be nosy or micromanage their actions. Nobody likes a landlord peeking over their shoulders all the time, so you should only intervene if there’s a pressing problem or the tenants ask you to get involved.
- Flexibility. It’s important to stick to your contract and hold your tenants accountable to the rules, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also be a little flexible. We’re all human, and a little compassion goes a long way. If you have a renter with a good payment history who suddenly misses a payment because of a family emergency or a lost job, cut them a little slack until they’re back on their feet.
- Communication. A good landlord has mastered the art of communication, so answers questions quickly, addresses concerns thoroughly, and informs tenants of important dates and maintenance work being done. Keeping tenants in the loop makes it easier to establish good relationships and keep them happy.
If you’re still unsure whether you’d make a good landlord or not, feel free to give me a call or send me an email so we can talk more about this subject and help you decide if it’s something you want to do.
As always, if you have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me as well. I’d be glad to help you.